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Personal Studio Build in Northern ID
Old 27th August 2017
  #1
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Personal Studio Build in Northern ID

Although it will be very slow going, I've taken the first steps towards converting my 3rd garage into my personal studio space. Empty and Cleaned!

My next step is to remove and replace the garage door with double doors. I'm not sure when I'll get to it, but hopefully in the next few months before it gets too cold.

I'm guessing I'll do the electrical and lighting over the winter and start the ceiling and drywall next summer.

I'm just excited to actually be starting.

Any ideas on good doors that allow easy access for equipment? I want a lot of glass so I don't lose the view. The garage opening is 96 1/2 high by 119 1/2 wide.

The garage itself is 224 (18'8") x 272 (22'8") Quite the upgrade from the 10'x12' ish rooms I've been using in the houses we've lived in. Plus I'll be able to crank the amps to 11!!!!
Attached Thumbnails
Personal Studio Build in Northern ID-img_20170827_124809.jpg   Personal Studio Build in Northern ID-img_20170827_124819.jpg   Personal Studio Build in Northern ID-img_20170827_124836.jpg   Personal Studio Build in Northern ID-img_20170827_124902.jpg   Personal Studio Build in Northern ID-img_20170827_125016.jpg  

Old 30th August 2017
  #2
Life goals : Being able to insert "my third garage" in a sentence.

Kidding apart, that looks like a very nice space to build in! Good luck, I will be following your thread closely
Old 31st August 2017
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spacyman View Post
Life goals : Being able to insert "my third garage" in a sentence.
We need a foot in mouth emoji hehehe. That obviously didn’t come out the way I intended
Quote:
Kidding apart, that looks like a very nice space to build in! Good luck, I will be following your thread closely
I’ll update as I go, but again its going to be slow going .. getting the 3rd garage tapped me out
Old 7th October 2017
  #4
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I've done a lot of planning and this weekend will be my first step. Right now there is a good dedicated 20 amp breaker for the garage. But, the wire run to the garage is crap. So, I'm going to pull 12 2 along the current lines and pull out the old raggedy stuff. I'm also going to add an extra outlet on each wall, right now there is only 1 per wall. Also, the current outlets are only 15 amp rated, so I'm putting in 20s all around.

Light bays will be next.

I've also made a decision on the garage door! I am going to leave it there but pull all the top railing and bracing. I'll just anchor the top panel to the existing wall. Then I'll build an internal wall along that entire side. This will allow me to do some bass trapping setup (hopefully), and I'll be putting in a recess for hanging guitars!!!

My main next question that I'm still undecided on .. .opinions welcome... if you look at the pictures you will notice that the garage is actually below ground and has a retaining wall going on 3 walls. There is currently a 4.2" lip going all the way around.

Option 1: Just leave it and have a 3.5" ledge around the room after I install drywall. I'll cap it with some trim wood or something. And, I'll put some fancy paneling over the cement.

Option 2: Put a 2nd wall out even with the cement wall and just drywall floor to ceiling. Advantage would be a 2nd layer of insulation + decoupling from the exterior walls. This extra sound isolation step is not very necessary as there is only a very small section near the door that is actually shared with the house proper. And there is a large 2 car garage and then an entry way in the house between. Both have baffles between them where they share rafters. This option is appealing to me, but would add a lot to the cost. So, I'm leaning towards option 1 ....

Last edited by jmcecil; 7th October 2017 at 03:26 AM..
Old 7th October 2017
  #5
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Here is some guitar porn for you .... I sadly have no place to hang my guitars
So, getting this thing knocked out is important!

A man needs a place to hang his guitars right?

Old 15th October 2017
  #6
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I finally figured out why the 20 amp breaker. There is a feed to an outside carport with a plug for an RV hookup. I can’t figure out why they would use 14 mixed with 12 gauge wire. Also, it’sll All white/gray sheathing regardless of gauge. Was this normal back in the day? Anyhow, pulled all the 14 and put in 12 gauge everywhere. Added two boxes to each wall. I put in 20 amp plugs just to so we know it’s a 20 amp circuit. I considered putting in 15s inside, as that’s all that I should ever use. But, decided it was probably better to indicate 20 even though I won’t need it.

