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Building a basement studio

I'm in the beginning (planning) stages of building a basement recording studio and was wondering on about how much power would be needed to run a small studio. I know its a very vague question but i am just looking for an estimate.

Will S.


Thomas W. Bethel Mon, 10/03/2005 - 05:20

Two twenty amp circuits should be fine as long as they are dedicated to your recording studio and not also powering AC units or refigerators (both of which will put sags in the current and may cause you some noises in your recording) These two circuits should be "home runs" the the breaker or fuse box and should not power anything else except your studio.

Best to get this done by a licensed electrician.


jonyoung Tue, 10/04/2005 - 06:27

I run an analog board, modular hard disk deck, powered monitors, a couple of rack pres, half a dozen compressors, a reverb unit, headphone amp, DAT, cassette and a DAW on one dedicated 20 Amp circuit. I did the math and if I were to have every piece of gear powered up at once, it would pull 14 amps. Your mileage may vary. Definitely go with a dedicated home run circuit with isolated ground, and use power conditioners too. Your outlets for musician use will behave better if they're not tied into lighting circuits also.

anonymous Wed, 10/05/2005 - 16:59


This all is of course dependant on what you are going to have. I have a PC 400watt PSU w/dual screens, Mackie 24x8, Alesis M1 Mk2 active monitors, and a couple of synths (they dont use much power). All on a single 20amp circuit. I rewired my whole house (I am an electrician by trade) so my basement (where my studio is) outlets are on a dedicated circuit. Never tripped any breakers with everything on, in fact my amp meter hardly read a 7amp load with everything on AND I run my vacuum cleaner sometimes too.

Add up the total wattage of all the gear you intend to get, usually in the USA a 20amp circuit can accommodate a watt load of up to 2000watts before it will trip the breaker. And a 15amp breaker can go up to 1500watts. But no matter what you get in gear try not to come close to the total maximum wattage of the breaker that is in use for the phase you are plugged into.

I do recommend getting a UPS (uninterruptable power supply) for your computer incase of a blackout or freak power surge. I was recording one day and some lightning was brewing (I didnt know it was) and we had a slight brown out (for about 10 seconds). When everything came back on my motherboard suffered a bit. I had extremely bad BIOS problems that I had to fix. Now if it happens again my UPS switches to battery and has an automatic shutdown if the power doesnt come back on within 2 minutes. A UPS can range in price, they can start from $30 and up, mine was $75 and is worth every penny.

Kev Wed, 10/05/2005 - 17:21

Reggie wrote: Around 110-120V usually works pretty good for my stuff.

230 to 240 volts
and 10 amp outlets works better for me

... and don't forget the heater
oh !
and the toaster and the kettle
:shock: !!
hair dryer don't forget the hair dryer
can't do a decent vocal take unless the hair is just right

just kidding



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