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Building a Mastering Studio for $50k Pt5a
Old 14th January 2008
Gear Head

Building a Mastering Studio for $50k Pt5a

Don't know what happened to the blog section of this site, but all my previous postsseem to have been taken out. Well, if you missed them, go to and check it out... So here is part 5a and ptb will have more photos...

A month later and a lot of work, delays, and MONEY! Will this studio actually cost less than $50k? I am beginning to have my doubts as I run out of funds, time and patience. Luckily (or perhaps unlucky), the holidays gave distraction, but then there was the inevitable, “so how is the studio coming along?” at EVERY party. Nothing like trying to find excuses as to why you are not having that “Holiday/Opening Party” at the studio you were hoping for… Well, who ever heard of actually finishing a project on time has never started one. Lets go over the details of four weeks:

You can see that the primer and paint has been done. It is the one thing I CAN do. I went for a fairly neutral color scheme except for the front wall – I like the color as it reminds me of my Orbea and the Dynastar Mythics- what I would much rather be doing than working. The flooring is Ecotimber Bamboo in natural satin finish. As you can see we kept the isolation from the wall by leaving spacers in place during installation. Again, no vibration transferred from floor to walls. What I like about the floor is comfort. You don’t realize how hard a concrete floor is on your feet until you stand all day on it, and then have a floating floor under you. Once the floor was laid in, we needed to get the staircase up. I was looking for the smallest footprint I could find so as not to take up valuable space and minimize sound reflection. Spiral was my first thought but contrary to theory, the need for headroom makes placement in a confined space limited. It was just not feasible and the cost is high. What I needed was something I had seen many times in Europe – narrow and steep (Amsterdam Hostels anyone?). My answer came by the name Arke`. An Italian design, built in Connecticut. Elegant, modular, and at two-thirds the cost of spiral with railing, it is a real head turner and everyone in the building wanted a peak. Once installed, I felt like I was back in the old country. Just be sure to start your climb or descent with the correct foot! I have a sculpture from my old studio created by an artist friend of mine and it is ironic how her piece and the stairs will be harmonious.

Finally it was time to make this place LOOK like a studio. We had done a lot of hidden necessities for the sound, but now it was time for the main rear diffuser wall. As you recall from a previous post, I was able to “purchase” an entire studio of acoustical treatment from the now defunct Sony Music Studios in NYC. Well, after a brief stint of storage, they came out and were brought to their new home. Not so fast! First there was more “hidden” work to be done. You can see that the loft area flooring is open and then we decided to close it up with sheet rock. Yes, we created a perfect 7x8x12 cube on two levels in the back of the room. Absolutely one of the worse things you can probably do in a studio – mega bass build up! I am willing to and this is why… We filled the joists with tons of wool insulation. This will keep any vibrations from occurring in the loft floor. Then we covered the bottom with sheetrock. Next came the framing for these heavy wood diffusers. You can see they fit perfectly on 2x10’s. The design has shelving built in for tapes, various media, books etc., that will just add to the effectiveness (hint, if you need a diffuser wall and can’t afford or steal one, just make one with book and CD shelving). These were then filled on the rear side with fiberglass panels that came from Sony’s walls. The rear of this diffuser will not get a hard cover but a fabric one. THAT is one of the secrets – it is a diffuser from the front, and a bass trap in the rear! In addition, we couldn’t leave that sheetrock exposed on the under side of the ceiling. It was decided that the entire second level would be “wrapped” in three quarter inch wool padding. The loft then receives a carpet layer which bends over the lip, and the ceiling side would be tracked and fabric -again, absorption from the entire loft- top and bottom. The addition of thick absorption panels (4x4 x4in thick), on the walls just under the lip of the loft should cancel out any reflections from there as well. Speaking of which, we placed the right wall with the rest of the cloth diffusers and absorption panels. There is a lot of exposed wall above them though (another 8 feet). That will once again be treated with a Sony special deal (and will add another color to the room (hint for those of you who have been in the third floor rooms)). Some of you will notice that the diffuser wall has space behind it, three feet of it to be exact. This will accommodate tape machines, a computer cabinet above them and comfort station (coffee maker, microwave etc. (the bar will be upstairs next to the couch of course!)). There is nothing like pampering your clients and making them feel at home. So a small couch is on order for in front of this diffuser wall and a larger one upstairs. This will subsidize the Herman Miller chairs (again, Sony).

Some of my gear started showing up. Once we cleared most of the dusty construction stages, I brought over the stash accumulated over the years, but most from the Sony fire sale. The racks were custom built by NICERACKS.COM. I was leaning heavily to a set from Sterling Sound (the studio furniture makers in Pennsylvania not the studio downtown). The cost was just too high and I couldn’t be happier with what I got. Built to my specifications and a color to match my Studer’s and B&W 802’s. Looks pretty good don’t you agree? And with that, I got excited and placed my speakers in rough location to where they will live. They will have to go up about four - five inches via patio blocks, but they sure look inspiring sitting right on the bamboo. I can’t wait to fire up that Krell 600c in between them! Stay tuned….
Attached Thumbnails
Building a Mastering Studio for k Pt5a-flr-w-space.jpg   Building a Mastering Studio for k Pt5a-stair2.jpg   Building a Mastering Studio for k Pt5a-flr-stair.jpg   Building a Mastering Studio for k Pt5a-difwall1.jpg   Building a Mastering Studio for k Pt5a-difwall2.jpg  

Old 14th January 2008
Gear Head

more photos...

and then some...
Attached Thumbnails
Building a Mastering Studio for k Pt5a-difwall3.jpg   Building a Mastering Studio for k Pt5a-rwall-difused1.jpg   Building a Mastering Studio for k Pt5a-niceracks.jpg   Building a Mastering Studio for k Pt5a-speaker1.jpg  
Old 14th January 2008
Lives for gear
inlinenl's Avatar
..... keep posting !!!

that krell is a real nice amp .. it was/is my favourite ... take care not to put a stick in those woofers while being the handy man ....

enjoy ...
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