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Our New Studio Build in Calgary, Canada... Yet another photo thread!
Old 15th July 2007
  #1
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Matthew Murray's Avatar
 

Our New Studio Build in Calgary, Canada... Yet another photo thread!

Hey all. The time has finally come for us to dive in and build a proper room to house all of the toys you gearslutz tricked us into buying. Inspired by the threads by Seti and Dave et al, we figured we might as well put up photos as we go, for your amusement.

There is a twist with our project. We have a tiny budget, some would say an impossible budget. And no, we're not embarrassed to say so. I know there are lots of people on the board that will scoff at our attempt, but the point of this thread is to prove, in a way, that it *is* possible to build a sexy, functional midsize project studio without spending a fortune. And considering the way the industry is going, more people are being forced to think this way.

Now, this is by no means a bedroom operation. All of our gear is top notch and we have every intention of making this place sound really nice. Our floorplan includes a midsize drum booth, live room area, control room and a tiny lounge/kitchen/bathroom area.

We simply have no illusions about the risks involved in dropping hundreds of thousands on the best building materials, the biggest spaces, and professional acousticians and contractors. These days, it's just too risky to invest that much in a top-of-the-line space.

So our approach is this:
  • Do all the labour ourselves.
  • Find unusual deals on lumber, drywall, flooring, etc.
  • Be creative with making use of the curious little space we've leased.
  • Come out with an inspiring, studio-alicious atmosphere, with above-average sound proofing, and above-average sound qualities.

Are we crazy? Maybe. Are we doomed? Nah. What's the worst that can happen?

We'd love to hear your comments and even suggestions as we go -- though please, try to refrain from making light of our choice in materials and approach. We've spent a lot of time deciding what was most important and making sacrifices where we had to.

Without further ado, I'll post up some "before" shots of the space before we touched it, and some "prep" shots too. I hope someone finds this half-interesting!
Old 15th July 2007
  #2
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Matthew Murray's Avatar
 

The Space, before we touched it.

The unassuming exterior...


The unassuming interior...



Old 15th July 2007
  #3
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Matthew Murray's Avatar
 

Prep Work...

There was some reggae concert hall in this space before we took over the lease... this was the stage. And this is my business partner Jeff, dismantling it.



Jeff, ripping down walls. He got the first one down by himself, steroids I guess. But I had to put the camera down and actually help the other ones come down.








That area will one day be a control room.... one day....
Old 15th July 2007
  #4
Lives for Jesus
 
stevep's Avatar
Sweet !

Break out the sledge Hammers and Sawzall



Keep us posted



.
Old 15th July 2007
  #5
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And the materials begin to make their appearances..

Yesterday we were hauling all of those old walls to the dump, and then hauling some of the new materials across town to the build-out, all in 32 degree heat. To make matters worse, I had a throwing-up disease. But it's all here now.



We have to go back to our other jobs for a little while now, but hopefully soon the walls will start going up. Stay..uh..tuned.
Old 15th July 2007
  #6
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stevep's Avatar
Those ceilings look nice and Tall ! i hope you will keep as much height as you can

Sound proofing is way overrated if it takes up 3 ft of your live room..


1/2 kidding



.
Old 15th July 2007
  #7
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Matthew Murray's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevep View Post
Sweet !
Break out the sledge Hammers and Sawzall
Keep us posted
.
Hey Steve,
Thanks man :-) Your build was really inspiring to watch!! It was you, Seti and Dave that had us dreaming this up. Thanks for the well wishings...
M
Old 15th July 2007
  #8
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Matthew Murray's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevep View Post
Those ceilings look nice and Tall ! i hope you will keep as much height as you can
Sound proofing is way overrated if it takes up 3 ft of your live room..

1/2 kidding
.
Yes, it's a natural slope and it goes from 16 feet at the front up to 20 feet at the back. We're going to build the walls right up to the ceiling. Except in the control room of course, where we'll build a new sloped ceiling that starts around 10 feet in the front, and ends up around 15 feet in the back, or so. We're still working out the exact numbers for the control room ceiling bit...
Old 15th July 2007
  #9
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stevep's Avatar
Are you able to keep the live room in the 20' end ?


