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Manifold Recording - Studio Construction Thread Condenser Microphones
Old 8th December 2007
  #1
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Clueless's Avatar
Manifold Recording - Studio Construction Thread

At 5pm yesterday I received word that building permits have been issued for my own "dream studio" project. OMFG!!!!

In a nutshell the project is: a high-end, carbon-neutral recording studio that creates new artistic, production, and business opportunities for musicians, engineers, and listeners. To achieve high-end, I employed Wes Lachot to design the studio from the ground up. To achieve carbon-neutral, Wes has employed an innovative and integrated approach to architecture and acoustics. The building sections reveal that for the most part what is structural is also acoustically beneficial, and what is acoustically beneficial is also architecturally beautiful. The integration of acoustics and architecture provides a natural economy of both materials and space, allowing us to be more aggressive in terms of acoustic and program goals.

The highlights of the studio will be the Music Room (1350 sq ft with 24 ft ceiling, supported and surrounded by 20" thick double masonry walls) and the Control Room (475 sq ft, RFZ with 7th order QRD rear wall). The Music Room is designed and built as if it, too, were a musical instrument; the Control Room is similarly designed and built as the most technically accurate environment we can achieve with 2007 materials and technology.

The studio will make extensive use of RPG materials (DiffusorBlox, BAD panels, Topakustik). My preliminary estimate is that acoustic treatments alone will account for $40-$60/sq ft of acoustic space costs (depending on the space). It is too soon to estimate the cost of the acoustic vs. non-acoustic construction, but the blended all-in number is expected to range somewhere between $260 and $360/sq ft. As construction progresses I'll provide updates to these numbers.

To begin, here are some pre-construction photos showing stake locations of the studio footprint.

As construction progresses I'll provide updates as to what we're doing, why it matters, and what we learned/experienced in the process. (As a one-of-a-kind studio, I'm sure we will have our share of "firsts".) In the mean time, I'm waiting for our contractor to finish his estimate on the number of architectural blocks we'll be ordering from Adams block. Somewhere around 20,000 I imagine...

FINALLY!
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Old 9th December 2007
  #2
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Akoppenheffer's Avatar
 

Congrats! Sounds like it'll be quite a place. By the looks of that live room, it'll rock.
Old 9th December 2007
  #3
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nukmusic's Avatar
 

Dam...that's gonna be nice.
Old 9th December 2007
  #4
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Carbon neutral calculations

This morning I heard some challenging information about carbon neutrality and coal-fired power plants. It got me to thinking that I'd better double-check my maths and make sure that when the facility is online, everything is whole. I did some research which I discuss in this blog posting: Manifold Recording / The Miraverse ยป Starting a carbon neutral conversation

If any of you have better data, I'd love to know it!
Old 21st December 2007
  #5
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Updated carbon-neutral math--vehicular offsets

I just did some more math: Starting a carbon neutral conversation

Bottom line: 10 acres offsets 770 miles of 35mpg vehicular travel per week. For those who drive a prius (like me), it's more like 1,000 miles per week. Who drives so much? 4 different musians coming from (and returning to) four different cities 125 miles away...

Last edited by Clueless; 21st December 2007 at 03:03 AM.. Reason: clean up URL
Old 21st December 2007
  #6
JWL
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Congrats on getting started, Michael. This is gonna rock. Looking forward to watching this materialize.
Old 21st December 2007
  #7
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Factory101's Avatar
 

Excellent - looking forward to the thread. Thanks and best wishes, 101.
Old 28th December 2007
  #8
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A pallet of blocks arrived this week...

A pallet of blocks has been delivered so that the masons can build a practice wall and verify that the dimensions of the blocks are within spec. With 27 blocks laid end-to-end on the long side of the music room and 36 blocks laid end-to-end on the long side of the garage, we're verifying that the blocks are consistent in size and that fabrication errors won't add up to a building that won't stand up.

No photos of the pallet or the porta-potty, but ground breaking will begin next week.

Happy new year to all!
Old 28th December 2007
  #9
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Farout's Avatar
 

This promises to be a fun one!
Can't wait to see the progress!
Thanks for allowing us to watch the build.
Take care.
Old 29th December 2007
  #10
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OK, I'll admit I'm not up on everything. Could someone please explain the term "carbon neutral"? And how do you design for carbon neutrality? Why do you design for carbon neutrality? Will this knowledge change my life or is this the new buzz word for "energy efficient"? Do I have to go back to school to understand the math? Inquiring minds want to know.
Old 29th December 2007
  #11
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gio.vanni's Avatar
 

Congrats! That live room looks like it is going to be amazing! Good luck and I am definitely following this thread.
Old 29th December 2007
  #12
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While I'm happy to hear that a high-end studio is going to be built in my home area, I'm hoping that your business model is a good one, because unless you've got built-in or pre-existing relationships with labels around the country -- i.e., you are going to be able to attract clients from outside the Triangle and NC area -- I don't see how you're going to be able to financially make a go of it in this area. There's a great local indie scene around here, but these bands can usually barely afford to buy time in a small studio...
Old 31st December 2007
  #13
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Defining carbon neutral...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Sutton View Post
OK, I'll admit I'm not up on everything. Could someone please explain the term "carbon neutral"? And how do you design for carbon neutrality? Why do you design for carbon neutrality? Will this knowledge change my life or is this the new buzz word for "energy efficient"? Do I have to go back to school to understand the math? Inquiring minds want to know.
All good questions. I don't have the answers to all of them, but I started a carbon neutral conversation, and so far that's the #1 most read post on my blog. So far no flames, so either I'm thinking about it in the right way or I'm so wrong that nobody thinks it's worth telling me different. Net net: the operation of the studio will cause zero net increase in atmospheric CO2 on an annual basis.
Old 31st December 2007
  #14
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New studio business model

Quote:
Originally Posted by blim View Post
While I'm happy to hear that a high-end studio is going to be built in my home area, I'm hoping that your business model is a good one, because unless you've got built-in or pre-existing relationships with labels around the country -- i.e., you are going to be able to attract clients from outside the Triangle and NC area -- I don't see how you're going to be able to financially make a go of it in this area. There's a great local indie scene around here, but these bands can usually barely afford to buy time in a small studio...
I do have a new business model, and I'm adding entries to my blog explaining that model. After January I think I'll have more to share, but the short story is that I believe it will be possible to pay bands to record in the studio. Whether local bands are willing to sign on is an open question, but national and international talents are warming up to the idea.
Old 31st December 2007
  #15
I am a bit late, but I can help you with carbonneutrality.

first:
dont buy outboard gear. the energyefficieny factor of musical gear is terrible :D

second:
dont buy a mixingboard (except SSL duality witch is a very green console).


for the building:
make the isolation better, so you have less heating, cooling going on. that would be a house like the "minergie-standart". "low-energy-houses" is the keyword.

we develop a tool to calcualte the alternative heating for such houses (and normal houses too). checkout Vela Solaris - START it helps to calcutate the size of the collectors (for heating the water), the pump , the flowratio.. everything. it has housemodels inside, sunstandmodels..

it's not more costeffective to build a good isolated house (at least in europe). try to avoid the normal american-buildingstyle (TRY TO HAVE Concrete ground and brick-walls). the isolation need to be

air /outisde==> Brick/isolation /air/isolation/inner wall

in principal it0s a room in room constrution. the energyprincipal is based on the airflow. you need airflow transport systems, because the house is so isolated, you don't have enough natural airflow. but because you are american/studioowner, you will have a climatics-systems anyway.

hope that helps for the start.


cheers
Old 31st December 2007
  #16
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Farout's Avatar
 

Well that settles it .... you're obviously not a drummer!

Old 14th January 2008
  #17
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Actual construction photos

I've got some actual construction photos now! The narrative is posted on my blog, but here's a few to whet your appetite:







Next week: the removal of 40,000 cu ft of dirt (thankfully all "good dirt").

Last edited by Clueless; 26th February 2011 at 12:30 AM.. Reason: Restore image links
Old 18th January 2008
  #18
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reflexon's Avatar
Are you going for any LEED certification on this building? Also, are you going to try and cut and fill any of that 40k that you are hauling off? That looks like decent dirt. Much better than most of the gumbo crap we have down here.

If you aren't going for any LEED certification, there are some good ideas on building green on the USGBC site, especially pertaining to reusing and storing rainwater and hvac runoff.

http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=75

You probably already know all of this stuff. Just in case. Looks like a cool project!
Old 18th January 2008
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reflexon View Post
That looks like decent dirt. Much better than most of the gumbo crap we have down here.
Too true ... too true!
Old 19th January 2008
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reflexon View Post
Are you going for any LEED certification on this building? Also, are you going to try and cut and fill any of that 40k that you are hauling off? That looks like decent dirt. Much better than most of the gumbo crap we have down here.

If you aren't going for any LEED certification, there are some good ideas on building green on the USGBC site, especially pertaining to reusing and storing rainwater and hvac runoff.

http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=75

You probably already know all of this stuff. Just in case. Looks like a cool project!
Thanks for the link...I'll check it out. I asked my contractor (who is doing a really big green project in Chapel Hill proper) and he tells me that the paperwork for LEED certification is an unbelievable hassle. As for the use of the dirt--yes, we know it's good dirt, and we'll be trading it to folks that need it. Those who know the area know that some of the best dirt in the Piedmond is distributed in our area, and we just happen to have the motherlode on our property.
Old 26th January 2008
  #21
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Week 2: grading

I updated my blog with some grading photos.

Here's one I call "the cut":

Last edited by Clueless; 26th February 2011 at 12:31 AM.. Reason: Restore image links
Old 26th January 2008
  #22
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

Looks like your close to checking out some Mic pres...Ha
Looks like your off to a good start.
Old 26th January 2008
  #23
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Darius van H's Avatar
 

Now this is what i call a studio construction thread!

Good luck!
Old 27th January 2008
  #24
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inlinenl's Avatar
oh GOD, please let it run on solar energy .... or hydro/watter cell .. let's get started somewhere...
Old 29th January 2008
  #25
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Footings poured...

Here are some footings up close:

Here are all the footings:

Next up: finding a company that knows how to make architectural blocks that are properly formed.

Last edited by Clueless; 26th February 2011 at 12:34 AM.. Reason: Restore image links
Old 29th January 2008
  #26
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Farout's Avatar
 

It looks so official!
Whew. It's happening. This is the real deal for ya.
I am exicited to see it mature.
thanks for the update!
Old 29th January 2008
  #27
Gear addict
 

Keep posting, great thread!
Old 31st January 2008
  #28
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mikesilence's Avatar
Veeery cool, also the infopage you have. Thanks for doing this!!! thumbsupthumbsupthumbsupthumbsupthumbsup
Old 12th February 2008
  #29
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Clueless's Avatar
Grayblock going in...

I just posted another installment to my blog. Here's a picture showing how deep the grayblock will be doing down from below the finished floor elevation (shown in wood). Of course right now it looks like we'll be building up, but trust me, when the slab is poured and all the dirt is put back, it will seem down to you...



And here's a photo of the mitre cuts that will be joining all the (non-square) building corners:



If my math is correct, we'll be using slightly more than 14,000 CMU (of more than three dozen different types) for the buildings, plus whatever we need to buy for breakage/overage. Which reminds me...gotta pay the first real construction bill for January...

Last edited by Clueless; 26th February 2011 at 12:37 AM.. Reason: Restore image links
Old 12th February 2008
  #30
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Lunatic's Avatar
 

Designed by Wes Lachot, I see. Ours was too! Welcome to the family, brother.
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