White Room Audio Recording: How it all began.
When the opportunity to rent a large room in a non-residential area came up, we jumped at the chance to have a space that we could turn into our own small studio. The room was roughly 5×4 metres, with two windows and high ceilings. Having previously worked both with a control room and without one, it was agreed that we preferred to have a separate room. We liked having two different areas to work from and felt it was important to have somewhere other than the live room to relax and work in when we had an artist in recording .
At first we thought the pillar in the room would be an unwanted obstacle but it turned out to be in the perfect position to split the room and build our control room around. The room was positioned nicely with a window in each planned space and power in the right sections.
We started the process by stripping the wallpaper and emptying the room so we had a bare shell to work with. Our goals were to create a nicely sized live room with an area for storage and a control room that would fit the desk and sofa we already had. We were fortunate that everything measured well and fell in perfect position.
When constructing the control room we considered the possibility of angling the wall to reduce flutter echo and reflections between parallel walls in the live room (Shea, 2012). However, it would have meant we couldn’t put the door on that side and this would restrict our available space.
Having a window through to the live room was also something that was going to have more potential issues than benefits.
One issue was that we didn’t want to create reflections in both the control room and live room that would be difficult to combat. With the wall itself not being that long, it would have been challenging structurally to have the door and a window next to each other. In an ideal world the door would have a window but our finances did not prioritise that.
We constructed the room with timber, insulation and plasterboard. We knew the room would not be soundproof but without the space for a thick wall that was going to be difficult to achieve.
After a couple of hard working weeks the studio was beginning to take shape. We filled in any gaps on the walls and painted the room white with black woodwork. It is an ongoing process and the more we use the studio the more we come up with ways in which we want to improve it. What has come to be one of the best features of the studio was painting the door to the control room with chalkboard paint, as this has been useful for writing up lyrics and chords, as well as remembering any recording notes. Anyone who comes to the studio can’t resist the chance to draw something on the door!
Shea, M. (2012). How to Build a Small Budget Recording Studio from Scratch 4/E. [online] Google Books. Available at: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=waid0ejRsy8C&printsec=frontcover&dq=editions:KmP8P_T-T6oC&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjv6NOJi8ThAhXzoXEKHcgjAIwQuwUIKzAA#v=onepage&q&f=false [Accessed 9 Apr. 2019].