John Sayers' Design Forum

John Sayers' Recording Studio Design Forum

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:03 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:03 am
Posts: 7
Location: Carpinteria, California
Good Morning boys and girls :wink:
Well, its that time again - the 10 year itch. Told John last year that I was planning another studio, but the place I planned to build it in fell through as I had the chance to buy a place which used to house Jimmy Messina's old "Gateway" studio. It was not used as a studio any longer, but part of the infrastructure was still in place.

The requirements:
I need a studio to accommodate:
1. A high-end recording studio
2. A sound stage for shooting film and video
3. Multiple editing suites
4. A post production room
5. A server / data / machine room
6. Corporate offices

The building purchased:
Approx 9000 square feet, sub divided into a 1600 sq. ft. recording studio - stripped, has to be re-build, a 3000 sq. ft. soundstage, 18' clear ceilings,
multiple offices spaces on ground and 1st floors, which will be converted into offices, editing suites, data room etc. and 2 kitchens.

Work done so far:
The floors of the studio were individually floating floors for each room. Of course there were troughs in the control room floor and all that wonderful stuff.
When Jim Messina had the place build he really did a brilliant job, The problem is that when he sold it, the buyers were not in the studio bizz. They removed walls and sound traps, blocked doors and windows and worse of all, filled the troughs with concrete. Any "normal" person would have filled them with sand and a thin layer of cement, but no - pure concrete. The spaces between the floating floors are too thin for a proper jackhammer, so we did it with a little hand held pneumatic hammer handgun. That is like attacking a fully equipped army with a pen knife and cost us some severely bruised hands, as well as brain damage, but we had that before anyway, so we've been told.

We started framing the removed walls and de-coupling the extensions build after it had been a studio. Interesting challenges. We are following the old designs as far as the floor plan of the studio is concerned. I recorded there in the '80's and mid '90's and it was an extremely good sounding studio. Of course I am changing the acoustics to suit today's thoughts (and mine, which are pretty strange). The other main difference will be that we are creating direct access to the soundstage, which will be acoustically treated and insulated, so the soundstage will double as a 3000 sq. ft. tracking room allowing me to easily fit in a full symphony orchestra when required and / or record live music with or without an audience.

I am doing the design work, but would really appreciate John's input, as we see eye-to-eye as far as acoustics are concerned. As I use Ocean Way's Audio's HR2 monitors, which are free standing, 2'3" deep, 3' wide and 6' high, the control room will be designed with input from my friend Allen Sides, who designed them.

Anyway, I'll give you some floor plans and pictures. For this purpose I think the easiest way would be a floor plan and after that we'll take it room-by-room.
Any input appreciated, lets have fun and make it sound good!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:03 am
Posts: 7
Location: Carpinteria, California
Here is the first room. If you look at the picture you will see the room sizes on the drawing.
Every room is entered through a sound lock.
We have just framed the walls, They are all double 2 x 4 frames (apart from the access to and from the locks which are single)
The frames are being filled with Roxul Safe'n'Sound and have 1/2" soundboard fastened to them with Green Glue.
On the picture under the room layout you can see the original studio entry door with the door seals and the rubber strip between the two walls.
The picture on the bottom, taken from the main tracking room shows, from left to right, the hole where the vocal booth windows will go (2 x 2 laminated glass panels), access door opening to the load-in lock. The gray door is the door to the mic locker. Door to the far right leads to a 40' x 12'6" room for instrument storage, which is also the room where the main power supplies (3 x 200 amp balanced, clean power!) come in.
Picture top right shows from l to r; Door to load-in lock, vocal booth window opening, window to control room, entrance lock.

Wall finish will be 1 layer of 5/8 high density drywal plus a 7/8 layer of QuietRock
The ceiling is a little problem as it is only 9' high in this room. I plan to fill the 6" cavity in between the joists with Rockwool, then clad it with a layer of QuietRock and finish it with 5/8 drywall on resilient channel, then clad it with my straw panels.
Need to build some trapping (John??) one in the corner between the 8'5" and 6'9" wall (slats?) and a small one in the little corner between the 8' and 7'5" wall.
The floor is going to be 1/2" of recycled rubber tires.
By the way. The original studio doors were solid wood. I priced them new at $2.400,00 each. There is one upstairs, so I'll take that one but in my old studio I made them myself starting with cheap Home Depot doors for $138,00 and achieved a better STC rating than the majority of "acoustic" doors.


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