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If you had to build a new studio what wud u do differently or the same?
Old 29th August 2006
Lives for gear
True North's Avatar

If you had to build a new studio what wud u do differently or the same?

Beleive it or not , even after reading some of the horror stories on this thread I at some point am looking at pulling a 'Dangerous Dave' and building my own studio facility.

I know that after I have done things once I often find myself saying; 'self, if I had to do that again I would do X differently


If I have worked with someone and either seen something I liked or disliked I have found myself saying; If I ran that guys business I would do X different - OR - I would love to integrate idea X into my business.

So this question goes out to anyone who has ever wanted to build a studio and has a vision of what they would or would not do AND to anyone who actually has gone through a studio build themselves and know what they would so the same or differently.

Suggestions could be as inane as light fixture selection, carpet choices....anything that you would have done or would do if you were in a position to build a new studio facility from scratch.

Let er rip...... Thanks
Old 29th August 2006
Lives for Jesus
stevep's Avatar
I spent around 15 years in the first room i built so that helped me with the new room,

start with 2X as much money as you think you will need(and then double that amount)

And more square footage than you think you need

one thing you can never have enough of are wire ways that can be used in the future to run new wire ect.....

run extra AC lines for the future

Proper HVAC separate for the control room and recording area, and another one for the lounge, offices

Don't skimp on the soundproofing and isolation

As much bass trapping as you can fit

Larger Machine room than you think you will ever use

A tech room (with a tech ) maybe living quarters for the tech.

storage for all the gear the tech is waiting to fix............

make sure to have a large lounge for all the dudes to hang in

huge soffit mounted speakers

have someone else hang the multiple layers of drywall

and insulation

and caulking

and flooring

and framing

pretty much everything.........

more Mic lines than you think you will need

more headphone mixes (i ran 5) i use 2

no carpet anywhere. use area rugs

use wood floors

use 1/2" and 3/8 " glass (larger toward the control room side)

i will think of some more..................

as far as dimmers use stat-co variable transforms (501B ?)

So far i haven't ran into anything i would have done different
here, thats so far....................

Old 29th August 2006
Lives for gear
True North's Avatar

WOW Steve - what a great list, that is exactly what I was looking for. As I mentioned in your thread, that was an incredible build.

Coupls of questions out of that entire list;

1) Why the need for huge soffit mounted speakers - OR - is that just a personal preference thing?


2) Are you serious about the budget thing - I have been through enough office Reno to count on having more than budgeted BUT more than double?

EVERYONE ELSE - COME ON - there has to be something that some of you have liked/disliked in a commercial studio facility

What would want to see in a facility that you worked/recorded in?
Old 29th August 2006
For me it's all about the mobility. If the gear can travel, I don't need a permanent location, the world is my studio. This allows the use of varied and sometimes exceptional recording spaces, all without the expense and commitment to a fixed location. In this time of uncertainy, I would think very hard about building what most banks and lenders consider to be a broken business model.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 29th August 2006
Lives for gear

^^^^^^I agree with that 100%

And not just from a financial angle, but from a creative one. I don't want to hijack this thread so I'll shut up - but for eg, sometimes it just ain't rock and roll recording in a pristine concert hall.
Old 29th August 2006
Gear Addict
Andi Rauscher's Avatar

I just bought my first studio and there are 2 things that I would do different:
- Aircondition in EVERY room, no matter how big or small, but CAUTION: mics "hear" the moving air!
- a place where you hear nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing with open windows, and where there is no one near you that you would disturb with playing Heavy Metal Drums at 4 in the night.... I am in the center of Berlin/Germany, so that was not possible for me; but it would be cool.

get someone who has built some studios before, and make a 3D Model, plan EVERYTHING, think about it 1000 times, and after all, trust you instinct.

Good Luck, you´ll Love IT!
Old 29th August 2006
Registered User
Rick Sutton's Avatar

I've been in my studio for 30 years and it has served me well but it was definitely built too small, especially the control room. I designed the building based upon what I thought would be the required space for my business but there are so many things that change over the years that it would have been a better desicion to build it as large as possible, using some of the extra space for storage, tech support etc., and then expand the studio into the extra space as needed. As it turned out i've had to expand the control room twice and the main room once and it would have been soooo much cheaper and a better design to have sarted with a larger space.
As soon as I win the lottery I'm going to build a new studio just to try to get it right once in my life.
Old 29th August 2006
Lives for gear
True North's Avatar

Great Stuff so far guys. Its interesting to hear that counting on more space tends to be a fairly consistent theme. I do know that this industry has a lot of financial risk but I don't have illusions of grandeur either - I make my 'real' money elsewhere. If I can't make the numbers make any sense (i.e. Break Even with budgets allocated for staff, upgrades and maintainance) than I won't bother.

As far as the banks go I know how to work that angle, I have some pretty solid relationships that I currently work with. If all goes as planned over the next couple of years I won't need to heavily rely on the banks anyways.

I like Jim's portability suggestion - seems like sage advice.

Keep it coming people, thanks for your time and suggestions.
Old 29th August 2006
Lives for gear
pigpen's Avatar

I made one major mistake....I did not think the studio would take off.

So I did not make the rooms as big as I would like now. Other than that, I am pretty happy with most of my decisions early on still. I got lucky mostly.
Oh and I would have higher ceilings with a different lighting scheme.

Good luck eh!
Old 29th August 2006
Lives for gear
True North's Avatar

Hey Dan,

I am still going to call you and pick your brain for a while. I have been CRAZY busy as of late - the smoke should clear in a couple of weeks, thanks.

Old 29th August 2006
Lives for gear
pigpen's Avatar

sounds good
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