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Anyone have a one room studio? Pros and Cons?
Old 24th June 2005
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer
Hi Joshua,

Fancy running into you here!

> the total space i would have to work with is roughly 30' x 20' <

One big advantage of a single room - at least for the typical home studio - is having one large space avoids the boxy sound and low frequency problems inherent in all small rooms. This is what Nathan was talking about. In a large room you get better monitoring, and when recording the microphones and performers don't have to be so close to walls.

--Ethan
haha, long time no talk. yeah, i'll be going one room and i think i'll like it. thanks again for all your help on the acoustics info.
joshua
Old 24th June 2005
  #32
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joaquin's Avatar
 

Hi. I have at the moment a one room studio too. I agree with the communication advantages and the capability to check sound in the room instead of comparing from one to another. But...the main issue for me, at least here in Miami, is Heat!! when we are four/five people in the room plus all the Gear, it can get pretty hot, so it's a turn on/turn off AC drill all the time...some times you just forget and the low hum goes in the drum track's best take!!
I don't now...just wanted to tell you that a cool not noisy breeze is a must when performing hard an active Music
Also, as a singer, I prefer to be by my self when performing...inspiration,for me, is a very personal act
Old 24th June 2005
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joaquin
But...the main issue for me, at least here in Miami, is Heat!! when we are four/five people in the room plus all the Gear, it can get pretty hot, so it's a turn on/turn off AC drill all the time...some times you just forget and the low hum goes in the drum track's best take!!
i will be building a new room for this so i would imagine large ducts (moving a lot of air slowly) with a few right angles before they hit the vent should keep it pretty quiet..... i would think?
joshua
Old 24th June 2005
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brownmouse
i will be building a new room for this so i would imagine large ducts (moving a lot of air slowly) with a few right angles before they hit the vent should keep it pretty quiet..... i would think?
joshua
Old 24th June 2005
  #35
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2leod's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by brownmouse
i will be building a new room for this so i would imagine large ducts (moving a lot of air slowly) with a few right angles before they hit the vent should keep it pretty quiet..... i would think?
joshua
You got it... One thing to consider is how the sound will travel out through the rest of the house. We installed a heat pump for the whole house when we moved in (unfinished basement) and I ran separate supply and return ducts for the studio that were lined with absorbant felt. There's a little leakage upstairs, especially from the main return duct, but it's managable.
Old 25th June 2005
  #36
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I have a one room setup, and like it...but I crave 3 rooms and a vocal booth.

I have about a 30' x 16' room over my garage (loft style ceilings and all) with a full bath in it too. Bands love it, and it's never really been an issue other than feedback in the monitors on occassion and much of the tracking is done with headphones on.

I work with a fair amount of solo artists, but I also have a producer client who is always bringing in young hip-hop and R&B talent and it can be quite difficult to keep all those people quiet while their friend is singing 10 feet away. Occassionally she just has to kick some of them out and it works.

My A/C system is quiet"er" now that I added a second intake and enlarged my standard 4x10" vents to a 10" duct running essentially straight to the wall. For rock stuff I never bother to turn it off, but for some sensitive or acapella stuff it must be shut down. Rooms in South Carolina get HOT in the summer after a few minutes of no A/C.

I really wish I had a vocal booth, if anything just for scratch vocals while I'm cutting drums etc. Typically the whole band is together just like they are in their own jam space, and the singer is on the far side of the room able to cue the others and no matter how loud he gets it's not going to make a difference in a loud rock mix. They usually keep it down as much as they can though to avoid as much bleed as possible. I've never had an issue there.

For tracking guitars, I use Amplitube as an insert or sometimes off of their rig. This way I have a clean guitar D.I. track and can reamp if they really liked their playing. Typically all guitars are re-cut though.

I'm hoping to convert my 900 sq ft garage into a full studio and use the upstairs I'm currently in as an apartment / place to chill and put my Atari 2600 up there for bands to vegg out while one of them is downstairs tracking. It's expensive to build and isolate those rooms though so for now I maximize what I have and keep more cash in the ol' pocket where it belongs.

