Monday, June 27, 2011

F is for....

FATHERS silly!

Happy Father's Day to all those father's out there, including my own dad, my father in law and of course the Father of my two beautiful children!

When Kory and I first got married, I was commuting every day to the University of Utah, and taking his nephew Andy to a school for kids with Autism. Andy was quite impressionable so I got in the habit of listening to "Kid Friendly" or what I call "Mom stations" while he was in the car. One of those stations was 106.5, and after a while I really started to enjoy their morning show, so I became a regular and listened to it daily on the drive up, with or without Andy with me. Because I listened to them all the time, I got really good at calling in when they had prizes and contests and pretty much won something almost every month, from movie tickets to, dinners, to even a really nice set of pots/pans (which are still in excellent condition to this day). I think it was one of my favorite hobbies. Every month Kory and I got to participate in something we otherwise wouldn't have and it was really fun. :) But I stopped listening to them when I stopped commuting, and haven't entered anything with them until this year.

For father's day I entered Kory into a contest to play musical chairs for a chance to win a gas grill, and $1000 worth of meat. I am not sure how many people sign their dads up for it, but he was picked and we got to go to Cherry Hill for the day to watch him battle it out with 21 other dudes. He did really well, and got 6th place, and won us tickets for dinner and a movie. So even though he didn't win the grand prize we still got to play all day at Cherry Hill together and didn't go home empty handed.

Her is fisher from Today's 106.5

Kory between what I called his "Body Guards" Both these guys played really fairly and kept a nice distance, and they actually both got out before Kory did. Kory said the big guy in front of him was way nice and polite. This picture is soo funny

This is right before Kory got out. The guy behind him "Snaked" his seat from out from under him. He would slide under the guy in front of him. So when I saw him get behind Kory I was so panicked, I couldn't watch, I wanted to throw up. Can't you tell he is just right on Kory's heals?
Axel was nervous the whole time, and wanted Kory to come back, but when they started to play he has a look of worry on his face the WHOLE time
The water park had this huge pirate ship that you could walk through
Axel was in pirate heaven, he kept saying "Arrr a pirate ship"

The kiddie pool was fun too, it had a pirate ship slide that went down to it.
We then went to the lazy river

And then the other little poolWe had a blast at cherry hill, we don't get to do stuff like that very much or ever. So it was really nice to spend time just playing and having fun. We didn't stay too long (didn't think our kids would have lasted much longer) because we also had a BBQ to get to that night.

That night we went to a Father's Day BBQ at my sister's house and had yummy ribs and a whole lot of other yummy food.

On Father's day we went to sacrament for the first time with our whole little family to celebrate since having Dani. And besides the part where upon rushing to take a semi fussy baby out to be nursed, I stepped on Axel's pinky finger, and then fell on my bum while trying to give Axel loves in the middle of the aisle, with baby in hands, it went well. (lets just say I may not be ready to be back at church just yet after all)

We then came home had a steak dinner, and then headed over to Kory's parents house to visit with Grandpa Anderson. It was a very fun and eventful weekend!

We are so grateful for the dads in our life. Especially Kory, he does so much for our family, and I could not ask for a better dad to my kids. He loves them so much and really does a good job setting a good example for them. I love sitting back and just watching him interact with Axel, they are such good buddies and Axel loves him to pieces.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Two weeks down...

Dani had her two week (11 days actually) check up last Friday.

Weight 7 lbs 5 oz
24 %
Length 19.6 inches
29 %
Head 13.58
21 %

When I was filling out paper work the receptionist kept calling "Danielle? Danielle?" and it took like 3 calls before I was like OH that's my kid. I am so used to hearing "Axel" I think I just spaced it, and he wasn't even there with us.

The Dr said she is doing great and everything about her is "normal" from her ultra dry skin on her feet, to her cinnamon roll belly button, and including her lump on her head.
Lump on her head you ask? Yeah right as if you all haven't noticed it, but in case you haven't heard from us what it is, it's a hematoma, but it's on her head so it has a longer name but means the same. Basically its a blood vessel that burst during birth, and eventually it will go down when the blood is reabsorbed through her body. In simpler terms its a bruise. We just have to wait now, it could take a two weeks, two months or even still be around a year from now. But we were told there is nothing to worry about and that she is perfectly healthy, and those are super common.

