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Huge empty warehouse-- what to do?
Old 14th October 2010
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Huge empty warehouse-- what to do?

I have the opportunity to move my gear into a massive empty warehouse for a year or two, with the ability to do any kind of construction necessary as long as it can be done by me and my buddies (there's a crusty ol warehouse in the family, and I want to put it to use until I can afford my own space). I'd be taking over one of the storage floors, which is heated and has electricity.

I'm not trying to do anything too serious here, I just want to make it workable for awhile. My primary goal is to come up with a way to not have everything I track sound like it's in an enormous room-- which might mean creating one or two smaller spaces within the warehouse, or it might mean constructing some intense gobos, so close-mic'd sources don't still sound like they are in a huge open space.

Please see the attached photo-- it doesn't really show that the warehouse is basically the size of a city block, but you'll get the idea.

Curious what some of you guys would recommend. Thanks in advance for any ideas!

David
Attached Thumbnails
Huge empty warehouse-- what to do?-p1010432.jpg  
Old 14th October 2010
  #2
Lives for gear
 
fabricaudio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Why not staying there for ever?

It looks like a nice place to do many rooms in the future and without paying rent. Any kind of construction will stay there so if you move in two years time i wouldn't bother to build something.

The first logical step would be to build a rehearsal room to get bands familiar with the place and if things go well you can make more rooms.

Building a room will be necessary anyway in terms of sound and thermal isolation form the rest of the warehouse.

Nikolas
Old 14th October 2010
  #3
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
I always suggest for short term leases or situation simular to your situation.
Build to move! Whether its removable panels , gobo's etc always plan for easy change. Whether you DIY or buy treament, its you best move.
Best of Luck!
Ken
Welcome to Solar2: Custom recording studio acoustic architectural design and construction
Old 14th October 2010 | Show parent
  #4
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Hi Nikolas and Ken, thanks for the advice!

I definitely plan on approaching it that way, thinking in terms of minimal construction since it's not a permanent build (at this point, at least). The goal is to be able to record live bands, most often featuring rock instrumentation.

I'm just not sure how to approach such a huge open space with such high ceilings. Should I be trying to wall-off a smaller space from floor to ceiling? My initial thought was to just create smaller "zones" that are enclosed by gobos (drum zone, piano zone, etc). With gobos being ceiling-less, however, would this approach be problematic in keeping the huge room sound out of the mics?
Old 15th October 2010 | Show parent
  #5
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gullfo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
close mic'ing shouldn't be a problem. one consideration is outside noise getting into your recordings. you might consider building a reasonable sized isolation booth and plan on adding some hanging polys and/or absorbers from the ceiling to add some additional control around the gobo areas. also the "control room" space should be symmetrical.
Attached Thumbnails
Huge empty warehouse-- what to do?-davidcp-warehouse-studio.jpg  
Old 15th October 2010 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Nice windfall.

Have fun in there. I wouldn't close anything off too much. A good open snare in a room like that could sound amazing.
Old 15th October 2010 | Show parent
  #7
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gullfo ➑️
close mic'ing shouldn't be a problem. one consideration is outside noise getting into your recordings. you might consider building a reasonable sized isolation booth and plan on adding some hanging polys and/or absorbers from the ceiling to add some additional control around the gobo areas. also the "control room" space should be symmetrical.
Glenn,

Thanks for the sketch! Puts things into perspective a bit more. Hanging absorption supporting the gobo'd zones seems like it will be key in focusing the sound in the smaller spaces.

Fortunately outside noise isn't really an issue on this floor...the floor above it is abandoned too, and it's the A-framed top floor with tons of windows and light... but unfortunately the street noise is insane up there.
Old 18th October 2010 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Addict
 
danly's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
awesome space! don't worry about the fact that the room is huge, most people would kill for that. If you are concerned about too much room ambience, gates can be very helpful to shorten the decay time. I say keep it open.

I am in nyc as well and can recommend a guy who does "loft building" and soundproofing if you are interested. You probably should build a couple rooms. A control room. A vocal booth/ small iso. But don't worry about a large live room. No neighbors to disturb you say, so Play Loud!

Don't worry about it too much though, two small rooms can be built in a couple days. Just have fun and start getting your equipment set up. Play some guitar in the space.. see where you naturally gravitate to. Where does it 'seem' like the drums should be... etc.

The guy who recommended building a rehearsal room to get bands in might be a great idea. That has worked for me in the past, but if you plan on doing serious recording soon, be careful not to paint yourself into a corner. If you have bands playing while you are trying to track something it is a big pain.

Good Luck.

p.s. what borough is your warehouse in?
Old 18th October 2010 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
fabricaudio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidcp ➑️
Hi Nikolas and Ken, thanks for the advice!

I definitely plan on approaching it that way, thinking in terms of minimal construction since it's not a permanent build (at this point, at least). The goal is to be able to record live bands, most often featuring rock instrumentation.

I'm just not sure how to approach such a huge open space with such high ceilings. Should I be trying to wall-off a smaller space from floor to ceiling? My initial thought was to just create smaller "zones" that are enclosed by gobos (drum zone, piano zone, etc). With gobos being ceiling-less, however, would this approach be problematic in keeping the huge room sound out of the mics?

As i mentioned before, the issue is not only the acoustics of the room but the thermal insulation too. You need to create rooms that can be temperature controlled in terms of human comfort and gear comfort. I would not like to leave my gear in a big warehouse with all the temperature variations during the day and night. Also there is an issue of security, word of mouth is great for business and even better for thieves.

I believe that the bands should say ''We are recording in a studio that used to be a warehouse'' and not ''There is a guy with a warehouse and some gear and we just track our songs there''


Of course it needs planning, design and money, but you have the most important key element of a traditional business and this is the space. We own the whole building where our studio is located so two years we didn't payed any rent during the design and the build. Our expenses also is half compared if we were renting. I dont know the prices at your area, but if you do the maths you will see that is much cheaper staying in the warehouse for longer, even for ever.

One mid-sized room for now could be sufficient to get business and bands coming over and eventually recording.


Nikolas
Old 26th October 2010 | Show parent
  #10
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by danly ➑️
awesome space! don't worry about the fact that the room is huge, most people would kill for that. If you are concerned about too much room ambience, gates can be very helpful to shorten the decay time. I say keep it open.

I am in nyc as well and can recommend a guy who does "loft building" and soundproofing if you are interested. You probably should build a couple rooms. A control room. A vocal booth/ small iso. But don't worry about a large live room. No neighbors to disturb you say, so Play Loud!

Don't worry about it too much though, two small rooms can be built in a couple days. Just have fun and start getting your equipment set up. Play some guitar in the space.. see where you naturally gravitate to. Where does it 'seem' like the drums should be... etc.

The guy who recommended building a rehearsal room to get bands in might be a great idea. That has worked for me in the past, but if you plan on doing serious recording soon, be careful not to paint yourself into a corner. If you have bands playing while you are trying to track something it is a big pain.

Good Luck.

p.s. what borough is your warehouse in?

All great ideas, thanks! I'd love to get in touch with your guy who does soundproofing for lofts and ask him a couple questions.

The warehouse is actually in Philly, so the space I'm going to be building in the warehouse first is a lounge/apartment so my NYC artists have a place to stay. Everyone seems pretty excited about the idea of treating the space like a recording retreat-- it's going to be based around a MCI JH24 and the best lower-level console I can find. Setting it all up in January
Old 24th April 2012
  #11
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Philly warehouse

Did you ever get this project off the ground? I'd like to be a part of it.
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