plans for a new studio (UK) - question on calculating power loads and acoustics - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
plans for a new studio (UK) - question on calculating power loads and acoustics
Old 12th November 2009
Gear Nut
🎧 10 years
plans for a new studio (UK) - question on calculating power loads and acoustics

I'm based in South Wales, UK and will be moving to a new premises at the start of next year to setup a new studio that my business partner has bought and we're in the middle of sorting out the plans for the studio with a project manager.

I've been asked to provide information regarding the power load of the equipment that the studio will use and obviously need to make sure that the information I provide is completely accurate

From going through my gear I've found that some units list their ratings in VA (for example genelec 8030s run at 80VA on full load from their specs) and companies such as focusrite list their power in watts.

Can I confirm that in order to calculate the total amps I'd be using after I've calculated the sum of watts of all my gear, the equation to use would be:

Amps = watts/volts (in my case, volts would be = 230V )

Also is it correct that to calculate Watts from VA the equation would be

watts = 0.7VA

SPL Channel One has a rating of 20VA from its spec website, so in Watts that would give me roughly 14 watts (20VA x0.7) .

From the 14 watts I'd be able to calculate that the amps it uses would be

A = 14watts / 230volts = 0.06

Would all that be correct?

Acoustic and control room layout
The venue we're moving into is an old pub that has been closed for over a year and in a pretty good location, it's less than a minutes drive from the M4 motorway, a 5 minute drive to a decent beach and a junction down from a supermarket, cinema and designer outlet and also has a massive carpark.

THe building is pretty old and over 3 floors, we've decided to convert the middle floor of the building into the recording studio (upstairs will have space for accomodation, kitchen, toilets and office. The basement is a utility room and will also house a photography dark room - the space wasn't great for much else due to a pretty low ceiling and have a few people on board to run that seperatly from the studio).

The image below gives an idea of how the studio will more or less be laid out on the premises, bands will be able to directly into the live room from outside and the control room can be accessed from both the live room and also the reception (outside stairs will lead into the reception area).

http://photos-1.dropbox.com/i/o/571V...m7t0WdLQkpune0 (full size image)

The live room is basically where the old bar used to be in the pub (sadly with the bar removed )and the control room is going to be put where the kitchen used to be. With regard to the control room I've currently got 2 ideas of how to lay it out.

On the layout above, you'll see to the right of it there is a room labelled iso room. At this moment in time, this room is connected to the control room but has a pillar running across the celing that runs the entire length of the house (inline with the pillar and the recption and the outer wall at the top). This gives me an L shaped control room and thought it could be possible to seperate this room with a set of sliding doors and possibly create a small isolation room or even just a machine room.

With the isolation room in place my mix position would then be where the triangle in the control room is placed, giving me a rectangular control room with the dimensions approximately 2.74m x 4.64m (haven't been able to get the exact height of the rooms just at this moment in time but will get back on that as soon as I can). The mix position would have me facing side on to both areas, but could be at a disadvantage because my back would be to the back of the remainder of the area and would look something like the first few pictures in the attachment.

The other option I was thinking about would be to keep the control room at an L shape, have the desk face the main studio area and then have a listening position for the rest of the band in where the iso room would have be. It could be a bit better because I'd be facing the live room whilst recording and also have more space for the band. In this setup, would the speakers and mix position be in the right place or would it be better to move the desk to a more central position?

The main question for this part would be out of the 2 setups for the control room, which one do you think would be better or more practical?

Also on a control room that size (2.7mx4.6m in the first layout, slightly different in the second), would diffusion be neccesary or should I just concentrating on absorbtion?
Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. If you need any more information, I'll be happy to provide it to the best of my knowledge.

Thanks in advance

Jon Constantine
(Also if anyone wants a few more pictures of the layout, have a look at the images here Dropbox - Photos - Secure backup, sync and sharing made easy.)
Attached Thumbnails
plans for a new studio (UK) - question on calculating power loads and acoustics-01-control-room-view.jpg   plans for a new studio (UK) - question on calculating power loads and acoustics-02-producer-view-right.jpg   plans for a new studio (UK) - question on calculating power loads and acoustics-03-producer-view-left.jpg   plans for a new studio (UK) - question on calculating power loads and acoustics-12-overhead-view-gear.jpg   plans for a new studio (UK) - question on calculating power loads and acoustics-13-alternate-control-room-1.jpg  

plans for a new studio (UK) - question on calculating power loads and acoustics-15-alternative-control-room-3.jpg   plans for a new studio (UK) - question on calculating power loads and acoustics-14-alternative-control-room-2.jpg   plans for a new studio (UK) - question on calculating power loads and acoustics-16-alternative-control-room-4.jpg  
Old 12th November 2009
Gear Guru
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
🎧 15 years
The main question for this part would be out of the 2 setups for the control room, which one do you think would be better or more practical?
It is always best to face the short wall and fire the monitors down the long wall. Seems like the control room is pretty small.
See the following for laying out the acoustics.
GIK Acoustics: Room Setup
Old 12th November 2009 | Show parent
Gear Guru
1 Review written
🎧 15 years

