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Old 29th October 2020 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Kyle P. Gushue's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theodd ➡️
You have not be discouraging at all. I am supremely grateful you are helping me work everything out out. If I seem a bit discouraged it’s just because there are so many facets to this process that present challenges...and especially in the beginning stages, things can seem impossible...which is not the case.



Turns out I may have gotten a bit over my skis on the idea of additions or building in the back (more on the back later). I think the only currently approved location at the moment is the attic. So I’d like to keep focused there and take the planning and design phase as far as I can.

Again, the questions are simple. If we buildout the dormer on the attic and have it professionally designed:

1) Can I achieve a control room equal to or hopefully better than the one I’m currently in for mixing, scoring, sound design and recording the live room.

2) Can we create a booth or space to cut absolutely professional vocals and VO

3) Is there space for a complimentary live room good enough to track drums, guitars, bass, violin, saxophone, etc. (I know ideally, there might be separate rooms for all of those, but this is a home studio so will make compromises.

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100%. I want to be very careful here and really think things through regarding zoning, my neighbors, the project and my intended use cases.

I talked to my RE lawyer today, my RE agent and dug into the zoning rules. Here’s what it says about the list of ok professions:

C. Accessory uses shall be limited to the following: A professional office or studio of an architect, artist, public accountant, chiropractor, City planner, clergyman, dentist, electrologist, engineer, insurance broker, lawyer, musician, optometrist, osteopath, physician, real estate broker, surgeon or teacher, subject to the requirements of § 405-9C(3).

So I take this to mean that an ‘artist’ or ‘musician’ or ‘engineer’ can technically have a home office if it comports with all the other rules. Such as:

§ 405-9C(2).Accessory uses shall be limited to the following:
(2) Customary home occupations, provided that:
(a) No display of goods or waste material therefrom is visible from the street or adjoining properties.
(b) Such occupation is *incidental to the residential use of the premises and is carried on in the main building by a resident thereof with not more than one assistant who does not reside on the premises.
(c) Only customary household appliances and equipment are used.
(d) Such occupation is carried on in an area not exceeding 30% of the area of one floor of the main building.
(e) No obnoxious odors, noise or vibration emanates therefrom.


This is where it goes south. A recording studio is not ‘incidental’ to the house. It would also limit the studio to the attic in my case and would prohibit a outbuilding seemingly. Though I know plenty of neighbors who have wood shops, metal shops and fix cars out of garages in town. Is a microphone or a compressor a ‘customary household appliance’? I’m pretty sure architects have drafting boards and compasses and things. Are those somehow customary? Not sure what to make of that.

And finally:

§ 405-9C(3).Accessory uses shall be limited to the following:
A professional office or studio of an architect, artist, accountant, chiropractor, City planner, clergyman, dentist, electrologist, engineer, insurance broker, lawyer, musician, optometrist, osteopath, physician, real estate broker, surgeon or teacher, provided that:
(a) Such office or studio is incidental to the residential use of the premises and is carried on by a resident thereof with not more than one assistant who does not reside on the premises.
(b) Such office or studio shall occupy not more than 30% of the area of one floor of the main building. Studios where dancing or music instruction is offered to groups in excess of four pupils at one time or where concerts or recitals are held are prohibited.


So now the studio can only be 30% of the attic.

So basically, the way I see it, if I were to stick to the letter of the law, or sort of close anyway, I have 2 options.

Build the most kick ass, world class recording studio the earth has ever seen in my back yard...but never take a cent from anyone to record them there AND I technically cannot mix, sound design, etc. professionally (ie for money) since for some reason, I’d have to do that from inside the main house.

OR

Do the build in the attic, but keep the control room to 30% of the overall attic space. This would allow me to mix, sound design, score from there solo professionally. And the vocal booth, live room, etc would be designed in such a way that maybe we could argue they are not part of the ‘home office’? However, I think even that falls down because recording studios are not incidental to the main house. Who knows.



These are very interesting points/ideas that I will discuss further with my lawyer. The fact is, if I hire the best designer/acoustician I can find to work on this project AND it ends up being in the attic, besides the dormer popping out, our neighbors will likely never know there is a studio there. The outbuilding would be a bigger risk but I still think the same is true. Once the neighborhood is over that there is a new shed/garage/workshop in our yard, I’d hope they never hear a peep from us.



What’s funny here is a have small office on the first floor which I started consulting (Finance / Accounting) out of this year on a new schedule C. So then can I have different ‘home office’ in the attic for my freelance audio work? LOL. Not too worried about it either way. I’ll just do what my accountant tells me to do to stay on the good side of Uncle Sam.

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Exactly. I hope...

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Makes sense. We will definitely build whatever we build to code with plans from the structural engineer and then supplemental plans from a studio designer (unless one studio designer can do both...maybe Rod?)