Here is a link to Modecalc its a easy room mode calculator

RealTraps - ModeCalc


.
Old 15th July 2007
  #10
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Unfortunately no. I think it's actually more slight than that -- I think it starts around 17 feet and gets to about 19 feet. But we have to use the front half for the live room so that we can retain some of the stuff going on in the back... to ... cut ... costs ;-)
Thanks for that calculator link, very cool.
Old 15th July 2007
  #11
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rainsinvelvet's Avatar
I love these threads. I can't wait to follow your progress and cheer you on here in cyber space!

Looks pretty decent sized already. Keep the posts coming.thumbsup thumbsup

ERic
Old 15th July 2007
  #12
Lives for gear
Is that Dri-Core subflooring? I just installed that in my space and decided to leave it unfinished/uncovered. It has a cool "organic" look, and actually sounds pretty nice as well.
Old 15th July 2007
  #13
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peat's Avatar
looks like you have a fantastic space to work with there
cant wait to watch the progress of your studio
Old 15th July 2007
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
theflyest1's Avatar
 

Thanks for sharing with us Matthew! You're right about the mindset of studio engineers/owners changing these days. Look forward to cheering your progress! thumbsup

-Lohit
Old 15th July 2007
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoorGlory View Post
Is that Dri-Core subflooring? I just installed that in my space and decided to leave it unfinished/uncovered. It has a cool "organic" look, and actually sounds pretty nice as well.
PoorGlory -- Yes, it's subfloor. I know what you mean about the organic look -- we definitely thought about doing that! We're really excited to see what it does for sound too. We knew we couldn't build custom floating floors throughout the entire place, so this stuff looked like the best option. leaves a nice air gap under the floors. You've piqued my curiosity when you say it sounds really good too. I think the big reason we weren't going to leave it as the flooring was because we were worried about people slivering on it -- plus, the aesthetic of the hardwood we got is something we're really looking forward to...

Thanks all for the cheering on!
Old 15th July 2007
  #16
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As an added note in the "how to keep your studio cost effective" department, take the subfloor we were just talking about. It was going to cost us around $1400 to buy that much from Home Depot. With a little dumb luck in the classifieds, we found the exact amount we needed, in tip top shape, and got the whole lot for $350.

And that's how you keep costs down. Browse the classifieds well, my friends!!
Old 15th July 2007
  #17
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Cojo's Avatar
 

YES!!! Another studio build! I love these threads!

Good luck to you!
Old 15th July 2007
  #18
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lpkyer's Avatar
 

more pics :D
Old 15th July 2007
  #19
Cool thread cool space!
Old 15th July 2007
  #20
Gear Nut
 
phil's Avatar
 

good Luck!!!

Old 15th July 2007
  #21
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Murray View Post
PoorGlory -- Yes, it's subfloor. I know what you mean about the organic look -- we definitely thought about doing that! We're really excited to see what it does for sound too. We knew we couldn't build custom floating floors throughout the entire place, so this stuff looked like the best option. leaves a nice air gap under the floors. You've piqued my curiosity when you say it sounds really good too. I think the big reason we weren't going to leave it as the flooring was because we were worried about people slivering on it -- plus, the aesthetic of the hardwood we got is something we're really looking forward to...

Thanks all for the cheering on!
Slivers have not been an issue, as the top of these are treated pretty heavily with some kind of sealant. I know what you mean about the cost though... I think I spent about 700 bucks for what I needed, but ir was worth it. My space is in a basement, and the temperature and moisture isolation from the concrete floor made it the best solution. Drums sound great in my room now, due largely I think to the floor. Certainly not the best you can aim for, but definately better than concrete or carpet. The one drawback I've noticed to having them be the actual floor surface is they are a bitch to clean (drywall dust, other construction filth) due to their non-uniform surface. I'll grab some pics and post them at some point.
Old 15th July 2007
  #22
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Versatile255's Avatar
 

id like to see pics of progress as it goes on.
Old 20th July 2007
  #23
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Matthew Murray's Avatar
 

Lumber King is a good name for a wood company.


Loading up the wood.



Framing the front of the control room with some wood.






That big space in the front is for the first of two layers of sliding doors. We also decided last minute to leave space for a window in the corner piece which was about to go up in that last shot.

I had to take off once we got the front face up, but apparently much more progress was made after I took off and was replaced by a much handier friend, so I'll go snap some more shots of where we're at sometime this weekend.
Old 21st July 2007
  #24
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Matthew,

Great thread! A word of advice on the sliding glass doors and that window you mentioned...it will eat floor space and lumber (not trying to spend your cash ), but if possible, build a double-thick stud wall and offset one wall with the other. Often, you will see them at acute angles where the area where the doors open and closes is the tight part of the angle and it widens out from there. Use the big void in the other part of the wedge-wall for heavy trapping (for you that looks like maybe only 18" or so, but you can still load it with 703 top to bottom and cover it with fabric.