Best of luck Joshua! If I was building and had the choice, I'd go with 2 rooms and a booth minimally. One room can be made to work and does have a comfortable feel having everyone together.

War
Old 25th June 2005
  #37
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A huge tip of the Stetson to the "one room" guys that make it work...I have a hell of a time getting what I want with not just two rooms, but two buildings separated by 4 feet, with nothing but electric conduit and a couple of snakes connecting the two.

How do you do it? I mean, get acoustic drums, etc...to sound right when hearing both the original source and the monitors?

FWIW, I would really like to try this sometime: use the "one room" approach, but in a huge warehouse or something in which sheer distance would do the trick...perhaps 40 X 100 X 30 ceiling type of thing...didn't Crosby and Nash do their latest project like that?

Hats off!
Old 25th June 2005
  #38
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T_R_S's Avatar
I used to have a large tracking room in a nice building but I could never hear anything right. When we took things back to the mix room it sounded completely different. So we always had tyo track drums with lots of mics as you could never trust what you heard in the room. If you want to quick demos when you need to mix and track a whole band at the same time it's nearly an impossible feat to do it fast in a one room studio. If your a solo engineer and singer it's probably the easiest way to work but you will still need to isolate any noisy equipment.
Old 27th June 2005
  #39
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Telecastr's Avatar
 

I do most of my recording in a room about 60x80x25. Everything sounds great. Especially drums and electric guitars. I don't mix there though. The biggest pain in the butt is having to record a short section of the song before committing to mic placement and the recording chain. It doesn't really take any more time than it does if you had to walk from a control room into the studio though. As was said before, a lot of tracking with headphones, then listening to the playback through monitors with the band. I've never dealt with feedbackfrom live mics because I just turn the monitors off while they're live.
Old 28th June 2005
  #40
I came up in the commercial studio world and, even though I had a small project studio in my house for most of the 90's, I never warmed up to having the musicians in the same room.

But then mine was a small and fairly crowded room. I almost always put vocalists in a hallway just outside my "c.r."... I used roll-up foam pads (yeah, yeah, watch out for your blow torch around 'em) for bounce absorption.

I was doing a fair amount of voice over recording for radio "mini docs" so a clean, dry sound was super important. I also used my improvised solo booth for acoustic guitars, again using foam to dampen reflection. One of my clients was working on a studio-slick guitar rock album with a jillion guitars so I had a clean, dry sound pretty well down, there. And I used the hallway for guitar amps, as well.

(Since my studio room had a large walk in closet, that was the first thing we tried. But it was insufferably hot and stuffy. [There was a gravity furnace beneath a trap door init.])


Anyhow -- that suggests an option for you, rather than make a big studio floor and a small c.r., maybe you could have a big combo room and a small solo booth. Or a compromise with that compromise: a drum booth. That would allow you to get drum sounds (which I, too, have always found extremely difficult in the same room -- in fact, at a certain point I'm using previous experience and habit more than ears in that situation -- and anytime you're not using your ears... watch out.)

(Ok...I'll admit. I only read the first response in this thread before I started blathering. No doubt my suggestions have been made several times above.)
Old 28th June 2005
  #41
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How would you guys prefer to handle drums?
Drums in total isolation, partial isolation or in a section of the room surrounded by acoustic treatments?
Old 6th July 2005
  #42
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I'm still in the process of finishing up my "one room studio", but I agree with all of the post's regarding having at least an iso booth. I have a smallish booth for vocal od's and for screaming guitar amps, and an additional storage closet that can be used in a pinch. Drums are a challenge that really involves just a little extra time. While I don't think that I'd want to open a full blown commercial facility with one room (unless it was a GREAT room) this works out really well for me.
TommyD
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 6th July 2005
  #43
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Tommy D-
Your place is freaking great looking. That is just inspiring. I hope to have something similar some day. By the way, where did you get that violin clock? That thing rocks.

