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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 9:43 am 
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Location: New York City, USA
Hello, everyone -

We just moved into a new condo in downtown NYC. We have the basement and first floor. The basement will become the music studio for my projects (not a commercial studio open to the general public). I am seeking an acoustic consultant to advise on renovation and construction for sound isolation. Said consultant could also be the firm that does the actual work, or could simply provide guidance for my contractors.

Some info on the project. This is a downtown old warehouse/factory building, steel and heavy wood beams with concrete construction. Studio will be in basement, right on the foundation (with hardwood or tile floor). We own the floor above. There are no neighbor apartments in the same building (neighbors live in floor 2 and above); the only other space in the basement is for storage areas, mechanical, electrical, etc. for the building.

Budget is modest (as studios go) for this: $10k. What can be achieved for that? That is the $10k question.

Basement studio is two rooms:
Production Room
The larger room. Hardwood floor, quite high ceilings.

Problems to be addressed include:
- glass doors to yard
- open stairway to upstairs living area
- fireplace (!)

Live Room
This was actually built as a pool room (!). There is a pool beneath the carpeted platform.

Problems to be addressed:
- glass door (would like to retain with better seals, and a second door for isolation, presumably solid, to close as needed)
- glass window (would like to retain to allow visual communication between the 2 rooms; presumably needs second glass with air gap and seals)
- vaulted ceiling has little isolation to living room above; may also provide strange acoustic phenomena (positive or negative)
- door to basement common areas is hollow and poorly sealed
- the pool (!) - fill it, cover it with better flooring, etc...will it create odd resonances?

Would anyone please recommend a good acoustic consultant (individual or company) in NYC for this project?

(By the way, the ceilings are being opened up since there was water damage from a leak above).

Thank you.

Floor Plan:
Attachment:
NYCFloor Plan.jpg


Production Room - View from Stairs:
Attachment:
IMG_4728.jpg


Production Room - View to Stairs:
Attachment:
Production Room - View to Stairs.jpg


Production Room - FirePlace & AV System:
Attachment:
Production Room - FirePlace & AV System.jpg


Production Room - Current AV System Disaster:
Attachment:
Production Room - Current AV System Disaster.jpg


Production Room - Back Wall (presumed workstation location):
Attachment:
Production Room - Back Wall (presumed workstation location).jpg


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:32 am 
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Hi there "Zeno", and welcome to the forum! :)

Quote:
I am seeking an acoustic consultant to advise on renovation and construction for sound isolation. Said consultant could also be the firm that does the actual work, or could simply provide guidance for my contractors.
It's not common that the same person/company that does the design is also the person/company that does the construction. It does happen occasionally with the bigger companies, but they'd eat up your entire budget just to give you the time of day! :)

More commonly, you'd hire a designer to do the actual design for you, then pass that on to the contractor to build. In some cases there might also be an architect in between, who would present the plans to the relevant authorities and help you work through the red tape of approvals and inspections.

There are a few people here on the forum who can do the design work you are looking for, but your best bet would be to contact John Sayers himself, by PM, and see if he is available to quote for doing what you need. So please send him a PM. If you don't reach an agreement with him, then let me know and I'll PM you a list of others who might be able to do the job.

Please beware of predatory "studio designers"! I've heard of rumors recently where people who have posted on the forum asking for help suddenly get an unsolicited e-mail or PM from someone, offering the exact service they need at dirt-cheap prices. Be very careful with that! The only people on this forum who should be contacting you with a list of possible designers, are John Sayers and myself. Nobody else is authorized to do that, so if you do get an offer that you didn't ask for, and didn't come from us, then watch out! :)

Quote:
Budget is modest (as studios go) for this: $10k. What can be achieved for that? That is the $10k question.
That's probably on the low side. if you want to isolate and treat two full rooms! You seem to have about 780 square feet of floor space, so you are planning to spend about twelve dollars per square foot. That's about right for doing the floor. Laminate flooring, installed, runs at about US$8 to US$12 per square foot at present. so you could blow your enter budget just on doing a low-cost floor. You should probably look into increasing the budget... (Yes, I realize that you already have hardwood floors in one of the rooms, and would not need laminate. But my point is that your budget can be consumed by any of several per-square-foot charges.)

