New studio build out of previous studio build!
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#1: New studio build out of previous studio build! Author: troddenLocation: C-attle PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:06 pm
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I've had this info up on a couple of other sites. I miss TOMB so going to have it over here as well.... Cheers!



After using rental spaces for the last 17 years, I finally have something that I'm paying the bank for! I've been studio-less for the last year and a half because I didn't want to build out a space in ANOTHER rental that I'd eventually have to walk away from. I plan on dying in this house, dammit.

All of the garage space is available for studio use. Typical 1934 pacific northwest construction. Cement floors, framed by douglas fir 2X4's and wood outside sheeting. There will be many gaps to caulk and I will be beefing up the outside leaf with sheet rock inserted between the framing. Eventually building a room within a room for the main tracking room.

The previous owner had already done a bit of work in the studio department!!! There is a finished control room and they started on a small iso as well. The iso and sound lock outside of the control room are only framed and insulated.

My first step in this studio build is to get the control room operating so I can start mixing and doing overdubs at least while the tracking area is being built over time and since I have access to other studios to track in. I'll be introducing the HVAC into the already built control room when building out the tracking room and iso booth. I'd like to spend most of my time and money on the tracking room since, well, it doesn't even exist yet! I'd love to be able to use as much of the previous owner's control room as possible to help with that.

The control room walls and ceiling is double 5/8" sheetrock on resilient channel that looks similar to either Auralex RC8 or TSN Primewall Resilent Channel and rigid fiberglass insulation between the framing.

Concerns:
The room is a little smaller than anything I've used for a control room before. It's also not rectangular, which my previous experiences has always been in rectangular rooms, with the speakers firing down the longer dimension. I've always superchunked the floor to ceiling corners and then hung 4" rigid fiberglass straddling the wall and ceiling corners. And then the usual 2" or 4" panels at the mirror points on the side walls and above mix cloud.

This room is also not symmetrical... and I can't figure out why the previous owner didn't build it symmetrical...

There is a giant window in the "back" wall if I am to put the mix position "facing out" through the smaller window to the rest of the garage which will eventually be the tracking room.

A room this size will need a lot of bass trapping material and I also don't want it to be too "dead"

Monitoring is a pair of KRK 7000's, an older yamaha subwoofer that was usually paired with NS10's. Also a pair of Avatone Mix Cubes and boombox.

Ideas:
1) leave it as is. Move the gear in and superchunk the right angle corners in the "back" of the room along with the usual wall treatment at the mirror points and behind the monitors and mix cloud. Make some rigid fiber glass "plugs" for the large window that can be taken out when I want to reflect on the outside world. Learn the room and get to work.. and spend the time and money on the rest of the garage space, turning it into the tracking room.

2) knock down the wall to the right of the "mix position" (the 6' 51/4" wall) and rebuild the space so its symmetrical with the other side of the room. How much "more" or benefit will come from this change? It's a pretty simple enough alteration to the existing structure. And then superchunk and other treatment. Make some rigid fiber glass "plugs" for the large window

3)Same as the above, but instead of rebuilding it in a symmetrical design in the idea of the original design, i'll "square up" that side of the room and change the mix position to be facing the East wall? That would force me to remove and fill in one of the windows in the unfinished garage, but totally doable. Then superchunk, etc. Make some rigid fiber glass "plugs" for the large window

As for the isolation regarding the control room, it's good enough. We live very close to the landing flight path of Seatac Airport. I can still hear the bigger planes slightly when they fly by. That's not going to bother me when mixing. My last studio was actually across the street from the county airport and along a major truck route. Now, it WILL be an issue when I'm building out the tracking room. Using the Radio Shack Realistic sound level meter, slow response, C weighting and on the 60 range, while standing in the unfinished portion of the garage, planes are making the needle raise to nearly plus 4. So i'm hoping to save some time and money with the already constructed control room and use those resources to tackle the challenge of the tracking room. Since we live close to the airport, all the neighbors have been outfitted with a "port package" window benefit, which are three pane, sound insulating windows. Also, my neighbors are both about 200 feet away and one of them is deaf.

Budget? well, i'm looking to spend 10-15k and will be doing all the work myself and with people who will work for trade in studio time. I have all the cabling as well as sound treatment from my previous studio.

Attached are some screen shots of my poor sketchup attempts along with some photos.

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#2: Re: New studio build out of previous studio build! Author: troddenLocation: C-attle PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:10 pm
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trodden wrote:


3)Same as the above, but instead of rebuilding it in a symmetrical design in the idea of the original design, i'll "square up" that side of the room and change the mix position to be facing the East wall? That would force me to remove and fill in one of the windows in the unfinished garage, but totally doable. Then superchunk, etc. Make some rigid fiber glass "plugs" for the large window


The more I think about it, this may be the best idea. The space is so small, gaining a little more by knocking that wall down and making that side "square" will give me a little more space. I'd take out one of the windows in order to make this happen. I'd then move the mix position to face the east wall. Superchunk the "new front corners" (north east and south east), and superchunk the one "new rear" south west corner. I'd also add 4" traps straddling the ceiling and front and back walls as well. It still wouldn't be symmetrical, but I'd gain a little more area.


#3: Re: New studio build out of previous studio build! Author: troddenLocation: C-attle PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:11 pm
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I played around with moving the wall facing out to the rest of the garage, to give some more space for the control room, but that just made it even closer to a square shape.... and since I want to keep as much space out in the unfinished garage in order to have somewhat of a tracking room... so.... I think i'm going to work with the above idea some more.. Keeping some of the original build and adding symmetry by "squaring up" the one side of the control room. Since I record loud rock-based music most of the time, I need at least one iso booth for amps. If I keep the previous owner's design, I then have a tiny iso booth and then can also use the sound lock area by the entrance and between that booth and the control room for a second amp if needed. I won't have the isolation like I do in the main room when it's done, but I will just have to keep the neighbors in mind and the hour of the evening if I've got a loud ass amp in the sound lock area by the entrance. Most of my clientele are bands who need to make a record for under $1500 so being able to do it all here at my place is a needed option. I do have a larger facility to work/track out of when the budget allows, but that only happens a couple times a year.

Here's what I've come up with so far.



Last edited by trodden on Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:09 pm; edited 1 time in total

#4: Re: New studio build out of previous studio build! Author: Nick SevillaLocation: Los Angeles California USA PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:23 am
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Not to put a giant stinky wrench on this but...

Since I built my control-less studio, and after working there for 6 years, I am a huge fan of no control room.

In your design, since you already have a control room, I would just get rid of that tiny iso booth. Just use two spaces, and is you need to isolate a singer from a band, put them in the control room with you, turn off your speakers, and use headphones.

You'll get better sounds from a larger room anyways. No weird early reflections to deal with.

PS I am building a new studio, as we are moving in the Summer, so I expect some of that messy build will work it's way here at some point.

#5: Re: New studio build out of previous studio build! Author: troddenLocation: C-attle PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:02 pm
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Nick Sevilla wrote:
Not to put a giant stinky wrench on this but...

Since I built my control-less studio, and after working there for 6 years, I am a huge fan of no control room.

In your design, since you already have a control room, I would just get rid of that tiny iso booth. Just use two spaces, and is you need to isolate a singer from a band, put them in the control room with you, turn off your speakers, and use headphones.

You'll get better sounds from a larger room anyways. No weird early reflections to deal with.

PS I am building a new studio, as we are moving in the Summer, so I expect some of that messy build will work it's way here at some point.


I totally hear you. My last space of 8 years was a control-less design. One large room with a "mix area" along with a good sized iso booth.

I don't mind having the singer in the control room with me, that can happen. it's loud ass amps that I need an iso booth for. It's nice to get them away from the drums. Plus the iso is also already built along with the control room.

I'm still thinking about maybe losing the control room, iso, all the previous build altogether and just having one large room though.

#6: Re: New studio build out of previous studio build! Author: troddenLocation: C-attle PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:47 pm
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If I do alter the current control room like posted above, in regards to isolation, it would only work as a control room. That space would not be isolated enough from the planes flying above to use as a large iso booth nor would it keep loud ass amps (which is what I normally record) isolated from the neighbors. I'm willing to take an isolation risk in other areas of the structure (like the previous built sound lock, entry way), but I can't in that corner since my closest neighbor is in that SE corner. So I'm at the point of "making" that room work as a control room with some changes to it. The benefits, it gets me a couple steps ahead to having a mix space while working on the live room. As posted in my earlier posts.


I threw this together on my lunch break. Its pretty much a similar idea of my last space. Yes there is ONE LEAF between the iso booth and the rest of the studio. I made that decision last time due to the budget and the fact that I was renting and couldn't do as much as needed to isolate the whole structure. I couldn't afford two sliding glass doors at the time as well. It isolated amps from the drums and vice versa. That's mostly what I need with spaces this small.. Drums and guitar/bass amps isolated enough.


#7: Re: New studio build out of previous studio build! Author: Nick SevillaLocation: Los Angeles California USA PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:30 pm
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That looks a lot better.

Cheers!

