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Berlin Studio Build
Old 22nd February 2015
Gear Head
Morceror's Avatar

Looking into options for lining the ventilation baffle boxes... I only have space for 1" lining. A few people have mentioned Homatherm recently.. it looks great, but from what I read seems like it may be a bit dusty.. anyone have any experience with this? And whether it might be good for this application.


p.s think the electrics is sorted now too..
Old 22nd February 2015
Gear Head
Morceror's Avatar

Thanks Jeremy btw.
Old 23rd February 2015
Gear Nut

Wow! Hi Robbie ... killer space:-) Looking forward to seeing more of it as it develops.

Good luck!

Old 25th February 2015
Lives for gear
JP__'s Avatar

Yes, Homatherm is dusty. Especially when cutting, as most isolation stuff. Isobond or basotect is dustfree.
Old 26th February 2015
Gear Head
Morceror's Avatar

Ugggghhh.. Finally got a cryptic email from SIG today, after weeks of waiting apparently the plasterboard would be delivered sometime this evening or tomorrow morning.. BUT it seems there is no crane on the truck. 450€ delivery paid, and no means of actually delivering the stuff when they get here... So 5 pallets of plasterboard will have to be unloaded by hand. We did build ourselves a cool plasterboard wagen though. Seems like it may have met it's match. I know what everyone has said, and I'm not sure why I remained so stubborn, but getting stuff from Poland has been a complete disaster.. maybe I saved a few euros, but it just was not worth the headache.. plus I have built the studio to fit the polish size plaster boards.. I have mustered a crack team of shifters to help take 200 boards off the truck tomorrow, wish us luck!

Meanwhile in other news, started the vent baffles today, they're going to be boss.
Left over wood returned for a refund, loaded it on to the mechanics car transporter next-door, what a legend. 470€ back in the kitty, it hasn't been all bad today.. it's finally looking quite spacious, then again, hopefully will be full of plasterboard tomorrow

p.s bought some armaflex on ebay quite cheap.. think it will do the job okay for the baffles.
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Last edited by Morceror; 26th February 2015 at 09:46 PM..
Old 27th February 2015
Gear Head
Morceror's Avatar

Somewhat sadly, being quarter Polish, after unloading 200 sheets of plasterboard by hand from the truck that showed up 2 hrs late with no other means of unloading them, having gone to the wrong address, then arguing (and winning) for 30 mins with the help of my Polish neighbour about returning the crappy pallets I had paid 125€ deposit for, I would say to anyone considering it in future, don't bother trying to save a bit of money ordering materials from Poland, especially from SIG, a total nightmare.. Plasterboard is in though!
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Old 18th March 2015
Gear Head
Morceror's Avatar

Timber is finally finished! Ventilation boxes nearly done, insulation going in... sorry bad phone photos!
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Old 21st March 2015
Gear Head
Morceror's Avatar

Fans are in and tested, all working nicely.. only running at full speed at the moment as I haven't fitted the speed controllers.. there's a very faint low cyclical resonant hum coming from the original window assembly caused by the fans rotation, I'm going to experiment with a bit more damping on the wooden panel to try and get rid of it.. It's very slight though, and I doubt I'll ever need to run them at full power anyway, they are shifting a lot of air.. It's a full on stiff breeze coming through. And they will be behind the wall anyway.

The big booth is nearly complete on one layer of plasterboard, just need to get going with sealing it all up, insulation nearly done, starting to feel like something now!

Borrowed a decent camera so here's some better photos..
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Old 23rd March 2015
Gear Addict
Toni-P's Avatar
Old 7th June 2015
Gear Head
Morceror's Avatar

Firstly, very sorry for not updating this for 3 months! Honestly, I just haven't had any time or energy to think about anything else than getting the studio finished.. I had a deadline that I had to move out of my old place, so I needed to get the control room and big booth as operational as possible by the end of May.

Well the whole place is pretty much there now, just need to do the doors and windows, and the final floor finishes.. and the audio connectors.. Plus a few more bits and pieces which can be done gradually..