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Agreed. Will check with lawyer. The other point is about liability insurance which I was planning on eventually getting if it could have run as a legal recording studio. If it can’t be a full fledged open to the public facility and I end up mixing, sound design there and have people over occasionally to record, if something were to happen, I would hope our umbrella policy that sits above our home owners policy would kick in. Need to double check. Also curious how to insure the gear if it’s in the house but that’s for another day...



I think I do know someone I can reach out to. I’m not 100% sure where his studio is located but I think it might be in his house. Will report back.



I know, I’ve been following a little bit now because of my situation. And Lij is leading the charge. Love his podcast!

Thank you again, Kyle. Honestly...
Glad to help where i can. I enjoy watching things develop from idea to finished product.

I think sometimes laws are written vaugely to give the people involved something to do. Lol. (My uncle has been a civil Attorney focused on enviornmental law for 30 years)

Perhaps it might make sense to frame your buisness as an entertainment, or publishing company instead of studio. Keep the music a hobby and accept payments for posting the band's music on your website or something. Just brainstorming here, seems like you have thr right idea with local professionals in that area of things. I think google gets around being a monopoly by calling themselves an advertising company.

As for your questions, here are my thoughts. I dislike the quoting system on gs because it is cumbersome on my phone, or perhaps im not aware of how to easily do it. My reply is next to the asterisk under each question.

1) Can I achieve a control room equal to or hopefully better than the one I’m currently in for mixing, scoring, sound design and recording the live room.

*If your new place is about the same size you should be in the same ballpark very generally speaking. Shape and dimensions will play a factor.

It may be worth running some REW tests to quantify how your studio performs by an objective measure.

You can also use its dimensions and run some calcs for reference/comparison.

2) Can we create a booth or space to cut absolutely professional vocals and VO

Sure. I've found vocals to be one of the most forgiving thing to record as far as acoustic environment. Mic choice and signal path is much more influential. When your singing a couple inches from a mic alot of the room is not picked up. From stage, to control room, to booths, to rooms with gobos, vocals on "real" records get cut all over the place.

Imho its acoustic instruments ie drums, strings, horns, pianos, ect that tend to really get enhanced in flattering rooms.

3) Is there space for a complimentary live room good enough to track drums, guitars, bass, violin, saxophone, etc. (I know ideally, there might be separate rooms for all of those, but this is a home studio so will make compromises.

*What are the dimensions of the room? Ive gotten good drum sounds in little booths before. You can get an open sound by not dampening the drums much. Any "controlled" environment can work. You may not get a brilliant ambience to "tape" but there's some awesome convolution reverbs that can enhance a clean balanced signal.

Id never under emphasize the Magic of a great live rooms sound and feel, but it is possible to get good sounds in reasonable rooms, even in questionable rooms. It's alot to do with mic technique and wether you desire a great natural ambience or not.

There's nothing wrong with tracking live to in one room together. Bleed can be awesome, an advatange, and close mics, gobos, tight pickup patterns, can yeild a remarkable amount of isolation.

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Some thoughts.

1. Define how loud your loudest instruments are ie drums approx 110-120db, 150 watt tube full stack approx ear bleeding once you know in db (and ideally db per frequency range) you can define how many db's in TL you need to conform to laws and your family comfort level.

You can use the test data in the IRC papers to match an assembly closest to your needs, and use the mass law and/or GG data to estimate further. You can also use a MAM (mass air mass) calculator to estimate things, adding mass sheets in it till you hit your goal.

2. Define your load bearing capability.

3. Compare what your assembly weighs with what your structure can support.

4. Modify the stuctrure or the assembly. Weight is where GG comes in most handily imho. It's isolation added with little extra weight. GG is not perfect, but may be the difference maker in some cases.

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I would consider these nnecessary things to think about in the first part of planning since it essentially defines your isolation limits, which is the big part of the budget. Your construction methods and materials are critical to know as well.

Along with this you can work on the size and shape and layout of the room. This can help define the acoustic treatment possibilities, and key logistical things - door locations, hvac vents, booth sizes ect.

Things can move and shape along the way, but I've found it useful to try and eliminate variables, and define practical limits for things in the early part. Designing to the limits shows max budget, and performance (to a reasonable degree), and helps get one's expectations in line with reality. It also can avoid doing a lot more work before realizing the location is unsuitable or whatever. And for me personally it relieves me of "coulda been better" syndrome, or perpetual upscaling/improvement.

It then just becomes a game of efficiency imho. Efficient use of space, money, and materials, maximizes performance to your hard limits.


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Im glad to see Avare on this thread he is incredibly knowledgeable. +1 on the MHOA, i read it after Rods book and found it great, and a nice progression from rods into more of the theory.

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