The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Mobile Studio
Old 19th May 2006
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Talking Mobile Studio

Hey everyone,

I was just curious about what everyone here thinks about an idea I've had floating around my head recently. Basically, what this idea entails is purchasing either a bus or truck, gutting the interior of the vehicle, except for the cab area. Then I'd build interior walls, ceiling and floor to create 3 or 4 rooms, depending on the size of the vehicle. These rooms would include a tracking/live room, a vocal booth, and a control room. If I had space for a fourth room I would make it into a storage/machine room. I would fill the studio with higher-end equipment (leaning towards a RADAR and Neotek console based system).

So, that's my idea in a nutshell. I would love any opinions everyone here has, pitfalls, positives, and everything in between.

Thanks!
alec
Old 19th May 2006
  #2
Do the name "soundproofing" mean anything? Are you going to drive everyone to a deserted rest stop on an abandoned freeway? Is this equipment going to need a power source other than the truck's battery?

If you could solve those problems, it would work great. Get one of those London double-decker buses to give you a little big of ceiling height. Good luck!
Old 19th May 2006
  #3
Gear Guru
 
henryrobinett's Avatar
It's gonna get hotter in hell in there without proper ventilation - or air conditioning. By the time you sound proof you might not have enough space left for 3 or 4 rooms. Maybe a tracking "room" and a control "room".

It's sound kind of wacky to me, but who knows? I'd love to see it work.
Old 19th May 2006
  #4
But think of all the gigs in and around the Arctic Circle, even with all the amps running I bet it would never be too hot.
Old 19th May 2006
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for the responses so far!

Air conditioning/ventilation and power are definately my two biggest concerns right now. I think soundproofing is doable, even if I do end up having to cut out a room or two, especially since I'm planning on rebuilding the entire interior of it anyway.
Old 19th May 2006
  #6
Lives for gear
 

The best way to get a small fortune is to start with a large. (Oscar Wilde).

Well, go ahead.

Gunnar
Old 19th May 2006
  #7
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Alec,

As you may already know, I have built five mobile units for Aura-Sonic during my nearly 30 year career.

Four of the vehicles were built employing trucks of various sizes and one using a Stepvan chassis. I have toyed with the idea of building a mobile unit in a bus but never had the opportunity. My new mobile unit concept doesn’t even involve a vehicle but, I don’t want to talk about that right now.

The weight of the studio space and vehicle is imperative – You must consider beefing up your suspension if it isn’t already heavy duty. Utilizing an air ride suspension system is a very keen idea for the equipment and such.

Multi-room production trucks are very common in the teleproduction world and are usually built within a trailer or very large truck body. You may want to design a more efficient system. Instead of designing a permanent multi-room vehicle consider building a removable wall system that can be customized within the main studio space as per each particular session. Perhaps the machine room or control cabin can be split and separate from the main space. In any event area space is the key issue here.

I would do a search within this forum – We have a few threads about building mobile units and such. I believe you will find helpful suggestions and positive insight. And, if you don’t find those threads, I’m sure we’ll reiterate all the accepted wisdom that has been said in those threads.

I assume power, HVAC, audio video interconnections, isolation, sound proofing, et cetera, etc. must be on your mind. List some of your concerns and I will try to address them to the best of my ability.

Oh yeah, talking about A/C… FYI, I have done gigs in freezing conditions in the dead of winter and still needed to run the air conditioners in the control cabin to keep the gear running cool and crew feeling comfortable.
Old 19th May 2006
  #8
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Oh, one more thing...

Checkout the Aura Sonic Photo Gallery. We have pictures of all the different trucks we built and operated; three out of the five trucks we built are still in use. The first three trucks can be found in the "History" folder.

The updated version of (Jethro) truck three along with (Elroy & TBM) trucks four and five have there own folders for your review.
Old 19th May 2006
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
ClickTrackAudio's Avatar
 

Right now you seem to be at the high-level design, but here's one tidbit of advice for when you get to the details:

Whatever your budget is, reserve 25% of it for cabling alone. Not just main snakes etc, but interconnections, patch, adapters...they add up REAL fast . And don't scrimp here. Sure everything else is important, but just think...your big new truck is pretty damn useless if you can't reliably get signal in and routed.

Just a thought fer ya.
Old 20th May 2006
  #10
Here for the gear
 

Scaling back

So, I think that for my first truck I'm going to scale it back to a regular remote truck, and save my mobile studio idea for the future, after I've had some more experiene.

I was also thinking that it would be fun to have the entire Remote Possibilities forum, with Steve's permission of course, essentially build the truck from design to it's first gig. I'd do the actual building, although any one would be welcome to stop by and check it out or help out, and the wonderful people here could help push me in the right direction. Plus, this would be a great benefit for other people looking to build a truck, because here's the entire process start to finish.