Quote:
Problems to be addressed:
- glass door (would like to retain with better seals, and a second door for isolation, presumably solid, to close as needed)
You didn't say how much isolation you need in decibels, but a typical sliding-glass studio door would cost about US$ 1,000 to maybe US$ 4,000 or so. Two of them could easily be 5k to 8k, eating up way more than half your budget.

The other point is that having a pair of back-to-back doors like that is an excellent solution for good isolation... provided that you have built a proper two-leaf isolation system! If that's the case, then one door goes in each leaf. One in the outer leaf, the second in the inner leaf.

Quote:
- glass window (would like to retain to allow visual communication between the 2 rooms; presumably needs second glass with air gap and seals)
Correct: Same as above: one pane of glass goes in the inner-leaf of the control room, and the other goes in the outer-leaf.... which when viewed from the opposite perspective is the inner-leaf of the live room.

Quote:
- vaulted ceiling has little isolation to living room above; may also provide strange acoustic phenomena (positive or negative)
Once again, a properly designed and built 2-leaf isolation system will take care of that. It is possible to do that with a vaulted ceiling, but it is more complex, and your building costs would go up...

Quote:
- door to basement common areas is hollow and poorly sealed
Replace it with a pair of solid-wood doors, back to back, one in each leaf.

Quote:
Would anyone please recommend a good acoustic consultant
First try John. If you don't have any luck with that, then contact me and Ill send you the list of designers who could help you.


- Stuart -

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:45 am 
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Location: New York City, USA
Hello, everyone -

I am finally able to move forward with this project. I've raised the budget to $20k, since achieving my goals within $10k is apparently unrealistic.

Seeking some advice herein for the glass work. I have searched the forum but not found much for the kinds of doors and construction I am seeking.

Would anyone be able to recommend a good manufacturer of all-glass hinged doors? Presumably some minimal framing is still requisite (whether metal or wood) to provide seals, but perhaps there are frameless doors that still provide acoustical isolation. STC goal would be 35-45, but price would be the determining factor.

There are two door locations in the plans above, one between the live room and recording room, and the other to the stairway which separates the studio from the living space.

I know that Overly, Krieger, and such make (very expensive) acoustical doors with glass panes, with much higher STC values, but would be overkill for my situation (and budget).

We also have to build the glass enclosure (2 sides) to the stairway, so if the same manufacturer is also an installer in NYC area that would be ideal. There is no room for sliding doors, so must be hinged doors. (Presumably hinged doors are easier to design for acoustical purposes anyway).

I have contacted several glass and glass door companies in NYC area, but most did not have any expertise in acoustical issues. I been re-searching online without much luck.

This company looks interesting, and they also offer full design and installation services:

Avanti Systems
They have 2 hinged door options:

Single-Glazed (STC up to 35dB):
http://www.avantisystemsusa.com/product ... le-glazed/

Double-Glazed (STC up to 43dB):
http://www.avantisystemsusa.com/product ... le-glazed/

If anyone has recommendations regarding this or other manufacturers and installers, your guidance would be deeply appreciated.

Thank you.

Best regards


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:21 am 
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Location: New York City, USA
P.S. As it probably seems that I rudely ignored Stuart's detailed message of some time ago above: I did respond to it and discuss with him via private message as he suggested, regarding the details and search for a studio designer. I am currently working with a studio designer in NYC and he does not have a glass specialist in mind, so I am inquiring here in hope of finding options. Thank you for any guidance...


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:28 am 
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Location: New York City, USA
Hello, all -

For the glass stairway door, we decided on the sliding doors from SoundProof Windows a.k.a. SoundProof Studios. To be delivered tomorrow. We are installing a single set of the doors, as the 42 STC should be enough for our purposes of reducing sound between living area upstairs and production room downstairs.

Soundproof Studios Recording Studio Doors

For the door between the production room and live room, we are just retaining the existing glass door, which provides a small degree of sound reduction, and enhancing it with various seals. (Failing that, we can down the line replace it with a proper acoustic door, but we are keeping costs down at this point).

Meanwhile, we are in the midst of demolition of the live room. The ceiling vault is opened up. Our own living room above. We want to reduce sound transmission between living room and live room; footsteps and floor creaks from above are clearly audible.

