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warehouse studio

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by blake eat world, Aug 24, 2001.

  1. I was thinking of moving into a warehouse/studio/loft here in portland. I had a couple of questions for anyone experienced in this, 1. Is it a good idea, considering i get in a good area and have heat water electric? 2. will i want anymore than 1000 sq ft for a control room, vocal booth, live room, and living quarters? 3. where can i find a lot of listings for warehouses?

    Thanks
     
  2. hollywood_steve

    hollywood_steve Active Member

    2. will i want anymore than 1000 sq ft for a control room, vocal booth, live room, and living quarters?

    That all depends on your needs for living quarters. I have sketched out literally dozens of designs for locating my studio in a variety of rental spaces, and I always come around to a total of 600sf for the studio. How you split that up between live room vs control room vs booth, etc. depends on your type of work. Some one who records live bands directly to two track (me) has very different needs than someone who records every instrument one track at a time.

    For me, the live room is the most important room, another 150sf is plenty for the control room and I have no use for any booth. For most guys these days, the control room is king and they get by with a booth as their only live room. It all depends on how you work.

    FYI, for your living space, 400sf is enough for a studio apartment, 600sf is a small one bedroom aptartment, 750sf is a comfortable one bedroom apartment. So your 1000sf disappears quickly depending on your needs for living space. Good luck.

    Steve sjp@pacbell.net
     
  3. thanks steve, I think i'm gonna push for around 1500-1600. It would be safer considering i'm going in with a buddy and will need a good sized living area.

    Also, do you have a way of sending me your 600 sq ft plan by email. I'm really curious what you came up with.
     
  4. MJOwings

    MJOwings Guest

    Warehouses can be great with their tall ceilings and open spaces from which to carve a space. Some problems to watch out for though:

    1) Is the the heat, water, electrical available directly to your space and is it of a quality you would like to record with (elect) or live on (water, air)?

    2) Building maintenance. Ask other tenants. If there are none, there is a reason. Make your business to understand why.

    3) If the space you are leasing is not at least finished to the point of defining your space, how will you do so? For example, if you are going to carve out a space out of a corner; 1) what will you build the walls out of? 2) How will you bring the ceiling down to the walls? How will you handle the entry way? How will you integrate the living space?

    4) Sound isolation. I have built a couple of studios in warehouses and the biggest problem I faced by far was isolation. Where there is a true warehouse (not a converted/gutted office building) there is almost always a train/railway. The old warehouses along Front Ave. / Williamette river in Portland have these problems.

    5) Who has listings for warehouses? Keep your eyes open in the commercial section of the newspapers. But probably the best source are local musicians. Some of the practice rooms they use my be candidates. As you talk to people you will probably be surprised to find that others have had or do have the same idea, but lack the energy to make it happen. They may have however found the "perfect" (as defined by you) place.

    6) Try to have in mind what your "requirements" are separate from your "wish list" of features the space should have before you start looking. Write them down. This is to protect you from getting all excited and involved in a space that does not meet your needs.

    7) In order to help you define your needs I would recommend F. Alton Everest "Modern Recording Techniqes". I think there may be a fairly recent printing. My copy is quite old and a lot of the technology has changed since it was published. What has not changed however is any of the information on acoustics (or other non-gear specific info). A truly wonderful book.

    8) I almost forgot. Security. It sounds obvious, but you should have a foolproof plan. Warehouses are many times isolated. Other times the space is such that no one would think anything of someone else hauling out your rack of 1272s, Pro T, or piano. Besides if you are going to be living there you need to be safe. Lighting? Alarms?

    Mike
     
  5. hollywood_steve

    hollywood_steve Active Member

    Blake dude,

    I sent you email regarding the sketches. You might want to go here:

    http://home.pacbell.net/sjp/books.htm

    Thats a page on my website where I list a dozen or so of my favorite recording related books. Some are great books that are long out of print but still easily available via online sources, often for just a couple of bucks.

    steve
    sjp@pacbell.net
     
  6. Hey Blake, have we met? I live in Portland and I am part of a studio collective that is in a very large loft in NE Portland. You should contact me and we can compare notes. Send me an e-mail and I can make some specific recomendations.
     
