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A Strange Place for a studio

Discussion in 'Recording' started by oakman, Nov 30, 2004.

  1. oakman

    oakman Guest

    Hi... A different kind of studio with some unique problems... Thought i'd share my little project.

    I do some mixing and mastering, but my primary source of income is doing radio and TV ads for concert tours, motor events and the like. I am trapped in the studio every day. I must be available at a moments notice for "emergency" production and have to deal with on-air deadlines all the time. The wife and I thought it might be nice to get out and travel more. SOOOO...

    I bought a 40 foot Silver Eagle tour bus, ripped it apart, restored it, raised the roof, re-skinned... bla bla bla...
    The plan is to build a mobile studio into it as well as luxurious living space with all the bells & whistles. Space and gear is no problem. Sound-proofing is a bit of a concern. Clean power may be a problem. At any rate, we are committed now and will pull it off some how. The satellite technology for high-speed internet is available. One button and the dish unfolds and locks on. Cool eh? I will also be set up to do remote tracking and be able to mix and finish a project on-site.

    I'm not looking for anyone to try and talk me out of the wacky idea. I just thought, since we discuss our studios here, I would share this rather extravagant attempt at a studio with no permanent address.

    BobsBus website

    The link to the bus photos is broken. Here's a direct link.

    http://homepage.mac.com/defiantbob/BobsBus/PhotoAlbum2.html
     
  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Verry Koollll !!!
     
  3. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    Blood, sweat, and tears, huh? That is one hell of an undertaking. I thought the drivetrain re-build on my 1987 4-Runner was a bitch ;)

    I don't have any suggestions, but I don't think getting clean power should be an issue with a good inverter/alternator or even an A/C generator (I would think an alternator / inverter combo could yeild "reference" quality power with the right inverter)...

    :cool:
     
  4. oakman

    oakman Guest

    I have a 30 KW diesel generator that will be located in one of the cargo bays to power it when not dry-docked and hooked to land power. It will be in a "sound proof" box and use the buses radiator for cooling, with the exhaust vented out the back. I hope it will be quiet enough. I believe I may need some kind of power conditioner. The digital work surfaces are really finicky about power and I wonder if generators or RV Park AC is consistent.
     
  5. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Your project just put the biggest ear to ear grin on my face. That is the most kick ass stuff I've ever heard and I hope to see pics of the finished product!

    I'm such a nerd!
     
  6. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    Curious - What did this set you back (if you don't mind). The raw bus, and the conversion? And, what else did you do to it mechanically (drivetrain)?

    Never seen anything like this. A true work of art!!! :cool:
     
  7. oakman

    oakman Guest

    I think it's a fun project.

    It's not finished yet. Still a long way to go, but I work on it every weekend.

    I bought the bus, with freshly rebuilt Detroit 8V71 diesel and new Allison automatic transmission, for 12.5K. It belonged to the Arizona prison system and was well maintained. The new fiberglass skins, new end caps and the new dash and wheel wells were about 5K. I don't know what I paid out for all the metal and welding rod for roof raising and fabrication & restoration. there was also new lights, AC units, high tech insulation and treatment and tons of plywood for the floor, walls and ceiling, about 4500 for paint and 600 for body work materials. So far I THINK I have spent about 20K on it. I will likely put another 30K in, not including the studio gear, which I already have.

    The only thing I have done to the drive train is a tune-up and change oil. That part of the bus was almost perfect.

    Just to compare... A Brand new Prevost shell can cost up to 500K! A full-blown conversion on the same can cost another 500K. That makes me feel pretty good about my 1978 Silver Eagle, a few bruises and scrapes and some worn out power tools. :)
     
  8. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    One word.

    WOW!

    Keep on keepin' on. You have some serious skills, my man. Please keep us updated on your progress. It's really interesting. The audio part should be REALLY cool.

    :cool:
     
  9. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Honestly, this is the coolest thing ever. Monster Garage meets audiophile....really kick ass!
     
  10. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Hell yes! Paul Woodlock is posting a diary of his studio construction over at studiotips... perhaps you could do something similar. You would certainly have an enthralled audience.
     
  11. oakman

    oakman Guest

    I was thinking of keeping some kind of an electronic diary about the project. I was kinda' waiting until I was to the point of actually setting the studio up in it. It looks like that will not be as soon as I hoped, as I am now distracted with a couple other refits on the bus, and limited by everyones worst enemies... Time and money. Never enough of either.

    When I have a little extra time on my hands, I'll be putting up a more detailed photo essay and updating as I go along.

    I just know that I am looking forward to a time when I can be sitting on a beach somewhere watching the pretty girls out the window of my mobile studio. :)
     
  12. NICE!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: and I thought my studio was an undertaking.... although there were some bumps and scratches in the process it doesn't touch this one lol I only put about 5k into a 20X30 room in my barn for a studio... MAN keep on the finished product is sooo worth it! later man
     
  13. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    What a cool project! And a lotta work!!!!
    Congratulations, man. Please keep us posted on your progress
    :cool: :cool: 8) :cool: :cool:
     
  14. boheme6

    boheme6 Guest

    WOW!!!
    hardcore DIY, man!

    Good luck with it - keep us posted on progress
    "-)
     
  15. oakman

    oakman Guest

    New photos up...

    I now have 113 photos, documenting the bus purchase, our 2 recent moves and a few details about the conversion that weren't up before.

    http://homepage.mac.com/defiantbob/BobsBus/PhotoAlbum2.html

    I am feeling impatient about getting her to the point that I can start installing studio gear, but free time is hard to come by these days.
     
  16. MrPhil

    MrPhil Guest

    Although I don't envy you, I wish you the best of luck. :)
    I was myself in a similar situation couple of years ago, where I was always on stand-by for production. That part is what I don't envy you about. I found that I really needed to have my time off now and then :? ... but anyhow, I solved it then by linking my mailbox to my cellphone, so everytime I got an order in for production, I got an SMS in my cell, and I knew I had work to do.

    Very nice vehicle you got your hands on! :cool:
     
  17. galas

    galas Guest

    wow! that looks awesome
    don't forget to invest in a quality security system if you're bringing your whole studio everywhere you go :)
     
  18. oakman

    oakman Guest

    I was thinking the 4 dogs would work for the security thing. :)

    Seriously though, it is a concern. Not so much in the class A RV parks, but out in the boondox can be scary. We are thinking about pulling a trailer with a couple Harleys as well. Leaving that behind at a camp site would be scary too.

    There's time to think about it while the conversion continues. I also have to make a decision on a work-surface to run Pro Tools and Logic, with many analog inputs. I am leaving the gear I am presently using right where it is. i have lots of gear for the bus, but no console yet.
     
  19. machina

    machina Active Member

    This reminds me of the way "Over the Rhine" recorded their album "films for radio." Here's a snippet from the liner notes of that album.
    Those words remind me that recording is an art...not a job.
     
  20. soundfreely

    soundfreely Guest

    How many buses for the bus?


    Sorry, I couldn't resist! :wink: That is too great. I want one.

    -Erik
     

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