July 31, 2009

Building a Studio: Research and Development

When I first decided to build a studio, I thought, "I'll just put some foam things on the garage walls and ceiling and buy a half-way decent computer. Maybe paint the walls and stick a comfy chair out there."

But ohhh I am so naive. Or, I was. After watching a dozen videos and reading about fifteen articles on how to build a home recording studio, I now I have a MUCH better idea of the project I've decided to tackle.

My first clue that this wasn't going to be as simple as I first thought was when I started watching a video on how to build your own studio and the guy starts rambling about insulation and z-channel and soundboard and AC units, and I'm sitting there with the same expression that my dog gets on her face when I try to explain... um, almost anything. The look that so clearly says, "Huh?"

So I did what any reasonable, semi-ocd person would do. I made a list. And several lists within that list. And somehow, I sort of ended up with a plan. Or at least I know what color scheme I want to decorate with.

I've made a couple changes to my original plan, so now I'll be using my 15' x 9' storage shed and won't build a separate sound booth. It will all be one room, which I think will work just fine for me. I've begun researching the materials I'll need (tools, supplies, etc.) as well as hardware and software for the actual recording process. I realize I'm not a sound engineer and I have a lot to learn, but I love learning and mostly I'm just very excited about having a space that is dedicated to music and completely sound-proof.

I hope to post pictures of the current storage shed very soon. And maybe even the sketch of the future studio.

If anyone has tips on how to make this a more successful endeavor, please leave a comment. Thanks!

July 16, 2009

Let's Start a Band (and build a studio)

It's been about 10 months since I recorded my last album. I've written new material in the meantime and am thinking about recording again. I'm sure the finished product is months away, partially because of budget and partially because it takes me a little while to get around to being ready, but I'm already getting excited about working on the new material.

As I've been thinking about recording again, somehow the thought to build my own studio crept into my head. Actually, not so much build a studio as just turn my existing garage into a recording room. I've begun the R&D phase and hope to begin on this project in the next few months. I'll post more about this as I get closer. If you have tips or good links on building a studio, leave a comment and I'll check it out. I'll take all the help I can get.

On another note, I've got two gigs at my favorite wine bar this month -- one tomorrow night (July 17) and one at the end of the month (July 31). I'm really looking forward to the gig on the 31st because I'll be joined by bass player Anthony Picicci. It's been ages since I've played with another musician, so it will be a good motivator to really get my act together and have a plan for the two-hour gig, as opposed to just winging it like I usually do. I've been saying for months that I need a band. Maybe this is the first step...

[[listening to: Amy Macdonald -- Let's Start a Band]]