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 Post subject: Small Atmos Studio
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2020 11:14 pm 
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Location: United Kingdom, Warwickshire
Hello all,

I've already learned so much from reading this forum and have already changed my plans based on a few responses, so I figure I should be sharing from the beginning as I muddle my way through designing and building a studio. Here's a brief rundown of the project:

Where: UK
What: A small 7.1.4 mix room for one operator and possible occasional client attendance. A small booth for VO/SFX recording. A Toilet. A Kitchen/Sitting area.
Budget: £30,000 max - would prefer it to come way under if possible
Starting point: Flat grass - no previous structure
Isolation Requirements Will be next to a road, so is more about keeping sound out than keeping sound in. I will measure properly what kind of levels the road is presenting to see what kind of reduction I need.
Building: Self build as much as possible.

I should state that I read Rod Gervais' book around a year ago, but it is in a location I can't access due to the COVID19 lockdown - as soon as I'm able to, I'll retrieve it and re-read as I'm going a lot from memory at the moment.

---

My current plan (I'll call Plan #1 for ease, and for keeping track of in future posts) is to lay three separate concrete slabs - one for the outer walls and kitchen/toilet, one for the studio, and one for the booth to reduce the chance of flanking. They're only different colours in the Sketchup diagram to show the separation.

I'm proposing the outer leaf to be of regular design - the mass on the outside of the stud and the air gap inside. I was then planning on the inner leaves being an 'inside out' design to maximise space inside the rooms, and to give me a really dead starting point for acoustic treatment. The gap I currently have between the two leaves is ~20cm between the booth and studio, and ~30cm between the inner leaves and outer leaf. The sound proofing (or adding mass to the structure) will stop between the Studio/Booth and the Kitchen/Toilet as the kitchen/toilet do not need to be sound proofed.

The Sketchup design attached is very rough in terms of stud placement, and the room/building sizes are relatively fluid as I'm starting this from scratch and chopping and changing as I go. Just trying to get a gauge of size and space before delving into the intricacies - I've read far too many threads already that start off with a finished plan that then have to get unpicked to make work.

---

Questions:
1. Assuming that the internal height of the sound proofed rooms will be 2.4m - do the ratios look ok for the space?
2. Is my idea of the outer leaf being of regular construction, and the inner leaves being inside out a sound idea?
3. Is stopping the soundproofing/mass between the studio and kitchen/toilet ok? The outer leaf in these areas will not be soundproofed, so it won't be creating a third leaf right?
4. Any suggestions at this early stage of things to improve or try out?


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 Post subject: Re: Small Atmos Studio
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 8:55 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:07 am
Posts: 105
Location: Hastings, East Sussex, United Kingdom
Hello Fred,
Welcome aboard the roller-coaster! It seems to me that your budget is realistic enough and I know it's definitely possible to save money on materials by bulk ordering.
Quote:
I will measure properly what kind of levels the road is presenting to see what kind of reduction I need.

:thu:
Quote:
I should state that I read Rod Gervais' book around a year ago . . . I'm going a lot from memory at the moment.

P.M. if you need me to reference something urgently - might not be able to get straight back to you as I'm spending a lot of time on my own build at the moment. Also, check out The Master Handbook Of Acoustics by F. Alton Everest - here:
http://www.roletech.net/books/HandbookAcoustics.pdf
Quote:
The gap I currently have between the two leaves is ~20cm between the booth and studio, and ~30cm between the inner leaves and outer leaf.

Greg built a great tool for calculating mass, cavity depth and their effect on T/L (apols if I'm preaching to the choir). http://johnlsayers.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=21770
Quote:
I'm starting this from scratch and chopping and changing as I go.

You clearly know yourself how important it is to make, revise and update your plan - I've lost count how many times I did this. I look around on the forum for projects similar to mine, adapt them to my building, then re-draw according to suggestions offered by other members or when I make an advance in understanding a particular concept or technique.
Quote:
Assuming that the internal height of the sound proofed rooms will be 2.4m - do the ratios look ok for the space?

