When I first started getting the studio together, hiring someone to design and build it was never really an option.
Firstly, we simply didn’t have the budget for it, we refused to get ourselves in debt, instead working with what we had available.
Secondly, and maybe more importantly, when you build something yourself, you have an absolute and intimate knowledge of every aspect of it.
Of course, you can spend a lifetime researching the physics of sound waves and fluid dynamics to try and make the room sound the best it can possibly sound but as soon as you open that door and start reading, you find out pretty quickly that no room will ever be perfect, no matter how much time and money you invest in it.
This leads on to why self built is best built, because more important than anything in the studio world, is that you know how your room sounds. You know it’s strengths and it’s weaknesses, you know which microphone to use in which situation for the best possible outcome.
When I was designing the room, I had pure workflow in mind. It’s not a huge room that requires several assistants to help me mic up the drum kit, I don’t need to explain to people that the Lewitts work best as overheads or the baby Neumann does a killer job as a shoulder mono mic when I’m tracking drums because I’m there and ready to put them in place. I know that the Audient preamps I have set up will give the cleanest sound for the whole band and I’ve set them up so with the smallest of movements, they’re ready to go. All these get patched neatly and simply into Pro Tools which gives me the fastest recording and editing I’m capable of.
All these small decisions along the way of design have help me create a space that I know intimately and can work on my own with the best possible workflow. All these decisions have been made so that the final product is of the highest quality available.