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Dimensions and ideas for multi purpose recording studio's

Member for

21 years
I'm going to build a multi purpose studio on 5 acres in a location where there is little outside noise to be overly concerned about. I'm in the country, on a very private lake where the sound of nature is actually something I would rather hear as a natural ambience (maybe I am onto something lol)!
Never the less, kidding aside... it's not like we have screaming city ambiance where I am living. Its very quiet here in comparison to a large city. So, isolating the outside from bleeding is far less of a concern for me but I would still like to discuss that as well.

NOTE: I have no idea what I want so I expect to evolve with it all as I gather all sorts of idea's from everyone. Thank you :)

Here we go...

What would the idea dimensions be to start with?



Member for

8 years 6 months

pcrecord Wed, 03/01/2017 - 12:32
I read this thread with interest trying to grab so valuable info..
I'm far worst than you Chris, I don't have the place or money to build anything. I just want to learn and one day it may serve me.

I'm wondering if some big prefab garage would not be a good start at a lower cost. Of course if you are use to build from scratch, it's the ideal path...

Member for

12 years 1 month

kmetal Wed, 03/01/2017 - 16:07
The whole barn concept reminds me of the tv show 'live at daryls house' where one of the members from hall and oats has fellow mucisians over to his barn at his house which is all set up to jam.

I love the idea that a studio doesn't look like a studio. I'm going to disguise mine as a living room lol.

The amount of amazing recordings done in houses, mansions, and other non-purpose built rooms is really amazing. Particularly for tracking, but since critical decisions are made at tracking they made the monitoring work.

I know in this case tracking is somewhat secondary, but a barn type structure, or anything really even with ground level is a life saver for loads ins. Especially if you have a nice wide set of doors.

Member for

19 years 2 months

Kurt Foster Wed, 03/01/2017 - 17:16
audiokid, post: 448025, member: 1 wrote: Hey Marco, I've thought about those big steel building but steel... It woul be cheaper though.

The posts and beams looks beautiful.
pole buildings was my post. once the building is put up it costs less than $2000 to spray on 3 or 4 inches of foam insulation. then you sheet rock over that to finish. very economical and quick to put up. i have a pole building on my property and it has held up quite well for many years.

Member for

21 years

audiokid Wed, 03/01/2017 - 17:35
Years ago, (almost 20) I bought 10 acres, found a 24 x 28 garage that someone wanted to sell (they wanted it dismantled) so they could put up a bigger shop. I bought it for $1200.00 paid a house mover to move it 10 miles ($4500.00) and had a cute get-a-way studio on a beautiful wooded acreage for under $20,000 by the time I got the services all in. What a deal.

Member for

19 years 2 months

Kurt Foster Wed, 03/01/2017 - 17:36
no you pour a slab (yes you can heat the slab like you want) and construct conventional footings and 4X4 framing that gets sheeted with corrugated metal siding and roof. last for ever is reasonably impervious to water damage as long as the skin is intact. only thing is they are like an ice box in the winter and an oven in the summer as the sheet metal will transfer heat or cold. the solution is to spray on closed cell foam before you finish the interior.

Member for

21 years

audiokid Wed, 03/01/2017 - 17:49
gotcha! I think I would stick with all wood and possibly do a post and beam. Steel is brutal in this neck of the woods but thanks for the suggestion, Kurt.
I've seen the foam insulation sprayed in a few log homes here. I love the idea of the open concept.

Would the walls be fine at 8ft with something like that? Obviously I have to get this designed. Which is why I simply wanted some ideas to what we all though would be ideal dimensions first. Once I have that sorted, I'll start planning next.

Post and beam has me excited.

Member for

21 years

audiokid Wed, 03/01/2017 - 18:00
Kurt Foster, post: 448036, member: 7836 wrote: imo you need high ceilings. 15 feet at least. 16 feet or higher is better.
For sure, but if it was a post and beam how high would you do the walls? Obviously this is dependent on dimensions but I'm just dreaming right now, which I'm thinking would be anywhere from 24ft to 28ft wide and 28' to 32' long..

Member for

21 years

audiokid Wed, 03/01/2017 - 20:08
kmetal, post: 447934, member: 37533 wrote:

The top 6 are the most well known ratios for small listening room modal response.

Since they are based on a 10' ceiling height, and aren't scalable, they essentially dictate the rooms length and width as well.

i think the ebu calls for 2,500 cubic feet minimal for critical listening rooms.

Unless it's ground up it's usually a matter of what ideal within the existing boundaries and budget, which untimatley determine the room quality.

Also differning design types for the CR like LEDE can lend themselves better to certain dimensions and shapes as well.

Another thing to consider is the finished dimension inside the room is easily 2ft smaller than the outer shell to allow for treatment, and that's minimal.

Something like Kurt suggested is a good place to start audio (looks real close to the IEC ration on the chart about half way down, although I'm not sure if they call for a 10' ceiling or not). The post rooms I've been looking at for research are often 40x50 or 25x35, usually pretty large with a low fundamental room mode.

Example of the first one of the list:
(edit) Looking at these figure (image you posted Kyle, thanks), would I adjust all equal to the H to get the correct dimensions?

1 H
1.14 W
1.139 L

scale to an 18' ceiling =

18 H
20.52 W
25.02 L

Member for

19 years 2 months

Kurt Foster Wed, 03/01/2017 - 21:34
room ratios are are a good place to start but not an end all. some rooms like the one Sound City had, defy conventions. Sound City's live room was basically a square and everyone will tell you that a square room is the worst place to record in. but for some serendipitous reason it worked for them and that room produced some of the biggest rock hits ever recorded.

for me the way to proceed is to build what you can in what you have. then deal with the issues you can hear in the room, like slap echoes, by splaying walls or diffusion. Then put a mic in the room and record something. that will be a baseline measurement you can listen to and from that you can begin address unpleasant room reflections that only show up on playback.

once you've identified and dealt with the problems you can hear in real time and in playbacks, it will be time to conduct some measurements and then proceed to deal with the stuff you don't hear like peaks and nulls through bass trapping, more diffusion and reflection reducing panels. the larger the space the easier it will be to tame issues with less treatments. i suspect this was the case with Sound City. the room was large enough that it essentially being square didn't present problems.

what i've found in my experience was very large rooms don't need much in the way of any kind of treatments. this is why i always insist a reasonable place to start is with minimum dimensions of 14 feet. if you begin with a ceiling that is 14' tall and go from there, i think you will be fine no matter what else you do.

imo, the entire room treatments industry does a huge dis service to recordists by insinuating unsuitable rooms can be made suitable with enough trapping and treatments. of course they charge a lot for these treatments and who's headed to the bank to make a deposit and who's withdrawing funds?

one thing i am sure of is there is nothing like having a great acoustic space to record in. it's a tool that cannot be duplicated in any other way.