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Old August 2nd, 2013, 10:15 AM   #1
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Help me design a ultimate editing room

I want to set up a killer editing room, the one every editor wished they had. I know my basics, but I really want to kick ass with the setup in this room. And there is also a budget question really. I know this can cost a LOT. My budget is around USD 30 000. Is this enough and if not, what do I need to spend to get my kick ass equipment? Can anyone help me out here? I would prefer to use Mac, but both platforms would be considered.
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 10:29 AM   #2
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Re: Help me design a ultimate editing room

You could start at IKEA :)

It would help if you would tell us what you will be using your kick ass equipment for, do you do kick ass weddings, kick ass corporate....Do you have kick ass cameras? If so which one? Just kidding, but some more info, beside budget would help a lot.
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 11:47 AM   #3
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Re: Help me design a ultimate editing room

Hi
We'll I want it to be able to work most every professional need. It needs to be able to cover more advanced editing like feature film with audio design and color correction, and commercials
Maybe it is utopia, but I really want it to be all-around purposes. So, the more it can cover, the better.
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 11:51 AM   #4
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Re: Help me design a ultimate editing room

Oh, and regarding cameras, it would mostly be the Canon 7d, but I need it to be able to handle fex the Red too.
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Old August 4th, 2013, 10:05 AM   #5
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Re: Help me design a ultimate editing room

Start with the room, not the gear.
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Old August 4th, 2013, 02:05 PM   #6
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Re: Help me design a ultimate editing room

That's what I said; start at IKEA :)

So Daisy, if I understand you right you already have access to the camera's and only need to use your 30k budget on the editing room only?
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Old August 4th, 2013, 03:55 PM   #7
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Re: Help me design a ultimate editing room

I'll get you started since 15 years ago, I converted the hay barn on our property into a purpose built editing suite.

Here are the top five things I had tp pay attention to in order to create a space for editing that worked really well.

First - power. The best edit suites have at least two separate power feed circuits. One that you hang "dirty" power eaters like room lighting, air conditioning, and motors off. And one that you keep "clean" by making sure that devices that only audio and video signal devices are allowed to access. This makes it much easier to achieve clean sound recording.

Second - lighting. You want neutral wall colors and the ability to keep room lighting levels appropriate. You don't want it too bright, or too dim - and you certainly don't want your main monitor reflecting colors or bright windows or anything else that makes it hard to see. So if your space has doors or windows or fixed lighting sources - you need to be very careful about what will be reflecting off your screen.

Third - sound reflections. Box shaped rooms are pretty bad for acoustics. They are prone to create standing waves that emphasize certain frequencies and throw your sound mixes out of balance. If you can't re-create the space with non-parallel walls then you might need to budget for acoustic treatment.

Fourth - workstation positioning. Depending on how you wire things and the equipment mix you have, one of the most enjoyable things you can do is "float" your edit desk away from room walls. This allows you to easily access the back of your gear so that you can re-patch, re-plug and re-configure connections at will.

Fifth - HVAC. Keeping the room at a proper temperature without adding too much background sound is not trivial. But AC rumble or furnace noise can be a hassle when you're trying to trouble-shoot a track that might have a train or traffic rumble at a low level. Turns out silence is golden. It's also hard to achieve in a studio.

That's a very, very, VERY basic start. I spent about a full year planning my studio before the first nail got hammered. Much of that trying to school myself on how stuff like sound and light and electricity ACTUALLY works - rather than how I "thought" it should work.

Hope that helps.
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Old August 4th, 2013, 04:22 PM   #8
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Re: Help me design a ultimate editing room

I've spent a total of £22,000 GBP / $34,000 USD on my set up including camera equipment / lenses / audio.

Luckily for me, that includes a purpose built small 8x8 editing room in my garden (which cost £4,000), so it actually feels like i'm going to work rather than sitting at home. Also ideal if a client ever insists on visiting me ... I don't have to take them in to my house, can take them straight in to my office through the rear driveway.

In terms of set up ... I have a simple desk, 23" IPS Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, Printer. Then I have a 32" tv pinned up to the wall with a blu ray player attached.

Nothing special ... but it does what I need it to do. I'm using an i7 3770k, 16GB Ram, nVidia 470 GTx w/ SSD drives and lots of external hard drives to back up my work.

I use Windows 7 Ultimate and mainly Sony Vegas / Photoshop & various other software to edit my videos and photos.

My room doesn't look great, but it's functional. During winter I have fan heaters, during summer I have fans (no air con though!) and I can always leave my door / window open ...

If you have the space, I would definitely contact a few builders to get a quote on having a room made in the garden. Waking up and working in the house drove me a bit insane. This way I have to walk back and forth to eat or what ever ... and when i'm editing. I'm editing without being disturbed.
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Old August 5th, 2013, 04:21 AM   #9
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Re: Help me design a ultimate editing room

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
That's what I said; start at IKEA :)

So Daisy, if I understand you right you already have access to the camera's and only need to use your 30k budget on the editing room only?
Yepp, that is correct :)
The room will be around 100-150sf and would include a client sofa/workplace. I will have a additional screening room, so this is just for when the client wants to play a bigger part of the process.
The 30K would just include equipment such as hardware, add-ons and software. I have another budget for furniture.
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Old August 5th, 2013, 04:24 AM   #10
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Re: Help me design a ultimate editing room

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post
I'll get you started since 15 years ago, I converted the hay barn on our property into a purpose built editing suite.

Here are the top five things I had tp pay attention to in order to create a space for editing that worked really well.

