Christmas and New Years Opening Times

We thought we’d write a little post to let you all know what we were planning on doing over Christmas and New Year into early January.
We’ll be open as usual up to the 21st December but from then we’ll only be open during the evenings right through until January 14th 2015.
We’ll be closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Carpet madness

In my last update, I had just put up the new sound absorption panels in all the rooms. These were getting some very favourable remarks from bands coming in so I thought it could be a case of “Job done! That’s as great as the rooms can sound”. Oh how wrong I was!

It turns out that carpets are a rehearsal studio owner’s best friend when it comes to making a rehearsal room sound amazing. We’d always thought we would re-carpet the rooms just from an aesthetic viewpoint as the old ones had definitely seen lots of feet/cups of tea/miscellaneous dirt. The old carpets had been in there since the studio opened and were pretty much past the point of being carpet. They were essentially a second skin for the floor and nothing else.

Firebird Studios - MyBuilder image

I wasn’t too sure where to look for tradesmen for the job so I turned to My Builder to get some quotes. I ended up using them for several jobs that I had that needed to be done. They’re a very cool website and I’d recommend using it if you have any work that needs doing.

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Once we had decided who was fitting our carpets, we got a date booked in and that was when the fun started. Turns out that carpet men can be really tricky to pin down for cash jobs. Who knew? Several dates came and went, carpets were specced, chosen, mis-ordered (lime green anyone?) and finally we got to the day of reckoning. One of the most painful days of my life so far.

Have you ever pulled up carpet? Sounds relatively straightforward doesn’t it. Grab carpet, yank, job done. Unfortunately when you have 12 year old carpet that’s stuck to a concrete floor it gets a little trickier. We got to the studio at 6am to try and get all the carpet up before the guy came to lay the new stuff but we had only managed one room by the time he arrived. The stuff just wouldn’t budge!

20141017_122929Thankfully our carpet man came with a professional carpet pulling tool that made life a lot easier. I spent all day yanking, heaving, pulling, swearing and sweating. Several hours later than planned and with a mountain of carpet filling the reception area, we were done and the difference was incredible!

Everything sounded less harsh and more balanced. We had bands asking us what we’d done to make it sound so much better and we had to say “It’s the carpets”.

Sound absorption fun

When you’ve repainted a rehearsal room, you need to think about sound absorption to help tame the wild frequencies and I thought it’d be fun to have a go at making these myself. So I did what any self respecting amateur handyman does and I googled a video. I came across this one:
It’s a very nice video and shows you really quickly and easily how it all works. I did look at other videos to see what the general consensus was and this one seemed to make the most sense to me in terms of making something that would last a long time.
Firebird Studios Rehearsal Studio Bristol - SoundproofingFirebird Studios Rehearsal Studio Bristol - SoundproofingFirebird Studios Rehearsal Studio Bristol - SoundproofingFirebird Studios Rehearsal Studio Bristol - Soundproofing
So I set about creating them and then hanging them in the rooms. It took very little time once you got the hang of it and there were a few wrong turns but eventually it all fell into place.
Firebird Studios Rehearsal Studio Bristol - Soundproofing
We’ve now replaced all of the sound absorption for the six rooms and chosen a different colour for each one.
Firebird Studios Rehearsal Studio Bristol - Room colour blueFirebird Studios Rehearsal Studio Bristol - Room colour orangeFirebird Studios Rehearsal Studio Bristol - Room colour green
Firebird Studios Rehearsal Studio Bristol - Room colour redFirebird Studios Rehearsal Studio Bristol - Room colour purpleFirebird Studios rehearsal studio colour Brown

The saga continues!

After sugar soaping the walls (the funnest task ever invented), we had to sand down and cover over the artwork that had been painted onto the walls by a mate of the previous owners. This was as fun as it sounds so here’s a quick photo montage of it all.

No Rolf comments please!
After we had done this it was time to find all the little dents and scratches in the wall and cover them up with Polyfilla. Amazing stuff and after a couple of youtube videos I was ready to take on the walls! Again with the montage!

Turns out there were quite a few dings we had to cover up. Hopefully now people have seen what we have done they can be a little less cavalier with their guitar cases, amps and bags!
Now we have to wait for it to dry, sand it again and paint it over with a ludicrous amount of paint! Till next time.

And So It Begins…

Firebird Studios - Studio corridor

We bought a rehearsal studio! Oh my frickin god! What are we doing?! This is ridiculous!

Just some of the thoughts that ran through my head when this all started on the 1st July. But we’re here now and I know it was the best decision we could’ve made! There is nothing like running your own business, all the decisions stop with you and the freedom you have to do as you please is genuinely thrilling.
Firebird Studios - Charlie drillingWe knew that we were going to have to do some cosmetic work to the studio to get it looking how we wanted and had factored that in when we took over from Jon and Fedelma. I guess it’s kind of like when you buy a new home and you want to put your own stamp on how the place looks.
Luckily for us they did a bang up job of soundproofing the rooms so almost nothing has had to be done to this, save a bit of work on the doors and finishing off the ceilings so that slightly less sound escapes from these areas.

Firebird Studios - removing the plasterboard

The place just needs a lick of paint and some freshening up so that when you walk into the place, it immediately feels welcoming. So we set about trying to create that

very atmosphere. The first thing we did was to open up the reception space. Previously the reception desk had been covered up so that no one could access it. The reason for this was that the previous owners had been taking overnight bookings where the band could access the studio 24 hours a day. With that in mind it made sense to make the reception impregnable. You don’t want anyone wandering places they shouldn’t.
 
As we won’t be offering that service (sorry guys) we thought it’d make a lot of sense to take the extra cladding down and open up the space again.

Firebird Studios - Terry with drill

We had some help from Terry and Kevin, good friends of ours who had popped by to have a look around the space. Terry’s band Jilk have already been in the studio and made very positive noises about the space and what we could do with it. It’s great to have people around you who are so supportive of what you’re trying to do.

So with more grit and determination we got the frame and plasterboard down from the reception space and the difference is amazing! It feels so much more open and inviting from the get go.
Firebird Studios - An open reception area is a happy reception area
Et Voila!