Well here it is, our first do it yourself home recording studio. (I'll change the image for a better one soon, our images are everywhere at the moment.) I was working on my CV and whilst thinking about some very proud moments, like building our own music studio, I thought i'd write a blog describing what this place was.
Built in late 2009, in the basement of a dingy student terraced house, somewhere in-between Hyde Park and Headingley in Leeds. There is no official build date or completition party to talk about, but in the cold of late 2009 it was completed, as a room, to hold and receive the noise we were going to create.
The studio picture above was taken on a jam night we were having with friends, so there were a few instruments which are not ours, but the majority is. Here is a run down of the gear we filled it with and then how we went about building it.
- Gretsch Catalina Jazz Club Mod drum kit in Black Widow
- Dave Carrera 14" snare
- Gibraltar hardware & hi-hat stand
- Gibraltar drum seat
- Pearl 20" ride
- Zildjian 14" ZHT hi-hats
- Zildjian ZBT 14" crash
- Meinl 10" splash
- Zildjian Avedis 18" crash
- Sabian B8 14" crash (guess)
- Recording Gear
- Dual core AMD 4gb DDR2 ram desktop
- Dual monitor display
- Cubase 5
- Edirol UA 101 External Soundcard
- Mackie VLZ3 1604 Mixing/Recording desk
- Wharfedale Z1 Speakers
- Technics Amp
- 8 Lead Snake (soundcard to desk)
- x2 Red5 RV8 Condenser Mics
- Red5 RVK5 drumkit Mic set
- Sontronics STC1080
- SE Electronnics 1000a
- Shure SM57 (70's version)
- Shure C808
- x8 boom stands
- x2 mini stands
- Assortment of cables
- Gem MK 10M Organ
- Guitar, Amp & Effects
- Engl 50w Screamer Combo
- MIM Fender Stratocaster
- Vox Clyde Mccoy Re-issue Wah
- Boss DD-3 Delay
- Boss DD-6 Delay
- Boss MT-2 Metal Zone
- EHX Small Stone Phazer (Russian)
- EHX Holly Grail + Reverb
- Boss MD-2 Mega Distortion
- Bass, Amp & Effects
- MIM Fender Jazz Bass
- Ashdown MAG300 C210 Combo Amplifier
- Boss ME50b
The above equipment is how we practiced and recorded our jam and song ideas. It has taken us years individually to build up and acrue this gear so that we could put it all together and make some great sounding music we could distribute online and start getting listeners. It's how we recorded our debut ep It's Woven? and has created the basis of how we will continue to work. Now we own our own gear we can concentrate on getting better at making the best sounding songs we can.
Now back to the room itself, it was a hole in the ground but a space we could happily work with and we did. With a few hundred pounds we bought;
- 10x 8'x4' MDF boards (Became the new wall)
- 100+ foot of 4x2" timber (these became the frame)
- 40+ foot of skirting
- 8x rolls of graphite underlay for both the floor and the walls
- Red twirly carpet
We started off with a concrete floor and brick walls. It was more or less a square shape but we brought it in at the corners and covered the ceiling in a white sheet (which you can't see). The frame was created first, every 4 feet we would fit a joist from floor to ceiling of which the MDF boards would be screwed to. This made our room 4 inches smaller all the way around but provided us with a space that would help with our sound proofing issue. I'd like to add, we had neighbours on both sides of our house and never had problems. They must have been very forgiving people and the space must have helped a lot! This is probably the cheapest way one could make sound proofing, just by creating a space.
Once the wood had been added all the way around, we added the graphite to the inner wall, this made it look better and also helped slightly with the acoustics. The material was intended to be underlay for carpet but was used for both, dual purpose graphite, underlay and wall lining. We added two plug points from the two already set up in the basement and just extended them before fitting plug sockets to the MDF walls. We ended up having 4 available sockets and on top of that we used purge protector extensions for the PC and recording set up. This was tested by an electrician and all was fine.
We finally fitted the carpet and underlay which again, utilized the graphite and immediately the sound was improved! We were not getting deafened by concrete acoustics and there was a drastic improvement to what we had started with. That and it looked a millions times better for relatively little cost.
It was an incredible studio and something that we will always have, after recording our Debut EP in and thousands more hours of music, it has given us the great foundation to make a new one in our new house which we moved to a few months ago. Due to moving in July of last year we had to take the studio down and bring it with us and as of yet we are yet to build our next version but don't worry, it will be coming soon! We will also be posting the making of our debut EP video's in the next few months too.