The electrics were all signed off on Friday, everything worked first time, I even got a proper certificate from an Elektromeister! He congratulated me on my work too

The floating floors seem to be pretty solid, its hard to tell when they are empty, but it was fairly simple to do.. the stage area outside the booths is not floating, but i used some of the same insulation to fill it in.

Had to move all my equipment in on Friday and Saturday, so I now have to work around that, but luckily we managed to move apartment into the loft directly above the studio, so I'm going to store most of it up there for the next few weeks while I get these last things done.. plus it means I can keep up with the 14 hr days...

The ventilation works very well too, it's extremely quiet as it is, and I haven't put the internal baffle boxes on yet.

Got some good deals on fabric and timber.. all the wood (grade 1 birch ply 15mm) to clad the booth and enough to make 40 acoustic panels (if I were to need that many) for 150€, inc cutting into 80mm strips.

Similarly I managed to get a ton of end of roll, 10-15m each of fabric from a big old warehouse in Berlin for 150€, some cool 60s stuff, and more than enough to do 3 studios..

So apologies, but you will just get most of the whole story in one go.. going to upload a load of photos now, enjoy!
Old 7th June 2015
Gear Head
Morceror's Avatar

Some Photos:
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Old 7th June 2015
Gear Head
Morceror's Avatar

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Old 7th June 2015
Gear Head
Morceror's Avatar

and more.....
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Old 7th June 2015
Gear Head
Morceror's Avatar

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Old 7th June 2015
Gear Head
Morceror's Avatar

and now full of instruments!
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Old 7th June 2015
Gear Head
Morceror's Avatar

I have learned a lot about building in Germany from doing this! One thing which I figured would be a small thing, but turned into a big thing was the plastering.. I have done a fair bit of plastering in my life, I was ready to tackle the job myself, but was running out of time and I could not for the life of me find an equivalent to the plaster I am used to using..

In england, the majority of people use 'multi-finish' or 'board-finish'.. it costs around Β£5 for a 20kg bag, it is really straightforward to use (not easy exactly) but one guy can do a normal sized room in a day - if they are good then there really shouldn't be too much mess.. you end up with a 2 or 3mm 'skim' coat on the wall, it just finishes things off beautifully, dries pretty quickly and makes for a solid looking job.

Anyway, I had spent a couple of months putting plasterboard up everywhere.. but any time a german would come to see me they would start going on about how I needed to prime the boards first before putting any plaster on, and that I'd need several coats etc.. very messy they said.

I couldn't understand what they were talking about. Plasterboard is designed so you can plaster on to it. Very simple. Tape the joints and put the plaster on!

Well in the end I was running out of time, so I found an english plasterer in Berlin to come and give me a price. He came along and immediately said he hadn't had any work plastering in the 7 years he'd lived in germany, as it was impossible to get english style plaster here, in fact it was all but outlawed on german building sites and that the method the germans usually use involves several guys, takes a couple of weeks to do an apartment, several coats, sanding down the layers as you go, loads of filling etc.. it sounded completely crazy.

I have come to understand and appreciate the german approach whilst doing this project. Each trade has a very specific code, method, training, even uniform ---- if you hire a plumber, he should show up with some **** hot tools, do a first class job and you won't have to think again about it. The whole concept of 'DIY' seems rather moot here.. there are home improvement stores here of course, but generally the attitude seems to be to hire a professional instead of trying to fix it yourself.

I can see the obvious benefit in that approach - but I find it funny that certain elements of the building trade here are deliberately kept in the dark ages just so the people who have trained for a year or 2 can continue to practice a traditional method. Why not embrace new techniques, especially if they use less materials and take less time. Maybe more people would have their places plastered instead of just filling and painting the bare boards if it was a bit more of a realistic prospect.

Anyway, in the end I got online, did some research, and discovered that there seems to be a multifinish revolution going on in Poland.. looks like all the guys who have been working in England for the last 10 years have fallen in love with the stuff and are now importing it to Poland. If you go online searching for plasterers in Poland, you get people actually advertising themselves with a little picture of a bag of multifinish in their ad. It has become a new verb. To multifinish something!