The sprinkler system must remain in place, and there is only about 5" of clearance between the existing drywall attached to joists and the sprinkler tops. Any recommendations on the best way to isolate the ceiling a reasonable degree? Goal: footsteps and upstairs noise not transmitting at all; music noise of most instruments inaudible upstairs, with louder instruments like drums as slight as possible. Usually only one instrument/voice/musician is recorded at a time.

Options for ceiling:
(ranked from best to worst?)
In each case: + 2-3 layers of 5/8" drywall, perhaps with GreenGlue; sound batt insulation between joists
1. Hangers (e.g. Kinetics ICW hangers: http://www.kineticsnoise.com/arch/icw.html)
2. Kinetics WaveHanger (http://www.kineticsnoise.com/arch/wave.html)
3. Hat (furring) channel + Clips (e.g. Kinetics IsoMax: http://www.kineticsnoise.com/arch/isomax.html
4. Resilient/Z Channel

Any thoughts on pros/cons of these various options (price, labor, likelihood of proper installation, longevity...)??

We also have to address the soffits around the ceiling. Some are hollow and can just be rebuilt or enhanced in whatever way needed, the largest soffit, however, has all kinds of pipes and conduits, an old duct system, etc., which we have to deal with by either removing or capping and sealing, and we plan to install new HVAC (Daikin cassette, ductless) instead.

Do we also have to decouple the sprinkling system somehow from the joists? Wrap the pipes of the sprinkler?

The surrounding walls are brick and/or cinderblock. We intend to add inner walls: metal frame + one side of 2x5/8" + GreenGlue, with isolation around frame as well.

Thank you to anyone in advance for advice/guidance regarding the ceiling, which is most challenging.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:25 am 
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Quote:
Any recommendations on the best way to isolate the ceiling a reasonable degree? Goal: footsteps and upstairs noise not transmitting at all;
Structure-borne noise is a nightmare. Once the vibration (noise) of those footsteps get into the building structure (floor deck, ==> joists, ==> walls, =>>....) it is everywhere, and stopping it is a huge pain. It is far better to prevent it from ever getting into the structure at all. I would suggest investing in some nice thick good quality carpet, with a nice thick acoustic underlay, to go on the floor upstairs. That will greatly simplify your job, since it will largely prevent the sound of those footfalls from making it into the structure.

Quote:
For the glass stairway door, we decided on the sliding doors ... as the 42 STC should be enough for our purposes of reducing sound between living area upstairs and production room downstairs.
It's a pity you took that decision without checking back with the forum. And it's also a pity that you chose a single door based on "STC", which is a pretty useless method for measuring STUDIO isolation. It's fine for typical house, office, school, shop, etc. isolation, but no use at all for measuring studio isolation. Here's why:

STC was never meant to measure such things! That was never its purpose. Here's an excerpt from the actual ASTM test procedure (E413) that explains what STC is, and what it should be used for:

“These single-number ratings correlate in a general way with subjective impressions of sound transmission for speech, radio, television and similar sources of noise in offices and buildings. This classification method is not appropriate for sound sources with spectra significantly different from those sources listed above. Such sources include machinery, industrial processes, bowling alleys, power transformers, musical instruments, many music systems and transportation noises such as motor vehicles, aircraft and trains. For these sources, accurate assessment of sound transmission requires a detailed analysis in frequency bands.”

It's a common misconception that you can use STC ratings to decide if a particular wall, window, door, or building material will be of any use in a studio. As you can see above, in the statement from the very people who designed the STC rating system and the method for calculating it, STC is simply not applicable.

Here's how it works:

To determine the STC rating for a wall, door, window, or whatever, you start by measuring the actual transmission loss at 16 specific frequencies between 125 Hz and 4kHz. You do not measure anything above or below that range, and you do not measure anything in between those 16 points. Just those 16, and nothing else. Then you plot those 16 points on a graph, and do some fudging and nudging with the numbers and the curve, until it fits in below one of the standard STC curves. Then you read off the number of that specific curve, and that number is your STC rating. There is no relationship to real-world decibels: it is just the index number of the reference curve that is closest to your curve.

on the other hand, when you measure the isolation of a studio window, you want to be sure that it is isolating ALL frequencies, across the entire spectrum from 20 Hz up to 20,000 Hz, not just 16 specific points that somebody chose 50 years ago, because he thought they were a good representation of human speech. STC does not take into account the bottom two and a half octaves of the musical spectrum (nothing below 125Hz), nor does it take into account the top two and a quarter octaves (nothing above 4k). Of the ten octaves that our hearing range covers, STC ignores five of them (or nearly five). So STC tells you nothing useful about how well a wall, door or window will work in a studio. The ONLY way to determine that, is by look at the Transmission Loss curve for it, or by estimating with a sound level meter set to "C" weighting (or even "Z"), and slow response, then measuring the levels on each side. That will give you a true indication of the number of decibels that the wall/door/window is blocking, across the full audible range.

Consider this: It is quite possible to have a door rated at STC-30 that does not provide even 20 decibels of actual isolation, and I can build you a wall rated at STC-20 that provides much better than 30 dB of isolation. There simply is no relationship between STC rating and the ability of a barrier to stop full-spectrum sound, such as music. STC was never designed for that, and cannot be used for that.

Then there's the issue of installation. You can buy a door that really does provide 40 dB of isolation, but unless you install it correctly, it will not provide that level! If you install it in a wall that provides only 20 dB, then the total isolation of that wall+door is 20 dB: isolation is only as good as the worst part. Even if you put a door rated at 90 dB in that wall, it would STILL only give you 20 dB. The total is only as good as the weakest part of the system.

So forget STC as a useful indicator, and just use the actual TL graphs to judge if a wall, door, window, floor, roof, or whatever will meet your needs.

That's why I say it is unfortunate that you made decisions on purchasing expensive products based on rating systems that are not applicable to your case, and when you don't even have an actual design for your isolation system.

Sorry to be harsh and "in your face", but what you are doing right now is pretty much the same as a car mechanic trying to do brain surgery on himself: You are both sort of fiddling and poking around without having any idea what you are doing, and are probably causing way more harm than good. And in both cases, the outcome is very unlikely to be successful... They only real difference is that the mechanic will probably kill himself in the process, whereas you will merely wast a lot of time and money... :) (However, if you don't do the structural calculations for your studio build, you might end up killing yourself as well, when the ceiling collapses on your head.... :)

OK, now that I have your attention, I'd really suggest that you should stop right where you are in the process, right now, and not do anything else until you actually have a plan in place. A real, complete, details plan, not just for the isolation, but for the entire studio, including isolation, structures, HVAC, layout, geometry, treatment, tuning, electrical, etc. Every single aspect of your entire build should be planned in full detail, and carefully calculated to ensure that it will actually do the job you are desperately hoping and wishing it will do, but right now actually have no idea if it will do or not.

In my first reply to your thread last year, I did suggest this. You didn't take that advice, and that's fine! Nobody is forcing you to take it! But if you come to a forum that hands out professional advice for free, and then choose not to take it, we get back to the situation of the mechanic who actually went to the brain surgeon, who told him what the correct procedure was for diagnosing his illness, but the mechanic chose to ignore that advice and instead attack his own head with a pneumatic drill and a hand saw...

Quote:
The sprinkler system must remain in place,
That's a major complication if you want high isolation. You might not realize it yet, but that's a big deal.

Quote:
music noise of most instruments inaudible upstairs, with louder instruments like drums as slight as possible.
Drums commonly out out around 110 - 115 dBC. Most people would call it "silent" if the ambient noise level were less than about 40 dB. You would need 70 dB of isolation to get that. A typical house wall provides around 30 dB of isolation. The decibel scale is logarithmic, not linear, so each time you go up ten points you are actual talking about ten TIMES the intensity. In other words, to increase isolation from the typical 30 dB of a house wall to 40 dB, you need to block ten times as much sound. Going from 40 to 50 is another step of "ten times", which implies that going from 30 to 50 is one hundred time as much. So from 30 to 60 is one thousand times as much, and from 30 to 70 is ten thousand times as much. In simple terms, what you need to do is to block about ten thousand times more sound intensity than you are blocking right now.

That should put things in perspective for you, I hope.

