June 12: Retroactively catching up to what is a retrospective studio build


I meant to chronicle the build of this studio


I didn't

I took some pictures though


So the studio build began around late January. The original barn to our farmhouse from the 1880s was cut up and badly maintained over many years. One room was presumably used for storage (car, tractor or otherwise), and the adjacent room had several stalls of different sizes. The neighbors told me these were stalls for goats at some point. When we moved in, we used them to house two barn cats that we adopted to help with mice. One barn cat mysteriously left us (likely went to the aforementioned neighbor's house, because every cat we get seems to leave us), but one is still around, roaming the property and pooping in dark corners.

January 21: I started to clean out the tractor area, removing any cabinets that were hung on the walls and random lengths of wood, with the goal of getting it down to the wood walls and studs.

Several piles of crap began to form. Noticeably, some beams were flush with their supports on the outer walls, while others were floating. The framing made no sense, and looking ahead, there was no logistical way to get a finished room. (At the time, we wanted to preserve as much of the aesthetic integrity of the barn as possible, so long as it did not come at a cost to performance).

By February 3, my father and I had gutted the entire first floor down to its support beams, removing all of the excess wall that separated the tractor area (what will become the control room) and the room with the stalls. The space is massive without the separating wall, but too large to utilize as one open mix space, so it made sense to close it back up with minor adaptations to the layout.

Initially when we moved in, I spoke with my wife about using one of our other barns as the studio build - a four-stall horse barn. It was newer construction (around 2000), with reinforced beams, electric and running water. Fortunately, this old barn also had running water and electric, so those weren't concerns. The major concern was the condition of the old barn: foundations were crumbling loose, walls were badly beaten with large holes and cracks; the loft space on the second floor was in decent condition, aside from the floor being completely out of whack. The horse barn ended up being worth keeping intact as it is, as we rent stalls to neighbors for their horses (and our rescue cow, Harold, has a room). Not to mention, turning this barn into the studio worked out well, as it needed to be renovated as soon as possible, due to its less-than-ideal condition.

So by February 3, the entire downstairs and upstairs were cleaned out, with all of the generations of junk removed and thrown into dumpsters, and the lower floor was gutted to studs and support walls.

The loft space on the second floor.

By early March, I had removed the old cement flooring in what was previously the stall area. The cement was soft and crumbling, so I rented a jackhammer from Casa Depot and went to work, chipping away at the floor. We ended up sure-ing up the walls with cinderblock and cement, as well as parging the foundation to prevent any more slippage. Once the walls were reattached to the new cinderblocks using rebar, we had a cement floor poured in both rooms; for the control room, this was a subfloor on which we'd build a floor using 2x8's and OSB. For the lounge room, this becomes the finished floor.

The rooms were starting to tighten up.

The old floor joists were pulled from the upstairs floor, and an entirely new floor joist system was put in place with 2x12x16s. The staircase was repositioned from its original spot, to the shared wall between the control room and what will be bedrooms in the back. The staircase will also double as a utility closet, with a dedicated, transformer-isolated circuit that houses all of the power supplies for the console and outboard gear. They will go into an acoustically-sealed rack enclosure that is air-conditioned with fans and has a thermostat. This allows for the control room to be super quiet.

Upstairs, oriented strand board (OSB) was used for a subfloor. On top of that, mass loaded vinyl and additional insulators (Goboard and Green Glue) will be used to attach the 1" thick pine floor. The original floor and joists were kept aside to be used for aesthetic purposes. The floor joists were repurposed as support beams for the control and lounge rooms.