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Just took out a loan, leased a commercial space, and having a studio built need help!
Old 18th November 2009
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Just took out a loan, leased a commercial space, and having a studio built need help!

Basically, the guy im leasing my commercial space from just so happens to have built quite a few studios in his day. Hes agreed to build me a full studio on a budget of 5000$ (just construction costs) but hes asking me for specs. I know absolutely nothing about building (just recording lol)

The layout of the room total is 1200 square feet (like one long loft.) The ceils are rather high around 20ft. The entry area has a badass window in the ceiling which i dubbed would be the live room, it already has a sectioned off back room (my bedroom.) Ive included pics below. I'd love to know what direction i should go in since im a newb haha. Thanks!






Last edited by Luthatdude; 18th November 2009 at 07:42 AM.. Reason: bad link
Old 18th November 2009
  #2
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fabricaudio's Avatar
 

I think 5000$ is not enough for the whole project. You mentioned that the guy has experience and he ask for specs ? maybe he is good in manual construction, this is good.


My suggestion is that you need to take more photos so people can see most of the building. For now you can build your bedroom and a control room, and as you get more work you can continue with the live room. From a first glance for me it is obvious that you can use this big door as entrance for the live room to load in-out gear in the future, so i would suggest to put the control at the back


Nikolas
Old 18th November 2009
  #3
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Rod Gervais's Avatar
 

Listen,

this is a recipe for disastor..........

You know nothing about designing studios - you friend is probably a great carpenter - and I'll believe you when you say he's built quite a few studios - but HE obviously doesn't know anything about designing a studio either.......

What he's quoted you hardly sounds like it would cover basic framing labor - not the cost for construction of a whole studio (materials and labor).

So - without a plan in the world you rent a space and get ready to start construction - and expect your frinds here to just jump in and give enough good advice that you'll have something worthwhile when you're finished............

i will never understand this younger generation - they suffer from McDonald's syndrome........ not a clue what you want to eat - walk into my resturant - look at my menu and in 30 seconds you'll have your meal and be on your way.........

Isn't everything in life like that?

Rod
Old 18th November 2009
  #4
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Quote:
Basically, the guy im leasing my commercial space from just so happens to have built quite a few studios in his day. Hes agreed to build me a full studio on a budget of 5000$ (just construction costs) but hes asking me for specs. I know absolutely nothing about building (just recording lol)
Is this a cost he is going to cover then spread that over time in the rent or our you putting $5000 up front? I ask this because after he burns through $5000 (if you put it up front) he will just ask for more. If you decide not to move on or cover more of the cost, then he is getting a FREE build out for HIS place. Not a real good deal for you. Either way I would contact a good lawyer and a good designer before moving forward.

Just my 2 cents.
Old 18th November 2009
  #5
Gear Guru
Walk away

Dude, you are in considerable danger. Get out of this one fast. Pay back the loan. Cancel the lease. Claim insanity if anyone tries to force you to continue. it would be a very credible plea :-)

DD
Old 18th November 2009
  #6
Here for the gear
 

I do understand what you guys mean. Im not some dumb kid who just gets ideas in his head and acts on them with little to no knowledge. This isnt a spur the moment decision, i've been planing and saving for this for a longgg time. I have way more than 5000$, thats just what he wanted to start to get things rolling. I havent even signed the lease on the place, it was just an idea more or less.

I wanna build a studio, but i have absolutely no construction knowledge. I have friends who build but i want this done RIGHT. I looked at a space today which was twice the size of the place above, ideal for a studio. If i choose to start this project, what are some good first steps to get this thing moving?

Gear i have:

Mac Book Pro Intel 2.4 gig
Digidesign 192
Pro Tools HD 3
TRIDENT T24 // 36 input recording console w/4 96pt TT patchbays
AKG D112
Audio Technica 4047/SV (x2)
Custom built 10" Subkick
Oktava MK319
Oktava MK012 (x3)(2 w/mods)
Sennheiser MD421
Sennheiser e604 (x3)
Shure SM7
Shure SM57 (x3)(1 w/TapeOp Mod)
Shure Beta52

Plus all essential instruments, drum kit, various bass/guitar stacks, various guitars Gibson, fender ect.
Old 18th November 2009
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luthatdude View Post
If i choose to start this project, what are some good first steps to get this thing moving?
I would suggest hiring a professional designer for a commercial space such as this. Hell, I'm considering hiring a professional for my basement and I am a dumb (34 year old) kid heh
Old 18th November 2009
  #8
Gear Guru
Viability

