Building a soundproof recording studio is an enormous task that demands a lot of technical thinking, work, money, skill and grit. Many of us on the Production Expert team as well as community members have faced this head on either from a retrofitting approach or from a ground-up design and build.
For all of us, the key to achieving the perfect studio build is in the planning and design stages. The more work you put in the planning stage, the better the results will be. Budgets are also a lot more manageable as well if you know exactly what you want to achieve from the start.
Many of us have documented their own studio builds in great detail to help people plan their studio builds and to also learn the best practises for sound isolation and soundproofing. From design ideas, to building techniques, electrics to soundproofing… we have featured them all.
In this article we have collated all of our studio build articles based on real world projects from the team and community to help you best plan, design and deliver your very own studio build…
This article includes all the research Production Expert team member Dan Cooper put into his studio build along with a full walkthrough video showing you how he designed and built his soundproof studio step-by-step from start to finish.
The process of soundproofing a room isn’t simple and should never be confused with acoustic treatment. Soundproofing often involves building a new room inside of an existing structure, these are referred to as a room-within-a-room. These types of structures are designed to decouple (isolate) the new room from the main structure limiting airborne sound energy from transmitting out of the studio to the outside world and vice versa.
Home studio builds take months of planning, copious amounts of mental & physical grit and of course a generous budget to invest in order to get a studio that will not only performs as planned but also works as a soundproofed room. In this video you’ll see how a soundproof studio is built from start to finish - A must watch if you are planning on building your own studio from the ground up in the near future.
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 and in this article, Mike, Dan, James and Paul all give their verdict on if the studio fits the brief.
They say it's the small things that can make the biggest difference and I tend to subscribe to this philosophy, when it came to the final fittings in the studio this was where those small touches could make a big difference.
With some common sense thinking about the construction, plus taking advantage of some great products now available at remarkable prices, it's not hard to build a reasonable sounding studio for recording and mixing at home.
As this series continues no studio installation would be of any use with electrics and cabling so in this post I'm going to talk about the challenges I faced and how a professional electrician was worth their weight in gold.
We’ve spent a lot of time during this studio build series talking about aspect like vision, planning and concepts but now we are moving onto construction. The main aim of the physical construction was twofold. Fisrtly to meet building regulation requirements for things such as safety, energy efficiency etc and secondly to meet acoustic requirements to keep sound out and keep sound in.
When one often mentions the use of glass in a studio some people look at you as if you are mad - glass gets a bad rap from some sections of the audio community, often associated with lots of hard surface and reflections.
As I have already pointed out in my earlier post about my studio build there are a number of things you need to settle first. The first one is arriving at a vision of the studio that you want, that suits the work you do. The second thing is to make sure you've dealt with the necessary planning and building regulations. Once these two matters are settled then you can move on to the job of making the thing happen, but is it a DIY or do you need a builder?
In part one of my series on building a home studio I talked about the importance of vision and making sure you build you studio you need to fit your needs. Once you have settled on the grand idea then there's a part of the process that many creatives would perhaps rather avoid and that's dealing with the issues of planning and regulations. This is an area where I can't underline enough the need for professional advice.
For those who have been unaware the founder of Pro Tools Expert Russ Hughes has been building a new home studio. We couldn't let this pass without getting some information about the process and design so we have asked him to write a series covering the entire process. We hope that it will help others considering a home studio build. Over to Russ...
In this first article on building my home studio I want to talk about vision, because as I learnt the hard way vision is everything, let me explain
A while back we asked you to submit your studio design and build stories. Well, community member Artur Rakhmatulin has submitted his story, it took a lot longer than expected. In part 1 of a 3 part series, Artur walked us through the options, his study, and the theory behind his chosen design. In part 2, we looked at the structure, the detail design and implementation of the floor, ceiling, interior walls, and the layered back wall. Now in part 3, we will be looking at the additional treatment including broadband porous absorbers, doors, air conditioning, ventilation, power supply, lighting, studio equipment, and speaker stands. Over to you Artur...
In this video for Pro Tools Expert, Technical Editor James Ivey talks to Ben Nemes about the new Space Crate, an acoustically treated recording or mixing studio inside a standard shipping container.
A while back we asked you to submit your studio design and build stories. Well, community member Artur Rakhmatulin has submitted his story, it took a lot longer than expected. In part 1 of a 3 part series, Artur walked us through the options, his study, and the theory behind his chosen design. In part 2, we look at the structure, the detail design and implementation of the floor, ceiling, interior walls, and the layered back wall.
A while back we asked you to submit your studio design and build stories. Well, community member Artur Rakhmatulin emailed recently apologising for the delay in submitting his studio design and build story. He explained that it had taken much longer to accomplish it than expected, but during this process, he shifted his paradigm several times and so came out differently from what he first intended. This is Artur's story and experiences spread over 3 parts, the theory, structure and additional treatment.
So many studio builds and refurbishments are built from scratch on site which takes time and can be disruptive to the business and neighbours. we have heard about a different approach that a new company, Smart Studio have developed. They use active acoustic technology and modern building techniques and materials, enabling studios to be designed and built off site and then delivered and installed on site with the minimum of disruption and time lost for the studio build.
In Podcast 241 we asked if you would send in articles and pictures describing your own studio builds and to highlight the choices and decisions you made along the way so that the whole community could benefit from your idea, experiences and solutions. So far we have featured Bertrand Grichting's and Georges Majerus' studio builds. In this article Matt Weston shares his his experiences
In Podcast 241 we asked if you would send in articles and pictures describing your own studio builds and to highlight the choices and decisions you made along the way so that the whole community could benefit from your idea, experiences and solutions. Earlier this week Bertrand Grichting started this series off. Community member Georges Majerus has also been in touch to share his experiences with the community.
In Podcast 241 we asked if you would send in articles and pictures describing your own studio builds and to highlight the choices and decisions you made along the way so that the whole community could benefit from your idea, experiences and solutions. Community member and Sonnox Community award winner Bertrand Grichting has been in touch with his thoughts to get this series going.
In part 2 of this series on DIY studio acoustics we got deep into spreadsheets and calculators to help us get a balanced acoustic treatment that didn't favour one or more frequency bands over any other. In this part we will take a look at how I handled the difficult issue of ventilation and cooling.
In the first part in this series I started to share how my current studio was designed and built, learning from previous mistakes. In this article we are going to delve into the maths of acoustics and get deep into spreadsheets.
Dan wrote a brilliant article outlining the basics of acoustic treatment and sharing his story and experiences with his various studios. Following on from Dan's article, I am going to share my experiences and the techniques I have used for my current studio starting with the floor and ceiling.
We have finally completed our home recording studio build. The studio gear has been moved in and we have settled in nicely. Rather than post an article talking about how we designed and built the studio we decided to share some before and after pictures. In the coming weeks, we will post an in-depth video showing the full studio build timeline.
In this article, I explain how we constructed the studio floor system. We decided early on not to go the "floating floor" route as we would have had to tear up the existing floor structure and replace it with a completely new decoupled (isolated) frame from scratch.
Dan Cooper explains how to install studio lights without compromising the integrity of a soundproof studio construction.
One of the big studio design decisions I had to make was whether or not to install a trunking system for electrics and sockets. In my previous studios, electrics were buried behind stud walls and sockets cut into plasterboard. For this build, I chose to go with a trunking system. In this article, I share what I believe to be the benefits of electrical trunking systems in recording studio designs.
GenieClips are a component that simply screw into internal timber or metal stud frames. When installed these provide a platform for furring channel to clip to. The clip itself decouples furring channels from stud frames and ceilings. Plasterboards screw into these furring channels. GeniClips feature rubber on both sides that reduce airborne and impact noise.
In the pursuit of creating my dream creative space, I ended up putting my heart on my sleeve. This made me susceptible to all manner of emotions. I didn't prepare myself for the emotional rollercoaster as I didn't expect my emotions to yo-yo so easily.
Before reading this article I want to make one very important point that needs to be understood if you are considering building a soundproof recording studio - Building a purpose built or retro fit soundproofed studio is not for the faint hearted. Renovating typical rooms are much easier to plan and build when conventional building methods and materials are used, budgets are also more predictable and easier to plan. As soon as the term "soundproof" is thrown into a build specification the costs suddenly get scary, fast.
One option that I didn't initially consider before planning the studio build was to demolish the garden cabin and build something new completely from the ground up. It took a few YouTube comments questioning my decision to build my studio inside the garden cabin that made me realise that I needed to consider every option. That way, I would know in my heart of hearts that I was about to embark on the right choice. I had to research alternatives to garden cabin studio idea before I did anything else.
The log cabin in our garden was constructed with timber 40mm thick so we needed soundproofing materials and a plan to get the soundproof system right. If you don't plan a soundproof system properly you run the real risk of spending a whole bunch of money on a room that will not work as a soundproof recording studio.
In this video, Pro Tools Expert Deputy Editor Dan Cooper gives you a guided tour of his garden cabin that he plans to convert into a new home recording studio. This video is the first in a series of videos where Dan walks you through the entire process of his garden cabin recording studio conversion.