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Thread: New House with dedicated music Studio in the backyard. Advice please

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    New House with dedicated music Studio in the backyard. Advice please

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    Hi all, i've done a lot of reading on this forum but cant find exactly what im after.

    I am lucky enough to be able to build a dedicated studio in my backyard (im in Melbourne Australia) and am freaking a little about getting the build wrong from the start & regretting it for years to come.

    Currently the space i can use is about 6.5mtrs (21.4ft) x 4mtrs (15ft). Not sure how high ceilings at this stage, some advice in that regard would be great. Im hoping to add a toilet in the space as well.

    Just wondering about what i should look at in regards to shape & design. (I am planning pretty solid soundproofing, room in room with insulation and decoupled floor, walls and ceiling)

    Give me any advice you want/can. It will all be appreciated. Cheers
    Ben

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    If I move house again, or my wife decides we're really staying here, then my studio would be different. I have at the moment 3 rooms - originally an audio control room, and equally sized recording space - big enough for two drum kits and another room again the same size I used as my video edit suit. What I do has changed quite a bit,. I haven't recorded a drum kit in ten years in that room, and practically anything I record now gets done in the control room - which is full of kit, keyboards and junk. The edit suit is full of flight cases, and my guitar collection is in the recording room which has so much junk in it that I couldn't use it if I wanted to. If I started again, I would have the biggest single room - with plenty of space for all my kit, and a separate smaller store room for the flight cases, boxes, stands, bins for cables etc etc. My bigger working area would be for what I do every day - I brought my edit computer into the studio because we're doing more and more work with video and with the screens in one place, I can work on audio when the video is rendering and video when I have spare time. The most people who have been in the studio at the same time for the last year has been me - and two others, and that's too much for the current space when they set things up. A working room where if I needed to, I could set up a kit, or have 4 people playing together would work really well. I don't need the separation as my computers are all pretty quiet nowadays - and maybe I'd silence them by putting them in a small ventilated cupboard - A rack in a small room.

    I guess you need to have a good think about how you want to record - then design the room to let you do it efficiently.

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    I'm happy for you but just to let you know, that is still on the small side for a dedicated studio. All I can suggest is do more research and when you're sick to death of it, do even more. You're right to be worried about building it wrong and having to live with it. It would be one thing to re-furbish a room to try to make it acceptable, but it would be a disaster to build a sonic turd from the ground up. Rob makes a good point above. What are your goals? Do you want a studio for production or a jam room with recording capabilities? How much money is available for this project? I don't know how expensive stuff is in Oz but it doesn't give me the impression that it is an inexpensive country.

    Quite honestly, a free standing, real soundproof (room in room, lots of mass, etc, proper HVAC and plumbing, electrical, etc) studio in my neck of the woods would very easily approach the price of a house, and we are NOT in a inexpensive part of the country (thank you very much, Boston). We are talking north of 6 figures, well north and probably approaching a quarter million. Then there's the studio equipment.

    Not trying to discourage you, good luck with your endeavors. Please post pics of the process once it's underway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rob aylestone View Post
    If I started again, I would have the biggest single room...


    This has been my view...which is what I have now, and hoping to increase it to an even bigger single space if I ever get my new build started (damn contractors are hard to nail down. ).

    IMO...unless you have like a 20x30' control room...and enough space for an even bigger live room, it really makes little sense to break up a decent space into 2-3 small rooms just to have that dedicated control room/live room thing. You end up with rooms with hard to manage acoustics, and very quickly they can become claustrophobic once you start filling them up with gear, or people.

    About the only thing that maybe warrants a separate smaller room is if you need a dedicated voice-over booth, or just a general purpose iso-booth...but at least something like 5x8x8', and not the little phone booths that I see people building.

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    Hey thanks heaps folks, couple of good insights which have helped me realise, im wanting to build a music room with recording capabilities not a studio per se, which is how i have pictured it anyway. I will do 1 room 5m X 4m and have an entrance that is walled off from the main room with a toilet and some storage approx 1m wide. (probably an iso booth too hopefully)



    I can do a fair bit of the internal construction stuff so costs wont be to astronomical. When the process starts i will gladly keep everyone updated.

    Any advice on shape of main room? Slightly off rectangular? Rectangular?

    Cheers
    Ben

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    just curious, how close are your neighbors? If you live in the middle of nowhere you might be able to get away with less soundproofing. Not my neighborhood. My neighbors heard my guitar amps, through my closed windows, through their closed windows, inside their house.

    I look out one window of my room and the view is almost entirely the back of my neighbor's house. I look out the other window (when it isn't obscured by the leaves on the trees) and see approximately 8 other houses. Lots here are about .22 acres (890 square meters). Even if I were allowed to build to the edge of the property (which we're not, 10' ~3m buffer minimum) I couldn't build a room in room much larger than the one you envision. It would have to be a room within room to maintain the peace around here.

    I'd have to win a lottery jackpot to do that, and if that were to happen I'd build that dream studio anywhere but here.

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    Similar situation here, can build to the boundary though as long as its a brick structure. And our house building budget includes the structure i will use as my music room. I will definitely do room within a room & try to soundproof as much as possible, (solely not to annoy neighbours & wife ) I dont really record/ play at really loud levels anyway, but will certainly still try for max soundproofing.

    Im looking currently - brick - insulation - soundproof plasterboard - air gap - insulation - soundproof plasterboard.

    Im hoping this is adequate enough. Fingers crossed!

    Any suggestions on roof height? considering i will try for similar soundproofing!

    Cheers

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    as long as its not square.

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    Make sure you figure out heating, ventilating and air conditioning first. Adding that in at the end can quickly destroy all of the soundproofing and the advantage of a double-walled floating room.

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    Use a split system air con, Mitsubishi have some models that are extremely quiet (I use Mitsubishi), and open the door now and them for some fresh air.

    Alan.

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