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studio layout final decisions...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by KTek, Feb 19, 2005.

  1. KTek

    KTek Guest

    ok, i'm getting a warehouse space about 30'x40' 30' high ceiling, concrete floor, 2 walls are metal, and i have to build the others. i want to have a control room and a band room. maybe a small room for vocals, maybe one for amps, ect...

    recording hardware:
    MOTU 24io interface, yamaha 16/4 mixer, MAC G5 with Logic Pro 6(soon to have 7) and i'm getting the Focusrite Octapre for more pre's. so i'll have 16 pre amps total, 24 line level inputs and all the rock band instruments there.

    mics include:
    3 sm57's, the audix "6 pack" for drums (3 tom/snare mics, one kinda low end kick mic, and 2 condensers) also have a Sennheiser E 815S, audio technica AT 3528 condenser, 2 stageworks cc12 condensers.

    direct boxes:1 Whirlwind IMP2, 2 EDB1's

    what i'm realy asking here is what have the pros done for big time band projects. i've got enough space and total freedom to build this out however i want. i just want to know how many rooms i need to build, and any layout suggestions that you guys have seen work right.

    i'm recording my own band first, then once i've been through all the motions, i'm hopefully going to open up to the other bands in the area. i'm wanting a big, epic, larger than life sound here.

    this space is the corner of my company's woodshop. and we're going to have plenty of extra space, and i have all the tools necessary to build just about anything here (except metal structures).

    it's imparative that we get everything right and in place the first time.

    i do have ideas of my own here, but i'd really like to hear from you guys before i draw it out and start building.

    HIT ME WITH YOUR IDEAS PLEASE!!!! additional equipment ideas also, but mainly layout. thanx yall!! :D
  2. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    Are you ever going to be tracking while the shop is in use? I'm a sawdust maker too....the two potential problems I see are low end coming through the floor from shop machines, and dust control. I helped build a studio in a warehouse with a shop in it years ago (built 7 studios to date), the corners were horrific bass generators when machinery was running on the other side of the wall. We isolated all new walls with a fiberglass pad that had a neoprene skin over it (3 1/2" wide bonded to plate & shoe of wall partition). If your budget allows, use mass loaded vinyl sheeting sandwiched between drywall layers. A friend built a studio in LA a few years ago right next to a freeway overpass using the vinyl in walls & ceiling.......you close the doors and the outside world goes away. Make the control room as large as you can afford to to avoid bass standing wave issues. Frame walls inside the two existing metal ones, and frame all walls out of square with each other. Use double, isolated walls between control room & band room, at least 3/8" tempered glass for the window, tilted out at the top on each side. Use flexible duct for HVAC, and use extra with curves in it to eliminate blower noise for each run from the trunk line to the individual registers. Can you get a dedicated electrical panel installed? Have all outlet circuits isolated from any lighting circuits with an isolated ground. Sorry none of this is layout related, but these are nut & bolts essentials for winding up with a space that will be noise free from shop influences and the outside world. Hope there's some useful ideas for you here.
  3. KTek

    KTek Guest

    jon young, absolutely helpful man! I'm definetly NOT going to be tracking during shop operations. I think it's going to be somewhat low budget wall materials unfortunately, but i'm going to make them as thick as possible with what i can. i just want to figure a way to do this all in the simplest, budgetly, yet efficient way possible.

    some things i'm wondering:

    like, do i really need the same kind of isolation between the drum room and instrument room as the control room has from the rest?

    can i use 2x4 framed walls with osb boards on each side and get sufficient isolation?

    is it a "no-no" to track multiple guitar amps in the same room with mics at the same time??

    is it fine to use movable sound screens between instruments for separation?

    do i need a damn fully isolated room for every instrument to get that top quality recording!!??

    the band(s) being recorded will primarily consist of Drummer/Bassist/2 Guitarists/no 5th man singer, everyone in the band sings in different songs so we'll all use a mic for scratch, but of course we'll be re-tracking the vocals after the music. i figure with a setup that's perfect for this, i can record any rock band smoothly with no problems.

    i guess a good way to ask is "How many rooms/booths/closets would YOU create, and what would they be dedicated to?

    the wall construction/material will have to be figured when we are ready to start. i have to wait till after the wood shop is fully moved in before i can really start building. the walls out.
  4. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    KTek, I'd use drywall instead of OSB, it's more dense. A trick I used at a studio I built with budget in mind was to use 2x8 for shoe & plate and frame with staggered 2x4's on each edge for a double wall-in one. You'll want decent isolation between the drum area and guitar, vocal areas. Definitely insulate the walls, and you can use closed cell foam to decouple the walls from the floors (like what goes under composite flooring, Pergo etc...) I used a floating composite floor over hardwood for my control room with the heavy duty acoustic damping pad available at any big box supplier, works fine. That would be a good solution for your tracking space also, with some area rugs so you can tame the liveness when & where needed. Be sure to use seperate window frames for the windows. I used peel & stick foam weather stripping when setting the glass, some on each side of stops, also between the frames to help keep the glass clean on the inside. I use gobos around the drum kit and a blanket over the kick to prevent too much room sound from getting picked up (see link to my webpage to see pix of my room). If you can avoid parallel situations with walls, and between floor & ceiling, you'll have a friendlier room to work with. Since you'll have the equipment to work with, build youself some midrange diffusers like I have on my recording room walls, a great use of scrap wood! Where are you located, BTW?
  5. KTek

    KTek Guest

    thanx man! definitly printing this out.. I'm on the outskirts of Charlotte NC. I went to Nashville last summer, my girlfriend's from there. nice place. loved downtown. :cool:
  6. Dave62

    Dave62 Guest

    Definitly go with the drywall, I used two layers in my three studios and it is reasonably cheap and easy to hang. Between my control room and the studio I have two 2x4 walls about 3 inches to 5 inches apart. There is 2 layers of drywall, the stud wall with insulation, 1 layer drywall on the back, then an airspace, then the stud wall with insulation tied in with string so it won't vibrate out and then two layers drywall, so 5 layers in total. The open inside wall layer dampens any sound penetrating the space. I have two vinyl double pane sealed units with 5mm/argonfilled/4mm glass which cost me $200.00Cdn. each and I get excellent results from that setup. Doors are common insulated steel doors which connect through an airlock foyer which serves as a coffe stand and is wired as an iso booth for guitar amps. You can build excellent wide band bass absorbers by standing bags of R40 insulation in the corners of your rooms and then covering the corner at 45 degrees with Tectum panels or ridged fiberglas. Before you build any thing you should calculate all the standing wave (modal) frequencies for your design and try to space your walls and ceiling to even out the resonances. There is a book called "How to Build A Small Budget Recording Studio From Scratch" : on amazon that explains all this and more and is cheap too. Have Fun
  7. KTek

    KTek Guest

    thanx dave62, i'll try and get that book. i'm just hoping this doesn't take all year, the building is leased for 4 years, so i'm hoping it's ganna be worth the time.
  8. rudedogg

    rudedogg Guest

    go here http://www.johnlsayers.com/phpBB2/index.php

    you will get more information than you ever thought possible about building your own studio.

  9. KTek

    KTek Guest

    thanx rudedogg, thanx for all you're help everybody! it looks like i get to start building at the end of March! plan the work and work the plan!

    IT'S ON!!! 8)

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