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Old September 8th, 2021, 07:58 PM   #1
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Cyc walls - build or use pre-fab?

Planning on building a studio and as we all know the cyc coves/curves are not easy.

So I found a place that will sell the curved wood framing for the skeleton, and then you have to assemble, apply the drywall and everything else. I'll have to hire it done because there is no way I can do the drywall corners..

Or a place that has pre-made cove/curve pieces of foam with reinforced mesh on top, and they will come install the thing too.

So I'm looking at one of those 2 options because cutting all those curved wood pieces looks like a nightmare.
What are your thoughts about which is better over time? Seems the pre-made foam pieces are better than bent drywall?

U shaped cyc,
40' wall, 38' wall, 20' wall
18' high
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Old September 9th, 2021, 01:26 AM   #2
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Re: Cyc walls - build or use pre-fab?

I did one in the early 2000ís when I was working at a college. I doubted my ability and the construction folk jumped at it as a real world project. I paid for the materials and the students did it, and their tutors did the Ďrepairsí where their work was a little rough. Downside was time scale it took a month of a few hours here and a few hours there. Maybe this could be an option in your area. Donít be thinking itís free labour, but a real educational problem for them to solve. Youíll need to explain the accuracy and finish you need to the course tutors, so they can build it in, and present the plan very early. If you can do this, it could even be good to shoot,
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Old September 9th, 2021, 03:06 AM   #3
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Re: Cyc walls - build or use pre-fab?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Banner View Post
U shaped cyc,
40' wall, 38' wall, 20' wall
18' high
Hi David, thatís a big studio, are you planning to shoot video in there - with sound.

Might be worth getting an audio specialist in there, so the cyc becomes part of the quote to soundproof your studio.
Cheers.
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Old September 9th, 2021, 08:06 AM   #4
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Re: Cyc walls - build or use pre-fab?

Thank you Allan and Paul
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Old September 9th, 2021, 05:45 PM   #5
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Re: Cyc walls - build or use pre-fab?

There’s more David :) If you’re videoing music with guitar amps and shooting sound in there especially if you’re using wireless mics, set one up asap and with headphones, carefully listen for any local radio frequency interference at various times of the day and night, police, ambulance, FM radio etc. If you do hear some at any volume, do a Google search for ‘Faraday cages for RF interference in recording studios.’

If you’re planning to rent your studio out, check the local ordinances for fire safety rules etc. You probably need to get govt. approvals. You might have covered all this but if not, best to do it before you get under way.

Cheers.
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Old September 9th, 2021, 06:34 PM   #6
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Re: Cyc walls - build or use pre-fab?

Thanks Allan. The studio is not built yet. I'm trying to determine budget for it all.
I'm building it primarilly for my own projects but also will rent it. Certainly will be recording sound - lav mics and mics on stands etc. And yes I foresee music videos happening in there too. I wasn't aware of any special govt approvals needed so thanks for bringing that up
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Old September 9th, 2021, 08:48 PM   #7
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Re: Cyc walls - build or use pre-fab?

David, after spending a heap in building a good video/music studio, obviously renting it out to recover your investment is the natural progression.

In 1978 I built music production studios in Sydney and went thru the same exercises youíre going to. I was lucky in knowing a brilliant acoustic engineer who saved me heaps in solving problems before they cost me much more in solving them. 3 phase electrical power with star grounding to earth and silent running studio aircons were set up before we opened for business, impossible to install these later.

Right now, even if you donít rent it, I suggest you check out the local building codes in your area and make sure the neighbours are on side. Get any approvals in place before you do anything else.

You might also check out your local studio competition, their advertising and their studio rates. You could visit them incognito and make notes later. You could also check if thereís a local video school and offer student rates while you settle your systems in place. Itís a lotta weekends, late nights, worries, money ... and satisfaction.

The old saying goes - ĎThe harder you work the luckier youíll get.í Thatís true I know.

Cheers.
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Old September 9th, 2021, 09:05 PM   #8
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Re: Cyc walls - build or use pre-fab?

Thank you. You have great valuable experience. I've checked on the zoning but I need to check for any other approvals. All great points about HVAC and electrical etc.

I'm attaching my latest rough layout in case you have advice. After I'm happy with it I will give it to my architect

My main intended use is my corporate videos and commericals. But also some larger scale special effects for a show I'm trying to produce. Also music videos and going to approach a dance school about a colorful dance promo. So I want to have some range of capability.