This is a screen shot of a picture these guys took of her in the hospital, but it shows how big her bump was, it has gone down quite a bit since these were taken two weeks ago

She was quite grumpy during her appointment because she was hungry, but even at her maddest she is quite content. I would just have to talk to her and she'd stop crying and look at me.

She's our happy girl, we were so surprised to see her making smiles at us the first couple days and each day she gets older those smiles get more and more frequent. And if you are really lucky she will giggle for you in her sleep. (which kills us every time)When she isn't eating or sleeping, she is pretty much just kickin it and looking around and listening very intently to the world around her. And her arms and legs never stop moving! She is quite the wiggle worm!

She is also quite the pooper. Kid you not she is always pooping, and I am not just saying that because I forget, she really is always pooping.Axel has really started to love her to pieces. He brings her her binkie when she cries, and today he was very concerned for this morning as she was crying he climbed up on to our bed where she was and said "Why Crying?". It was very adorable. He will also lift up her car seat cover from time to time and say "boo"! Or this morning her binkie fell out and he said "ah oh, kinkie" and handed it to her. He is turning into a great older brother and helper.
We let him hold her for the first time the other day, and that made all the difference. I don't know why we waited so long to let him try. Maybe because he hasn't been interested and we didn't want to push her on him. But either way he held her and it was ADORABLE! And when I took her back he said "Hey, Mine!" and wanted to hold her again.
As for me, I am feeling GREAT! I love that I am not pregnant anymore, and the two kids thing has been so much easier this time for me. I think for the most part I am just kinda bored during the day. But we have been trying to keep our selves busy with walks, play dates and I set up a little play area in the part of our backyard that is decent for Axel to swim and Dani and I just chill in the shade. I did however get two mosquito bites! SO I either need to get some sort of off candle or have any of you seen those new clips? I think that is brilliant, I may be picking those up for me and Dani.

But it has been hard for me to not take on too much too soon because I feel really great. But I try to rest when my kids rest, which right now is never at the same time. So that still needs some adjusting.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Blood Sweat and Mostly Tears

By the way this is Kory

My original draft of this post was over 3 written pages long without pictures. I’ll try and condense it all into a readable length. I’ve never invested so much of myself into anything so it’s hard to know what to leave out.

When I started building the studio I was planning on giving a shout out by name to everyone that helped and how they contributed. Well, this was a bigger undertaking than expected and needed a lot more help than expected. Almost everyone I know helped out in some way. So if you lifted heavy stuff, built anything, babysat so we could get stuff done or helped in any way, I want you to know how much I appreciate your help. This has been my dream for a long time now, and it’s finally real, and you helped with that. I sincerely thank you.

There are some shout outs that I have to give, because I just can’t say thank you enough. If you are not mentioned by name it doesn’t mean I’m not eternally grateful for your help.

This was all possible because of my beautiful wife and my parents. My poor mom and dad put up with years and years of noise. Given that neither of them are a fan of loud noises, this was a big deal. I was not quiet about any of it. My mom supported me and helped me believe in myself and my music. Amy has been/is unbelievably supportive in this endeavor, and without her, I probably would have quit a long time ago. She has been so patient in not seeing me for a couple years because I spent every spare minute and holiday building. My dad was absolutely indispensible in building the studio. He helped me meet my acoustic ideals with reality. He’s spent so many hours on building this. I physically couldn’t have done it without him. My brother Kurt hooked me up time and time again and saved me more money than I’d like to mention here. His craftsmanship on building the studio desk was awesome. Amy’s dad laid the carpet for us in the piano room and office, as well as putting in the floors in our laundry room. Thanks again to everyone who helped.

The short and skinny of this is, after going to school for Recording Engineering, no one in Utah would hire anyone without at least 5 years experience in a studio. One of the bigger studios in Salt Lake said that I could fill an internship if I could wait 6 months and work for free. That would have been fine except we were newly married and I needed a paying job. So Amy and I decided we would need to start our own studio.

We eventually bought a house with the intention to convert the basement into a studio. We didn't want it to be like some kid recording in his bedroom. We wanted a real professional studio. That was a MUCH bigger project than we expected. We weren’t able to leave much of anything in the basement. We had to move almost every pipe, the walls were all useless and crooked. We gutted the whole thing.

This has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Ever. I had been planning out the studio since I was in school and had to make some changes to accommodate the smaller space we had to work with. I designed it after some of the million dollar studios out there, and for the most part, was able to stay true to the same materials and design of those studios, just on a smaller scale.

Some before pictures: Mind you these are after months of cleaning the place up. The piles of trash were as tall as a person.

I’m trying not to make this overly technical and boring. But if you see the studio, you don’t see just how much work went into building it. You see a wall, but not the 6 layers beneath it that nearly killed me. My blood sweat and tears were literally in every room of our studio.

To build sound proof rooms you build a room within a room and it should touch the outside room as little as possible. Where they do touch, you use decoupling devices or materials.

We started on the ceiling. To get rid of as much sound from upstairs as possible we filled between the joists with soundproofing insulation (rock wool), then covered it with soundboard.

We then covered the soundboard in soundproof rubber which also acts as a decoupler. (This rubber is more soundproof than lead). After that there are metal strips called r-channel that hang the next layers an inch or so down from the previous layers. This is a big soundproofing technique because air gaps stop sound, as well as the metal absorbs a lot of the vibrations so it doesn’t go through the next layers. (Vibrations=sound). On that we hung 1.25” Drywall. This was no small feat because each 4x8 sheet weighed over 200 lbs. Luckily I had my brothers and dad as well as my brothers drywall lift to help with that. Thanks Steve for the lift! We also put acoustic calk in all the cracks between each sheet. The rubber was awful also because each roll weighed around 140lbs so gravity wasn’t a fan of me putting it on a ceiling.

Next were the floors. To get rid of outside rumble, and not having the height to float the floors we had to do a virtual float. We put a layer of soundproof rubber over the floors and sealed the joints with acoustic sealant.

Then we put the subfloor down and then built the walls.

All the walls for the studio are double walls, except between the sound room and the control room, that’s a triple wall. All the walls are decoupled from each other and have at least an inch gap in between. The studio walls are all steel studs. They weren’t as fast as using wood, but they were so much nicer and straighter when it was done. The studs were filled with the same rock wool and r-channel as the ceiling. Then 5/8” drywall. We then covered all the walls with the rubber and covered that with ½” drywall. All the walls were also decoupled from the floor and ceiling with an additional layer of rubber on top and bottom of the steel studs.

Amy and Kyle helped me a ton with getting the rubber on the walls. It was not fun to do.

This is our wall construction: Steel studs filled with rock wool, rc channel, 5/8" sheetrock, 1/8" rubber, 1/2" sheetrock

Last were the hardwood floors. I liked doing that with my dad and brother Kurt. They were meticulous and it turned out really nice and I learned a ton.

All of the electrical was run on the surface of the walls so I only had 1 hole where the electrical came in. Fewer holes = more soundproof.

Another shout out to my dad, he custom built all the doors for the studio. (which is a lot because with double walls comes double doors). He even donated 2 of the doors. Not only that, he custom cut all the other doors for the office and such, and put a new outside door through 14 inches of concrete to get the piano down the stairs.

The window was a huge pain with layer after layer. The wall it went in was almost 18 in. thick. I think I used 3 or 4 of the giant tubes af acoustic caulking to seal all the different layers.

Lastly we put in all auralex acoustic treatment.

For the microphone lines I used the best cable in the world – Canare cable, and Neutrik connectors. It took 1000 feet of cable and hundreds of connectors to wire up the studio, but you can access any signal from anywhere and I love that, I’m in signal routing heaven! What I thought was going to be a day soldering everything together ended up taking weeks because there were so many connections. Another shout out to Stewart at Sweetwater who hooked me up with some awesome gear and helping me find the right stuff. I’m so excited to be done with this part and now I can start recording again!

The desk my brother Kurt, dad and I built

Finished pictures I know most of them are blurry and the coloring is bad, but you get the idea.

The piano room

Testing the studio out on my beautiful nieces and radical nephew

I left all the important decisions to Producer Axel