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Shipping Container Recording Studios

Your own complete control room, tracking room or ‘All-In-One’ room, all housed within a fully transportable 20’ shipping container.

Are you looking for a complete recording studio that not only inspires you and your potential clients, but is completely portable and compact? Are you tired of renting studio space? Do you dream of working from home? Do you live in a remote location? Do you work with schools? Are you tired of your ‘garage studio’ and its poor sound? Does the cost and hassle of building a fully-fledged studio on your own fill you with dread? Don’t fancy fitting out a leased space, (knowing that it could set you back many tens of thousands), only to lose all that effort and materials when the lease is up, or you have a change of life/heart?

Nearly all compact recording studio set ups are plagued with sound issues in both sound proofing and sound treatment. Without effective acoustic sound treatment, you will face the problem of inevitable build ups and/or nulls in a room’s frequency response, (especially in the low, low mid and hi-mid frequency range).

A poorly treated room will result in less than stellar sounds to hard drive/tape.
It’s near impossible for an engineer to be able to make any accurate and well balanced mix decisions within in a poorly treated room.
Your mixes must translate from within your studio into the real world if you want to be taken seriously.
How can you trust your ears if the monitoring is fundamentally flawed?

Container Studios provides the solution.

Your own complete control room and/or tracking room, built to the highest professional acoustic standards, all within a compact and totally portable recording and mixing environment.

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Your own 

Complete Control Room, Tracking Room or ‘All-In-One’ Room.
All housed within a 20’ shipping container.

Control Room - End View
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Our shipping container studio control rooms, tracking rooms and ‘All-In-One’ rooms are built within 20′ high-cube, single trip containers. ‘Single trip’ means that the container structure was made in China within the last year and has made only one trip to Australia. These single trip units cost more to buy than the usual multi-trip or ‘refurbished’ containers, (most of which have been in active service for many years). For our own peace of mind, we choose only to build within single trip units, ensuring that our studios will be leak free and in ‘active service’ for many years to come!

Essentially, soundproofing of our container studios is achieved by building a room within a room. The inside room is free floating and completely decoupled/isolated from the outside room. Any nails or screws linking the two rooms will invariably transfer sound energy from the inside room to the outside room, drastically reducing the effectiveness of the soundproofing materials used in the first place.

The construction of our ‘outside’ room begins with 2 layers of flooring, followed by lining the walls and ceiling with the highest grades and densities in acoustic sheeting and insulation, taking care to ensure every tiny little gap is completely sealed. Stage 2 is the construction of our ‘inside room’. This room is essentially free floating: completely isolated and decoupled from the outside structure. Our attention to detail in this process eliminates any possible sound transference from the outside world in, or indeed any transference of energy from the inside to the outside world. Our studios are built with 4 layers of particle board flooring, with the inner room’s two layers floated/isolated on the highest grade of high-density rubber. From there, we build in our optimised sound treatment using the latest bespoke designs in bass traps, low and upper mid-range slot resonators and absorbers, specifically designed to work with the dimensions of these unique spaces. Not only do we use the best acoustic glass available in all our doors and windows, our studios now feature a far higher rating in soundproofing, as we fill all the cavities in our aluminium windows and door frames with expanding foam, eliminating any possible vibrations or sound leakage.

Our studios are built & tailored to suit all your audio / video requirements….

We can build your next studio either as a complete control room, a dedicated tracking room/space, or an ‘all-in-one’ studio space, (tracking and mixing within the same room).

Our current working set up at Spark 1 Studios is one complete control room, built within a 20’ container studio, placed adjacent to a separate tracking room within another 20’ container, connected via a multicore for audio and an HDMI/Ethernet and coaxial cable for CCTV cameras and monitors. The two separate container option gives you more space to work with, as well as the benefit of complete separation/isolation between the two rooms.

However, our ‘all-in-one’ studio container is a great option for those on a budget, or if you have limited space to put your studio, or indeed plan to expand in the future by purchasing another studio container tracking room later on. Having the two complete separate spaces would be a preferred tracking and mixing option, though our ‘all-in-one’ option is just as effective when tracking with headphones for monitoring, then utilizing our custom-made soffit speaker mounts in mixdown.

We can design and build custom racks &/or meter bridge furniture to fit your secondary/tertiary sets of monitor speakers, (for example Yamaha NS10s/Auratones and the like). Prices may vary depending on your needs.

