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King's Hill Sound - PDX - Wes Lachot Design - Build Thread
Old 12th July 2018
  #1
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King's Hill Sound - PDX - Wes Lachot Design - Build Thread

We are excited to share some details of the studio we’re building in the City of Roses – Portland, OR. Designed by Wes Lachot of the Wes Lachot Design Group, King’s Hill Sound will be located in, you guessed it, the King’s Hill neighborhood in SW Portland.

Overview
Covering approximately 1000 square feet, our new studio will have 4 main spaces:
  • Control room with SSL AWS 948 analog console
  • Tracking room with DW Custom Drums and Yamaha C5 Grand Piano
  • Oversized vocal booth / drum room
  • Sound lock / guitar amp recording room



It takes a village
Wes has done a terrific job designing a high quality studio to fit our somewhat challenging space. There were many obstacles to overcome in our 100-year-old home and he addressed them all with creative solutions.Olson and Jones are our general contractors handling primary construction of the studio. Rounding out the team are Tony Brett from Brett Acoustics providing custom acoustical treatments and studio furniture and Thom Canova from Canova Audio delivering all of our wiring and interconnects.

Digging Deep
One of the first challenges in building a studio in the basement of a turn-of-the-century home was dealing with the low ceilings. To mitigate this, we lowered the floor of the basement 6″ to gain some additional headroom. Digging and re-pouring a new foundation gave us the chance to bury passageways for cabling.



Beam me up!
Behold our new steel beam that replaced a multitude of 4″ x 4″ support posts that were cluttering the space.



All the angles
Below you can see the framing for the control room RFZ (reflection free zone) taking shape. The control room will have a tremendous “sweet spot” for mixing created by angling and treating the walls to ensure there is no reflected sound reaching the mix location.







Stay tuned!
That’s it for now… We’ll post updates as things progress!

You can follow along with other happenings at King's Hill Records in Silicon Valley at:

Instagram : @kingshillrecords
Facebook : @kingshillrecords
Web : King's Hill Records - Music recording, production and publishing services
Old 13th July 2018
  #2
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This will be fun to watch! Best of luck with your progress!
Old 15th July 2018
  #3
SRS
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Looks nice. Are you going to have a direct view into the live room from the CR? Or is that intermediate room in the middle not allowing that?
Old 16th July 2018
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcintalker View Post
This will be fun to watch! Best of luck with your progress!
Thanks!
Old 16th July 2018
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRS View Post
Looks nice. Are you going to have a direct view into the live room from the CR? Or is that intermediate room in the middle not allowing that?
The masonry for the fireplaces and general layout of the basement made us give up on line of sight and prioritize room sizes and shape.

The front wall of the control room will have a large (65") monitor that will display cameras and double as the computer monitor. The tracking room wall facing the control room will also have a monitor showing the control room (and/or vocal booth).

The doors b/w the control room, vocal booth and tracking room all have full length glass and will create some good sight lines. The vocal booth will also have a monitor for additional view options.

I haven't selected the video system yet, but my hope is to get some good wide-angle cameras and a video switching / mixing system so that the control room monitor (and others) can display multiple cameras at a time or just one.

As a side benefit, I will add video capture and have the ability to record video along with recording sessions.

I personally like the large monitor option for the DAW and find a good talkback system gets most of what I need to interact with the band. But, the video system will hopefully make the lack of windows a non-issue.

Here's my current setup with a small tracking room behind the photographer:

Old 17th July 2018
  #6
SRS
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Yes, having proper room dimensions is a higher priority (IMO) over sight lines. Sounds like you have it planned well. I would however go larger with the monitor than 65", especially as it will be integral with your workflow. Bigger really is better for that I'd say. They are so affordable nowadays and thin/light. I have a 70" monitor over my glass and it's not used for viewing talent when tracking, and is primarily there for auxiliary use for DAW display if needed, or simply entertainment during down-time. Food for thought. It won't really have any adverse effect on your acoustics in the RFZ setup if you go larger, as they are so thin. Just use a wall mount that is as tight to the wall as you can find. I got one that is super close to the wall and it just looks great.
Old 17th July 2018
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRS View Post
Yes, having proper room dimensions is a higher priority (IMO) over sight lines.
Happy to get confirmation on that decision!

