From Garage to Sunroom

Tell us about your studio and post some photos no matter how modest or robust it is!

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jlizerbram
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From Garage to Sunroom

Post by jlizerbram » Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:50 pm

Hi All,

If anyone has setup recording space in a Sunroom, I'd love to hear from you.

Now I know that neither a Garage or a Sunroom sounds like the ideal space to create recording space, but in Southern California, it's all I got! So now begins the journey...My current place of recording is in my garage, as shown in the photo below (there's my younger son, jammin' on his Epiphone Les Paul). A few years ago, I did what I can do to help dampen the room, by putting in carpeting and some aurelex, which helps, but it's still a Garage! On top of that, my wife comes home with the groceries in the middle of a recording session, and the garage door opens - AHH! Scares me everytime! The garage is also used as a recreational room, with a game table and weight bench. The positive thing about the garage is that it's large enough to fit everything, but the downside is the privacy and unexpected entrances by my family, not to mention, it's where the laundry machines are also constantly on spin cycle it seems!

Being the great supportive wife as she is, she totally was for expanding a room to our house - until we saw the price tag for room additions. So, the next best thing is looking into building a sunroom off our patio. I'm finding the sunroom builds nowadays seem like they can have potential with setting up some recording space, and are far less expensive than an actual room addition. So, in a few months, we'll have a 10'x10' room in our yard, dedicated for recording. I'm psyched, but also unsure how much room treatment I'll be able to add, given that over 1/2 of the room will be dual-pained glass. The 10' X 10' room will be a lot smaller than what the garage offers, so will need to re-organize the space more efficiently.

The gear I use often are the following:
A cabinet containing
-Rackmounted computer running my DAW
-Rackmounted Presonus Firestudio Projects (2 of them)
-Furman Power Conditioner

A Desk comtaining
-M-Audio Oxygen 88 keys
-Dual 24" Computer screens
-Yamaha HS8 Studio Monitors
-Another Furman power conditioner

Then there are a few miscellaneous acoustic and electric guitars (Fender Squires, Epiphone Les Paul) and a home-built Electric Bass, with a bass amp and guitar amp. You'll also see two other keyboards, neither of which I use anymore.

I do most of my composing with headphones to cut out the garage noise, but need it quiet when doing the final mixing through the Yamahas.

Further posts will be coming once the construction of the room are underway. I'm stoked, and lucky to have such a supportive family in giving me some creative space to do what I love.


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Russell Landwehr
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Re: From Garage to Sunroom

Post by Russell Landwehr » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:58 pm

Nice space there.

You'll get a lot of sound bleeding in the sunroom. Another concern is the security of your gear.

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Re: From Garage to Sunroom

Post by Rakel » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:44 pm

It seems you have the stuff and resources to build a great recording rook out there. But, as Russel mentions, I'd be a little worried about keeping gear visible like that.
Sticky Keys and Fakebook sheet music - my gig rig.

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jlizerbram
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Re: From Garage to Sunroom

Post by jlizerbram » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:05 am

Yeah, Sunrooms are required to have minimally 2/3 of the room with windows. However, you can hang blinds over all the windows, and make it feel more like an actual room. The hardest part is acoustic treatment - not sure how I'll get around that, but heck, the garage ain't much better!

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Re: From Garage to Sunroom

Post by Len911 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:16 pm

10' x 10' and windows?? Sun, heat, not good for electrical equipment. Too small and square, bad for acoustics, as well as the windows.

Keep the garage. Take away wife's garage door opener. Move washing machine, dryer to sunroom. Won't need a heater on cold days, just put a load in to dry and draw up the blinds to let in the warmth of the sun.

I think the sun room sounds better equipped as a utility/recreation room. Put in a fridge, closer to the bbq grill, pic nic table,a tv, a pool change room. Do laundry while watching the steaks on the grill, watching the news, and lifeguarding the kids in the pool all at the same time,lol! Or watch the birds at the feeders while sipping margaritas in your patio loungers,lol!
A cart for groceries, laundry, etc.
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jlizerbram
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Re: From Garage to Sunroom

Post by jlizerbram » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:50 pm

Well, I did it. Sunroom Studio - now I can write music AND watch the birds at the feeders! I appreciate Russell, Rakel and Len's comments, and took those into consideration when choosing the materials because, yes, there is alwasy the concern of acoustics, sound bleeding, heat, etc. As I researched it, today's Sunrooms are actually built with options for thicker walls, triple-paned windows, and better insulation, in many ways resulting in better construction than my actual house! Added an in-wall A/C - Heater unit, which keeps the room nice a cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. The carpet and wood vertical blinds help somewhat with sound absorption, but there is more work to do in that respect. Adding the final touches for sound treatment are in the final works, including wall and bass-trap treatment. After this experience, it's my opinion that sunrooms are a great way to add space while keeping the price per sq footage way down.

A major addition is a sit/stand desk which fits nicely into the small space, has some rack unit space for audio interfaces, etc, and allows me to stretch my legs and record standing-up, and lower it to sit - what a great feeling that can be! Got the desk from AZ Studio Workstations, based in LA.

Moving the studio from Garage to Sunroom worked for me because I really don't need that much space - just a keyboard, guitar and minimal gear. As I am learning from Taxi members and Road Rallies, less is more.

Here are images from the journey to creating my studio retreat.

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