John Sayers' Design Forum

John Sayers' Recording Studio Design Forum

A World of Experience
Click Here for Information on John's Services
It is currently Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:48 pm

All times are UTC + 10 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Addition to my home
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:41 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:23 am
Posts: 4
Location: Seattle, WA
So this project is somewhat from scratch and is in the research planning phase. I am currently working with a non-acoustic experienced architect at the moment. I have been learning all I can and searching the forums, reading, scouring the internet. But please forgive some of my ignorances. I am trying to cover all the bases in the instruction thread though!

I will have one room possible for control room and a second for live room. 10ft ceilings, the control room I will have approximately 11x12 to work with. The live/practice room will be 24 ft at the peak and 18 ft walls. Width of 16ft and 15ft(might be forced to drop it to 12ft) length. I figure I can fit a decent isolation room in there as well when we get this far enough.

Isolation: I will need to have maximum protection. The wall of the main live/practice room will be 10ft from the property line and 25-30 from the neighbor's house. I will try to get a number here but we are going to have a decent amount of rock n roll all the way to some in your face thrash metal going on.

HVAC: I would like to use a mini-split. As I have in a decent portion of the rest of the home. I need to investigate this a bit more. It feels like it would be easiest to mitigate. In ceiling in the control room and in wall in the large room.

Budget for the audio studio portion will be a bit up in the air until I get an overall building estimate. I will guess 20-30k, including any sort of bass traps, acoustic panels and other sonic mitigation. But not including what will go into the house already in HVAC. The new building would be sheet rocked and insulated anyways but sound proofing increases the cost. Which I am still attempting to estimate...

I will attach a rough mock up, not to scale after my edits. I have a little room going up(where it says 35ft I can go 5ft up. No room going to the right or left. Again, 10ft ceilings in the area of the control room. The red area will have 24ft to the peak. I would like to keep the hallway to get to the live room, but we can change the locations of the doors very easily. This is the first floor, the control room will have office/bedroom above it.

Flooring? We are undecided. I am researching the possibilities of what is best as far as acoustics/isolation. If the large room has a crawl space or a slab? Is concrete best for that area and the control while being a little higher up than the live room is ok to have a crawl space? Most of what I have read is dealing with mitigation for what is already there in flooring. Having that large room on a slab alone would also raise the ceiling height a few feet as well.

The end product I would like as close to professional as I can get so even any changes in dimensions would be taken into consideration. I am starting with a fairly blank slate. Sound proofing is a priority over acoustics. As mentioned above about flooring I am a bit confused there what is best.

Edit: I added 2 extra alternative drawings from the architect this moves the live room to the center and the offices/control room to the end. Possibly alleviating some of the isolation issues of the live room a bit but possibly adding some weird acoustic issues with the catwalk. But adds more flexibility with creating a control room backed into the corner of the 1st floor and a possible storage area. I will try to update this thread as I learn and hopefully show less ignorance.

And last but not least. THANK YOU!


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


Last edited by tonyleder on Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Report this post
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Addition to my home
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:10 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:23 am
Posts: 4
Location: Seattle, WA
Here is an alternative design that removes the hallways from downstairs and moves the live room to center with control room offices to the end. I have attached both top and bottom floors that will hopefully be better clarification.

I will attempt an inner design for the control room and post it once I wrap my head around a few of the concepts.


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Addition to my home
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:11 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:17 am
Posts: 10299
Location: Santiago, Chile
Hi there Tony, and Welcome!

Quote:
I have been learning all I can and searching the forums, reading, scouring the internet. But please forgive some of my ignorances. I am trying to cover all the bases in the instruction thread though!
That's exactly what the forum is for! :thu: You are in the right place, doing the right things...

