I’ve had some kind of home-recording facility for much of the last 30 years or so.

During the 1990’s, I actually co-owned a commercial studio and was able to make use of it whenever there was “dead time.” When I moved to the USA in 1999, I installed a small recording area at the back of my garage in Orlando, FL. Then, when we moved to Nashville in 2007, I spent over $50,000 on a proper isolation room & studio in the house. But, since the divorce & subsequent house sale, between 2012 and now, I’ve relied on friends & colleagues to provide a place to record: this meant I was always at the mercy of others’ schedules.

When I bought the house in 2014, I always wanted to install a tracking room in the basement, but various things conspired to prevent this, most of them financial.  Then came the pandemic, lockdown, and subsequent isolation.  While I was still able to complete some projects during this time, the logistical issues really took their tool.  So, last summer, I made the executive decision to “bite the bullet” and commit to building a studio in my basement.

I was fortunate enough to pique the interest of top Nashville studio builder Mark Wenner of Studio Construction Service, Inc. for the job. His expertise & advice have been invaluable. Because of the (small) size, we went for a “Dead Room” concept from the outset.  To that end, we used a combination of blown-in cellulose fibre in the ceiling & wall cavities, and Rockwall & glass fibre materials, with material stretched over a wood framework. We created two major bass traps (one in the end wall, and one along one side wall), and added ceiling-mounted “clouds” (containing a combination of glass fibre & sugar cane fibre board), as well as mounting a large Native American rug on the opposite wall (this hangs about 1” off the wall, with some old carpet padding underneath: the entire thing floats clear of the wall, this creating a large sound absorbent zone). I also had Myers, one of Nashville’s top commercial carpet installers,  come in and carpet the floor and one wall.

So, just before Christmas, “The Tracking Room at Manicdrums” was officially in business!