The room has now taken shape, what now?

Submitted by baristosun on Mon, 07/30/2012 - 16:29

After a few hours of discussion and a couple of weeks of paid labour, the recording/mixing room has taken shape.

To feed or not to feed?

A compromise had to be made; the space previously functioned as a kitchen/preparation area, with a fire place, chimney, sink, cupboards and a fridge all arranged on one side of the rectangular area. We needed to retain use as a kitchen, 175cm seemed a fair amount of space without compromising our studio's acoustics too much - a quick calculation was made to make sure we weren't running into some disruptive nodes in choosing this width. As it happens, this new 175cm wide 'kitchen' has some really nice acoustic characters, adding a nice touch to vocals and other instruments played within.

A wooden frame was built for the dividing wall and door, we also took into consideration the potential winter flooding threat that some locals have warned me about; sufficient draining has been installed to prevent the worst eventuality from destroying thousands of pounds of studio equipment.

"I was framed!"

This wooden frame supports plasterboard on either side, with rockwool placed in between. A standard wooden door was installed - we didn't need to double layer this in any way since we're not so concerned with sound escaping. This is because we're remote enough that complaints are unlikely, and it's quiet enough that external noise is rarely an issue.

Pretty on the inside

Except for a few supporting columns, the front of the 'room' is a wide-open hole. To close this off we decided to construct removable wooden panels that would slot in between the supporting timber columns. Making these panels removable allows us to potentially open up part (or the entire front) of the studio. Who knows, maybe in order to capture 'open sounding' recordings?

Pillars of strength

I went to a local marble-smith (is that a word?) - marble is abundant in this area - and had two marble speaker stands made in the shape of pillars. Cool, huh?

Nothing's ill that can't be treated

What's left now? A couple of things, but the most important of these by far is the acoustic treatment. I've been doing my research, and the shape of the room plays a part in determining my listening position. The next big drive is to get the acoustic panels built and in place. There's plenty of guidance on this process on the venerable gearslutz forum. I'll be using the Room EQ Wizard to test the room acoustics, but you can use whatever software you see fit.

Aside from treatment, there are other considerations, like instrument storage, working in summer (it gets hot in the room), which guitars in my collection should I transport to Turkey and which should stay behind in London - and there's also a question of comfort - sofa or old-fashioned Turkish divan?

That will have to make the topic of a future post.

I may also decide to share some of the tracks already recorded in the space...

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