Ultimate Guide On How To Set Up a Rap Recording Studio

how to set up a rap recording studio

About two centuries ago, if you wanted to be a famous rapper, you needed to work with a big recording studio.

But, we’re living in an era where audio technology is extremely advanced. You can completely record at home and still produce great music products.

With the following helpful guide, you can set up a rap recording studio by yourself via the simple steps:

  1. Consider the room size
  2. Prepare the necessary equipment
  3. Electrical requirements
  4. Consider the sound

Consider the Room Size

Considering the size of your room space is the first thing you need to consider when building a rap recording studio.

You need to make sure that the room size you have is enough to build a recording studio.

The minimum space for a recording studio is:

  • Floor space: 20ft by 15ft
  • Ceiling height: 10ft.

In addition, the shape of your room is also an important factor. A square room won’t be as good as a rectangular one.

The colour of the room is also an important factor that you need to consider. It is best to paint the walls and ceiling in a dark colour, such as brown, black, dark blue, dark purple, etc.

In addition, you should also apply dark materials along the walls of the studio. Thanks to that, you can have good control of the studio’s lighting.

Prepare the necessary equipment

To set up a rap recording studio, you need to prepare the appropriate equipment. Here’s what you need:

Things you must have:

#1. Computer

You can use any desktop or laptop computer for this. You just need to make sure they’re still working properly.

As soon as you read this step, chances are high that you already own a favourite computer. As long as your computer quality is not too low, you have completed this step.

It is important that you need to make sure your computer’s memory is not full. It is best to delete things that are not necessary.

#2. Audio interface

After you own a computer, it is time to retrofit an audio interface.

You can connect it to microphones, instruments, and midi devices. It can then transmit that information to your computer.

#3. Digital audio workstation (DAW)

A digital audio workstation (DAW) is the essential software for your computer. It is known as one of the most important things you’ll use when setting up a rap recording studio.

A few good examples of it are Cubase, FL Studio, Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Garage Band, and more.

#4. Microphone

Whether you are a country singer, hip-hop artist, or whatever, a microphone is a very important piece of equipment for you.

For a rapper, you do not necessarily have to start with a high-end mic. Your perfect choice is a condenser microphone.

#5. Headphones

Headphones are very important in recording and mixing. Thanks to its use, you can hear your music more accurately and in detail. For rappers, you can also listen to rap beats while recording.

For most recording studios, people often use two common types of headphones. They are open-back headphones and closed-back headphones.

#6. Speakers or monitors

Speakers are also an indispensable device for a professional recording studio. If your budget allows, you should choose monitors.

They provide more accurate and realistic sound than standard speakers. As a result, you can detect potential errors in the recording.

Things you should have (optional)

#1. Beat machine

You should also add beat machines to your studio if possible.

For the production of hip hop and rap music, music producers often use MPC. It is a stand-alone beat machine.

#2. Keyboard with midi controls

You can also connect a keyboard to your DAW. To connect the keyboard to your computer, you only need a USB cord. You can use this keyboard to play electronic instruments that are programmed into your DAW.

#3. Plugins

If you have a big budget, you should also equip plugins to add perfection to your studio. Simply put, the plugin includes a variety of instruments that you can control through the midi keyboard.

Electrical Requirements

To build a rap recording studio, you need to arrange the power system in the room very well.

If you don’t secure enough power for a recording studio, you won’t get the most out of the lights and sound equipment.

  • Start by checking how many electrical circuits and outlets your room has.
  • Learn about sockets, switches, and how they connect to electrical circuits.
  • If you’re going to choose hanging lights from the ceiling, you’ll need to install an outlet in the ceiling. You should hire a professional electrician.

Consider the sound

The last important thing that you need to consider before setting up a home recording studio is studio sound. This includes noise outside and inside the room.

When setting up a rap recording studio, your recording studio may face two problems:

  • Too many echoes
  • Too much noise from the outside world

You should not build your studio near noisy places such as bus stations, train stations, railway lines. However, if you are not given a choice, you need to do some acoustic treatment for your studio.

Nowadays, you can find a lot of different methods to reduce echo and soundproof your studio. One of the popular ways is to use soundproofing foam.

Soundproofing foam is a common name for sound-absorbing foam and sound blocking foam. These two types of foam are completely different in terms of application. They are not interchangeable. However, a lot of people still confuse them with each other.

In addition, you can also use other materials such as fabric, fiberglass, wood, bass traps, acoustic panels, and diffusers.

Why are Studio monitors important?

If you have a mid-range budget, standard headphones and speakers are enough for you. On the contrary, if your budget allows, you should equip monitors.

Monitors are effective in helping you monitor the overall and quality of your recordings. Thanks to that, you can easily detect hidden money errors in the recording.

Therefore, there is no denying that they are very useful in recording and mixing.

What kind of headphones should I use at a rap recording studio?

For most recording studios, people often use two common types of headphones. They are open-back headphones and closed-back headphones.

#1. Open-back headphones 

For music production, open-back headphones are a great choice. It is also suitable for recording, although not as well as closed-back headphones. The main reason it is unsuitable for recording is sound leakage. This type of headset provides a more realistic sound.

If you want to find a headset for audio production, it is the best choice.

#2. Closed-back headphones

Unlike open-back headphones, these headphones have the ability to minimize sound leakage. Therefore, closed-back headphones are a great choice for recording.

It also costs less than open-back headphones. However, its quality is not as good as open-back headphones.

What is the difference between sound-absorbing foam and sound blocking foam?

In essence, they are completely different.

#1. Sound-absorbing foam 

The main use of Sound-absorbing foam is sound absorption.

If you walk into a closed room and sing, you will hear an echo. It is the result of sound bouncing off the walls, ceiling and floor into the room.

Sound-absorbing foam is usually softer and lighter than sound absorption. The reason it picks up the sound so well is its flexible open-cell construction.

Thanks to that, it can eliminate any echo in the recording studio.

#2. Sound blocking foam

This type of foam has the ability to block outside noise. It has completely different properties than sound-absorbing foam.

Sound blocking foam has a closed-cell structure. Therefore, it is very effective in soundproofing.

If your recording studio is near a noisy area, you need to use sound blocking foam to prevent noise from entering the studio.

Sound blocking foam is very effective at preventing noise from travelling through walls into the interior. If your studio’s problem is outside noise, sound blocking foam is a great solution.


Hopefully, after reading this article, you are ready to start building a rap recording studio. It is important that you know exactly what you are doing.

It is wise to consider all factors carefully before making a decision.

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