So, I have this cave...

Ed Fones

Active member
When you buy a house, you normally have a survey and lots of form. These usually include a detailed description and I find it very difficult to imagine buying a cave home, where you live in them but have no idea what the rock actually? A cave home is so unusual that any purchaser spending this kind of money would want to know the structural properties before they stick their kids in, or before they breath in outgassing from some rock. I just cannot imagine not knowing that my house is made out of mainly brick, but with some block and tile. Something is wrong here. PS, my phone from the 90s could take photos and had a light, they have been able to take pics ever since.
Associated but that's something I never understood Rob. Radon gas causes lung cancer so we are told and gets into our homes as it leaks from the ground. So wouldn't living in a cave have even worse risks?

Then you have this.

 

Rickious

Caveman
OK, I see there are still some people need convincing about cave houses being a real thing nowadays.

Ed Fones

Yea I think if you havent seen or heard of a modern cave house, its better to either not think about it or google em. Some are amazing ,some are unfinished and suitable for storage or in need of refurb. Only freshly dug caves, or ones with a drainage problem ontop are damp. Ours like most are bone dry, even the unreformed ones next door.

Here are a few websites which have thousands of cave houses and semi cave houses for sale. They range from bare shells to cave hotels, with everything inbetween.

Spanish Inland Properties
Rusticom

And here is the Cave Owners Manual one of the estate agents published.

I live in a cave myself, our living room, bedroom, pantry, cinema, office and artist studio/mancave are all cave rooms, and the acoustics are nice. No echoing or reverb as they arent huge, are furnished, and the bobbley finish of the walls makes them basically natural diffusers (in theory). But like i say, ill have to get out there with a boiler suit on, have a very good clearout, and get a sound system in there. I viewed totally empty but well finished cave houses and there was a lot of reverb.

rob aylestone

So, here is a quote from a local expert who i just asked.... "sedimentary sandstone with layers of hard, almost horizontal rock inter-spaced with much softer layers which could be dug by hand"

So its sandstone, some harder, some softer. You dig through the soft layers under the hard layers.

Phone-wise, to put it bluntly, my phone is shite HAHAHAHAHA. Its too dark to take a photo without flash as the room is about 30ft from any source of natural light, and round a corner, and with a flash it auto focusus on the dust infront of the lens. Crap.

All the houses here, even the cave houses are listed on the land registy, have deeds dating back decades, but ive never heard of a land survey here. Rural inland Spain isn't like the UK or US (yet) for the good or bad (probably a bit of both). The only thing I went out of my way to check, was radon gas, but the level of it here is the lowest reading to none, which is much better than most of the UK where I moved from.

Slouching Raymond

Soft rock or hard rock HAHAHAHAHA. like it!

Checked your website Raymond. Good stuff. Can I ask if your drawings are from photography or real life? But yea, some good drawings on there, the knitting aint bad either hahaha. My wifes an awesome knitter, i have tried, but cant stick with it.

Nowadays im primarily a digital artist, digital illustrations, video game art, and graphic design mostly. But i started with pencil drawings. Id consider myself a very good pencil artist, BUT I can pretty much only draw from photography, or at least much prefer to. And pretty much only wildlife, with the odd portrait commission, Clint Eastwood being the last one for my wife hahaha. Also, I just dont get on with painting as I want the level of detail of my drawings but cant achieve it. Think that is part of the reason I moved into digital art.

Heres a newer and older drawing, the zebra is much older, 2012 id guess, id have to look at my signature as I still have this one. Smaug is from 2017, and redrew it in 2019 for another commission who saw the first one. And the mouse from 2003. But the original was lifesize so it shows a bit bigger and out of focus here.

Here is my online portfolio. Need to update it as its adobe portfolio and im cancelling my CC subscription soon. So will have to make something.

2017-12-23 22.27.35-1 (2).jpg
215261_1975468664959_3725655_n.jpgRabbits & Mouse 01.png
 

Ed Fones

Active member
OK, I see there are still some people need convincing about cave houses being a real thing nowadays.

Ed Fones

Yea I think if you havent seen or heard of a modern cave house, its better to either not think about it or google em. Some are amazing ,some are unfinished and suitable for storage or in need of refurb. Only freshly dug caves, or ones with a drainage problem ontop are damp. Ours like most are bone dry, even the unreformed ones next door.

Here are a few websites which have thousands of cave houses and semi cave houses for sale. They range from bare shells to cave hotels, with everything inbetween.

Spanish Inland Properties
Rusticom

And here is the Cave Owners Manual one of the estate agents published.

I live in a cave myself, our living room, bedroom, pantry, cinema, office and artist studio/mancave are all cave rooms, and the acoustics are nice. No echoing or reverb as they arent huge, are furnished, and the bobbley finish of the walls makes them basically natural diffusers (in theory). But like i say, ill have to get out there with a boiler suit on, have a very good clearout, and get a sound system in there. I viewed totally empty but well finished cave houses and there was a lot of reverb.
If you remember I said i had been in a pub which was in a cave once. I do not doubt that you can live in one. I said perhaps it isnt suitable for people and that is why they put the animals in there.

I also commented on the what could be huge/expensive/or impossible task of converting something made for one reason long ago, to something totally different 50 years or so later.

You work away, at least you have found the rock isnt dangerous now as some rock is, including soft rock, which I would be very suspicious of.
 

Rickious

Caveman

@Ed Fones

I know where your coming from, I have family who moved into a barn conversion with very little thought, and I always worry as a barn wont have the same foundations or underpinning, the walls aren't meant for an extra floor being put in etc. Just fingers crossed whoever converted it originally did all the work properly.

And sorry, kind went defensive when you suggested they possibly shouldn't have been made into houses hahahaha. But these aren't a few caves converted into houses by a dodgy builder or for Grand Designs, I'm talking 10's of thousands of cave houses just in this area including a city, and about 50 towns and villages. Just unique rock formations that have made it possible and easy.

If you think about it. a standard home recording studio is in a rectangular room with 4 flat walls, a flat ceiling and a flat floor. The walls are solid stone, or brick, plasterboard or wood. The solid stone and brick are more suitable. And that's what a cave is, barring the flat walls in many cases. But our living room and bedroom are flat finished walls, depends how they were built. So in actual fact, the wood frame house with plasterboard or wooden walls is the Morris Minor here when you talk about converting into a home studio 🤯 So do i flatten the walls and finish nice and smooth then add diffusers? or would leaving the walls all natural and diffusey work anyway? That's the big experiment here. Just got too many other jobs to do at the moment before clearing those rooms out to test. But ill be back with some results when i do.

Acoustically, they are caves, but they are homes, so its softened. a big empty house is echoey, so if a big empty cave. a small cave with some upholstery and a little acoustic treatment should be good. I really just wanted peoples thoughts, and recommendations of the best home studio treatments. Too many people go for cheap stick on panels of foam, but i know experts, even ones on a budget, wouldn't recommend these for anything other than high end acoustics.

Best ideas so far are to calve diffusers out of the walls. this would look awesome, may or may not work well, it would diffuse, depends what the bare stone itself does to sound.

Here is a simple example of a local expert cave builder who carved urns out in a bar. This this was a rental or bed and breakfast in the end. And this is why id like to keep the bare stone, in a house its much more practical for lighting mostly to have the whitewashed walls, but this looks awesome. in my opinion at least hahahaha.

And "just bring in a torch and record some RAW Black Metal!" hahahahaha.

146466734_105764968214074_2580906326553722616_n.jpg
 
Last edited:

Slouching Raymond

Active member
. Can I ask if your drawings are from photography or real life?
I'm totally a traditionalist, and never draw from photos. I don't paint much because paint costs, but pencil drawing is very cheap.
I just go out looking for something drawable, and sit there for a few days.
 

Rickious

Caveman
I'm totally a traditionalist, and never draw from photos. I don't paint much because paint costs, but pencil drawing is very cheap.
I just go out looking for something drawable, and sit there for a few days.
Yea that's where I fall short. I can draw from life, but 95% of the time I don't. Like to sit at my desk with music blaring, gets me in the mode better. But I think as I get older I will get back into painting and sitting our to so artwork.

Respect to you for keeping it traditional 👌
 

Trichter

Member
I know of an old mine that was changed in a concert venue due to its unique acoustics.
Thus, for now I would just leave everything as it is and do some test recordings. I guess you will already have an interesting echo/hall. If it is too much you can add diffusers or carpets to reduce it.
 

Rickious

Caveman
I know of an old mine that was changed in a concert venue due to its unique acoustics.
Thus, for now I would just leave everything as it is and do some test recordings. I guess you will already have an interesting echo/hall. If it is too much you can add diffusers or carpets to reduce it.
Definitely agree, need to test it first the will be back on with an update thread. IT will primarily be for mixing and mastering than recording, so need it more dead, but we will see.
 

Rickious

Caveman
Hahahaha. No, don't worry, cave houses have electricity. Don't forget thay are not damp caves created naturally by running water. They are generally dug where there are natural caves forming from years of wind erosion. They are just regular houses in regular villages. But instead of building from the ground up, you excavate into a hill. A good modern cave you chase the walls out, putt he wiring in inside tubing, plaster over it so it matches the bumps and chisel marks on the walls and looks lovely. Older ones have braided wire on the walls or ceilings. I don't fancy that personally.

So my cave house has full electric, but my empty cave next door doesn't, initially I'll just run an extension lead to test the acoustics. But easy enough to spur off from the house and wire it in.

I don't plan any hardware synth or instruments requiring amps or anything like that. So won't be high electric. Electricity in Spain is expensive, so I have built a very efficient house from the start. Led lighting etc.
 

Rickious

Caveman
Theres a huge salt mine in UK. Like an underground city where they store important documents and the like. Salt caves are dry.

I should imagine sandstone could be dryish and very absorbent of moisture. It is a pretty useless rock and easily carved out but not very hard wearing.
Sorry only just replying to this one.
Yes your right, if you gave the wall a whack with anything heavy here its likely a small chunk would come away. not soft, but you can work it with hand tools and a regular masonry drill.

Also, this area is rich in saltpeter, so that possibly helps keep them dry, although bad caves with incorrect wall treatments this keeps coming out as crystals and flaking the paint off in patches where they get a moisture buildup behind concrete or a non breathable paint. Plus the soil is rich in clay, so the land on top once wet, forms a wet clay seal, so it runs off rather than seeping through.
 

Rickious

Caveman
Well at least you don't have to think about soundproofing right?
Only the door really. And the room im thinking of using has a small round window into another room, so will likely block that up. So will insulate in the blocks too.

Need to think about air flow while in use though. Not a bug room and only that one door, no window. Think it's a case of what someone else said and open the door occasionally or when not doing any recording.

I'll be mixing and mastering mostly, so a sealed room won't be required most of the time. There will just be the occasional instrument or vocal. But that's why I'd rather dig out a vocal booth too. But big enough for an acoustic guitar too.
 

TAE

All you have is now
I have always wanted to build my own custom home and studio. After this remodel I am just about to wrap up I may have second thoughts...Getting to old for this shit. Quality building products and workmanship are really expensive and hard to find. Pride in workmanship is a thing of the past. Pay me a lot of money for my half ass work and I'll see if I can squeeze you in next month is the norm

That all said, for sure if I was to do it I was wanting at least the studio room to be subterranean for the sound deadening factor.
These cave homes you speak of are awesome. Another crazy concept I had that probably would not happen was the whole house being below ground with sky lights to provide light during the day...and basically above ground a park like setting. Super sound proof and much easier and less expensive to keep at moderate temperatures than traditional above ground homes.
 

Rickious

Caveman
I have always wanted to build my own custom home and studio. After this remodel I am just about to wrap up I may have second thoughts...Getting to old for this shit. Quality building products and workmanship are really expensive and hard to find. Pride in workmanship is a thing of the past. Pay me a lot of money for my half ass work and I'll see if I can squeeze you in next month is the norm

That all said, for sure if I was to do it I was wanting at least the studio room to be subterranean for the sound deadening factor.
These cave homes you speak of are awesome. Another crazy concept I had that probably would not happen was the whole house being below ground with sky lights to provide light during the day...and basically above ground a park like setting. Super sound proof and much easier and less expensive to keep at moderate temperatures than traditional above ground homes.
Thats pretty much how it is here. I have seen a few caves with skylights and they make a big difference. I have seen houses that are dug, built, then covered with earth that are better for light, as they have a proper ceiling/roof, then earth placed on top in a more controlled manor. Expensive though.
the ones here are old, but hand dug, so purposely dug out for human dwellings. So they are cool, airy, if you finish them properly with plaster or lime wash, they are nice and bright too. And most cave houses own the area on top too. We have quite a good area above, but i need to chisel some stairs up one day as ours has about 20-30 ft of rock above us towards the back. But views of surrounding mountains for about 300degrees around from up there, so would be excellent for a pagoda. Which would also be a good intimate location for an acoustic set.

So sound wise, the cave i live in is fully finished and furnished, so its nice, pretty dead and edging on a warm sound. But i think for next door where the caves are empty and the walls still bare sandstone, some acoustic treatment will be needed, Just some acoustic panels, i will likely make them out of frames packing blankets, maybe with a blanket or beach towel over the top with a cool design, or local fabric on so its more like artwork and brightens the room up.
Im hoping to get the room clear soon. its just a big job, full of OLD chicken bedding.

Know what you mean about workmanship and finding people who are willing enough, able enough, and affordable enough to do good work. The good ones are in short supply, and lots of bad ones about. Handymen at best who claim to be experts. Dying arts as its more hard labor than a lot of people want to do nowadays. Certainly not long enough to become highly skilled.
 
Top