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Studio Ideas and Must Haves


wedgeSG

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My wife and I are about to start construction on a new home in a rather uptight subdivision. As (luck?), would have it the wife has designated the upstairs bonus room to the son and I to plunder at our will. A studio/music room idea has come to the realm of possibilities. The dimensions are approximate but roughly 14'x36' with a 9' cathedral style, (tapers up to a point), celing. We know that it will house his drums, a couch/table, good sized TV, wall mounted guitars, (10 or so eventually), a small computer work station, small bookshelf, halfstack, and various small amps. The area will be used mostly for practice, jamming with friends, and music study. Occasional entertaining of a home theater type is also likely. With this in mind: what would be on your list if in this position? Starting from scratch to build the room to contain the sound and not tick off the neighbors; but yet maintain good acoustics within the space. The amount and type of electrical power available. Equipment or accessories that you would want to have available; please mention anything that comes to mind here... no matter how big or small the item(s), as this might spurn ideas from other posters. If you've ever planned a space like this, just relay how you'd go about it and feel free to get as crazy or detailed as you'd like. Obviously I'm looking for ideas: practical and not so practical, but most importantly the things considered must do's or must have's. If you're inclined, even finishing/decorating ideas are welcome as well. So there you have it: your chance to design the ultimate jam room... I don't think this topic has ever been discussed. I hope most will chime in on, and have some fun with it. It'll be intersting to see what members of the forum come up with on this one... thanks in advance to all who respond, Wedgie

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Make certain that you have overkill on controlled HVAC (heating, venting and air conditioning). Good ventilation is an absolute. Wow - You're a lucky guy to have an understanding wife. I have the same and its SWEET.........J

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From a construction standpoint, I've finished out studios before and overwhelmingly the use of wood paneling such as tongue and groove boards seems to be the big thing. and possibly some highly insulated walls to hold the sound in. I would be inclined to talk to a carpenter who specializes in studios before starting.

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I'm excited for you, that will be a huge studio man. My wife is wanting me to do something with my basement, but it has a low ceiling, so I will just continue to rattle the rafters.

 

You can get special insulaton that is used for sound insulation. I remember years ago when I used to drywall we used it in a project or two. It came if 4' lengths and was approx. 16" wide to fit in between the studs. It was brown and very stiff. I hated insulating, and this stuff was miseralbe to work with, worse than the pink stuff, use a mask for sure If you are doing the work yourself.

 

Wiring. Make sure you have a seperate cicuit or two designated for amps, computer and what ever recording equipment you are going to use. You can never have two many outlets. Make sure lights are on a different cicuit - lights can give you noise that won't quit.

 

I definitely want to see pics when it is finished.

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From a construction standpoint' date=' I've finished out studios before and overwhelmingly the use of wood paneling such as tongue and groove boards seems to be the big thing. and possibly some highly insulated walls to hold the sound in. I would be inclined to talk to a carpenter who specializes in studios before starting.[/quote']

 

That's a good point along with what jcwillow suggested with the wiring. But do shy away from a contractor telling you that you need a double sound wall. I was the project manager, responsible to oversee building one of those for Young Chang Piano in Cerritos, CA. Takes up waaaaay too much room, extremely effective but I'm sure new technology will provide the better way to go.........J

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Wow, to have a blank slate to plan a studio like that would be awesome. Congratulations! I've read some about soundproofing in the past, and it's definitely more complicated that I thought it would be. Depending on how close your neighbors are and how soundproof you want this thing to be, you'll have to soundproof the walls, replace the door, seal the door, cover the windows, and possibly even lay down new soundproof flooring. If you block sound one way, it finds another way, including traveling through floors and walls.

 

Again though, this depends on how soundproof you want it to be. You probably don't necessarily need an anechoic chamber in your upstairs. :D

 

I'm excited for you man...

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I'd paint one wall white. the one most likely to hold guitars.

then I'd paint a huge black schematic on it.

Just a simple circuit .. could even be les paul controls schematic..

I'd probably do an epi VJ schematic. *S*

 

thought I'd toss in a fun idea.. I think that would look really good with guitars hanging in front of it.

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I have a 19x28 room upstairs smilar to yours that is dedicated to computers, studio and music. My wife plays piano and has the Kurzweil mini cabinet model that supports general midi, so I get to use it for midi backing tracks for my stuff. It has a 9' ceiling that follows the roof pitch with dormers that provide places to stick the big stuff like the PA speaker cabs and there are closets built between the dormers for storage. Make sure that you have outlets every 6 feet or so. You don't want to be string extension cords all over the place.

 

I don't worry about outside noise. The houses in our subdivision are 100' apart or more and it's about 400' to 500' to the house across the street and no one has ever complained about jamming noise. When I record, I generally mic the amps and run heaphones from a 5 output headphone amp. My near field monitors are Rockit 5's so I'm not going to push enough air to bother the neighbors.

 

I guess it depends on the style of recording you do. If you insist on cranking a tube amp to 10 to get good sound, you will need some insulated boxes to enclose them to contain the racket and mic inside the box. Either that or power soak attenuators. Today's studio setups aren't that loud anyway. There are plenty of ways to create good recordings without being a bad neighbor. I'd browse some home studio websites and see what others are doing. These guys love to post pictures and talk about their studio creations.

 

My cousin is a local guitar hero who teaches lessons and does recording for local bands and church groups. He had a contractor come in and create a studio with interlocking walls that sit inside the room (a room within a room). The walls bolt together with lag bolts so he was able to disassemble the whole thing and move it to his new house when he built again. You can sit outside when the sound level is ear piercing inside and you can barely hear it 20 feet away from the walls.

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I have my gear upstairs and our wooden house sings with my tube amp when I play. Our kids have their bedrooms downstairs, in one corner of the house that is practically acoustically separated from the rest of the house.

 

The only thing I've been missing is a vocal booth. A bass trap on one wall and some portable panels would probably do the trick, but I'd like to have a better isolation booth some day for all those screaming and guitar solo exercises that eventually will drive my family either insane or just embarrassed in our neighbours' eyes...

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Wedge, you lucky dog!

 

Seems like punching up a "Home Studio Recording" search would be a good place to start. . .

 

The folks at Sweetwater are big on home and studio gear too. Lot's of ideas there.

 

You'll need Epiphone guitars(gratuitous insert),amps, guitar stands, PA, mounds of cable, mics(condenser and dynamic), more cable and cords, computer and interface(PreSonus Fire Studio?), a keyboard, and probably lots of other goodies. . .

 

 

As far as decorating ideas I'm sort of into the whole concert posters and flyers look with maybe a few of your favorite old album covers thrown in for good measure.

 

Happy building!

 

N

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You might have a look at QuietRock sheet rock -- I think the company site is quietsolutions.com. Kind of pricey stuff, especially given the dimensions of your room.

 

Our neighbours have a daughter who plays drums next door, in her third-floor room. At least I think she plays drums -- I've never heard her! I have mine in the basement, and you can barely hear it on the sidewalk in front of our house.

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"You'll need Epiphone guitars(gratuitous insert),amps, guitar stands, PA, mounds of cable, mics(condenser and dynamic), more cable and cords, computer and interface(PreSonus Fire Studio?), a keyboard, and probably lots of other goodies. . ."

 

Yeah, a recorder is probably in order, too...

 

=D> :-

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