Dude, no insult intended. The information presented is thin. I am glad you haven't signed the lease. I would encourage a cold hard look at the situation.
Why do you want a studio? They are generally not viable these days. In fact many of the greats were a sideline of movie studios, record companies, and publishing houses. i.e. not standalone viable.
If you do have a viable use for a studio and a business plan which will pass independent analysis.....The get a studio builder/designer.
Try to find one reasonably local that can oversee the build. Someone who's previous work you can view and listen to.
DD

Last edited by DanDan; 18th November 2009 at 10:40 PM.. Reason: Tiopo
Old 18th November 2009
  #9
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
It is always nice to have a GREAT place and sure it can help, but have you looked at starting smaller? Like in your house for a bit?
All that said I would hire a QUALIFIED acoustic designer to lay this thing out.
Old 18th November 2009
  #10
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fabricaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luthatdude View Post
I wanna build a studio, but i have absolutely no construction knowledge. I have friends who build but i want this done RIGHT.

Will you ever trust a sound engineer who doesnt have absolutely any knowledge and asking in aforum how to record a band?

If you want this thing to be done properly, hire an acoustical engineer, it is like hiring a sound engineer for recording

It is no just knobs that you turn as a sound engineer and it is not just rockwool and some pieces of wood when you build a studio

Nikolas
Old 19th November 2009
  #11
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Rod Gervais's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luthatdude View Post
I wanna build a studio, but i have absolutely no construction knowledge. I have friends who build but i want this done RIGHT. I looked at a space today which was twice the size of the place above, ideal for a studio. If i choose to start this project, what are some good first steps to get this thing moving?
Everything begins with hiring a professional designer - one who specializes in recording studios - to fit out your space....... which means (as well ) that this person should be (dovetailing in the process) with you looking at possible sites.........

Until you have a site choose and then some pland made that fit within that building footprint - you re no closer to being ready to begin construction than you were 10 years ago...........

Rod
Old 19th November 2009
  #12
Here for the gear
 

Thanks Rod, I've read your book and learned alot from it. Im def gonna look into acoustical engineers to start this project. My total budget is 25k, im determined to make something happen, its been my dream forever. I live in the Philly area, can anyone make any recommendations?
Old 19th November 2009
  #13
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andrebrito's Avatar
Spend as much time planning as you can.... most people jump into the construction stage and afterwards try to fix things up

Hire an acoustical designer if needed, local or online.
Old 19th November 2009
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luthatdude View Post
Thanks Rod, I've read your book and learned alot from it. Im def gonna look into acoustical engineers to start this project. My total budget is 25k, im determined to make something happen, its been my dream forever. I live in the Philly area, can anyone make any recommendations?
Obviously, you've already heard from most of the guys here who know their stuff... and I'm biased towards recommending Rod.

But, one thing I would strongly urge you to do is get realistic about your budget.

Typical commercial rates for upfit of a building for something like a standard retail store, including labor, is on the order of $100/sq ft.

$100/sq ft x 1200 sq ft = $120,000

A professional studio takes a lot more mass, thus more material, thus more labor. So, if you are not willing/unable to kick in a good bit of your own labor, I would suggest upping a realistic 25%-30% to that budget... which will take you to approximately $150,000 or more for a decent sized facility.

Building in a commercial space, you will have a lot of unpleasant realities if you attempt to skimp or cheap out... so DON'T DO THAT!

Depending upon zoning, planning commissions, fees and inspections, insurance, and all the other professional expenses, those costs alone could end up at about another $20,000.

Then you have all your equipment and wiring to tack on to that.

I would suggest that you allow for overages as much as another 10% to be on the safe side.

From my own experience, I would say that your realistic budget should be in the neighborhood of $300,000 to $350,000, and 12-18 months for construction.
Old 19th November 2009
  #15
Gear Nut
 
Math5461's Avatar
 

I agree with The person suggesting that the business model for a startup with construction doesn't pan out. I would either get a commercial space which has a couple rooms and then build some decent acoustic treatment you can take with you when you bail. Or, If you buy a house then convert a basement/large garage into a studio with the help of the acoustic designer that might be cool. But that really wont increase your property value except to a small market of people if you sell. How are your industry contacts? Who will seek you out for albums cash in hand? From what I can tell small startup studios end up getting lots of real green performers/artists in the studio who wanna get in and out as soon as possible and then wonder why they don't like their album that much after that. People who think they can nail their vocal in a couple takes but really can't. People who think that recording is just throwing up a mic and hitting record, and well, there is your drum sound.
Don't get discouraged my friend! Listen to the cooler heads around here.

