Build out a Mixing/Recording Room – Part 2

Finally, the money and time have presented themselves and I can continue the build-out of a new studio in the a basement room of a residential home.

You may review the previous blog of 4-2013
“Build out a Mixing/Recording Room – Part 1”

The owner has some specific concerns. Particularly in that “ I don’t want to hear anyone above me and I don’t want them to hear me” meaning, the rest of the family. Kind of a tall order given the fact that there is not much floor to ceiling height in this space. It is much easier to make his wishes happen when the space has a ceiling height of 10 or more feet. This space is 7′ 9”, that’s it. Bummer! Oh and did I mention, the budget is very tight. Ah!, the music business.

In deciding the best, most economical way to achieve the issue of sound transmittal between the basement room and the family room I have found that attaching drywall to the underside of the floor works pretty well. The addition of “Green Glue” works even better. As you can see in the following image there is space between the floor/ceiling joists that can be worked on.

Great Mix Recording - Studio Build Out - Ceiling No Drywall

I cut strips of 5/8” drywall of 8 foot lengths to fit in between the joists, spreading Green Glue on the drywall prior to screwing to underside of the floor. The whole idea of Green Glue in a nutshell is that by putting a layer of GG between two surfaces, the energy of noise whether its acoustical or impact is converted to heat and spread sideways to keep the energy from passing through to the other space.

Go here for info on what GG is:
http://www.greengluecompany.com/benefit/how-green-glue-works

One important thing about GG is that it takes awhile, time wise, to reach its full transmission stopping properties. There have been reports that as much as 3-4 months have gone by till you get the full benefits of GG.

Great Mix Recording - Studio Build Out - Ceiling With Drywall

You also need to chalk any gaps in the drywall/GG application.
Use an acoustical sealant. Not any ole’ chalk.

Great Mix Recording - Studio Build Out

Great Mix Recording - Studio Build Out - GG Application

You will also notice that there is HVAC duct work in the joist space that supplies conditioned air to the family room above this space. Another hurdle to overcome. Arrrg! This has to be dealt with as sound easily comes thru the duct work and vice versa. The best way to resolve this issue is to take down the duct work and wrap it with VERY expensive acoustical blocking material. Not going to happen.

So, next best way is to wrap the duct with a rubberized membrane that will cut down on the transmission and ringing of the sound. Still, pretty expensive. However, I found an automotive product designed for automobile interiors that will work just great for 1/3 of the cost. Ebay saves the day again!

This also needs to be done with any water waste pipes in the area.

Great Mix Recording - Studio Build Out

Great Mix Recording - Studio Build Out

Great Mix Recording - Studio Build Out

The next step is the addition of insulation stuffed between the joists. This helps even more to cut down on sound transmission by absorbing the higher frequencies. Do not “pack” it in. It needs to be relatively loose. Do not let it extend past the bottom of the joist.

The final step in the ceiling/floor issue will be to “float” the ceiling. I will discuss that in a later blog after the walls go up.
A great resource is: http://www.tmsoundproofing.com

Walls are just about all up.

Great Mix Recording - Studio Build Out

Great Mix Recording - Studio Build Out

Great Mix Recording - Studio Build Out

. Record . Mix . Master . Music .

1957 Fender Tweed Twin Clone Build

As I mentioned before, I had a fun time building the ’59 Bassman.
I could not leave it at that…

I have completed a build on a ’57 Twin combo amp. I really like the 30 -50 watt amps that use a push-pull, 6L6 output configuration. With this build I decided right away that I would use the Sozo premium caps, add an adjustable bias for the power tubes and a slight mod in the input section. The “front end” of the Twin is a bit different from the Bassman.

'57 Twin board

'57 Twin chassis

Each input uses ½ of 12AY7 into another 12AY before the power section. I changed ch 1’s 12AY and put in a 12DW. And put in a nice balanced gain and balanced triodes 12AX7 in the phase inverter circuit. I also used late distortion Svetlana power tubes.

Back to the ch 1 mod. So, the 12DW is an interesting tube in that ½ is a 12AU style and ½ is a 12AX style. I installed a switch so that the player can switch between the two styles of tubes to alter the gain going into the tone section. This can work extremely well with boost and distortion pedals. And left in a jumper to “jump” the ch1 signal to ch 2 and mix in a bit of “bright” sound using the standard 12AY circuit.

A side note about 12_ _ 7 tubes. The AX, AY, AU tubes have different gain structers which an amp designer can use to create how an amp will sound. The AX has a gain factor of 100 while the AU has a factor of 40. What this means is the AU will sound cleaner until it is pushed hard, and then break up. The AX style will distort faster with a different break up tone than the AU. The AY has an even different gain and current factor. Pretty neat stuff.

Anyhow to wind up the build I used Eminence Cannabis Rex speakers to deliver a nice smooth tone across the guitars frequency range. My guitar guru Kris says, this is a great amp for blues style player and sounds incredible with a boost pedal.

Again, if you are looking for a quality Tweed style amp, contact me. I would enjoy building any style for you. Or, if you have a tweed, blonde or blackface in need of repair or upgrading. Let me know.
THIS AMP IS FOR SALE! Contact me if you are interested.

'57 Twin Amp

. Record . Mix . Master . Music .

1959 Tweed Bassman – Part ||

Part 2, Assembly:

The chassis is finished off in chrome and for an added bit of protection I cleaned and polished the chassis with automotive chrome cleaner. 1959 Bassman Kit - Great Mix Recording Start by mounting all the hardware pieces to the chassis. The three transformers, pots, jacks, switches, fuse holder and tube sockets.

Start with the transformers, wires should be twisted for minimal hum noise. Next, install the potentiometers in their proper location. TIP! Use a nut driver to tighten the nuts. This will prevent you from scratching the finish. Lock washer on the bottom, regular washer on top then the nut. Sizes for drivers are 1/2”, 7/16” and 11/32”. The power and standby switches only mount one way. Tighten the nut on the backside of the chassis rather than the finish nut. Position the ground switch as seen in the image. Install the tube sockets with the same orientation in each of the locations. TIP! After installing the sockets, mark the pin out on the chassis to help in wiring. The installation manual is pretty loose as to where/how things get mounted and wired. So having experience with electronics is a big plus with this kit. 1959 Bassman Kit - Great Mix Recording I also used images of old Tweed’s to help me with wiring.

The kit does not come with tube hold-downs. I bought some tube covers for the small tubes and Fender style clamp hold-downs for the 2 power tubes and the rectifier. One other addition I did was to use Loctite on the screws for the tube and transformers.
1959 Bassman Kit - Great Mix Recording
1959 Bassman Kit - Great Mix Recording
Stay tuned for more to come on this exciting project!

. Record . Mix . Master . Music .

1959 Tweed Bassman – Part |

Hi boys and girls. I have a new project that I am very excited about. Ever since I have been involved in electronics I never once built an electronic kit of any sorts. Of late I have been dabbling in tube guitar amp repair/modding with my good friend Kris and discovering how great older tube Fender amps can sound. During this time I have discovered that one of the “holy grail” of amps is the 1959 Tweed Bassman.

This type of amp is currently selling in the neighborhood of $4000 so buying/trying one out is a bit prohibited. But, I have found a company that makes a kit that you can build with the same circuit and cabinet design that Fender used all those years ago. My kit has arrived and I am going to blog about the build of a 1959 Tweed Bassman with the 5F6-A circuit and my own idea of what tubes to use.