Quote:
Sounds like you have it planned well. I would however go larger with the monitor than 65", especially as it will be integral with your workflow.
Yeah, I'll probably go with the largest screen I can fit in there. 65" is a placeholder for "h u g e" but, as you say, huge isn't so huge no more...

I have about 6' of width and, looking at some specs online, I could fit an 82" TV there
Old 23rd July 2018
  #8
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Tinfoil Hats & Warning Lights

A quick update on the PDX studio build. Most of the recent work was continued electrical pre-wiring that ends up not being very visible. One of the runs is a low-voltage connection to a cool retro “recording” sign care of Light Me Up Signs on Etsy.



However, there are a couple things that you can see…


Shake Rattle and Roll
That’s right, we get earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest! One of the projects in our overall remodel was to do a seismic retrofit to remediate a 2′ course of brick separating our concrete foundation from the wood-framing of the house above. This is accomplished, in part, by the plywood sheeting you see below.



Can You Hear Me Now?

The first and most basic of sound treatments are starting to go in – a layer of batt insulation. Next up are the iso clips and 3 layers of 5/8″ drywall on all the walls, to be followed with various acoustical treatments on each surface.



Tinfoil Hat!

One thing that plagues our current studio is EMI from a nearby power transformer. We had our PDX site tested and found it to be better, but still worth addressing during our ground-up build process.







Our EMI abatement solution was designed by Howard at Pro Audio Engineering. As the drywall goes in, we will be applying a combination of metallic paint and stainless steel sheeting, tied together with a copper grounding strip. This will create a Faraday cage around the perimeter of the studio. We have also transformer isolated the studio power from the main house power to minimize interference injected into the studio

I’m so looking forward to the day when I no longer have to “aim” my guitar to get rid of that nasty buzzing!

Stay tuned for more progress updates!

You can follow along with other happenings at King's Hill Records in Silicon Valley at:

Instagram : @kingshillrecords
Facebook : @kingshillrecords
Web : King's Hill Records - Music recording, production and publishing services

Last edited by fractalz; 23rd July 2018 at 02:09 PM.. Reason: fixed footer links
Old 24th August 2018
  #9
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We had a short pause while we changed over from electrical work to drywall, but things are back to full steam ahead.

Hold On To Your Hat-Channel…
The drywall phase started with the installation of isolation clips and hat channel to suspend the drywall from the studs.









Next up, the three layers of drywall will be going up with a layer of metallic paint all around and sheets of steel between the first two layers in the ceiling. More photos as things progress!
Old 9th April 2019
  #10
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Building the barricade...

We've had a pause in updates but work has continued on through the winter albeit a bit slower as the attention of the crew returned to the main house above the studio. We're in the final stages now and I wanted to catch this thread up with progress since the last update. *This time, our heroes ward off evil in the form of electrical interference!

EMI abatement

As mentioned earlier, Howard at Pro Audio Engineering designed our EMI abatement plan and it consisted of three components, each designed to address specific issues.

All By Myself...

We feed power to the studio via a dedicated Technical Power Panel (TPP) which is transformer-isolated from the main AC supply. A three-stage AC line filter and commercial TVSS (Transient Voltage Surge Suppression) round out this dedicated circuit to provide 7 KVA of clean 120 V technical power to the studio.



Full Metal Sandwich

In addition to the dedicated power circuit, a ferroucious one-two punch was delivered with a combination of metal shielding and magnetic paint.

To prevent 60Hz power line and harmonic magnetic fields generated from the main house above, we ensured that any AC wiring above the studio was 3" or more above the studio ceiling, and then covered the first layer of ceiling drywall with interlocking galvanized steel sheets. This is estimated to yield > 30dB attenuation of 60Hz radiated fields.



The next item turned up by our RFI survey were high-frequency (100KHz to 1GHz) sources such as AM / FM radio stations and GSM and CDMA cell services. These were mitigated by applying EMI paint to all of the vertical surfaces, applying copper tape around the circumference of the studio, installing EMI shielded doors, and connecting everything above to a new technical ground point created just for the studio.



Third Time's The Charm

All of this work did not stay visible for long. After the first layer of drywall and the aforementioned EMI abatement, the crew proceeded with two more layers of drywall to add to the acoustic isolation of the studio from the main house.


*
The folks at West Side Electric are doing a great job on the electrical subsystem and our construction crew at Olson and Jones continue to set the bar on the complicated ins-and-outs of this challenging project.

That's it for now, more updates next week!

King's Hill Records - Music recording, production and publishing services
Old 10th April 2019
  #11
SRS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fractalz View Post
We've had a pause in updates but work has continued on through the winter albeit a bit slower as the attention of the crew returned to the main house above the studio. We're in the final stages now and I wanted to catch this thread up with progress since the last update. *This time, our heroes ward off evil in the form of electrical interference!

EMI abatement

As mentioned earlier, Howard at Pro Audio Engineering designed our EMI abatement plan and it consisted of three components, each designed to address specific issues.

All By Myself...

We feed power to the studio via a dedicated Technical Power Panel (TPP) which is transformer-isolated from the main AC supply. A three-stage AC line filter and commercial TVSS (Transient Voltage Surge Suppression) round out this dedicated circuit to provide 7 KVA of clean 120 V technical power to the studio.



Full Metal Sandwich

In addition to the dedicated power circuit, a ferroucious one-two punch was delivered with a combination of metal shielding and magnetic paint.

To prevent 60Hz power line and harmonic magnetic fields generated from the main house above, we ensured that any AC wiring above the studio was 3" or more above the studio ceiling, and then covered the first layer of ceiling drywall with interlocking galvanized steel sheets. This is estimated to yield > 30dB attenuation of 60Hz radiated fields.



The next item turned up by our RFI survey were high-frequency (100KHz to 1GHz) sources such as AM / FM radio stations and GSM and CDMA cell services. These were mitigated by applying EMI paint to all of the vertical surfaces, applying copper tape around the circumference of the studio, installing EMI shielded doors, and connecting everything above to a new technical ground point created just for the studio.



Third Time's The Charm

All of this work did not stay visible for long. After the first layer of drywall and the aforementioned EMI abatement, the crew proceeded with two more layers of drywall to add to the acoustic isolation of the studio from the main house.


*
The folks at West Side Electric are doing a great job on the electrical subsystem and our construction crew at Olson and Jones continue to set the bar on the complicated ins-and-outs of this challenging project.

That's it for now, more updates next week!

King's Hill Records - Music recording, production and publishing services
So... What you're saying is "might as well leave your cell phone in the car boys...!"???
Old 10th April 2019
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRS View Post
So... What you're saying is "might as well leave your cell phone in the car boys...!"???
We have WiFi repeaters in the studio so internet, messaging, etc. are all viable as is WiFi calling. Cell reception is there but not great (LTE doesn't seem to work, but we get a couple bars of 4G - probably good enough for a phone call to ring through).

I'll take this over the chainsaw buzzing I used to get when trying to record high gain guitars!

Besides, stepping out into the hallway, or the fresh Portland air for a phone call does a body good.
Old 10th April 2019
  #13
SRS
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I knew you had a solution. Phones are over-rated. Build is looking great by the way!
Old 17th April 2019
  #14
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Floors & Doors!

This week, we'll look at the installation of our soundproof doors from IAC Acoustics*and the walnut flooring.

A key element of the sound isolation in the studio is sealing the door openings between the various rooms. *As we know, sound travels easily through air and our solidly built walls wouldn't be worth their weight in tissue paper with air gaps between them.

Our IAC Acoustics*Noise Lock doors provide just the sound isolation we are looking for:




*
These doors have a magnetic seal to keep them shut tight and a "cam lift hinge" that raises the door when you open it and lowers it when closed to form a tight seal on the bottom (pretty clever if you ask me):



Last in this week's quick update are the floors. *We've chosen a walnut vibe for our built-in acoustic treatments, cabinets and the flooring. *It's making the space feel nice and warm and inviting, albeit a bit dusty. *We even covered the access panels for our subterranean cable runs with the same flooring to conceal it.



Next week will be the start of a two-part update on the acoustic treatments. Part one will cover the concealed treatments and part two will go over the visible in-room treatments. *Stay tuned!
Old 30th April 2019
  #15
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In this week's update, we'll look at the acoustical treatments being applied to the control room and tracking room, including bass traps, absorbers and diffusors (oh my!).

Before digging into the work being done in the studio, I'm going to take a slight digression into soundproofing vs. sound treatment to help explain why we've done some of the things I'm highlighting in these blog posts.

SOMETHING IN THE AIR, TONIGHT...

Sound travels through air very easily. That means, if we can seal a space airtight, we will block a lot of sound. This is easily demonstrated by opening and closing a car window or the window to your house. The sound reaching your ear is drastically reduced with the window closed. In fact, most other means of blocking sound are rendered useless if you have air gaps between you and the sound you wish to block. So, we first made sure all of the joints in the studio walls were caulked air-tight and then installed our fancy air-tight doors to seal the openings.

However, even with a window closed, you still hear some sound from the outside. How can this be if there is an airtight seal? Most of the sound is reflected away, but some of it causes the materials around you to vibrate and create new sound waves on your side. Heavier materials are harder to move and transmit less sound than lighter materials. *That is why we tripled up the layers of drywall*in the studio. We also installed resilient channel spacers*to the studs to reduce the amount of contact between the drywall and the studs to further reduce the amount of transmitted sound.

What I described above is what we mean by soundproofing - the process of preventing sound from moving between two spaces by controlling direct sound traveling through air, and minimizing transmitted sound through materials.

I SAID, CAN WE HAVE THE CHECK, PLEASE!!!

Soundproofing isn't the end of the acoustic treatment story. Once we've controlled sound moving between spaces, we need to control the sound within*each space. If sound can't move through the air around a material, it mostly bounces off of it. Since we now have air-tight rooms, we've created a lot of bouncing sound waves! You may have experienced this phenomenon in a restaurant without any acoustic treatment. The sounds of the kitchen, customers and music all crescendo into a mind-numbing din making it hard to focus on any one sound. Since it's hard to hear conversations, people speak more loudly, adding to the racket. Business may do this on purpose to make the place sound "alive", or to save money on acoustic treatment. We call these bouncing sound waves reverberation and we can describe how "alive" a room is by measuring the time it takes sounds created in the room to fall off to a certain level.

We use two primary techniques to control reverberation : diffusion and absorption. Diffusors are uneven hard surfaces that reflect sound in multiple directions to reduce resonances, or build-up, between parallel surfaces. Absorbers are soft materials that allow sound to pass through them and reduce the intensity of the sound by absorbing some of the sound energy, converting it into heat. Most soft materials absorb higher frequency sounds and you probably notice how sound behaves differently in rooms with carpeting versus tile floors or a gymnasium versus a movie theatre. Low frequency sounds are harder to absorb because of their longer wavelength and high energy. You may have noticed that you hear the bass sounds of your neighbors TV or stereo much more than the treble. You are hearing the low frequency sounds that were not absorbed by their room.

What I described in this section, controlling reverberation within a room, is often termed acoustic treatment and is the subject of our construction update below!

FIRST BASS

The first thing the team from Brett Acoustics tackled was the bass trap at the rear of the control room. *This special wall configuration creates an air channel where bass frequencies can go to die - surrounded by soft white clouds of sound absorbing fiberglass. *It was done so quickly I only got a couple photos:

*



SLAT-FUTURE!

One of the most impressive elements of the control room acoustic treatment is the futuristic "Slatfuser" diffusor on the rear wall. *The undulating pattern of wood slats follows a prime number pattern to create an even dispersion of sound.



THESE WALLS

Before being hidden behind our acoustical fabric covering, the walls were covered with 2" of 705 mineral wool and another mathematical marvel, the BAD Panel. *The BAD Panel, along with the Slatfuser, were designed with acoustician Peter D'Antonio of RPG Acoustical Systems. *Like the Slatfuser, the BAD Panel uses a mathematical sequence to create a pattern of holes that create a diffusor that allows some sound to move through it to the absorptive mineral wool behind.





IN THE CLOUDS

Rounding out the control room treatments are the acoustical "clouds" in the ceiling. *This is a form of drop-ceiling with fabric covered mineral wool. *In this configuration, sound goes up through the panel, reflects off the hard ceiling, and comes back down through the absorptive material, hitting it twice for maximum effectiveness.


