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New commercial build in Denver
Old 30th May 2019
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Joao B.'s Avatar

Yikes, that's some bad luck!

Love the cast
Old 10th June 2019
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Thanks guys-

Obviously it would be impossible to say that breaking the ankle was a *good* thing, but it got me spending a lot of time improving my guitar chops (still not very good, but good enough to record some stuff and edit it) and my vocal chops as well as working up a lot of sketches for songs. Cody and I have now finished a lot of those songs, and have them placed, prod fees paid and some really cool things in the pipeline. Also we brought in two more people more or less full time to help with the build, Nick and Ernest.

So I ended up doing a lot of detailed drawings of the framing with exact measurements and the guys built to them. This is the first of 7 'inside out' walls going up. 4 layers of 5/8 drywall, one layer of GG and the framing here means this segment comes in at about 1400lbs. This one is for control room 2, both control rooms are 16'4" x 13' x 10' 6", with 'inside out' walls and ceilings.

The insulation for the airgap was stapled onto the wall before it went up

Lot's of this going on, it looks like we're headed for about 20-21 5 gal buckets of GG. That's nick there-

Here's Cody posing with the GG and Nick there in the background, this is the wall for CR 1 they are working on here.

We had a great inspector for the first inspection, then we had a younger, new guy show up and while trying to prove how thorough he is he demanded that we inspect every layer of drywall! Pain in the ass. But at least we had enough to do each day to call for an inspection the next day and so on.

Here are some pics from the security cams. Here you can see all 4 walls (these were all built before standing up the rear wall) are up and the first course of drywall is up. Those are 9.5" I-joists up on top and then 4 layers of drywall will go on top of those. The whole studio and the wall that divides the studio and salon will use about 800 sheets of 5/8 drywall. Crazy to think that's about 60,000 lbs.

I had them set up the OSB as a rim joist here because the i joists don't leave a lot to go into.

This is the complete framing detail that everything was built from. I missed about 80% of the framing with the ankle, but was glad to get back in there for the end, framing is my favorite part of a project.

Old 20th June 2019
Lives for gear
Moving onwards-

The guys soldiered on, here you can see control room two has all it's drywall. This is a complete "inside out" room with 4 layers of 5/8" with green glue and the ceiling has 4 layers on top of the inner joists. This way the 9 1/2 joist height can be filled with fluffy, and then the clouds below will make ~2' of insulation on the ceilings.

Here you can see the inside of one of the control rooms (both are identical) looking towards the back, big corner traps framed out in the wall wall and ceiling wall corners. You can also see the joists on top (and then here is 4 layers of 5/8 on top of the joists)-

Framing for the big room, the long side their against the outside of the building is an inside out wall, and so was the one to the left (east). It's a real pain in the butt with all the inspections. We build one, do one layer of rock, call for an inspection, then the next layer of rock, call for an inspection, then build the next wall, one layer of rock then call for an inspection and so on. Luckily we're able to do the north wall of booth one at the same time as the south wall of the big room, and the both east walls of booth one and the big room.

Here is the big room looking at the south wall.

And here is looking back towards the hallway.

You can see the inner joists going up in both. Here is the front booth, we're going to keep this window and add glass on the inner framing. 3 layers of 5/8 in this room. The front wall is already up there and the east wall is on the floor with 3 layers, ready to be raised.

Old 20th June 2019
Gear Maniac
Progger's Avatar
Spectacular, man! This is gonna be a glorious space, I'm loving seeing it come together. I hope recovery is coming along as swiftly and smoothly as possible!
Old 21st June 2019
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Originally Posted by Progger View Post
Spectacular, man! This is gonna be a glorious space, I'm loving seeing it come together. I hope recovery is coming along as swiftly and smoothly as possible!
Thanks man. That last post was about two months ago now, I'm back on the job now most days....It's kicking my ass and I appreciate the encouragement. I'm going to get the posts caught up to real time here soon.

Last edited by RyanC; 21st June 2019 at 08:34 AM..
Old 3rd July 2019
Lives for gear
So next we got the wall that divides the studio and the salon all framed out, and then drywalled the studio side.

