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PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:21 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:27 am
Posts: 3
Location: Connecticut USA
Hi,

I've been reading and searching this forum for a few weeks, just trying to get as much information as possible.

Currently, I have a 10x10x8 music room where I record and mix various genres of music. Most recording is through an interface although I do mike guitars some, and of course I mix on monitors in the room. I do have this room treated with corner traps, ceiling traps, and two traps behind the monitors (opposite wall).

My current goal is to move this setup to the basement room. In the basement, I have a 148" x 256" x 89" room down to the studs. It is a walkout basement, so one wall has two windows and a door. One wall has a half-concrete foundation, and the two other walls are interior. I should also mention there is ductwork in areas, make the ceiling height 78"

I am doing the finishing of this room myself, and I am looking to get started soon. But, I want to do things right now, so the product looks and sounds good later.

I rarely go above 68db. I mix and play mostly in a much quieter range around 55-65db.

The construction of this space is 2x6 studs on the wall with windows and door; there is some existing insulation, which is in okay shape. The two interior walls are 2x4 construction, and the last wall is 2x6 on top of concrete. The floor joists from the main house floor are 2x8. Everything is nailed together with 3" nails. Also, the top of the long interior wall is the main house beam; which is 3 2x12s nailed and glued together; the beam is set on jackposts. There is also insulation between the ceiling/floor joists, and there is some plumbing up there that I would rather not cover (in case of future issues). See photos below: tried to take a photo from each room corner.

There's almost too much information on this forum to actually make any decisions. Ha. So, here are my questions:

First, the budget is about $3,000.

Should I build out another wall on all four sides and fill that with insulation as well? I am interested in some isolation in case my band does come over for rehearsal. I have looked at pictures here that seem to indicated two walls is good, especially if the middle is filled with insulation.

Along that same line, should I sheetrock the existing walls then build out a second wall and fill it with 703 in a checkerboard pattern, covering everything with felt? I like that idea, and I have seen people put wood strips over it, and that looks nice. But, I'm wondering if it will be functional or a waste.

Should I build out walls that are not straight? I have seen the plans for some rooms on here that have several angled walls.

Is the ceiling going to be an issue? Can I just stuff more insulation up there and leave it as is?

I have read on here that a concrete floor is actually good. I'm willing to leave it, but for winter purposes, I'd like to cover it with dri-core, a 7/8" thick product, made for basements, that has a plastic backing and osb exposed floor. Will that work?

Which wall / side should I make my mixing / listening area? I assume one of the long walls? The one with windows or the interior wall?

PS - I don't know why the pictures turned sideways when I uploaded them...
Thank you,


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:27 am
Posts: 3
Location: Connecticut USA
Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts? Looking to get this project of the ground soon.

I was recently told to reduce the largest dimension to 18.5 feet or less (ideal room design).

Thanks,


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:16 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:17 am
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Location: Santiago, Chile
Hi there "pjfox", and Welcome! :)

Quote:
I have a 10x10x8 music room
I guess you already figured out that those dimensions are not so great for a studio, since the width and length are identical.

Quote:
In the basement, I have a 148" x 256" x 89" room down to the studs.
In other words, 21' 4" x 12' 4", x 7' 5". That's much better from the overall size (volume) point of view, but not so good from the height point of view. In general, low ceilings are not good for acoustics. 8' is about as low as you want to go normally. 7'6" is usable, but with caveats.

Quote:
I should also mention there is ductwork in areas, make the ceiling height 78"
Ouch! 6' 6" is REALLY low! I would suggest getting those ducts moved to some place where they don't interfere with your ceiling height.

Quote:
I am doing the finishing of this room myself, and I am looking to get started soon. But, I want to do things right now, so the product looks and sounds good later.
:thu:

Quote:
I rarely go above 68db. I mix and play mostly in a much quieter range around 55-65db
I'm just wondering what it is that you "play" and "mix" at such very low levels! That's quieter than a typical speaking voice! So it seems you are not tracking or mixing vocals, not even spoken word.... and I really can't think of many musical instruments that can be played as quietly as 55 dBC. Are you SURE you measured those levels correctly? Using a proper hand-held sound level meter (not an iPhone app!), set to "C" weighting and "Slow" response?

Quote:
PS - I don't know why the pictures turned sideways when I uploaded them...
That often happens when you take photos with a phone turned vertically but where the software thinks it was oriented horizontally. You can fix that very easily in any graphics package. Rotate your pictures 90° to the right (clockwise), then upload them again.

Quote:
First, the budget is about $3,000
That's very, very much on the low side. You have 262 square feet of floor area, so you are saying that you plan to spend around US$ 11.45 per square foot. That won't even cover the cost of your ceiling, without even considering the walls, doors, windows, HVAC, electrical, and acoustic treatment.

