New Rockstudio Design & Construction!

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rockstudio
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New Rockstudio Design & Construction!

Post by rockstudio » Sat Aug 21, 2010 1:14 pm

Hi, I have finally acquired my own piece of land for my commercial studio. I plan to start building by spring 2011. I have operated out of my current studio space since 2002, which is a budget half-arsed attempt by the previous owner to fashion a recording studio out of a nice, large department store. The size of this studio is great, however the rooms were not properly planned and there is very little isolation between rooms and such. My studio is in the hot/wet land of southeast Georgia, on the coast, in a downtown setting.

I record mainly rock music. I would like to have a vocal room, and two guitar iso booths. I have been doing everything in my large live room for the past 8 1/2 years, and I have to compromise when doing live stuff.

I have a building on my new property already, which I plan on doubling to give the interior dimensions of roughly 44' x 22' with an A-frame ceiling starting 8' at the edges and peaking at 12'.

Before I start designing anything, I want to talk to my friends who have built their studios, and see if there's anything they wish they had / hadn't done while building / designing.

Any advice to start?

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Nick Sevilla
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Post by Nick Sevilla » Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:04 am

Hi,

A 44' by 22' is not enough space for a commercial studio, unless you are a one room facility, used for smaller recording projects.

Since you mention recording rock music, let me ask :

Do you record one musician at a time always, or do live tracking with the whole band?

The answer to this question will determine if your space is enough.

Most of the recording studios I have been in, their recording space only is on average 40' by 40' with 20' ceilings MINIMUM. Most are in the 50' by 40' with 24' ceiling range.

And most of the studios also have 2 recording rooms, not one, in order to accomodate larger sessions / two projects at once.

Also, if you record rock bands mostly, and have a large control room that can fit the whole band for playback / editing. Usually this goes very well with any band.

Cheers
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

rockstudio
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Post by rockstudio » Sun Aug 22, 2010 12:38 pm

Noeqplease: I generally track drums and scratch guitar. Although I do an occasional session with vocals and everything live, which is why I am going to build a vocal room.
I'm not planning on building a huge mega studio, but a modest facility where I can afford to exist. I have a rough sketch of basic dimensions, however I am flexible as far as increasing the square footage. My current studio is 1100 sqft, but is poorly proportioned.
In my area, I have the only real studio, and I only do two or three sessions a week, so I don't need a space with multiple studios. However I plan on having a nice big control room.

Here's my rough sketch.
Image

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:30 pm

i would make the vocal room way smaller and have the live room be that much bigger. but yeah, that'll work.

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rhythm ranch
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Post by rhythm ranch » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:33 pm

noeqplease wrote:A 44' by 22' is not enough space for a commercial studio, unless you are a one room facility, used for smaller recording projects.

Most of the recording studios I have been in, their recording space only is on average 40' by 40' with 20' ceilings MINIMUM. Most are in the 50' by 40' with 24' ceiling range.

And most of the studios also have 2 recording rooms, not one, in order to accomodate larger sessions / two projects at once.
WTF?

Yeah, those kinds of dimensions would be great to have, but come on, the OP is just trying put a decent space together. There's been all kinds of great music recorded in much smaller spaces.

I agree with MSE and I'd expand the CR a bit - back to the wall on the right of the drawing and down (width-wise). Unless you've got something really large coming through there, you don't need a 6.2' hallway. 4' is probably enough and generally what's required by code.

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Post by rockstudio » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:14 pm

Thanks Rhythm Ranch, I was hoping to have some storage in the hallway, but you're right, i'll make the CR and Live room bigger, and add an extra room somewhere else for my storage needs.
I made the vocal room super large, just in case I need to fit the drum kit in there on occasion. But I'll finesse these figures a bit, and talk it out over the week, and then post a new drawing. You folks are getting me pumped with your responses.

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Post by roscoenyc » Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:06 am

If you don't have it already the Gervais book is a great resource. Will help you greatly with materials and construction techniques.

