Shed to Recording Studio Conversion

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Dviglis, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. Dviglis

    Dviglis Mezzo Piano User

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    Mar 29, 2014
    VA
    Now, to begin, I have read turtlejimmy's previous thread on the "turtle shack" but, I am looking to convert a pre-existing structure into a recording studio. I have two decent sized sheds in my back yard (land is not that hard to come by in Virginia;-)) and wish to convert one into the fore mentioned recording studio. One shed is original to the property and is insulated (I think..) and also has a second level for storage (it is not weight bearing, nor tall enough of a space for a human to stand in) but is not as large as the other shed. Also, it is in the far back of the yard so it is far away from the outside power outlet. The second shed more than likely does not have insulation but is quite large and is closer to the power outlet. Also, it is infested with spiders (gross), so that means I will have to hire an exterminator to get them out of there. And, there is a third option, but I am not sure how I would do it. We have a sun room that is a recent addition to our home that is not used for anything in particular. But, windows are hard to sound proof from what I have heard. Also, a "Dummies Guide" would appreciated, as I do not have experience with acoustic engineering, nor working with the materials needed.

    I know this is probably a long shot but, I have always wanted to spread my music some way other than locally.
     
  2. Dviglis

    Dviglis Mezzo Piano User

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    Mar 29, 2014
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    That is a good place to start but, do they have a larger model?
     
  3. Dviglis

    Dviglis Mezzo Piano User

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    Mar 29, 2014
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    Never mind!
     
  4. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Baltimore/DC
    If you are trying to do this right to the letter, there is a whole lot of money involved, not only to set up a proper recording space, but also to get some equipment that will make it worth it, although to be fair, there are varying levels of that as well. Or, you can do things are varying budgets. You can spend a couple of hundred on a USB preamp interface that has a couple of preamps, $500-$600 on an interface that has a lot more inputs, (mine has 8 preamps, plus additional instrument level inputs and is a firewire interface) Or you can go nuts with it using the interface for the conversion process alone, and then getting something like a Rooster, Manley, Avalon, etc preamp, where you'll spend $3000-$6000 on just the one preamp. This doesn't even begin to touch the subject of microphones, cabling, reduction of electromagnetic noise, etc.

    Are you really sure you are ready to dump that kind of money into a shed?

    There are some other options out there. In my case, the heart of my recording efforts consists of a few pieces:

    iMac
    Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 Firewire interface ($500ish, give or take)
    KRK Rokit 6" Studio Reference Monitors (on sale for $300/pr)
    KRK KNS 6400 Studio Headphones ($100) - another more popular option are the Sennheiser HD 280 Studio Headphones - also $100
    Shure SM7B Studio Dynamic Microphone (Street price $350 - I paid $225 because I know a guy who knows a Shure rep)

    I have some other microphones too, but I do a lot with that Shure SM7B because of its sound quality, and because of the fact that it has excellent side and rear rejection of ambient sound, and my studio space is not acoustically treated, so it's very forgiving in that kind of environment. As an example, the other night I was tracking a thing where my daughter was singing and I forgot to mute the monitors on the next take we tried after listening back to the previous take. Didn't seem to matter - that mic rejected pretty much anything that wasn't going into it directly.

    Here's a little ditty I did one night for a friend using the Shure SM7B. We played this tuned in jazz band in high school and the lead line for what I played was his trumpet solo. I filled it in with some cheesy keyboards, keyboard bass and a drum loop to back it - I doubt if I spent more than about 45 minutes on the whole thing.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Xy55nhYwE8

    Here's another one I recorded with a Shure SM57 - a basic workhorse of a microphone. Very similar to the SM7B in sound, but not quite as full of a sound - still a great mic though. I spent a bit more time with this one, but mainly to put together a slide show of patriotic pics.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xy6qCeE_6rE

    In any case, this is in a multi-purpose room I have in my basement that I utilize as my workout room, my practice room, a computer room, and it's where I have my little bits of recording equipment. I have no sound treatment on the walls or anything like that. I keep meaning to do some treatments - specifically some bass traps in the corners, but unless you are planning on churning out real, pro-level recordings, you might not need all of that.
     
  5. Dviglis

    Dviglis Mezzo Piano User

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    Mar 29, 2014
    VA
    After looking through their catalog it seems quite expensive, which is why I want to do it DIY style but, I am not sure if I am just going to end up spending $4,000 anyway, which is why I need help from you good people!
     
  6. Dviglis

    Dviglis Mezzo Piano User

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    Mar 29, 2014
    VA
    I am also considering the yamaha silent brass to record on just as a start because I am Italian and that means there is always someone yelling in the house. In fact simply someone talking on the phone can be heard throughout the house. Do any of you have experience record in on a silent brass?
     
  7. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    There are a couple of things that I have found to be more or less true when it comes to this subject, and they are that you can only compromise so much when it comes to money spent, and that you get what you pay for.

    Having said that, the gap between what the average consumer is capable of producing on their own vs what a true professional studio can produce is getting smaller, and the money you have to spend to get there is decreasing.

    As an example, there is a guy online with a company called JJAudio that will take one of two basic MXL studio condenser microphones and mod them into very nice pieces of gear. One of the mics is the MXL V67G - runs about $100 on average, although they can be had for less. This mic is a cheap Chinese clone of the Neumann U87 - a mic that runs in the neighborhood of $3000+. For $300 this guy will mod the mic for you, and the end result is that you get a very nice microphone that doesn't sound just like a U87, (slight differences in character) but that is a true professional level microphone. So, $400, or $3000?

    Technology advancements and the internet have made a HUGE difference. Do you want to know how to record drums? There are dozens of articles online that talk about mic placement, gain settings, compression settings, gating, EQ settings, mics to use, etc. It used to be that you had to go to college to study sound engineering, get hired by a studio, and then learn various tricks of the trade in a hands-on, apprentice type of situation. Not anymore - the information is freely available to anyone willing to look for it.

    But, it's still going to cost you a fair amount in the end. I've got the better part of $5000 worth of stuff for my modest studio (including the price of the iMac) that I have been accumulating over the last 5-6 years, and although I have a couple of decent mics, everything I've got is low budget level stuff. And I haven't even begun to start sound treating the room.

    Are you sure that this is something that you want to dive into?
     

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