On the windows, I bought some replacement vinyl frame double-pane sashes from a window suppier for like $20 each. If you can buy two of the same size (four panes in all), make sure you shift both at angles in the wall (a furred out or 2x6 wall is a big help) creating a "V" if you will. Pain to trim out, but worth it.

Can't wait to see more pics.
Old 21st July 2007
  #25
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stevep's Avatar
More Pics more Pics !hehheh

Looking good guys!



.
Old 21st July 2007
  #26
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swisha31's Avatar
yeah man thats a nice space. looks like its gradually coming along. i didnt really read the post to see what you were putting in the space so here goes........

what consoles are you looking at getting plus the outboard gear?
Old 21st July 2007
  #27
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Bamm -- thanks for that advice. I'm going to run it by the brains of the operation and see how he interprets it. I may have more questions for you after that, if you'd be willing to answer.

And thanks for the encouragement guys. It is a nice space -- it's going to be a bit on the small side of what we wanted for both the control and the live area, but really, it's all about sacrifices at this point, and there's nothing wrong with intimate.

As for the question about gear -- we've actually already got everything we'll be using, at least to start with. We've decided against consoles for now, and simply have a nice big fat Mackie Control at our fingertips with a few extenders.

A partial list of gear that we've already got on hand:

Pres

• Phoenix DRS-2
• (2) Chandler LTD-1's
• Chandler Germanium
• Chandler TG2
• API 3124+
• A-Designs MP2A

Compressors

• Thermionic Phoenix
• Chandler TG1
• Tubetech CL1-B
• Distressor
• (2) Purple MC77's

EQ

• Great River EQ2NV
• Chandler Germanium Tone Control

Other Fun

• Barefoot Micromain MM27's
• Apogee AD-16x
• Apogee DA-16x
• Phoenix Nicerizer 16
• Apogee Symphony
• Crane Song Avocet
• Mackie Control + Extenders
• UAD-1's with most plugs
• Wunder CM7
• AEA R84
• Gefell M300 Stereo Pair
• All the staple Mics (ie. 57's, 421's, etc)

Of course we'll be expanding in the future, but we knew that at this point, with our gear at this level, we needed to focus on a proper space first. And we can do great, solid projects with gear like this, although still not quite enough EQ/compression to do mixes in real time... limitations in numbers of channels just make us work harder and feeds our creativity.

Anyways, back to the room!! I'll try to get an up to date set of pics for the end of the weekend, sounds like the whole control room is nearly framed at this point, including a sloped ceiling that starts around 11 feet high and ends up at 15 feet in the back!!
Old 23rd July 2007
  #28
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The control room is nearly completely framed -- we just have to slap the wood into the brackets for the ceiling. Note the fun slope. It's fun when you start to see the shape of rooms appear out of nowhere like this....




Old 7th August 2007
  #29
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So the remaining walls have been put up around the live room. All that's left is the remaining 4-6 feet at the top of the 12 foot frame to bring it up to the slope of the ceiling. You'll see we've also built the second face in front of the control room where the second sliding door will go, to provide for separation from the live room and the control room.

We've also forgone our original plan of building an drum room inside the live area. We realized that the area was too small for such a thing, and we feel it's going to be a much more useful, much better sounding space if it's one giant room with really high ceilings, hardwood floors, all of that fun stuff. So instead we're building an iso booth in an adjacent room that was going to be the lounge, and building a little loft above the bathroom and making that a lounge instead. We can use the iso booth to isolate guitar amps and things when tracking drums in the live room, and as a vocal booth.

Anyways, here's some of the most recent pictures!










Old 29th August 2007
  #30
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Haven't really been doing regular updates as it didn't seem there was much interest at this point .. but here's the latest batch.

The frame around the main doors into the studio...



The frame now meets with the ceiling! Framing is now complete...







The riser at the back of the control room that will house the couch.





We decided to put an isolation booth behind the live room, along with a window into it from the control room.



Jeff surprised us and built a "loft" area to act as a lounge, now that the isolation booth has taken up the original location for it.



Building tree-house-ish, atticky, steep little stairs going up to the lounge area. We'll be putting railings all the way around.



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