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Thread: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

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    My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    DanTheBluesMan asked, so... now you all must suffer.

    Here are some progress pics for my basement studio. I went back and forth about whether to do the full-blown thing and have a "control room" separate from the recording area. In addition to that being a bunch more money, when I do small projects for other folks, I generally play all the instruments myself, so, running back and forth between the drum kit and a control room wouldn't be ideal.

    We have a full basement in our new house (just moved in on August 1), and half of it is finished and used as a den/entertainment room. The other half is unfinished, so this studio will take half of that half. Full disclosure: I am NOT doing the work. I hired an excellent handyman who is as motivated as he is precise with details. He's amazing.

    This post is Day 0: how it looked before the project started.


    1. Todd the handyman hand-picks supplies



    2. Empty room



    3. Other side of the basement, showing rolls of (hopefully) soundproof insulation. In the distance, a bunch of my studio stuff can be seen crammed into the far end, waiting for a home.



    4. Brief video of the empty room on Day 0.

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Day 1 (after one day of Todd working there, but really it was a half-day, as the first day was getting the stuff bought and moved into the house):

    1. "Front" wall framed, some insulation in roof/rafters.



    2. Front wall from the side



    3. Insulation going in between ceiling joists.
    Last edited by pc; 10-13-2019 at 09:37 AM.

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Day 2

    1. "Rear" wall now framed, insulated, and drywalled. Space left between it and cement block wall so I can access the sump and/or radon mitigator if needed, plus storage space. A door will be added later.


    2. Brief video of completion of Day 2. (Please ignore audio of one child doing YouTube stuff on his Chromebook, and/or the sad sounds of my fat ass squeezing between those studs. )

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Day 3


    1. "Front" wall now framed, drywalled on back side, and insulated. Slot framed in for XLR and 1/4" jack plates.



    2. Brief video of Day 3 walkthrough

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    oh, yeah, this is the GOOD stuff, thank you so much.

    Did I tell you house jealous I am? I'm a freaking jar of Smuckers, I am
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Nice! Are you going full sound isolation or more along the lines of somewhat purpose-built workspace for rehearsal/recording?

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Quote Originally Posted by DanTheBluesMan View Post
    oh, yeah, this is the GOOD stuff, thank you so much.

    Did I tell you house jealous I am? I'm a freaking jar of Smuckers, I am
    Thanks!

    We're actually still in shock about it. My wife and I have three boys, 11, 13, and 15, and we were all crammed into a really small place for a long time. A few things happened earlier this year that ultimately resulted in a bit of financial security, allowed us to move to what amounts to a dream house for us. Equity from the sale of the old house was earmarked mostly for the college fund, with the exception of a soaking tub being added in the master suite for the Mrs., and this studio in the basement for the Mr.

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    better build that studio quick before those two legged swarm of locust eat you out of house and home. your food bill is about to explode.
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtdog View Post
    Nice! Are you going full sound isolation or more along the lines of somewhat purpose-built workspace for rehearsal/recording?
    Somewhere in between? This particular handyman was hired because our realtor used him to do the needed repairs and improvements at the house we were selling, and he did masterful work. I found out that he fairly recently had helped design and build the inner rooms of a professional space that would be used as medical offices, and the main focus of that job was to have enough sound dampening in the walls that one patient couldn't hear the conversations with the doc and patient in the next room. He knew way more than I did about what insulation to get, etc.

    As you're looking at the "back" wall, where the sump is located, both it and the wall on the right side have earth on the other side. Neither wall has basement windows. The "front" wall will be insulated to the nth degree, as will the space between the drop ceiling and the living room above it; and, the ceiling tiles he's chosen are an industrial grade designed just for sound-reduction. That final wall on the left side already has some sort of sound-proofing treatment in the cement block itself. It'll also have hanging sound-dampening panels on it, and the door that leads into the den will be a thick, solid oak door.

    The thought is that there will be almost zero sound transmission between the studio and the upstairs, as well as between the studio and the other part of the unfinished side of the basement. That one wall between the studio and the den won't have zero-transmission, but, unless I'm recording drums, nobody using that room will hear anything.

