PD

Studio layout - what would you want?
« on: June 18, 2010, 01:40:44 AM »
I am curious to know what people think is important to have in a studio, as far as rooms and sizes go.
What size would you want the main tracking room to be? The control room? How many Iso booths and sizes? How important is a dedicated drum room? ( do you really need one?) Height of rooms?

I am building  a new studio and the room I have to work with is 30 ft. x 30 ft. Half of the room has a 20 ft. tall ceiling and half has 9ft. At this point I am trying to determine what rooms I should have.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


strangeandbouncy

Re: Studio layout - what would you want?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2010, 02:51:57 AM »
Hi,


   simply, it all depends on what YOU need!- or your clients . . . . . there is no silver bullet.



     kindest regards,




     ANdyP
. . . . RUH ROH . . . . .

mac

Re: Studio layout - what would you want?
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2010, 05:11:59 AM »
+1  with above..

it is a bit like you are packing for a holiday - what do you take?? Depends where you are going, what you expect to be doing, what you think the weather would be like etc etc etc...

I have assisted in studios with lots of different "purpose" rooms and some pretty complex layouts - which can be quite inflexible.

Lately though, I am finding that a good big "ish" live room can be used for lots of different projects if you have enough mobile dead screens and baffles to move around to treat the space.

If your space is small and dead - you cant make it live. But with a medium sized live space you can always deaden it down.

Dont skimp on the size of the control room (seems to be a regular occurring theme).
 
(just my 2 cents)

Mac
Barclaycon: The client said 'That sounds great, what are you using on it?'
The engineer's reply was: '30 years of experience'.

zebra50

Re: Studio layout - what would you want?
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2010, 05:27:06 AM »
I guess any studio space is a compromise unless you have unlimited budget.

Our studio is in an old barn about 11 metres by 7 metres, (33 x 22 ft), so of the same order as yours. You'll be amazed how quickly it fills up! We split our space into control room and live room, with the live bit being about twice the size of the control. We haven't yet built any isolation booths, and after 3 years I doubt we will now - it would eat into the live space too much. I have a couple of old sofas which can be used as baffles, or even to sit on!

We DIY'd pretty much everything but it works well for our needs. The control room is quite dead and doubles up for vocals and quiet instrument recording, or even put amps in there for isolation sometimes.

A word of warning - don't be tempted to hide wiring away behind walls and stuff. Keep everything accessible. We've been through about three major reorganisations now, and a leaky roof too.


Quote
Lately though, I am finding that a good big "ish" live room can be used for lots of different projects if you have enough mobile dead screens and baffles to move around to treat the space.
Plus one to that. Keep it flexible, especially until you've done a few sessions!
« Last Edit: June 18, 2010, 05:28:41 AM by zebra50 »
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yosh

Re: Studio layout - what would you want?
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2010, 12:22:52 PM »
I have a studio about the same size, though my space is longer, about 24 feet by 41 feet. We set it up as a open control/tracking room studio with a control "area" next to an iso room at one end of the space and a lounge at the other end by the front door; the tracking area is in between. There are pictures at www.themaproomstudio.com if you want to check it out.

If you are going to have bands in there on a regular basis, I would suggest making sure you put in a lounge. It seems like a hard thing to do; to eat up some of your valuable space that way, but there are many upsides. Having a place for musicians to go who aren't busy tracking can be invaluable. I have a sink, mini fridge, toaster oven, and tie lines in the lounge that put in. It could always get used for an extra iso room if we really need the space.
My Portland, Oregon based recording studio: www.themaproomstudio.com

Insomniaclown

Re: Studio layout - what would you want?
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2010, 12:48:59 PM »
Thats a nice space yosh! I really like the open feel.

I was in a  studio awhile ago to record an album with my former band. We tracked the drums and bass to tape at a studio outside Vancouver, and then recorded the vocals and guitars in our engineers studio straight to digital performer. I did the guitars and background vox in that band. Anyways, when we recorded the bass and drums, they had the drums in one room, the bass in another, and I was in the control room doing the guitar scratch tracks. No fun. We couldn't even see each other. It was really hard to get a good vibe going. Same when I did my guitars later on. Amp was in one room, and I was in the control room rocking out to the monitors. Well sorta rocking out anyways. In my personal opinion, its better if the band can be in the same room, or at least be able to see/easily ccommunicate with one another. Then throw the singer in a little iso booth to do the vocals after the fact.

If I were in your shoes, I'd keep the part with the 20 foot ceiling as one big live room. Use the 9 foot ceiling part for the control room, and if there is a decent amount of space, build a vocal booth off of the control room. Then again, I am just a musician, so I really don't know what I am talking about. Good luck!
Ryan aka Rybow aka The big rybowski

"Can't sleep, clown will eat me!"- Bart Simpson

abechap024

Re: Studio layout - what would you want?
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2010, 01:44:29 PM »
Yea I second that - Keep it open, you can always get/make partitions. Close off the Control room, if you want.
AC Sound - some DIY circuitboards

PD

Re: Studio layout - what would you want?
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2010, 07:29:08 PM »
Lots of good info, thanks guys.
I was leaning towards 15 x 30 x 20 live room, 15 x 23 x 9 control room and a small iso room off of the control room. It sounds like you guys have the same idea. Sounds like the lounge is a must. I was going to use the rest of the building for a workshop, but I think I'll steal part of it for a lounge.
The last pro studio I was in had an area with couches, video games and a ping pong table. I think that ping pong table gets a lot of use. The engineer would make everyone leave the control room at times, so it worked out great. I asked him a million questions about gear until he ran me out. He said the most important thing to have in a real studio was a leather couch in the control room. Must be leather. He used his LA2A on almost every track, at least it seemed that way. He had a ton of outboard gear, but the LA2A was always being used.
If anyone else has ideas on what would be great to have in a studio, especially if it is a DIY item, please post.
Thanks

zayance

Re: Studio layout - what would you want?
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2010, 07:54:29 PM »
Very nice studio Yosh  8)

yosh

Re: Studio layout - what would you want?
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2010, 10:30:25 PM »
Very nice studio Yosh  8)

Thanks!