Not my specialist subject I'm afraid - I'm sure some other members may have some thoughts. There's a room mode calculator here: https://amcoustics.com/tools/amroc?l=434&w=372&h=234&r60=0.23
Quote:
Is my idea of the outer leaf being of regular construction, and the inner leaves being inside out a sound idea?

Are we taking about cladding a stud frame? I don't see any reason why this wouldn't work given the right density and construction.
Quote:
Is stopping the soundproofing/mass between the studio and kitchen/toilet ok? The outer leaf in these areas will not be soundproofed, so it won't be creating a third leaf right?

Again, as described, I don't see why this can't work. You'll need to build a air supply and exhaust path (on opposite sides of the structure ideally) and I'm guessing you'll be installing a mini-split AC system as well.
Quote:
Any suggestions at this early stage of things to improve or try out?

Keep reading, learning, work the numbers and your layout. Looking forward to seeing how your plans develop Fred. ATB John.

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 Post subject: Re: Small Atmos Studio
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 8:42 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:42 am
Posts: 571
Location: Wales, UK
Fred Pearson wrote:
Hello all,

I've already learned so much from reading this forum and have already changed my plans based on a few responses, so I figure I should be sharing from the beginning as I muddle my way through designing and building a studio. Here's a brief rundown of the project:

Where: UK
What: A small 7.1.4 mix room for one operator and possible occasional client attendance. A small booth for VO/SFX recording. A Toilet. A Kitchen/Sitting area.
Budget: £30,000 max - would prefer it to come way under if possible
Starting point: Flat grass - no previous structure
Isolation Requirements Will be next to a road, so is more about keeping sound out than keeping sound in. I will measure properly what kind of levels the road is presenting to see what kind of reduction I need.
Building: Self build as much as possible.

I should state that I read Rod Gervais' book around a year ago, but it is in a location I can't access due to the COVID19 lockdown - as soon as I'm able to, I'll retrieve it and re-read as I'm going a lot from memory at the moment.

---

My current plan (I'll call Plan #1 for ease, and for keeping track of in future posts) is to lay three separate concrete slabs - one for the outer walls and kitchen/toilet, one for the studio, and one for the booth to reduce the chance of flanking. They're only different colours in the Sketchup diagram to show the separation.

I'm proposing the outer leaf to be of regular design - the mass on the outside of the stud and the air gap inside. I was then planning on the inner leaves being an 'inside out' design to maximise space inside the rooms, and to give me a really dead starting point for acoustic treatment. The gap I currently have between the two leaves is ~20cm between the booth and studio, and ~30cm between the inner leaves and outer leaf. The sound proofing (or adding mass to the structure) will stop between the Studio/Booth and the Kitchen/Toilet as the kitchen/toilet do not need to be sound proofed.

The Sketchup design attached is very rough in terms of stud placement, and the room/building sizes are relatively fluid as I'm starting this from scratch and chopping and changing as I go. Just trying to get a gauge of size and space before delving into the intricacies - I've read far too many threads already that start off with a finished plan that then have to get unpicked to make work.

---

Questions:
1. Assuming that the internal height of the sound proofed rooms will be 2.4m - do the ratios look ok for the space?
2. Is my idea of the outer leaf being of regular construction, and the inner leaves being inside out a sound idea?
3. Is stopping the soundproofing/mass between the studio and kitchen/toilet ok? The outer leaf in these areas will not be soundproofed, so it won't be creating a third leaf right?
4. Any suggestions at this early stage of things to improve or try out?


Hello fellow brit,

Atmos is a very ambitious design acoustically, especially since I am assuming this will be your first ever studio build? Props to you... I am not one to be a party pooper and hopefully we can help you achieve your dream. Might be worth researching the Atmos room criteria - the biggest challenge will be your limited size, especially a height of 2.4m, not ideal for a professional control room let alone an Atmos mix room, but you may know more than me on the topic.