You can see we also filled the webbing of the I-joists out to flush with the edges of the flanges. Once we put this drywall up on the studio side, we completely filled the stud cavities with 5 layers of 5/8 drywall to make a high mass single leaf. This way the 2nd leaf comes from the freestanding rooms. This was a lot of work, but fortunately we had a ton of scraps.

Solving the puzzle-

And a shot with Ernest putting on the final layer on the salon side. This is 7 layers of 5/8 that divide the studio from the salon-

With that done we could put up booth 2, this is the west 'inside out' wall going up. This is 4 layers of 5/8 plus framing so about 1300 lbs.

Once the wall jacks run out of stud to crank up on, they take them out and use some other studs with cross pieces screwed to them to walk it back up. I was helping at the end of this so didn't get any more footage of it going into place.

Before doing that we had already framed up the other 3 walls. Cody and Ernest making sure the header, jack and king studs are all right-

And then put them all together-

Main entrance hallway-

Then set the joists on top, spaced between the buildings joists-

And 4 layers of 5/8, all seams and corners lapped and 2 layers of GG inside.

Old 6th July 2019
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jmcecil's Avatar
Great pictures. Keep up the good work. It's going to be spectacular.
Old 7th August 2019
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Ok so the last month has been a bit of an adventure-

Our GC lost his license (will fill in more details when we get the CO ) But we never got a stop work order so progress marches on.

First we finished installing all the cavity insulation. This is an absurd amount of insulation, where the building roof is highest over the inner rooms, there is as much as R180. My inspector wanted it stuffed for fire, and I don't mind at all to absorb whatever sound is up there. Also it stays amazingly cool on hot days in there now-

We also started building baffle boxes for fresh air, these are setup to be double the cross sectional area of the ducts on either side after 2" duct liner is installed. There are 4 like this for the control rooms-

Then drill holes for the ducts to go through the walls-

This is a pain because there is a 3/4" OSB rim joist, and 3 layers of drywall. The hole saw wants to catch and it hurts with it twists. We finally got smart and put a 2' piece of metal conduit over the handle to get more leverage.

And then use some timberlocks to bolt these up going through all the drywall and into the studs. These have to be strong because there will be 4 layers of OSB/Drywall in total. With 6 timberlocks on it 2 of us can do pull-ups on there so that will do.

We also finished out all the drywall, except the cieling of booth 2, which is awaiting an inspection after the first layer before we can do the other 3. At this point I thought my 1st GC could work things out with the city, but that ultimately fell through. A little bit over 800 sheets of 5/8" in total. That's about 60,000 lbs of drywall and 25600 sf!

We also built out frames and soffits for bass traps

And got some paint, and some of the inside out insulation in-

Because the entire cavity above the inner framing is completely filled with insulation, I did a quick isolation test with a drumset and decided to cover the middle of the room, and the farthest parts from the other rooms with MLV. This will then have a small frame below which would give me the option to cover with drywall later if isolation isn't enough. But I think it will be from the test, and this way the big room can use that 2-3 feet of insulation above as a giant bass trap. I could go on about this, but I'm 99% sure this will work for us and have the option to close it up later if not.

Here is some 2lb stuff starting, this is a pain in the ass hanging it on the ceiling.

Here is what it looks like all done. We used the drywall hoist and found that if you attach it to a 2x4 first it helps a lot. That said, this job sucks and I'm not sure I would do it Everything in studio building is so damn heavy.

Speaking of heavy we also got all 6 doors hung. Oof. 4 of them are Isodoor LF's that are just shy of 400lbs, and 2 Isodoor Vs at a feathery 260lbs

Getting pretty close to being caught up to real time here, it's actually very encouraging looking over these pics and seeing how much we have gotten done. We're all getting to the point where we want to be done with this project...
Old 14th September 2019
Lives for gear
Moving on, new GC and all good there again.

