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My Shipping Container Studio Build [lots of pictures]
Old 20th May 2013
Here for the gear
My Shipping Container Studio Build [lots of pictures]

Hi guys!

I just finished building a very small two room studio inside of a 20' x 8' shipping container, and I thought I would share my tale of breathing too much fiberglass insulation, drywall dust, and lacerating myself with various construction tools.

This is where it begins.

Three years ago when I was nineteen my bedroom was packed with instruments and I didn't even have a bed (I just slept on the floor between my drum kit and desk) so my parents bought me an old shipping container from Long Beach harbor with the intent of me creating a studio. It was an epic project and I learned an incredible amount about acoustics and construction. My uncle Charles Garsha is an audio engineer and he helped me design it during his lunch breaks at Warner Brothers in Burbank.
The follow pictures were taken from 2010-2012.

I leveled a patch in our orchard and dug trenches for a simple foundation made from oil impregnated 6x6's

Framed 16" studs just like that of a house and built a room within a room for isolation.

Front wall/door installed. I really should have gotten an outward opening door, but I didn't realize how much space the inward swinging door would waste until it was too late. Live and learn.

Insulated with Owens Corning R-13.

Cutting the slot for the A.C. I gave myself a very nice cut in the hand shortly after this shot was taken. Perhaps I should have used the proper tool for the job.

Covered the walls with your typical 5/8" sheetrock. My amazing stepfather taught me how to build everything and he's pictured on the left, I'm on the right. I didn't pick up any fashion police on my radar detector so I rocked the pink shorts. Sorry!

Ventilation and electrical systems are in. I nailed in all of the blue receptacle housings but professional electricians wired it up so the place wouldn't burn down!
The black square in the wall is the intake for the air that is blown into the live room. It's placed low on the wall in the control room to scoop up the cool air from the A.C. Fun fact, that fan was previously used to cool one of the very first digital consoles at CBS.

Walls have been mudded and painted and doors are in....

Windows installed and framed. They are angled apart vertically and horizontally to keep them from acting like drum heads.

Breaking down the first session in the box.

Now all that's left for me to do is build some "pro" looking acoustic treatment panels as I am simply adorning the walls with blankets at the moment.

I hope you enjoyed this story and photos. If you would like greater detail, feel free to ask me questions!

Old 20th May 2013
Gear Addict
starseed's Avatar
What kind of levels of leakage are you getting? Obviously not looking for anything technical, just your general impression.
Old 20th May 2013
Here for the gear
The leakage is little enough between the rooms that I can listen through my monitors at a nice healthy level while recording a singer or acoustic guitar in the other room.
And the leakage from the outside is not an issue at all unless it's pouring rain on the roof, but that's a rare scenario in southern California

Old 21st May 2013
That's very nice and a cool story to boot. Congrats on the new space.
Old 21st May 2013
Gear Addict
Fergies Watch's Avatar
good for you, I hope you enjoy your new studio
Old 22nd May 2013
Lives for gear
Kris's Avatar
Old 22nd May 2013
Lives for gear
WinnyP's Avatar
Your parents rock! Great stuff and good work to boot.
Old 22nd May 2013
Gear Maniac

nice men!!! i am doing Project on vpr traps so It may be useful in your project
Old 22nd May 2013
Lives for gear

That's very impressive. Looks like you gained some valuable construction knowledge as well.
Old 21st June 2013
Gear Head

Awesome build! Those shipping containers are about the coolest growing trend in any builds.

Good work
Old 21st June 2013
Lives for gear
Shipping containers can have some issues with humidity. Are you located in a climate that isn't affected by humidity or did you work around this problem in your build?
Old 1st August 2013
How is doing drums in there? Is it a little tight to do drums in there?
Old 27th November 2013
Here for the gear
Boy Wonder's Avatar
That's awesome! Good job!
Old 1st December 2013
Here for the gear
Stric's Avatar

Looks lovely! Obviously it's a small space, but to me it has some kind of appeal that makes me want to work there. Also a cool story, your family seems nice.
Old 2nd December 2013
Gear Nut

Have you considered installing flange adapters onto the ceiling? That way you could have overheads and a (vocal?) mic ready, without eating valuable floor space. Really cool space thought.
Old 4th August 2019
Here for the gear

Hey Steve, moving forward now 6 years, hows the studio going? Is there anything you would have changed other than the door you mentioned?

A great story to share, thankyou! I hope to create my own project container rehearsal room soon.
Old 26th August 2019
Lives for gear
Crazy4Jazz's Avatar

The OP hasn’t shared any recordings but I know from experience that such small spaces can be difficult.
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