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John was kind enough to give me the complete rundown on how he built his studio, where Lord Only's first two albums were recorded.

Sometime in 1993 -

The 'studio concept', for me, originated in 1993, when I realized that if I wanted to get a recording of my music, I was going to have to do it myself.  I began to research equipment, techniques, and, most importantly, construction methods!  I also began to put aside as much money as I could, for a down-payment for a house.  I was living at my parent's house at the time, paying only a small token rent, and I had a good job with minimal bills, so I was able to afford to save a large sum of money along with the purchase of my first Conklin 7-string bass - the frettless.  Those were the days.  

At the time, I was between bands - the earlier incarnation of Lord Only had just dissolved, and I was about to begin working with Brian in his band, Remnant.  Quickly, I found him to be a kindred spirit, and I shared many of my plans and schemes with him.  Incidentally, Devil's Advocate and Predator of Dreams were composed by him and me in that band, with most of the main riffs of Devil's Advocate being written by us the first day we worked together.  To paraphrase Dickens a bit, It was the best of starts...

June, 1994 -

The first step is done!  I close on my house.  The process for finding one was fairly easy - look for a large basement!  28' by about 20', unfinished but with much potential.  Now, the planning and building commence.  Between the Hammer and the Nail, indeed.

October, 1994 -

A band once again!  Due to the invaluable assistance of Brian, my parents,  my then-girlfriend and Hal's power-cable repair expertise, I have finally converted my big, empty basement into a Studio and a Control Room, at least enough to begin boot camp (re: practice) again.  

The control room consists of a room measuring 8' wide by 11' deep, with the Studio itself being an L-shaped room taking up the rest of the space.  The walls surrounding the control room are actually double single-stud walls, with about three inches of space between them, for a total thickness of about 1'.  There is a triple-pane plexi-glass window between the studio and the control room, 4' wide by 2' high.  

A visit by one of the State of Georgia's Finest informs me that my sound insulation between the studio room and the outside world is a bit insufficient, so.....

 

January, 1995 -

More money spent, more walls built.  This time, I put another wall all the way around the studio, 2" to 3" from the outside house wall.  I built locking "lids" of particle board and 2x4's to cover the windows, and put up solid core doors in the room itself to help keep down the noise transmission.  I think if I never see a roll of Owen's-Corning again, it will be too soon, and I am sure Brian would concur.  Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor (bass-player) not a salad-chef (carpenter).

Complaints aside, we now have a studio.  We come and go as we please - or at least I do!  We are insulated from the outside world by walls, solid-core doors, particle board, sheet rock, insulation - and silent alarms.  It really does seem like a vault. Or a fortress.

August, 1995 -  

Big studio purchase #1.  Ouch.  After much research, I have come to determine the best equipment for our needs, fitting my budget.  At this time I bought the Mackie console, the first of our four ADATs, the Lexicon unit, a pair of SM-57's, the Aphex 107, and one each of the Aphex 105's and 106's.  The race was on...    

 

There's nothing like owning a little bit of gear to make you realize how much you need to buy to have a well rounded studio.  Feeling guilty, or perhaps like they were falling behind in the arms race, Hal and Brian began purchasing as well.  Dammit, Jim, I'm a doctor (bass player), not a rocket scientist (studio mogul).

As I became better at recording and using the gear, I became more aware of our limitations. For the past 4 or 5 years, we all have been piecing the studio together, bit by bit, with the best gear that we could afford, in the hopes of building a studio that would serve us for a long time to come
 

In the fall of '98, I moved the recording gear from the studio control room to the living room of my house, which has much better acoustics and is a more comfortable place to work.

Relaxing in one's living room, kicking back and watching some television is an over-rated waste of time anyway.

 

The "studio", as such, has still continued to grow. Just recently, we've added our 5th ADAT to the roster, as well as some synth units that I will also be using as part of my Bass Synth setup. We will undoubtedly continue to expand and perfect the studio, as long as we exist as a band, undoubtedly.  
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