First - power. The best edit suites have at least two separate power feed circuits. One that you hang "dirty" power eaters like room lighting, air conditioning, and motors off. And one that you keep "clean" by making sure that devices that only audio and video signal devices are allowed to access. This makes it much easier to achieve clean sound recording.

Second - lighting. You want neutral wall colors and the ability to keep room lighting levels appropriate. You don't want it too bright, or too dim - and you certainly don't want your main monitor reflecting colors or bright windows or anything else that makes it hard to see. So if your space has doors or windows or fixed lighting sources - you need to be very careful about what will be reflecting off your screen.

Third - sound reflections. Box shaped rooms are pretty bad for acoustics. They are prone to create standing waves that emphasize certain frequencies and throw your sound mixes out of balance. If you can't re-create the space with non-parallel walls then you might need to budget for acoustic treatment.

Fourth - workstation positioning. Depending on how you wire things and the equipment mix you have, one of the most enjoyable things you can do is "float" your edit desk away from room walls. This allows you to easily access the back of your gear so that you can re-patch, re-plug and re-configure connections at will.

Fifth - HVAC. Keeping the room at a proper temperature without adding too much background sound is not trivial. But AC rumble or furnace noise can be a hassle when you're trying to trouble-shoot a track that might have a train or traffic rumble at a low level. Turns out silence is golden. It's also hard to achieve in a studio.

That's a very, very, VERY basic start. I spent about a full year planning my studio before the first nail got hammered. Much of that trying to school myself on how stuff like sound and light and electricity ACTUALLY works - rather than how I "thought" it should work.

Hope that helps.
Thank you so much for this information :) it is truly useful and something you easily would forget when dealing with all the tehnical stuff. I would really appreciate keeping in touch as my project progress :)
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Old August 5th, 2013, 04:30 AM   #11
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Re: Help me design a ultimate editing room

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Manford View Post
I've spent a total of £22,000 GBP / $34,000 USD on my set up including camera equipment / lenses / audio.

Luckily for me, that includes a purpose built small 8x8 editing room in my garden (which cost £4,000), so it actually feels like i'm going to work rather than sitting at home. Also ideal if a client ever insists on visiting me ... I don't have to take them in to my house, can take them straight in to my office through the rear driveway.

In terms of set up ... I have a simple desk, 23" IPS Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, Printer. Then I have a 32" tv pinned up to the wall with a blu ray player attached.

Nothing special ... but it does what I need it to do. I'm using an i7 3770k, 16GB Ram, nVidia 470 GTx w/ SSD drives and lots of external hard drives to back up my work.

I use Windows 7 Ultimate and mainly Sony Vegas / Photoshop & various other software to edit my videos and photos.

My room doesn't look great, but it's functional. During winter I have fan heaters, during summer I have fans (no air con though!) and I can always leave my door / window open ...

If you have the space, I would definitely contact a few builders to get a quote on having a room made in the garden. Waking up and working in the house drove me a bit insane. This way I have to walk back and forth to eat or what ever ... and when i'm editing. I'm editing without being disturbed.
Oh I totally understand that one really needs to get out of the house, and that is a part of my idea here :) What kind of editing do you do, and do you have any mixers or dedicated control surfaces?
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Old August 5th, 2013, 11:19 AM   #12
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Re: Help me design a ultimate editing room

My advice is to spend as much as you can on the room, especially power and sound treatment, as discussed in a previous reply. That will probably be most of your budget, frankly, and that's probably as it should be. Your gear can always be upgraded and the interior design and detailing can always be changed...but you really don't want to knock down walls or re-sheetrock if the power system is dirty or there are resonant frequencies or bass problems during the edit/mix, as that will basically shut your operation down. The only interior and gear stuff you probably shouldn't cheap out on are the core computer running the suite, and a great (not good) chair. Everything else can get put in for cheap, and improved over time.

FWIW, when it comes to control surfaces, I'm a longtime user of Avid (nee Euphonix) MC Artist series control surfaces; they're cost-effective, feel good, and are great for all the major platforms, DAWs, and NLE's. I have every unit except their color grading surface, but for editing the MC Transport is probably a good core unit to start with; MC Control plus MC Transport is a very powerful combo, and will give you hands-on control of 4+ audio tracks without much hassle plus a decent jog/shuttle (the one on the MC Control is garbage).
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Old August 5th, 2013, 11:46 AM   #13
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Re: Help me design a ultimate editing room

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisy Johnsson View Post
Oh I totally understand that one really needs to get out of the house, and that is a part of my idea here :) What kind of editing do you do, and do you have any mixers or dedicated control surfaces?
I'm a solo shooter/editor and primarily do wedding videos with the occasional corporate seminar.

I don't own any dedicated mixers or control surfaces as I don't have the need for one.
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Old August 5th, 2013, 12:07 PM   #14
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Re: Help me design a ultimate editing room

I would follow Bill's advice and also add that you do not need to spend $30,000 in the process.

To me, two of the most important factors are video & audio preview monitors. Get a $2,000+ broadcast video monitor that is fed from a proper video editing card. Then get a nice set of near field audio monitors like Genelec, Focal, Adams etc... with a proper sound card like a Motu 4 Pre.

These two things will last your career and will be the tools your make the most decisions from.

As far as video editing goes, the room is not that important. Paint the walls grey and lower the lighting and you are pretty much there! Audio is a bit more demanding.

I have some questions when I read 7D and "feature film" in the same thought. Does your work support a $30,000 edit bay?
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Old August 5th, 2013, 02:25 PM   #15
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Re: Help me design a ultimate editing room

Yes, some of that $30,000 should be put towards a camera, because, unless you're basically an editor working for other production companies, there is an imbalance in your spent if the main things you're working on are your own your productions shot with a 7D.
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