You can use bobgolds.com room mode calculator to get a very good analysis of your proposed plan, make sure to check all the details in the list at the bottom as well as the bonello chart. Things I would definitely aim for is for your room to pass the 3 critical listening tests, no "near" or "same" modal incidences, a volume of at least 1500 cubic feet (more if possible, bigger is definitely much better) and a smooth bonello criterion chart.

Inside out inner leaf is fine - just be aware that in order to get acceptable isolation the gap between the two sets of framing will need to be substantially bigger since you'll not have the depth of the studs from the inner leaf to count towards your air gap. At least 100mm but ideally more if you want excellent low frequency isolation. I see you have 300mm - that's pretty close to what you'll need depending on how much mass you have on each leaf - have you used Gregwor's MSM calculator to figure out how much isolation you can expect to achieve with your current plan?

The kitchen and toilet are not a third leaf since the space between them and your isolated studio is substantial, in fact it will increase your overall isolation.

Looking forward to seeing this project unfold!
Paul

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 Post subject: Re: Small Atmos Studio
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 7:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:45 pm
Posts: 21
Location: United Kingdom, Warwickshire
John Steel wrote:
Hello Fred,
It seems to me that your budget is realistic enough and I know it's definitely possible to save money on materials by bulk ordering.


Good to know I'm in the rough ballpark!

John Steel wrote:
P.M. if you need me to reference something urgently - might not be able to get straight back to you as I'm spending a lot of time on my own build at the moment. Also, check out The Master Handbook Of Acoustics by F. Alton Everest - here:
http://www.roletech.net/books/HandbookAcoustics.pdf


Appreciated - thanks John!

John Steel wrote:
Greg built a great tool for calculating mass, cavity depth and their effect on T/L (apols if I'm preaching to the choir). http://johnlsayers.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=21770


Yep, I had a quick whirl at this and ended up with the attached graph. I'm going to keep fiddling with different materials and thicknesses to see what I can achieve. Being close to the road, I think that sub 100 Hz is really important for any passing lorries/tractors etc. I appreciate this will be a challenge!


John Steel wrote:
Not my specialist subject I'm afraid - I'm sure some other members may have some thoughts. There's a room mode calculator here: https://amcoustics.com/tools/amroc?l=434&w=372&h=234&r60=0.23


I gave this a whirl too, but wasn't entirely sure what I was looking at. More research on room modes and what I want to achieve is needed here!

John Steel wrote:
Again, as described, I don't see why this can't work. You'll need to build a air supply and exhaust path (on opposite sides of the structure ideally) and I'm guessing you'll be installing a mini-split AC system as well.

Yep, looking at mini-splits at the moment. This is definitely an area I need to do more research on. I'm confused about what I actually need - I've read several posts in the forum that imply that an AC system doesn't supply fresh air, just cools the air that's in the room. If I've understood correctly then obviously this is a massive issue as air tight room = death, but I've struggled to find info on a fresh air inlet model. On my list to keep exploring!

Paulus87 wrote:
Hello fellow brit,

Atmos is a very ambitious design acoustically, especially since I am assuming this will be your first ever studio build? Props to you... I am not one to be a party pooper and hopefully we can help you achieve your dream. Might be worth researching the Atmos room criteria - the biggest challenge will be your limited size, especially a height of 2.4m, not ideal for a professional control room let alone an Atmos mix room, but you may know more than me on the topic.


Hi Paulus87! Thanks for your response. I should definitely clarify here. This won't be a Dolby certified Atmos room for theatrical use, but one for monitoring and creating mainly Atmos for Home premixes with the intention of hiring a Dolby Certified stage for final sign off and rendering as and when needed.