Quote:
10ft ceilings, the control room I will have approximately 11x12 to work with.
Can you make it bigger than that? The general recommendation for a control room is a minimum floor area of around 200 ft2. You have only two thirds of that. The reason is related to the acoustic "signature" of small rooms: the smaller the room is, the worse it sounds, and the harder it is to treat. There's a specification for what is needed to creat a Critical Listening room (and that's exactly what a control room is: critical listening), called ITU BS.1116-3. Google it, download it, and look for the chapter on critical listening rooms. That's the spec you should be aiming to meet, if you want a high quality control room.
Quote:
The live/practice room will be 24 ft at the peak and 18 ft walls. Width of 16ft and 15ft(might be forced to drop it to 12ft) length.
Hopefully you will not have to shrink it any! 16x15 isn't all that large for a live room. It can work, for sure, especially considering your wonderful high ceilings, but here too the rule is the same: bigger is better. Pretty much always, a larger room will sound better than a smaller room. I could go into all the acoustic reasons why that is true, but I'm tight on time tonight.

Quote:
I figure I can fit a decent isolation room in there as well when we get this far enough.
I wouldn't try to do that, as the live room would be way too small if you did. Keep things large. Worst case, you can use the control room for tracking things like vocals and acoustic guitar.

Quote:
Soundproofing I will need to have maximum protection. The wall of the main live/practice room will be 10ft from the property line and 25-30 from the neighbor's house. I will try to get a number here but we are going to have a decent amount of rock n roll all the way to some in your face thrash metal going on.
It seems like isolation will be a big issue then! You better check with your local municipality web site, to see what the legal limits are on how loud you can be: that will help to set your isolation goal.

Quote:
HVAC: I would like to use a mini-split.
That's not a complete HVAC system! That covers the "H" and the "AC", but not the "V". That stands for "ventilation", and that's a big, major, in-your-face problem for studios. In order to isolate your studio to the level you need, you absolutely have to seal it, totally air-tight, twice over. But we people have a problem: we sort of like breathing. It seems to keep us happy. And if you put a bunch of people in a place where they can't breathe, the tend to not be too happy after a while. In fact, they tend to be sort of dead! Once again, I can go into all the details for you, but basically we humans cannot live without a constant supply of fresh air. If you build a highly isolated ("soundproofed") room that has no ventilation, sooner or later things start going south.... first the air gets stuffy and unpleasant, then after a while it starts causing headaches and vision issues, messes with your concentration, and does a few other nasty things. Then you pass out. Then you die. Depending on the size of the room, it can take quite a while to get to those last stages, but even the first stages are something you definitely need to avoid, if you want to keep musicians coming back and playing in your place.

So ventilation is not a luxury: it is a basic need for keeping your musicians alive and happy. And no, opening the door every now and then is not a solution: Firstly, it doesn't work for a sealed room, since there's' no pressure differential to make the air move, like would happen in a typical house room, or office, or shop, or school, or church, or whatever, since those are not sealed airtight. Your studio is. ASHRAE has a series of publications, papers, tables. graphs, etc. that show exactly how much air you need to move to keep people alive and happy, and there are also legal requirements that you have to meet, based on that. Your architect should know a bit about that. But a basic rule of thumb is that you should be replacing the entire volume of air inside your room 6 times per hour, or once every ten minutes. And to do that, you need to chop huge gaping holes in your beautiful soundproof walls, to poke the ducts through! :shock: There are ways and methods and materials and techniques for dealing with that, but the basic concept is that you build a "silencer box" at each point where a duct goes through a wall. The silencer box works something like the silencer on your car exhaust: it allows air to pass through, but stops the sound getting through.

HVAC is a huge subject. When I'm designing a studio for one of my customers, I often spend as much time on the HVAC system as I do on all the other parts and systems of the studio combined!

Quote:
Budget for the audio studio portion will be a bit up in the air until I get an overall building estimate. I will guess 20-30k, including any sort of bass traps, acoustic panels and other sonic mitigation. But not including what will go into the house already in HVAC.
To get a good estimate of what it will cost to build your studio, ask your architect what the going rate is per square foot to build an up-scale home in your area. Add 30% to that, and multiply by the number of square feet of your studio floor area. That's usually a pretty realistic estimate of the total cost of building a studio.

Quote:
The new building would be sheet rocked and insulated anyways but sound proofing increases the cost. Which I am still attempting to estimate...
Studio designers don't often use the word "soundproof", since it is actually impossible to truly "soundproof" anything! A sufficiently loud sound will penetrate any conceivable barrier. You can't stop sound completely: all you can do is attenuate it, and we generally refer to that as "acoustic isolation", or just "isolation". And yes, isolating to high levels certainly will increase your construction costs. By a lot.

