Monday, June 24, 2013

A whole bunch of studio construction updates

For the past few weeks we have neglected posting updates as we've been spending every free moment trying to wrap up the construction on the studio - I'm happy to say that aside from some very small cosmetic items we're pretty much done - here's some photos for the missed weeks:

Here's a shot of the unfinished dead vents, we're using a Fantech FG6 to cycle the air out of each room and draw fresh air in from the rest of the building.

Here's a shot of the putty pads we used around all the electrical boxes to keep the room as airtight as possible.  

Here's a shot of the live room after the drywall (2 layers, green glue between, staggered seams acoustically caulked, and finally mudded and sanded) 
 Another shot of the live room from the back corner (also notice the windows have been installed - 2 pieces of laminated glass, one side is 7/16" the other side is 9/16".

 Here's a shot of the control room after the floors were refinished, paint done, and some of the furniture moved in.  You can see the almost finished dead vents in the hallway, the ventilation is working great, but we still need to sand and paint it (that will wait until the hallway is refinished by the building).
 Another shot from the control room entrance.
 Another shot, this one taken from the mixing position.  You can see our DIY acoustic treatments (well 2 of the 28 we made) in the corner.
 Here's a shot of the live room shortly after moving a bunch of stuff in (acoustic treatments, mic stands, other fun things)
 Looking into the control room from the live room.
 Looking at the live room from the back corner, excuse the lighting we still hadn't put up the track lights in the live room yet.

So, for now I'm out of the country, right before I left we finished the wiring (12x4 snake into the live room plus an addition 4x1 custom built/soldered XLR/TRS box on the wall of both the live room and the vocal booth).  We also racked the equiment and did most of the wiring for the patch-bay (except for a few cables that we had to order).

When vacation is over we hope to do some room testing and reposition the acoustic treatments as needed (I'll write a separate post about the treatments when that time comes).

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Studio Build Update: Ceiling Framing

One of the more challenging parts of our studio build was determining a way to keep the ceiling decoupled from the larger building structure.  Based on the size of the rooms, the joist spans would have required a pretty heavy duty piece of wood to meet load requirements - not to mention that it would have brought the ceiling to a much lower level.

That said we ended up hanging our double layer drywall ceiling using isolation hangers and a metal ceiling grid.  In addition to the isolation hangers, resilmount isolation clips were used to stabilize the walls to the ceiling while keeping the internal walls and ceiling isolated from the larger structure (unfortunately I didn't snag a picture of that before the drywall went up).

Monday, May 13, 2013

Recording Studio Build Update: Framing for Isolated Walls

Taken from the control room - vocal booth on right

Here's an update on our progress - the walls are framed, the ceiling grid is hung, electrical rough wiring is in, and the ventilation ducting/exhaust fans have been installed.  For this entry I'm just going to focus on the walls.

A few notes on the walls, we are building double walls, essentially a room within a room.  On one side of our space the outside wall is a cinder block wall.  The other pre-existing walls are normal 2x4 framed walls that have been built from floor to ceiling.  As part of the demolition we removed the drywall from our side of those walls.  In the future on the other side of those walls we may end up adding an additional layer of drywall with green-glue.  Since this is something we can do after the fact (if we decide we want a higher level of sound proofing) we've opted to save the money for now and hope for the best.  Then we framed our new walls making sure the only place they attach to the existing structure is the foundation (we lack the budget to float a concrete floor, fortunately there's nothing below us, so while not ideal we're building on the existing concrete floor).

Taken from live room looking at control room wall
Taken from live room looking at entrance wall
Close up of framing detail.  About 1" between walls.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Before the Demolition Began

Here's some pics of the studio rooms before the demolition began - any drywall walls you see have since either been demolished completely or have had the drywall on the interior surfaces removed as to avoid the triple leaf effect.

This is the back corner of the future control room - the big fan in the wall had to be taken out and the wall blocked over.  You can see a red I-beam, we had to have the contractor figure out how to soffit around that while keeping the soffit and interior double wall that be built decoupled from the existing structure.

Below is a picture of the wall that has since been demolished, also in the control room.  This wall is the location separating the control room from the live room (taken from the control room side).  We had to completely remove the wall to rebuild a double wall that didn't attache to the existing structure:

And finally here's a picture of the same control/live room wall from the back corner.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Studio Construction and Build Plan

After a few months of sorting out the lease agreement, then a few more weeks of waiting for the space we're building in to get demolished and cleaned out; our studio build is well under way!

You can see a 3d model of our planned build out on YouTube (also embedded in this post).

A few notes about the construction:

A total of 3 rooms:
  • Live room (with slanted ceiling following the existing roof line)
  • Control Room (with flat ceiling as high as we can get it)
  • Approx 6x6 vocal/iso booth.
A few notes on the wall construction:
  • Double walls (room within room)
  • Standard R12/R20 insulation between the walls
  • Two layers of drywall, acoustically caulked/staggered seams with Green Glue between
  • Windows assemblies are laminated glass (two thicknesses for each window, 7/16" and 9/16")
  • Doors are solid core with weather stripping (additional mass might be added depending on how they perform).
  • Electrical outlets sealed using Putty Pads
A few notes on the ceiling construction
  • Ceiling uses the same drywall sandwich as the walls
  • Ceilings are drop ceilings isolated from the existing structure using Resilmount isolation hangers and some fancy schmancy ceiling grid.
There's more details I'd like to touch upon, but for now I'll leave it at that.  In future posts I'll try to cover the ventilation and some of the above topics in greater detail.  We're very excited about how things are moving along and shooting for painting and sound treatments over the next few weeks.

And here's the planned floor plan with dimensions and notes:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Studio Monitor Notes: JBL LSR4328P

A long while back I bought a pair of JBL LSR 4328P studio monitors. Following are some notes I had jotted down at the time regarding their shipping and setup:

The monitors were packaged for shipping really well (heavy little suckers though). The set I purchased included the monitors, remote control, microphone, and all the cables needed. The setup was pretty straightforward. To get them setup put the monitors where you want them in the room. Next network the two (or however many you have) monitors together with a CAT5 cable. If you have more than two monitors you'll end up daisy chaining them together. The monitors that are at either end of the chain you have to terminate with CAT5 terminators (they come with the monitors don't worry). Set the switches on the backs of the monitors to correspond with the room location of the monitor. The last thing you need to do is plug in the power.

Performing the room mode correction is also straightforward. Just plug the RMC mic into the monitor and position it in the room at your listening location. To do the actual adjustment press and hold the RMC button. The monitors will do a frequency sweep (it's a little loud but not too ridiculously loud). Once that's done you should be good to go.

These monitors provide an extremely accurate image of what you have recorded with a very flat frequency response. I would recommend listening to some of your favorite CDs on these (or really any high-end) studio monitors and you'll be shocked at everything you hear. I would definitely recommend these to anyone considering them. The only drawback is the price tag.