Ernest and I got 95% of the framing for the salon done-

Also the baffles get the full 4 layers of drywall and or OSB, and you can see the 2" ductliner going in here-

A different one with all the layers on the top and bottom, ready for liner-

The one for the big room is like building a complicated speaker boxes, looks like a transmission line. It has 2 duct plenum layers, the face one has a cross sectional area of 25"x4" and the inner section is 8"x8".

With all the insides lined, these are ready for 4 more layers of 5/8 drywall with green glue.

Tons of caulking goes on the face before the first layer-

I also built this, which is the computer cabinet. It will have a server, 4 workstations (with HDBaseT KVM extenders and long optical TB cables to the rooms), some network switches, wifi and a minisplit AC in it.

Also got the trap framing all done for the middle booth, which will also double as a production/writing suite...soooo much insulation in here.

And we started work on a back patio-

A lot of work still to do, but it's great to see it really coming together.
Old 2nd October 2019
Lives for gear
Moving onward, we got the back patio done-

I got all these pavers off of craigslist for $200 and still have a bunch left over. They look great all cleaned up-

All the soffits are getting filled with insulation and covered with dacron. Sooooooo much insulation. Everyone is sick of installing it, myself included.

In the front booth. Over 100 bags of r38 and the same again of r13, plus another 30 bags of ultratouch.

and then cover it all up with dacron after all the linesets and ducts passed inspection

Then we got all 4 of the big poly's cleaned up, these are 7' 6" square-

And then mounted where they go-

Then the whole hallway and ceilings, bathrooms and remaining exposed drywall all get painted-

Also got this thin luan shallaced and put up in the control rooms. This will be above the clouds and serve an acoustic purpose that I'll get into when I can start tuning the rooms. We also got our first taste of the fabric track. Cool stuff but it's going to require some planning to make the most of it. Luckily everything up there will be hidden behind the clouds.

Here are the clouds hung temporarily with ratchet straps, only up about 6'6" on the bottom. They will be 8' 6" on the bottom when they are fully installed with turnbuckles.

Looks cool from below even still wrapped in seran, it's amazing to finally hang this stuff, it's been over a year since we built it-

And now we are getting the fabric track up and staring to install everything that won't touch the ground before we do the floor-

Starting to really get exciting.
Old 2nd October 2019
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Man what an epic build! Kudos. Would love to pop in when your done. :0)
Old 3rd October 2019
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Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
Man what an epic build! Kudos. Would love to pop in when your done. :0)
Of course man. You can stop by while we're still building it if you want. I'm right by Lakeside so not too far from you. PM me.
Old 3rd October 2019
Here for the gear

Those illuminated gobos are beautiful. Great idea with the built in illumination.
One newbie question: won’t the wooden parts create lots of early reflections?
Old 3rd October 2019
Lives for gear
Originally Posted by px256 View Post
Those illuminated gobos are beautiful. Great idea with the built in illumination.
One newbie question: won’t the wooden parts create lots of early reflections?

All the clouds/panels/gobos that have the slats will be positioned so they are reflecting away from the listening position or so the speaker directivity will minimize the amount of sound from the speakers that's hitting the slats. The 4x8 wood panels are above the clouds there- the purpose of that is going to require a bit of a lengthy explanation that I'll get into when I can post measurements.

But also the widest slats are 8" so reflecting only ~1.7kHz and above. Worse case scenario if there does end up being some ERs from them, those frequencies can be treated easily.

My main speakers have very controlled directivity from the Schroeder freq all the way up as well so there is much less sound going to the sides and off axis in general compared to typical direct radiating types.

In the control rooms the purpose is to have pleasing reflections for talking and self noises, the capability to make sure that HF decay times aren't too short, but still have very minimal ERs.
Old 3rd October 2019
Here for the gear

Cool, thanks for the explanation.
Old 25th October 2019
Lives for gear
So basically a few weeks of putting up track and fabric. This is something that I should have planned better. What I thought was "I'll just use that fabric track to get a nice tidy look"...what I didn't realize is that the track isn't strong enough to put in anywhere. It needs to be on a stud/joist, or have some sort of plywood/osb backing so that you can jam the fabric in there without it bending all over the place.

So basically we have a few weeks of trimming and staining doors, as well as putting up a bunch of plywood backers for the track and learning on the job the best ways to get it in there. If I could do this over, with planning the framing could have been made to be more symmetrical or layed out for the track in the first place.

Anyway, it looks pretty nice. You can see some little spots here and there that will need attention. Some of the rooms will have some additional clouds that will cover those and some we will just come back to and play with other methods to trim/cover those spots.

Hard to see in my iphone 6 photos here, but it looks nice in person-

starting in the big room. These huge panels are a pain, you can see the plywood backer on the edges-

Moving along-

A lot of the corner traps aren't the same shape/size, luckily the fabric is stretchy and with some experimenting we're able to get it to look nice-

Getting there, this is all Class A fire rated fabric by the way-

We also got all the doors trimmed out and stained-

Nick getting the track up in the booth 2/flex room-

CR2, we're leaving the bottom run of fabric out until after expoxy floors are done. The cloud here will ultimately be hung about 6" below the ceiling (the cieling there is inside out, 12" of insulation with 4 layers of 5/8 plus GG above the I joists). That cloud is also 12" tall, so 24" of insulation total (and actually another 24" above the CR filling the building joists).

My 26" converted marching kick has survived the entire ride from the very beginning. I brought it over early on to hear some inside/outside tests and it has stayed the whole way through...

Mech guys getting the ERV's installed. Each unit starts with 120cfm, which at our altitude is ~140. The duct silencers have a lot of static pressure, but there is a lot of fresh air coming into the rooms. We haven't gotten out Frank's (mech contractor) anemometer yet, but ultimately I intended use a CO2 meter with a few people doing jumping jacks in the room to set the airflow. In the middle of the pic you can see an inline iris damper. These are on the return side. My plan is to close those down until the rooms are balanced and have sufficient air as determined by the CO2 meter- this way the rooms are as positively balanced as possible.

From a different angle, I love the look of all the small ducts and will leave this in the hallways/lounge areas. You can see the two ERVs on the left-

Booth 2/flex room almost done-

Ernest and I also had to move the toilet flange in the salon bathroom. Totally my mistake- when framing, I saw an opportunity to correct something stupid that the architect had done in making the whole place asymmetrical. Didn't even think about the toilet plumbing under the slab . If I ever do something like this again, I'm going to ask the city if I can just bring a BBQ into their office and set 10k worth of cash on fire instead of hiring an architect. At least that way it will keep somebody warm for a couple minutes...I'm still mind boggled that someone can use a (my!) laser measure and then draw up plans that are off by 18".

Anyway we got it fixed.

It's cathartic in a way to post these, it feels like we aren't going fast enough especially because the city and our insurance are both starting to give us a hard time about this taking too long. This is extremely frustrating. The city gave me a short permit extension because "they have had to do too many inspections already" which is infuriating when a random inspector whose only been to the building twice made the call that every layer of drywall needed to be inspected! This cost us a lot of time on the project, and is the sole reason why we've had 40 damn inspections so far...

Anyway the updates make me realize that we are going just about as fast as is possible here- we're already working on top of each other...Also our insurance is giving us 60 days to have MEP and drywall done in the salon- which isn't likely. So that should be interesting. Apparently you have to occupy 70% of a building for owner/oc policies, and the ~65% of the studio isn't close enough- so we have to have a vacant building policy which is obnoxious when I'm there every day, and we live across the street.

In any case, it feels good to post these and see how much has been done in the last few weeks.
Old 25th October 2019
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bitman's Avatar
Looks like the real deal. And in Denver too. wow.

Do you expect ROI in 2019 and beyond?
Old 25th October 2019
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Originally Posted by bitman View Post
Looks like the real deal. And in Denver too. wow.

Originally Posted by bitman View Post
Do you expect ROI in 2019 and beyond?

Well, no, not strictly speaking at least- this is expensive! We've been saving for a long time to do this, and will have some construction debt. That said the business is currently profitable (the salon too), there will not be any equipment that needs to be financed to be operable (in fact I have stuff I can sell), and there won't be any need for major expenses to at least continue current operations.

That said, in terms of taxes and in a general practical sense, the expenses of this construction are depreciated over a 15yr lease term. My wife and I have an LLC that owns the building, and are/will-be leasing it back to ourselves at market rates. Both businesses will HAVE to be profitable relative to market rates for as long as they are running, as we both intend to do valuations and offer some form of profit sharing or limited partnerships to the people who work with us. In any case, the studio business will show a profit over expenses in '19 as it has for 15+ years now.

In a broad sense, this is possible primarily because of not expecting to make a living recording bands. We do all kinds of stuff- play, produce, write, record, mix master, teach, VO, boutique rehearsal space etc. Revenue from production fees, royalties, space rental, playing and intend to extend into live in studio video and so on. I've been doing music full time for 21 years...and haven't had to have any side gigs for 17. This studio will be capable of running 4 sessions at once, or combined into one large session, or many other variations. So fairly different then a typical studio design. It will allow us to keep costs down, stay busy with a lot of people working and keep the lights on. As-is, if I pay myself a reasonable market cost for operations management, the business would show little to no profit. So revenue will have to get up for the business to actually have something left over...

So I guess it depends on how you view that. Both the studio and the salon would be closed and the space repurposed or sold before we would be able to run either at at ongoing loss.
Old 25th October 2019
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bitman's Avatar
Super. When I come down the hill someday, I'll have to come visit. Btw. Just this morning a B3 and 122 leslie just came up for sale in Buena Vista. It was on the One man's junk Summit County facebook group. 5K they want. Just sayin.
Old 25th October 2019
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Originally Posted by bitman View Post
Super. When I come down the hill someday, I'll have to come visit. Btw. Just this morning a B3 and 122 leslie just came up for sale in Buena Vista. It was on the One man's junk Summit County facebook group. 5K they want. Just sayin.
Nice, I actually have a C2 and 147 that I got cheap and never got fully working. I'm going to weigh my options on that moving forward- at this point I'd almost rather have just a leslie with a preamp that can accept any input...clonewheels have gotten pretty dang good for the actual organ part. The leslie- in a nice room, to me, is the part of that equation that still hasn't and probably won't ever get fully emulated. We'll see though. Not looking forward to moving that beast!
Old 3 weeks ago
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Moving on,

I decided to close up the front booth window. The original plan was to add a thick piece of glass to the inner leaf, but this wasn't going to be cheap and at this point I want to move things along. We can always come back and put the window in later.

We also got all the indoor split units mounted up, at this point our hvac guy is starting to flake out. Ultimately, after way too many no-call no-shows we end up replacing him...

Next we start grinding the floor, here's Josh, one of the engineers taking a turn-

There is a whole bunch of old carpet adhesive, so this takes way longer than I was hoping. I ended up pulling a drum throne out, and sitting there till 2 in morning two nights in a row with the rented grinder. We tried all kinds of chemicals and the only thing that worked using a carbide disc to slowly bust up the mastic, and then the diamond one to finish it. I had to mastic clean gunk off the diamond head at least 10-15 times. Fun times-

These smaller bits of mastic are in low spots on the floor, we had to get these out with a 4" cup grinder-

With that complete it's time for a 2 part epoxy primer. Pretty easy to do, just rolling it out.

With that done it's time for the metallic epoxy floor. Mixing the first of 12 buckets here-

Then we pour. I didn't get a ton of pictures, my job was mixing and pouring out the silver accent colors and it all goes pretty quick because it has a 20 min pot life-

Little bit of a messy operation. The spiked shoes do not get great traction while we pour, I'm really glad nobody went down in the epoxy! Nick here mixing it up-

With the floor all done we're doing trim and hanging up the panels, the front booth is almost complete...

Old 3 weeks ago
Lives for gear
If it's exciting to check your pics, it must be way more so to be there! Sail on, sail on, sailor!
Old 1 week ago
Lives for Jesus
stevep's Avatar
looking great ! keep up the good work ! I know how hard it is and is that you cant wait to start using the studio
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