SONIC SPACES – How to turn ‘just another room’ into your dream music room!
If you play guitar and frequent YouTube, there is a very good chance you know the name Paul Davids, or at least have stumbled across his videos at some point. (Oh, so THAT was the guy who made the video about John Frusciante not tuning his guitar!) This Holland-based musician has been offering some truly wonderful guitar content focused on iconic riffs, techniques, and even production- all narrated in Paul’s friendly, soothing voice. In fact, if you play guitar and frequent YouTube, you might even BE someone who either films your own covers or lessons, or wants to get into it! This String Thing will be right up your alley, as it sits at the intersection of guitar and video production. When music has moved from the stage to the home studio, we always love seeing ‘where the magic happens.’
It all starts somewhere, and for those of you who have been following Paul’s videos for some time, you may know of his former studio, aka “getting the most out of a small place.” It can often be startling to see just how compact and efficient many of the world’s most famous YouTuber’s spaces really are. Through clever camera set-up, set design, and lighting, many of these creators can emulate the look & feel of a clean studio or even a higher-end sound stage right in their own bedroom, providing a perfect place to showcase their content to the world.
If you’ve ever found yourself working on music in your own room, you no doubt have struggled with many of the issues that plague home musicians in trying to create the ideal space to write, film, produce, and edit content. For most of us, just the simple act of writing and playing can take up plenty of space once computers, guitars, amps, cables, pedals, audio interfaces, and more start to create a bowl of guitar and pro-audio spaghetti. So, if you’ve wondered about how to create either the ideal space, or maybe just make better use of your current space, these videos are worth the watch! You just may find some inspiration or studio-hacks that while help you make the most out of whatever space you have available to you!
While the above video shows how much of Paul’s videos were made in a tiny room, he also announces how he has bought a house and been hard at work for 8 months creating the groundwork for his future dream studio. Paul had a few #PROTIPS of his own that he wanted to incorporate into his ideal workspace/guitar haven:
- Ample storage/display areas- leaving instruments right out in the open means easy access, no barriers while creating a pleasing visual backdrop
- Ease of use- keep the recording rig connected and ready to go at all times
- Soundproofing- to keep outside noises out and inside noises in
- Acoustic treatment- proper use of paneling and audio foam to keep reverb under control and bass reflex to a minimum
- Insulation- to keep temperature consistent and comfortable, especially in winter
- Proper climate control- keeping humidity between 40-60% and a temperature of 70F
- Skylights and large windows- to keep natural light to a maximum
- Blackout controls, to make sure room can be 100% pitch black if needed
Ultimately, the room you make will ideally be a place of inspiration that will not only make creating art easier, but more fun and creatively stimulating. When inspiration strikes, your gear needs to be ready to go at a moment's notice; and having the right studio space can facilitate this. You don’t want to have to find a guitar case, while your amp warms up, and then dig out the right mic, while booting up your DAW. At that point, the creative idea may be long gone.
💥FRET12 PROTIP: Just because some of you musicians may also be into video gear, if you’d like some great visual demonstrations of lens comparisons, fast forward to 11:40 to watch Paul showcase 16, 24, and 85mm lenses for his Sony A7 line that he uses for his content.
While it is incredible to see both of Paul’s studio spaces, and VERY impressive to see the months of work he put into customizing his dream studio; you don’t need an amazing room like this to make the magic happen. As his first video shows, a great song can come from anywhere at any time, and great videos can be made just about anywhere with the right tools and the right know-how. But sometimes realizing that 'ultimate dream space' can make one's pursuit of art that much more worthwhile, as it almost always tends to skyrocket creativity and passion to entirely new levels. Check out the video below to see how Paul has put in the hard work in creating a new space that satisfies all of the above-listed tips, as well as many more of his personal ones in his effort to improve his workflow and make even better art. This room will be the future backdrop of many of his videos for years to come, so we are excited to see where this space takes him!
YouTube really has become the proper stage for 2020 and beyond. As Paul himself says: