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Branko 12th August 2010 07:04 PM

New rooms in Portugal
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Hi everyone,

My post-production company is preparing a new facility in Lisbon. I imagined it as a small studio complex, where I'll be able to record, edit and mix sound for features, TV and commercials.
It took us almost a year to find an appropriate place - acceptable dimensions, location and rental fee - way longer than I could imagine. Walking around the city, we saw hundreds of places that seemed to be good candidates, but every time we approached the landlord, something went wrong. I'm not sure if this place is the best one, but I'm tired of waiting...
Anyway, as I was saying, the idea is to build one recording room, with a decent control room that can be used for some pre-dubbing and TV mixing, one mixing theatre, Dolby approved, and two editing rooms which would be used both for picture and sound, depending on requests.
Here are some pictures of the space, to begin with:

Colonel Blues 13th August 2010 02:38 PM

At least, you've got a laaaaaarge place to make up your ideas !!! kfhkh

Branko 13th August 2010 05:33 PM

No place is large enough!

I'll also keep the updated info (probably with some more pictures) here: my blog

Branko 16th August 2010 08:29 PM

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I'll try to explain some problems we had to sort out while designing the whole facility.
The first (and probably the biggest) problem is that we had to place two very different rooms next to each other - the Dubbing Theatre and the Recording Studio. In the Dubbing Theatre, we intend to produce peaks of 130 dB SPL, while in the Recording Studio we intend to keep the noise below NC10-15. Of course, there's a quick solution for this problem: just build these two rooms far away from each other, but that's something we can't afford, so we had to look for a different solution.
I have to say here that I'm a lucky person (at least when it comes to acoustic design issues), because I'm a good friend with Philip Newell and he was kind enough to accept the role of the designer in this project. Unfortunately, he's stuck with other studio construction (which he is supervising) in Spain, and can't get here to help me directly. Anyway, we keep exchanging drawings and photos. and we discuss all the problems and doubts in long phone conversations.
Phil has built hundreds of rooms in his career. That is extremely helpful, as there are practically no problems he hasn't already been through - and he remembers all of them and has them documented in his archive.
In order to reduce the transmission between these two rooms, we decided to fully float them, and even to separately float some isolation walls around them. As a consequence, the Recording Studio will be built as a bunker, with a triple shell around it. The first two walls will be made out of concrete blocks, filled with sand, and one of them will be floated on Sylomer (it's a rubber strip with excellent anti-vibration behavior), while the third wall, the inner one, will be a classical double plasterboard wall.
Both studios will be built on a separate steel-reinforced concrete slab, floated on 10cm of mid-density Rockwool.
Rockwool will also be used between walls, to prevent any direct contact through eventual cement dripping while laying down the concrete blocks.

Here are some pictures of today's activity:

Branko 17th August 2010 06:33 PM

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Day two. Scaffolds and other tools were delivered and organized. Rockwool's being stored. Sylomer's been delivered, too.
We spent the afternoon measuring the space and drawing marks on the floor. Needless to say, some measures were adjusted to real conditions, most of them due to curvatures and shapes of existing structural floors and walls. We actually gained some 10cm of width to the Dubbing Theatre. At the same time, we lost some 30cm of height, but that won't be a problem, as we can comfortably reduce the space between the inner and outer ceiling to recover the lost space.
Later this afternoon, Murfor, a special wire reinforcement for masonry arrived. We will use it to increase the rigidity of all separation/isolation walls, and to prevent cracks that may appear later, due to their weight.

JoeMilner 17th August 2010 09:42 PM

Congratulations on the new venture, Branko; looking forward to watching the build!


Branko 17th August 2010 10:04 PM

Thanks, Joe. Watch this space: just a few (!) months from now, we'll announce the opening party! I'll provide the beer for everyone.

Branko 19th August 2010 11:07 PM

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Here are some new pictures, showing first concrete blocks being laid. We fill them with dry sand, to increase the mass.
In the next few days, these walls will keep growing up to 5,30m, which will be the height of the Dubbing Theatre outer shell.

Branko 20th August 2010 10:01 PM

Last day of the first week!
Four rows in place and filled with sand.

Johnny Paez 20th August 2010 10:06 PM


Branko 20th August 2010 10:07 PM

Thanks, Johnny!

dmitri 22nd August 2010 12:12 PM

Congratulations, Branko! It's great when your dreams come true. Wish best luck to you and your team!