I don't want to scare you, but the math for isolation is scary! The issue is that we measure sound levels on the Decibel scale, and that happens to be exponential. Logarithmic, actually. It's not a linear increase, as most people expect, but logarithmic, and it it's not so easy ot get your head around that. For example, if a car is going at 20 MPH, and then it accelerates to 40 MPH, it's going twice as fast. If you have 20 gallons of water in your bathtub, and you add another 20, then you have twice as much. But sound is not like that. If you are listening to music at a level of 40 dB, and then you turn it up to 80 dB, you did not make it twice as loud. Subjectively, you would say that it is now 16 times louder, because each time you go up by ten dB, we humans judge that to be about twice as loud. But in terms of actual sound intensity, the 80 dB is not double 40 dB. It is not even sixteen times 40 dB. It is actually ten thousand times more intense! :shock: :!: I kid you not. Even though your ears tell you that a sound is twice as loud when it goes up by 10 dB, in actual real-world terms, it is ten times more intense. So, each time you go up by 10 dB, that's a factor of ten. From 40 to 50 is a factor of ten. from 50 to 60 is a factor of ten. From 60 to 70 is a factor of ten. From 70 to 80 is a factor of ten. That's four "factors of ten". 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 = 10,000. So going from 40 dB to 80 dB means the sound is 10,000 times more intense, even though our ears judge that it is only 16 times more intense.

And it also works for isolation: A typical house wall will provide about 30 dB of isolation. A really good house wall that is exceptionally well built might perhaps provide 40 dB of isolation, if you are very, very lucky. But let's assume that you need 80 dB of isolation... well, as you've just seen, that implies that you need about ten thousand times more isolation than a really exceptional house wall can provide. In fact, 80 dB of isolation is beyond that capabilities of most home studio or project studio builders, and beyond the means of many high-end professional studios. It can be done, but the costs and complexity are extreme.

30 dB isolation? A piece of cake.
40 dB isolation? Achievable, on a basic budget.
50 dB of isolation? Throw more dollars at it. Lots more dollars.
60 db of isolation? Achievable, but requires careful design, careful construction, and much deeper pockets!
70 dB of isolation? At the edge of the realm of possibility for most home studios. Mortgage the house, sell the car, and be prepared to fork out truck loads of cash to achieve it.
80 dB of isolation? Rob several banks (just kidding!)

The very best isolated studio in the planet is arguably Galaxy Studios, in Belgium. They achieved just a tad over 100 dB of isolation. It cost them millions of dollars, many years of design, hiring some of the best acousticians on the planet, (one of whom used to be a member of this forum, but unfortunately passed away last year), and basically floating hugely massive concrete bunkers on gigantic springs, inside an even larger, very cavernous concrete bunker. And even then, with that extreme, a gunshot in the live room would be heard in the control room.

So, as I said, I'm not trying to scare you, but this news is usually an eye-opener for first-time studio builders who need a lot of isolation.

Which is one of the reasons why we suggest that you first-time studio builders should start out by getting a sound level meter, then doing some testing with it in realistic situations, to get a good estimate of how much isolation the actually need. Saying "I need isolation somewhere between roughly 60 to 80 dB of isolation", is pretty much the same as saying "I need a boat somewhere between a rowing boat and an aircraft carrier, roughly, give or take a bit"....

Thus, it's important that you put a realistic estimate on the amount of isolation you need. With that number in hand, we can show you the methods and techniques and materials that will get you that much isolation, then you can get your architect to come up with cost estimates for each of those, and you can pick then one that best suits your pocket.

There's a process here that you should follow: no guesswork needed!