Quote:
Should I build out another wall on all four sides and fill that with insulation as well? I am interested in some isolation in case my band does come over for rehearsal. I have looked at pictures here that seem to indicated two walls is good, especially if the middle is filled with insulation.
If you want decent isolation, then yes, absolutely. However, if you really are recording at only 55 dBC, then you don't need any isolation, since even a single sheet of drywall will bring that down to practically inaudible levels. That's why I suspect that you are seriously underestimating your loudness. For reference, a typical singing voice is about ten time to one thousand times louder than what you mentioned (in the range of 70 to 90 dBC), an ordinary acoustic guitar is typically played around a hundred times louder (+/ 85 dB), and drums would be about a million times louder, up around 115 dB. Even normal monitoring level for mixing is around 70 to 90 dB.

Assuming you messed up with the level measurements, and you track and mix at common studio levels, then yes, you will need to build a "room in a room" to get good isolation. A single leaf wall, such as you have at present (studs with sheathing on just on side) does not isolate very much, even if you put huge amounts of drywall on that one side. If you add drywall the other side, that improves a bit, but not much because the studs act to transfer vibrations on one side directly across to the other. It's only when you "decouple" the two sides of the wall that you get good isolation. That can be done to a certain extent with things like "resilient channel", or "isolation clips plus hat channel", which works if you only need moderate isolation. But if you need more than that, then the solution is to build a new stud frame a little bit away from the existing studs, and put drywall on only ONE side of that new frame.

Quote:
should I sheetrock the existing walls then build out a second wall
No. That would be a three-leaf wall, which would provide LESS isolation than building the second wall by itself. That sounds strange, but it is true:
Attachment:
2-leaf-3-leaf-4-leaf-STC-diagram--classic2-GOOD!!!.gif


Quote:
and fill it with 703 in a checkerboard pattern, covering everything with felt? I like that idea, and I have seen people put wood strips over it, and that looks nice. But, I'm wondering if it will be functional or a waste.
See above: that would not work. What you think you see in some photos and what is actually there, might be different things... What you are probably seeing is "slot walls", which are acoustic treatment for the room interior, and not related at all to the isolation of the studio. Isolation and treatment are two entirely different aspects of acoustics. Isolation is about attenuating sound going in or out of the room, and treatment is about dealing with how the room sounds inside AFTER it has been isolated.

Quote:
Should I build out walls that are not straight? I have seen the plans for some rooms on here that have several angled walls.
You can if you want, provided that you understand WHY you are doing that. It isn't necessary at all, unless you are specifically following a control room design concept that requires it, such as RFZ, NER, CID, or something similar. It's a myth that all studio walls must be angled.

Quote:
Is the ceiling going to be an issue? Can I just stuff more insulation up there and leave it as is?
Not if you want isolation! That would be a single-leaf ceiling, which (as I mentioned before) does not isolate very well.

Quote:
I have read on here that a concrete floor is actually good.
Correct!

Quote:
I'm willing to leave it, but for winter purposes, I'd like to cover it with dri-core, a 7/8" thick product, made for basements, that has a plastic backing and osb exposed floor. Will that work?
Probably, yes, but that will take up over an inch and a half of your total room height, and with only 6'-something to spare, that's way too much. I would suggest doing a simple laminate floor, with 3mm (1/8") foam underlay and 10mm (3/8") flooring. That takes up just 1/2". It won't be fantastic at thermal insulation, but it will do something, and it is low profile. You can't afford any thicker than that, because you can't afford to loose any headroom.

Quote:
Which wall / side should I make my mixing / listening area?
Is this going to be a single-room studio? Or a two-room studio, with a control room and also a live room?

It would help to have an accurate model of the room as it is right now, in SketchUp, to help you decide on layout.

Quote:
I was recently told to reduce the largest dimension to 18.5 feet or less (ideal room design)
Told by whom? Someone with proven experience designing studios? Or someone who is just guessing, based on stuff they once saw someplace? :) And on what "ideal room design" basis did they come up with that suggestion?

In reality, there's no such thing. There are good room ratios, and not so good room ratios, and bad room ratios. Stay away from the bad ones, and get close to one of the good ones. That's all you need to do. Use one of these Room Ratio calculators to figure out the best dimensions for your room:

http://www.bobgolds.com/Mode/RoomModes.htm

http://amroc.andymel.eu/

Both of those are very good, and will help you to decide how best to build your room. They give you tons of information that is really useful to help figure out the best dimensions.

In general, it is better to NOT reduce the total volume of the room, unless there's a really fantastic benefit to be gained in some other aspect.


- Stuart -


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:27 am
Posts: 3
Location: Connecticut USA
Follow up question.

I have insulated the first wall around.

I have built out the second wall all around (I'm using safe and sound roxul in that wall).

What should I do with the door and windows?

I had two thoughts:

One: build framing over both that is on hinges. So, if I want to open the wall, I can the open the window.

Two: hang acoustic blankets over them when needed (keeping the openings all the way to the room).


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