Start by creating a customized small recording studio space!
Living in a small space or dealing with a small space can be frustrating. Trying to make high-quality videos with very little room can be frustrating and even demotivating. What if I told you there is a way to change that? Setting up a recording studio in a small space can be easy and stress-free. There are a couple of key elements to remember whenever you design a small recording studio space.
1) Lighting for a Recording Studio
The first thing you need to know is how to light a recording studio in a small space. When dealing with small spaces, finding a spot next to a window and getting that window light can be all the difference you need. Natural light is an easy way to get excellent lighting for free. Once you have found a spot with natural light or window light the next is to think about your background.
2) Backgrounds Add Character when Studio Recording
No one likes a plain background; it makes the video less interesting and boring. Instead, try to find something you can put in the background that has texture or looks interesting. A good example of a textured background could simply be a piece of plywood. Next, you want to add layers.
Background Layers for Studio Recording
Let me explain a little more in-depth when I say layers. When you have yourself and a textured background there is no way to really tell how far away you are from the wall or background. It makes the videos very 2d. Now let’s say we had a couple of random objects between you and the background. Then we kinda have an idea of how far things are from each other. This is what we call depth. It makes your video 3d and really pops; this just adds to the interesting effect of the video.
Background lighting for Studio Recording
In a small space using our previous examples of window light and plywood, you can add a small plant between you and the background somewhere in the middle on the side or even just add another piece of wood in front of that plywood. The window light will create shadows giving us depth. We have achieved proper lighting on your face now we need lighting in your background or somewhere in your “in-between items” adding a little lamp out of sight or insight can add a nice interesting glow to light up your depth items or background.
3) Framing a Recording Studio Shot
The last most important thing is how to frame the shot for your video. For small spaces, you want to do a shoulder to headshot. So the bottom of the camera should be right below or on your shoulders. The top of the camera should be just above your head. Make sure not to give yourself too much headspace or that could end up looking weird.
4) Cost: A Recording Studio can be Inexpensive!
Most people assume you have to use new fancy cameras, but that’s not true at all. Most smartphones have high-quality cameras that you can use for your videos. You can use a small tripod with a phone mount to put your camera on or alternatively you can always just stack books and lean your phone against that. For most of these key video elements, you will have to get a little creative, but that’s ok! Creating a recording studio is supposed to be fun and a way to be able to express yourself!
5) A Recording Studio needs a Theme!
That brings me to my next point. It’s important as well when you create a recording studio, even a recording studio in a small space, to have a theme. The theme you choose should match your brand or just what expresses your personality. Themes could range from anything like colors, textures, or objects.
As an example, if you think you are a very colorful person, warm colors would be best for your theme. If you are a very monochromatic person (like me) you might enjoy just a black and white modern theme! If you build rustic houses then make your background rustic looking! You should have a modern, sleek-looking background when you make modern houses. Unless you make modern rustic homes of course.
Four Alternative Solutions for Lighting and Audio
1) Alternative Lighting for a Recording Studio
So what if you don’t have a window light at your recording studio location? Well if there is not a window your next best option is to get a LED light or ring light. Typically ring lights come with a phone mount and a soft light option so this is a very good way to kill 2 birds with 1 stone.
If you want to just use some LED light you have to lay around the house/ apartment that will work too. Just remember we don’t want that LED hard light right on you. We need to create soft light. You can do this in 2 different ways.
- The first is to bounce the light. If you bounce the hard LED light off a white surface like a wall onto your face that will create soft light.
- Alternatively, you can go to the dollar store, buy a shower curtain for like $1 and cut out a piece to put around the LED light to diffuse it. This also creates a nice soft light on your face.
2) Softlight Positioning for a Recording Studio
The best position to put a soft light is right in front of you above your camera at a slight angle to either the left or right. This creates a nice small shadow on one side of your face creating a little separation of you from your background.
3) A Recording Studio Hair Light
Another way to create separation between you and your background is to add a “hair light” or a “backlight” this creates a nice outline of your face again separating you from the background to be the main focus of your small space recording studio. Hair lights are typically put directly above your head using a C stand or other means. A backlight can be a lamp or another LED that goes behind you and shines directly on your back, but not into the camera.
4) Studio Recording Microphone Alternatives
If you are using your phone to record in a small space recording studio you can probably just use your phone’s microphone and be ok. If you are using a nicer camera make sure to set the lens to as shallow as they will go. This will increase your small space studio recording video depth by tenfold. If you are using a nice camera I would suggest buying a simple boom mike that you can just mount on your camera and plugin.
There are stands that you can buy that can hold your soft light, camera, and mike all at once. These are a little more on the expensive side, but I would highly suggest buying one as it can save you a lot of headaches. If you still need help after reading this article or just have a question I would be happy to give you video consulting and help create your own customized small space recording studio setup.
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