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The Shedio - A studio... in a shed!
Old 24th January 2015
  #61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamming View Post
Sorry, I'm confused as to what that link is?
Even after a bit of digging the shed alone (no acoustic treatment) costs £8k!
Some people obviously have way too much money in their disposal. Blimey. If only I did.
I wasn't suggesting purchasing the SSL Shed - just that it might offer some design ideas which could be implemented cost-effectively.
Old 17th January 2019
  #62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamming View Post
Sorry, I'm confused as to what that link is?
Even after a bit of digging the shed alone (no acoustic treatment) costs £8k!
Some people obviously have way too much money in their disposal. Blimey. If only I did.
Sp was this "shedio" ever built?
Old 17th January 2019
  #63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Fogal View Post
Sp was this "shedio" ever built?
TLDR: No, but I am looking at other options.

And now the long version:

Well, a lot happens in 4 years (or at least that's what I'm told!)
The stark reality is quite the opposite; the work that needs to be completed before the "shedio" can even be started only began back in October. After a few days of earthworks and concrete, it was down to me to spend a week laying tons of stone by hand to fill up gabion cages. Since then, progress has been glacial, and the garden is an absolute bomb site.

As a result, rebuilding the whole garden will be the main priority; which will take years. To further complicate matters, a recent death in the family has thrown everything into the air. The only glimmer of hope is that it may mean the chance to acquire a small building which I could convert (given the right planning permission). Either way, the situation is incredibly complicated!

Since my postings in this thread, I've been dreaming about other "studio" designs; which I've posted to my website with full 3D renders, a floor plan, and a detailed write-up. All of these are to be taken with a pinch of salt in that they're obviously not designed as proper studios.


Octagonal Garden Studio


Victorian Railway Carriage Office


The Egg - Modern Garden "Studio"

As you can see, most of these are little more than glorified garden offices!
Either way, if anyone is interested in my designs, there are plenty more on my website's blog.
Old 18th January 2019
  #64
Thanks for satisfying my curiosity, and sorry for your loss. Wow sounds like a lot of planning. I know others have said you've been over thinking, dunno...shouldn't be so complicated for just a personal non-pro, not for high recording space..imo.

I myself would be simply buying a decent but large enough shed, 12X24 ft minimum, and converting it for a personal home studio. Not necessarily sound proofed, but sound deadening. This method for me would be a fairly quick endeavor, simple & would just be done, without taking years.
I'd be making a transition from using my ordinary 9 1/2 X 14 ft spare bedroom of my house that has no treatment what so ever in it now. A converted shed would be a pretty decent upgrade, in size, functionality, and I'd just do some fairly basic of treatment for sound.
I almost exclusively use headphones, and the only things that I'd record that may need any treatment would be for vocals & occasional miked acoustic guitar, though I often plug in my acoustic. Everything else is direct (electric guitar, drums etc). My biggest concern is anyone hearing me as I strain & attempt singing. For this reason I want to block that noise from the ears of others lol.

Last edited by Steve Fogal; 18th January 2019 at 07:51 AM..
Old 18th January 2019
  #65
Thank you for your thoughts. And oh absolutely, these designs are all over the top for a non-professional hobby space; I'm not gonna debate that!
I was definitely focusing on style more than practicality. Even the design from 4 years ago was way over-engineered (as everyone rightly said). In hindsight, for what I would need from a studio, a simple rectangular shed with insulation and a bit of acoustic treatment would be more than enough! Like you, I use headphones 90% of the time, and everything is in-the-box, so there's very little need for anything on such a grand an expensive scale.

Likewise, what you plan on doing would be absolutely fine. Something important that I'd want to prioritise would be keeping the space open and flexible. I would no longer consider splitting the space up at all, not even for an iso booth as I'd probably only use it once a year. I was even thinking about making a couple gobos on castor wheels so that I could have portable acoustic treatment which could be wheeled to where it's needed, and then put back to form a sort of bass trap on the back wall. Anyway, that's all conjecture at this point, as I'm no nearer to having my own space!

Should I manage to acquire the aforementioned outbuilding, this is what I would probably do with it:

Old 18th January 2019
  #66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamming View Post
Thank you for your thoughts. And oh absolutely, these designs are all over the top for a non-professional hobby space; I'm not gonna debate that!
I was definitely focusing on style more than practicality. Even the design from 4 years ago was way over-engineered (as everyone rightly said). In hindsight, for what I would need from a studio, a simple rectangular shed with insulation and a bit of acoustic treatment would be more than enough! Like you, I use headphones 90% of the time, and everything is in-the-box, so there's very little need for anything on such a grand an expensive scale.

Likewise, what you plan on doing would be absolutely fine. Something important that I'd want to prioritise would be keeping the space open and flexible. I would no longer consider splitting the space up at all, not even for an iso booth as I'd probably only use it once a year. I was even thinking about making a couple gobos on castor wheels so that I could have portable acoustic treatment which could be wheeled to where it's needed, and then put back to form a sort of bass trap on the back wall. Anyway, that's all conjecture at this point, as I'm no nearer to having my own space!

Should I manage to acquire the aforementioned outbuilding, this is what I would probably do with it:

Now that's more like it! Go young man and Get R' Done! Having panels that you can move around only when needed, leaving more of an open space. Simple and something that could be realized very fast...within several weeks. I could build my own shed, but I just don't have that kind of time, besides factoring all the labor & materials, I wouldn't save much if all compared to simply buying a big shed and having it shipped in, or put together on site.
In fact, I started seriously getting the idea of a shed studio after buying a completely pre-built 10X20 ft loften barn style Old Hickery shed here in Northern California for storage of my business supplies & other equipment to relieve some space in my garage. It cost around $5,600 and is a beautiful shed. They trucked it in, and dropped it off on the side of my driveway where I wanted it, and leveled it with paver blocks I supplied. Instant building! Just add money! For a studio shed, I'd have to have it in the back of my house where it cannot be trucked in due to a lack of access, so it would have to be assembled on-site, Old Hickey Sheds charges something like 10% more to assemble on-site. If I buy another shed, but a larger 12X24 ft, it will cost closer to $7,500 or more, but it would be ready for my own work to begin within a day or two! One thing I'd have to work out, being the ground in the back is a steeper slope than my front shed, is whether I'd level the uneven ground, or set in 4X4 inch wood posts in concrete in holes in the ground, and then build a suitable frame to have the shed put on.

I must say, I do like your flare for design! But I myself won't be going too far on the designing, just a simple space to do what I do. I hear too often of ISO booths making things like vocals & guitar miked amps sound boxy. I'd much prefer to record vocals in an open room than a box anyway. The only thing I'm concerned about and would make provisions for is a blocked off space to put my PC towers (a machine room), otherwise my idea is to have a single open room. I'll also build my own baffles that can be set up when needed to do vocals, but I really like your idea of making them for double-duty, and can be sat in the corner as bass traps. In my own case, I'm going to somewhat be ignoring the most of what is said for proper acoustics of a recording space. I don't have, nor want a studio for hire. I don't want anyone but my family and closest friend knowing I have any of this stuff. I also use VSTi's in the box quite a bit, and like I said, the only thing I ever mic is vocals & acoustic guitar, and the sound comes in plenty good enough even in my untreated spare bedroom! Yes, I can hear my PC's hum in the back round if I mute all other tracks and listen to the vocal tracks, but only hear it when I'm not singing, the volume of my voice drowns out the PC noise, and I certainly can't hear it within a mix no matter what. So when I read of all the people going overboard, designing the absolute perfect audio recording space, completely & properly sound proofed, for a simple hobby studio, all I can think of is what I huge wasted of time & money, especially since most of these people aren't miking a damn thing, nor do they even know how top properly mix a song, much less mix scrambled eggs!

I met a guy a few years ago or so on a service call I was doing, 30 years old or so, divorced and moved in back with his mother. He bought a fairly small Tough-Shed and had it put in the back yard. It was omewhere around 8X10 ft at best, and installed basic sheet rock inside, I don't recall any treatment for sound. He recorded most everything in the box. As a bass player he went direct, and used bass amp modelers. His stuff sounds pretty damn good. It was an instant building, other than installing sheet rock, and a couple of receptacles and a light. I think he temporarily brought power into the shed with an extension cord plugged into an outlet on the back wall of the house about 10 feet away. I recall him inquiring what I'd charge to run electrical to it properly, I'm a professional electrical contractor for a living.
Old 18th January 2019
  #67
Oh believe me, I'd love to get straight to the studio building; if only life was that simple! Thanks for the compliment, by the way.

Here in the UK, I know a lot of companies have popped up in recent years that offer fully insulated outbuildings that get delivered on the back of a lorry. The tricky aspect (aside from the extortionate cost) is the fact that you have to place this at the rear of a property. There'd be no way to do that here without craning it over the top of our garage; some 70ft distance away!

As for the potential outbuilding of the plan above, that is some 30 miles away, so if I ever managed to get it, I'd prefer to be able to convert the rest of the outbuilding into a small dwelling at the same time (there's just about enough space for it to reach the minimum regulatatory size). Fortunately my dad is a carpenter who is soon to be retiring; he always said he wanted a few projects to work on in his retirement (haha!) and I'd love to be a big part of building my own place as far as I am able to.

Having had pre-built sheds in the past that don't last 2 years before leaking and generally rotting, I'd much rather build one myself (with some help of course). My dad's shed that he built has only just started rotting in the bottom corner - and that's over 30 years old now, so it's fared much better! That's not to say you can't get decent sheds in kit form, but I've just been put off by the idea to be honest.

Having had our garden re-levelled, I can't imagine it being done without a digger of some sort. The only issue I forsee with the post foundation method is the lack of sound insulation through the floor.

I'm with you on the PC fan issue. It's the only thing I'd try and mitigate where possible. I'm not sure how I'd do it, nor how to make sure the PC got enough airflow, but I do like the idea of a ventilated cabinet (to the outside) for it with copious amounts of sound absorption. One that I saw once was a PC cabinet with sound baffles built on wheels so that it can be moved around, giving you more legroom or space as and when you needed it. My current PC is sat on a recently made wheeled base, which has proved more useful than you'd expect, especially when cleaning. Anyway, if just placing a gobo on wheels between the computer and mic when I'm recording is enough to mitigate the fan noise; that would be fantastic. I've had a lot of recordings ruined by it!

As you can see from the plan above, whilst I do still design (for fun) some rather over-the-top "studios" and such, I have started to lean heavily towards simplifying everything where possible. The only thing I refuse to give up is natural light. I don't care how nice a studio looks; if it doesn't have natural light, I'm not interested!
Old 19th January 2019
  #68
We have quality & not so quality shed offerings here too. The worst for potential rot is inferior siding, the kind that absorbs water like a sponge. The other potential for rot is non-treated skids and bottom framing...and leaky roofs of course. The Old Hickery shed I bought for my business storage is good quality, but didn't come with some of the options my potential Old Hickery studio shed will have, like house wrap, and tar/felt paper on the roof (under the roof panels). On my work shed, it'll be unfinished and any moisture will easily dry out. A studio shed would be finished inside and would hold the moisture in, causing rot.
Your dad being a carpenter would know more than me (an electrician) about proper construction, rot prevention etc. But I myself do not favor full cement pad foundations for any structure, which I've found these to be the coldest & dampest of homes, even in California. I'd rather have my structures raised up a bit with good insulation, and air flow underneath. I don't see a lot difference between a raised floor the walls of a structure in terms of sound coming in or out, when they're both treated to a decent degree. I'd rather trade off keeping my structure above ground, than introducing the moisture from below...whether the ground is level, or sloped in my case. My entire house is built on a slope with posts, and a cement perimeter foundation, I think my shed will be fine. I had to laugh when my sister was saying after I bought my work shed, which is leveled resting on stacked pavers, that when THEY get a shed, they're going to level the ground and have a cement pad poured in...though THEY'RE entire house is also built on a sloped, with posts & cement perimeter foundation.

I think I've also said I'm not looking to have a totally sound proofed structure, and it sounds like you're in the same boat as I am, that it's not needed for my purposes. So no sense in making things more costly, over building, harder & more time consuming than it needs to be. Regarding a separation of the computers & recording space for mics, I suppose temporary panels may work. I don't think a lot of ventilation for a computer will be needed if that space is large enough. And even if it's small that it is needed, say like a very small closet or worse yet, a cabinet, having a wall with a door (or hatch) should be enough so that the main room won't be affected terribly, especially if that barrier is sufficiently treated/insulated etc.
Though my plans are to have basically one large space for everything, I want my shed large enough so that at one end, I'd have a space separated by a wall with a door to put my computers in, as well as for some storage of music related items I don't want displayed, yet need to be readily available. A wall with a door will block computer noise from mics on the other side better than a panel that is set up. My main desk with video monitors, keyboard & mouse would be right on the other side of this wall separating the computers. The space to house my computers would be arranged so that I can very easily access the front & rear of all computer towers, and they will not be at floor level. This kind of great access to the computers is something I've never had in any space previously.

The biggest dilemma I'm facing right now, is where to put this structure on my 1/2 acre lot. There are several considerations as for it's exact location & positioning. I don't want it to be far from the house, going out in the heat, cold & rain, which would likely make me choose to not want to bother going out there in the 1st place, especially if I'd get soaked by rain going to and from, and also for bathroom & snack breaks etc. Then there's where is best place to be isolated from neighborhood noises, potential prowlers, high winds etc. As it is, it seems the most space I have is where all the above worst of conditions are present.

It sounded like all of those above considerations for you have already been decided. It's a matter of when you're gonna Get R' Done! And if you're no planning on making this building a small dwelling as well then this changes everything. I don't know what your plan is, but I recall you're young. Do you really want to live with your family forever? If you currently have a bedroom, kitchen, shower & bathroom in the house now, do you really need that for your studio? Sure, there are homes with cottages (or whatever) that are self contained. As long as there's the space, and money to put into this. I saw on a news segment where a younger man of maybe 30, lives at home still with his parents in Sacramento (our state capital), and they're building a full cottage in the back yard for him to live, and have his own separate space. When his parent pass on, he'll inherit the entire house & property. Maybe this is also you families plans. I can't imagine have done this unless my parents had a substantial size piece of property. To each their own, my parent are both gone. Coincidentally, I may have to have my 35 year old daughter come live with us for an determined length of time due to her separation. If so she could really use the bedroom that currently occupies my home studio. Either that, or reverse the whole shebang and the shed will be my daughters cottage
Old 19th January 2019
  #69
Oh definitely, I can see the advantages of building outbuildings on a raised/stilted base as opposed to a concrete pad. Either way, as you've alluded to, damp-proof membranes are very important to prevent rising damp. I wouldn't want to build such a structure without a vapor barrier either; you're wise to be thinking about such things. Traditionally, at least here in the UK, concrete pads are just the "done thing", so it's only recently that I've started to challenge this way of thinking. And you're right; why make things more expensive and complicated than you have to?!

I agree that site positioning is also very important. That said, I'm a bit backwards in my approach in that I favour views and natural light above all else. I guess this comes from my brief work experience in an architects' office! Also working in a windowless room for 2 years solid made me never want to work without natural light ever again. As someone with creative interests, daylight is incredibly important to maintain a fresh and clear mind.

If I was in your scenario, with a generous plot, I'd definitely want to keep it relatively close to the house for the reasons you outlined. Whilst the amount of noise generated by neighbours is important, I do wonder to what degree it could be mitigated if you're not looking for a completely sound-isolated structure. By this I mean that if someone starts up a lawnmower, is it really going to be much quieter one side of the plot to the other?

This is why I originally thought that if I'm to build a studio, I should go all-out and have a studio space as isolated as possible with floating floors and the like. But quite frankly the cost would be absurd, especially given I'm no pro at what I do; I'd never recover the costs. The inconvenience of someone mowing their lawn for an hour is just that; an inconvenience, and not a crucial issue - I could just do something else in the meantime.

As to your last paragraph, in short, I've no idea what the future holds for me. In a dream scenario, I would be able to own the entire outbuilding (an old cow pen that is split into 3 smaller pens), and would convert 2/3rds into a tiny house, and the last 1/3rd into the "studio". I have already planned out that scenario, so I know, in practice, that it's possible. The difficulty lies in areas out of my control; local planning law, and the fact that I'm 1 of 6 people involved in the "estate". Ultimately, what happens with the whole farm would depend on if everyone could reach an agreement, and if the local council would allow it. So sadly far from straight-forward (there's also a bunch of legal restrictions to think about, but there's not enough time in the world to discuss all that here!).

