This blog documents my studio build started back in 2009. I'm keeping this live for reference as it may help others who are thinking of taking on such a project.
Just a couple of hours today to give the walls another (final coat?) of paint - with the help of my 4yr old son, who relished the opportunity to contribute to the studio. He largely kept the paint to the walls.
Might give it another coat - I'll see in a week or so. Now off on our Easter break to North Devon...
Not too much done apart from giving the walls another couple of coats of paint.
I started with a proper coat of the white over the mist coat on Saturday. However, on Sunday I had to make a decision regarding the final colour - do I carry on with white or go for something different. One thing I didn't want to do was pay for paint, so I checked out the selection of old pots available in my garage. I might add that the choice is fairly limited, consisting of a number of off-white shades of yellow. The first pot I opened was a little lumpy so I put that back on the shelf. Next one was fairly mid range and looked pretty good.
So I made a start and though I wasn't sure at first it seemed to work quite well against the black of the fabric covered traps. Don't forget there'll be absorbers on the walls as well so there amount you see will be minimal and toned down with the low light I intend for the room. I got one coat done and it'll need another to cover properly but at least that's a decision made and I can move onto another job.
Not sure what to do next but before I can really crack on with the final stages I need to get the outer door frame made good and get the outer door constructed so that I can make the room secure. I think I'll have to wait until the weather picks up as it seems that winter has set in again in the UK. We are away on holiday for week over Easter so hopefully I'll be raring to go for the final push when I get home.
No I'm not talking about the placement of a bull headed man in the studio but the ultimate position for the studio monitors - though in fact the bull headed man my not be too far off the mark!
Not quite as straight forward as it seems and I think well worth deciding at this stage. I've drawn up a 3D scheme of the room (see image below) showing basically the room footprint with the current treatments in situ with monitors and listener. I've sketched it in such a way that as I move the monitors the listener's head moves back and forth to maintain the equilateral triangle between the monitors and ears. This includes the angle of the monitors which, as you can see, are currently raised up relative to the listener and thus pointing down.
At the moment this is my favoured position as it means that they will not be pointing directly through any objects on the desk - display monitors for example.
Although I have a couple of pairs of monitors at the moment - my old Alesis monitor ones and the Behringer MS40s I plan to upgrade to something like the Adam A7Xs when the studio is complete and those are illustrated in the image:
I spent the majority of Saturday on the studio so I was able to make reasonable progress.
For the most part it was time spent finishing off the ceiling cloud. I mentioned earlier that I found that the mineral wool supported itself well between 60 cm pitched framing so I had to add central battens to divide the central 120 cm into two 60 cm gaps. I needed to make this in two separate sections and screw them individually either side of the opening which will most likely be filled with plasterboard to allow for lighting.
Once the central framing was done I simply had to get out the bread knife and attack the mineral wool! It's always quite a satisfying job despite the resulting itchiness. Anyway, it didn't take long to fill the framing and I have now almost covered the entire ceiling with 100 mm (4") of mineral wool (cloud). I'm going to cover the cloud at a later date in case I need to make any adjustments when I come to start testing the room and this is something I'm really started to consider now.
Here's a photo showing the cloud:
You can probably see the cloud doesn't finish flush with the side of the room and I have been considering a way of making use of this void. I'll need to be getting some form of permanent lighting in place pretty soon and I'm thinking about making use of the void at the edges for some concealed wall lights. I want to make the room as low energy as possible and LED would seem to be the obvious choice. What I'm thinking at the moment is to buy some LED strips that can be cut to length and located to the sides of the cloud at 45 degrees thus bouncing the light off of the wall. Still early stages here but they are very cheap and run off 12v transformers and are extremely low energy - more research and although they won't provide glaring daylight for reading they may well give a nice ambience to the room...
I then gave the room a good clean and vac as there was a fair amount of mineral wool particles and general dust hanging about. Next job: give the walls a lick of paint.
Before painting I had some more filling and sanding to do and so I spent the rest of Saturday going over any indentations, holes & gaps. I did a bit more sanding on Sunday before staring to paint. I have a big tub of trade satin white paint in the garage and this was ideal watered down as a mist coat over the plasterboard. Starting to look better already though I think I'll need to go over with the filler again before another coat as a few dents are highlighted with the paint.
A couple of photos:
As mentioned earlier I'm starting to consider the acoustics of the room now and what is obvious and it has been noticeable for a long time is the flutter echo in here. Though that is pretty easy to deal with some mid - high frequency absorption I need to get my head into Rod Gervais' book 'Home Recording Studio - Build It Like the Pros'. Probably the first rule in there is to try and steer clear of small rooms - exactly what I have here!
A short midweek entry to the blog...
After a bit of thought regarding the ceiling treatment (cloud) I decided to make a slight adjustment. Most ceiling clouds are hung and have an air gap above, however, my framing arrangement doesn't allow for any air gap. Another important consideration is that my room is not only very small but the ceiling is also very low so I don't have a great deal of height to play with. The ceiling, however, is sloped higher towards the back of the room which gives me a bit to play with in that direction.
OK, so the plan was to angle the ceiling treatment frame down thus reducing the angle of the slope giving me an air gap of about 50mm towards the back of the room. This is pretty well the maximum I can drop the cloud because otherwise the door would hit the ceiling cloud. So last night I took down the entire framework and cut some spacer blocks of varying height re-screwed all of the battens into position. I'll just need to do a bit more work this evening to get the job back on track for the weekend.
I've no idea whether this improves the acoustics in the room but I don't think it will be detrimental. I won't really know how good/bad the room performs until I conduct some measurements, which I'll soon be in a position to do. In fact with this in mind I've just ordered a Behringer ECM8000 measurement microphone in readiness.