Yay. Building a new studio. Lets do this!

Welp. I done it. Got me a better studio building.

I’ve been working on it for over a month now. Started with a split level house and went to work overhauling the entire structure. The major stuff that I’ve done to it so far haven’t been anything exciting. And not really music related. I started by trashing the previous HVAC system and re-ran the ductwork to reduce noise.

Next I got internet in the place, ran co-ax and CAT6 all over the building, and decked it out with smart home stuff including a voice activated Lyric thermostat, voice controlled lsighswtiches, LED motion activated smart lights, Schlage keypad smart locks, motion sensors, security cameras, and a badass EA9500 Wifi-router, which gives me reception all the way on the other side of a golf course.

The the fun stuff began. It was driving me nuts that a garage door didn’t work. Why the hell does a studio need a garage door? Who knows. But I fixed it anyway (just needed a new spring). Then more fun stuff. I replaced all the toilets. And the sinks. Since it was previously a house, I thought it would be amusing to add a smart shower which you could talk to and has temperature digital display, and can be activated with your cell phone. But seeing as no one will probably ever take a shower here, there wasn’t much point.

Then more stuff that has nothing to do with music or audio. I doubled up the insulation in the crawlspace and replaced the carpet in the lobby/waiting area. I built extra shelving in the garage for storing road cases, mic stands, music stands, rolls of cable, and electronic component stuff.

For the last few days, I’ve had an electrical company in here rebuilding the main circuit panel. I needed it doubled in size (from 16 breakers to 32 breakers), and run with thicker electrical wiring to have better shielding and insulation. I had the electricians run new outlets/receptacles with dedicated breakers, so that voltage regulators, isolation transformers and line conditioners could assigned to each receptacle independently. That should allow me to use dimmers in the live room and control room without worrying about the mess they make while tracking. I took out all the florescent lights removed and replaced with LEDs.

Over the next week, I have a grid-tie solar power system on the way, and I need to have a grounding wire attached to the breaker box run underground outside the house.

So…why buy a house and use it as a studio? My answer is because you can sell it and move if you need to as long as it remains functional as a residential dwelling. Anyone who may have ever tried to sell a studio building knows how difficult they can be to unload because of such a limited buyer base


Here’s some more pics :smiley:

2 car garage…great for storage!!

Office desk :smiley:

Lobby area/waiting room

The garage from the front

Mic stands anyone?

Lovely screened in porch that overlooks a golf course (which you can’t see because its dark out)


Wow… major undertaking. Good luck Jonathan!

Very cool man, a ton of work, although it seems like more fun than work.

oooh, cool. What’s the timeline for when it’s supposed to be done?

And do you plan on using this primarily for mixing? or do you plan on tracking stuff as well?

Wow, I wouldn’t mind your garage (storage area!) for my studio, it’s 4 times the size of mine!

Or just the gain staging ? :drums2:

[quote=“bozmillar, post:5, topic:1400, full:true”]
oooh, cool. What’s the timeline for when it’s supposed to be done? [/quote]

I should be up and running in about 3 more weeks. Still have to dig a trench for the grounding wire, the solar panels aren’t up yet, and have 2 windows coming from a canadian glass specialist (Fibertech) that made some incredibly sound resistant fixed triple pane windows. While thats getting done I need to get that laminate flooring laid down, and a staggered stud floating wall built. I’m using 545 series wall panels from quietrock. They have the highest STC rating I can find on drywall. If properly installed, that vocal booth should seal right up.

Last but not least, I need another order of traps from Ethan…which reminds me I need to call him! lol. Almost forgot.

…and after that I need to paint those 1970’s looking wood panels in that machine room…probably gonna do a black/white theme.

That tracking room has one purpose…a spacey comfortable aesthetically pleasing vocal booth. I only intend to use it for ADR, character animation, advertisement voiceovers, and for actors coming into record EPK/demo reel reads for their portfolios. I’d be open to doing audiobooks, but they’re declining in popularity because of the ease of setting up and using podcast mics these days. I’m also bringing in an ISDN system so the South Carolina film commission can refer me for dubbing.

The mixer is almost exclusively for mixing. Its completely un-necessary for the tracking work, but the 700+something channel capacity (over its 6x2 MADI matrix) will really help me manage the massive databases of sounds in different levels of video game cues, and will really help organize indie film scenes where every ambient sound and character voiceover is placed on a separate channel of the console. So to the logical question, of ‘why in the hell do you need a 12 ft long console to record a voiceover’, as more to do with the non-voiceover related stuff.

THis is fun to watch. Keep them pictures coming.

Re-did the floors in the entryway. Before/After lol. Still not done yet. Shoe molding coming in tomorrow. The room to the left in the picture, where a living room would normally be is going to be a waiting area.

This is the start of the vocal booth. Ok ceiling clearance, and I’m gonna cut my losses on the floating floors. We’re just about done with these. I’ll miss that awful yellow tile about as much as I miss high school! :smiley:

Wall mounted the TV monitor in the control room last night. It can extend about 3 feet for DAW editing, then push back against the wall to get out of the way of the Focal monitors. I have some sound panels placed, but I didn’t fasten them to the wall, because I’m nowhere near ready to commit on the sound treatment. I was kind of playing around with colors too.

I began mounting the gear for the machine racks today. Tomorrow I’m planning on gathering the rest of it from storage.


Looking good J! :microphone:


If at all possible, the more space you can put between the wall and your panels, the more effective they will be.

1 Like

Gotcha. Those traps work pretty well, but you have to double and triple stack them to get them to do anything meaningful. I’m gonna end up buying a bunch of better ones off @Ethan_Winer.

The ones I have in there now were designed by these guys:

From discussions on RR a few years ago, or at least what Brandon had distilled from his research, 4 inches from the wall was a pretty good distance IIRC. I’m sure it depends on the room and the absorbers/traps etc, but maybe that’s a good rule of thumb?

1 Like

The previous room WJHW had them installed them had them sitting 2 1/2 off each wall. The designer told me they were tuned to match the specific room though. The previous owner tore them down and re-ordered because he wanted white instead of grey lol.

A good rule of thumb is more like the farther the better. With high frequencies, it doesn’t make much difference, but the farther away from the wall, the better it absorbs low frequencies.

It’s really more about what is practical. If you can get them 8" off the wall without getting in the way, then great. If you can get them 4", then great. If they have to be flush with the wall, then so be it.


I’m having a lot of problems with these traps. Even when moved away from the wall and doubled and tripled up, they’re soaking up 400-600 a lot more than the 80-250 I need them to kill.

Once I get into the workflow a little and I can think strait, I’ll do some more in depth testing on the room. You also just kinda need to sit there and work with it for a couple weeks before deciding what you can and can’t live with. I’m a little limited in the options for treatment because there’s so dang many doors and windows, and I don’t have a lot of ceiling clearance (9 ft).

One of the users here builds 1176’s Revision A and D using silver solder. He also builds mics. He’s usually pretty reasonable with his pricing. Look through his ebay profile or contact him to ask about mics. He can also custom make the VU meter to have LED lights. Either one color or a ton that change colour by remote.