Thursday, November 20, 2008

Jethro, Bubba, and the Big Dusty Dude fix up the Studio; I paint and dream of horses and books and other fascinating topics...

It's been a week since I wiggled into my extremely glamorous coveralls and picked up a paintbrush, and I'm still working on the control room.  I wonder who's in control here.  

You might be asking what a "control room" is.  Basically it's the brains of the recording studio.  It's where the engineer and producer work while the musicians are on the other side of the glass. 

Until last week, ours was bright cheery yellow with black accents (lamps, furniture, desk.)  I do love yellow for interiors.  This room was so... bright.  Cheery.  Apparently it was the kind of bright and cheery that really grates on the nerves after a typical 14 hour stretch of recording or mixing.

Here it is last week, ready for a new coat.

The view from the producer's desk in the middle of the room, to the console, and beyond that the window out to the studio floor.

The view from the doorway.  That square window looks into the original Iso-booth, which was recently enlarged to hold a piano or drum kit.

So, as much as I liked the orangey-yellow-trimmed dandelion intensity, I've been taking it down a few notches.  You'll see the results next week.  There's soooo much cutting-in to do, around all the acoustic panels and windows.  Plus, none of the walls in a recording studio are at right angles, so it's not just four walls to paint.  It's like, nine, or maybe 17 walls.  I'm not really sure anymore.  Really.

Here, Big Dusty Dude, Jethro and Bubba are framing in the new Iso-booth.  This area used to be a nice corner for the big plants in their massive clay pots.  They're not looking so healthy right now.  Bubba's concerned and understandably so: the guys play music for them every day, but the plants are not thriving???  The plastic ones look great, although covered with a layer of sawdust, so what's wrong with the real ones?

Hey, it's like an Old Order Mennonite barn raising, only indoors and with only one Mennonite!  Who isn't Old Order.  Can't have everything.  
This area (from the perspective of former plant corner) used to be a dining area.  Just off to the right is the little kitchen.  The table is stuffed into the lounge now but I think we can make it work.  It'll just be more cozy.  It was a question of priority, really.  There's more music making than eating going on, so the table had to make way for the iso-booth.

Some of you might be wondering what the heck an ISO-BOOTH is.  Luckily for you, I am not a recording engineer and will be explaining it in simple, uncomplicated terms.  I'll try not to drool on myself, duh.  

ISO is short for Isolation.  The booth is actually a room within a room, and doesn't touch the outer structure.  The floor is sitting on blocks of rubber, and there's an air gap between the outer and inner walls.  This way, only the sound being made inside the booth is being recorded, instead of, y'know, the toilet flushing, although that could be interesting. Or maybe not.

This is the previously mentioned booth, which was already in place when Jethro moved in.  
The double doors make it easier to get really big instruments in and out!  Look at the nice taping and mudding.  Big Dusty did that.  He's perfesh.

 Just look at Jethro and Bubba go.  Since this picture was taken, all the many layers of particle board and drywall were screwed into place and we have a second booth.
what do you think - should Bubba keep the tape measure as a handy accessory?  It's kinda cool!

Here you go, this is a view of the former dining room.  All of this is closed in now.  I took the photo while standing in the control room window looking into what's now Iso-booth B, and the sawhorses are the new booth C.  Above C there will be a nifty little loft.  I fully plan to stock the loft with more plants, which will get lovely music played to them over and over for 37 hours every day!  It's gotta work, right?

Are ya sick of this yet?  I admit, I'm dealing with the construction chaos much better than I thought I would.  Either the pills are working or I've recovered from the traumatizing and necessary work done on our own house four years ago.  

Ah yes... we'll be paying for this for a loooong time.  And it'll be worth every dollar.

Oh look, there's Big Dusty Dude in his tool belt!  He is so many different kinds of adorable, which is a significant feat for a guy who can stand on a scaffold and hold a sheet of drywall up with one hand, while reaching for another tool with his other hand, pirouetting  on one foot and running the screw gun with his teeth.  We are all amazed at Big Dusty's skill level!  Plus he knows dirty jokes and can swear in Hungarian.  And cackles when putting up drywall.  It's really quite humbling.  
I'm afraid Jethro and Bubba are going to have some heavy duty Big Dusty Dude separation anxiety at the end of this project.  I don't know how we'd get this done without him!

You know what, I'm tired just looking at the pictures. (I'll save the meditations on painting a perfectly straight edge and how it relates to horses for next week.)  

Friday has to be my last day for painting the control room.  I'll miss it.  It's warm in there and dust free.  However, when it's done it's time for the new furniture. As much as I hate shopping/ spending money, I'm looking forward to it.  We're ditching the black faux-nauga-suede-skin and going with brown mostly-leather.

What do you think of this?
Y'know, we're really going for a relaxed vibe, but I'm afraid I'll have to ask this fella to take the cigar outside.  We've had enough airborne pollutants to last us awhile, thanks.

If you've stuck around this long, you might be wondering about that BOOK LAUNCH hint that I dropped a few days ago.  (Although I'm not sure what day it is anymore.) 

My big writers group, the one I go to once a week, has spent the last year compiling an anthology.  I submitted a short story and a couple of poems.  Hot off the press, our little book will be publicly presented on Saturday afternoon at the local library.  And yes, I'm going to read out loud.
Should be interesting!  I'm nervous about it, but wouldn't anybody?  Hey, I have conquered the highway.  I have endured the dust, survived the skilsaw whine, made short work of a can of paint.  I can read a damn book in public.  I'll think about breathing out slowly and evenly, like I have a loaded up paintbrush in my hand, like I have a set of leather reins in my hand, and I will read!

Then on Monday I'll head back down to the studio, since Jethro and Big Dusty and Bubba have gone and built a whole bunch new walls for me to paint!


Biddie said...

You know, he really does look good in a tool belt, and I have always had a weakness for men in work boots.
Actually, he looks better than that fella sitting in the nice brown chair with his all undone.
So have they changed the book launch day? Aren't you a wee bit nervous about reading to everyone?
It'll be awesome. I am so excited for you!

JKB said...

This is so cool. I had no idea that a recording studio was so darn big! And it's so neat - take down a wall, put up a wall.

The screwdriver machine thingy in the mouth scared me though. He must be Heman.

Have fun painting!

And BREAK a LEG with your reading! That is past cool.

pseudosu said...

Thanks for the inside scoop-- very interesting to we pretend band people. Also, agree-- somehow tape measure ads to his manliness-- keep it.

You'll do great at your reading. Look at it as practice for when you're a huge published author w/ tons of fans. That's all this is-- practice. No biggie.

(Did it work? Are you less nervous?)

Kerri said...

Echoing the others, I imagined a small, dark room like you see on TV. That is one heckuva studio. Have fun reading your story. If you get nervous, just run to the bathroom and come out when it's over.

hayseed said...

That looks like such a cool space. I'm also always shoehorned into painting whatever needs painting, but there is something kind of zen about it sometimes. And ENJOY your reading, I'm sure you'll be great!

Olly said...

I love painting with bright colours. Good for the soul!

Biddie said...

LOL. PLEASE don't tell Shawn that anyone thinks he must be He Man. OMG, he will soo much more difficult to live with!

Heidi said...

The photos are awesome! What a tremendously huge project! You certainly seem to have some very handy men there, though. :)

So excited about the book launch. I wish I could be there to hear you read. May this be the very first of very many!!

Brit said...

Heidi -

Awesome about that book launch!

Big project you've got going on there, but it is going to look so good when you're done.

DysdHousewife said...

I could totally fit most of my HOUSE in that uhh..Studio.. can I call it that even though technically it's not finished yet?