Part 1, The Kit:

The kit I am using is from MojoTone. ( http://www.mojotone.com/amp-parts/amp-kits-tweed-style/Tweed-Bassman-Style-Amplifier-Kit#.Ug2OfFPsqGo ) I decided that I would use the recommended speakers as they most closely match what would have been used in the original Bassman. I ordered the kit without tubes as I did not agree with Mojotone as to the tubes they recommended. I will elaborate on this in a later post. Suffice to say that I will be using a mixture of new and old tubes to give me the vintage sound that this amp is capable of. The kit shipped complete with the exception of the cabinet as this is made as needed. Which is quite ok as it will take me some time to build and document this project. The cab will ship in about 30 days. After receiving the kit I went through the parts and verified with the included list and found that it did not include tube covers for the pre-amp tubes or hold-downs for the power and rectifier tubes. Bummer! So, back to the internet and ordered some cool colored tube sleeves for the 3 pre-amp tubes and some Fender style clamp units for the power tubes. It was nice that all the small parts came in parts cases with a corresponding list attached to the underside of the lid. Very nice!

A side note: This kit is not recommended for people who barely know how to use a soldering iron and are not familiar with reading a schematic diagram. Tube guitar amps have very high voltages that can KILL you if you do not know what you are doing.

1959 Bassman Kit - Great Mix Recording

Stay tuned for more to come on this exciting project!

. Record . Mix . Master . Music .

Build out a Mixing / Recording room – Part I

Studio Buildout:

From time to time I am hired or asked to provide technical services in the design and construction of recording studio spaces and systems. As a partner with my good friend Kevin Sucher, in a studio, we find ourselves in a situation where we need to do a buildout in a residence on a pretty tight budget. In the following months I will blog about the experience to document and hopefully provide insights and thoughts to help other persons in such an endeavor.
-Jacques Sewrey

The Space:

An unfinished room in a residential basement. Dimensions are roughly 17′ x 29′ x 7’9”. This what we have to work with for better or worse. The better part is that the room is a fairly large space and is rectangular in nature. The worse part is the ratio dimensions are not the preferred kind and the height is a bit on the short side. Preferred height would be a minimum of 10′.

In looking at a space for the monitoring of high quality audio, many considerations need to be taken into account. The size of the room, the type of audio production that will be done in the space, the type of building construction of the bare space, any other adjoining rooms of the space and their use, the neighborhood in which the space is, proximity to any low-frequency generating business’s or sounds, access to electrical and HVAC systems.

The use is going to be production, mixing, vocal over-dub and small acoustic instrument recording. Possible drum recording will be done in the garage.

Our space uses construction block as the type of material that the walls of the space are constructed from. This is a very good thing. Construction block or poured concrete is very good at stopping the transmission of sound from and to the outside. And being below “grade” is also helpful. However, being below grade can be an issue if the space is located near low-frequency generating sources as the low-frequency can pass through the ground and into the studio space then get trapped and reverberate. This is unacceptable!! One of the numbers you may run across is the STC. Sound Transmission Coefficient. Which is the amount of sound that is stopped by the material/construction. A wall, floor, ceiling, sofa etc.. The higher the number the more sound is stopped. The average hollow wall in a normal home is 30-35. Filled block and poured wall construction is 50-55. A double wall separated by airspace with 2 layers of drywall on each side and fiberglass insulation is 55-60.

The biggest issue we face is noise coming from the living room and laundry room above the space. I will talk about this in the next installment of the blog.

The first thing I did was to measure the room dimensions and plot them (to scale) on paper. Do all the nooks and crannies. In doing this you can start to layout your room. Make decisions of equipment locations, speaker placement. Added walls and possible sound treatment. Always try to set up your monitoring position in the first 1/3rd of the longways of the space.

Come up with a budget, something you can do with-in your business plan. The budget for this project is a healthy $8000. This only includes the buildout, no recording equipment. In planning a studio think of everything. The equipment you have or will add. How it will be wired. What cue system you will use. Storage space. Internet. Lighting. How you will incorporate HVAC.

Stay tuned for more to come on this exciting project!

. Record . Mix . Master . Music .


9.9.2013 – Please note – this project has been put on hold. If you have any questions on your Studio Build Out do not hesitate to contact me directly.

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