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DAWghaus 2.0 under construction...Closet into isolation booth?

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by 4pickupguy, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Well, our incontinent little dog has decided he would provide Chrissy and I with a bit of remodeling motivation. We are starting with our little music room we call the DAWghaus. We are using having to remove the carpet as an opportunity to upgrade our "studio" with an isolation booth and a dedicated console. More on that in a bit.

    I spent today removing the "popcorn" ceiling texture:
    IMG_1892.JPG

    My plan is to have non-textured walls and a stained concrete floor to foil future handy work by our dog. Sound treatments will come later as needed. It struck me that I could take this opportunity to convert a small closet into a vocal iso booth. Its a little too shallow as is, so, I will need to extend it out just a bit. My first thought was to build a faceted wall with a window. This seems like a lot of work and more permanent than I would like it to be. Then I had an idea.

    What if I finished the room out as well as in interior walls of the little closet.
    IMG_1897.JPG

    ...and then add a circular shower door afterwards..?
    IMG_1899.JPG

    I would have to add a header to finish out the top for the upper rail/frame, but I could easily remove all this later to make it a closet again if we decide to move.. the inside of the booth could be an anechoic chamber save for the glass door... Thoughts?

    P.S. The glass shown is frosted but ours would be clear glass... the door slides in an arc to open.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2017
    bparnell57 likes this.

  2. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 10, 2014
    Philadelphia, PA
    Seems like a unique idea as long as the door doesn't rattle. It may provide some sound insulation, but not much.
     
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  3. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Yes. You are absolutely correct. There are 4 main reasons for doing this.
    1. Whenever I record Chrissy singing, I have to leave the room because she doesnt want me "seeing her sing". She normally waits until I leave the room to hit 'record'. I plan to put a privacy curtain along the door for her to close during sessions for her to close.
    2. I would be happy if it provided a bit of isolation from our little dog. He curently manages to score a vocal credit or two on our tunes. Also, the occassional car will pass by our house (corner lot). Our airconditioner usually curently gets turned off with each take via a phone app, maybe this will help there as well.
    3. I can finally leave the mics set up for her vocals and my acoustic. This is a biggy because its such a small room that we curently cant do this. I think we can control the transport functions of our DAW from our phones (need to check on this).
    4. I'm hoping it will add a look and creative mood to the DAWghaus. We have picked very non-bedroom, studio looking colors for paints, so, hopefully we get a bit of 'studio vibe' going.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
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  4. still_fiddlin

    still_fiddlin Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    May 6, 2009
    Texas
    I saw a thing on Studio Hacks of a DIY vocal booth (Facebook link) done with some IKEA shelving system pieces (looks like PVC pipe could also work) and a bunch of moving pads (Harbor Freight is your friend there). I didn't look at the plans but something like that could be less permanent than that shower door, and with a little thought probably be collapsible into the closet.
     
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  5. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Ad Free Member

    Age:
    72
    Nov 28, 2004
    Mint Hill, NC
    Keeping a stable setup really allows you to hit the deck running — great move!

    The booth idea: practically speaking, anything that keeps the vocal from bouncing around the walls full-force helps. If you lined your shower door with something sound-absorbent, you'd be achieving that. ... I use one of those mike shields, and it really does help keep reflections from re-entering the mike.
    https://www.amazon.com/CAD-Audio-AS32-Acousti-Shield-Enclosure/dp/B006YTZOOS
     
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  6. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Thanks Woodman! Yeah, I will certainly address sound treatments once I hear the room. I will certainly make the booth an anechoic chamber even if I have a mic shield it will still help isolate the mic from our satanic dog. I have something special to use as a console desk setting in the garage. It mounts directly to wall and has about 10 19" rack spaces in it as well as peg board/shelving for cables etc,... Something I built about 10 years ago!! This weekend I spent about 20 man/hours taking the walls back down to the sheetrock... Going for a level 5 smooth wall thing.... should look nice under track lighting.. looks like hell right now though...
    IMG_1096.JPG IMG_1097.JPG IMG_1100.JPG
     

  7. Rolling Estonian

    Rolling Estonian Friend of Leo's

    Aug 23, 2009
    Bethesda, MD.
    I think it's a great idea and looks cool! I could see making a vocal/sound cube in that space, having it sound proofed, maybe adding something like what Woody uses that you could take in and out. You could play other instruments into it as well, endless possibilities. Extra storage space to boot.