PD,

When it comes time to start building you may be able to find additional helpful info on the John L Sayers Forum. I found a lot of helpful info there when building out my space. Good luck!
My Portland, Oregon based recording studio: www.themaproomstudio.com


Re: Studio layout - what would you want?
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2010, 01:52:09 PM »
Cup holders.

mac

Re: Studio layout - what would you want?
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2010, 05:50:58 AM »
The lounge is a fundamental acoustic element of the control room...choose wisely....for your bottom...and your ears!!!

Mac
Barclaycon: The client said 'That sounds great, what are you using on it?'
The engineer's reply was: '30 years of experience'.

Re: Studio layout - what would you want?
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2010, 06:02:47 PM »
I've yet to find a room with brick walls and wooden floors(no specific type) that doesn't immediately sound pleasing.  That combination, even for rooms the size you're looking at are not nearly as live(overly) sounding as you might think.  I'm not a fan of sheetrock(esp painted over).

I'd vote as big as possible on the tracking room - using the portion with the higher ceiling.

Do some careful research on the iso-room/booth construction.  I recently worked in one that was ~5 X 5 X 7ft ceiling.  It was intended to be dead sounding - carpet on floors and and small absorption panels on walls.  Sounded horrible.  The early reflections were bombarding even the tightest cardiod pattern mics yielding a vocal sound that was really unuseable.  Extra padding did not help. I think the room was simply too small and symmetrical to overcome any additional treatment plan.

PD

Re: Studio layout - what would you want?
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2010, 01:05:41 AM »
The lounge is a fundamental acoustic element of the control room...choose wisely....for your bottom...and your ears!!!

Mac, I don't understand what you mean?

I'd vote as big as possible on the tracking room - using the portion with the higher ceiling.

A large tracking room with tall ceilings seems to be the consensus for great sound. I don't think I could afford brick on all of the walls. I was thinking about trying Hardie Plank exterior lap siding on at least one of the walls. It's made of concrete and would not be a flat wall. I have put a lot of this stuff on houses. Pretty easy to work with if you have the right tools. Since it's masonary it might have sound properties similar to brick.
Wood floors for sure.
What do you guys think about having 2 small iso rooms for guitar cabinets.  The guitar players could be in the tracking room with the band but their cabinets would be cranked in an iso room. No bleed in the drum mics this way.

Lots of cup holders

Re: Studio layout - what would you want?
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2010, 01:27:01 AM »
One possible alternative to brick is stones.  Depending on your geographic locale you may be able to find some very nice types for doing partial walls.  In my area we have what the locals call "field stones" (wish I were up on my geology).  They're quite plentiful in fields and along creek beds. I know a person who built a stunning fireplace and chimney with these - gathered up freely.  Labor can be a little tougher than brick and it may take some time to find suitable stones. After that the cost is down to mortar and muscle. 

Another benefit is the structural irregularity of stones - increased diffusion.

riggler

Re: Studio layout - what would you want?
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2010, 08:16:07 AM »
I'm depressed. My new room at home is only 9' x 12' (standard 8' ceiling). I saw this cool treatments package on VintageKing for like $750, a little pricey but maybe worth it? With that size room I'm going to sell the console and just make a nice summing box. Got enough preamps and stuff...

So anyway, treating small rooms, seems like a large bass trap is in order and something to break up the modes as well.
Why does it happen? Because it happens - Roll the bones...

0dbfs

Re: Studio layout - what would you want?
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2010, 08:56:26 AM »
So anyway, treating small rooms, seems like a large bass trap is in order and something to break up the modes as well.

That and redirecting early reflections away from the primary listening position and towards broadband absorbers or diffusers as needed..

Identify ER points by moving a mirror around the room/walls and notating which positions allow you to see the speakers in the mirror while sitting at the listening position.

Best,
jonathan
Music is everything!
Audio is everything else!

mac

Re: Studio layout - what would you want?
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2010, 05:55:03 PM »
Hey PD,

Quote
The lounge is a fundamental acoustic element of the control room...choose wisely....for your bottom...and your ears!!!

Mac, I don't understand what you mean?

Sorry - this was mostly meant to be a joke... ;D

But on a serious note - almost all studios seem to incorporate a lounge of some type behind the mix position. I have been in some pokey little control rooms with limited acoustic treatment where the lounge actually did have a significant acoustic treatment impact!! I guess my message was to consider everything from an acoustics perspective in your critical listening space.

Mac
Barclaycon: The client said 'That sounds great, what are you using on it?'
The engineer's reply was: '30 years of experience'.

riggler

Re: Studio layout - what would you want?
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2010, 07:31:59 PM »
Any reason why an open fabric couch wouldn't be a great bass absorber? And for that matter a high freq diffusor as well? I used to record in my moms living room, drapes, tight weave carpet, furniture, always sounded nice!!
Why does it happen? Because it happens - Roll the bones...

mac

Re: Studio layout - what would you want?
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2010, 07:31:47 AM »
yeah....my point exactly.....small room with no lounge...small room with cheap shiny vinyl lounge....small room with material covered lounge....

all three will sound different in the room!

moral of the story, save up for a bigger room  ;D

or if you are stuck with a smaller space like I am at the moment, stuff it full of broadband absorber panels  - DIY of course!!

Mac
Barclaycon: The client said 'That sounds great, what are you using on it?'
The engineer's reply was: '30 years of experience'.


 

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