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Home Recording Studio - Start to Finish
Old 26th September 2020
  #1
Home Recording Studio - Start to Finish


The Goal

This project has been something I've dreamed of for a very long time. The primary goal is to provide myself with an adequate recording, editing, mixing and mastering space within my home in order to start charging clients. I've provided allot of free work over the years and feel it is about time I start taking my hobby more serious and hopefully turn it into a career, or at least a side hustle . There is only one commercial studio in my area - I wouldn't really consider them my competition, however, as their clients are more than likely not going to come to me. That being said, after doing some research I do believe there is a niche market of musicians I can tap into. Below are my desired rates, for now (in $AUD):
  • Recording
    • $35 per hour
    • $120 for 4 hours (save $20)
    • $200 for 8 hours (save $80)
  • Mixing & Mastering
    • $100 per mix, depending on project size.
    • $50-70 per master, I'm no mastering engineer.

The Budget

For this project, I have a budget of roughly $10,000-13,000 AUD. This price includes hardware, software, treatment, microphones, DIs, cables, etc. The whole lot. I more than likely will pour more money into it as the business progresses and I start making some money - otherwise, I can't fathom spending lots of money on amazing branded gear such as Neve and SSL.



The Gear
Bold items have been acquired.
  • Computing & Interfacing
    • Intel NUC 10 - i7 10th Gen
    • Crucial 32GB DDR4-2666 SODIMM
    • Crucial MX500 250GB 3D NAND SATA 2.5 inch (for OS and PT)
    • Crucial P2 1TB PCIe M.2 2280SS SSD (for recording, samples, etc)
    • Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Gen 3 USB Audio Interface
    • Focusrite Scarlett OctoPre Dynamic 8-Ch Mic Pre
  • Acoustic Treatment & Furnishing - DONE
    • Naked Marcato 88 Large Desk, MDF, Black
    • Black 2-seater couch
    • 22 Acoustic Panel Frames (2 bass traps, 8 standard, 12 scatter boxes)
    • Martini Absorb HD 25mm Insulation, 3 meters
    • Martini Absorb HD 50mm Insulation, 7-8 meters
    • Cotton Chino Drill Fabric, Black, 12 meters
  • Monitoring and Isolation
    • Yamaha HS5 5" Active Studio Monitors (Pair)
    • 1 x sE Electronics Reflection Filter Pro Portable Vocal Booth
    • 1 x sE Electronics SE-Pop Microphone Metal Pop Filter
    • Headphones for tracking and mixing, not sure what I'll get yet.
  • Outboard Gear
    • ART PB4x4 Power Base 8 Way Power Conditioner
    • ART P16 16 Channel XLR Balanced Patch Bay
    • Klark Teknik 1176-KT Classic FET-style Compressor
    • IGS 576 Blue Stripe
    • Rupert Neve Designs 551 500 Series Inductor EQ
    • 2 x Golden Age EQ573
    • 2 x Golden Age Project PRE-573 Premier
  • Microphones and DIs
    • AKG P420 - LDC
    • Obviously the classics, MD421s, SM57s, SM7B, etc, just still working it out
  • Misc
    • Cables, etc
    • Rack Panels
    • Insurance


Photos

The Proposed Design











Acoustic Treatment











Studio Desk

I'm painting this one myself, quick pointer, don't use spray paint on MDF, here is the result of that:



Anyways, I went with some acrylic paint, 2 layers of undercoat, and 2-3 layers of overcoat:









Old 27th September 2020
  #2
Just purchase the Intel NUC, I should receive sometime next week
Old 27th September 2020
  #3
I'll also be contacting a distributor to buy insulation for the acoustic panels - Unfortunately it seems I cannot purchase the 25mm variant as it's a commercial grade product and is made to order in a much larger quantity (housing and commercial buildings, I can only assume).

As a result, I might have to either squish more 50mm insulation into the scatter boxes or cut it to fit.
Old 28th September 2020
  #4
I have contacted the insulation distributor and the correct size and dimensions of insulation is on it's way

Things are finally starting to come together, now all I need is some studio monitors and the rest of the PC parts to be "open for business" - for mixing and mastering, at least.
Old 30th September 2020
  #5
The Intel NUC has arrived . Just gotta slap 32GB of ram and two SSDs in it and it'll be as good as golden.
Attached Thumbnails
Home Recording Studio - Start to Finish-nuc.jpg  
Old 1st October 2020
  #6
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
nice project.

but very square room! have you made any acoustic simulations ?
Old 1st October 2020
  #7
Gear Addict
 
Behringer ADA8200 is a good Adat expansion for a reasonable price.
Last year I bought a NUC I7 and I decided to make it fanless.
If the fan is too loud for you, Akasa make some good ones;
http://www.akasa.com.tw/update.php?t...el=A-NUC52-M1B
Old 3rd October 2020 | Show parent
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by ceve View Post
nice project.

but very square room! have you made any acoustic simulations ?
Not as of yet, that is something I'm going to do though
Old 3rd October 2020 | Show parent
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by willem1958 View Post
Behringer ADA8200 is a good Adat expansion for a reasonable price.
Last year I bought a NUC I7 and I decided to make it fanless.
If the fan is too loud for you, Akasa make some good ones;
http://www.akasa.com.tw/update.php?t...el=A-NUC52-M1B
The Akasa is something on my list, dunno how I missed posting that.

