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Tracking/Mixing in a Penthouse??
Old 8th May 2006
  #1
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Matthew Murray's Avatar
Tracking/Mixing in a Penthouse??

Hello all. Perhaps Ethan or Gil could chime in on this, as I always find their perspectives on acoustics so enlightening.

I read in an interview with Daniel Lanois (it was recently posted here) that one of his two studios is located in a penthouse. Now, I'm presuming that means in an apartment-style condo building, meaning there are people living below him.

I'm currently in the middle of trying to sort out a space to rent that can accomodate my much larger and much more slutty studio setup -- hopefully a place I can live out of to save costs as well. I've mostly been looking at houses, since I figured this was the only choice I'd have to avoid confrontations with neighbours.

The question is, is this actually possible in a condo/apartment, if the place is big enough? How on earth would you isolate yourself enough to avoid drums, loud bass, guitar amps, PA -- seeping into the brains of your neighbours and causing a swift eviction?

Or did Mr. Lanois simply buy the entire building?
Old 8th May 2006
  #2
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Murray
Or did Mr. Lanois simply buy the entire building?
being the landlord is one of the most effective forms of soundproofing that there is!



There are plenty of people who live in apartments over bars, nightclubs and factories, and just pay a somewhat lower rent for putting up with the noise.

Maybe with an apartment building you could buy the top two floors and put the studio in the Penthouse. You would still have to decouple it from the frame of the building, but if you lived on the penultimate floor, that could act as a buffer.

It would be expensive, but to get to call your place "The Penthouse" it might be worth it!
Old 8th May 2006
  #3
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you need the right combination of things. i live in manhattan on the top floor of a pre-war building with very thick walls and floors ( 26" concrete in many places). since i have no neighbors on the sides or above, the downstairs person is the only consideration. in 19 years of living here it's never been a problem. all the rooms are wired with tie lines thru the walls or snakes and a good amount of acoustic treatment has been done- especially for the control room and also the drum room (read: bedroom). i regularly have heavy rock sessions and the only thing that kept me from getting great tones was my own inexperience. once i got better at it (and better gear) and figured out how to make these rooms work, i was able to get great sound. with 9 foot ceilings and sheetrock walls it takes A LOT more effort to get a good tone, but you can do it. I don't think you can soundproof any apartment well enough- after the fact. you need a former warehouse or factory building.
a friend of mine has a great living room with 15 foor ceilings and no parallel walls. whatever you do, the sound is amazing. His room just sounds good, by itself. unfortunately he can't make much noise there so it's only acoustic friendly.

with regards to mixing, it's quite easy. i got about a dozen real traps and that, combined with an area rug made my control room excellent for mixing. the difference was startling- took the room out of the equation. i keep my speakers off and behind my console. for tracking acoustics or percussion in the control room i roll the rug back to expose the wood floor for a bit more live-ness.

the main reason i haven't moved to a separate space ( besides the extra $$$) is that with as many hours as i spend in the studio i'd never be home.
good luck with it,
david lawrence
Old 8th May 2006
  #4
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one other thing. i made up some gobos of 1/4 plywood that i can place around instruments where i want a more lively sound. i took sheets of 4x8, cut them in half, put hinges on them, laquered them and there you have it. very easy and effective.
with low (9') ceilings, i found that making a cloud above the instrument with the mini traps was a huge improvement- especially for drums.
david
Old 8th May 2006
  #5
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octatonic's Avatar
Sorry to threadjack.
David,

we are about to relocate to Manhatten and looking to do something similar to you.
Looking for around 1000sq ft and I need to be able to turn the guitar amps up to track,
Not worried about recording drums- I'll do that elsewhere.
Can you suggest a place where I might look for an apartment?

James
Old 8th May 2006
  #6
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james,
it's there are too many factors involved for me to give you an answer.
do you need to be in manhattan, or will brooklyn queens, the bronx ( new "it" area) do
there are clear advanatages to both.

what's your budget- i'm sure you know the real estate situation here. the biggest change i've seen in the last 10-15 years is that there are no "fringe" neighborhoods left in manhattan. the far west side, alphabet city and even chinatown are all considered hot.

