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For studio construction slutz only - Sunshine Mastering, Vienna
Old 26th October 2007
  #1
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For studio construction slutz only - Sunshine Mastering, Vienna

Hey everyone,

Disclaimer: This is for the die hard studio construction slutz only and definitely not for those who feel there is no need for another studio construction thread... I promise that none of my posts will be longer than this first one heh

I agonized quite a while over posting another studio construction thread, but since I hope to offer a different version on this topic, I decided to post anyways...
Most of the threads seem to cover constructions that include one control room with attached recording spaces. We are building three rooms: a Mastering room, a multi-purpose 5.1 control room with attached iso booth and an Edit Suite – also with attached iso booth. It’s not a huge facility, but handling up to three projects at the same time brings up different problems than the average studio construction, especially regarding isolation.

To get a better idea where we are comming from and what this is all about, I included a brief evolutionary description of our current studio and how the idea for the new studio evolved:

We started business in 1995 in our current location as a music production based, single room studio. Business grew, and we added a second room in 2000. Arround that time we sucessfully specialized in Mixing, so we added an SSL 6056 and rebuilt studio A in 2001.
Already somewhere back in 1996 we bought an M5000 with the MD2 software. We were getting a decent sound with the MD2 package for finalizing mixes and since there where no mastering studios in Vienna that could produce professional sounding masters by international standards, we started getting the occational mastering job - whenever it was not feasable to go to the big facilities in London or New York for a project.

Over the years we started collecting more and more specialized gear, experience and reputation for mastering. For many years we wanted to build a dedicated mastering room – but our existing location was maxed out spacewise, and after a while we realized that if we would wait for some neighbour to move out and make room for us, we could be waiting for years...

Since relocation into a bigger facility would have been very expensive and with the current state of the music industry there would have been no way we could raise prices (which would have been be necessary with new rooms to replace the existing ones) we decided against it – and in January 2007 started looking for a place to rent, just to build a dedicated mastering studio.

I have to go back again, to explain the next step: About 2 years ago we started working on audio books (for one of the largest publishing companies worldwide). The customer was very happy and the workload has been continously growing ever since up to the point where we had to hire a dedicated engineer just for audio books - earlier this year.

So, after a couple of months of looking for space to build a mastering studio, we therefore started looking for a larger place that could take a second room for the audio books. Other clients got word of us building a new studio, and enough of them asked us if we then would be able to do thier 5.1 work as well for us to justify a dedicated room (# three). By end of May we reached the conclusion that with three new rooms in addition to our two existing rooms we could finally cover all our needs – and almost all the needs of our clients (with the exeption of free drugs and women...)

This IS getting long, I know, but I am almost through... End of May we found and rented a suitable location, and started looking for an acoustic consultant. We do have some very experienced acousticians available locally, but we wanted to build the studio to the highest standards – internationally, not locally – and therefore also started looking outside of our contry as well. We talked to many – from Germany to the US and while we were quite impressed with the work of those comming from the US, there always seemed to be a problem, simply because of the difference in language – which can be a huge problem since construction type guys arround here are not fluent in technical english... Also finding the products to match what is available in the US can be a major pain.

But finally we very happily found Gabriel Hauser of WSDG (Walters Storyk Design Group) who also have an office in switzerland – which is where Gabriel works. They have a very interesting corporate concept: Every one of their offices (and they have a lot of them around the globe) is specialized in one aspect of acoustic design. While ALL of the architectual drawings and concepts are comming from the New York office, eg acoustic simmulations and calculations ALWAYS come from their swiss office – no matter if they design a studio for Alicia Keys, Timbaland or anyone else arround the globe. Their workflow always stays the same. thumbsup

So here was our solution: With John Storyk we found the acoustic design and concept we were looking for, and with Gabriel Houser we got the local expert who bridges the gap between American acousitc design and European construction standards (Plus he is a hell of a nice guy...).

The last couple of months (starting end of July) have been spent analysing out needs, comming up with a basic concept, investigating many, many options and refining and boiling everything from basic sketches down to the final set of plans – which should be ready in a couple of days or so. Over the last month we also spent quite some time negotioating with various companies, evaluated quotes, talked, negotiated, evaluated, talked even more ...

