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The First Shoot

Posted by on 7:08 pm in News | 0 comments

The First Shoot

We were delighted to welcome David Burns and his production team from 2digits for the studio’s first shoot. The team shot scenes for a music video, using a Sony FS700 and a Photron high-speed (ballistic) camera to capture super-slow motion scenes. It was a pleasure working with David, and we look forward to welcoming him back to the studio soon. Images from the shoot...

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Building the Cage (Part 2)

Posted by on 10:14 am in News | 0 comments

Building the Cage (Part 2)

Once the structure of the cage had been completed, we were left with the relatively straightforward task of sealing, painting, and carpeting the room. However, not before my brother had paid an ambassadorial visit to complete crucial last layer of acoustic sealant… The final phase of the job went relatively smoothly… and after multiple layers of paint, and a massive clean up operation, we were ready to lay down the carpets, and install the post-production gear....

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Building the Cage (Part 1)

Posted by on 2:48 pm in News | 0 comments

Building the Cage (Part 1)

In the last post, I described in detail how not to sound-proof a room, and our change in tact to construct ‘floating’ sound-proof cage to house our post production facility. Please have a read for the full (painful) story… Happily, the story improves dramatically from this point on… We started off the build on the cage by laying down a suspended floor (effectively a sealed patchwork of high-density rubber and foam floor tiles). Once complete, we began constructing the stud timber frame. Having gained quite a bit of experience in assembling (and dissembling) stud frames already, this was done fairly rapidly; and it was hugely satisfying to lift the final pieces into place. Finally, we could the semblance of a room, and the reality of having our own sound-proofed post-production room was moving a lot closer.   Over the next few days, we added the rockwool insulation, furring bars, and a double layer of plasterboard (the latter being a particularly difficult task – a huge thank you to Anthony and Macca for the help!)...

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How not to Sound Proof a Room

Posted by on 11:32 am in News | 0 comments

How not to Sound Proof a Room

Following a rapid (but extensive) google-based research exercise, we formulated a plan to complete the sound proofing on the room. In simple terms this would involve: screwing stud timber to the entire perimeter of the inner walls placing dense rock/mineral wool between the gaps left by the studs screwing rubber isolation brackets to the timber (a.k.a genie clips) running horizontal aluminum furring bars between the genie clips screwing two layers of acoustic plasterboard to the furring bars filling any remaining gaps with acoustic caulk Priming and painting the plasterboard to complete At face-value this appeared to be a relatively straightforward plan, however, there were a couple of major issues (as I shall explain later!). As with any construction job, we started off by hiring a van and making a trip to our local branch of Wicks. After loading the van with a huge quantity (over 100 2.4m lengths) we began the lengthy task of affixing the studs the the perimeter walls…. Following 4 days of intense measuring, cutting, drilling, leveling and screwing, some problems became apparent. While our approach would provide coverage of all walls, a lengthy chat with the very helpful Ian and Rick at iKoustic revealed that for maximum sound isolation, we should consider ‘tweaking’ our approach as follows: In addition to constructing a stud frame for the walls, it would also be necessary to do this for the ceiling as well (immediately adding 50% to the cost) Instead of screwing timber directly to the walls, we should use rubber ‘isolation strips’ to decouple vibrations from the outside world Optionally, install a ‘suspended floor’ to prevent vibrations entering the room from below While completing this work would be feasible, Lee and I both knew that it would add a significant delay to our planned start date. Happily, with the help of Rick and Ian, we devised an alternative approach: building a separate ‘room with in a room’ that would be dedicated to post production. This was characterised as follows: The new room will effectively ‘float’ on its own weight, without screws binding it to the walls, ceiling, or floor The room will be significantly smaller that we had originally planned, but would be used solely for post-production The rest of the studio would be use specifically for filming and photography work, so would, by definition require less sound proofing We took the decision to do with the latter option, knowing that this could be achieved within reasonable timescales, and within budget, while providing us with the best possible sound-proofing solution. We nick-named the room The Cage. Unfortunately this new approach meant a significant proportion of the stud work we had created had to be removed… An upsetting task:...

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First Steps in the New Studio

Posted by on 7:08 pm in News | 0 comments

After a couple of days of walking around the studio with a big smile on both our faces, Lee and I began to formulate a plan to transform the unit in to a creative space that we could get the maximum benefit from. It was soon apparently that further investment would be required, particularly on sound-proofing, as the walls, despite their breeze block construction, lacked sufficient density to isolate sounds created within the unit from other people in the building. We drew up a rough floor plan to describe our proposed future state, and got a couple of quotations from builders. As soon as these were received, we immediately realised the scale of the job that awaited us: subcontracting the work to an external company would be a 5-figure investment. This left us with a basic cost/benefit decision: Accept the quote (the quickest solution, no physical effort required, expensive) Do the work ourselves (time consuming, fraught with difficulty, exhausting, half the price) Despite lack of construction experience, this actually turned out to be a very straightforward decision. We set ourselves a target of 8 weeks to complete the building work, and prepared for some long evenings, weekends, and a complete lack of a social...

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Selecting the Studio Space

Posted by on 7:04 pm in News | 0 comments

Selecting the Studio Space

Lee and I both come from a background of working in bedrooms, spare rooms, warehouses, and whatever space we could lay our hands on. This approach enabled us to start working without significant upfront investment, but soon hit some predicable obstacles. Primarily, we both suffered heavily from a lack of an isolated, clear space. This meant that it was rarely possible to set up anything physical that lasted longer than a day. So all lighting, sound, post-production equipment had to be entirely mobile, and stand-up/tear-down had to be achieved in the same session. Around 40-50% of time was spent on set up, which left very little time for producing output. Another equally important, but far less tangible issue, was driven from a lack of separation between work and home life (as described neatly in this Slate article). Bedrooms soon became a recording/video editing space that happened to have a bed in, and focusing on projects within this environment became difficult. So after considerable thought, and weighing up the financial implications that would result, we took the decision to find a dedicated creative space in London. Our search took us through a fascinating cross-section of London boroughs, ranging from vastly over-priced office units in Brixton, to a warehouse in Woolwich. We finally selected a basement unit on Southbank, providing all the attributes we were looking for: A ‘black canvas’ to enable flexibility for a diverse range of creative projects, and ability to tailor the space to our requirements Sufficient space for post-production and live-production activity High-levels of isolation from noise-sensitive neighbours and the outside world A cool, central location that clients could easily reach, and explore during production breaks High-speed network connectivity Commutable for both of us After a rapid deliberation, the paper work was completed, and the deal was complete. The immediate feeling of elation in finding something that hit all of the targets was soon replaced by a less uplifting feeling of determination and focus to make the investment count. In simple terms, signing up to a dedicated space was a huge step forward for us both, and absolutely removed any hiding place and excuses for not delivering. Without question, we had entered a make or break situation with no ability to turn back....

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