Studio Design

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by CaptainMoto, Dec 25, 2021.

  1. CaptainMoto

    CaptainMoto Blues Voyager

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    Hey Folks,
    I'm sitting here in my studio today testing out some new gear and rewiring part of my signal chain.
    Thought I'd watch some YouTube for advise.

    I stumbled upon this video from Warren Huart at "Produce Like a Pro"
    He's starting a series of vids on studio design and build.
    Thought this may be of interest to some of you.

    A while back, I posted the entire design/build process for my home studio.
    I hired a studio design expert to help me get it right, his name is Gavin Haverstick, I was suprised to see him helping Warren on his own project, he does great work.

    Enjoy:
    Part 1


    Part 2

     
    #1 CaptainMoto, Dec 25, 2021
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2021
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  2. SHarpo

    SHarpo Blues Newbie

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    CaptainModo, Thanks for the video links.... lot's of things to think about in the new year.

    I seem to remember that in your pre studio and design build phase of your you were using Studio One by Presonus as your main software DAW. With your studio desigh/build/hardware phases completed do you still use Studio One.... if so what do you like (or dislike) about it ? Full disclosure... I have Studio One 3 but for what I've been using it for it's more like a case of overkill..... I guess you could say I'm looking for some perspective if you have some to offer.

    thanks....and a happy and healthy new year to all
     
  3. Many Moons

    Many Moons Biking+Blues=Bliss

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    Why were you surprised?? He works with top pros all the time.;)
     
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  4. CaptainMoto

    CaptainMoto Blues Voyager

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    Hey SHarpo,
    I am still using Studio One Professional version 5.
    Here's my two cents on DAWs:

    I started out with Cubase ( got a free version with a piece of gear I bought).
    At that time, I was experimenting and had no idea how to use it so, I was able to do some simple recordings and I was happy,
    I think I messed around with Audacity for a short time because lot's of people here where using it and that gave me a good support group.
    I also received a free version of Ableton, which I gave up on.
    My next free DAW was Studio One ( again a free version).

    By the time I started using Studio One, I was much more deeply involved in recording and mixing so, I started my steep learning curve.
    Consequently, I kept upgrading versions to where I am now.
    From my experience, S1 has all the tools one would ever need at any level, amateur to pro.
    That's probably true for most modern DAWs but, each has it's own learning curve and having spent considerable time with S1, I have no desire to put myself through any more pain trying to learn a new DAW.

    My guess is, I use less than 25% of what it has to offer so, I've got plenty room to grow.

    S1 has some very nice features such as the ability to move your recorded sessions into a mastering page.
    Many of it's drag and drop features are time savers that not all DAWs offer.

    Most pros use ProTools.
    I believe their are few reasons for that:
    1. I believe it was the first DAW invented so, all the long time Pros learned that and it became the "industry standard"
    2. Because most of the Pro studios used it, they would only accept ProTools files from clients.

    The same goes for Mac vs Windows,
    Back in the day, the only system that would run ProTools was Mac so, that's what everyone had to use so, all the "pros" used an apple and ProTools.
    Today, it's a toss up, windows vs mac and pick the DAW that works for you.

    Bottom line, the best DAW to use is the one you know.
    Unless someone has the absolute need to learn a new DAW, I don't see ant reason to change ( especially folks like us).

    If you have the basics figured out in S1, spend some time digging in a bit to see if there are things it can do for you.
    I'm not suggesting you become an expert, just learn enough to make things flow well in your situation.
    Learn the basic navigation tools, understand the basics signal chain and gain staging, that will give you good recordings.
    Then get to understand some of the mixing element such as volume balancing, panning ,EQ, compression and effects like reverb & delay, that will greatly enhance your finished tracks.

    Most or all DAWS come with a built in suite of effects that you can apply to enhance your tracks.......there are lot's of very useful effects that come with S1, find them and experiment.
     
    #4 CaptainMoto, Dec 31, 2021
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2021
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  5. Many Moons

    Many Moons Biking+Blues=Bliss

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    Well said that man.(y)(y)(y)(y)
     
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  6. MarkDyson

    MarkDyson Blues Hound Wannabe

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    As someone whose definition of "music studio" is a room with a corner where I have just enough space to stash a guitar rack and an amp or two...my hat is off. :Beer:
     
  7. PapaRaptor

    PapaRaptor Dental Floss Tycoon
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    I have to echo @CaptainMoto's comments. I started on Cubase after fooling around for several months with an open source DAW called Ardour. At the time it ran only on Linux. When I chose Ardour, I built a computer around it, with (at the time) a near state of the art PC. It was pretty easy to learn, but I kept being stymied by some of the hoops one had to jump through to get various manufacturers' hardware to work properly with it.