Fully isolating a drum kit in a typical house is a major, huge, big deal. Even isolating it partially, so it is only vaguely audible, is still a big deal. Even increasing isolation by ten points is not simple. To put that in perspective: if you were to DOUBLE the total amount of mass of that floor above you, it would increase the isolation by around 5 to 6 dB. If you were then to double it AGAIN (four times the original mass you would get another increase of 5 to 6 dB, for a total of around 10 dB. And your floor would probably collapse, from the severe structural overload.

By adding mass alone, you are fighting a loosing battle, because the principle of physics known as "mass law" is not your friend, and is a lousy way to isolate. As I mentioned in my first response to your initial post, what you need is "a properly designed and built 2-leaf isolation system", but there's no sign of that in what you are doing right now, so your chances of success are pretty low.

Based on your comments, you have a few bits and pieces of the plan in mind, sort of, vaguely, but you do not have an actual plan, and that's a problem.

So the very best I can do for you is to NOT answer your questions, since you are not asking the right questions, and answering them would only lead you further astray. The best advice I can give you is to stop where you are, and start working on your plan. Your actual, detailed, physical plan that shows all parts of your studio, with all materials, dimensions, and calculations completed. Then only when you have all that in order, only then should you carry on building. Trying to build a studio without a plan, is like trying to go on vacation without a map, an without even knowing if you are going to drive, fly, walk, sail or swim to get there!

Quote:
the largest soffit, however, has all kinds of pipes and conduits, an old duct system, etc., which we have to deal with by either removing or capping and sealing, and we plan to install new HVAC (Daikin cassette, ductless) instead.
That is not an HVAC plan, and the unit you mention is not an HVAC solution! It is merely an air conditioner, which is PART of the HVAC plan, but only a small part of it. Think of this: To isolate a studio, you need two complete leaves, each of which is totally sealed air-tight, absolutely hermetic. So how will you breathe inside your studio, if there is no air going in or out, because you decided to seal off the ducts that were keeping you alive?

Here's a few questions that you will NEED to answer when you get around to designing your HVAC system: What is the flow volume, in CFM, that you will need for each room? How much of that is re circulation, and how much is make-up? What is the flow velocity at the registers? What NC rating are you aiming for? What is the sensible heat load in each room? What is the latent heat load in each room? What cooling/heating capacity do you need in each room, in BTU/HR? What is the average outdoor humidity, and what is the target indoor humidity for each room? What is the cross sectional area of the ducts that you will need to supply the correct volume of air at the correct speed, and what is the static pressure that the duct system will impose on the fan? What is the maximum static pressure that your chosen fan can handle?

If you cannot already answer all of those questions, with exact numbers, then you have a major problem, and should NOT be pulling down drywall or installing doors.

Quote:
Do we also have to decouple the sprinkling system somehow from the joists?
Not just that, but for high isolation you have to decouple the sprinkler system from itself.

Quote:
Wrap the pipes of the sprinkler?
Well, that would help to reduce the noise of water running in those pipes, but if you ever do have a situation where there really is water running in those pipes, then the least of your worries is noise! :)

Quote:
We intend to add inner walls: metal frame + one side of 2x5/8" + GreenGlue, with isolation around frame as well.
What is the MSM resonant frequency of that setup? What level of transmission loss will it produce, and at what frequencies? Does that match the spectrum of the sounds that you will be producing, taking into account the equal loudness curves?

Quote:
Thank you to anyone in advance for advice/guidance regarding the ceiling, which is most challenging.
It might seem that way, but in reality it is only a small part of a much greater challenge, which is to isolate the studio as a whole, not as a bunch of individual parts. Trying to isolate by looking at one door, then a part of the ceiling, then a pipe, then a wall, then an air conditioner, is pretty pointless. Isolation is a system, not a bunch of individual parts that can be isolated individually. It needs to be consider as a whole, not as separate bits and pieces. Isolation is only ever as good as the weakest point, so it is imperative to isolate the whole, together, as a complete system, and not try to do it bit by bit. Yo can't build a car by getting a wheel from a bicycle, an engine from a lawnmower, the cockpit from a 747, and the body from a nuclear submarine. Each of those parts works perfectly well when used individually, but there's no chance in hell that you could ever get them to work together as a system.