Step 1 done ... Lighting next ..
Old 16th October 2017
  #7
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Can someone point me to instructions for sizing of bass trap walls? Ive googled for days, and I have lot of hinted at designs, but no direction. The wall where the garage door is will be the “back” wall. I was thinking of putting a false wall there and build bass traps into that wall. I also want to put a guitar hanging recess there. It’s 19.5’ wide by 10’ High. From what I’ve gathered, I would build plywood resonators of various sizes. But the sizing rules that I’ve found are ambiguous so far. To make matters more complicated, that will also be the “live” end of the room.
Old 16th October 2017
  #8
Gear Head
 

Have you taken a look at Rod Gervais' "Build It Like the Pros" https://www.amazon.com/Home-Recordin.../dp/143545717X ? Lots of good stuff in there.
Old 16th October 2017
  #9
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The fact that it's underground means you can isolate the low frequencies from structural interference as well as from escaping and bothering the whole neighborhood. If you cut a deep groove in the floor slab along the walls you will essentially have the most inexpensive floating floor ever. This will make acoustic treatment so much easier; with the floor isolated so well, you can probably get great sound with nothing more than foam bass traps in the corners and scattered foam squares to deal with slapback and flutter. Another thing you can to is construct inner walls as a slight pentagon shape within the rectangular walls that are already there. That will eliminate the need for almost all spot treatment absorption leaving you to focus on nothing but the decay shape and time using various amounts of random diffusion and absorption.
Old 21st October 2017
  #10
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That is going to be a great space.

I would leave the concrete lip; drywall and cap that.

Studs are 2x4 right? I would fill all the cavities with a mineral wool or OC703. Have you considered leaving the walls soft? Would you be dealing with a lot of bass heavy music?

The back wall is also the entrance to the studio?

I would not put any foam anything in that space.
Old 22nd October 2017
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rathabar View Post
Have you taken a look at Rod Gervais' "Build It Like the Pros" https://www.amazon.com/Home-Recordin.../dp/143545717X ? Lots of good stuff in there.
no .. and thank you. For some reason I did not get notification that people kindly posted on my thread. Much appreciated.
Old 22nd October 2017
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
The fact that it's underground means you can isolate the low frequencies from structural interference as well as from escaping and bothering the whole neighborhood.
This is great, but my neighborhood consists of 2 houses that are both over 1/2 mile away, and my wife in the house. There's several thousand acres around us with only the 3 houses. Although we do have some of that weird mountain sound carry. I can hear one neighbor talk in a normal voice in a certain spot by their pool. But, they can't hear me if I yell at them (not yell in a mean way, I have awesome neighbors). He burnt a brush pile one time and I thought the fire was under my back deck. There is a two car garage between this space and the main house. However, it does share attic/rafter space. This is only a small 2'x/2' opening right over the door. I plan to really go after putting a significant baffle in that spot.
Quote:
If you cut a deep groove in the floor slab along the walls you will essentially have the most inexpensive floating floor ever. This will make acoustic treatment so much easier
I'd have to rent a cement saw to do that I guess. How deep and wide does that need to be to provide real isolation? It seems it might be overkill. My main concern is mode hotspots.
Old 22nd October 2017
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jikky View Post
That is going to be a great space.
Thanks for the encouraging words. I'm going to take my time and hopefully get it right ..

Quote:
I would leave the concrete lip; drywall and cap that.
I'm pretty much locked in on that approach. Just trying to decide if I need to double 5/8ths the drywall or not. Again, I'm in the middle of nowhere.

Quote:
Studs are 2x4 right? I would fill all the cavities with a mineral wool or OC703. Have you considered leaving the walls soft? Would you be dealing with a lot of bass heavy music?
I have sourced rockwool for the insulation.

Quote:
The back wall is also the entrance to the studio?
Yes, the door comes from the other two car garage. And it is on the same wall as the garage door which I have decided to leave.

Quote:
I would not put any foam anything in that space.
I don't know about "foam" I'll definitely be doing first reflection around panels the desk. I'm going to wait until everything is in before I try to figure out bass trapping. I'll put a mockup in the next post. You can see a little alcove over the garage that will have two channels of guitar track that are 8' wide each.
Old 22nd October 2017
  #14
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First, just thoughtI'd share the visitors we had out our front door last night.