    Or, more likely, unless my oldest is watching John Wick 3 for the 35th time in the den (damned LOUD Sonus subwoofer), I should have no problem recording vocals.

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Quote Originally Posted by DanTheBluesMan View Post
    better build that studio quick before those two legged swarm of locust eat you out of house and home. your food bill is about to explode.
    Dead on accurate, sir. The swarm has begun already.

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    PC, thanks for sharing this with us.
    Guitar freaks of the world unite!

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    saturday my brother was helping me with pulling an unused tv cable back down into the basement. I was down there and he was above me. We were able to communicate through the floor. That's about how 'sound proof' my house is, NOT.
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Quote Originally Posted by DanTheBluesMan View Post
    saturday my brother was helping me with pulling an unused tv cable back down into the basement. I was down there and he was above me. We were able to communicate through the floor. That's about how 'sound proof' my house is, NOT.


    So, speaking of sound proof, that was a lot of the work done today...

    Day 4 stuff:

    1. Back wall, with the next coat of mud, and lots of insulation seen in the ceiling.



    2. Front wall, same deal.



    3. Just for laughs, the front wall seen from the other side of the basement.



    4. The Day 4 movie. This shows a lot more detail on the ceiling insulation. I love how he put it between the very top and the pipes.

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Cool and nice tidy drywall work!

    As as long as you’re not expecting complete sound isolation, you’re good! The insulation will do little for isolation - that requires either partial or complete decoupling of walls, floors and ceilings. A slightly more cost effective way is to double up the layers of drywall to add more mass to the resonating walls.

    But it either way, looks like the project is progressing quickly! I’ve seen projects like these drag on for months (andbyewrs in one case)!

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Back in the 70's I helped a friend put an 8 track studio in his basement. No thoughts on recording nationwide hits, but a decent place for locals to get a demo put together. My friend complained a lot about getting bleed through the drum booth into the main room. (2 sides glass from the mid point to roof). Yeah, his mom could still hear the low frequencies upstairs, but she didn't complain, and many of us got some semi-professional demos! (She did complain a little when we used her mostly tile bathroom as a "plate reverb" for a few hours!)
    We didn't have as much insulation in the roof/walls as you have PC, so I'll bet you won't bother anyone upstairs!

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Back in the 70's I helped a friend put an 8 track studio in his basement. No thoughts on recording nationwide hits, but a decent place for locals to get a demo put together. My friend complained a lot about getting bleed through the drum booth into the main room. (2 sides glass from the mid point to roof). Yeah, his mom could still hear the low frequencies upstairs, but she didn't complain, and many of us got some semi-professional demos! (She did complain a little when we used her mostly tile bathroom as a "plate reverb" for a few hours!)
    We didn't have as much insulation in the roof/walls as you have PC, so I'll bet you won't bother anyone upstairs!
    Thanks Bill! I hope it'll work out. All I know right now is that I was at home all day yesterday (gov't holiday) while the handyman and his son worked, and I was hanging out in our living room, directly above the studio. I was going to run out for a bit, so I popped downstairs to let them know, and that's when I realized that his son had music cranked on his device while they worked. It was REALLY loud, but I hadn't heard any of it just 15 feet above them. I contrast that to before that insulation was added, when I could hear my son's laptop playing normal-volume YouTube vids in that area of the basement when I was directly above.

    I know drums will put out louder, bigger sound waves than a boom-box, but I still take it as a good sign that the insulation did that much dampening, before they've even gotten to the specially designed ceiling tiles.

    Either way, I'm not going for "anechoic chamber" here. Just like you said, make some good recordings for me and my friends and not drive my family out of the house when we do sessions, like we did at our old place.



    Oh, and no picture/video updates today. Todd came over, but today was just sanding, then adding another coat of mud to the drywall. I believe the ceiling will get started in the next day or two though! Woot!

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtdog View Post
    Cool and nice tidy drywall work!

    As as long as you’re not expecting complete sound isolation, you’re good! The insulation will do little for isolation - that requires either partial or complete decoupling of walls, floors and ceilings. A slightly more cost effective way is to double up the layers of drywall to add more mass to the resonating walls.

    But it either way, looks like the project is progressing quickly! I’ve seen projects like these drag on for months (andbyewrs in one case)!
    He is really a perfectionist, which I love. I thought the same thing: book it now, hope for it to be done by 2020; but I happened to catch him at a good point between other booked jobs. I count myself lucky there for sure!

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Day 5

    Mostly painting the walls and staining the doors and the trim. They also removed the frame that used to house the "saloon doors" that led into that area, so they can put the new door up. All of the ceiling tile and hanger stuff is now purchased and sitting in the basement, so I bet they'll start working on some of that tomorrow, unless he determines the paint job is not up to his standards and needs a second coat.

    1. Back wall. Newly stained doors propped up to dry.


    2. Front wall. Newly stained trim pieces can be seen drying.


    3. Front wall, far side.


    4. Bonus pic. Two of my new studio mics arrived, a Royer 121 for my guitar cab, and an EV RE-20 for the kick drum.


    5. The usual brief tour video of the day's work.

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Day 6

    Entire ceiling framed for ceiling tiles; light fixture lowered and covered with new plexiglas; inner portion of door frame added; AC outlet added to front wall; XLR and speaker jack-plates added to front wall.

    1. Day 6 movie


    2. Drop Ceiling framing 1


    3. Drop Ceiling framing 2


    4. Jack plates


    5. Bonus pic: arrival of the matched set of AKG C414 XLII mics, which will be drum overheads


    Next will be wrapping all of the cold air returns in more insulation, then installing the ceiling tiles, then putting up the two doors. Additional sound-dampening panels will be installed at various places on all the walls, although they won't be ready until 11/8/19.

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Day 7. Houston, we have ceiling.

    Not only is the ceiling done, each ceiling tile (with a couple exceptions where the air vent is, and where a drain pipe comes through) are actually double-tiled. He did a great job.

    1. Ceiling shot 1



    2. Ceiling shot 2



    3. Movie. This time, the movie starts out in the "den" area, to show the blank cement walls on either side of the TV. That's because he'll soon be adding wall hangars for various instruments.


    Tomorrow will (I think) be doors and guitar hangers. Looks like I can start moving gear in there this weekend!

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    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    your guy is good. Is he working alone?
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Lookin' good, brother... GREAT thread...

    "...put aside the alienation, get on with the fascination, the real relation, the underlying theme."
    Neil Peart (September 12, 1952 - January 7, 2020)

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Quote Originally Posted by DanTheBluesMan View Post
    your guy is good. Is he working alone?
    About half the time, his son has come to help. His son just got done with his hitch in the Navy and flew home from his carrier somewhere in Japan last week. His speciality is engineering, and he's just as precise and detail-oriented as his dad. It wound up being sort of perfect; I get two great handymen making the job go even quicker, and the dad is getting to catch up with his kid after a long time apart. Very cool.

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Quote Originally Posted by KennyF View Post
    Lookin' good, brother... GREAT thread...
    Thanks! I'm really stoked that it's going so quickly. Can't wait to start setting stuff up!

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    The progress this project is making is jaw-dropping. That it's done so well and so cleanly makes it even more awesome!

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Day 8: And just like that... it's a room!

    Construction is complete! The guitars are hung in the den, the doors are hung, and everything is cleaned up. Time to start moving gear in!

    1. Entry door, slightly ajar, seen from den


    2. Utility door, slightly ajar (leads to sump/radon mitigator, and storage space.)


    3. Guitar wall in the den, seen from inside the studio


    4. The den in wide angle, showing all the hanging guitars.



    5. The obligatory movie clip

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    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    so the studio stuff, mixer, monitors etc is in the big room with the guitars and the drum room is the fully enclosed one, correct?

    BTW - I don't think that TV is big enough
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Yessir that room oozes cool! Thanks for sharing the pics, video's Pete rock / record on!

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Quote Originally Posted by DanTheBluesMan View Post
    so the studio stuff, mixer, monitors etc is in the big room with the guitars and the drum room is the fully enclosed one, correct?

