The Studio

Like lots of musicians our studio started out in a spare bedroom. A small mixer, an 8-track recorder, a few pieces of outboard gear, a pair of speakers and a couple mics was pretty much it. No place to set up and record real drums so a drum machine came in handy. A small guitar amp stuffed in closet covered with blankets was the usual setup. We took the bass direct most of the time and sometimes we’d used keyboard bass too.

As the need presented itself and it always does, we moved up to a bigger mixer, 3 ADAT recorders, better monitors and outboard gear. When the ADATs became temperamental, we moved up to a Tascam MX2424 hard disk recorder. And then came the DA7 digital mixer and an Apple G3 computer. Finally we made the move to Pro Tools LE and a 002 mixer. We were able to sync the MX2424 to Pro Tools and that gave us lots of options. Usually that’s a good thing but can create issues of it’s own. We did, and still do, lots of what if we tried…but it’s all part of the creative process and we are learning to say it’s done, lets move on!

When we decided to build a studio in the basement of our house we tried to do our homework before we got started. We got books on studio design and construction, soundproofing and acoustic treatment. I have a friend and old band mate, Dan Kavanagh that was the general contractor for the construction of the studio. Without his expertise, it would have been a nightmare trying to coordinate everything that needed to be done in a timely manner. He also helped us do some of the grunt, sweat equity work plus he put in the carpeting and tile. We also had help painting the whole basement from Jerry and that made it a lot easier. I’m still amazed every time I open that door.

We used most of the ideas from one the design books we bought and morphed them into what we built. We have a drum/live room and a control room with an air lock in between as the entrance. There about the same size approximately 12’ x 14’ with 7’ ceilings. We didn’t have a full basement to work with so that was the best we could do. It’s a comfortable place to work and serves us well. Have a look at the photos, and yes, it’s usually that messy.

We continue to upgrade the gear as needed and when we can. We’re have PT 9.0.5 on an iMac running 10.6.7 and JBL monitors. Royer, AKG, Sennheiser, Electro-Voice. Audio Technica and Shure mics, dbx, Summit Audio, Apogee, Lexicon processors and lots of plug-ins. 

There will be links to the companies whose products we used in the construction and all the gear companies. We’ll try to include anything other links that might be helpful too.
 
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