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Hi folks

I've recently moved into a house and will be converting a large room in an attached cowshed (it's part if the house) into a home recording studio. The cowshed is on its own consumer unit but will be needing a new one and a rewire. Has anyone got any experience in doing electrical work for recording studios? I know it's a good idea to have a separate ring main for the studio gear... But does anyone have any advice beyond that?

The cowshed will also have a utility room and shower room (electric shower), and the plan is to run the electrics for these from the same consumer units. Any problems with that? They could potentially be ran from the host consumer unit but that would be a real pain at the moment so I'd only want to do it if the gains were big.

Any thoughts or ideas most appreciated.

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I'm a musician. I have recorded in many studios. I can't offer any electrical advice for studios because all the studios iv recorded in have been dedicated buildings, rather than an extension type.

I cant see a reason why it would have to have it's own RFC. Is interference an issue?
I used to work in a television studio - we had a 'technical earth' or 'clean earth' that all the audio and video gear was connected to. I'm pretty sure radio stations employ a similar set up. I think it was to do with providing a single path to earth to avoid earth loops and also separate the earth path from other equipment that might introduce noise into the earthing system. I don't know the specifics of this but a quick Google search might give some information.

Possibly overkill for your set up but here is a photo of the clean earth terminal bar. I'm sure it is referred to as Star Point Earthing.

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Why have two threads running on a similar vein? Could get awfully confusing down the line or supply cable :)

Deleted member 105166

A few thoughts for starters:
  • For segregation, a submain to the studio building would be worthwhile, especially if the house is on a split RCD board.
  • Probably get a 6-way AMD3 board with RCBOs for your studio submain.
  • The 'more interesting' studio gear will probably use the least power.
  • The shower room, air conditioning and kettle will have the highest demand.
  • Consider a UPS for your electronics, to protect against momentary outages that will play havoc with things like digital mixers and compression drivers on your expensive studio monitors.
  • Think about fitting LED downlighters and running these off the UPS too - then when there's an outage, you can close your studio down in a structured manner without a torch or candle. Depending on load, something in the region of 1500VA would probably hold the essentials in a small studio for half an hour or so.


Are you building a completely acoustically isolated studio within the existing building or just adapting an existing building? Is this for high level professional use or hobby use?
Could we even be in Faraday cage territory ?
(Keep an eye out for any pole mounted transformers /over head cables nearby !)

Lucien Nunes

As per Davesparks you need to be clear on what you are trying to achieve. Good results can be got from plugging your gear into any normal, correctly installed electrical supply. If you want the lowest possible noise level then you may have to take special precautions, e.g. with a separate technical earth. Extreme measures include balanced CT-E supply and twisted-pair cables, both of which require non-standard installation technique.

None of this will have any effect unless the audio installation is top-notch, especially if you have any vintage valve gear which often requires particular methods of interconnection specific to each unit. One incorrect ground connection to an external mic PSU, or digital noise injection point via a non-isolated DAW interface, or similar error can undo all the hard work elsewhere. The same goes for the acoustic treatment of the space.

FWIW most sources of noise I have been asked to trace have been due to badly designed or executed audio installation, not power.

mr smith

First of all , find what the studio (client) environment is.
A lot of new producers will prefer a limited "live" recording environment and a lot of space in behind the desk , whereas a different style of producer would prefer an "open window " environment , more suitable for musicians , drummers and live vocalists.
Depending on the studio set up first of all consider the console.
Everything happens from the centre of the main desk so find out of your client how he/she works.
Solomun has an amazing studio in Berlin that is completely built around his "workflow" with tonnes of keyboards within reach where as Sacha's studio in Ibiza is very minimalist so that the kids can charge in and not smash a juno into bits.
Keep 4 separate circuits for keyboards alone , and 1 for the main brain ( new cat5 studio lines should be in your thoughts as the latest digital audio signals are moving into this category)
You will ALWAYS get noise during recordings and some producers will enhance this so don't worry about it as all the old analog machines produce it and any good studio tech will push it out during final mix down.
Put extra dimmers above the desk and always...ALWAYS... install an override so that that one light hits the main chair and kills everything else because I guarantee that the client will spent time alone at the desk and late at night this one "shy" light is invaluable to the final feel of the track being produced.
any other questions then please hit me up

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