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“This is gonna be MY studio” and other drum studio build pics.

19 Aug

The Olympics is over, gutted :-(.  To cheer me up though, I’ve been really busy recording drum tracks and loving having my own studio. I thought it was about time I put up all my photos of the drum studio build so you can see the transformation for yourselves. Also, I’ve had a few people ask me various questions about how to do it, so this might be helpful.

So, let’s see the journey of a wall! I’ve always wanted to have my own house and be able to write on the walls. Silly, I’ll grant you, but there you go. So, I wrote “This is gonna be MY studio” in chunky black pen on the wall and took pictures of it throughout the build to follow it’s own little journey!

This is gonna be MY studio

I know, the colour of the walls is well stylish…. and NO, I didn’t choose it!


Online Session drumming studio build

A special version for those of you who need glasses but are too proud!


Drum recording studio wall pic 2

Studwork timber goes up


Getting covered up by rockwool. Well you won’t be able to see it anymore, but at least it’ll be snug!


Just to the left of the ladder, now with added plasterboard.

And finally……

Finished wall of my drum track studio

Somewhere in the middle! Plus lining paper, paint and some acoustic foam.


To see a whole load more pictures of the studio build, I’ve put a whole album up on facebook so you can have a good old look there.

Right, it’s seriously scorchio in London right now, so I’m off for a refreshing glass of verdejo!

Drum studio build #10. Drum roll please….

17 Jul

Oh yes, I’m delighted to say that the drum studio is finished and good to go!

There was a minor mishap that involved me having to shoulder barge one of the doors down (the less said about that the better, I may find it funny one day……) but otherwise, all’s gone great :-). We had to play around a bit to find the right door seals, but finally arrived at the best solution on the 3rd try. I can honestly say they’ve made a massive difference to the amount of sound coming through the double doors.

Studio door seals

Well fitting seals on both doors have made a big difference to the soundproofing.

Since then it’s been working on sound absorption to sort out some of the high frequencies that were a bit excitable! Some thick wool serge stage curtains and acoustic foam tiles strategically placed have done the trick.

Most excitingly, enquiries about drum tracks have been coming thick and fast over the last couple of weeks and I’ve put the studio to use right away. It’s made the recording process so much more enjoyable being able to do it from home, and the results are excellent (I’ll record a new video soon so you can hear). I’m also getting sent some really good songs to play on too which makes it musically rewarding.

And finally…….

Online Session Drums studio build


 Before and after pics, it’s soundproofed AND looks better!


I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the studio build over the last few months. Hopefully you’ll read about how everything’s going with my online session drumming over the coming months too. I’ve really appreciated people’s feedback, encouragement and interest. The process took longer than I’d imagined and was more stressful, but I can already see that it was worth all the effort and then some! It’s worked every bit as well as I could’ve imagined.

Look out over the next couple of weeks as I’ll be putting up a whole album of studio build pics on my facebook page.

Huge thanks to SB, RB, VIMB and PG for their not inconsiderable help.

Drum studio build #9. Drums in!!!

12 Jun

I’m very happy (and somewhat releived!!) to say that the studio’s very nearly finished.

I set my drums up in there for the first time last week. I was actually a little apprehensive as this was the moment when I’d find out if the time, money and effort spent over the last couple of months had been worth it. Overall, it’s turned out to be a big success 🙂

Drum kit in new studio for the first time, almost ready to record drum tracks.

Starting to set stuff up, yippee!


Outside the house, you can barely hear the drums playing (and even then, only in the back garden), it sounds a bit like a rather distant, quiet radio (and in fact you can’t hear them at all when it’s raining, as it does a lot in England…). Inside the studio, you can hear no sound whatsoever from outside (good, ‘cos I don’t want any unwanted noise on the drum tracks). The only area that needs some improvement is the double doors. I’ve not yet had chance to add the seals I’ve bought for the doors, so I knew there’d be some leakage, but as well as those, I’ve decided to add some soundproofing mat to one of the doors (I happen to have the perfect amount left over!). These measures should help with both noise through the doors themselves and round the perimeter (which is the biggest issue).

The only other thing needed is some acoustic treatment. I knew I’d have to do something as far as this was concerned, but couldn’t know how much until the room was finished and I played the drums in there. It’s actually not too bad, but some of the high frequencies are a bit excitable, so I’ve ordered some acoustic foam tiles. I’ve also decided to make a bass trap myself from the leftover Rockwool.

The transformation of the studio over the last couple of weeks has been huge. Having to build a bespoke door frame wasn’t something I’d imagined having to do when starting all this, but you know, old houses will throw up some entertainment just to stress you out…… Plus painting, adding the window cover (mdf with a layer of Soundproofing mat, the whole thing bolts into place so it can be removed as/when needed), putting in shelves and setting up the computer and drum kit. It’s looking great and it’s just starting to dawn on me how cool it’s going to be to be able to record and mix whenever I want.

Red Painted studio wall

Pleased with how the red wall looks!

Fingers crossed, next week will see my last Studio Build blog entry, and it’ll be completely finished 🙂 (if watching all the Euros football doesn’t get in the way…….).

Drum studio build #8. The Home Stretch!

16 May

I feel like I’m finally reaching the home stretch with the drum studio 🙂

I’ve decided to use lining paper on the walls before painting to give a better finish (doesn’t hurt for it to look nice after all the effort)! Half the room is now lined and am gonna be finishing the rest on Friday.

Lining the drum studio

Doing the lining paper, so far, not as bad as I thought!


Have chosen the paint – white for the ceiling and 3 of the walls and a slightly dark red called “Redcurrant Glory” for the remaining wall, la-de-dah! Should look good in my drum videos.

Made the decision to get someone else to do the doors, was difficult as I’ve done everything else myself, but I think it’s a time consuming job that needs to be done properly as doors are such a big issue with soundproofing. A mate of mine hangs doors, so he’s started today.

Drum studio first door

Door #1 (we didn’t choose the wall colour!)

In others news, I have a seriously random weekend of gigs! Thursday night is going to be a German oompah band for a Beer Festival….. dare say that’ll be a fun one 😉 Friday’s a rock gig doing mainly 70’s stuff, then playing my monthly residency at Nightjar with swing band Pinstripe Suit on Saturday. Sunday’s a day off, but I’m thinking that’ll be painting day. Busy, we like!

Drum studio build #7. Blood, sweat and coughing!

4 May

So, things with the studio are moving on slowly but surely.

All the plasterboard jointing was finished, then I had the joyous task of sanding it down! This is where the blood, sweat and coughing came in!

Firstly, I sanded my finger, it stung!

Soundproofing sanded finger injury


The ceiling was my favourite bit… not! I did however learn two useful things about plasterboard jointing that I’ll pass on to you though.

1) Use a bright site light so you can see what you’re plastering/sanding really carefully to get rid of any imperfections, then when you just have normal lights on, it looks damn fine (if I do say so myself)!

2) When sanding plaster, always wear a mask. Sadly I only learnt this after my first sanding session when I kept coughing up white stuff, nice! (you’ll be pleased to know I didn’t choose to photo this).

With that finished, it was time for ‘THE BIG CLEAN-UP’. Plaster dust gets everywhere….

Studio clean up

Tidying up and cleaning the floor.

I’ve just started on the floor, and will be using underlay that’s supposed to cut down a lot of structural sound (bass drum foot…). That’s my job for today, so I better get on and do it.

Last, and certainly not least, a big shout out to my Grandma who’s apparently been keeping up with the studio build by reading this blog. Hope you’re feeling better and enjoy your new kitchen 🙂

Drum studio build #6. Structural soundproofing done, get in!

20 Apr

Well, a few days ago we finally finished all the structural soundproofing and it’s actually starting to look like a room again! So, I have a new ceiling and walls (and some new muscles AND aches) filled with rockwool and covered with extra dense plasterboard. The floor was done some time ago (joists filled with rockwool, acoustic sealant between the boards and covered with soundproofing mat – remember?).

Plasterboard for drum room soundproofing finished

Plasterboarding done!

I’ve also made covers for the loft hatch and window by cutting mdf sheets to size and covering it with soundproofing mat, my idea, we’ll see if it works…..

