My room is coming together nicely, as it’s starting to feel like a real space. One of the key elements to the floor, wall and ceiling construction has been the implementation of stringers, which are short pieces of the framing material that run perpendicular to the joists and are mounted randomly. After arbitrarily placing them throughout the floor, wall, and ceiling framing, I filled the gaps with mineral fiber. The room was then finished with a double layer of 5/8-inch drywall separated by a layer of SheetBlok. And while it actually feels air tight, it sounds more like a cave than a control room, which leads me to the acoustical treatment.
My next step was following the plan created by Auralex’s Free Personalized Room Analysis (https://www.auralex.com/praf_erp/). In my case, this included a combination of both two- and four-inch custom-sized and stock ProPanels, Platfoam, and LENRDs. I’d like to say installation was a breeze but it is somewhat slow due to the precise nature of the task. Thankfully, Auralex—through decades of experience—has developed detailed installation methods clearly described in their literature, making the whole process significantly less stressful. Once I got the acoustical treatment installed, I couldn’t wait to get to work.
Still lacking lighting, furniture, etc., I configured a temporary setup with gear stacked on folding tables and old cases and, while it looks a bit make-shift, it sounds fantastic. I’m now mixing in Dangerland—yep, the studio is called Dangerland! Marking its inaugural project is a live album that I recorded a couple of years ago featuring saxophonist David Liebman playing Miles Davis’ album On the Corner; Liebman was part of Davis’ band on the original studio recording. So, while mixing this all-star band featuring Jeff Coffin, Victor Wooten, Chester Thompson, Chris Walters and James DaSilva, I’m still fine-tuning the monitor placement, my listening position, etc. I have to say, if my debut project is any indication, mixing in my new space is going to be accurate, comfortable and a complete pleasure.
Alongside my control room is a guest bedroom, which, with some minor acoustical treatment, will also function as an overdub space. My plan is to use the new space solely for mixing, so I’ve opted to skip the window between the control room and the bedroom/booth. Windows and doors are typically the weak link—and often one of the most expensive areas of construction—in economically-designed studios, so bypassing this part of the design this will alleviate some significant expense.
Stay tuned over the next several weeks as I put the final touches on Dangerland. Pictures coming soon!
Russ Long is a Senior Contributor to Pro Sound News and a longstanding contributor of studio product reviews to Pro Audio Review.