Studio Diary: Jan 2017

Wow. Ok, so ever since setting up our Facebook page for Prism Analog, and getting the word out about volunteer opportunities, we have moved along by leaps and bounds! Almost all of this progress happened in January.

We built a double-wall 12x7 control room from scratch! We built the nearly free-standing room including roof/ceiling into the back of a former taxi garage in East Bayside. The building is concrete and steel, providing excellent grounding for equipment. Studio floor is non-resonant concrete slab on-grade so we can get away without floating the floor.

 Wayne cuts angled trim boards for the control room interior.

Wayne cuts angled trim boards for the control room interior.

Within the double-wall construction, each wall is loaded with Roxul mineral wool and there is a 1" air gap between the two walls. Interior and exterior each have two layers of 5/8" drywall and one layer of 5/8" plywood (6 layers in all) with all seams of each layer treated with silicone caulk (about 40 tubes!) and backer rod. Ceiling pitch is 5 degrees rising at the back and has Roxul, 5/8" plywood and two layers of 5/8" drywall. Control room glass is double-pane gas-loaded.

Control room electrical consists of two dedicated 20-amp circuits balanced across three 2-gang outlets grounded to building steel. BX armor cable and metal boxes and metal wall conduit. All by our volunteer master electrician!

And speaking of volunteers, we have had over 20 people in to work on the construction project, allowing us to keep the project on-budget, coming in just under $2,000! Throughout this 6-week project I have met so many great people and have seen the beginning of many friendships taking root as people rally around a common cause. It has been heartening to say the least and has really confirmed my hope that "if I build it, they will come!"

 Rich and Gary, our two electrical engineers.

Rich and Gary, our two electrical engineers.

Almost all of our volunteers are musicians, making for good banter and music choices during our "work parties." It's also exposed me and others to some really impressive untapped talent here in Portland. Two guys are electrical engineers, and have spent a lot of time on our mixing board, as has Alex from Rising Tide.

One of our volunteers, Jesse, who is a hardcore winter surfer, is helping us organize a fundraiser for March at Urban Farm Fermentory, our next-door neighbor on Anderson street! We have 5 acts who have expressed interest in playing the event, and we hope to have some time for open mic as well. Look for a Facebook event page soon!

 Interior of control room.

Interior of control room.

In addition to nearly two dozen volunteers, we have had about $2,000 in cash donated through our Go Fund Me page! This has really enabled us to build our control room and pay for a tape machine repair we need to get started. And finally, we have had the guidance of many professional, retired, and hobbyist sound engineers who have been to Prism and offered advice and good wishes. Most of the local studios have reached out and have been very friendly and welcoming as well which means a lot.

We have also received a number of equipment donations, from sound treatments to microphones, instruments, tape machines and a backup mixing board! We even have auctioned off vintage stereo donations.

 Alex and Rich on the board.

Alex and Rich on the board.

Beyond all of this even, we have received email from people all over the country following our Christmas day feature in the Portland Press Herald and our interview on Reverb. The amount of goodwill from people near and far has been staggering. Electric Lady Studio even dropped a line offering tech advice from their chief engineer. It's been crazy.

All of this started with some beer cans and it's turned into a real community force! We still need help though! We haven't opened our doors yet, but our expenses continue: rent, equipment, repairs and modifications, sound treatments, tape stock, utilities, insurance, building materials, saw blades, pizza to feed people.

 Jesse will be sealed into this channel indefinitely.

Jesse will be sealed into this channel indefinitely.

So THANK YOU to everyone who has made Prism Analog bigger than me. I'm really excited to see where we take this!