Anyway, I am in the start small school. 95% of your first clients won't know what your gear means. they will just say: "wow look at all those knobs". I mean, unless your have the industry contacts I was wondering about then ignore my entire post and start a new one whining about piracy.
thumbsup
Old 20th November 2009
  #16
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Weasel9992's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luthatdude View Post
My total budget is 25k...I live in the Philly area, can anyone make any recommendations?
Jeff Heback...great guy, lots of design cred, works on spaces just like this all the time.

Frank
Old 24th November 2009
  #17
Here for the gear
 

Dude, this is so easy for me to say because it aint my money...

FUK ANYONE WHO GOES AGAINT YOU.

You want a studio and old grandpa mr mcdonalds chimes in "oh no it's the dreaded young'ns again." Yeah, its all gen Y grandpa. Yep, when YOU AND ALL YOUR KIND ARE DEAD - WHICH YOU WILL BE SOON ENOUGH - THE WORLD WILL NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO. Everyone from your generation were business and recording geniuses. No one ever took risks.

Some of the best results in my professional and personal life have come as a result of risks taken. Some of the greatest **** ups have as well. Getting the balance right is what matters and that all comes down to being savvy.

Sometimes, the cost of the project is worth losing. 25k? Will you miss that on your death bed? Will you be there thinking.... 'gee, that 25k i wasted really ruined my life'. I dunno about you guys, but 25k in AUD is like 1 year minimum wage. People waste more than double this on those SUV's you guys insist on. Whats the ROI on one of them?

Go for it dude. Be smart. Get a design happening. The best advice i can offer as 4th year law student is don't ever rely on verbal contracts, particularly with building work where the value of the work is often hard to assess. Make it clear what is being paid for.

But don't let any of it stop you.
Old 24th November 2009
  #18
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keagan C View Post
Dude, this is so easy for me to say because it aint my money...

FUK ANYONE WHO GOES AGAINT YOU.

You want a studio and old grandpa mr mcdonalds chimes in "oh no it's the dreaded young'ns again." Yeah, its all gen Y grandpa. Yep, when YOU AND ALL YOUR KIND ARE DEAD - WHICH YOU WILL BE SOON ENOUGH - THE WORLD WILL NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO. Everyone from your generation were business and recording geniuses. No one ever took risks.

Some of the best results in my professional and personal life have come as a result of risks taken. Some of the greatest **** ups have as well. Getting the balance right is what matters and that all comes down to being savvy.

Sometimes, the cost of the project is worth losing. 25k? Will you miss that on your death bed? Will you be there thinking.... 'gee, that 25k i wasted really ruined my life'. I dunno about you guys, but 25k in AUD is like 1 year minimum wage. People waste more than double this on those SUV's you guys insist on. Whats the ROI on one of them?

Go for it dude. Be smart. Get a design happening. The best advice i can offer as 4th year law student is don't ever rely on verbal contracts, particularly with building work where the value of the work is often hard to assess. Make it clear what is being paid for.

But don't let any of it stop you.
Dude you are spot on. Well your comment of "You want a studio and old grandpa mr mcdonalds chimes in "oh no it's the dreaded young'ns again." Yeah, its all gen Y grandpa." is a bit rude (I am 42). I think everyone is only trying to warn him of what it might really cost and what things to be careful of. Oh wait you did also.

Quote:
Go for it dude. Be smart. Get a design happening. The best advice i can offer as 4th year law student is don't ever rely on verbal contracts, particularly with building work where the value of the work is often hard to assess. Make it clear what is being paid for.
If your like most law students, having 25K in debt would be a cake walk. I have a good friend who just passed the bar and she is around 100K.
Old 24th November 2009
  #19
Gear Guru
Trust a Lawyer?

So, just one poster is saying go ahead regardless.
A Lawyer!
I am just not going to say anything now. I can't due to laughing......
DD
Sound Sound - Homepage
Old 24th November 2009
  #20
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
So, just one poster is saying go ahead regardless.
A Lawyer!
I am just not going to say anything now. I can't due to laughing......
DD
Sound Sound - Homepage
Maybe he is specializing in bankruptcy and looking for future clients? (I kid I kid don't flame me Keagan C )
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