Once again, I apologize if the above comes across as being a slap in the face, insulting, or harsh. That is not the intention at all! I'm not trying to bring you down, but rather to get your attention and help you realize that you are not approaching this from the right angle at all. You originally came here looking for a studio designer, which would indeed have been the smart thing to do. But clearly you didn't actually follow through on that, and decided to do brain surgery on yourself to save a few bucks. And now you have gotten yourself painted into a corner. The only way to get back on track, it to retrace your steps, right back to the beginning, and start again: either hire a studio designer, or learn how to design the studio yourself, but whichever of those two paths you follow, it is absolutely imperative that you MUST have a complete, detailed plan. But trying to continue on the current path is doomed to failure in any one of a dozen ways. You might well end up with a room, sure, but it will not be optimal in any acoustical sense of the word, and you will have wasted a lot of time an money to get to a place that is only mediocre, at best.


- Stuart -

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:09 pm 
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Hello, Stuart, and thank you for the detailed response....


Soundman2020 wrote:
Structure-borne noise is a nightmare. Once the vibration (noise) of those footsteps get into the building structure (floor deck, ==> joists, ==> walls, =>>....) it is everywhere, and stopping it is a huge pain. It is far better to prevent it from ever getting into the structure at all. I would suggest investing in some nice thick good quality carpet, with a nice thick acoustic underlay, to go on the floor upstairs. That will greatly simplify your job, since it will largely prevent the sound of those footfalls from making it into the structure.


That makes sense as an additional measure. That won't necessarily stop the creaking, though, but we can try it.

Quote:
It's a pity you took that decision without checking back with the forum. And it's also a pity that you chose a single door based on "STC", which is a pretty useless method for measuring STUDIO isolation. It's fine for typical house, office, school, shop, etc. isolation, but no use at all for measuring studio isolation. Here's why: STC was never meant to measure such things!...


Understood. We didn't base the decision on STC alone; the tech info is available with more detailed transmission loss graphs; furthermore, our studio design consultant recommended these doors based on his knowledge and experience, and measurements he took within our place at normal working levels, and how loud the sound is up in the living space coming from the studio at normal working levels.

Some of the tech info is here, including transmission loss data and graphs. We opted for the "studio" version of the doors, which has better seals and design, with the 5/8" glass, the heaviest available.
http://soundproofwindows.com/architect/specs/Soundproof-Studio-Windows.pdf



Quote:
Then there's the issue of installation. You can buy a door that really does provide 40 dB of isolation, but unless you install it correctly, it will not provide that level!


Yes, very true. We do have an architect and contractor with professional studio isolation experience, and our acoustic/studio design consultant as well, involved. We will also confer carefully with manufacturer to install properly for maximum isolation effectiveness.


Quote:
OK, now that I have your attention, I'd really suggest that you should stop right where you are in the process, right now, and not do anything else until you actually have a plan in place. A real, complete, details plan, not just for the isolation, but for the entire studio, including isolation, structures, HVAC, layout, geometry, treatment, tuning, electrical, etc.


We do have a plan, but perhaps indeed it should be more detailed. The studio designer and architect worked together to draw up construction drawings and spec materials and construction; however, some of the decisions could not be finalized until this moment, now that we have the ceiling and walls open and can see what we have to deal with up there. For example, we did not know what sort of construction the ceiling was; we had to find out location of existing and immovable pipes and other structural elements in the soffits and ceiling, etc.

In that plan, the architect's drawings did call for the ceiling to be re-designed with spring isolation hangers, but his drawings assumed more space above the sprinklers. Now we see how little space we have.

Tomorrow we have a site meeting with architect, studio designer, electrician, and HVAC specialist, and contractor, to assess and revise our plan as needed, now that we have more information.

Quote:
In my first reply to your thread last year, I did suggest this. You didn't take that advice, and that's fine!


Do you refer to advice to involve a dedicated specialist to determine the plan of action? We have done that and continue on that process, with our studio designer, architect, etc. I will confer with them further tomorrow, and defer to their expertise, but I want to be as educated as possible in such a meeting, hence my own attempts at research and perhaps naive questions here.

