Converting newly emptied office spaces into podcast studios poses noise challenges not previously realized before hybrid offices began. Experts recommend considering location, nearby noise sources, and ways to absorb sound to make a studio effective.
Thanks to hybrid working models, offices are less busy and less noisy, meaning recording spaces can be used more often, and newly empty private offices can become podcast studios.
But existing spaces present multiple acoustic challenges — single-glazed windows, nearby noise sources, and limited available surface area, to name a few. Offices with audio-visual components with frequent audio playback or speakerphone usage also impede recording, according to Indi Savitala, from the CSDA Design Group.
To help, Savitala and his team offer criteria and recommendations for optimizing recording spaces.
“Since offices are being partially occupied, people have become more sensitive to noise,” said Savitala. “HVAC and sound masking noise that was previously deemed acceptable are now considered ‘noisy,’ and clients are requesting lower background noise levels.”
According to their criteria, the primary focus should be on potential noise sources. Converting an interior office may be beneficial if it is distanced from open-plan areas and the surrounding offices are not often used. Exterior offices may have less adjacent noise pollution but may be exposed to traffic noise.
“The addition of minimal absorptive treatments will make a huge difference for recording,” said Savitala. “Selecting podcast-friendly microphones and popfilters can make a huge difference and do not have to be expensive or high-end products.”
The team recommends considering the visual component of recording studios.
“It is popular for podcast shows to have accompanying video for social media posts,” said Savitala. “Therefore, providing aesthetically pleasing room finish treatment options is important.”