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1 studio, 2 years, 20 photos

LesterLester Posts: 1,503Member, Moderator
edited May 3 in Personal Diaries
My wife and I live in a flat where being musical makes life difficult for our neighbours so we rent a room in a commercial building just over the road. This is our story of how we spent two years and 6,000€ (£5,000, US$6,500) turning it into a studio.

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May 2015: we picked up the keys.

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July 2015: the ventilator will provide us with fresh air without having to open doors or windows. That means we can rehearse and record without background noise. The AC means we can heat, cool or dehumidify the incoming air. Together they were a 2,000€ risk but in hindsight I can say they are worth every penny!

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December 2015: new windows.

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February 2016: a friend with all the know-how and tools helped us put up a partition wall so that we could have a store room, entrance lobby and kitchen all outside the studio room.

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Two layers of plasterboard on each side and filled with insulation and double doors with seals help stop sound getting through.

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February 2016: cleaning up and then putting in acoustic treatment hanging from the ceiling.

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February 2017: our tool-laden friend returned to help us encase the ventilator ducts that connect to the outside world to keep outside noise to a minimum.

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March 2017: installing acoustic treatment. The entire back wall is a 70cm deep bass trap which dramatically improves the clarity of music when listening or mixing. I am staggered at how clearly I can now hear individual instruments in music I have been listening to for years. The screen covering the big trap can act as a backdrop for any YouTube videos we record.

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April 2017: electrics and DMX controlled LED lights.

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May 2017: drums, piano, guitars and computer in place.

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Yesterday I was recording cajon. It is almost silent in here; it is wonderful.

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That just leaves us with the kitchen area to sort out and, turning round, clear the overly cluttered store area so that I can install lights and gain access to mics, guitars, cables and whatever else we need day by day.

Comments

  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,704Member
    Incredible !
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 753Member
    Wow. Really impressive
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,186Member
    Looks like a lot of hard work and planning went into this! Great looking results at the end of it all. :smile:
  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,624Member
    Excellent job! But this is all in a rented space?
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,503Member, Moderator
    edited May 4

    Incredible !

    Thanks, Kevin.

    Wow. Really impressive

    It moves us beyond the typical bedroom setup but short of a professional studio - which we are not aiming to be but at least we can rehearse, compose, record and mix in a quiet, good sounding room.
    Mark P said:

    Looks like a lot of hard work and planning went into this! Great looking results at the end of it all. :smile:

    The two years includes 3 months of working and 21 months of waiting: 2 months for the HVAC, 6 months for the windows and 12 months for a carpenter and an electrician that eventually I gave up on. We managed to use the room during the long wait and I continued studying acoustics so while it was a delay it was not wasted time.
    Derek_R said:

    Excellent job! But this is all in a rented space?

    Yes, we rent the room. Ideally we would have bought a small freehold building but that is beyond our reach. If we lived in a house, maybe we could have added a room but a flat is not great for being repurposed nor extended.
  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,624Member
    I was thinking of a place I rented where all seemed fine then suddenly "You have to get out in three months..."
  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 789Member
    I like this, can't find my invite in the post so it must be lost!
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,704Member
    Derek_R said:

    I was thinking of a place I rented where all seemed fine then suddenly "You have to get out in three months..."

    Or - like - "WTF have you done to our space ???"
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,503Member, Moderator
    Derek and Kevin, that is indeed sensible thinking and a scary thought. The landlord was open to negotiation and agreed to everything upfront, which showed when he replaced all the windows in the building; I got different windows to everyone else as I needed two small upper sections for the ventilator ducts to go through. The building doesn't have full occupancy and to that extent the landlord is better off giving each of us some slack and having a regular income than our going elsewhere. There is a curious mix in the building: a bakery, a bike shop, a health clinic, a dance studio, a key cutting and shoe repair shop, a glazier, a carpet cleaner, a driving school (with computer-simulator) and more.

    ESBlonde, I doubt anyone here accidentally finds themself on a Wizz Air flight from Luton to Poprad so if any of you do come to Slovakia, take it as read that you have an invitation to visit. NB. I did, in fact, invite Megi a few years ago when he was looking to record with his double-bass singing partner but they ended up recording in her front room, I think.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,704Member
    edited May 5
    I suppose if you're running it as a business unit (offering professional recording services) it's no different to fitting out a bakery - but with buns instead of drums.

    Well done. I do like it.

    Your wife is very beautiful btw.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 464Member
    Great job. That's a very cool space you have there.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,704Member
    You didn't mention his wife, Nick.

    I'd be insulted if I were Lester.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 464Member
    I'm afraid I know nothing of Mrs Lester and any comments I could make would be superficial and/or false. However, as she's married to a musician I can safely say that she is a formidable and patient woman :-)
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,704Member
    Ha ha. There was a link to the wedding photos.
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,503Member, Moderator
    edited May 8
    I thought there was. What happened? This is the link. Mrs. Lester is a pianist and piano teacher which is why a music room works well for both of us. I am not sure whether she needs a different pair of shoes for each piano.

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  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 464Member
    Ah, Didnt see that LOL! Well, you're right Kevin. Lester, you're a blessed man :)

    Of course she needs a new pair of shoes for each piano... and you need a new guitar for each day of the year!
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,704Member
    I'd love to be able to play the old Joanna. Why ? Because you'll often find one in a hotel lounge. Bang out a bit of Chopin before Brahms and Liszt.
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 753Member
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,503Member, Moderator
    edited May 13

    ... and you need a new guitar for each day of the year!

    My years contain lots of Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Seven is probably the right number of guitars for me!
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