Up until recently, access into the tracking room and our ‘all-in-one’ studios was via two sets of commercial glass sliding doors. After much R & D and experimentation with door options, we now prefer to build our studios using two commercial grade glass and aluminium swing doors. These doors are triple locked and feature the highest rated attenuation in acoustic glass available. These doors can be mounted either side or rear entry with our control room studios, or mounted rear entry only in our ‘all-in-one’ and tracking rooms. Glass sliding doors were effective in sound proofing, but the increase of glass surface area made it much harder to control the acoustic reflections, ultimately reducing your options in usable tracking space within the room.

Prices may vary depending on your specific needs and requirements. Contact us for pricing.

Tailored for the music professional

The standard fit out in all our studios will include 3 outside access ports: one for the electrics, one for your multi core and an Ethernet port. If purchasing both units, (tracking and control room), we can fit video links between both rooms, as well as supply a multi core as optional extra, again depending on your specific requirements.

We fit ample double power points in all our studios, (twice as many in the control room), featuring star earthing in EVERY double power point. IE: every power point has its own seperate earth wire taken back to the fuse box, eliminating any possible issues with ground hum within our studios.

We now power all our studios with one single phase 32 amp connector, (which look exactly like a normal 3 phase connector, completely water proof, but built/moulded to only accept the corresponding single phase connectors that we also supply). Powering our units this way not only makes it easy to disconnect for hassle free transportation, but also guarantees you’ll have everything you could need, power-wise, to run lights, power and aircon in any situation.

PLEASE NOTE It is the responsibility of the end user to have a registered electrician set up the supplied connections to their own power box, with the purchaser liable for ALL the costs of installation and any/all relevant cables/fuses/step up or step down transformers from their power board to the actual container.

Each container studio comes fitted out with its own complete ducted air-conditioning system, fully installed and commissioned by our trusted and registered refrigeration specialists, Simply Cool, with each system offering a full 5-year guarantee.

Our studios can ONLY be cooled by a ducted system. Ordinary household split systems will NOT WORK in our studios, as they only re-circulate the air from inside the room and don’t bring in any fresh oxygen. As all our studios are so well sealed, you’d simply run out of oxygen within a ½ hour, even less with 3 or more people inside. (Recently, there has been some inroads with split systems employing a small duct for fresh air, but after much research, it seems that this type of hybrid system fundamentally still can’t cope, once you have more than one person in the room).

After numerous container studio builds, (and we’re constantly trying new approaches with every new build), we still can’t beat the use of ducted air systems. They are virtually inaudible and totally unobtrusive. Until recently, we used to suspend our ‘indoor’ units of the ducted system on top of the roof of the control room, which in turn was housed within a small metal frame and sloping roof protecting it from the weather. Simply bolting the blower/’indoor’ unit to the roof, even with the best rubber isolators, wouldn’t be enough to stop the vibrations shaking the entire studio below, (useless if you’re recording sensitive vocal parts or acoustic guitar tracks with your best condenser microphone). The ‘outdoor’ unit was then mounted on a concrete or poly slab, seated on the ground adjacent to the container, with the electrics and copper pipes for the aircon system running up the side of the container from there.

This suspension system eliminated any transference of energy into the structure below, though the portability of our studios suffered as all the hardware had to be packed away within the container for transport, then reinstalled at the destination. We also experimented with building complete separate structures that housed both the indoor and outdoor unit, with the flexi duct feeding to both the tracking room and control room. This was very effective in achieving total isolation, though this again compromised the portability of our studios.

Up until this year, we have been waiting for the technology of ducted systems to catch up with our dreams in creating a true ‘plug and play’ portable recording studio.

And finally, It’s here!

Simply Cool have worked closely with us for over 15 years now, supplying and installing us with the very latest in air conditioning technology. This year, we now proudly present, build and deliver all our container studios as ‘plug and play’. All the air conditioning hardware is now completely housed within the dimensions, (or ISO – International Organisation of Standardization), of international container freight standards, meaning… We now ship internationally!

As a final personalised touch, you can choose the colour of the felt walls to suit your personal preferences, as can the colours of the stains used for the resonators and all other timber components.

We sand and seal the floor nearest to the desk with four coats of extremely hard-wearing clear varnish, then professionally install carpet a metre back from the desk to the front door, again in your choice of colours. The desk furniture in the control room or ‘all-in-one’ studio can be tailor designed to suit any specific studio requirements you may have, with bespoke rack space, drawers etc… All furniture will be varnished with four coats of a clear and hard-wearing satin or gloss finish, (your choice), then we protect and beeswax all the bass traps, resonators, kickboards and shelves.

As standard, we now repaint all our studios before delivery with the highest grades of roofing paint, protecting and prolonging the life of your container studio for many years to come. We will provide links to available colours upon sale.

Technical Specifications Coming Soon. Watch this space for acoustic frequency response graphs and attenuation ratings…

Can you build me a 40’ container studio?