Then a mockup I've done. The recess near the door is where I'll do the guitar rails. To give some perspective that recess is exactly 8' wide.
Old 22nd October 2017
  #15
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Oh, bought the 9 x 6" overhead IC light bays today. Also 1000' of Cat6. Going to run a jack to each wall. Also plan on putting a switch and rack in that built out area next to the couch in that picture above. I'm on the road for two weeks, starting Wednesday, but hope to start re-wiring the lights and run the Cat6 back to the house after that. The existing light wiring is uhmmm interesting. It will be difficult to undo .. I noticed I don't have picture of that... I'll get one and post. Then you'll all feel sorry for me.
Old 22nd October 2017
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jikky View Post
Studs are 2x4 right?
Yes .. but they are not vertically straight unfortunately. Not sure how much they were drinking, but they spacing is terrible (like 15" at the bottom, 17" at the top bad). I will have to custom cut everything on the 3 walls. Oddly the rafters are perfect 24" center spaced. So must have been kit or something.

Quote:
Have you considered leaving the walls soft?
I'm not sure what this means?

Quote:
Would you be dealing with a lot of bass heavy music?
I think not. Low bass yes. Prominent bass, no. Think 70's prog, jazz fusion and classical.
Old 22nd October 2017
  #17
Gear Head
 

Are you going for 2 in 1 tracking + control room or is it mainly for tracking? If it's both, having a rear wall of guitars could cause some headaches when it comes time for treatment... In addition to Rod's book, the John L Sayers forum isn't terribly active but has a lot of fairly detailed garage builds like yours that you can browse for inspiration: John Sayers' Recording Studio Design Forum • View forum - Studio Design

Very eager to see your progress, this is going to be a sweet space.
Old 22nd October 2017
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rathabar View Post
Are you going for 2 in 1 tracking + control room or is it mainly for tracking? If it's both, having a rear wall of guitars could cause some headaches when it comes time for treatment... In addition to Rod's book, the John L Sayers forum isn't terribly active but has a lot of fairly detailed garage builds like yours that you can browse for inspiration: John Sayers' Recording Studio Design Forum • View forum - Studio Design

Very eager to see your progress, this is going to be a sweet space.
thanks for the input !!! I'll definitely look at the Sayers book.

One of the reasons I hesitate on the actual build .. or am slow rolling getting going for real is that I can't answer your first question, even to myself yet.

I want to track vocals, guitar, bass, strings and percussion. Probably not acoustic drums. And a good portion of those guitars/bass and string instruments are acoustic. And because of that, I don't want to kill the "space".

But, I also am largely in the box from a mix standpoint. I doubt I'd ever master my own stuff. That is just such a unique skill, I'd rather pay for it, if I got to the point I wanted to release things. I do think I can record and mix with some degree of quality/skill.

The "wall of guitars" is a weird byproduct. I just found that when I finally got them all out, I played them all. Trying to figure out an efficient method to "display" them, while accounting for acoustics is problematic. I've seen various multi-guitar floor racks. I don't really care for the aesthetics. So, right now I'm conflicted.
Old 22nd October 2017
  #19
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And, to follow on the previous post .. it's also largely a practice space. So again, the live sound of the room is probably more important than mix accuracy. Of course that will be my claim until I start to mix something, then I'll be pissed.

EDIT: First world problems
Old 22nd October 2017
  #20
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Crap, forgot to explain ... keep in mind that the back wall is mainly a false wall just to cover the garage door without removing the garage door. From the outside it will look like it's still a garage. Unless someone craps about $8k in my lap so I can remove, frame, buy proper quality exterior doors/windows and refinish exterior. I can build that entire interior complete with electrical and lighting for about $500.
Old 23rd October 2017
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcecil View Post
This is great, but my neighborhood consists of 2 houses that are both over 1/2 mile away, and my wife in the house. There's several thousand acres around us with only the 3 houses. Although we do have some of that weird mountain sound carry. I can hear one neighbor talk in a normal voice in a certain spot by their pool. But, they can't hear me if I yell at them (not yell in a mean way, I have awesome neighbors). He burnt a brush pile one time and I thought the fire was under my back deck. There is a two car garage between this space and the main house. However, it does share attic/rafter space. This is only a small 2'x/2' opening right over the door. I plan to really go after putting a significant baffle in that spot.

