Acoustic Panels (Bass Traps & Absorbers)
The base material that I ended up using was Owens-Corning 703 rigid fiberglass. It comes in 2ftx4ftx2in boards in bundles of 12pcs. I purchased from a local insulation company that sells to the public. I bundle barely fit in the car, but made it back safe and sound. I made frames to hold the fiberboard on the wall out of 1×4 and 1×6 lumber, stained to red mahogany and glued overnight. The panels were sprayed with a light coat of adhesive spray, front and back, and covered in unbleached cotton muslin. They stay in the frames by compression alone.
In the rear of the listening position, I mounted 2 dimensional diffusers made from 2×2 lumber and mounted them to studs on the wall. They weigh close to 50lbs each. They were originally mounted on gobos and could be moved about the room, but I opted for wall mounting as it saved precious floor space.
I found the plans for building them here. One thing I found that sped up the process greatly was to line up the lumber and do 3 cuts at a time using a clamped jig as seen here:
My sound monitors are a pair Yamaha HS50M speakers. I have the tweeters mounted at approximately ear level and are angled in to form and equilateral triangle, as per listening position standards. Each speaker is set on a configuration of brass risers and a heavy mass. The order is speaker, brass risers, mass, brass risers, desk. The brass risers are made from industrial screw plugs. The mass is simply a faux book, filled with 1″ thick steel plates (again, industrial scrap) and construction sand. This couples the speakers to the desk and minimizes vibration between the two. The desk also contributes, as it is a solid wood antique (lots of mass and less distortion than particle/plywood).
For tracking and monitoring sub-bass frequencies, I use a pair of Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones.
For checking my mixes for real-world playback, I just playback in the living over a PS3 media server. Much, much easier than it was in the past, running around burning CDs and playing tapes!
Lighting & Decor
Aside from the overhead lighting, there are three 10W Ikea halogen spot lights mounted behind three of the four corner bass traps pointing up and into the corners. The low wattage supplies enough lighting for atmosphere and eliminates the need for a dimmer, which can cause noised in your audio signal. The lights are all controlled by a footswitch mounted under the desk (supervillain style)
There are two floating wallshelves (saving floor space again) that I made from left over wood from the acoustic panels, scrap industrial bolts (for that steampunk look), and some L-brackets that where sitting around the garage.
The tree and the alembic/retort are both made from spare parts and scrap (polished, of course). There are other various item around the studio, some may make sound, others come from fictional influences that I found inspiring: largely the Myst video games and novels.
Aside from tying down and hiding all the wires I could, I discovered that my two keyboard, the beloved Rhodes and the midi controller, made by M-Audio, both have lead content. So, I sewed cloth covers for both keyboards that can be lifted and fitted back into place. Also, those sweet chrome legs on the Rhodes had to be wrapped up and taped off. Overall, not a bad trade off to know my daughter will be safe, as she loves being in here and trying to get into EVERYTHING!