How To Build A Recording Studio – Part 1
Location, Location, Location!
Welcome back to Big Audio. This month we look at how to build a recording studio, starting with the location.
The best location for a recording studio depends on whether the studio will be used for commercial purposes. In other words – will there be clients coming to the studio who are paying for the use of the studio. Let’s start by assuming this is the scenario.
The next factor is whether or not the studio will be located within a municipality, like Kelowna. A commercial studio is generally more successful when it is located within a city because it can draw on a larger clientele from the population.
The final location factor depends on business licensing. This is an important consideration for a commercial studio because municipalities typically have bylaws against non-licensed commercial recording studios. In Kelowna, for example, recording studios cannot be built in every area due to zoning regulations. Recording studios can only be built in industrial zones and not in most residential areas. However, there are some residential areas zoned for certain home-based businesses.
Once these areas have been researched it's time to look at available properties. The optimal site should be located a fair distance from loud noises such as highways, railways, and airports. The low frequency and subsonic rumble from these can be virtually impossible to isolate from sensitive studio microphones.
Another consideration is the noise that may emanate from within the studio. Loud drums and guitar amplifiers could irritate any neighbors close-by. For my studio location, the peaceful neighbors are at least 20 feet away from the studio, which has shown to be an acceptable distance. This came about after designing and building a facility that prevents loud sounds from escaping, which is part of what we will cover next month. Join me next month as we look at studio design and construction techniques. And keep lovin’ music!
Bob Gabelhouse is a certified Audio Engineer, Music Producer and owner of BIG Audio Productions recording studio in Kelowna. He also is the Instructor of the Audio Engineering & Music Production program at Okanagan College.