Building a recording studio

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by MadMax, Dec 29, 2001.

  1. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

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    Feb 10, 2001
    Radon testing?

    All wood eh? Will an axe get through to your equipment? Alarms etc

    Will it be residential? How many will it be able to sleep? Fire exit's for the residents. Smoke alarms.

    Work with choirs eh? How many cars can you park?

    Clients with kids? Stuff for them? (go karts - air rifle range - ciggarette machines, beer etc) Seriously a swing outside and a ping pong / pool table might just get folks out of your hair when you need it..

    Make it uncomplicated to clean / hose out.. remember we are talking musicians pre-ocupied with their recordings, not where to put an applecore or candy bar wrapper. Some designs beg tidyness others give the feel 'oh whats the use'! Goe for the "keep it clean" look as opposed to the "homey vibe", cause - it aint their home!

    Can they cook there to save money on food delivery.. Will Balducci's deliver? ;)

    It aint your house either, so build in lockable cupboards, and storage to keep pocketable items away from light fingered folks. Make it so if a client turns up with delinquent kids - you dont feel nervous - leaving to drive into town to pick something up you need...

    Comms
    Fax
    Phones
    Internet (recomend wireless laptop connection)
    Can a manager or artist make a call and not disturbe the session? (cordless)
    Cost of calls? Metered? Do Cel phones work out where you are?

    If you have natural daylight (dont like it myself) watch out for my pet peeve, GLARE. carefully organise window / control window, live area windows so everyone can SEE and not be blinded by the reflections. (Fletcher and I don't have one BTW) Where do YOU want to see the light from YOUR vantage point in the control room - in the morning & at night. Angle the property accordingly..

    Oh and if you could organise a pitch black cellar with a coffin and some earth from 'the old country' I might be really comfortable working there..

    Make it so ANY freelancer / savey self recording artist could learn his way round in 15 mins... and not need the 'code book'

    :eek:
     
  2. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

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    Originally posted by Julian Standen:
    Radon testing?

    Actually, I know that Radon is required for the home, but I guess I wouldn't be able to have the additional testing until the buildings are complete... thanx for the reminder!


    All wood eh? Will an axe get through to your equipment? Alarms etc


    Again, I'm ultimately gonna have to wait until I talk with the designer to get the list of materials... There is already an alarm system in the house so it should just be the add on of the other buildings to the panel.


    Will it be residential? How many will it be able to sleep? Fire exit's for the residents. Smoke alarms.


    There's a 24x24 area that I should convert to sleeping for 4-8. Probably more with sleeping bags.


    Work with choirs eh? How many cars can you park?


    What I roughly measured was enough room for about 12 cars and 2-buses.


    Clients with kids? Stuff for them? (go karts - air rifle range - ciggarette machines, beer etc) Seriously a swing outside and a ping pong / pool table might just get folks out of your hair when you need it..


    There's a nice playhouse, swing and a 24' aboveground pool... plenty for the adults to do, huh?

    There are some of those additional recreational type things within a couple of miles.


    Make it uncomplicated to clean / hose out.. remember we are talking musicians pre-ocupied with their recordings, not where to put an applecore or candy bar wrapper. Some designs beg tidyness others give the feel 'oh whats the use'! Go for the "keep it clean" look as opposed to the "homey vibe", cause - it aint their home!


    I was really thinking about a fairly nice atmosphere. Something comfortable but you do raise an interesting point...


    Can they cook there to save money on food delivery.. Will Balducci's deliver? ;)


    Yes, there will be a kitchen... The Mrs. has already told me that the stove, refridgerator and dishwasher ARE going to be replaced in the house, so... guess where they go?

    Still not sure about delivery.


    It aint your house either, so build in lockable cupboards, and storage to keep pocketable items away from light fingered folks. Make it so if a client turns up with delinquent kids - you dont feel nervous - leaving to drive into town to pick something up you need...


    EXCELLENT! I really hadn't thought about that.


    Comms
    Fax
    Phones
    Internet (recomend wireless laptop connection)
    Can a manager or artist make a call and not disturbe the session? (cordless)
    Cost of calls? Metered? Do Cel phones work out where you are?