As I think I said at some point in this thread, I'm living at home with my parents (some 30 miles away from where the farm is situated). I would probably not build a studio at the farm if I could not also convert the rest into a small dwelling for myself. Driving there and back is just a waste of money; money which I can't really spare to waste so frivolously! At home, there would not really be the space to build an annexe, and planning permission for that would be equally difficult where we live (we're in a National Park). What my parents have planned... well... who knows?! I would imagine they'd hope that one day I'd make enough money to move out; but that won't be happening for the forseeable future...
Old 20th January 2019
  #70
Factoring in how long you intend to live with your parents should be at the forefront in your plans for how involved your studio structure should be, something you should discuss with them. The one example I gave above of the guy who intends on living his days out on his parents property, it's clear that the investment is worth it for him. If you're uncertain, it's not in your best interest to get too involved in the design & cost. I think you said you were in your early 20's? I suspect that your parents will be around for a while then. If you plan on having a relationship, family etc, what then?
You said you wash dishes and don't make a lot of money... so what, you're young, and things can change big time. Between the age of 16-18 years old I used to wash dishes & bus tables for $2.50 per hour in 1976-1978. I didn't think of myself as ever amounting to anything at that age. As an electrical contractor (which I became back in 1997), I make a hell of lot more than that now! lol. Unless you have some major disability, the world is your oyster. Sure it will take a short number of years to get there, so get cracking now. Anyway, enough from father Steve

True, the occasional weed eater or lawn mower in my somewhat rural area is very common on the weekends, and it can go on for longer than I'd like, there's also a gun club across the road on another side of a hill. As luck has it (NOT), all this noise is at full force on the weekends, which is my only possible time to do music, if I'm lucky. But the reality is, for the amount of time that there would even be a live mic 'on' is seldom in the scope of time spent on music. I can't hear anything from the outside with my headphones or ear buds on. Sounds like that's your case too.
Being my current home studio is in one of my spare bedrooms with 2X6" stud wall construction in my house, with no sound treatment whatsoever, having a shed studio with 2X4" stud wall construction (typical unless I build it from scratch), and then having a decent level of 'sound treatment' I'm fully expecting it to be a lot better.

I'm not really planning on making 'plans' as you have, but more so just winging it. I figure it all will be miles better than my current spare bedroom studio. Sure, I'll be making some hand sketches as for my layout, particularly for the one & only wall that I'm figuring on for the computers to be in (doubling as a storage closet), and then my desk on the other side with 4 LED 24" monitors & near field speakers, where I'll position my e-drums (4 kits combined), my keyboard/synth, and where all my guitars will be sitting/hanging. As for my big guitar amps that I haven't recorded with in years (I use amp modeling these days), I may consider locating them in the computer room/closet. Plus since my shed will likely be another lofted barn style just like the one I bought for my business, I'll also have that loft space to store more stuff on either side above.
Since I'm a believer of having air-flow in an attic space of some sort, I'll leave some air-space between my finished ceiling and the underside of the roof, and use a solar powered attic vent motor. Along with attention to insulation especially from heat transfer, it'll provide comfort in the summer. Backtracking thought here; and being my computers will be blocked off my a wall, that heat won't make my main room hotter. But being it will have a door, I can open it to help heat the room during the winter. As it is now, my 12 core/48 GB ram PC heats up my 9 1/2 ft X 14 ft bedroom studio decently in the winter. In my bedroom studio in the summer, I turn on the main air conditioning, but if I'm tracking vocals, and after it's cool enough, I'll turn the AC off for a while to record takes. See, there's work-arounds in most situations.

Like I said, I don't have the time to spend designing & building my own structure, though I'm capable of doing so...and I've already said I wouldn't save enough to bother! I can put out say, $7,500 or so for a large 12X24 ft lofted barn shed of good build quality, it will be sitting on my lot within a couple of weeks. Ok, so extra time & money needed for the 4X4" wooden posts on cement columns, which I'd do myself.

This is what I have now for storage, except mine has it's windows on each end, and is a larger 10X20 ft


This is what I'd really like, but to get this fancy porch would cost a lot more, and I'd have to get it even larger because the porch takes up valuable space, and would end up being too large & too expensive.


Similar ... mounted on posts, but my hill is a slope on one side...


I'll probably get one similar to the top barn style model I have now, no porch, no double barn shed doors, with a regular house type door on the long side instead somewhere, I'll eventually built my own add-on covered porch on the door side. Not sure about Window placements yet. Mine will be much larger than this one though.


Unassuming on the outside ...


Dreams on the inside ...


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