building a home studio

wandering journalist wrote on 3/28/2012, 11:01 AM
So... been 10 years in the business as an independent company as of June this year... and while I have been very happy working out of my little basement office, it is getting a little cramped. Here's what I'm kicking around... turning my garage - stands detached from the house - into a small office and bit of a studio production suite? Any thoughts from folks who have done such conversions? What should I think about - what would be on the wish list and what would be on the practical list?



Chienworks wrote on 3/28/2012, 1:08 PM
Definitely want a nice floor, both for warmth and for foot comfort.
Former user wrote on 3/28/2012, 1:37 PM
Power outlets and surge protection.
Insulation from the weather
AC/ and heat (keep equipment at right temp)
Soundproofing (so airplane and truck sounds aren't annoying especially if you do sound recording in here)
Locks on the doors (people figure stuff out really fast)
Alarm system (in case they know how to open locks)
Storage shelves (Harddrives, tapes, etc)
JackW wrote on 3/28/2012, 1:38 PM
An overhead pipe or two (grid) to hang lights, etc. Doesn't need to be fancy but can allow you to hang and focus lights. A ceiling-mounted track along one wall so you can open and close a set of drapes for backgrounds. I'd paint the wall behind the drapes for green screen work.

Lots of electrical wall and ceiling outlets. Wall mounted connectors for mics, wired back to your mixer. Saves lots of time, effort and clutter running audio cables.

Dedicated storage area for furniture and small scenic pieces.

Steve Mann wrote on 3/28/2012, 2:55 PM
I built my studio in the room over the garage. 24-ft by 20-ft. One wall is a 16-ft high greenscreen. I second the light grid, but if your space has only one 15-amp circuit, you are asking for trouble.
Rory Cooper wrote on 3/29/2012, 2:58 AM
Security and alarms my first thing.

If you are going to do green/blue screen work get a roll of mat vinyl flooring = hanging from ceiling on a rod with a handle which you can roll down to make a syc. Vinyl flooring comes in bright green or blue, is hard wearing, cleans nicely and lights evenly = get only mat roll not gloss.

Build a pvc pipe crisscross above your shooting space so you hang lights convenient to move and drop low if you have to = no cables and stands on floor

and a film…. digital film fridge with liquid digital processing stuff inside.
wandering journalist wrote on 4/1/2012, 3:26 PM
excellent tips guys thanks! ceiling will be on the low side for a light grid I suspect! Window in place for a solid window unit a/c unit so that's good... obviously a must. Was thinking of using LED light kit and doing a green screen at one end with option to drop down a neutral looking backdrop for interviews etc.... I have seen a number of guys rent space and then lose their shirts when things get slow for a month or so and they can't make the rent or the insane amount of extra insurance! Also like the notion that I am away from the crowd of the house and don't have to walk by work at night...