So off I went again to Poland. 12 bags of plaster for 100€, pretty much the same price as in england, my plasterer was very happy, it was like seeing someone reunited with a long lost son.

He told me the stuff was like gold dust in Berlin. I let him keep the leftover 2 bags as his bonus.

Last edited by Morceror; 7th June 2015 at 07:21 PM.. Reason: mistakes
Old 8th June 2015
Gear Addict
morphtec's Avatar

That was really interesting, thanks for sharing!
Old 2nd July 2015
Gear Head
Morceror's Avatar

Some new photos, just on the phone for now, oak floor in the booths and on the stage finished and oiled, all the doors on, still tinkering with the seals/closers but early signs are encouraging - have designed some nice wooden compression latches, i'll post pictures soon - All the glass is in and sealed, all the ceiling baffles hung, all the wallboxes wired and fitted...

Most importantly, I go this morning to pick up the 65 m2 of 50s style vinyl floor tiles for the big room! That's pretty much the last big thing to do.. just a bit more painting etc left.. then I need to start work getting that toilet to sound nice and cavernous!
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Old 7th July 2015
Gear Addict
Toni-P's Avatar
Looking sharp!
Old 8th July 2015
Looks great man!
Old 9th July 2015
Here for the gear

Wow, very beautiful, typical german perfectionism. What about those smal boxes wit holes in it?
Old 10th July 2015
Gear Head
Morceror's Avatar

Hi Veredas, thanks for your kind words.. they are the wallboxes for the xlr connectors..
Not too much German perfectionism around here.. more English elegance perhaps?..

Last edited by Morceror; 10th July 2015 at 09:57 AM.. Reason: it's better
Old 15th July 2015
Gear Head
Morceror's Avatar

Lino Floor!
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Old 18th July 2015
Gear Head
Morceror's Avatar

All done....

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Old 6th August 2015
Gear Head
Morceror's Avatar

Ceiling diffusers made from leftover control room/booth parquet floor oak strips..
The next ones will have holes in the centre of the wheels i think.
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Old 7th August 2015
Lives for gear
Dutchy15's Avatar
Those are cool!
Old 26th September 2015
Gear Head
Morceror's Avatar

Interns wanted

Hello! I've been properly operational for a month now, been going great, pretty much fully booked so far.. Planning a studio photo shoot in the next few weeks, so will put up some pictures of the finished thing then!

In the meantime, I'm looking for studio assistants/interns:

I'm not bothered about Music Technology/Engineering graduates, by all means get in touch, but in my experience from working and running other studios, people like that normally come with a lot of 'knowledge' that needs to be unlearned.. The number of times I've been told that I need to use 8 mics on a drum set! honestly..

I don't really work in the 'correct' way - I just use my ears and instinct to make things good and interesting, and would be teaching that approach to the people working with me. I mainly do 50s/60s/70s style rock and roll and pop music - a lot of productions for singer-songwriters who come to me to give them a 'sound'.. also a lot of ad music, again usually 50s/60s style.. band production etc.. I am very interested in 'classic' recording techniques and sounds - but I'm also always trying to keep things sounding somewhat up to date - however there is always a big element of nostalgia in what I do..

I built this studio so I could do bigger sessions with more musicians playing together at the same time.. therefore being able to create a more authentic vibe when I'm asked to get a vintage sound for advertising etc.

Like I said, I'm not interested at all in qualifications. If you have excellent attention to detail, enjoy experimenting with sounds, basic pro tools and computer knowledge and a decent record collection from the 20th century, then get in touch!
Old 29th September 2015
Lives for gear
gregor z's Avatar

Really nice studio build diary! Thank you for sharing it
Old 1st October 2015
Lives for gear
807Recordings's Avatar

You guys are building my dream. Always wanted to do similar in Berlin, and miss the place. Sadly there is nothing going on like this here in Dresden, but keep sharing I really appreciate it.

Old 10th October 2015
Gear Head
Daniel Pampuri's Avatar

Thanks for sharing it! AMAZING build! Congratulations !!
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