    After blowing the whole installation up at least half a dozen times trying to get one piece of hardware to work, I decided to stop beating my head against the wall (at least that one wall), and I gave up on Linux/Ardour and went to Windows 7. I didn't get the luxury of a free copy, but I decided to try Cubase and bought the "Elements" (entry level) version. Within an hour or two, I was up and running, including the hardware that had been problematic. I was quite happy with Cubase as my DAW.

    I discovered that Griff was using Studio One as his DAW and a couple of years ago, I found I wanted to explore something called "sidechaining." It wasn't in the Cubase version I had. I looked into upgrading and as I recall, Cubase wanted over $400 for the upgrade to their Pro version. At about that same time I bought a Presonus mixer and while perusing the paperwork, I discovered Presonus included a license for Studio One Artist with the hardware, so I downloaded and registered it. It still didn't have sidechaining in it, Upon registering it (I believe it was version 3), I found out that Presonus was having a sale on Studio One and I was able to get the upgrade to Pro for about a hundred bucks, which also put me into version 4. I found it had a much easier workflow than Cubase. I had Cubase for about 6 years and had gone through several upgrades. Within 6 months, I was more proficient in Studio One than Cubase after 6 years of using it.

    I haven't looked back, since. I am running the latest version 5.4.1 of Studio One Pro and I will upgrade to whatever their next version is, whenever it comes out. Like working with Griff's courses, I could study Studio One and never cover everything it does. There is much more support available for Studio One than any other DAW from groups on Facebook and the number of tutorial videos on YouTube is staggering.

    There is one other thing I would like to mention. If you're not familiar with it, Presonus offers a subscription service called Sphere. It goes for about $15 a month. It includes almost everything that Presonus and several third party companies offer in the way of other apps, plug-ins and instrument libraries. It includes Notion, Presonus' scoring and notation software. It also includes online storage for collaboration with other Studio One users. I don't use it, because I don't do much collab work and I already have the Studio One Pro license, several of their add-on packs and the latest release of Notion.
    I don't do much in the way of composing or arranging with virtual instruments, but If you're new to using S1, it's a good and relatively cheap way to find out if Studio One Pro suits your needs without dropping full price for a copy of Pro. You can try it for a month or two and if you like it you can stay with Sphere or buy a stand-along license for Studio One.
     
  8. SHarpo

    SHarpo Blues Newbie

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    Truth be told I really didn't need much of a push to upgrade to Studio One 5 but thanks to CaptainMoto and Paparaptor for their sage and insightful comments as always. And happy new year all...
     
  9. sdbrit68

    sdbrit68 Student Of The Blues

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    my studio is whatever I can get away with in the garage
     
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  10. CaptainMoto

    CaptainMoto Blues Voyager

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    And that ain’t bad!

    In most studios there are two issues people are trying to fix:
    -Sound coming in/out of the space
    -Bad reflections and resinance in the space

    Fixing or eliminating sound leakage is extremely difficult and expensive.
    We all do what we can.

    Truth be told about bad reflections, the best studio would be outside with no walls…. You’re half way there:sneaky:
     
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  11. CaptainMoto

    CaptainMoto Blues Voyager

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    Part Three........Gear selection!

     
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  12. CaptainMoto

    CaptainMoto Blues Voyager

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    Warren's scrolling thru the Sweetwater website made me crazy:rolleyes:
     
  13. CaptainMoto

    CaptainMoto Blues Voyager

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    Part 4:
     
    #13 CaptainMoto, Jan 14, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022
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  14. JPsuff

    JPsuff Satisfaction is complacency

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    Of course sound intrusion, reflectiveness and resonance only matters if one is recording through microphones.

    But with the advent of digital technology it is possible -- and in fact quite common -- to record a guitar directly into an audio interface via an amplifiers line- out or through a digital processor. One can even add bass, drums and keyboards either in the same manner or by using software "plugins" and none of these methods requires a room at all.

    As for vocals, I have read several stories of various singer/songwriters (particularly those who live in apartments) who simply use a coat closet outfitted with some thick foam padding into which they bring a microphone and a pop screen.

