My old studio and booth looked great and did the job but could be improved upon.

Back in August 2020, we decided to move house. Knowing that bringing the studio with me wasn’t an option, I had a great opportunity to think up some fresh ideas for the new location. My previous facility was at the end of the garden. Expertly built, the separate voice and control room despite being made entirely of timber, performed better than I hope..

The booth was lined with foam tiles which looked good and performed reasonably well. In the latter period, I built fabric covered  Rockwool  units which improved the sound, but although sounding great looked a tad bland! It did, however, host personalities and artists including Dame Jane Goodall without complaint so it must have been ok!

In February 2021, despite the pandemic, we moved into our new house – 6 doors down from our old abode! I managed to set up a harry potter style booth under the stairs which enabled me to go about my day to day VO business. Production was conducted in various areas of the house including the kitchen!

Mounting Rockwool on the walls, along with lining the ceiling and door with an IKEA foam mattress I was able able to create a professional sounding space! This was confirmed by the actors who hired the booth and received amazing comments from the studios that the sessions were recorded for. It did feel a little claustrophobic and I was desperate to get back in to a proper recording space again.

Stevie Cripps | Voiceover | Kitchen Studio
With no dedicated production space, I resorted to producing in various locations in the new house including the kitchen, lounge and dining room!
Rockwool, an Ikea foam mattress and some fetching teal fabric created a great sounding under the stairs voice booth. Voicing Harry Potter style!
The space I had to work with and some unseen challenges lay ahead!
This plan left me a little short on creative space to work in but did include a separate booth!

My vision of the new build would be a more professional looking studio with a super tight vocal booth. Something impenetrable by lawnmowers, strimmers bin lorries and kids screaming (Including my own!)

The garage was the natural choice with access to the house for coffee and toilet breaks. My wife and I discussed many ideas, utilising some of the garage as a dining room or opening the rear potion to add to the living room. 

Doing this meant I would have to create one fully sound proofed  area for both production and voice. This would obviously impact the overall working area which I’d spend a large amount of time in, probably with no natural light. 

So, it was agreed! The whole garage would be converted to a studio with a separate production and voiceover zones. This would make it possible to invite other VO’s to use the facility in a covid safe environment. The booth would also be large enough to work in as a standalone area, offering opportunities for those looking to record their own VO’s, produce podcasts and even use it as a quiet space. 

With all this in mind, I scribbled an idea on the back of an envelope, took a picture of it and sent it to my esteemed production colleague at SiriusXM, Chris Click, who ran with it to create a 3d sketch that would become the template for final studio build! So, the plan was set and work was scheduled to be in the first week of  September. But first, the garage needed to be emptied… some sweaty days lay ahead!

Pen in hand I crafted this rather splendid drawing of the layout of the studio... The squares are speakers if you hadn't guessed!
Chris Click took the concept along with flat floor plan drawing to create a 3D studio visulisation which became the cornerstone of the design.

Next – Work Begins

Credits – Chris Click 

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The New Studio is Open for Business

VOICEOVERS, AUDIO PRODUCTION & SOUND DESIGN