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Studio Remodel Photo Story
Old 6th October 2006
  #1
Studio Remodel Photo Story

Hi fellow slutz!

Not sure if this is the right section for this, but it was a "high end" deal for me as far as cost!

Not so long ago, I just did a pretty sizable remodel to the existing spaces I was using for my home based production studio.

I posted all the photos I took during the process, and put little captions on each photo to tell the story.

You can view it here:
http://www.dbar-productions.com/album/index.html

I didn't get many photos of the contractors actually doing the work, since I was quite busy at the time working on projects in my office, but I generally took photos at the end of each day to show that day's progress.

I couldn't afford everything that I really wanted to do with the place, but this was a good starting point, and I may do more later. Got rid of my old Whisper Room vocal booth and have a big enough space to track drums now... just got the extra mics and stands for doing drums, so hopefully I'll be able to test the room out for that in the near future.

Steve
Old 6th October 2006
  #2
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Tousana's Avatar
 

Steve,
Let me be the first to say congratulations, nice job. Maybe we could see some wide shots of the whole control room, when you get a chance. Great job very professional.
Old 6th October 2006
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tousana View Post
Steve,
Let me be the first to say congratulations, nice job. Maybe we could see some wide shots of the whole control room, when you get a chance. Great job very professional.
Thanks very much. Those were just snapshots of the work in progress, but with the layout it's hard for me to get a wide shot of the whole control room since the back wall is unfortunately only about 6 feet behind my sitting position at the console. My old digital camera's lens doesn't go out wide enough.

I was planning on getting a professional photographer with a good camera and wide angle lens in at some point in the future to take some nice shots that show most of the room, which I can use for my web site and other things (although I'm mostly a private production company now, so I really don't advertise for new clients).

Steve
Old 6th October 2006
  #4
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dim light's Avatar
 

Looks great! But why didn't you put the absorbers in the walls - I'm in the same spot as you and I have a hard time liking the looks of absorbers, traps etc in the room - If I would rebuild my space I would make the walls absorbers and bass traps etc... Your space looks really nice!
Old 6th October 2006
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by dim light View Post
Looks great! But why didn't you put the absorbers in the walls - I'm in the same spot as you and I have a hard time liking the looks of absorbers, traps etc in the room - If I would rebuild my space I would make the walls absorbers and bass traps etc... Your space looks really nice!
Thanks for the comments.

There are a couple of reasons I didn't build the absorbers into the walls:

1. The only walls we rebuilt were the wall between the control and studio, and half of the opposite wall where we basically extended a wall that went out half way into the room for a bathroom (that wall now separates the "lounge" and control room). I didn't have the budget to tear apart and rebuild all the walls and celings.

2. I already had a bunch of RealTraps products and some other similar products, and I put many of them on stands or mounted them in such a way that they could be easily removed without any major wall damage in case we move later and need to sell the house. Also, I can move them around and use them for tracking. Plus, if I built them into the walls, we would basically need to move the walls in to make room for that stuff, and I didn't want to make the room any smaller than it already was.

Basically, I was trying to work with the existing space as much as possible and not spend too much money since I'm not much of a handyman and couldn't do this myself. All of the studio space, and most of the control room is underground since the house is built into a hill, and there is cement foundation all the way up the sides of the walls to the outside, so I don't need any isolation from the outside world. There are two more levels of the house above me, but I only do studio stuff during the day when our 2 year old is at daycare and my wife is working, so I didn't need to redo the ceilings and second level floor for isolation. It's VERY quiet here during the day, as long as I turn the furnace off so it doesn't kick on while recording (it's right on the other side of one of the studio walls in the garage, and is quite noisey). Our house is really well insulated, and it rarely gets really cold here in the Seattle area, so I can turn the heat off in the morning, and even at the end of a long day, the house has only dropped a few degrees-F in temperature.

If my business could justify it, there certainly would be a lot more I would have done, but I have to take everything into account from a business point of view since this is what I do for a living (but my wife works also and makes good money). Up until now, I've just been working in existing spaces with some acoustic treatment, so this was a big step up for me. I used to work at a major recording studio for several years, so I'm a bit spoiled by that, and I would always rent out major studios for drums and large groups and just do overdubs and mixing, or electronic based projects, in my production studio. Now that I'm mostly private and have several product lines of my own I produce, I wanted to get set up to at least be able to track drums for my lower budget projects instead of renting out big studios... but, I needed to balance out how much I had to spend to get to that point versus renting out a bigger studio, and figure out how many drum tracking sessions it would take to get to the break even point and if it was going to be worth it (since I can obviously get better drums sounds in a major studio with a big room and all the top gear, but pay more each time for that).

Anyway, I'm very happy with the space... the control room sounds great and measures out quite well considering it's still mostly an existing space (but we picked the house mainly because of the layout of the two rooms and the dimensions fit into a good acoustic ratio). I haven't had a chance to track drums in the studio room yet to see what kind of sound I can get in there. I'm looking forward to trying that out soon!

Thanks for the comments guys! Sorry for the long rambling post!

Steve
Old 7th October 2006
  #6
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dim light's Avatar
 

Hey I enjoyed reading your last post. It make sense man - Hope to hear some cool drum takes from your new studio! Keep it up.
Old 10th October 2006
  #7
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infiniteposse's Avatar
 

Beautiful job! I've just broken ground for my home studio build out as well, so it's encouraging to see someone wrapping up and it looking so good.

Could you throw up a basic layout of your place with dimensions, ceiling height and the like? I'm curious to see what the place looks like as a whole. How does the space sound now? I noticed you heavily treated the mix space but not the live room so much, beyond curtains. How's this working out?

Lovely space. Congradulations!

Lee
Old 10th October 2006
  #8
I'll try to post the layout graphics of the before and after, but haven't tried posting photos here before, so don't know how well this will work, or the size limits.

This first one is my own very rough layout of the studio space before the remodel, roughly showing how my equipment was originally laid out. The Yellow lines were where I wanted to add or modify walls... there originally was not a wall between the lounge area and the control room, just that bathroom that stuck out half-way across the room behind my mix position. The red line on the wall between the control room and booth is where the door was originally.

Remember, these were existing finished spaces that I was using, so I wasn't building into a space from scratch. The measurements are a little rough, and may be off by an inch or so, but close enough.
Attached Thumbnails
Studio Remodel Photo Story-studiobefore.jpg  
Old 10th October 2006
  #9
OK... that first one worked. Now here is the layout as drawn up by the acoustic consultant before I did any work. The gear closet sticking out into the garage is not to scale... he left that to use to figure out what we needed... it's actually wider and deeper than shown on the drawing.

Also, he ran the numbers for a rectangular room to figure out the best dimensions and figured we should lower the ceiling or raise the floor a bit to get to the best ratio, but that was too much work and not in my budget, so I left the ceiling and floor the way they were (about 4" higher than his recommended height).

He also put an option in to add a second wall and door inside the studio space, but that would greatly reduce the size of that already fairly small room, and isolation was not my primary concern with the remodel.
Attached Thumbnails
Studio Remodel Photo Story-studio_after.jpg  
Old 10th October 2006
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by infiniteposse View Post
How does the space sound now? I noticed you heavily treated the mix space but not the live room so much, beyond curtains. How's this working out?
Actually, if you look at the photos near the end of the long photo story, you'll see that I put six panel traps up on the ceiling in the live room, plus four of the smaller 2x2 panel traps in various ceiling wall corners, and I also have two of Ethan's Mondo traps on stands in two of the corners. Plus, I have 2 more Mondo traps on stands in the control room, plus four of the GIK Acoustic Monster traps on stands in the control room. The idea behind putting all those traps on stands is that I could move them into the live room for tracking if more treatment was needed, but then put them back into the control room for mixing.

I have not yet had a chance to record anything in the live room yet. I was in Japan for a while after the remodel, and have been super busy since getting back with other aspects of my business, and also just doing composing and editing in the control room.

The control room sounds great, and I'm very happy with it. I'm hearing a lot of details I was missing before, and the low end is now very smooth and accurate and I'm once again getting the deep low end out of my BM15A monitors without having to turn on the sub.

Thanks for the comments!

Steve
Old 10th October 2006
  #11
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infiniteposse's Avatar
 

Thanks for the reply Steve. I didn't catch the extra traps in your live space. My bad.

You know, if you feel like getting some more feedback/helping folks doing this kind of project, you might want to toss your post up onto John Sayer's site here. I posted a long thread there that's been good for getting me feedback, pre-build, and I'm sure a ton of folks would benefit from seeing your lovely photos. I haven't seen anything quite so exhaustive on there in a while.

Thanks again!
Old 12th October 2006
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by infiniteposse View Post
Thanks for the reply Steve. I didn't catch the extra traps in your live space. My bad.

You know, if you feel like getting some more feedback/helping folks doing this kind of project, you might want to toss your post up onto John Sayer's site here. I posted a long thread there that's been good for getting me feedback, pre-build, and I'm sure a ton of folks would benefit from seeing your lovely photos. I haven't seen anything quite so exhaustive on there in a while.

Thanks again!
Thanks Lee.

Yes, I got a lot of good info from John's board when doing research a while back. I'll post my link there as well.
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