  7. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Excellent post Mike O!

    Originally posted by Mike O:
    8) I almost forgot. Security
    ...-snip-...
    Lighting? Alarms?


    Don't forget cameras.
     
  8. i get so much great info here! thanks for all the help guys. I might've found what i need, it's a house/storefront that a friend of mines mom doesn't use anymore. It used to be a craft store so there's a nice big open craft area in the back where she'd teach classes etc... I'm gonna need some pretty nice isolation though, what do you guys think the best cost effective wall idea is? sand filled maybe?
     
  9. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    "Sand Filled" will suck. Floated with 'air gaps' is how you want to approach this. The things you need are "Mass", and "non conductive spaces".

    "Mass" would be what you would achieve with 'sand filled' [good for floors, unless you're into putting a bazillion dollars into this thing, not very pragmatic for walls. Lots of 'loose weight' you'll need to control. If you really want that much weight, poured concrete with 'rebar' is a much better way to go [it too ain't inexpensive].

    What I would probably recommend is to find a book [like Jeff Cooper's] that outlines basic construction techniques. In the meanwhile, look at 'floating the floor' on 3/4" Neoprene.

    Layer of 3/4" Baltic Birch Plywood over that, then a couple layers of 5/8" Drywall, seams silicone caulked, all seams intersect at 'right angles. Follow that with 2x6 studding for the floor. Make sure that you build in 'bays of unequal resonance' so the floor won't sing to a note. Next, make sure that all your 'cable troughs' are framed into place, and you're not forgetting anything.

    Now fill the bays [not the troughs] with sand (mass), and add cover with another layer of plywood, a couple more layers of dry wall, then do your "subfloor". Don't for get to put "hatches" where the wires will need to make turns in your troughs, or you might find yourself in deep $*^t later.

    Now build your walls on Top of the Floor. The "Outer Shell" should be built to the existing floor, sealed 'airtight' floating on 3/4" Neoprene and silicone caulked at the top and bottom. Cover with a similarly caulked double layer on each side with drywall skin. Don't forget to include bays of unequal volume in these walls as well, as you don't want the walls to 'sing to a resonant note'.

    Leaving a 3" or so 'air gap' (air is actually a pretty shitty conductor of sound. It's low mass isn't good for sound transmission, hence an 'air gap' will cut down on sound transmission), the 'inner shell walls' (which will be built in a similar manner to the construction of the outer shell walls) should be built atop the floated floor, and not touch the existing ceiling, but you're going to need to put you're new ceiling on the top of the floated walls...in other words, you best read a few books, and when you have the plans done from which you're going to build...have them reviewed by two different structural engineers. It's a pretty heavy room when you get done with one, it'd be a real bitch if the original floor wasn't up to the task of holding it up. Could kinda ^#$% up your downstairs neighbor's (or even your own) day if it happens to go "boom".

    There are a million and a half other things to consider, but that's why there are consultants for this kind of thing. Despite the piss poor work of company's like "Walters/Storyk" and "Studio Bau Ton", there really isn't a whole lot of mystery to doing proper isolation stuff. It's actually pretty easy to achieve, expensive as a motherfucker, difficult to deal with $*^t like HVAC, doors, windows, electrical, etc. but doable.

    Start robbing supermarkets now (they're less secure than banks, and have more ready cash lying around...though with these ATM checkout things there ain't as much hard currency in them as there used to be), to do a proper control room will run around $150-$300,000.00 USD Depending on size and how "quiet" you really want it to get.

    And people wonder why 'real' studio's charge so much money...........
     
  10. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    Go to studiotips.com and sign up for the mailing list.

    We should have an acoustics forum here- I think it'd be interesting.

    Originally posted by blake eat world:
    i get so much great info here! thanks for all the help guys. I might've found what i need, it's a house/storefront that a friend of mines mom doesn't use anymore. It used to be a craft store so there's a nice big open craft area in the back where she'd teach classes etc... I'm gonna need some pretty nice isolation though, what do you guys think the best cost effective wall idea is? sand filled maybe?
     

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