Quote:
Nobody is forcing you to take it! But if you come to a forum that hands out professional advice for free, and then choose not to take it,


I deeply appreciate your time and advice, and that of everyone who contributes to this forum. I do not mean to appear ungrateful, by any means!

Quote:
Quote:
The sprinkler system must remain in place,
That's a major complication if you want high isolation. You might not realize it yet, but that's a big deal.


Yes, our contractor has been emphasizing that also. We cannot remove the sprinkler, and even modifications are limited by city codes. So that may be one of our "weak links". One of the goals tomorrow is to identify all the "weak links" in our plan, and determine which ones we actually have the power (and finances etc.) to address. The remaining weakest link(s), of course, determine our possible success target for the project, and other aspects of the project can be scaled accordingly (to save money, time, etc.).

Quote:
Fully isolating a drum kit in a typical house is a major, huge, big deal. Even isolating it partially, so it is only vaguely audible, is still a big deal.... As I mentioned in my first response to your initial post, what you need is "a properly designed and built 2-leaf isolation system", but there's no sign of that in what you are doing right now, so your chances of success are pretty low. The best advice I can give you is to stop where you are, and start working on your plan. Your actual, detailed, physical plan that shows all parts of your studio, with all materials, dimensions, and calculations completed.


I appreciate your candor. I did think that we are doing just that, with our architect and studio designer, but perhaps the hand-drawn construction plans are inadequate and not detailed enough. Again, some of it could not be planned until we did the demolition, since we didn't know what we were dealing with (e.g. some parts of the building are concrete slab and steel construction, others are wood joists with wood flooring; we didn't know what we would find in this particular room). I will pursue this on tomorrow's site meeting with everyone.

Quote:
So how will you breathe inside your studio, if there is no air going in or out, because you decided to seal off the ducts that were keeping you alive?....


Actually, the ducts weren't keeping us alive, because the ducts were always sealed up! In fact, the vents were hidden behind the walls and dropped ceiling! The live room had no source of air, no heat, no AC, and we've been using it that way for a year. Our guerilla approach has been opening the door between takes.

(The production room, which is finished and operational, does have fully operating ducts; this project is focusing primarily on the live room).

It's perhaps a trivial project compared to that of a full commercial studio with appropriate budget and income to justify, and I apologize if I have committed a faux pas by bringing it to this forum, with my inexperience. Music is my profession; studio construction is far from an AOS or even AOC (as we say in academia). I appreciate the time you take to respond, and your patience.

With that in mind, and at risk of digging myself a deeper grave, budget is limited and we are just aiming to get some reduction in sound transmission, mainly between the home music studio and our own living room above. Since it is a project studio, I also have the flexibility of scheduling and other determinations: drums or loud instruments only at certain times when no one else is home using the living space for example. In the worst case, I give up the idea of drums or similarly loud instruments, and only track more moderate level sound sources here. We can only achieve what is within our means. Of course, we want to succeed at that level, so your insistence on critical care is still valid and taken to heart. If in the end all we achieve is that someone can watch TV upstairs and I can work on production downstairs at moderate volumes (as I usually do) without unduly disturbing one another, then we have a success. If in addition, I can play drums without neighbors two floors up hearing it, even better. (And the neighbor 2 floors up is a drummer, so that's a plus...)

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Here's a few questions that you will NEED to answer when you get around to designing your HVAC system: What is the flow volume, in CFM, that you will need for each room? ...

All good questions. I count on my HVAC specialist's expertise on these matters, to source and design the system properly. We will go over this tomorrow also.



Quote:
Quote:
We intend to add inner walls: metal frame + one side of 2x5/8" + GreenGlue, with isolation around frame as well.
What is the MSM resonant frequency of that setup? What level of transmission loss will it produce, and at what frequencies? Does that match the spectrum of the sounds that you will be producing, taking into account the equal loudness curves?...etc


I will go over specs on walls tomorrow with the team also, with these questions in mind.

Quote:
It needs to be consider as a whole, not as separate bits and pieces. Isolation is only ever as good as the weakest point, so it is imperative to isolate the whole, together, as a complete system, and not try to do it bit by bit.


Agreed and understood. Hence my comment above also about seeking out and eliminating the weak links in the project. If we need to have new more detailed drawings done for all these aspects, then I will call for that.