Things are moving a bit slower now as I’m back into full swing with gigs, sessions and a bit of teaching so I’m having to fit in working on the studio around that.

At the minute we’re working on doing the jointing of the plasterboard with jointing tape and jointing compound. I’ve discovered that it’s definitely not my best skill and certainly not one I’ll be swapping my career as a drummer for! Fortunately my other half seems to be quite good at it so has been given that task ;-).

Such a fun job, not.

I’m also sorting out new web hosting for my website redesign. Wow, prices vary A LOT and I’m definitely not going to be staying with my current provider who wants to charge me 3 times what some other companies are offering!

Night off tonight, so am gonna play some Wii and get my pad together for tomorrow night’s gig with Pinstripe Suit in our monthly residency at Bar Nightjar, an awesome speakeasy style bar just off Old Street.

Drum studio build #5. Work, work, work.

13 Apr

Work on the studio has stopped for a few days as I’m busy tutoring on a wind band course and playing a weeks run of ‘Titanic’ the musical (the Percussion section has been demoted from the pit so I’m watching the conductor on a monitor, always joyous!).

We’ve completely finished doing the rockwool and plasterboarding the ceiling (was pretty tiring on the arms) and the wall plasterboarding is mostly done.

This weekend I’m intending to finish all the plasterboard and hopefully put up the double doors (chunky fire doors). I’ve never hung a door before, but have borrowed a mates plane in case I need it. Wish me luck!

The website redesign’s coming along nicely too and I’m starting to think about any extra bits of equipment I want in my shiny new studio, now we’re talking 🙂

Drum studio build #4, a picture says a thousand words!

7 Apr

All’s going well, but we’re absolutely exhausted, so I’ll use the pictures to speak for me (those who know me will tell you how unusual that is as I normally don’t shut up!).

We’ve done the studwork on the ceiling (time consuming to find the joists and don’t ever bother buying one of those joist detectors, waist of money!).


All the walls (forgot to turn the light on):


And are now chilling!

Bonus of the day – bought a site light to help us work later and have realised that it’ll be really good at helping light my drumming videos, sweet!

Drum studio build #3, nailing it so far ;-)

5 Apr

So, how is the female Online Session Drummer (with a little help from her friends) getting on with building her drum studio? So far, so good thanks! Here’s a quick rundown of the last couple of days.

We took up some strategically chosen floorboards, filled all the space between the joists with Rockwool (10mm RW3 if you’re thinking of doing it yourself!) and then put the floorboards back, replacing any dodgy ones with new ones (this all took considerably longer to do than to write….).

Floorboards up, Rockwool at the ready!

Next, and possibly the bit my back and knees appreciated least, I used acoustic sealant to fill all the gaps between the boards, joy…. and left it to dry for a bit.

Acoustic sealant

My best bit of acoustic sealant work!

Then we covered the whole floor in Soundproofing mat.

Soundproof barrier mat

Soundproofing mat

Today’s last act was to put the first bit of studwork timber round the perimeter of the floor ready to (hopefully) get the whole studwork frame done tomorrow, there, I’ve written it, we’ll see! (oh yeah, and then I’ve got a gig as well tomorrow night, should be a rest!).

I’m also in the middle of redesigning my website to hopefully coincide with the finishing of the studio, quiet times for the Brockster! Right, time to put my feet up, where’s that glass of wine?

Drum studio build #2, Fun with floors

1 Apr

So, everythings’ s been measured and ordered., and are all several pounds better off thanks to me! Yesterday saw the first day of work. Here’s the studio before I started (note the ‘special’ colour of the walls):

Online Session Drums studio build

Studio before

Plus a special message (I’ve always wanted to graffiti a wall that I own!):

Wall graffiti

Shortly after,  I’d taken up both the laminate floor and underlay and was ready to take up the floorboards:

Floor up!

Only at this point did I realise that I actually had no idea how to get up the floorboards without damaging them, one call to a builder friend and a trip to my local DIY store later and I was sorted!

I’ll outline the next steps in my next post, so far so good, and I’m having fun (no hammer or splinter injuries to report!).

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