BUT – now we’re almost done: We will finally start building within DAYS. Our local architect who is handling the construction is still waiting for a couple of details and delivery dates, but it seems that we will start building either October 31 or November 5...
Old 26th October 2007
  #2
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mischa janisch's Avatar
 

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Ok, here we go:

Preliminary Plans... They are almost finished, there will be only minor changes.
Attached Thumbnails
For studio construction slutz only - Sunshine Mastering, Vienna-a1.3-furniture-plan.jpg   For studio construction slutz only - Sunshine Mastering, Vienna-lueftung-tonstudio-101007.jpg  
Old 26th October 2007
  #3
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gainreduction's Avatar
 

Now that's for REAL.

Congrats, looks like it's gonna be awesome.

Please take some pics during the build.






















€€€€€€€€€€€€€ hehhehheh
Old 26th October 2007
  #4
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mischa janisch's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gainreduction View Post
Now that's for REAL.

Congrats, looks like it's gonna be awesome.

Please take some pics during the build.






















€€€€€€€€€€€€€ hehhehheh
heh thanks, I'll definitely take some pictures and post them...
Old 26th October 2007
  #5
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here are some pics that where taken when we rented the place in May. It used to be a small church before...
Attached Thumbnails
For studio construction slutz only - Sunshine Mastering, Vienna-studio-before-1.jpg   For studio construction slutz only - Sunshine Mastering, Vienna-studio-before-2.jpg   For studio construction slutz only - Sunshine Mastering, Vienna-studio-before-3.jpg   For studio construction slutz only - Sunshine Mastering, Vienna-studio-before-4.jpg  
Old 26th October 2007
  #6
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... without the woodfloor
Attached Thumbnails
For studio construction slutz only - Sunshine Mastering, Vienna-studio-before-5.jpg   For studio construction slutz only - Sunshine Mastering, Vienna-studio-before-6.jpg   For studio construction slutz only - Sunshine Mastering, Vienna-studio-before-7.jpg   For studio construction slutz only - Sunshine Mastering, Vienna-studio-before-8.jpg  
Old 26th October 2007
  #7
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whoa, looks great. i gotta check it out when it´s done. any idea about the pricing for your mastering services? i always thought sunshine was more of a pop-studio, no?

greetz, johannes
Old 26th October 2007
  #8
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Ozzy's Avatar
 

Wow Looks great man congrats!

That matering room looks like its gonna be something special.

Im no expert, so this is more a question than a statement, but I never get why some ppl have control rooms shaped like your edit room. Surely the way the rear walls angle back in creates a nightmare for early reflections @ the mix position?

My control room is the standard RFZ shape like your main control room, which you can see how the sound would be largly dissapated before hitting the mix positon (along with an angled ceiling).

As I said, Im not expert, just a thought.

Anyways, I look forward to following your thread. Good luck!
Oz
Old 26th October 2007
  #9
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G Davis's Avatar
sweet...i love these forums!!
Old 27th October 2007
  #10
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mischa janisch's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by in the red View Post
whoa, looks great. i gotta check it out when it´s done. any idea about the pricing for your mastering services? i always thought sunshine was more of a pop-studio, no?

greetz, johannes
thanks for the kind words - like I said in the looong post we've been very busy mastering for the last 8 years or so. we are doing far more than pop - our website is not very up to date, but we'll have a new one by the time the new rooms are ready... pm me if you have any specific questions.

regarding prices - we've been charging EUR 70,- per track, a setup fee of EUR 30,- plus final master (if needed). I believe this price has not changed since 2001, so we will raise prices to EUR 80,- per track in January 2008.
Old 27th October 2007
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozzy View Post
Wow Looks great man congrats!

That matering room looks like its gonna be something special.

Im no expert, so this is more a question than a statement, but I never get why some ppl have control rooms shaped like your edit room. Surely the way the rear walls angle back in creates a nightmare for early reflections @ the mix position?
Yes, a lot of work goes into the mastering room to be something special, but we'll see when it's finished. heh

Regarding the Edit room - It's going to be used for recording and editing of audio books mainly, maybe some post production for mastering as well. It wasn't designed for critical mixing, but I'm sure WSDG will include propper acoustic treatment, so that the rear walls will not be an issue. Our main focus here is to have a workable room while leaving enough space for the lounge (which will include a small bar for client comfort). A more conventional shape would have eaten up too much room...
Old 27th October 2007
  #12
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
here are some pics that where taken when we rented the place in May. It used to be a small church before...

Isn't it expensive to do all of this if you are just renting this place? Just wondering... Looks GREAT and I wish you only the best.

Old 27th October 2007
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
here are some pics that where taken when we rented the place in May. It used to be a small church before...

Isn't it expensive to do all of this if you are just renting this place? Just wondering... Looks GREAT and I wish you only the best.

Renting or buying doesn't make as much difference in Austria as it does in the US, since rental laws are very consumer friendly. We have an unlimited rent (until we want to move out we don't have to) and our rent can only be raised once a year by an index that is coupled to inflation (usually not much higher than inflation)...

What's even better is that we can determine a successor and charge him for the investment.
Old 27th October 2007
  #14
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mischa janisch View Post
Renting or buying doesn't make as much difference in Austria as it does in the US, since rental laws are very consumer friendly. We have an unlimited rent (until we want to move out we don't have to) and our rent can only be raised once a year by an index that is coupled to inflation (usually not much higher than inflation)...

What's even better is that we can determine a successor and charge him for the investment.

OK it is much different since here it is the landlord that has the ultimate power and NOT the renter.

Thanks for clearing this up.

Best of Luck!
Old 28th October 2007
  #15
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Congrats!.........

Walters Storyk rooms normally look amazing, and i'm sure this will be no exception.

Could you tell us the internal dinemsion of the mastering room?
Old 28th October 2007
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darius van H View Post
Congrats!.........

Walters Storyk rooms normally look amazing, and i'm sure this will be no exception.

Could you tell us the internal dinemsion of the mastering room?
Thanks Darius,

I'm sure it will look AND sound amazing.

The room is a Louden 3 room - 6,05m x 4,35m x 2,9m (which is roughly 20 ft x 14ft x 10ft for those who're not in the metric system). It's not huge, but the raw ceiling height of 3,3m (11ft) would not allow the development of a higher room.
Old 29th October 2007
  #17
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inlinenl's Avatar
great concept / you're a couple off lucky guys / business-wise ... enjoy the build Mischa ...
Old 29th October 2007
  #18
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DowntownScience's Avatar
 

Congratulations on the new venture Mischa. Looks like a lot of fun, I wish you all the best with it & can't wait to see the progression
Old 29th October 2007
  #19
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Farout's Avatar
 

I love threads such as this. Looks like it is gonna be a big place, too!
Thanlks for sharing with us.
Old 3rd November 2007
  #20
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Thanks for showing us the new studio plans Mischa. You have managed to fit a lot of useful space into a relatively small envelope. WSDG have done a great job as one would expect.

I am curious about the 6 treatments on the front and side walls of the mastering room. Are those diffusors or some kind of bass traps? It looks like a good bit of bass trapping behind the QRD panels but these 6 panels don't look like anything I have ever seen.

Congratulations and I hope all goes well with further planning and construction. Thanks for sharing your process - it is incredibly interesting and well documented.

David
University of British Columbia School of Music
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Music
Old 4th November 2007
  #21
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mischa janisch's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Simpson View Post
Thanks for showing us the new studio plans Mischa. You have managed to fit a lot of useful space into a relatively small envelope. WSDG have done a great job as one would expect.
Yes, WSDG did a tremendous job of fitting 3 studios into this location - Like I said earlier, we started out wanting to build ONE mastering room... When we found this place we were still thinking: 2 studios...

Quote:
I am curious about the 6 treatments on the front and side walls of the mastering room. Are those diffusors or some kind of bass traps? It looks like a good bit of bass trapping behind the QRD panels but these 6 panels don't look like anything I have ever seen.
These are Helmholtz Resonators made out of RPG Flutterfree which are tilted so they redirect sound towards the ceiling... I included a section where you can see the detail. In the back of the room, those are RPG Diffractals, more sophisticated than a QRD panel. The bandwidth of a QRD is limited at high frequencies by the well width and at low frequencies by the maximum depth. A Diffractal is more broadband and is essentially a QRD within a QRD...
Attached Thumbnails
For studio construction slutz only - Sunshine Mastering, Vienna-mastering-section.jpg  
Old 4th November 2007
  #22
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Just a quick update:

Wednesday we had our final meeting on site with most of the companies that will work there to discuss some details and cordinate the workflow - I included some pictures. Last week has been really busy organizing everything and making sure everything is delivered on time, determining what date 'on time' could be... Also a couple design changes, talking to our bank and the building department.

