Ugh…it’s so hot in here.

I say that a lot in my studio.

It’s kind of the nature of the beast, right? You’re recording in your home studio, AKA spare bedroom, and you don’t want to capture the sound of the air conditioner in your recordings, right? Right.

Some noises you can’t control – like computer and hard drive noise. But at least you can turn off the AC while you’re recording.

Especially if you’re using a sensitive condenser microphone on a fairly quiet source, I highly recommend turning off the AC. I’ve mentioned before that noise isn’t as big deal, but it’s always a good idea to eliminate obvious noises if at all possible.

But one thing happens…especially if it’s July…in Nashville. Heat.

It’s inevitable, but here are three ways to deal with it:

1. Crank the AC 30 minutes before the session.

When you know you’re going to be recording soon, turn the AC thermostat down as low as you can.

The goal here is to make it as cold as possible in the studio, so when you do turn the AC off entirely, it takes a while for the room to heat back up.

Even if the weather’s not particularly hot where you live, the gear in your studio can give off a lot of heat. And after an hour or two of being in an enclosed room with that gear, things start to warm up.

Combat this by cooling things down significantly before you start.

2. Install a ceiling fan.

I only recently did this in my studio. And it makes a huge difference.

While it’s near impossible to mix with the fan on, it’s a lifesaver when it comes to cooling things off between takes.

Air conditioners take a while to crank up and actually cool the room down. So if you’re taking a 5-minute break between takes, flip on that ceiling fan and enjoy the breeze.

This is one of my favorite new pieces of gear. 🙂

3. Take breaks to crank up the AC

At some point, the ceiling fan won’t be enough. Take a 20-minute break after a while. Go grab a drink with the musicians, and get out of that studio for a while.

While you’re gone, crank the AC and cool that room down again.

I know it sounds fairly elementary and even silly, but this is how I’ve done it even in big, expensive studios. Air conditioners are great, but they’re noisy. Make it a priority to work around them, and you’ll have a nice, comfortable session.

How do you keep things comfortable?

[Photo Credit]

10 Responses to “Key to a Comfortable Recording Session”

  1. Sean Hebert

    This is a big problem for me. Partly its my less than efficient house, my studio is the warmest room in the house no matter how low the tstat is. Ive tried cranking it up for an hour before a session, but within 20 mins my client was sweating. Looking into bigger air ducts to that room and some noise absorbtion right before the duct hits the ceiling.

  2. Mark Bodah

    it’s not too too bad in new england, although this year has been a killer. i’ve been thinking about how i can have the a/c in the bedroom next door and rig some kind of ventilation system to “pump” the air into my studio quietly. but until some other priorities get taken care of, that’ll have to wait…

  3. Chris Winter

    ahh… reminds me of the days in my school studio, I always set it to 17 degrees (c) when mixing.

    Although I don’t think you can call England that hot, or warm even.

  4. C Bret Campbell

    The Small Barn has traditionally been cooled by two window units. They both crapped out 2 years ago. All I can say is It’s Hot! Deal with it… and keep a towel full of Ice around my neck…


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