Joao B. 22nd August 2010 12:32 PM

Boa sorte para o projecto kfhkhkfhkh

Branko 22nd August 2010 08:16 PM

Thanks, Dmitri, obrigado João!

J1mbaFr0sty 24th August 2010 02:12 AM

and since you are in Portugal the build will be superior cos apparently we make good construction workers lol i might be visiting portugal soon. do you have msn or aim good sir? if so PM me please and thanks. place should look good when its done cant wait !

Branko 24th August 2010 10:54 PM

Thanks j1mbafr0sty, you're welcome!

Branko 24th August 2010 10:57 PM

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Day 7, walls growing...
After each 4 layers of blocks, a Murfor wire reinforcement is added.

Branko 25th August 2010 11:24 PM

day 8
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You can see the shape of the Recording Studio, limited by a floated wall.
Attachment 189170Attachment 189173
On the other picture, Ze Luis is leveling the scaffold. We'll raise the walls to 5,30m in the next few days.
Attachment 189171
We also opened a door in the existing wall.
Attachment 189174

Branko 27th August 2010 03:17 PM

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You can see the second wall laid next to the floated rec. studio wall. This second floor will divide the space in two main areas: Recording Studio and Dubbing Theatre. It is a non-floated wall, connected directly to the building structure.
Attachment 189406
There's a new opening in the control room wall - this time it's a window.
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On Monday, we'll have more bricklayers, so I expect things to speed up a little bit.

Syncamorea 30th August 2010 07:42 PM


Originally Posted by Branko (Post 5691143)
In the Dubbing Theatre, we intend to produce peaks of 130 dB SPL


Looking great so far!

adassumpcao 1st September 2010 09:32 AM

Nice work Branko! :)

I'm very curious to see the outcome of this project. I'll be closely following the updates that's for sure!

By the way, I'm also from Portugal, so as you promissed, I advise you to start filling the fridge with those beers! mezedgooof

Good luck! gooof



TiagoJSilva 1st September 2010 01:24 PM

Triple-wall? Rock On! This is looking very nice, Branko!
Time to brush up on my copy of "Recording Studio Design" (by Phil himself).

Are you going to float the slabs on springs or elastomers?

vegastheque 1st September 2010 07:57 PM

I would like to ask what is the reason for the rockwool behind the bricks or in some cases behind gypsum walls I would like someone to share his opinion

is it for sound insulation or sound isolation and is it necessary to make gypsum(or bricks) and rockwool for acoustics ?


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Branko 1st September 2010 10:55 PM

There are many reasons why would you put Rockwool between walls.
In this case, Rockwool behind the walls has a very simple task - to prevent cement from falling down, piling up at the bottom of the wall and creating a "short circuit" between walls and/or structural floor. Once it hardens, cement can seriously reduce the isolation characteristics of the floated wall. The distance between walls is only 5cm, and it is absolutely necessary to keep them completely separated.

Syncamorea, Tiago and adassumpcao, thanks, counting with you guys for the opening party!

adassumpcao 2nd September 2010 08:29 AM

By the way Branko,

Where is it located?



Branko 2nd September 2010 09:19 AM

It is near the Expo zone, in Av. Infante D. Henrique.

adassumpcao 2nd September 2010 09:31 PM

Nice spot you pick! :) There's a lot of good spaces out there! ;)

Branko 3rd September 2010 12:51 AM

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Approaching the end of week 3, here's the actual situation:
walls are now 2,5 m high and we'll be pouring one horizontal beam, to reinforce the structure of every wall. A smaller beam was placed above the window opening, and tomorrow we'll do the same for the door between the corridor and the Recording Studio.
Attachment 190598Attachment 190597Attachment 190600
I measured the dimensions of the rooms once again, to confirm we're on the right track and to fine tune the drawings of the acoustical shell, which we're going to start as soon as slabs are finished.
Attachment 190599

Branko 6th September 2010 10:30 PM

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General situation as of today September 6th:

Walls keep growing.
Horizontal concrete beams are dry.
We'll reach the 5m30 wall height in a week or so. Only after that we'll close the Dubbing Theatre with rear wall and build the projection and equipment Machine Room.
After that, we'll pour the concrete slabs and, while these are drying, begin the demolition of some existing walls on the first floor.
Some pictures of today's situation.
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rhysw 8th September 2010 03:01 PM

Very nice, Keep up the picscooge