Brandon
Old 6th July 2005
  #44
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Thanks guitarbth! My studio was about three years in the planning, as my wife and I went in circles on doing an addition/remodel on our present house, buy another house, or build. In the end the addition/remodel won out as our lot is great( two acres of trees) on a cul de sac with great neighbors, etc. As for the clock, is was a birthday gift from my wife. I'll ask her tonight where she got it if you'd like.
TommyD
Old 6th July 2005
  #45
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Sure man. Thanks. That's such a great work space. Congrats man.

Brandon
Old 11th July 2005
  #46
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Mr. Victory's Avatar
 

Here is my spot. Just did a whole band in here with the drums right behind me.
Of course, I do have both for the amps too, so I guess it's not just 1 room.

Too bad I will be leaving. They've sold the building and everyone has to go.

The vibe of working in one room is something I will miss. I'm going into a smaller space within a larger recording studio, so I will have my own CR, and I can wire up to the live room there, but there would be no window and no more instruments and amps sprawled around the whole room...

Good luck to all who are thinking of the one room set up! I'm going to miss it.
Attached Thumbnails
Anyone have a one room studio? Pros and Cons?-studio-high-wide-reduced.jpg  
Old 11th July 2005
  #47
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TommyD and Mr. Victory,

Really nice looking spots. . . sorry, you've got to abandon that one Mr. Victory.
Old 26th September 2005
  #48
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I'm considering the single room and a small booth approach for a basement finishing job in my new house and this thread's been really helpful.

I've personally found it hard to get feedback re: actual design for a single room from John Sayer's site since it's not considered "ideal." I'd be curious to hear how you guys did construction in your spaces and specifically, is one end of the room designed to be more control room/monitor friendly while the other side is more "live"? How did you design the walls for the different areas?

In my case, I'm going to be creating a utility closet for my water heater, washer dryer, gas furnace, etc... and then using the remainder of the space for the studio. I'll attach a 3 room design I'd come up with with some help from the Sayer's site and then also just the rough sketched dimensions of the room.

The 3 room design in such a small space feels kind of cramped to me though and I'm also not convinced I'll be in this house for more than 5 years and creating a highly specialized enviornment in a less than ideal space (7 foot ceilings) just seems like a waste. It seems like a single room design with a booth and then some solid acoustic treatments (perhaps a "realtraps" setup) could be a really nice compromise and get me a room that's perhaps less perfect for monitoring, but more comfortable and sonically managable.

I'd be very curious to hear more about the nuts and bolts and build of the rooms everyone is using. I'd also love to see actual CAD or Sketchup blueprints of the space.
Attached Thumbnails
Anyone have a one room studio? Pros and Cons?-basement-pre-studio.jpg   Anyone have a one room studio? Pros and Cons?-basement-studio-idea.jpg  
Old 30th September 2005
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyd
I'm still in the process of finishing up my "one room studio", but I agree with all of the post's regarding having at least an iso booth. I have a smallish booth for vocal od's and for screaming guitar amps, and an additional storage closet that can be used in a pinch. Drums are a challenge that really involves just a little extra time. While I don't think that I'd want to open a full blown commercial facility with one room (unless it was a GREAT room) this works out really well for me.
TommyD
Man. I would kill for that. It seriously looks GREAT! I'm incredibly jealous. I may just steal your idea when I get a bit more serious with this.

Right now I'm stuck in a tiny 13'X15' room. It gets really tight in here with full bands, though. Especially when they bring friends. I'm loving the one-room deal, though. It's just so much easier to be in touch with the band.

I'm having a bit of trouble with fan noise, though. How do you guys cope with this? I don't really have a hallway to put my computer in as my door is at the base of the steps.
Old 30th September 2005
  #50
urumita
 
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I have a friend who's made some pretty popular well recieved records in various 1 room situations just using doghouses and gobos.
More important than a vocal booth is a machine room, get all that noisy stuff out of there.
Old 30th September 2005
  #51
gko
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Is there a way to duck the power to an A/C unit with SMPTE?
Old 30th September 2005
  #52
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7 Hz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gko
Is there a way to duck the power to an A/C unit with SMPTE?
Sure, make a box that sends a control signal to a relay that switches off the AC once it hears the SMTPE. This should be a fairly basic project for anyone who knows about building electronics.