#8: Re: New studio build out of previous studio build! Author: troddenLocation: C-attle PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:34 pm
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Three scenarios:

1. Square up the control room that is part of the previous build. Use the sound lock and iso closet from the previous build. Build out the larger space as a room in the garage. Control room from previous build is not isolated enough to use other than as a control/mix room.

Pros:
    -It gives me a jump time and budget with using something that has already been mostly constructed.
    -I'll have a control room again.
    -I'll have access to natural light through the large window.
    -I can work in sections, giving me a working mix area to use while constructing the live room

Cons:
    -Its small, but squaring up that one side will add some space.
    -Isolation is not the best in previous control room build but good enough for a mix room. It is not isolated enough to use previous built control room as drum/amp tracking room due to neighbors/airplanes.
    -I've got to work with figuring out venting and AC for three rooms.
    -Potential issues of interfacing one build technique with another build technique



//
//


2. Tear out all of previous build. Rebuild as a large room within the garage along with an iso booth in the back for guitar amps while drums are tracked in the same large room alongside mix area.

Pros:
    -Larger work space instead of smaller spaces which is potentially better sounding
    -AC for one room and venting for two (main room and iso venting)
    -Easier communication between people.
    -Better isolation from the outside world all around

Cons:
    -Time spent tearing out old work in order to get to "blank slate"
    -More demolition waste created unless I can recycle materials
    -Four windows to remove and fill in the space they took instead of two
    -Tracking all day in the same room with drums again



//
//

3. Tear out all of previous build and rebuild a control room, tracking room and iso booth.

Pros:
    -Isolations and room size done to specific needs


Cons:
    -More time and money all around. (not necessarily a "bad" thing in regards to the desired results and needs)

#9: Re: New studio build out of previous studio build! Author: troddenLocation: C-attle PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:17 pm
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trodden wrote:


2. Tear out all of previous build. Rebuild as a large room within the garage along with an iso booth in the back for guitar amps while drums are tracked in the same large room alongside mix area.

Pros:
    -Larger work space instead of smaller spaces which is potentially better sounding
    -AC for one room and venting for two (main room and iso venting)
    -Easier communication between people.
    -Better isolation from the outside world all around

Cons:
    -Time spent tearing out old work in order to get to "blank slate"
    -More demolition waste created unless I can recycle materials
    -Four windows to remove and fill in the space they took instead of two
    -Tracking all day in the same room with drums again






After thinking about it for a week... I think Option 2 is what I'm going to go with. It just seems to make more sense with the (small) amount of space I have to work with. Also, interfacing a new build with different techniques with the previous build just seems to be making more stress and questions than I really want to deal with. Sucks to have to tear something down, but it's going to be built in a way that works for me. Also, keeping it one larger room with an iso booth makes it a far more flexible space for other types of uses that involve a group of people.

With Option 2 I am now looking into researching, figuring out, and planning with the following issues and ideas.

-Possible truss replacement for more ceiling height. Like in this build
http://www.johnlsayers.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=15430
I also have to look into what roof venting needs/problems (3-leaf?) as well much like this build linked here.

-What to do with the 6 windows installed in the outer leaf? I planned on removing 4 of them and filling in the holes with the same materials as the rest of the leaf. I'd like to keep the one on the front (see photo below) for outside aesthetics only and the possibility of maybe, MAYBE having to turn this back into a garage decades down the road. It doesn't have to be functional so can I "beef" it up with a layer of 5/8" rock behind it much like I'll be doing all over the rest of the outside leaf? Then theres the giant one (see first post in this thread) which is where my mix position will be facing. Is there a way to incorporate it into the build so I also have a window on the second leaf and actually get some daylight coming in? I worry about the issues of 3-leaf/4-leaf systems when it comes to the layers of glass in the actual window(s). Also looks like those "solid" glass blocks that are often used aren't actually "solid". I was thinking about using them in the build of the 2 leaf but it seems they are not suited for iso.

-Besides being a flanking path, having the iso booth share the same second leaf components. I got enough iso between the big room and the booth last place where I did this. I'm mostly concerned with iso from the outside world over anything.

- As shown in my mockup, I plan on building all of the second leaf with "inside out" walls except the ceiling. In order to not make the room too "dead" I'll add facing or wood paneling to the fronts of the "inside out" walls, careful to not make an additional leaf. Mostly inspired by the Gervais rooms I've seen.


Front garage window

#10: Re: New studio build out of previous studio build! Author: ShinyBoxLocation: Seattle, WA PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 1:50 pm
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I'm a fan of the more open space, even if it means suffering the drummers....



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