    M
     
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  8. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Who else has built a dedicated studio in their house? What are the isolation/recording challenges you had to overcome? Anyone with pet "vocalist"?

    Our dog Napoleon!!!
     

  9. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Ad Free Member

    Age:
    72
    Nov 28, 2004
    Mint Hill, NC
    I built one in a tiny garage workshop, but in-house is a far greater challenge, Fletch. Luckily your talented wife, the fabulous Ms C, is simpatico — you start out ahead of the game!!! ... What I encountered was par for the jackleg course, in that I knew it would never be perfectly sound-conditioned and wanted to work around the room's weaknesses. The central lesson I learned: Something is always better than nothing. Figure out ways to break up the reflectivity of the ceiling and walls, try to deaden the ceiling above your mixing station, leave enough uncarpeted floor for your acoustic takes (one of the few ways you can make reflection work for you ).

    An enterprising guy like you can figure ways to make primitive bass traps and so forth. If you got any dough left, use if for *corner treatment first.* ... I bought a roll of cork for the wall around the console — it softens the reflections enough to mix at radio volume without a lot of boing-boing. What was left, I put on the rear wall. ... Tapestries along the sidewalls, no they're not scientific but they play their role well because something is always better than nothing. Spending the hours in that room as you have, you start getting a sense of where the trouble spots will be and can attack them ahead of time.

    If you take care of the possibilities within your power, vocal isolation becomes less a matter of obsession. I look at your pics of that big empty room and think, damn, that dude is FREAKIN ' OUT! Imagine how a Skilsaw sounds in there — yikes! ...Embrace the horror, Fletch, and turn it into platinum records! Or finished projects, whichever comes first. ... Once you have a dedicated audio space, You. Will. Be. So. Freakin. HAPPY!

    Here's the build thread for The Woodshed, from back in 2007:
    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/finally-got-rolling-on-new-studio-space.72202/

    Hey, just realized that this spring is the Shed's 10th anniversary! Y'all come over and let's drink some beer! :D

    As for the dog ... uh ... hey, reckon he could get a part-time job barking at squirrels for somebody?
     
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  10. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    So thats how the Woodshed was born! Hallowed ground that! Great thread!

    I started this thing because our little dog is systematically destroying our house. He's a great little dog. The sweetest thing ever. He is getting up in years and cant help his accidents. Occasionally he will still scratch at the patio door to be let out but most of the time hes unaware. I think he is catching on when I refer to him as "my future bump in the yard".

    I know what you mean about "something is better than nothing" if I loose steam on this thing I'll never finish. The DAWghaus is a studio/guitar tinker room so my console will be doing double duties. It will look like what it is, a studio console/work bench. Everything I am doing to the room flies in the face of what is considered acoustically optimal.
    1. I removed the popcorn ceiling.
    2. I removed the wall texture.
    3. I will be removing the carpet.
    I am going for level 5 smooth walls and ceiling.
    I will be staining and sealing the concrete floor.

    So the basic room is an acoustic nightmare.

    The only live mic recording we do is Chrissy's vocals an my acoustic guitar and on occasion, my live rig for electric, oh, occasionally percusion like shakers etc,... Everything else is usually direct. Keys, Drums, Bass and 90% guitars are direct. This is why for live mic capture it makes sense to have a sound treated booth.

    As for the rest of the room:
    1. Full length curtains over the window.
    2. An area rug that can be washed.
    3. "Acoustic" decorations
    4. Acoustic tiles and treatments

    Today I am locating the lower console and mounting it to the wall prior to dressing/priming. Its blocked in position. Its got stains from back when I was doing acoustic guitar finish work years ago. It will get freshened up and painted the same color as the trim work. Those are 19 1/2" rack spaces below it. The upper portion has 2 shelves and a section of peg board for hanging cables etc,..