    Cells definitely work fine. I'm contemplating a T1 so that we could transfer files to duplication facilities and possibly do web-casting and e-commerce. But again, you raise an excellent point about the metered long distance... damn there's alot of $*^t to put into action!


    If you have natural daylight (dont like it myself) watch out for my pet peeve, GLARE. carefully organise window / control window, live area windows so everyone can SEE and not be blinded by the reflections. (Fletcher and I don't have one BTW) Where do YOU want to see the light from YOUR vantage point in the control room - in the morning & at night. Angle the property accordingly..


    Again, I'll refer this to the design aspect that I haven't dealt with, but the heads up on the glare is something to keep in mind.


    Oh and if you could organise a pitch black cellar with a coffin and some earth from 'the old country' I might be really comfortable working there..

    Make it so ANY freelancer / savey self recording artist could learn his way round in 15 mins... and not need the 'code book'

    ;)

    xaMdaM
     
  3. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

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    Just got officially GREAT NEWS!! :D

    It's official, I have NO ZONING restrictions... and hey, I've got an extra 4 acres in front of the house that's suitable for pasture...

    I can either put horses, pigs and or AR guys out there! ... not so sure how safe the pigs would be with the AR guys in the same field... as long as they were vacinated they should be ok shouldn't they?... the pigs that is. :p

    As far as monitors... I'm leaning toward Genelec in a wall mounted configuration. Anyone know anything about Griffin monitors? I believe they are made in Norway.

    xaMdaM
     
  4. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

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    Feb 10, 2001
    "I'm leaning toward Genelec in a wall mounted configuration."

    I think that could look great.

    However ask around, wall mounted speakers might be a PITA, $$$ & not sound as good as free standing... Ask around... Do what SOUNDS best, if it a visual thing skip it, spend the money elsewhere..
    As a freelancer I know wall mouted stuff to be 99% weird sounding / unusable.

    On that subject, Nomis studio London descided to tear down the Tom Hidley designed main studio (the main monitors sounded great there - each sides amp was about $10,000 (some Japenese custom amp))
    The accounts dept decided they needed more office space... :)

    Dont assume wall mounts are the best...
     
  5. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

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    I was supposed to go to a listening of the Griffins during the AES, but things got so crazy I had to back out. I figure I'll be sitting in on a mastering session soon that uses them anyway. Unfortunately that doesn't help you much right now, eh? I can tell you that the Griffin can be done in eiter free-standing or soffit-mounted versions.

    For Griffins, get in touch with the American half of the design team, Francis Manzella. He is located in Yorktown Hts. NY, and is number is 914-248-7680. Francis also happens to design studios, so he might have some useful suggestions about your situation as well.

    Cheers!

    p.s. You don't have to worry so much about vaccinations, but somebody might still call the ASPCA on you for treating them that way.
     
  6. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

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    Originally posted by Ang1970:
    p.s. You don't have to worry so much about vaccinations, but somebody might still call the ASPCA on you for treating them that way.

    Who... the AR guys or the pigs? The way I look at it that at least a pig has potential value... ham, bacon, ribs, etc... THEY are worth vaccinating against desease infested varmits... Oh wait, that WOULD be the definition of AR right?

    Francis Manzella Design is where I saw the Griffins. Damn they look nice, and if they sound as good as they're being touted, I might be better served going stand alone as opposed to a soffit mount and come out about the same... but with far fewer headaches.

    If you do hear em' please let me know your opinion. I've listened to some KRK's and wasn'tr all that impressed.

    I've listened to some Meyer stage monitors and would think that the X-10's might be worth giving a listen to as well.

    I've used EAW and MacPherson in FOH and Monitor applications and didn't know if anyone had ever used the EAW stuff or not. Don't know of a Mac box that would even be worth considering.

    xaMdaM
    xaMdaM
     
  7. Howdy everybody! I love this thread very interesting.

    About the monitors. I'm a New Genelec dealer, and I would definately go with them. I am of course biased, but I think they are a great solution. If you do wall mounts with Genelec you need to let me know and I will get you hooked up with the engineers. Your price covers installation, a very touchy thing, as you guys know. If you contact them after the fact (after construction has begun) then it is a can of worms. Thats why you contact them first so they can help you design the whole wall structure so it is done right, and to specs. The price is around $50k, but it is done RIGHT.