Quote:
Flooring? We are undecided. I am researching the possibilities of what is best as far as acoustics/soundproofing.
That one is easy! Nothing really to think about here: The best possible studio floor, at any price, is concrete. Pour a nice thick monolithic slab-on-grade concrete floor, and you are done! Nothing more is needed. It's the best possible floor for isolation, and it's also the best possible floor for the final acoustics of the room. If you don't like the look of bare concrete, then have it polished, o stained, or finished in some other way that makes it look nice. If you don't like that idea for your final finish floor, then lay ceramic tiles on the slab, or lay thick laminated flooring on it, over a suitable underlay. The basic rule here is that the final acoustic surface of your floor should be massive, hard, solid, rigid, reflective, and the ceiling should be mostly absorptive. Look around photos of high-end studios, and see how their floors are done. You'll not that they are pretty much all done like this.

The key point of your flooring is that it must be massive, and must have no air gaps under it or inside it. Only ever use solid flooring. (There's one single exception to that, which might apply to you if you need very high isolation, but I wont' even mention it yet, as it is expensive, complicated to do right, and doesn't work at all if you do it wrong.)

Quote:
If the large room has a crawl space or a slab?
Slab only. For both rooms. No gaps, no crawl space, nothing: Just plain old concert slab, poured on plain old mother earth (with suitable prep, of course!).

Quote:
Is concrete best
Yes, absolutely, and unquestionably. That's the easiest of your questions to answer. Unequivocally yes. Concrete slab is the one-and-only floor that you need, for both rooms.

Quote:
is ok to have a crawl space?
No, definitely not. For several reasons that I don't have time to go into right now.

Quote:
The end product I would like as close to professional as I can get so even any changes in dimensions would be taken into consideration.
Something like this studio? : viewtopic.php?f=2&t=20471 . Click on that, to see an example of what was achieved by another forum member, who wanted his place well isolated and with the best possible acoustic response he could get.

Quote:
Sound proofing is a priority over acoustics.
There does not need to be a compromise here: a good studio designer can get you really good isolation as well as really good acoustics. Such as the studio in the link above.

- Stuart -

_________________
I want this studio to amaze people. "That'll do" doesn't amaze people.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Addition to my home
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:30 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:23 am
Posts: 4
Location: Seattle, WA
thank you so much for the response. With that info I have focused my design/planning on control room. I have modified the plans a bit on the first floor. Moved the control room to the end of the building.

I will be using concrete slab. Right now I am just trying to decide on the control room "skeleton". When things are done I will have a room that is 17x14x10 for the control room. Unfinished. This leaves me with 238 square ft of floor space. That is about as large as I can go.

As I said before, I am educating myself on this. A couple of books(suggested on these forums) will take me through 2 flights I have coming up. Hopefully, I will be able to ask more pointed, educated questions...


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Addition to my home
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:21 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:23 am
Posts: 4
Location: Seattle, WA
Our overall addition design is heading to the engineer for his first pass. The upper floor is a master bedroom. The structure and master bedroom should be completed by fall of 2018. I want to make sure that I properly plan the upstairs to account for the lower floor project.

The lower floor is control room and tracking room that will have a 17x35 total space to work with. That is left completely blank at this point after my initial post so I can design it MORE BETTER. My architect is accounting for a future large "live room" that will hopefully become reality within 2 years after this phase of the project.

I have read through 95% of Rod's studio handbook. Awesome and learned so much. I do have a question on isolation from upstairs noise and footsteps. Because this is a new addition it seems I will have more ability to mitigate footsteps, creaking and talking than he assumed in the book.

In the book he suggests accessing the upper flooring from underneath, removing the existing bridging adding 2-3 layers of drywall, caulked and suspended on a ledger board in between each of the joists then re-placing the bridging.

Is there a better method since I will have the luxury of not having to modify an existing structure but plan for maximum isolation from the upper floor? Or is some sort of acoustic mat going to suffice? After reading Rod's book and another I am partially through I am skeptical of all acoustic mats and "soundproof" products which all seem to be a mesh which allows air through. Should I have them plan to do Rod's method from the start?

I am also at a loss(currently) as to what to do about the bathroom that will be above the tracking room. What amount of isolation could I reasonably achieve from flushing and water noises? What methods do I have at my disposal to mitigate this issue as much as possible?

Like with all of my posts I will keep researching this to educate myself but a nudge or two in the right direction would be awesome.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 

All times are UTC + 10 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 15 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group