After many, many delays, my home studio is finally finished! I started this project all the way back in August. It began with removing the old bookshelves that were in my current room. These things were at least thirty years old, were covered in dusty old books and trinkets and were falling apart in every corner. The shelves were sagging and the mess of old literature and and instability of their structure was a reason they were so neglected and covered in dust. I ended up throwing out a few books, mostly outdated encyclopedias and dictionaries, and donated all the others that were no longer needed.
In the process, I reopened a return vent that had been blocked off for three decades (and was covered in a nice, thick web of black dust that came off in sheets). This eliminated the dust problem in the room and got the temperature back to normal (the room was always overheated due to being on the southwest corner, and without a return, there was no airflow so it got about 20-degres warmer in here than the rest of the house). I replaced the bookcases with some Billies from Ikea that now neatly hold all my sheet music, cameras, lenses, tech books, etc. with plenty of room leftover.
The next step was to remove the rug. This thing was a dizzying blue that made it hard to see anything, darkened the room and I tripped on it constantly since it always slid around and would have lumps in it. I got a new one at Ocean State Job Lot while out and about one afternoon in October and immediately chucked the ratty old one into a dumpster, scrubbed the floor, and laid the new one down.
I had an old work desk in here as well next to my audio/video/photo workstation that was taking up far too much room. Since I had new bookcases to put my sheet music on, my filing cabinet was left with no purpose, so I ended up taking all the necessary items out of the desk and moving them to the cabinet, then moving the desk to another room for a separate computer. In the process, that computer's desk was removed and replaced with the antique one. With the extra space, I was able to get an ionic air filter to further reduce dust and improve the air (an my computer's safety, since dust and a virus both killed the original hard drive over the summer).
The last step was to put up all new soundproofing. This was the worst part. I ordered the acoustics in November, but had to wait until March before I could do anything with them! Two problems arose. First, I needed a way to put up the foam temporarily so that I can move it with me and so that it won't damage the walls. I solved that problem by coming up with the idea of using a 3M spray adhesive to mount the foam to tagboard, cutting the excess, then installing the pieces onto the walls with Command Strips.
The second problem came from that solution. The adhesive spray is highly toxic, and if inhaled in a room with poor ventilation, can result in a bad trip or death. I chose to use the spray because it wouldn't be absorbed by the foam as much as superglue, and didn't want to change the course after buying everything. As anyone in the US knows, New England had the worst winter on record this year; in Clinton, we had over 100 inches of snow over the course of three weeks, and days that averaged in the single digits every day. I had to use this adhesive outside, but had no ability to do so until it stopped snowing and was warmer than 10-degrees.
That finally happened last week, and I was able to mount all the treatment over this past weekend, and some extras yesterday to reinforce a couple lingering trouble areas. The room is now clean, fresh and fully soundproofed. There is no natural room noise or reverb, flutter echo is completely eliminated and the overall quality for listening has increased dramatically.
With this, I am now opening by studio to the public for audio-post production. What this means, is that I am only taking on jobs regarding mixing, mastering and restoration. This room is just too small to offer recording at this time and I'd have no way to properly isolate a microphone, let alone accommodate more than a couple people!
This is an issue that's caused some problems in the past. When I've advertised post production, I constantly get calls asking if I can record a singer, or a voice actor, despite the ads only showing mixing and mastering as being offered. Many people who have contacted me believe that "mixing" is the industry term for recording. It's not; mixing is the process of editing individual audio tracks (stems), overall and individual levels, EQ, panning, compression, special effects, pitch correction, reverb, etc. It's strictly done after the initial recording to make those tracks sound high quality and professional, and isn't the recording process itself.
At this time, I am only working in post-production. In the future, I do plan on offering recording services, but that is only after I have more room. I have to start somewhere, so I made this studio to be the best possible listening environment that it can be to professionally mix, master and restore music, soundtracks, sound effects and all other manner of audio. When I have access to a larger facility, I will make the necessary adjustments to provide recording, but until then, this is where it's at.
Another update, this time on the site end. You may have noticed that new "Store" page in the navigation bar. You may now purchase my records from CD Baby directly on this site, and purchase fine art photos through my Fine Art America store the same way! The photos are available as prints, framed prints, greeting cards, smart phone cases and throw pillows. This took a little longer to get running as well, but was mostly due to administrative and banking things that had to be taken care of first, but both the music and photography stores are now officially up and running, in addition to all amenities listed under "Services & Rates"!
CD Baby Store
Fine Art America Store
So, thanks to that silly Old Man Winter (die, die!) hanging around longer than he was welcome, this endeavor took much longer than I had initially planned, but is finally complete. Here is the finished studio space: