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high end studio in a condo?
Old 13th June 2006
  #1
Gear Head
 

high end studio in a condo?

I may be purchasing a condo very shortly, and I plan on building a small high end studio.

This is going to be a broad question but What can you suggest to me. I need to do something so i don't piss off the neighbors. any ideas?
Old 13th June 2006
  #2
Lives for gear
What sort of budget are you talking when you say "high end"? Are you planning on being able to track drums?

If you have around 100 g's then you may have some options for sound proofing.
Old 13th June 2006
  #3
Gear Guru
 

I knew a guy who had a rehearsal room in the basement of his condo

It was the end unit, there was a furnace room between him and the next unit and more importantly, he was the manager of the complex. Even then, practice ended at 10 pm.

Sound proofing is the hardest thing in the world to do. Seriously, buying a house with some land around it would be cheaper.
Old 13th June 2006
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Infernal Device's Avatar
 

Very limited parking at condos. If you are doing even a small session, remember that you will have at least three other cars.

The neighbors will complain QUICK.

If it is legal, then rock on.
Old 13th June 2006
  #5
Gear Head
 

i would like to invest a decent amount ($50,000) and have the ability to take it with me when i move. obviously some acoustic/sound proofing treatment needs to be done. The unit i am looking at is an end unit.

I've heard of people pretty much making a giant iso box to jam in.
Old 13th June 2006
  #6
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djui5's Avatar
 

You'll need to float the floor, and build walls within walls to get isolation. Even then, you still probably won't be able to really crank guitars up so they are loud as hell...but who needs that?

Is this budget for acoustics, or for everything? If everything, what do you have allready? What experience do you have?

End units are the next best thing to a penthouse heh
Old 13th June 2006
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickname
I need to do something so i don't piss off the neighbors. any ideas?
DO NOT use a subwoofer heh
Old 13th June 2006
  #8
Seal up all the windows and doors airtight first

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickname
I may be purchasing a condo very shortly, and I plan on building a small high end studio.

This is going to be a broad question but What can you suggest to me. I need to do something so i don't piss off the neighbors. any ideas?
at about 4 AM. Then using a very large pump, Quickly pump all the air out of your fellow condo dwellers apartments. As you know sound can not travel in a vacuum you will never hear them complain. It works. If relatives come round just tell them you think they moved out because of the noise. Its the only way. After a couple of years you can expand your studio throughout the condo and call it somthing like the "Mummys Tomb" and get a lot of black metal bands in. You will make a killing!.
Regards.•:*¨¨*:•. ¸¸.•´¯`•.Mark Fairfax-Harwood, Engineer Springvale Studios
Old 13th June 2006
  #9
Gear Addict
 

I am currently doing the same thing. I use a Hart Prodigy drum kit to record drums triggering Steinbergs LM4 Drum module. I am going to replace my Omni Studio with high end mic pres and conversion. I have my eye on the Lavry Blue, or the Lynx Aurora 8 for conversion, I am also considering mic pres from Quad 8 as well. My studio is in Utah however I will soon be moving to the Denver CO region by year end. Here is a link to my studio in a condo.

www.wasatch-records.com
Old 13th June 2006
  #10
Gear Head
 

hattrick. how are the neighbors with this all? what have you done to acoustically treat the room? is your control room seperate? any tips or things youve done would be greatly appeciated.
Old 13th June 2006
  #11
Gear Head
 

what does "float the floor" mean?
Old 13th June 2006
  #12
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superburtm's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickname
what does "float the floor" mean?

creating a new floor that is not coupled to the old floor ...killing sound trasmission
Old 13th June 2006
  #13
Gear Head
 

any articles on floor floating?
Old 13th June 2006
  #14
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickname
what does "float the floor" mean?
Here's a picture of mine that I'm building now!
Attached Thumbnails
high end studio in a condo?-floor.jpg  
Old 13th June 2006
  #15
Gear Head
 

ahhh ok. and how would that help in a condo? I was thinking that it had to be done upstairs to prevent noise from travelling upward. hmmmm
Old 13th June 2006
  #16
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djui5's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickname
any articles on floor floating?

see in the picture above how there are rubber mounts under the 2x4 flooring frame? that's all there really is to it. This de-couples (seperates) the floor from the foundation, thus by preventing vibrations and sound transmission through the concrete into the space below/outside the room. When you have audio in a room it vibrates/transmits through the floor via the floors framing/etc. If you seperate these, you will have less transmission of sound. It's the best thing you can do to keep from pissing your neighbors off. Well, that and doing the walls at least 6" away from the existing wall, and set onto a floating floor. You'll loose some space, but it's worth it in the end to have a little less space and happy neighbors, than a little more space and cops at your door all the time.
Old 13th June 2006
  #17
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickname
ahhh ok. and how would that help in a condo? I was thinking that it had to be done upstairs to prevent noise from travelling upward. hmmmm
This helps in the downward travel of sound and also you have a platform for your inner walls to sit on. For sound going upward, you would need a suspended ceiling.