Paulus87 wrote:
You can use bobgolds.com room mode calculator to get a very good analysis of your proposed plan, make sure to check all the details in the list at the bottom as well as the bonello chart. Things I would definitely aim for is for your room to pass the 3 critical listening tests, no "near" or "same" modal incidences, a volume of at least 1500 cubic feet (more if possible, bigger is definitely much better) and a smooth bonello criterion chart.


Thanks for the heads up on this. I hadn't come across this yet but what a useful tool. I moved my length from 3.8m to 3.9 and got rid of the only 'pink warning' mode and evening out the Bonello curve. I'm currently coming in at just over 1000 cubic ft, so will struggle to get close to 1500 cubic ft but will see how close I can get.

Paulus87 wrote:
...have you used Gregwor's MSM calculator to figure out how much isolation you can expect to achieve with your current plan?


I have, but need to play with it a bit more to trial and error the best combination.

Paulus87 wrote:
The kitchen and toilet are not a third leaf since the space between them and your isolated studio is substantial, in fact it will increase your overall isolation.


Phew - good to know. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Small Atmos Studio
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 8:18 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:42 am
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Location: Wales, UK
Just a suggestion - do you really need a booth? Small booths never usually sound very good and are only useful for isolating an amp or a guide vocal that will be scrapped later and re-recorded in the live room or control room. Many many singers record their vocals in the control room as it means instant communication with the producer/engineer and the control room environment is very suited to vocals.

There's no reason this couldn't work for voice over and special FX too, and just use headphones while tracking if you need to. You could even use the sitting room for this, you don't need extreme isolation and a sitting room is a very comfortable environment for clients. This means you'd be able to have a much larger control room, which would be overall much more useful than a small booth that 90% of the time will be used as a storage cupboard. Something to think about?

Paul

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 Post subject: Re: Small Atmos Studio
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 7:55 pm 
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Posts: 21
Location: United Kingdom, Warwickshire
Paulus87 wrote:
Just a suggestion - do you really need a booth? Small booths never usually sound very good and are only useful for isolating an amp or a guide vocal that will be scrapped later and re-recorded in the live room or control room. Many many singers record their vocals in the control room as it means instant communication with the producer/engineer and the control room environment is very suited to vocals.

There's no reason this couldn't work for voice over and special FX too, and just use headphones while tracking if you need to. You could even use the sitting room for this, you don't need extreme isolation and a sitting room is a very comfortable environment for clients. This means you'd be able to have a much larger control room, which would be overall much more useful than a small booth that 90% of the time will be used as a storage cupboard. Something to think about?

Paul


Thanks for the suggestion Paul but a booth is essential for me. Mainly for voice overs, but I need an extra space in case I ever need another pair of hands on site.

Nice idea though!

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 Post subject: Re: Small Atmos Studio
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:44 am 
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Posts: 21
Location: United Kingdom, Warwickshire
I've come on a little bit since my last post, including re-sizing my rooms slightly thanks to Bob Gold's room mode calculator - here is the design in its current form:

Attachment:
Plan 2.jpg


Starting to get the studding in including the booth window:

Attachment:
Booth window.jpg


Also starting to look at the outer leaf and cladding - I thought originally that I could have all 2 x gypsum and 1 x OSB on the outside of the studs to create a slightly bigger air gap. I can't however figure out how to attach this configuration to the outer frame studs without compromising the isolation (i.e. screwing through the gypsum). This was the original idea:

Attachment:
Idea 1.jpg


Now I'm thinking it would be best to just have OSB on the outside (attached to the studs), with two layers of gypsum between the studs fixed in with green glue and cleats (there will of course be visually appealing cladding on the outside of this OSB - but undecided what yet):

Attachment:
Idea 2.jpg


I've recently retrieved my copy of Rod Gervais' book - so going to have another re-read of that to make sure I'm on the right track.

---

Questions:
1. If I had the 2 x layers of gypsum and the 1 x OSB on the outside of the outer studs, could I screw through all three layers (still with green glue in between) into the studs without isolation suffering? Or would I be better off having an outer layer of OSB screwed into the studs and then the 2 x gypsum boards cleated in?
2/ Does the booth window look right? Currently designed with 2x4s with the 4cm being the shelf/sill depth, but all the studios I've seen with a window seem to have a larger shelf (to cater for the bigger angle for the glass?).
3. Anything I should be paying more attention to, or anything I should re-read as it doesn't look quite right in my mockups?


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 Post subject: Re: Small Atmos Studio
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:34 am 
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Location: Philadelphia
Greetings Fred,

Quote:
Now I'm thinking it would be best to just have OSB on the outside (attached to the studs), with two layers of gypsum between the studs fixed in with green glue and cleats (there will of course be visually appealing cladding on the outside of this OSB - but undecided what yet):


Yes, except no green glue and each layer caulked like your life depended on it (as per Rod's book). You want everything air tight.

Quote:
1. Or would I be better off having an outer layer of OSB screwed into the studs and then the 2 x gypsum boards cleated in?


Yes. (Reiterated from above) Don't forget the caulk.

All the best,

Paul


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 Post subject: Re: Small Atmos Studio
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:53 am 
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Location: United Kingdom, Warwickshire
Very very helpful - thanks Paul!

I am in need of reading Rod's book again so will get on that straight away - but shouldn't there be a layer of green glue compound between the layers? Or is that just in the inner leaf?

Cheers,

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 Post subject: Re: Small Atmos Studio
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:00 pm 
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Greetings Fred,

Just the inner leaf (which is nice because it saves some money).

All the best,

Paul


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 Post subject: Re: Small Atmos Studio
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:33 am 
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That is good news - thanks for the heads up!

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 Post subject: Re: Small Atmos Studio
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:05 pm 
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Location: United Kingdom, Warwickshire
Hello,

Sorry for the radio silence, I've been doing a lot of research and falling through deeper and deeper rabbit holes. My current area of research is the roof space in regards to cold and warm roofs and I'm struggling with some concepts. My studio will be in a timber clad garage, so naturally is a cold roof design. This is how I see the construction (sorry for mangling your image that I found elsewhere Paul!)

Attachment:
Cold Roof Thought 1.png


Does this look right?
Any reason why I shouldn't apply my outer layer under the outer rafters rather than creating a 50mm batten from the ceiling?
Can I do away with the ridge vent and just have the gap between the fascia board and the outer wall? (with some chicken wire or similar to stop pests getting in)
Do I have to place anything on the outside of the outer drywall layers in the roof space to prevent moisture?
I'd also love to know the theory of why we place the vapour barrier on the outside of the inner layer of plasterboard rather than anywhere else - just so I understand rather than questioning the position itself. Is it so it keeps moisture in the studio rather than stopping moisture penetrating from outside?

Apologies for the abundance of questions, just trying to get my head around this.

Cheers!


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 Post subject: Re: Small Atmos Studio
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:30 am 
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when you insulate walls you create a temperature gradient across them with the warmest being on the inside and coolest on the outside during the winter months. when you take warm, moist air and cool it you find that the moisture in it condenses, usually on to the surfaces of the container it is in. If you pass this same air through the walls of your building the same condensation process occurs but instead of being inside, it accumulates inside the insulation in your walls, roof or floors.

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 Post subject: Re: Small Atmos Studio
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 6:06 am 
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Quote:
when you insulate walls you create a temperature gradient across them . . . when you take warm, moist air and cool it you find that the moisture in it condenses

I don't intend to hi-jack this thread Fred & Glenn but I was wondering if effective de-humidification of the air inside the inner leaf can have a mitigating effect on moisture forming between the leaves? Best wishes, John.

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 Post subject: Re: Small Atmos Studio
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:20 pm 
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it would be beneficial to have a properly controlled level of humidity - instruments, electronics, people etc all benefit.

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