    Let me know if you have any questions or gear needs, I don't know all the answers ... but I know where to get them. Keep up the thread! I love this board


    Darren
    www.dixondigital.com"]www.dixondigital.comhttp://www.dixondigital.com[/url]
     
  8. patrick

    patrick Guest

    Originally posted by xaMdaM:
    ... not so sure how safe the pigs would be with the AR guys in the same field... as long as they were vacinated they should be ok shouldn't they?... the pigs that is. :p



    You might want to keep the girl pigs in a separate field. Also, I'm not sure, but I've heard that you shouldn't feed pigs stuff that contains the ground bones of AR guys.
    :w:
     
  9. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

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    Originally posted by xaMdaM:
    Who... the AR guys or the pigs?

    The pigs of course! I don't think there's a ASPCA&RG (American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Artist & Repetoire Guys), if there was it would be pretty sickening.
     
  10. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

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    Originally posted by Ang1970:


    The pigs of course! I don't think there's a ASPCA&RG (American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Artist & Repetoire Guys), if there was it would be pretty sickening.


    Hmmmm, ASPCA&RG... isn't that actually a bit of a contradiction of terms? Beides, if it did exist, shouldn't that be a organization with another name... Unemployment Benefits?

    ...and I don't think I could get a union dues card for a member that just says "pig" either...
    wait that didn't make sense... AR Guys aren't union are they? :p

    xaMdaM
     
  11. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

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    Originally posted by patrick:



    You might want to keep the girl pigs in a separate field. Also, I'm not sure, but I've heard that you shouldn't feed pigs stuff that contains the ground bones of AR guys.
    ;)

    But you are right, you would want to keep the pigs (hogs and sows) in different fields from the AR Guys.. They might breed with with one of them. I'm not sure what you would call it, but you damn sure wouldn't want to eat it!

    xaMdaM
     
  12. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

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    Originally posted by Darren@dixondigital.com:
    <SNIP>... Your price covers installation, a very touchy thing, as you guys know. If you contact them after the fact (after construction has begun) then it is a can of worms. Thats why you contact them first so they can help you design the whole wall structure so it is done right, and to specs. The price is around $50k, but it is done RIGHT.

    Let me know if you have any questions or gear needs, I don't know all the answers ... but I know where to get them. Keep up the thread! I love this board


    Darren
    dixondigital.com


    Darren, et al,

    You mention that $50k is an installed price. What I guess I'm trying to figure/calculate/justify/whatevertermyouwanttoinjecthere is this;
    Who wins the pissin' contest when/if there's a difference of opinion as to the wall/soffit construction?

    Who's gonna pay for the changes if your engineer's give my project manager/architect incorrect spec's for my room size and dimensions and construction methods and materials?...

    I'm not being disrespectfull at all. This would and does apply to any vendor on any project as complicated as a control room.

    I know I end up on the short end on the sheckles, but who generally accepts the legal $*^t when something, an "awshit" , as Fletcher so appropriately put it, happens?

    I'm realizing, as most of you seasoned pro's already know, that we are talking about some serious damn dollars here. Are there contractual obligations/loop-holes that I need to be concerned with in this area? (

    Hey Julian, is this what you meant?DUH

    ... Or does all of this stuff get addressed PRIOR to the first nails... and is this common practice to iron out these types of details at the time of RFP's? or at design?

    Inquiring minds want to know... and so do I.

    starting to get the swimmies... xaMdaM
     
  13. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

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    Been busier than a cat in a litter box trying to find a new piece of property... since the last one fell through, damnit.

    Have a few more questions and considerations...

    As far as a new board... a smaller frame SSL w/5.1 upgrades and a RADAR 24, a full blown 48 track ProTools rig, Yamaha DM2000, or possibly a couple of TASCAM DM24's ganged together?

    Any thoughts?
     