Regards,
Bruce
Old 13th June 2006
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Stickies

http://www.johnlsayers.com

Read the stickies at the top of the pages at the John Sayers forum. Theres alot more there you will need 2 know.
First time I recorded a rap group in my old condo (my first recording set up, very low budget) the neighbors seemed to be more concerned than when it was really loud.
Parking was an issue and you may find out that they have specific building codes and regulations you may not be able to get around, especially if you plan on moving?
I think you could get to know some of the locals and get alot of studio time for alot less money than you are looking at. Maybe a small overdub/editing set up with a vocal booth and a control room would be enough for the condo set up?
Old 13th June 2006
  #19
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vernier's Avatar
Quote:
I need to do something so i don't piss off the neighbors. any ideas?
I was in that situation years ago and did everything in the computer ...the only way to keep a work-flow.
Old 14th June 2006
  #20
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickname
hattrick. how are the neighbors with this all? what have you done to acoustically treat the room? is your control room seperate? any tips or things youve done would be greatly appeciated.
Very good actually. For open mic recording I have a vocal booth which doubles as a walk in closet. The carpeted floor, seasonal clothes, and a guest bedroom queen size 2" thick bed mat makes the closet dead quite. The control room is a guest bedroom which is fully carpeted as well. I use a Hart Prodigy drum kit triggering Cubase VST LM4 drum module and do get very good drum sounds with out worrying about mic bleed. It works very well. I have yet to have a neighbor complain.thumbsup
Old 14th June 2006
  #21
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max cooper's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmec
at about 4 AM. Then using a very large pump, Quickly pump all the air out of your fellow condo dwellers apartments.
Just pump in Nitrous Oxide. I guarantee you they won't care if you record GWAR all day, every day.



I live in a loft/condo. My space is one big room with concrete floors and 13 foot ceilings.

If I could track drums in here, I would, depending on the project.

I use gobos to define smaller spaces, but even though the only neighbor I share a wall with is a musician who tours with a pretty big name act, I couldn't even dream of doing drums here.

It's just singer/songwriter stuff and vocal overdubs.

soundproofind against drums is hard because it takes either a lot of the square footage, or some heavyweight construction.
Attached Thumbnails
high end studio in a condo?-3gwar.jpg  
Old 14th June 2006
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
Push845's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickname
what does "float the floor" mean?
Here's how I Floated mine....Rubber material over my hardwood, then Homosote, then plywood then carpeting. Works great! Kills any vibration that would resonate from hardwood floors.
Old 14th June 2006
  #23
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ImJohn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickname
any articles on floor floating?

Here is a little article I put together for my "floated drum riser" :
http://www.imjohn.com/DrumFloor/index.htm

Obviously it's only going to be of limited bennifit but it did help reduce the amount of mechanical noise transmitted to the room below etc. While Mr. Brown above it doing the real deal, my little floor might appeal to you because it's non-permanent and movable.

Actually, you could make up a bunch of these little floors and then lock them together to cover your entire floor and then when you move it will be a snap (for a couple strong guys that is!)

Best of luck!
Old 14th June 2006
  #24
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Tibbon's Avatar
There was just a paper at the most recent Acoustical Society of America (actually a few papers that were given on Monday) that dealt specifically with noise issues in Condos, and old mill loft conversions. They weren't thinking of a recording studio in mind, but you do have to keep in mind different types of noise.

It seems that a floating floor, with a soft surface like carpet (prevents clicking noises from heels walking and such) with a layer of concrete additionally poured below it helps a ton. It also helps quite a bit if an additional floating ceiling is put on the below floor, which may or may not be possible. If it's still in the construction phases for the condo, i might talk to the contractor about it and they might budge if you're willing to pay for it.

I'd pull the acoustical society papers if I were you and look over that, and perhaps contact and acoustician to evaluate the room. There's really little chance IMHO of getting an acceptable NR amount if you just go it alone. Also it seems that WHO lives below you matters quite a bit. Older people seem statisically FAR less likely to complain about noise than younger people (like 5% of the complaining vs like 40% in the same noisy situation).

There is a lot to keep in mind. It MIGHT be worth setting up some type of drum triggering or Vdrum kit that works really well for the main drum skins and then using real cymbals. I know it's not that 'same', but it will save you a TON of money likely. Cymbals are unlikely to go through the floor much, but the kick drum and snare will probably drive the neighbors nuts!

Also for air transmitted noise, have whoever TOTALLY seal up the floor. Any leakage can be killer. Also on your top layer of drywall on the walls, if you seal it to the walls using glue instead of nails, you can have a much more significant increase in NR.

Again, i'd say save yourself some time, and get an acoustician. They will also be able to help you avoid legal problems likely.
Old 14th June 2006
  #25
If you haven't already bought the condo, you might consider buying a townhouse. Since you own 'vertically' in a townhouse, your neighbors share walls, but not floors or ceilings with you. I would try to buy an end unit in a townhouse complex.
That way you would only really have to worry about the one neighbor you share a wall with. If you can find one with a basement, that would be an almost perfect fit.

My .02...

Old 14th June 2006
  #26
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmec
As you know sound can not travel in a vacuum
Oh yeah? Then how come vacuum tubes sound so good? Of course it does mellow and warm the air....

Steve
Old 14th June 2006
  #27
Nitrous is good Zyclon B better

Quote:
Originally Posted by max cooper
Just pump in Nitrous Oxide. I guarantee you they won't care if you record GWAR all day, every day.



I live in a loft/condo. My space is one big room with concrete floors and 13 foot ceilings.

If I could track drums in here, I would, depending on the project.

I use gobos to define smaller spaces, but even though the only neighbor I share a wall with is a musician who tours with a pretty big name act, I couldn't even dream of doing drums here.

It's just singer/songwriter stuff and vocal overdubs.

soundproofind against drums is hard because it takes either a lot of the square footage, or some heavyweight construction.
Hey Max This is the band that spends months every year recording and rehearsing in my drum room half of which is under ground and miles from human habitation. So not Gwar in my case, Cradle of Filth is my biggest customer. We can send them over to test out the condo anytime you like, be warned that the drummer runs his triggers while rehearsing and uses the drum room PA till the limiter lights flash each kik. Drum room PA: one pair of JBL 4850's I pair JBL wedges 2X12 + 2''+bullets and one 4x15 Vega sub. Amp Rack: Jbl 260 DSC and a 3K Lf amp and a 1k Hf amp this is for kiks, tymps and FX samples etc.
Regards.•:*¨¨*:•. ¸¸.•´¯`•.Mark Fairfax-Harwood, Engineer Springvale Studios
Attached Thumbnails
high end studio in a condo?-paul_satya_dan1.jpg  
Old 14th June 2006
  #28
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djui5's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by squeegybug
Oh yeah? Then how come vacuum tubes sound so good? Of course it does mellow and warm the air....

Steve


Did you really just say that?
Old 14th June 2006
  #29
Thats Scott Paign or electrons that travel in a partial vacuum mate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by squeegybug
Oh yeah? Then how come vacuum tubes sound so good? Of course it does mellow and warm the air....

Steve
Never Liked golf. Oh Yeah them electrons, they don't turn back into sound till they get to the speaker.
Regards.•:*¨¨*:•. ¸¸.•´¯`•.Mark Fairfax-Harwood, Engineer Springvale Studios
Old 14th June 2006
  #30
Lives for gear
 

For once, I can speak from experience !! I'm in the process of building a project studio in the basement of my condo in Paris. It started 3 years ago and it still isn't really completed but well on the way... I can tell you it will cost you a friggin lot of money from the get-go, even if you do many things yourself. You will need a very good acoustician to handle all the problems of soundproofing/acoustic treatment that will arise when building a full-fledged studio in a place not really intended for it. The only real solution is the full-floating floor/room within room/suspended ceiling combination.

I wanted to be able to track acoustic drums, cranked 100W Marshall etc. You need a lot of space for that kind of serious soundproofing and I don't think it's possible other than in a basement with a high ceiling, unless your condo is really huge. To give you an idea, I got a 40 square meter tracking room soundproofed and the cost was around $45.000 for soundproofing alone, including a complex air renewal/conditionning system (hardest thing in the whole project). The acoustic treatment is half done (no enough money to finish ) and it costed around $10.000. The specific electrical system costed about $5.000. So you're looking at around $60.000 for a minimal setup.

Also factor in those costs I had a lot of good friends who helped me for free. Now I can rehearse at any time of the day or night... It still is more of a rehearsal space than a real recording facility but it's close to becoming one
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