    BTW - I don't think that TV is big enough
    OMG, don't get me started on that TV. Made the mistake of ordering from Amazon instead of Best Buy, and the first one arrived shattered. It took weeks getting anyone to do anything about it, but when the second one arrived, we were required to unbox it in front of the delivery people, then we had to wrangle it downstairs into the den without any protective packaging. It's awesome... but yeesh.

    Anyway, no, everything will be in the studio room. I had originally planned to have a small control room built directly behind the recording room, but doing all the things with the sound-proof glass (and all the framing/drywall/ceiling for second room) would have raised the price to the cap of my budget, meaning that I wouldn't have been able to get the high-end mics and other stuff I wanted.

    In a day or two, I'll have enough set up to take a few more pics, so you can see where the "recording desk" goes in relation to the rest of the room. Since the guitar cab will be miked-up outside the room, I will still be able to track a rhythm section (keys and bass going direct) all at once, which was the ultimate goal anyway. A separate control room and a separate vocal booth would have been so cool to have, but just not in the cards right now. The space is always there though, in case the option arises later on.

    So, the guitars are on the wall in the den as "décor," but also so I can just pop right outside the studio room and pull whatever I need off the wall.

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Quote Originally Posted by melody View Post
    Yessir that room oozes cool! Thanks for sharing the pics, video's Pete rock / record on!
    Thanks! I am really thrilled to be able to have a space to make some noise and have fun.

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Setup has begun.

    1. My control area. 2019 MacBook Pro 15", LG 5k monitor; Yamaha HS8s, M-audio reference monitors; 2 Avid Artist Mix units; iPad Pro running Avid Control; rack unit with Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 and Apogee Element 88 (not yet plugged in).



    2. Close up of the desk with Pro Tools running



    3. The amp heads



    4. The cabinet on the other side of the wall from the amp heads. Plugged in but not yet miked up. An enclosure box will follow in a few weeks.



    5. Video tour of same (The song playing on Pro Tools is the demo file they include with the software.)

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Quote Originally Posted by pc View Post
    Setup has begun.

    1. My control area. 2019 MacBook Pro 15", LG 5k monitor; Yamaha HS8s, M-audio reference monitors; 2 Avid Artist Mix units; iPad Pro running Avid Control; rack unit with Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 and Apogee Element 88 (not yet plugged in).



    2. Close up of the desk with Pro Tools running



    3. The amp heads



    4. The cabinet on the other side of the wall from the amp heads. Plugged in but not yet miked up. An enclosure box will follow in a few weeks.



    5. Video tour of same (The song playing on Pro Tools is the demo file they include with the software.)
    Lookin' good...

    That Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 is a bonafide bargain...

    "...put aside the alienation, get on with the fascination, the real relation, the underlying theme."
    Neil Peart (September 12, 1952 - January 7, 2020)

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Quote Originally Posted by KennyF View Post
    Lookin' good...

    That Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 is a bonafide bargain...
    Truth!

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    ALMOST done...

    Everything is set up and wired. The only things remaining to do are to mount the acoustic panels, which will be delivered on 11/8; and for the handyman to build my cabinet enclosure box on the other side of the wall.

    I'm VERY happy with the results!!


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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    What a great place!

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Aaaaaand... done.

    Here's a more detailed video with captions to show a little of what's going on.



    First session is a week from tonight. Really excited to take it for a test run. I've already been remixing things here and there, but I'm really psyched to do a track from the ground up. I'll post when everything is complete. Thanks for watching the progress!

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    AWESOME!!! Enjoy, my friend...

    "...put aside the alienation, get on with the fascination, the real relation, the underlying theme."
    Neil Peart (September 12, 1952 - January 7, 2020)

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    Quote Originally Posted by KennyF View Post
    AWESOME!!! Enjoy, my friend...
    Thanks!!

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    great video, wish it were longer

    I had that song going through my head this morning and then I watched your video
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

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    Re: My project/recording studio--as it progresses

    And the coda for this thread, also posted in the Members Links area.



    Looking at this thread myself, going from empty room, to this video--it's pretty huge. Thanks everyone for their support!

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