BUT: Construction will finally start - Tomorrow!! heh

To be a little more precise, demolition work will start tomorrow - not a big deal, but getting things out of the way... Needless to say, we are still very excited about it!
Attached Thumbnails
For studio construction slutz only - Sunshine Mastering, Vienna-baubesprechung-1.jpg   For studio construction slutz only - Sunshine Mastering, Vienna-baubesprechung-2.jpg   For studio construction slutz only - Sunshine Mastering, Vienna-baubesprechung-3.jpg   For studio construction slutz only - Sunshine Mastering, Vienna-baubesprechung-4.jpg  
Old 4th November 2007
  #23
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
Thanks for sharing this important moment in your life as a Mastering Engineer.

I hope you can guide us though the complete build.

The picture quality of your photographs is GREAT!

Here is a wish that it all comes out PERFECT!

Old 5th November 2007
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mischa janisch View Post
Yes, WSDG did a tremendous job of fitting 3 studios into this location - Like I said earlier, we started out wanting to build ONE mastering room... When we found this place we were still thinking: 2 studios...
It is obviously going to be a great set of rooms. You will be able to get a lot of work done in the 3 rooms and have lots of useful common area as well. Bravo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mischa janisch View Post
These are Helmholtz Resonators made out of RPG Flutterfree which are tilted so they redirect sound towards the ceiling... I included a section where you can see the detail. In the back of the room, those are RPG Diffractals, more sophisticated than a QRD panel. The bandwidth of a QRD is limited at high frequencies by the well width and at low frequencies by the maximum depth. A Diffractal is more broadband and is essentially a QRD within a QRD...
That is an unusual but very clever approach to redirecting the sound. I have never seen that before. As the drawing just indicated what looked like QRDs I assumed that is what they were but yes, the Diffractals would be the way to go. They will really open up the sound a lot.

Are you sealing off the existing scalloped ceiling? I am guessing that could be a problem area as it would be quite unpredictable as to how it would effect the sound otherwise. I suppose it could be left somewhat open for added height if whatever (14) is absorbs enough of what might come back.

The double ceiling is interesting. Is it treated in some way? It doesn't appear to be sloped.

It must be incredibly exciting to be embarking on such a project. Thanks again for sharing the experience.

David
University of British Columbia School of Music
Old 5th November 2007
  #25
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zak7's Avatar
 

Love Vienna! used to live there for short period of times!!
Old 5th November 2007
  #26
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The MPCist's Avatar
 

I spent some time living in Vienna and Salzburg -- great places! That's where I got hooked on biking and hiking!

Good luck on the construction and be sure to keep updating this thread with all the latest pics!
Old 5th November 2007
  #27
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Cool, once you are done I'd love to check out your place, I'm only 50km away in bratislava

good luck with the construction, it seems that I'll start building my place the next year if everything will go as it should
Old 6th November 2007
  #28
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nukmusic's Avatar
 

good deal... keep us posted with photos
Old 6th November 2007
  #29
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mischa janisch's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Simpson View Post
Are you sealing off the existing scalloped ceiling? I am guessing that could be a problem area as it would be quite unpredictable as to how it would effect the sound otherwise. I suppose it could be left somewhat open for added height if whatever (14) is absorbs enough of what might come back.
Yes, the scalloped ceiling is sealed off - its a complete floating design. Leaving it open was never an option...


Quote:
The double ceiling is interesting. Is it treated in some way? It doesn't appear to be sloped.
No, it's not sloped - its made of perforated wood planks, with insulation material behind. HVAC ducts run in the soffits on the side.


@ zak7, nukemusic, MPCist, morpheuzrecords:
thanks everyone - it seems much more gearslutz have some connection to Austria and Vienna than I'd have expected... Give me a call and drop by, if you're in town.
Old 6th November 2007
  #30
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mischa janisch's Avatar
 

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quick update:

some picks from demolition - very dusty!
Attached Thumbnails
For studio construction slutz only - Sunshine Mastering, Vienna-demolition-1.jpg   For studio construction slutz only - Sunshine Mastering, Vienna-demolition-2.jpg   For studio construction slutz only - Sunshine Mastering, Vienna-demolition-3.jpg   For studio construction slutz only - Sunshine Mastering, Vienna-demolition-4.jpg  
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