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:43 am

rockstudio wrote:Thanks Rhythm Ranch, I was hoping to have some storage in the hallway, but you're right, i'll make the CR and Live room bigger, and add an extra room somewhere else for my storage needs.
I made the vocal room super large, just in case I need to fit the drum kit in there on occasion. But I'll finesse these figures a bit, and talk it out over the week, and then post a new drawing. You folks are getting me pumped with your responses.
you're on the right track. make the control and live rooms as big as you can. i understand the thinking in making the vocal room big enough to accomodate a kit, but i think in practice, you will hardly ever end up doing that, because you will like the way your drums sound in the big room (unless you're tchad blake). so just make that thing big enough for a singer to stand in without getting super claustrophobic, and then make it dead dead dead.

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Post by rockstudio » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:53 pm

roscoenyc: got Gervais's book on order. I have Jeff Coopers book, and F. Alton Everest's books as well. Just got to sharpen my pencil and work it out.

MSE: Right on.

Thanks again folks!

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Post by Nick Sevilla » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:35 pm

rockstudio wrote:Noeqplease: I generally track drums and scratch guitar. Although I do an occasional session with vocals and everything live, which is why I am going to build a vocal room.
I'm not planning on building a huge mega studio, but a modest facility where I can afford to exist. I have a rough sketch of basic dimensions, however I am flexible as far as increasing the square footage. My current studio is 1100 sqft, but is poorly proportioned.
In my area, I have the only real studio, and I only do two or three sessions a week, so I don't need a space with multiple studios. However I plan on having a nice big control room.

Here's my rough sketch.
Image
This looks way better. I would consider not building the vocal both at all, but instead making 8' tall mobile gobos, with which you could separate a vocalist from a group, or make a smaller more intimate "room".

This way, your recording room would be most flexible, and your budget would probably go down a notch or two.

Personally, I find recording a single vocalist or spoken word talent in a large room is much easier than in a small room, because the room reflections are so much softer than in a small room with walls closer to the source and the microphone.

"But what do I know?"

Cheers
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

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Nick Sevilla
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Post by Nick Sevilla » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:39 pm

rhythm ranch wrote:
noeqplease wrote:A 44' by 22' is not enough space for a commercial studio, unless you are a one room facility, used for smaller recording projects.

Most of the recording studios I have been in, their recording space only is on average 40' by 40' with 20' ceilings MINIMUM. Most are in the 50' by 40' with 24' ceiling range.

And most of the studios also have 2 recording rooms, not one, in order to accomodate larger sessions / two projects at once.
WTF?

Yeah, those kinds of dimensions would be great to have, but come on, the OP is just trying put a decent space together. There's been all kinds of great music recorded in much smaller spaces.

I agree with MSE and I'd expand the CR a bit - back to the wall on the right of the drawing and down (width-wise). Unless you've got something really large coming through there, you don't need a 6.2' hallway. 4' is probably enough and generally what's required by code.
Whoa Rhythm Ranch. "WTF?"

I guess my version of what a "commercial studio" means and your version are not quite on the same page.

I only put my personal experience as example, not as what the OP should or should not do, and gave some numbers off the top of my head so he can get his bearings as to budgets, room sizes, etc.

"Lighten up, please"
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

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Post by rockstudio » Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:11 pm

ok, I scaled up the live room and control room. I dialed down the hallway width, and nixed the bathroom space at the end of the room... I'll have to build a small annex building for the toilet and lounge area (plus I've always wanted a shower at the studio for the bands and whatever)!

Image

This may be doable, if I can get approval to move the bathroom.

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:10 am

looks good to me.

the stacked amp booths is a good space-saving idea.

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Post by rhythm ranch » Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:40 pm

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:looks good to me.

the stacked amp booths is a good space-saving idea.
+1

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Post by rhythm ranch » Wed Aug 25, 2010 6:02 pm

noeqplease wrote:Whoa Rhythm Ranch. "WTF?"

I guess my version of what a "commercial studio" means and your version are not quite on the same page.

I only put my personal experience as example, not as what the OP should or should not do, and gave some numbers off the top of my head so he can get his bearings as to budgets, room sizes, etc.
My apologies, just a little vigorous debate; didn't mean to cause you any butt-hurt. Perhaps, if it's only an example or numbers off the top of your head, you could state it that way rather than in absolutes like:
44' by 22' is not enough space for a commercial studio, unless you are a one room facility, used for smaller recording projects.
Most of the recording studios I have been in, their recording space only is on average 40' by 40' with 20' ceilings MINIMUM.



noeqplease wrote:"Lighten up, please"
+1

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