Why Shipping Containers Make Excellent Music Studios
Shipping containers have a variety of uses, but if you have been in an empty one you wouldn’t be so sure they could be converted into a great music studio. They echo and reverberate when you speak in them. One legendary singer has taken full advantage of this sound effect, while another in Australia has recorded her album in another. The same studio owner converts and sells portable studios for people to use at home, while another organisation has set up a community music studio in Washington DC. Yes, shipping containers make excellent music studios – let’s have a look at a few of them below…
James Taylor Echo Chamber
James Taylor contributed had several hits in the 1960’s and 70’s and is famous for songs like You’ve Got a Friend and has sold over a million copies of each of every album he has produced since. He has recorded at all the top studios in the world, including Abbey Road in London (famous for being where the Beatles and Pink Floyd recorded much of their music), which is home of one of the best music echo chambers in the world.
James Taylor made a comeback in 2015 and has managed to hit the right note with millions of people buying his latest music. Being from the cutting edge of rock music in the 60’s (and surviving!) it is of no surprise that rather than using digital effects for reverb when he sang his latest album Before This World he used a shipping container for the effect. Listen to him singing in the video above – it is a country mile better than what a computer could do…
Bronte Holding – Spark 1 Studio
From one of the top musicians of the 60’s to new Australian blood. Bronte Holding is also an acoustic singer who had the single in the YouTube video above recorded at the Spark 1 Studio near Booroobin on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland.
Spark 1 Studios offer their services by saying, “From huge, ‘in your face’ modern radio production, to capturing the ‘stripped back’, intimate acoustic performance, Spark1 Studios covers all your recording needs.”
The company has a reputation that goes far and wide. One of their testimonials is from Nashville producer Bob Montgomery who has in his career produced Buddy Holly and Patsy Cline. He said, “I have worked in Sparky’s mobile studio. Sounds great & is completely movable. The acoustics are as good & true as any of the many studios I’ve recorded in, in Nashville. “What you hear is what you get” I’m sure you know how important that is.”
The owner of Spark 1 Studios Mark ‘Sparky’ Paltridge also converts shipping containers into bespoke music studios. Most musicians won’t make it like James Taylor above, but may become fixtures on their local band circuit. They can’t afford to go to Abbey Road (or choose to record in a container instead of Abbey Road!).
The shipping container systems come in a highly portable 20ft high cube container that is as mobile as any other shipping container. It comes in three configurations from an ‘all in one’ unit, to a dedicated control room or complete tracking room. Where people will have to fork out several hundred thousand dollars to convert a room in their home into a studio, these come fully fitted out for just under AU$60,000.
According to their website, “The actual container shell is first lined with flooring, walls and ceiling, using only the highest grades and densities of acoustic sheeting. This creates our ‘outside room’. Once every tiny little gap is sealed, we begin building a separate structure/room within this space. Our ‘inside room’ is free floating and completely isolated/decoupled from the outside structure, which in turn radically reduces any noise transference from the outside world in, and indeed any transference of sound energy from within into the outside world. From there we build in optimised sound treatment, using the latest bespoke designs in bass traps, slot resonators and absorbers, designed specifically to work to the dimensions within these unique spaces.”
Boombox, Washington DC
This unit is built using two 45ft train containers welded together. It is divided into two, with a 25ft studio and a 20ft garage. The studio itself has a length of windows that can be rolled back so people outside can watch the musicians play their music.
While not fitted out for music recording it has been sound-proofed so those playing don’t have any issues with reverb or echo that one would get from a naked container. It has become a popular location for locals to hang out and listen to their local musicians play while practising.
Ready to start your own shipping container music studio?
Gateway Container Sales and Hire are the team to call. More and more companies are choosing shipping containers to create modular, scaleable buildings for every type of project, from surgical sterilisation units, to water purification systems.