We've spent several weeks with Russ sharing the story of his home studio build. Over 8 parts he has unpacked his journey from the vision to the final result.
The Design Brief
The brief for the studio was to build a comfortable and flexible space for writing in, recording things like vocals and guitars and more importantly a great space to mix in.
Four of the Expert team have visited the studio and in this article they share their thoughts on both the feel of the room and the sound. Mike, Dan, James and Paul all give their verdict on if the studio fits the brief.
You have the space that is right for you. You took a long time to consider what was right for you and I am so pleased for you when you had your Eureka moment and realised that a conventional studio design for that space was not what you needed. Having the space completely open and not divided into control room vocal booth, machine room etc. was the right move for you and for the space. the use of the bi-fold doors has made so much difference to the feel of the room.
The use of jumper drawers and tie racks are both brilliant and so effective. You have a versatile space that unlike so many spaces means it is good for nothing your space is good from lots of things, and most importantly it is just right for you. I love the use of different zones without the use of walls, the flexible space enables you to so many different things but the overriding factor is this is an inspirational and creative space.
I cannot separate the sense of the studio being a creative space from the sound of the room, for me they are inextricably tied up together. The acoustic treatment, especially the rockwool in the roof space and the carefully placed treatment all contribute to a great sounding room from a technical perspective too.
I agree with Mike, you have created a space that works for you, the perfect writing studio come production space. As you planned the studio build so well it means that you can easily adapt the layout in the future if needs be. Four of us spent two days working in Driftwood and at no point I felt as though any of us were on top of one another nor felt as though we lost James in the corner of the room.
I like the acoustics of the studio. The acoustic guitar sounded so natural and open with it sounding particularly nice towards the sofa area. I was very surprised with the sound of the Eve monitors within the mix position, especially with Sonarworks Reference 3 on. I would go as far to say that your studio sounds better than mine as you've been able to put physical space between the back wall and the monitors. It just goes to show that good planning goes a very long way in both physical design and acoustics.
From the moment I walked into the new studio you can tell this is a space to create in. It's a clean space with a really good feel and vibe to it and the excellent natural light from those massive end doors really helps. I would almost say it's a space that can be whatever you need it to be. There is a nice cozy space for writing away from the tech. There is the mixing / tech space and even though these are within feet of each other there is a sense of divide and yet there are no gobos or moving walls to physically make these areas out.
Through planning and careful design and from knowing what he really wants Russ has managed to create a multipurpose "studio" in quite a small footprint of a building.
The main mix position has a great sound to it. By sticking to some quite simple acoustic rules, like not putting you speakers too close to the walls and by thinking about reflection points the tone at the mix position is very good. The stereo image is good, which is only improved upon by using the amazing Sonarworks room correction system. From a recording point of view the room has some really nice spaces that work well for different instruments or voice.
Russ has created a fantastic creative space with his new room. It has a clean uncluttered feel that is perfect for today's creative. I love the untreated timber on the far wall, so much so that I am stealing this idea for my new studio.
When I heard that Russ had his mixing position in the middle of the longest wall I was expecting lots of low-frequency problems due to the lack of length between the two walls, but I was pleasantly surprised how tight and focused the sound was.
As I said above I think this is a fantastic space for creativity and mixing. I heard the room before Russ installed his Sonarworks software, and I was surprised at how great it sounded then. I can't wait to hear it now.