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Thread: Building the Perfect Analog Home Studio

  1. #1
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    Building the Perfect Analog Home Studio

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    Well..... Life has thrown us a curveball and it looks like our traveling might be finished for a while. (Just as I'm one day away from finishing up the "Going Mobile" project). We will have the opportunity to buy a house close to family etc..... except I am looking for a house with an extra dedicated room for a home studio/music listening/Instrument playing room.

    To start with, when we go look at houses, what would be a good characteristics for the basic room (walls ceiling, floor, windows/no windows etc......)? I'm not looking at treating them yet, but trying to get a good basic room to start with. I would appreciate any and all advice on this.

    Brad
    Brad Bachelor
    "Marrying an old bachelor is like buying second-hand furniture." - Helen Rowland

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    Generally speaking, houses are not ideal for recording music, but you can make do very well with the right treatments. There are some things to watch out for, though. Take this with a grain of salt, because it's just based on my personal experience.

    1. You don't want a square room if you can help it. Rectangular rooms will be less plagued with standing waves and other acoustical issues.

    2. If outside noise is a concern, you'd ideally want to be as isolated from it as possible. Basements are usually awesome in this regard, but I don't know if they have those where you'll be buying. (We don't have them here in TX.)

    3. Higher ceilings will help things sound better in general -- at least that seems to be my experience.

    4. I prefer to have hard floors in my studio, so I put down some laminate in mine, which is kind of a large control room/office where I do some tracking as well. I figure if I don't want a reflective floor, I can lay down a heavy carpet and sit on that. My closet, which is roomy enough to sit in and record acoustic guitars, for example, does have carpet, so I have that option as well. Plus it serves as a great isolation room if there is some noise outside. For example, our AC unit is right outside my office window, which kind of sucks (being in TX), but if I go into my closet, I can't hear it at all. And it's actually not too stuffy in there either, which is nice.

    Treating the room will help a lot with regards to your mixes sounding better on other systems. That was quite a noticeable improvement when I did it. I went all DIY with it and made panels out of some Owens Corning 703 (rigid fiberglass insulation) and some mineral wool, the latter of which was much cheaper.

    Where are you going to buy a home?
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    We are looking in Northeastern Oklahoma. No Basements there either.....I've heard hard floors are good. Most of them we have seen online have been on slabs so that will be good.

    Isolation may be important since my wife can only take so much Black Oak Arkansas before she pulls the plug. Are Windows a good or bad thing???
    Brad Bachelor
    "Marrying an old bachelor is like buying second-hand furniture." - Helen Rowland

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    NE Oklahoma you say? That's where I grew up (Bartlesville). Whereabouts are you moving?

    I have a basement studio and I really like it as far as noise into/out of the room. It's dead silent in a room that's fully underground and has 3 sides of foundation surrounding it. The bass is really hard to control in here though. That could be the density of the concrete on 3 walls and the floor, or that I just don't have the right treatment yet. Hard to say. But like Beagle said, square rooms are the worst, although rectangular are the most common. The bigger, the better, too. Smaller rooms suck for trying to control bass frequencies and you'll end up packing the room full of treatment before you'll get the bass under control.

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    We are looking around the Claremore/Bartlesville area....

    ......so.......

    1. Rectangular Room
    2. High ceilings (if possible)
    3. Hard floors?
    Brad Bachelor
    "Marrying an old bachelor is like buying second-hand furniture." - Helen Rowland

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    My wife and I are also house shopping and we're keen to find a space I can use to get my studio setup again.

    My strong preference is for a house with garage that has a large-ish space above. We've seen a few homes with walk out basements, which would be a distant second choice for me, and we've seen a couple houses with these over the garage spaces. Many houses, at least in my area (Southern NH, US) have these loft type areas above. In some cases they are just a simple roof peak area but in several cases the roof lines have been offset so that the space above is very usable. Most people seem to be using them to hold a load of junk but they have rather large proportions and could be setup to have tall ceilings, if you don't mind the 2x12" beams in the space.

    Beyond that, a surprising number of homes have 'shed' type buildings that have been converted over time to be heated, etc. The proportions of these spaces are far less generous so fitting in my.. rather large.. setup would be a challenge. Not only am I a drummer, but my preferred working style is through an inline console.. in my case a Tascam M3700/M3500 hybrid.

    We've have plenty of time to patient.

    I would prefer to have my space as separate as possible from the rest of the home, if only because I'm shy and don't like people listening to me When I'm drumming now, in the basement of our current house, it's loud pretty much everywhere in the house and makes finding the time to play a challenge...

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    I've never met a shy drummer!

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    Distance from neighbors. My studio may have shortcomings, but it doesn't have, is I can have a full black metal going full blast at 2AM, and the little sound that leaks out can't be heard by anyone.
    Why would you record music on a device designed to do word processing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mdainsd View Post
    Distance from neighbors. My studio may have shortcomings, but it doesn't have, is I can have a full black metal going full blast at 2AM, and the little sound that leaks out can't be heard by anyone.
    Unfortunately that probably won't happen (the distance from neighbors, not the black metal). I am going to have to figure out some soundproofing strategies in suburbia
    Brad Bachelor
    "Marrying an old bachelor is like buying second-hand furniture." - Helen Rowland

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    Okay...... Well I'm quickly finding out that cool kitchens far outweigh my need for a studio. We've got it narrowed down pretty well and it looks like I may have a one car garage all to my self (as long as the carport stays put in the light northern Oklahoma breezes). Something else new to me is doing this sight unseen.......

    Soooo...... back to the garage........Has anyone tackled a space like this??

    Remembering that I still am in my "I have a dream" stage........

    I'm really curious if I should remove the sheetrock on the ceiling to expose the trusses?

    Another question is how big a studio should I build in 12x24 garage. I'd like room for storage too. I know the answer is as "big as you want", but I am wondering how big would be comfortable for a couch, a stereo (old school), TV, mixing desk (not sure on the size of that), rack, keyboards, and electronic drums AND still sound good when recording.

    I'm basically looking for ideas

    Thanks,

    Brad
    Brad Bachelor
    "Marrying an old bachelor is like buying second-hand furniture." - Helen Rowland

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