I'm planning on having 18' clear height for the light grid, since I'll lose several feet from that from the space lights that are around 3.5'
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Old September 9th, 2021, 11:04 PM   #9
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Re: Cyc walls - build or use pre-fab?

Thanks David .. very interesting layout, on the ground floor very important for stability. I notice it’s Studio D, where is A-C, in the same building, or are they in another part of town. Are you part of a bigger outfit?

And I’m assuming at present it’s a cleared empty space, so you can line the walls with acoustic materials. Looking at the size and intended projects I don’t think you need perfect sound studio acoustics, that’s where your costs will be, but you do need acoustics that control the unwanted reverberations in your studio. Will your surrounding properties make intruding noises? If so it’s a different acoustic ball game, very important you check this out now before you go any further.

There’s probably a local acoustic guy who could help … or there’s a specialist on the web who I worked with many many years ago, John Sayers who could possibly help you …

https://www.johnlsayers.com/

If you contact him I’d say he’ll give you a reasonable quote after you send him your specs, but make sure everything is accurate. Mention me, tell him you’re not building the Taj Mahal but I still don’t think he’ll give you a discount lol. Let’s know how you go.

Check this out. … http://johnlsayers.com/Recmanual/index.htm

Cheers.
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Last edited by Allan Black; September 9th, 2021 at 11:14 PM. Reason: Added the ref. Manual link.
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Old September 10th, 2021, 01:11 AM   #10
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Re: Cyc walls - build or use pre-fab?

Governments tend to use safety as the source of their control. Planning permissions, changes of use rules, fire safety, electrical safety are protected world wide in most territories. Numbers of people vs numbers of fire exits. Emergency lights, electric shock protection etc. All controlled locally usually. Regulations on all kinds of things once you move from home/hobby to work/business. Even things like the number of urinals per group of people. Sanitary bins, maintained emergency lights and kitchen ventilation. Quite normal wherever you are but always different to other countries and sometimes different to even other districts!
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Old September 10th, 2021, 08:57 AM   #11
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Re: Cyc walls - build or use pre-fab?

Thank you again.
This is to be my only building (No A, B or C studio). I just gave the file a random name. I am not part of a bigger group. It's just me and I'm a small time guy.
The building is not built yet and the property I am looking to buy is pretty good as far as not having noisy businesses next door, no high traffic roads nearby and no train tracks. Aircraft should be infrequent since I am out of their flight path.

The design I shared is attempting to surround the studio with noise isolation rooms on the sides that could protect against the sides of the building that would have the most noise coming from outside. I am trying to minimize how many walls have to be framed, and save money by having all plumbing in same area. This is a huge stretch for me so I am planning to pay for a large part of it by selling all my non-video assets so I don't have crushing debt in the hard times almost sure to come.
That sound studio link you shared is excellent!

I'm really not trying to make a studio for live music recording. There is a friendly guy 50 minutes away that does that so I am not trying to compete with him. I want to be able to shoot commercials and corporate projects mainly so I need clean audio for speaking but not necessarily a sound treated stage for a pristine band recording. The music videos I would shoot would most likely all be lip synced to playback at the studio.

I certainly do not want to make a critical mistake. I am thinking the biggest threat from outside noise in that design would be from the roof, or echoes/etc from inside, and HVAC. So I need to figure that out and plan accordingly.

I know an architect who can help with meeting the codes. You guys have wisdom and experience about video studios so I am hoping to gather knowledge from all and put it all together into something that will accomplish what I am trying to do
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Old September 10th, 2021, 05:53 PM   #12
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Re: Cyc walls - build or use pre-fab?

Hi David thanks for explaining your plans. One thing I would definitely make sure is acoustically correct, is the audio booth. When you get a reputation for recording an excellent voice sound, youíll get that work separate from the studio work.

John Sayers is very helpful in publishing his acoustic manual on line - thereís some important information there to help your architect and builder Ö The Recording Manual

But the best thing so far in your thread is, youíll own the building. 20 years from now when its value has increased out of sight, itíll be your retirement plan and you can look back and enjoy this thread. I believe Chris Hurd has said heíll still be going.

Cheers.
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Old September 11th, 2021, 12:40 AM   #13
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Re: Cyc walls - build or use pre-fab?

Thereís a similar topic running elsewhere on the subject and the guys plans have been evolving nicely, and he has included some living space hidden into the design too.

https://www.dvxuser.com/forum/off-to...vice-requested
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Old September 11th, 2021, 08:31 PM   #14
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Re: Cyc walls - build or use pre-fab?

David - This is an interesting project you have. Buildings are more in my comfort zone, while studios not at all. With regard to buildings, here are some of my thoughts:

The building is currently at 4,400 sq ft,grose, but if over 5,000 sq ft it will have to be sprinklered for fire.
Not sure if the footage requirement is based on the outside dimensions, or net useable area, but there is that threshold to look out for.

The area over the office and break room could potentially be used as a mezzanine storage area; items that are seldom used (seasonal decorations, archive file cabinets, left-over construction materials that can be used for patching like floor tile, carpet, paint, ceiling tile, etc.), would need a stairwell. It is unbelievable how much storage of stuff can be accumulated over time. Don't need standard ceiling height and should not need heating or cooling but that can limit what gets stored there if the items can't take the temperature extremes. Insulate under the floor for the spaces below.

Potential location for the HVAC units overhead in the Van garage, but plan for replacement access via forklift as they don't last forever. Service will require clearance for safety. For sound isolation, perhaps an outside ground level spot would be better but would likely require longer duct runs. Edit: Note "HVAC units" is plural; recommend two units so there is always one functional in the event there is a maintenance problem.

Three-phase power is not available everywhere so be sure to check for availability. Mostly found in industrial and commercial zoned areas. Expensive to run new lines.

ADA requirements are critical. This is an architect and lawyer full employment opportunity code requirement. Bobrick has a helpful ADA restroom design booklet. Some states have ADA requirements that are over and above the national requirements, like California for example.

Seriously consider optimizing solar power in the roof design, even if not needed for today, and also in the overall building design. Energy is only going to become more expensive. Provide some empty conduits to the main electrical panel and elsewhere. The types of conductors (not just electrical) keep changing. Remember the old phone and TV coax wires? Some inexpensive empty conduits in insulated walls will help to future-proof the building. UPS system? Sub panel? Generator? Security and theft system?

Small storage areas:
Coat closet
Janitorial equipment and suppliies
Landscape maintenance tools

Below is an ADA restroom I recently installed. The existing restroom was a former approved ADA one, but the standards have changed. The path from the parking stall (which has to be nearest to the entry door), all the way through the building to the restroom, must meet ADA requirements. Edit: Note tilt mirror for wheel chair use. Recommend plumbing not be located in an outside wall to avoid freezing.
Attached Thumbnails
Cyc walls - build or use pre-fab?-screen-shot-2021-09-11-11.40.21-am.png   Cyc walls - build or use pre-fab?-img_1014.jpg  

Cyc walls - build or use pre-fab?-img_1015.jpg  

Last edited by John Nantz; September 11th, 2021 at 09:29 PM. Reason: Changed American Standard to Bobrick
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Old September 11th, 2021, 11:12 PM   #15
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Re: Cyc walls - build or use pre-fab?

Thank you everyone.
Thanks Allan. I will research your info link more so that the audio VO booth is accoustically good.

Thanks John. All good points and I had some ideas on spaces for the
-Janitorial equipment and suppliies
-Landscape maintenance tools
but am unsure and am certainly listening for suggestions

Certainly want to stay below 5000sq ft! Thanks for the warning.

I'll check on 3 phase power. All the locations I'm looking at are commercial zones.
You mentioned several other significant things I need to check into. My restroom locations might be a problem...

My earlier design had a bigger garage space for storing stuff but this new one considerably less, which is a concern. Newer idea was to try to make the biggest studio/cyc I can muster.

I had looked into solar power somewhat in the past but it looked too costly. I'll ask about that again though.
The stairs in the studio space actually go up to a 2nd floor that is only above the edit/work room/lounge/meeting area (lower left corner of the picture). I plan on living in that space. Depending on requirments for the bathrooms celings on the 1st floor, I may use some of the space above them for storage too.

The basic idea for the project is an insulated commercial box building "shell" and I build it out as needed inside, leaving as much of it as I can with exposed concrete floor, exposed insulated walls and exposed insulated commercial "ceiling" to minimize how many walls and ceilings I have to build to save $$.

You hit on several things I need to really think about, some of which I hadn't thought of at all.
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