The Behringer pres on that unit aren't half bad! However, I'm hoping to get something like an RME or maybe the OctoPre, not sure yet though.
Old 3rd October 2020 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Addict
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mat_down_under View Post
The Akasa is something on my list, dunno how I missed posting that.
If you gonna built a fanless case you gonna need external antennas plus the extra cables inside of the case because of the pure metal case otherwise your wifi won't work.
I had the last model before this case and there were no external antenna's included.

http://www.akasa.com.tw/update.php?t...%20Accessories
Old 7th October 2020
  #11
Lives for gear
 
hello people's Avatar
Any comments about the Martini Absorb stuff?
Old 8th October 2020 | Show parent
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by hello people View Post
Any comments about the Martini Absorb stuff?
I still have to set it up, looking back on it I probably should've got a little thicker (maybe 75-100mm) for the bass traps - but I can always just glue some to the back of the panels as no one will see it . However, for the smaller panels and scatter boxes I'd say they will do just fine. I haven't finished them all yet, that's why I haven't posted any photos. However, I did place the ones I have finished so far in the room (not hung, yet) and there definitely was a noticeable difference for the few that I put in there.

The material seems easy to cut, the thicker 50mm is a little harder and requires a Stanley Knife to get the job done. When placing them in the room, I was happy that I was forced into buying an 8 meter roll of the 50mm stuff, as I think I'll probably need some for the ceilings in the corners of the room to reduce some every so annoying flutter echo.

In regards to allergies and asthma, I'm perfectly fine around it, when it's not being cut, that being said, 99.99% of other people would be perfectly fine cutting it without a mask. It's perfectly fine to touch, no itching or scratching, which is nice. I mostly went with the Martini Absorb because of all the horror stories on GS . It was also concerning to me that the only safety data I could source came from companies that stood to make a profit from selling fiberglass. I figured, the polyester stuff is safer anyways, so as long as I'm weary of it's absorption qualities I would be fine

It was hell for a while trying to source it, the manufacturers referred me to two or three distributors, each of them had to call me back after contacting the manufacturers just to tell me that the manufacturers wouldn't make such a small amount for me. This happened with a bunch of places until finally I found ACT Foam & Rubber, which were extremely helpful, from the ACT the product shipped to Victoria in what seemed like record time, something like 2-3 days, by freight.

I was able to purchase 8 meters of 50mm and 3 meters of 25mm for a total of $340, including shipping. So, it's a hefty price when compared to fiberglass. But you can't put a price of safety. The last thing I wanted was to get fiberglass, only to be constantly paranoid that my lungs were being destroyed. After all, I plan on spending allot of time in this space once it's all done.
Old 8th October 2020 | Show parent
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by willem1958 View Post
If you gonna built a fanless case you gonna need external antennas plus the extra cables inside of the case because of the pure metal case otherwise your wifi won't work.
I had the last model before this case and there were no external antenna's included.

http://www.akasa.com.tw/update.php?t...%20Accessories
I'll look into it - I might just end up connecting via Ethernet to save some cash.
Old 8th October 2020 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
hello people's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mat_down_under View Post
I still have to set it up, looking back on it I probably should've got a little thicker (maybe 75-100mm) for the bass traps - but I can always just glue some to the back of the panels as no one will see it . However, for the smaller panels and scatter boxes I'd say they will do just fine. I haven't finished them all yet, that's why I haven't posted any photos. However, I did place the ones I have finished so far in the room (not hung, yet) and there definitely was a noticeable difference for the few that I put in there.

The material seems easy to cut, the thicker 50mm is a little harder and requires a Stanley Knife to get the job done. When placing them in the room, I was happy that I was forced into buying an 8 meter roll of the 50mm stuff, as I think I'll probably need some for the ceilings in the corners of the room to reduce some every so annoying flutter echo.

In regards to allergies and asthma, I'm perfectly fine around it, when it's not being cut, that being said, 99.99% of other people would be perfectly fine cutting it without a mask. It's perfectly fine to touch, no itching or scratching, which is nice. I mostly went with the Martini Absorb because of all the horror stories on GS . It was also concerning to me that the only safety data I could source came from companies that stood to make a profit from selling fiberglass. I figured, the polyester stuff is safer anyways, so as long as I'm weary of it's absorption qualities I would be fine

It was hell for a while trying to source it, the manufacturers referred me to two or three distributors, each of them had to call me back after contacting the manufacturers just to tell me that the manufacturers wouldn't make such a small amount for me. This happened with a bunch of places until finally I found ACT Foam & Rubber, which were extremely helpful, from the ACT the product shipped to Victoria in what seemed like record time, something like 2-3 days, by freight.