One room studios are nice, I think they can give more focus to a session when everyone has to keep quiet and concentrate on the takes rather than goof about all day. It's also nice to be able to change mic positions ect without going thru all those doors!

Downside is you don't REALLY want to be recording a death metal band in the same room all day. You also have to watch the level in your cans tracking all day like that.

Idealy, I would build at least one booth in one corner of the room, big enough for a drumkit (5 piece + mics and cymbals...) and make sure it was properly treated to remove ALL the low modes.

Tracking in the control room is cool if you are the artist, or it's a private studio.
Old 25th October 2005
  #53
khp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Holland
My "booth" has interesting acoustics, and has the added convenience of having a toilet and sink in it.
I remember getting started when I could s--t, shower, cook dinner and cut tracks from the same place. Now that's ghetto!

The best situation and the one I use is 3 rooms, but it feels like 1 room. Drummer is iso but with a full visual glass; 1 iso for the acoustic (guitar, mando...whatever) and everyone else is in the control room. more acoustic players and we start making use of hallways, lounge, bathroom. Amps are containted in their own iso cubbyholes downstairs. cutting scratch vox anyway and everyone get's their own Qmix. Acoustic players opens the door in arms length, drummer on talkback and everyone is communicating throughout the session.

That's the way to do it.
Old 25th October 2005
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2leod
Thanks Kevin... it's on the small side (28 X 13) but those dimensions work well with the 8 ft. ceiling, acoustically speaking. It's a great sounding room for it's size. It's tight with a band in there, but I like the energy flowing when we are all together.

That`s more or less the dimensions my place will be when I`m done renovating.

I`m really looking forward to having a decent size space to work with as opposed to the 2 rather small rooms I`m dealing with now.

I hear what Nathan was saying on the other page though.

If you really want to crank up a 100 watt amp to its full glory it`s not really possible to be in the same room with it.

It`s a compromise but a couple booths will have to do in that situation.

I figure I`ll pick up a few of those boutique 5 watt amps and encourage guitarists to go low wattage when their own amps aren`t crucial to the sound they want.

I`m also going to get some serious isolating headphones (ultraphones I think) and some good earplugs as well so I don`t go deaf the first week.
Old 26th October 2005
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinc
That`s more or less the dimensions my place will be when I`m done renovating.

I`m really looking forward to having a decent size space to work with as opposed to the 2 rather small rooms I`m dealing with now.
Hey Kev, I should have some pics of the room with a smallish kit in it, and a rack desk we built loaded up on the website sometime this week. Check it out, they should give you a sense of the size of the space.
Old 26th October 2005
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2leod
Hey Kev, I should have some pics of the room with a smallish kit in it, and a rack desk we built loaded up on the website sometime this week. Check it out, they should give you a sense of the size of the space.

Cool !

Will Do !

Old 26th October 2005
  #57
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I like one room studios so much that I have two of them. heh

Seriously.....the only thing that passes back and forth between the two rooms is a firewire harddrive. They are on opposite sides of the property.
Old 26th October 2005
  #58
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....and I just realized that my studio at UCF is also a one room studio. So I guess I over see 3 1-roomers
Old 5th October 2006
  #59
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Etymotic Research ER-4Ps are very good earphones for isolating outside noises and accurate monitoring, you'll want something like this for setting up and tracking - especially as you can be listening at way lower levels than the noise in the room.
Old 5th October 2006
  #60
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I have a very large room (a barn conversion) with a high ceiling and beams. At the back I have a large recording booth (maybe 12ft x 8ft semi circular)

I really like it. I can put drums in the booth and have an amp on either side of the booth. Bass DI'd and a singer where I am between my rack (in front of the booth) and desk (against the far wall).
Works fine. The booth is very useful but sometimes I wish I had just partioned off the room with moveable walls, but then again, I can REALLY crank amps in the booth and I have no issues with noise from the houses near me when recording drums so I need the booth really..
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