    Image1491779614.655465.jpg

    Here are some ideas for cheap DYI bass/broadband traps that look nice.. I'm thinking some of these on the far wall would be a good place to start...

    IMG_1921.JPG
    IMG_1920.JPG
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017

  11. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Ad Free Member

    Age:
    72
    Nov 28, 2004
    Mint Hill, NC
    Lookin' good!
     
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  12. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

    May 27, 2013
    California
    There's a dog barking on the world famous,
    After Midnight recording by Eric Clapton.
    They just left it in cuz the dogz got some rhythm y'all!
     
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  13. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Ad Free Member

    Age:
    72
    Nov 28, 2004
    Mint Hill, NC
    Hey, Fletch — just wondering how it's going. ... Any progress? Hopefully you're so busy recording you don't have time to post! Or alternatively, maybe the demon dog is keeping you out of the room, hostages in your own home! :D
     

  14. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Hey Woodman! Its been very slow going. Time and money are both resources in short supply. I have done a lot of wall work in the room an hour here a couple hours there. In fact I am off work right now in order to work on it and instead I've had to deal with an unexpected emergency washer/dryer purchase installation. That was a chunk of money slated for the studio. After that I get to go clear the primary drain for the A/C. Its as if the forces of the universe are plotting against me. It was a huge mistake deciding on level 5 smooth walls but I'm in it now and they are prepped and ready for the Primer/Surfacer. The spray rig I bought may have a tough time throwing the primer/surfacer as the largest nozzle for it is at the very bottom of the requirement chart. The walls of the vocal booth go straight to primer so if I get on top of my current emergency honey-dew list I'll finally be throwing wet stuff at them tomorrow.

    Well they got delivered since I started this reply this morning and I got them installed... now, the backlogged dirty clothes which will take days as it is almost every stitch we both own...
    IMG_1260.JPG
    P.S. I have spent a bit of time programming the drums for an up coming Zappa cover tune Chrissy and I will finish once the studio is done, but thats it. Hadn't picked my guitar up in weeks
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2017

  15. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Ad Free Member

    Age:
    72
    Nov 28, 2004
    Mint Hill, NC
    It's always something! Good luck with it.
     
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  16. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    FINALLY! Worked extra hours and saved up the money for completion of the DAWghaus. Ordered the ‘vocal booth’ door, paint, Indirect lighting strips & lights. My studio has been bare walls since April of last year!! Putting in for vacation a week from now and diving in! This is the paint pallet I ordered.. I would never use these anywhere but a studio.
    IMG_2952.JPG
     
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  17. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Ad Free Member

    Age:
    72
    Nov 28, 2004
    Mint Hill, NC
    :confused::confused: ... That's not the actual studio room, right???
     

  18. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Sadly, no. This is:
    IMG_1097.JPG
     

  19. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Ad Free Member

    Age:
    72
    Nov 28, 2004
    Mint Hill, NC
    It's a whole lot better'n a poke in the eye with a sharp stick! ;)
     
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  20. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Wait,... which eye?...

    The Surfacer primer (TuffHide), 4 colors (above) of paint, Airless paint sprayer kit, Trim moulding for the indirect lighting rail, 100 feet of dimmable LEDs has all arrived.

    Image1522018155.689511.jpg

    The sliding semi-circular door (above) arrives tomorrow and I get to "figure out" how to turn a shower door and closet into a isolation booth. I am no longer going with a stained concrete floor. Instead, a faux wood vinyl floor to take the abuse of chairs and equipment over time. I will do sound treatments over time after the initial completion of the room. I have prepped the walls for the level 5 smooth surfacer (weeks long ass-whooping') but need to build booth before applying it. Ripped the old carpet and matting out today. I will never have carpet in my house again. Finally it is underway.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018

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