I'd have to rent a cement saw to do that I guess. How deep and wide does that need to be to provide real isolation? It seems it might be overkill. My main concern is mode hotspots.
I think it only has to be 4-6" deep. And it's totally worth it. Will reduce structural resonance nodes drastically which will flatten out the overall bass response of the room making drums especially sound much more professional.
Old 24th October 2017
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcecil View Post
Yes .. but they are not vertically straight unfortunately. Not sure how much they were drinking, but they spacing is terrible (like 15" at the bottom, 17" at the top bad). I will have to custom cut everything on the 3 walls. Oddly the rafters are perfect 24" center spaced. So must have been kit or something.
Well that is going to suck!


Quote:
I'm not sure what this means?
A soft wall is like mounting up OC 703 over a wall and then just fabric right over top for the entire span of the wall. The wall is kind of squishy. I've done that in office spaces.
Old 24th October 2017
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jikky View Post
A soft wall is like mounting up OC 703 over a wall and then just fabric right over top for the entire span of the wall. The wall is kind of squishy. I've done that in office spaces.
Ah ok, I won't do that on the main 3 walls with cement half walls. I do want to provide a good amount of noise isolation. It doesn't have to be perfect, but roxsul batting + 5/8th drywall will do the trick on the main 3 walls.

The back false wall is a different story. I'm still considering various designs. I think a softwall on the sides coming out into the room are possible.

But, the backwall for the guitar tracks will need to be solid. I'm not sure how deep damping material needs to be. I can raise the rails off the surface and damp between ....

_____________1' of 3 or so inches of absorption material

8" upper guitar rail raised to match material depth

_____________4' of absorption material

8" lower guitar rail raised to match material depth

_____________4' of absorption material


It would just look like a wall with rails and cloth covering. Not sure if that would do anything constructive vs the amount of work to create it.
Old 10th November 2017
  #24
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Here are the pictures of the base light wiring in this one car garage. Whoever did this, used it like a central hub for all kinds of feeds. Most of them aren't even using the switches. So, yeah feel sorry for me as I untangle that mess and rewire it so it's just overhead lights, runner lights and sconces on the 3 switches.



Old 31st December 2017
  #25
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As promised this is slow going but work continues in the messy state ... Finished the main outlet wiring so I have a 20 amp feed to the main outlets on a dedicated circuit, and the lights and a couple of utility outlets are on their own 15 amp circuit.

I've finished putting in 9 6" recessed ceiling cans. I hope to finish the wiring of the new lights that will replace those dreadful fluorescent ones this weekend. But, I have work to get done by Tuesday and we have guests coming tomorrow. So, maybe not. But those nasty tubes are about outa here.

Next step is to install the sconce boxes and the wiring off the 2nd switch for those.
Attached Thumbnails
Personal Studio Build in Northern ID-img_20171230_144132.jpg   Personal Studio Build in Northern ID-img_20171230_144108.jpg   Personal Studio Build in Northern ID-img_20171230_144115.jpg   Personal Studio Build in Northern ID-img_20171230_144029.jpg  
Old 1st January 2018
  #26
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and we have light for the new year!

Old 24th July 2018
  #27
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As I warned when I started, this is taking a long time. But we have movement. After several events that tied up excess funds, I was finally able to shake lose the cash to get the HVAC in place. This was the last big ticket expense, so maybe it will go faster from here.
I have some distro boxes and some 2 and 4 channel wiring to go with them that I will run next. Then insulation and sheetrock! Hopefully it will start looking like a room over the next couple of months.

Old 23rd September 2018
  #28
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Slowly he turned ... step by step ... inch by inch

Insulation time!

Old 4th April 2019
  #29
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Ahhh patience is a virtue only attainable by lack of funding.

But we have more progress!
The ceilings have about 90% of the rockwool put in and the walls are all wired up and spray foamed!
The garage door is getting replaced with sliding doors in June sometime. So I'll be sealing and sheetrock between now and then.

FRONT WALL


EAST WALL


WEST WALL


GARAGE DOOR TO BE SLIDING DOOR


Putting in sliding doors for some light and this view instead of a wall.
Old 13th April 2019
  #30
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Ok, color stuff ...
I have guitar hangar track as seen in one of my earlier pictures on this thread sitting between the final floor choices. I want the one on the left of the track, but the one on the right has more of base colors. The paint swatches will have to change based on my final choice, but it will be dark on the cement retaining wall and lighter silver/white on the drywall with a cream white ceiling. It's weird. In person the square sample on the left of the track is an ok match. In the picture the more red right hand sample is a much better color match ... r what do you guys/gals think?

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