that said, i'd check out the far west 20s to 50s. also look for a space in the music building at 251 w.30th street or the film building on 9th ave. at 45th st.
more studio spaces in the 20s between 6th and 8th ave.
unless you really have a niche, opening up a shop here is very risky proposition, as i'm sure you know. i have too many friends who have given up their spaces in the last couple of years.
good luck with it-
david
Old 8th May 2006
  #7
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octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by beats workin'
james,
it's there are too many factors involved for me to give you an answer.
do you need to be in manhattan, or will brooklyn queens, the bronx ( new "it" area) do
there are clear advanatages to both.

what's your budget- i'm sure you know the real estate situation here. the biggest change i've seen in the last 10-15 years is that there are no "fringe" neighborhoods left in manhattan. the far west side, alphabet city and even chinatown are all considered hot.

that said, i'd check out the far west 20s to 50s. also look for a space in the music building at 251 w.30th street or the film building on 9th ave. at 45th st.
more studio spaces in the 20s between 6th and 8th ave.
unless you really have a niche, opening up a shop here is very risky proposition, as i'm sure you know. i have too many friends who have given up their spaces in the last couple of years.
good luck with it-
david
Hiya David,

Yes I guess we are looking at the Bronx, simply the cost per foot price seems to be reasonably affordable- but anywhere will do really. My wife needs to get to Nutely, NJ each day and I simply need space for all my stuff and a small 2 x 2 area for our bulldog to sit in on. :-)
I lived in Chelsea in 2004- W22nd and loved it but it was way too built up and expensive for us.
Our budget is around $2500pcm for an apartment with studio space as part of it or around a grand for the studio space alone.
Definitely not thinking of opening a commercial studio- I'll associate myself with a few studios there and do a lot of pre-production and such at my place.
Sorry to threadjack- but can you suggest any good accom websites for new york?
Last question (I promise) are there live/work zonings anywhere in New York?

James
Old 8th May 2006
  #8
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Matthew Murray's Avatar
This might be a situation where private messages would come in handy.
Thanks to all who have responded thus far. Interesting. Any other takes?
Old 8th May 2006
  #9
Astoria - was the tip a few year back...

Dunno whats hot now..
Old 8th May 2006
  #10
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Dave Peck's Avatar
 

What a coincidence. When I moved to the bay area about eight years ago, I staying with relatives temporarily while looking for a small detached house or perhaps a live/work loft/warehouse so I could set up my synth studio at home. After a few months of searching with no results, I decided to just delay setting up the studio, keep the gear in storage and move into the first decent apartment I could find.

The first place I found was a penthouse apartment with no common wall neighbors (and of course no upstairs neighbors) and a very large living room. I discovered that the area below the living room was mostly common-area hallways and interior stairwell, not someone's apartment, and the landlord informed me there was a concrete slab below my apartment so I decided to try setting up the gear. Eight years later and not a single noise problem, and my main speakers do get quite loud and they're flat to 22Hz. Of course, it helps that I don't record after 9 PM, I always introduce myself to the folks living on the floor below and give them my number and tell them to call if there is ever a noise issue (not a single call yet), and I don't track acoustic drums. But I never would have assumed that this place could work. So ya never know.

DP
Old 8th May 2006
  #11
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Matthew Murray's Avatar
Interesting ... it's a gem to find I'm sure, a penthouse with such good alignment to hallways below ... but it's possible. Now, the question will be -- I AM recording acoustic drums. Probably going to be over the top. I just don't get how Lanois pulled it off, short of owning a floor or two below as well....
Old 8th May 2006
  #12
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Check out LIC. Better move on it while its still somewhat affordable. This will be the next 'it' zone in a few...
Old 8th May 2006
  #13
Years back, there was a very cool penthouse studio in NYC in the mags.. but then I fear the owner may have died and it came up for sale.. It was an absolute DREAM studio..

Anyone know the one I mean?
Old 9th May 2006
  #14
Gear Nut
 
Mr. Victory's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by richmondjames
Sorry to threadjack.
David,

we are about to relocate to Manhatten and looking to do something similar to you.
Looking for around 1000sq ft and I need to be able to turn the guitar amps up to track,
Not worried about recording drums- I'll do that elsewhere.
Can you suggest a place where I might look for an apartment?

James
Long Island City, Queens. 1 stop from midtown. . . and soace everywhere, Nice and spread out.
Old 9th May 2006
  #15
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theblotted's Avatar
 

similar situation for LA

reply deleted.

started new thread...

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showt...499#post709499

Last edited by theblotted; 9th May 2006 at 02:57 PM..
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