I was able to purchase 8 meters of 50mm and 3 meters of 25mm for a total of $340, including shipping. So, it's a hefty price when compared to fiberglass. But you can't put a price of safety. The last thing I wanted was to get fiberglass, only to be constantly paranoid that my lungs were being destroyed. After all, I plan on spending allot of time in this space once it's all done.
Nice. I'm in Brisbane...one mob I spoke to wants me to buy a minimum of $1000 worth. Might give your ACT outfit a try.
Old 10th October 2020
  #15
Just ordered the 32GBs of RAM for the NUC! Turns out I already have an SSD that'll fit the NUC, 250GB, so I'll use that for the OS and Pro Tools .

I also got a pop filter, 'cause, why not :lol.
Old 11th October 2020
  #16
Here are some photos of the acoustic panels, just slowly cutting the insulation and wrapping them. I have plenty of time while everything else arrives, so no rush.

The photos here don't really give the panels justice, they are extremely black, the edges are fairly nice, also.
Attached Thumbnails
Home Recording Studio - Start to Finish-20201012_004827.jpg   Home Recording Studio - Start to Finish-20201012_004849.jpg  
Old 13th October 2020 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
hello people's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mat_down_under View Post
Here are some photos of the acoustic panels, just slowly cutting the insulation and wrapping them. I have plenty of time while everything else arrives, so no rush.

The photos here don't really give the panels justice, they are extremely black, the edges are fairly nice, also.
Is that the Martini Absorb? The ACT outfit quoted me: Martini Absorb 6mx1200mmx75mm Roll for $198 + $88 freight. Is that enough to cover a single corner bass trap wise?
Old 15th October 2020 | Show parent
  #18
Yes definitely, you'll have a heap left over depending on the size of your bass traps. The panels I'm showing are wrapped in fabric, but yeah it's basically the same product but I opted for the 50mm thickness as I knew I'd have left overs and can always make thicker panels adn overlap the insulation.
Old 15th October 2020
  #19
Quick update, I've setup the PC now, it runs ridiculously fast! It's only really good for audio work though because there's no GPU, however, I did use OpenShot to speed up the video below, at the lowest quality because I'm impatient.

I ran out of Command Strips to hang the others on the walls, so I'll have to do those once I get paid.

Old 19th October 2020
  #20
Just a little update on hanging the acoustic panels. Although there's no damage to the wall, hanging them with Command Strips is quite expenses










I'm not sure what should I do about the curtains and window since I can't do anything construction wise as I'm in a rental. Would the thick heavy curtains be enough to help, or should I look for something more specialized?
Old 21st October 2020
  #21
Here for the gear
I used some blackout curtains in my live room. they most definitely made a huge difference.
Old 21st October 2020
  #22
Gear Head
 
I have a window in my home studio; what I did was build an OC703 box that slides into the window very tightly with a neoprene gasket so I can remove it if needed to meet fire code of having a window exit. Hidden by the curtain. Helps reduce sound transmission and based on it's position is also providing a RFZ at the side of the desk
Old 31st October 2020
  #23
Lives for gear
 
hello people's Avatar
My Martini Absorb HD 75mm stuff turned up the other day and I've cut it into panel sizes. I'll end up with 5x sets of 75mm width in a frame. Basically, 400mm deep.

Nice stuff to work with. Not really sure about its ability to trap low frequencies with great success.

Anyway, see what happens.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #24
Had a bit of a break from this project as I had to focus on some personal stuff, as well as Christmas, etc. Anyways, ending up getting some tracking headphones, just went with the HD280 Pro's.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
hello people's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mat_down_under View Post
Had a bit of a break from this project as I had to focus on some personal stuff, as well as Christmas, etc. Anyways, ending up getting some tracking headphones, just went with the HD280 Pro's.
Tell us what you think of them. I've always found mind very boxy and kind of honky. Mind you, usually I throw them on at some stage in the middle of a mix...after my monitors and main headphones and other headphones sound "OK"...the 280's make me want to give up and become a model plane builder or something.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #26
That sounds about right haha.

In comparison to the high-end headphones you might use for touching up stuff in a mix - they sound quite boxy. But I think they do fine for monitoring purposes.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #27
Still waiting on some stuff to be shipped over, kinda forgot what I've bought haha. However, I did buy some Adam T5V monitors, looking forward to giving them a go.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
hello people's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mat_down_under View Post
That sounds about right haha.

In comparison to the high-end headphones you might use for touching up stuff in a mix - they sound quite boxy. But I think they do fine for monitoring purposes.
My main tracking headphones broke recently and while I was waiting for them to get fixed I tried the 280's as tracking cans...but they squeak like crazy. Every slight movement and they squeak like hell.

Weird!
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