Recording location found. Advice needed.

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by billlee, Apr 15, 2002.

  1. billlee

    billlee Guest

    Recently, I have been working on a recording project at my home. I am about 80% finished, and all the while I am thinking, "It's great to be at home, but I wonder if I'll ever find a place where I can go to record and not inconveinence anybody else and not be restricted to certain hours". Well, I found a place, but I'm not too sure about how well this place will work out. What I am basically dealing with is what looks like an old Church. High ceilings and wood floors. Has anybody ever tried to record a rock band in this environment? Should I try to find a different facility? Any suggestions on what I might need to record in this environment successfully? Thanks for any advice.
  2. A big room with a high ceiling is a great place to start, but the individual room can offer a range of issues.

    IF you can, tell us more about the room, the instrumentation of the band and what you'll be recording with.
  3. billlee

    billlee Guest

    I'll be recording with my DAW setup. The instruments will be acoustic drums, electric bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar and voice. The main room has a nice vibe, with the wood floors and high ceilings and is about the size of a small/medium auditorium. The room is rectangular in shape, with a 15' stage at one end, with curtains. There are windows, I don't remember exactly how many, but I would say at least 8, and they are fairly high off of the ground and narrow. There is also a basement where I was thinking about setting up the control room and/or having a smaller room or possibly an iso booth.
    Thanks for responding.
  4. Well I'd think you've got great potential with a room of that size and the range of environments you can create throughout it.

    One of the first things I'd check is the electricity. Try and find out how many breakers you'd have and where the power is most available in the room. You should also test for line noise and actual voltage.

    Now the stage might be a good environment, or not. The acoustics of the room were hopefully part of the design, that is if the stage was in the initial design for the room. A stage can be great if it's built right, and terrible if it's not or hasn't been mantained.

    I'd try walking around the room and listening to the acoustics. If you're a musician yourself then bring a guitar, or a drum, or whatever, and play it up on the stage. Move back and forth from the front to back and side to side. See if there's a sound there you like. Jump on the stage floor and see if it's going to be needing repair. Even if you're not on it, if the floor is weak it can be an issue with bass waves, resonating certain fequencies.

    Do the same through out the room, near the windows and across the way from them.

    A big room can always be baffled and goboed down, it's pretty damned hard to make a small room sound big.
  5. MJOwings

    MJOwings Guest

    Word of caution. You are probably very familiar with your home environment and how to avoid external noise. You may not realize that you avoid certain times of day, etc.

    How is this buildings isolation from external noise - at different times of the day? Trains, trucks, etc. You mentioned the windows....

    If this is good you have a good chance with the big space. Should be lots of fun for you in any case.
  6. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    I'm jealous! :(
  7. OTRjkl

    OTRjkl Guest

    Next time you go there:

    Walk around in each room and do the ol' clap test. Clap hard once & listen for reflections in the room. Do this a few times & you will immediately know how tight (or not) the room is going to be with no treatment. If the main room isn't too slap-happy, I think I would put the drums out there and create some kind of boothage on stage for the other instruments. I think if you put the drums on stage, it will act like a magaphone and throw the drum sounds out into the main room in a big way causing problems with everything else. (This is assuming that the stage area - or a portion of it - is partially enclosed. If its not, this may not be as much of an issue.)

    Sounds like it could work to me!
  8. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    Sounds like a cool location. Are you thinking about signing a lease on this place or is it going to be a temporary home for a few weeks? I've done quite a bit of moving in the last year and a half, partly because I picked the wrong location for a studio.
  9. billlee

    billlee Guest

    Thanks for all of the replies.
    I know what you mean about location. I would have to travel a little bit. The owner of this place wants to see what it would take to have a recording facility and quarters for clients. He is looking to invest some money and is experimenting with different ideas to see how and what might work for him. Right now he's still in the planning stage. In month or two we are planning to get together and work out some preliminay plans. Have a great weekend!
  10. droog

    droog Active Member

    Nov 3, 2001
    some tricks i learnt from mike stavrou:

    - take a floor tom and walk around the room, hitting it, until you find the best sounding spot, then mark it with gaffa tape, and build the rest of the kit around it

    - avoid gobos, if you can

    - make sure your control room is isolated (or else you won't know what you're recording)

    good luck,
  11. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    Nope. I'm not talking about location like traveling to work. I'm talking about the right location for a studio. What will the neighbours think of the noise and hours? The traffic. Will your neighbours be making noise? Is it in the flight path of an airport or next to a major highway? There are tons of things to consider besides the space it's self.
  12. It could be a very cool place to record.

    In fact, I can think of a few big(ger) studios that were once places of worship.

    One well-known Nashville studio in particular comes to mind, but I think that the Mike Curb School of Music Business just bought it...
  13. I'm reluctant to post such a basic couple of considerations, but sometimes...
    Are you being realistic about time/money/effort constraints? You might find going into an existed, treated room at a local studio cheaper and easier if it's a temporary situation. My rule of thumb is that any project will cost 20% more than budgeted, take twice as long as expected, and receive 80% of promised help (my pessimism is showing).
    Are the projects suited to big room sound? do you really need to go to all the trouble if they aren't?
    I do hope you post back and let everyone know how it's going. And best of luck. Cheers, Doc.
  14. Hi, sounds Killer!! My friend back East is doing the same thing and I heard tons of people are going the Church route because of the natural configuration. One word though. Make sure you get a good acoustic balance with treatment. I ended up making a bunch of panels for my studio/ house. My studio (kitchen livingroom) is 2000 s.f. right triangle that vault 40 feet with a cedar ceiling. The sounds were killer for recording drums, but I found places that amplified 200-400 hz, making some guitar and bass (if I split and went DI hf/mic lf) tracks realllyyyy muddy!! I also use Eclipse 360 and GOBO's to fend off those nasty frequencies. For Drums though.....nothing short of killer, but I had to move the kit about 5 times, trying different room micing methods, but the results were stellar. Bottom line...if you want something to sound big, record it in a big place!

    Good luck!


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