  14. Ted Nightshade

    Ted Nightshade Active Member

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    Dec 9, 2001
    My thoughts, not on a new board, but a new piece of property (I's a rural landowner myse'f):
    Don't give in too early! Hold out for what you really want. There's property coming up all the time, and you're going to sink so much into developing it and the studio you best get what you're after! May not be too popular with the agents and that.
    Happy hunting!
    Ted
     
  15. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

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    Feb 10, 2001
    Whoah!

    That sort of indecision on gear throws up some red flags!!!

    :)
     
  16. Bob Olhsson

    Bob Olhsson Active Member

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    A couple thoughts.

    First, Alsihad HD IS going to really change how people work over the next five years depending on how good or bad it turns out to be. I wouldn't invest in anything other than walls, monitors and a lounge until the second shoe drops on that issue.

    Second, it's important to understand that a studio's clients need to be able to conduct their own business while they attend recording sessions. Things like a receptionist, a comfortable lounge, FAX and copying machines plus having several private rooms available for meetings or phone calls are more important to many clients than what kind of console or recorders you have. If you are not around the corner from a Kinkos and across the street from a restaurant, this kind of stuff will make or break your business.
     
  17. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

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    Yer Oh so right Ted.

    The only problem is finding AFFORDABLE property. Example:
    20 Ac - BEAUTIFUL piece of land - $240K - NON-NEGOTIABLE! UGH! (100x80 barn)
    150 Ac - Can subdivide - $2.5Mil
    10 Ac - Hard to get to - $220K ea. - Two sites
    5 Ac - Great Loc - $220K - 3200Sq ft home*
    5 Ac - A bit out of the way - $178K - 2350Sq ft home
    3 Ac - Good location - $229K - 2100Sq ft home
    *This is the one we go look at tomorrow.
     
  18. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

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    This too is adding to the pseudo "problem" of selection of a new console. (Sorry about the red flag Jules) Lemme' 'splain it dis' way...

    The more construction I have to do, the less overall dollars are left to invest in gear.

    To build a complete studio from "ground up", I'm going to be a bit stretched to put in much more than something like the Yamaha or the TASCAM... and therefore I would end up with a smaller control/mix room.

    If I can find existing facilities that work halfway to the end result, e.g. lounge, office facilities, dining/kitchen, media room, meeting room, etc... I end up being able to afford a more "conventional" approach to a larger control room. Thus planning for a larger format console like an SSL or a complete ProTools system becomes a reality.

    Either way I go, I realize that the gear is not the whole picture. Nor is the facility the be all end all... if I don't have gear that will give the best performace/return for the dollar.

    As Julian mentioned, these are indeed difficult times to make gear decisions. If I were looking to put in just a tracking facility, I would be looking at this in a totally different way. Again, the work I'm really missing out on is due to lack of a good mixing facility. So I know this is a great big balancing act.

    If the whole thing would happen the way I'd like, I'd find a facility that would just need a control/mix room added/fitted up and I'd put in an SSL/RADER24 (x2) or 48 track ProTools system.

    I guess I'm just struggling with wanting to have the best mixing facility I can afford and what gear is going to meet those needs.
     
  19. Bob Olhsson

    Bob Olhsson Active Member

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    Certainly one thing to consider is that a lot of buildings sell for far less than they would cost to construct today.
     
  20. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

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    I may be completely insane here... ok, I'm at least partialy insane, I guess that's why I love this business! But, what I'm really thinking is going to be the best situation for me is to try to put the studio in the house/home where I live.

    Commercial property in the area is more that insanely priced. Most relatively decent buildings are running around $45 sq ft for less than 1000 sq ft. Buying is worse... So far the only 3 acceptable facilities were in excess of $200k each. Thus, I keep coming back to putting it on 5 or more acres and incorporating into my home.

    I've found a 5 bedroom, true modular... and it could possibly work. It's 3100 sq ft with the entire second floor able to be committed to the business. I just need to build the control room facility and some how get steps into the upstairs in a way that doesn't destroy the look of the home. It shouldn't be that hard, just a bit of tedium in moving all of the outside HVAC units and centralizing them to a better location.

    Any thoughts?

    Max
     

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