40’ container studios can be built, although the biggest hurdle for such a space is delivery to your desired location. Due to their physical size, it’s near impossible to deliver these to the average suburban property, let alone set them down safely next to a house. The tray trucks that deliver these need to be twice the length of the truck to offload. Most properties don’t allow enough space to manoeuvre these into place. Rural spaces maybe a possibility, but to this point, we only build within 20’ containers. Torsion within 40’ containers is far greater than the 20’ers, compromising the structures from within. The other issue is having complete isolation from each room, as well as cooling every room. Running ducting to every room compromises the physical headroom as well.

Do you ship internationally?

Yes, we can! We now offer wiring of our studio containers built to your particular country’s standards and voltages, though it will slow down the lead time in construction and delivery.

Please note: All our studios are built in Australia and are wired to Australian electrical standards of 240v. If you would like us to wire your studio to comply with your country’s electrical standards, all International container studio sales may incur extra costs, covering the initial freight charges of any required components/power points from your country, and may incur a surcharge to cover any extra labour and research costs associated.

Is delivery included in the price?

All costs of shipping and any associated fees are the sole responsibility of the purchaser. Container studios will do all it can to help you with inquiries on costs on safe delivery of your studio from Australia to the destination.

Some ‘ballpark’ delivery/transportation figures for you are:

Maleny, Qld, Australia to Brisbane, Qld, Australia $500-$800 Aus Tray truck
Maleny, Qld, Australia to Sydney, NSW, Australia $3500-$3900 Aus Tray truck
Maleny, Qld, Australia to Melbourne, Vic, Australia $4600 – $5000 Aus
Maleny, Qld, Australia to Perth or Darwin, Australia $6000 – $7000 Aus
Maleny, Qld, Australia to Hamburg, Germany or Kingston, Jamaica approx. $5000 US

(includes all extra shipping charges).
PLEASE NOTE……..THESE FIGURES MAY VARY EITHER WAY, depending on modes of transport and time frames.

How much do the container studios weigh?

The empty shell of a 20’ container weighs around 2.5 tonne. Our studios on completion weigh in at around 6.5 – 7.0 tonne. The sheer amount of materials used in our containers is well over three times that of any standard timber dwelling, (4 times more flooring, double acoustic sheeting rated to the highest attenuation standards, three times the layers of the highest rated acoustic insulation available, double the commercial glass and aluminium triple lock acoustic doors and windows, hardwood bass traps in all 4 corners, 4 sets of timber Helmholz mid-range resonators, soffit speaker mounts).

Bob-Montgomery

Sparky is a fine engineer and his expertise in the field is second to none. Sparky's mobile studios sound great and the acoustics are as good & true as any of the many Nashville studios I've recorded in. "What you hear is what you get" - I'm sure you know how important that is. Not only that but he is very pleasant guy to work with!

- Bob Montgomery (Patsy Cline, Waylon Jennings, Buddy Holly)

Pricing

All-In-One control room/tracking room

$99,990.00 (ex GST)

Including complete ducted air conditioning system, all fixtures and fittings, 2 x sets (internal and external) glass/aluminium slider or swing doors, 2 x sets of windows (internal and external) at mix position end, completely acoustically treated with bespoke upper and lower mid resonators and hardwood bass absorbers, 20 x star earthed double power points, 8 x dimmable LED lights, 1 x external light, multicore port and ports for HDMI and Coaxial and Ethernet.

Control room

$99,990.00 (ex GST)

Including complete ducted air conditioning system, all fixtures and fittings, 2 x sets (internal and external) glass/aluminium slider or swing doors, 2 x sets of windows (internal and external) at mix position end, completely acoustically treated with bespoke upper and lower mid resonators and hardwood bass absorbers, 20 x star earthed double power points, 8 x dimmable LED lights, 1 x external light, multicore port and ports for HDMI and Coaxial and Ethernet.

Tracking room

$96,990.00 (ex GST)

Including complete ducted air conditioning system, all fixtures and fittings. 2 x sets (internal and external) glass/aluminium slider doors, completely acoustically treated with bespoke upper and lower mid resonators and hardwood bass absorbers, 12 x star earthed double power points, 8 x dimmable LED lights, 1 x external light, multicore port and ports for HDMI and Coaxial and Ethernet.

Rehearsal space

$59,990.00 (ex GST)

Including window type air conditioning system, 2 x sets (internal and external) glass/aluminium slider doors, acoustically treated with 2 x bespoke upper and lower mid resonators and corner bass traps, 6 x double power points, 8 x dimmable LED lights, 1 x external light.

Call Mark on +61(0)416 262 319 to discuss which package suits you best.

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