*
DECISIONS, DECISIONS...

The tracking room receives many of the same acoustical treatments including the BAD Panel wall system and floating clouds. *It also sees the introduction of the Brett Acoustics "Multifusor" system, allowing control over the amount of diffusion v. absorption with reversible wall panels.







Well, that's a wrap for this update. *Stay tuned for more progress!
Old 1st May 2019
  #16
Those reversible panels are awesome! Great decision!
Old 28th May 2019
  #17
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Next up we are running cabling throughout the studio for all of the microphone, console, and outboard connections.

Going Underground

In order to gain some much needed ceiling height in the studio, we dug out the basement floor and dropped it about 8”.* This gave us an opportunity to bury some 4” conduit to conceal wiring runs from the console to the credenza and the back of the control room.







Tie Me Up

Additional wiring was run in the walls to strategically placed MTL (mic tie line) panels in the tracking room, vocal booth, sound lock and control room.





Thom and Roger from Canova Audio are building custom cables and labeling everything to make managing the complex connections in the studio a breeze.



Our custom patch bay is integrated with the console with a custom surround by Brett Acoustics.





Speak Up

Lastly, the main monitors, ATC SCM 100s, have been installed at the front of the control room, ready to be wired up.

Old 12th August 2019
  #18
Lives for gear
About speakers, are they decoupled from the wall? Or just put into it?

Thanks for sharing these pics with us!
Old 12th August 2019
  #19
Thanks fractalz! Great build and thread
Old 12th August 2019
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fractalz View Post
The doors b/w the control room, vocal booth and tracking room all have full length glass and will create some good sight lines. The vocal booth will also have a monitor for additional view options.

I haven't selected the video system yet, but my hope is to get some good wide-angle cameras and a video switching / mixing system so that the control room monitor (and others) can display multiple cameras at a time or just one.

As a side benefit, I will add video capture and have the ability to record video along with recording sessions.
[/IMG]
I'm going to be doing a video system as well, I'd love to know what you come up with...In my current space I've tested some 1/3 CCD security cams and they work pretty well, although the video they output wouldn't be great for capturing.

Currently I'm looking into using some full frame cams, with HDMI output to HDbaseT extenders. Something like the original a7s, but I don't know if it can work all day long.

Would love to hear what you come up with. Great build!
Old 9th September 2019
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
I'm going to be doing a video system as well, I'd love to know what you come up with...In my current space I've tested some 1/3 CCD security cams and they work pretty well, although the video they output wouldn't be great for capturing.

Currently I'm looking into using some full frame cams, with HDMI output to HDbaseT extenders. Something like the original a7s, but I don't know if it can work all day long.
I would stay away from HDMI for this sort of thing. Step up to SDI based solutions which are meant for pro applications.

I am a fan of Blackmagic Design products. Excellent bang for the buck.

https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products

For instance several Micro Studio 4K or URSA broadcast cameras
https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/pro...studiocamera4k
https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/pro...gicursaminipro

with an ATEM controller would make a formidable remote operator studio video rig that actually looks professional and impresses clients. I really like this as a remote control/monitor option: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/pro...racontrolpanel

Add a Hyperdeck or an Ultrastudio for recording:
https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/pro...perdeckextreme

You could have a pretty great setup starting around 20 grand depending on choices, which is very inexpensive for a pro level 4K SDI based multi-cam setup.

Otherwise if you just want quick and dirty capture with no monitoring, just throw up a few GoPro Hero7 4Ks (or later, Hero8 is coming soon) around the room and be done with it - multicam alignment/sync and editing is pretty standard in the major video editing apps now.

Don't forget to invest in lighting, this makes a MASSIVE difference. I am a big fan of the LED lights that have adjustable color temperature for the white balance. Lots of inexpensive options on Amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/Neewer-Bi-col...s%2C315&sr=8-3

Last edited by bambamboom; 9th September 2019 at 09:17 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #22
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Blackmagic only sound magic but it's such a pain in the butt. You really need to get into color correction in order to get good results with this camera. You need a great monitor and so many other things. Go with a full frame Sony and you'll never be disappointed.
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