    My point is that while "traditional" recording requires a dedicated room engineered specifically for sound optimization, recording -- especially instrumental recording -- can be done quite successfully with little more than a place to sit and access to an electrical outlet.

    Don't forget, most of the backing tracks we commonly download are created in just this manner.

    Just something to think about before embarking on a studio project that may take months of time and cost thousands of dollars.

    Carry on...
     
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  15. CaptainMoto

    CaptainMoto Blues Voyager

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    For myself, I built a studio with two goals in mind:
    #1 - Sound isolation
    Although I did want to eliminate external sounds coming in, that was not my primary concern.
    I was most interested in keeping my guitar / music from leaking out into the rest of the house.
    On that front, mission accomplished, prior to building my room I would get frequent complaints from the spousal unit to " Turn It Down"
    After construction, that's a rare occurrence............mission accomplished.
    That was the expensive part of the project!

    #2 - Improved room acoustics
    That is primarily for my mixing activity.
    This room sounds much better.
    Having said that, If I wanted to mix on headsets, that would not be a requirement at all.

    As you mentioned, there are a number of ways to play guitar without volume issues, but if you want an amp at good volumes without concerns of disturbing other family members or neighbors.......you need isolation.

    If you want a good sounding mixing room, you need treatment in the room.

    In my humble opinion:
    For most folks playing guitar and doing some recording, it's a complete waist of money to be hanging all that foam stuff on the walls.
    Additionally, if you have need to make things quite, don't waist money on anything that hangs on your walls....it may give a good visual effect but will do nothing to keep noise from leaking in or out.
    For those who are more involved in recording and mixing it makes sense to understand room acoustics and to use the proper tools to achieve their objectives.
     
    #15 CaptainMoto, Jan 14, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022
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  16. PapaRaptor

    PapaRaptor Dental Floss Tycoon
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    I'm with Captain Moto on this. The mix environment is the most important piece of the equation.
    Depending on what and how you will be recording, your actual tracking environment will have varying degrees of importance.
    Some of this will depend on what kind of gear you're using as well.
    A Shure SM-57/58 or a Sennheiser e609/906 close mic'd on an amp can almost completely eliminate the need for room treatment. If you're recording an acoustic piano, the room treatment will be much more important. Likewise, acoustic drums will require a room that's pretty dead and vocals will require the most attention.

    You can mix on heaphones, earbuds or just about anything else if you know the limitations imposed by the environment. It is easiest (although not cheapest) to work on a mix room that adds as little coloration to the sound. Monitors with 6 inch speakers are going to sound weaker than 8 inch, 10 inch or 12 inch monitors. If you're using a subwoofer, the level needs to be matched to the monitors and the room. Set the sub too high and mix to it and you'll end up with a thin mix. Mix with only a set of 6 inch monitors and you'll likely end up boosting the bass and ending up with a thumpy or muddy recording.

    When you render a mix, listen to it on your monitors. Assuming you have a car with a decent sound system, listen in the car. Listen through earbuds. Finally listen through your cellphone. If one of them doesn't sound good, remix and work towards something that will sound acceptable on all of your playback modes. Remember, a lot of the flangey, phasey effects that expand your sound field in an upscale stereo environment will sound like crap on a cell phone. The warm punchy bass you hear on your mixing monitors may be nearly inaudible in your earbuds or phone. At the same time, that same mix may sound like a muddy mess on your car stereo.

    Getting a mix environment (treated) goes a long way towards making your mixes sound good in less time. There's a reason why a studio like the Hit Factory (either NY or Miami) will spend 100 thousand dollars on a mixing studio. If you could do it all under headphones there would be absolutely no reason for a profit oriented business to spend that kind of money for a top notch mixing environment.

    Lastly, the tools to make a good or even great recording are being improved all the time. This makes it easier for the home recordist. But you still need to learn what tools to use and how they work in order to turn out the highest quality product you possibly can.
     
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  17. MarkDyson

    MarkDyson Blues Hound Wannabe

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    This. Except in my case it's gear crammed into a corner of my (small) home office/exercise room and if I sit it's either on the floor or in my desk chair. Our garage is for the cars and SWMBO would never be swayed to change that. We have an unfinished basement "crawlspace" but it's not the kind of space I'd want to keep valued music gear in.

    I do enjoy experiencing cool spaces like the Captain's vicariously. :Beer:
     
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