Quote:
Once again, I apologize if the above comes across as being a slap in the face, insulting, or harsh.

No, not at all, I would rather have "fair warning" and honest critique than pleasantries.

Quote:
That is not the intention at all! I'm not trying to bring you down, but rather to get your attention and help you realize that you are not approaching this from the right angle at all. You originally came here looking for a studio designer, which would indeed have been the smart thing to do. But clearly you didn't actually follow through on that,


Sorry if my post earlier today was misleading; as we did hire a studio designer. (I am not mentioning name here as he may not be on this forum). Also we had to raise our budget substantially to be able to execute the plan.

Quote:
You might well end up with a room, sure, but it will not be optimal in any acoustical sense of the word, and you will have wasted a lot of time an money to get to a place that is only mediocre, at best.


This is still a real risk, of course, and I have to ensure that are all doing our due diligence to maximize chances of success.
Thank you again.

Best regards.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:33 am 
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Location: New York City, USA
Quick update:

Had a productive meeting with team. We will do more extensive demolition of all soffits and walls and update drawings and strategy accordingly.

Doing my homework and thinking ahead to Monday's demo with the contractors...Since I am effectively acting as site supervisor and thus the communication point between contractors and architect and studio designer....I assume we have to completely remove the existing inner walls to assess the rebuild. Designer recommends that so we can find any holes in cinderblock construction, or gaps at ceiling, and fill those properly. He also recommends painting the cinderblock with a heavy sealing paint.

Once all demo is done I will meet with HVAC specialist and think out the air issues.

The walls:
- 1 foundation wall, exposed historic brick (built 1860s) with hi-rise office tower on other side (no idea of the construction beyond the brick)
- 2 cinderblock walls, both inner and outer side: hat channel + 1 5/8"
- 1 cinderblock wall, untreated outer side; inner side: hat channel + 1 5/8"

We cannot change what is on the other side of each wall, and will only work on the inner side; how to avoid triple- (and higher number) leaf effect in each case?

I assume we first have to determine whether cinderblock is hollow or filled?

The glass window will also be made double, so I assume the inner glass also has to be part of the inner leaf wall. The door will also be made double with a second solid-core door, Zero seals, etc.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:00 pm 
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Location: New York City, USA
Hello, all -

Hope everyone is having a supersonic weekend.

Does cinderblock behave as a single-leaf or double-leaf?
Clearly if it's solid-filled, it should behave as single-leaf.
What if it's hollow cinder-block?

Thank you for any advice. I could not find a definitive answer in this forum or elsewhere on-line.

Best regards.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:01 pm 
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Location: New York City, USA
Also: Is there a way to re-name this thread (perhaps to something like just "Home Studio in NYC"?

Thank you...


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:07 pm 
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Posts: 34
Location: New York City, USA
HVAC Question:

Ducted or ductless split system for the live recording room?

I've been reading up on the various HVAC options on threads herein, and in the various texts (Gervais, Newell, Everest & Pohlmann, etc). Still not clear to me which way to go. Met with my HVAC installer today to discuss options.

Ducted
We already have ducts from the old system running into the now mostly demolished room. Those run from the mechanical room. They were built without any fresh air intake or stale air output. We could use those by putting the indoor unit in the mechanical room, feeding the ducts.

Ductless
We could install a ductless ceiling cassette.
He recommends:
Daikin VRV-IV 1-way ceiling cassette FXEQ18PVJU


Installer says the cassette will be quieter. I prefer the look of ducted, and it may (?) make it easier to connect outside air for ventilation. He says there is a way to modify the cassette to bring in a mix of outside air, but wasn't sure there was a way to handle the exhaust with the cassette.

In either case, we still need to sort out fresh air intake and stale air exhaust, without those becoming also intakes of noise and exhausts of music to the outside! We don't really have room to build an isolation box. Might just a long (8-10m) wiggly run of insulated flexible duct do the trick?

Thank you for any guidance.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:00 pm 
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Hello, all -

Here's the current plan-in-progress for the live room. Still researching answers to issues, some of which are noted on the drawing.

Best regards

Attachment:
Live Room plan progress.pdf


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:32 am 
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...and here's a photo of the full demolition...

Attachment:
IMG_5218 (2).jpg


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