03 Reading, Research and More Reading
Updated: Mar 5, 2021
The next step was understanding acoustics, studio design and building. Admittedly, this process had begun years prior as my dream/reality disconnect never stopped me learning about what I would do should the time come. This paid dividends, as time allowed my to soak in the information that would help me, rather than cramming as much as I could last minute and making mistakes (although mistakes will still be made!).
As always, there is a lot of information online, some useful, and some... questionable at best. I would always advice understanding the fundamentals first, rather than getting the headlines from some website, as when it comes down to building a custom design you will inevitably have to fall back on what you know. So delve into the world of books on the subject, and really get into the nitty-gritty details.
I studied Music Technology at University, so I already had a basic understanding of acoustics, but not enough to be confident. One of the first books I read on the subject (post-Uni) was The Master Handbook of Acoustics, despite being a bit science-heavy in places, it is a fantastic book with a wealth of useful information. And luckily you can read the entire thing online for free!
A few studio-building specific books I took a wealth of knowledge from were Rod Gervais' Home Recording Studio: Build It Like The Pros and D'Arcy and Flynn's RA The Book: Recording Architecture Book Of Studio Design which is available as a hardcover or, as I read, 3 individual ebooks for cheaper. Gervais gives great insight into studio layout as well as covering many aspects that you may overlook in a studio build such as ventilation. With Recording Architecture providing detailed information on specific materials to use, and lots of varying acoustic treatment designs. Obviously, both books provide a lot more than those specifics mentioned, but these are the highlights for me.
Of course, I did use online resources as well, mostly forums that provide discussion and studio build diaries. One of the best, in my opinion, is John Sayers' Recording Studio Design Forum, lots of great studio builds on there but also as many issues arise, solutions to your (studio build) problems can often be found here! Sound on Sound also offers some well written, succinct articles on soundproofing and acoustics.
Sometimes you can find information from reputable studio/acoustic builders online as well, such as John H Brandt providing some excellent free resources. Or Ethan Winer for some no-nonsense acoustic information and audio myths de-bunking. And venture out into the unknown yourself, see what is out there, just take along a flask of base knowledge to be able to question some 'too good to be true' claims.
Now to learn AutoCad... this time for real.
Frank Leonard Walker
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