What does everyone think about that?

alec
Old 20th May 2006
  #11
Lives for gear
 
PlugHead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alecrj
I was also thinking that it would be fun to have the entire Remote Possibilities forum, with Steve's permission of course, essentially build the truck from design to it's first gig. I'd do the actual building, although any one would be welcome to stop by and check it out or help out, and the wonderful people here could help push me in the right direction. Plus, this would be a great benefit for other people looking to build a truck, because here's the entire process start to finish.

What does everyone think about that?

alec
Great idea, tho could slow down your build if there's too many cooks: I think it's terrific to have all the potential knowledge right there thru the building process, tho I think Steve probably has the most extensive BG and experience of anyone on this BB.

All the best - looking forward to peering in!
Old 20th May 2006
  #12
Gear Guru
 
henryrobinett's Avatar
I like it. I agree with Jay and I certainly know nothing about building trucks. But I'd love to be a fly on the wall while Steve Remote and others in the know advise.
Old 20th May 2006
  #13
Gear Nut
 
jenkel16's Avatar
 

Speaking from experience, you will not be able to find some of the things you are going to need for a truck build in Kalamazoo. Be prepared for a few trips to Chicago. Other wise best of luck. I grew up in the Zoo and spent a bit of time trying to sus out sources for putting together a mobile setup while I was there last summer, so if you need any help feel free to ask and I'll give what I'm able to.

Graham
Old 20th May 2006
  #14
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for that offer, jenkel16, I'm sure I'll be trying to get a hold of you several times for advice. I was figuring I'd be making several trips to Chicago, Detroit, and Lansing, if not elsewhere in the area.

I'm thinking of building something similiar in size to <a href="http://www.aurasonicltd.com/breadmobile/index.html">Steve's Bread Mobile.</a> I think that's a good size vehicle for a first time. Of course, since I'm doing this with everyone's help, if the majority want to go for a bigger vehicle, that's what I'll do.

Steve, do you mind sharing what the interior and exterior dimensions are of that vehicle.

Thanks in advance!

alec
Old 20th May 2006
  #15
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
What a cool concept -- Let's start a "think tank." We can pool our thoughts; refine the ideas we collected; make final rulings; draw up the plans and finally go for the build out.

I believe "The Bread Mobile" is 24 (maybe 25) feet bumper to bumper.
I will check on the exact exterior and interior dimensions next time I'm with the vehicle.
Old 20th May 2006
  #16
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness
What a cool concept -- Let's start a "think tank." We can pool our thoughts; refine the ideas we collected; make final rulings; draw up the plans and finally go for the build out.
That's exactly what I was thinking, although you put it much more elegantly.

alec
Old 23rd May 2006
  #17
Here for the gear
 

First Steps

So, is it better to design the truck first, and then find a truck that fits the design or is it better to find a truck, and design to that truck?

A couple business related questions, although these might be better served on seperate threads. What's the best way to market a new truck? And who should I look to for financing, as this is an expensive proposition? I may be able to find a wealthy benefactor, but I'm not counting on it.

Alec
Old 24th May 2006
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
RichS's Avatar
 

Scaling back - maybe not

Quote:
So, I think that for my first truck I'm going to scale it back to a regular remote truck, and save my mobile studio idea for the future, after I've had some more experience.
I've been happy just sniffing around here for a while, but this post got me to sign-up and reply.

Why just one truck? Build the control room truck now that includes a vocal booth, then later add a second truck with the tracking/live rooms. Support for AC/heating and electrical would be separate for each truck (and probably less of a logistical nightmare), and you might not have to beef-up the suspension systems. It also will be easier to park 2 smaller trucks in odd spaces than one honk'in big one. You also have the option of only taking what you need to the location.

Hope that gives you something to think about.

Rich
Old 25th May 2006
  #19
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
That's pretty wild Rich because we can do that with our trucks now... Two out of the three can be true mobile studios or mobile control rooms. We have tracked a four piece band, three to four piece horn section and plenty of vocal overdubs in Elroy. We even had a monitor wedges in there for the band.

It's truly a multi-functional mobile unit. The Bread Mobile is a lot smaller so we cannot record a band in there but vocal and horn O/Ds are not a problem.

When we decommission Jethro I plan to make a mid-sized version of Elroy and TBM.

Good idea my man and it's your first post -- Very strong!

Consider leavu=ing your name rank and serial number in the "Role Call' thread!

Enjoy the forum and best regards.
Old 25th May 2006
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

if memory serves, I THINK that Steve's Bread Mobile is a 24' Grumman Step Van, which is 8 feet wide and 11feet tall (including the A/C units on top).

A 24' truck with build-out gives you room for a control room, and either storage or a very small vocal booth.

If you buy a 48' trailer, you have room for a machine room, control room, and tracking room. But you also need MUCH more start up cash.

Hope these thoughts help!

Peace,
JvB
Old 1st June 2006
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
t_chance's Avatar
 

http://www.morganolson.com/products/...onaldata.lasso

Here you go. I've been oogling theese for a long time now.
Then again a 24'-30' drop trailer like contractors use would be a nice alternative.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump