We are done! As with any project like this, you have to temper your expectations and dial-up your patience right at the beginning or things can get frustrating quickly. As you can see by looking back at our other videos, we started this project with an unrealistic budget, a shorter time frame, and a completely different design.
As things progressed the concept changed from a cockpit-like design into a double desk space that can be utilized by two operators, which is a must if you are working with an engineer or collaborating with another producer. We moved from a prefab desk concept to a more custom approach buying two bamboo tops and adding our own legs and under-mounted keyboard trays.
This resulted in two parallel desks that could be set up for different functions, the front more for traditional production, video editing, and writing work and the back for podcasting, DJing mixes and video reviews. As you can see in the image below, we rounded off the front of the smaller second desk to give it an almost broadcast feel, which looks nicer in video shots from the front when we are doing product reviews.
Pro Tip: Prior to getting excited about a design for any room, think about how you will be functioning in it. This exercise will save you a lot of frustration and you will be a lot happier in the end. Where should you put your gear? How many people will be working at your station? Is there easy access to inputs and cables?
Below is the gear that we used in the studio from our partners in the project. Let's start with the walls and go from there.
Primacoustic London 16 - MSRP
(Copy from Primacoustic website) The Broadway London 16 room kit is designed for rooms up to 200 ft (20 m), or can be combined with other products to treat larger spaces. Ideally suited for studio control rooms, tracking rooms, or large home theaters, these large kits provide everything needed for a complete acoustic treatment package.
The London 16 contains Broadway panels that tackle problems affecting any room, such as primary reflections, flutter echo, standing waves, and excessive bass. In addition to acoustic panels, each London 12 room kit includes the corresponding mounting hardware and instructions for easy installation.
Broadway panels are made from high-density 6lb per cubic foot (96 kg/m³) fiberglass, offering nearly five times greater absorption than typical low-cost foam alternatives. This means that you get more absorption with less panels while assuring an even absorption curve throughout the frequency range. The London 16 room kit is available in three fabric colors. 42 panels included.
Fluid Audio FXP7 Studio Monitors - MSRP $760 For the Pair
Fader Pro Series (copy from Fluid Audio Website) - Building upon the acclaimed Fader Series of studio monitors, we decided to step things up a bit and created the one-of-a-kind, FPX7 monitor.
Featuring a beefed-up Class AB amplifier with a sizable toroidal transformer for exceptional power delivery, optimized composite cone woofer and AMT folded ribbon tweeter, the FPX7 produces the most accurate monitoring experience in its price range. With its lightning-fast, accurate response, the AMT tweeter provides detail and depth only seen in professional studios.
What makes the FPX7 so unique, however, is that the AMT tweeter is mounted in the center of the woofer – in a coaxial configuration, which makes this speaker the first of its kind.
Taking what we learned from our success with the FX8, we incorporated the AMT tweeter much in the same way. Coaxial drivers, found in such world-renowned monitors such as the Manley ML10 with Tannoy drivers, provide such accuracy and detail because all of the energy from the tweeter and woofer radiate from the exact same position in space. This is critical for accurate off-axis response as well as phase coherence.
Universal Audio Apollo X6 - MSRP $2199
(Copy below from UA Website) Elite Audio Conversion with New HEXA Core Processing and Surround Sound.
Apollo x6 allows music producers and post-production studios to track, overdub, and mix with new world-beating A/D and D/A conversion, HEXA Core UAD plug-in processing, Dual-Crystal clocking, and 5.1 surround sound monitoring — all in a sleek rackmount Thunderbolt 3 audio interface for Mac or PC.
Built upon UA’s 60-year heritage of audio craftsmanship, this 16 x 22 interface easily outperforms everything in its class with two Unison™-enabled mic preamps, providing authentic emulations of preamps from Neve, API, Manley, SSL, and more, plus all-new HEXA Core processing — yielding 50% more DSP for running UAD Powered Plug-Ins in real time.
Pro Tip: If you are using an UA Apollo for the first time, note that you need to get the USB C cable with lightning functionality, otherwise it will not connect to your unit. Look for the little lightning bolt on the package. There is also a bit of a learning curve with this interface, so to get the most out of it learn how to integrate it with your DAW before you do anything else.
Rodecaster Pro - MSRP $599
The Rodecaster Pro is an all in one solution that works great for either mobile casts or setting up in your studio for a more permanent solution. Keep in mind that if you are going mobile with the Rodcaster Pro, you still need an outlet as there is no battery power onboard. The unit is around the size of a large shoebox and is about 2 inches tall at its thickest point, so it's thin enough to easily stow in a bag with all your necessary cords, mics, and other gear.
Why is this so great? Simple, this unit is just about everything you need as a podcaster, and it helps to streamline your workflow so you can get your podcasts done a LOT faster.
The Magnetic Studio Project Stats:
Timeline: Original goal was 6 Weeks from start to finish, we ended up at around 9 weeks in total.
Final Budget: $16,500 - This was for build-out only, not gear. We will run a separate post later with ways to achieve cost savings on alternate materials, etc.
Special thanks to our partners that joined us on this journey and helped to make this studio top notch and to Farrell North our incredible and very patient studio designer.
The Magnetic Studio Project Full Series: