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Room Selection

My wife and I are about to buy a home. i've been doing the project studio thing for a few years. nothing ultra fancy, but some nice mixes.

We're about set on the home that we want to buy. So the question is: where does the studio go?

I feel like i'm really starting over here. Got some decent equipment through improvements in my humble little basement but feel like this move will allow me to go to the next level. Not the perverbial "next level" like a masterpiece studio, but my humble - "that's a sweet demo man!" next level. I've never been one to judge a studio on looks, just the way it sounds.

I've got a few options for the location in this house. If its necessary I will post some crude sketches of the 3 rooms I'm considering placing the studio. Sorry for the lack of specifics right away with measurements. I'm more interested in the pros and cons of studio location in a home.

First, there's the basement. If i do it right, I just don't think that the ceilings are high enough and there has to be a cheaper way than to dig out the basement and re-lay the foundation of the house.

Second, there is an upstairs bedroom. For starters this is where I will be setting up once we move in to lay down some idea tracks and mix the multitude of projects that are in the works for me (and to be honest I'm really geeked to hear the room difference while mixing to find the strengths and inadaquacies in my current setup!)

Third, there is an upstairs attic. Pretty large acutally. Very long and narrow. The home is an old A frame, so the room in the attic has non-perpendicular walls to form it's width, like a tee-pee. I think that this has the most long-term potential. I also have the luxury of doing the whole thing from insulation to electrical. The attic is a wooden gut with a paritially insulated roof. It seems pretty dry, but regardless i can sure everyting up through the construciton process.

I guess my question is: should I half-ass the bedroom design to start out and maintain sanity there while i focus on the attic project? Or just go balls out on the bedroom?

In the bedroom I have some pretty cool options, but if I do the bedroom right, I don't think that I'll ever take the time to go up to the attic. Which would be better in the long run given my vague description.

Please help. I love this stuff.


moonbaby Wed, 11/15/2006 - 13:06
I'm just curious....just how "low" is the ceiling in the basement? You don't say, but what style(s) of music and instrumentation are you planning on using? I mean, if you are looking at putting a live drummer and a bass player in a revamped bedroom or the attic, I question whether you will be able to truly isolate the rest of the home's structure from the low fequency resonances. I'll bet your wife will just LOVE having the cake in the oven collapse every time the bass hits a low 'E'.
We don't have basements in Florida, as the water table is too near the ground's surface, but I wish we were able to do that. I have seen some awesome studios built into basements. I think that it has something to do with all that dirt around it and the poured slab flooring that make the room less resonant.

Member Wed, 11/15/2006 - 20:03
the ceiling height is about 82inches. I'm just a little worried about how much lower that will be with insulated acoustic cieling tiles, sub-flooring, padding and carpet, or other flooring. Right now it's an unfinished basement with a cement floor. When it's done, will I be able to sling a guitar over my shoulder without banging the neck on the ceiling? Or even stand up?

My studio will be mostly for my own projects. That's the way it's been in my current setup. I would be bringing in drummers for sessions on an infrequent bassis. And the majority of bass work that I do, I get my best results using a di-box and one of the many eq/effect patches that i've made over the years.

I play mostly rock, jam, blues and funk. I need a room that can give me a solid listening/mixing environment, an area to record high quality sounding vocals, isolation to record a cranked 2x12 tube amp, and decent all around acoustics for when I bring in horns and drums when I need to.

Thanks for the reply.

moonbaby Thu, 11/16/2006 - 15:03
Will you be able to sling that guitar over your head? Maybe if you're Billy Barty! Seriously, I am a guitarist so I know what it's like to shove a Strat into a ceiling fan! You are in for a tight scenario there. High ceilings rule, but are they going to be that much higher in the bedroom than the basement? I think that if you haven't already done so, you need to check out the "Acoustics and Room Treatments" section on this site. I'm sure that Rod "My Head Hurts When I Think" G. has some valuable info on figuring out your options. Good Luck!