Great drawings, I am envious. Sketchup I presume. Clearly you are a capable dude Jon. However, there are lots of factors involved in a decent studio.
Overall my instincts say you should employ a professional designer, or at least an advisor to keep you close to basic principles. You could easily learn all of that but have you the time and interest to match the knowledge of someone who lives this ?
Ad over.
Some random pointers.
I think the UK voltage is 240VAC. You are probably near enough correct in converting to Watts, I presume you looked it up. Note that bigger draws, such as HVAC pumps and other motors will have different relationships between VA and W.
FibreGlass and other fibrous materials, rather than foam, are the norm for acoustic treatment on the scale you need it.
The ceiling and floor are the two biggest areas to consider.
You have lots of bare hard surfaces, most of this needs to go, in the mix room at least.
As Glenn said, the mix room seems small. Heck, musos come and go, you will be here a lot! You need to optimise the ratios of all the rooms, but especially the mix room. Here's a handy tool which I borrowed and adapted a little. Roomtune Metric.xls
Where are you in South Wales, I may be visiting shortly.

Last edited by DanDan; 12th November 2009 at 08:33 PM.. Reason: Details
Old 13th November 2009 | Show parent
Gear Nut
🎧 10 years
glen, dan , thank you both for replying.

With the formulas, I've searched both on this site and also on the internet and wanted to ensure that my interpretation of what I understood was correct.

I did indeed do the sketchup in google , the studio is going to be South Cornelly which is just outside Bridgend/Porthcawl, near the Mcarthur Glen retail outlet and pretty much slapbang in the middle between swansea and cardiff. We found out about the premises a week before it was due to go to auction and of all the places we looked at that were within our budget, believed it was our best option, put in an offer, had it accepted and had all the paperwork through quicker than we ever imagined.

The conversion project is being managed by a man named Martin Carr of building logistics and I was given a copy of the existing floor plan and also a proposed layout of how the studio could work in the building, took the plans and measurements to make the 3d model (which took the best part of the day) and just wanted to see what people with a better opinion and more experience would make of the layout, I downloaded a bunch of models from sketchups library for the auralex treatment in the pictures but didn't get round to putting it in all the right places. I just wanted to make sure the desk I have would be able to fit into the control room and also give myself an idea of the space I could be working with in that layout.

Glen I've been on both yours and ethans site (found yours from the sound on sound forum) reading up as much as I can about the acoustics and have found both to be awesome resources. I've read loads of threads on this site and seen that you can never have too much bass trapping especially in small rooms and you recommend dead ceilings and walls and a lively floor. Thanks again for taking the time to reply.

cheers again both thumbsup

Old 13th November 2009 | Show parent
Gear Guru
1 Review written
🎧 15 years

Hi Jon, This looks to me like quite an expensive venture. I don't wish to rain on any parade but feel I should point out a few things.
Commercial studios are vanishing. Is there a market for your venture. Or is this a private project studio?
From your description, it is a noisy area. You will need extensive soundproofing which is very difficult and expensive. Then you have to supply clean air, heat, and cooling. Has the architect supplied expected performance figures and will they guarantee them?
I would regard a studio plan as a frame to hold acoustic treatment. Seems like this plan is coming from the opposite direction.
Many many people have come to me with finished builds, or personal plans of some form or another. They ask for me to take a look over them and advise. Wrong question! It's too late at that point.
You really really need an experienced designer, builder, project manager here. One experienced in building studios specifically. Studios that you can visit and listen to. Would you build a car from plans such as these? Or more closely, a Helicopter!
I could critique your plan further. If I were employed on the project I could steer you clear of big dangers and encourage good sound. However, I don't have the build and project managment skills experience required. I will offer to help you find such a person close to you if you wish, PM me.
Best of luck in any case, DD
Old 15th November 2009 | Show parent
Gear Maniac
voidtunes's Avatar
🎧 10 years
I am a electrical enginneer by trade but doing studio is where my heart lies.
I may be able to help you out o the power draw or maximum demand as we call it. I think your calculations are a little off...

The formular you are after is V=IR or tranposed to I=V/R or R=V/I

R=resitance or ohms
also your 1VA is now about 90% of 1watt since the power companies started sheadding.

Where do you live?

If you put together a list of all your rattings on your gear I will give an exact!

πŸ“ Reply
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.

Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump