PART 1: THE FIND, THE WIN, THE GET.
Last May, I broke down and bought a Whisper Room. I have wanted one since very early on, and was fortunate enough to find one on eBay within a day's driving distance. It also happened to be a size that would fit in the room I chose as my studio. I waffled for a couple weeks, due to the price and the hassle of getting it home, and the auction ended. The seller relisted the item, and I thought, "Time to bite the bullet". It's Whisper Room time.
The Whisper Room came from a VO artist in northwest Washington State, who, graciously, was willing to meet me in Bellingham. I was worried about trouble at the border bringing something like this over, but decided to go for it. Also, before even bidding, I contracted my Brother With A Truck for the haul. We're going on a Road Trip to America!
"I WANT YOU! To eat more onion rings!"
We drove down to Bellis Fair, and hung out at Red Robin, where we arranged to meet. The seller was late due to traffic, so my brother and I enjoyed ourselves chowing down on cheap onion rings and $4 milkshakes. Forget about the exchange rate. Pretend it's at par!
The seller and his family arrived with the Whisper Room and we started taking it home. It didn't QUITE lay flat because it had to sit slanted up against this toolbox bolted into the box of the truck that we could not remove, and I was worried that the Whisper Room would be damaged, or worse, that a panel (or the door) would fly out of the truck and smash through someone's windshield on the highway of one of the most notoriously litigious countries in the world! Nightmares for days....
"Don't jump, Whisper Room! It's not worth it!"
We made it through the border, and I paid more than a day's wages in levies to be able to bring this second hand item into my country. The border guards were interested in my three-figure pricetag box, but didn't give us any trouble. We got it home, after stopping our parents' house for soup. Thanks, Mom!
PART 2: STUDIO SELECTION
I had two potential locations in my condo to use for my studio setup. Unsurprisingly, both were somewhat unideal. There is a second bedroom, and there is a small den. Let's compare pros and cons, and see if we can choose a studio space.
Second Bedroom - Pros:
Larger; about 9 feet square
Flanked by two other rooms I have control over, my bedroom and the kitchen.
Second Bedroom - Cons:
Contains an exterior wall
Hot water baseboard heater - makes moving/gurgling water sounds whenever it wants
Window is in close proximity to an outdoor pool potentially filled with screaming children ~25% of the year
The building across from this room's window will be demolished next year, with a new construction going in for the next 2 years after that. The studio will have to move at that point. Don't get too comfortable.
Den - Pros:
It's the closest thing to an interior room I have in a shoebox condo. It is surrounded by the stairwell going up to the upstairs neighbour's condos on one wall, my foyer on one wall, my livingroom/kitchen on one wall, and my bathroom on the other wall.
Den - Cons:
Small. 5 feet by 10 feet.
The pipes that drain the bathroom of the upstairs unit into the common drain run through the wall between my studio and my bathroom. The WhisperRoom would go on the opposite wall because there is a door at this corner anyway. Lots of running water noise.
The guy upstairs seems to be constantly urinating whenever he is home. SO. MUCH. PEEING. Seriously. You can actually hear it. He also likes walking around up there yelling to himself.
Fridge noise is more than expected and the fridge is about 4 feet from the studio.
There is a (non-glass) window hole between the den and the hallway/kitchen/livingroom junction. Lots of noise from anything and everywhere.
The only place a Whisper Room would fit would partially block the breaker panel. Safety third, right?
Both of these options kind of suck, but I am still lucky to have more 'free space' than most people in condos in Greater Vancouver. I decided to go with the den room, because I didn't want to move everything when demolition begins 25 feet away from my booth.
PART 3: THE INSTALLATION
We were pretty tired from the drive and the unloading of the Whisper Room, but we pressed on to set it up. Whisper Room prides itself on its website on its super easy setup, stating that I should be able to get it done in about an hour. Challenge accepted. FIVE HOURS LATER, we had the thing up. We were just so tired, we couldn't do anything right. I'd get it done in an hour on my next go, though. It's not difficult, it's just cumbersome. Like building an entire ROOM made out of Ikea components that start out flat and end up not and you have a bunch of screws and washers in a ziplock bag and you hope for the best that everything you need is in there as you pick through looking for every little piece of hardware you need.
Heavy. Tedious. We were hot. We were smelly. We were hungry. But we got it done.
NEXT TIME! PART 4: FEATHERING THE NEST