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 Post subject: Sunroom Studio
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:04 pm 
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Location: Exton, Pa
Howdy folks! In the VERY early planning stages of a roughly 20’x13’ combo room for drum tracking, teaching. By early planning, I mean, counting down the days until the kids are out of daycare and I can afford to actually do something! Some would call my stage fantasizing, but I do digress...

Bought a new home in August of 2017, and the basement is simply too low to build a true studio in, as the ceiling would be 6’8” after completion. Breaks our township code and drum code! We have this really cool sun room (3 season room, for those unfamiliar), on its own concrete slab, as it was an addition to the house at some point. The entire 3 sides that face the outside world are all windows at the middle third point, and the 4th wall is connected to what was the original garage (it was turned into a liveable area, and a new garage built adjacent to it). I feel pretty confident about defining the leaf on the internal wall, but for the other 3, obviously I will need to reframe part of the wall and add sheething and siding, but in reading Rod’s book, he mentions two things:

-drywall is a leaf
-areas that are not air tight are tricky

So, with my end goal being to create a room within a room for maximum isolation, and knowing that the siding and OSB are not really “air tight”, would the exterior three sides be considered a true leaf? If drywall was added to the interior of the studs holding up the outer shell, would that create a 3 left system, or would this new drywall be considered then”outer lead”? Just trying to understand how to work with a not quite air tight exterior shell. Thanks!!


Last edited by templejazz82 on Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:25 pm 
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templejazz82,

If you're going to be designing from here on out, I would suggest renaming your thread to something resembling your studio like "Sunroom Studio" or something like that. All future questions will be in THIS thread. Please and thank you.

Can you draw up the existing structure in SketchUp Make so we have a visual to go off of. I would hate for any of us to give you incorrect advice.

The sunroom is 3 walls built off of the side of the existing home? We need to see how the walls are constructed for the sunroom.

Ideally what you want to do is:

- Define your outer leaf. That would be the outer most sheathing of your room. If your sunroom has finished interior drywall, you will have to rip that off that throw it out. If the exterior is some sort of siding fixed to OSB sheathing, that OSB is your outer leaf. You must determine the amount of isolation you require. Using calculations or the MSM calculator I posted in the design forum (it's a sticky), figure out how much surface density you need on your outer leaf. Chances are you will have to add a layer or two to that existing sheathing by using a technique referred to in the studio building community as "beefing up".

Chances are you will have to do the same with the wall joining the rest of the home. In this case you may have to rip off the siding and use the interior drywall of the home as your outer leaf. You may want to ask your local building inspector about whether you're allowed to remove the exterior sheathing on that part of your home. If you aren't allowed to remove it, I would suggest at least removing the siding leaving the OSB exposed. In this case, you will be able to then add another layer or two to that OSB as you will then be dealing with a 3 leaf system. For a three leaf system to work well, you need your middle leaf to have a lot of surface density.

From there you will build your inner room/leaf.

Every step of the way you need to caulk/seal. So, before you beef up anything, you seal it all so that it is air tight. Imagine filling the room with water like a bathtub. If there is anywhere water could leak out, seal it. THEN add your mass and seal it again. Sealing is very very important.

Once you figure out this stage, design your HVAC and electrical. Do all of this in SketchUp.

Greg

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:58 pm 
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Gregwor wrote:
templejazz82,

If you're going to be designing from here on out, I would suggest renaming your thread to something resembling your studio like "Sunroom Studio" or something like that. All future questions will be in THIS thread. Please and thank you.

Can you draw up the existing structure in SketchUp Make so we have a visual to go off of. I would hate for any of us to give you incorrect advice.

The sunroom is 3 walls built off of the side of the existing home? We need to see how the walls are constructed for the sunroom.

Ideally what you want to do is:

- Define your outer leaf. That would be the outer most sheathing of your room. If your sunroom has finished interior drywall, you will have to rip that off that throw it out. If the exterior is some sort of siding fixed to OSB sheathing, that OSB is your outer leaf. You must determine the amount of isolation you require. Using calculations or the MSM calculator I posted in the design forum (it's a sticky), figure out how much surface density you need on your outer leaf. Chances are you will have to add a layer or two to that existing sheathing by using a technique referred to in the studio building community as "beefing up".

Chances are you will have to do the same with the wall joining the rest of the home. In this case you may have to rip off the siding and use the interior drywall of the home as your outer leaf. You may want to ask your local building inspector about whether you're allowed to remove the exterior sheathing on that part of your home. If you aren't allowed to remove it, I would suggest at least removing the siding leaving the OSB exposed. In this case, you will be able to then add another layer or two to that OSB as you will then be dealing with a 3 leaf system. For a three leaf system to work well, you need your middle leaf to have a lot of surface density.

From there you will build your inner room/leaf.

Every step of the way you need to caulk/seal. So, before you beef up anything, you seal it all so that it is air tight. Imagine filling the room with water like a bathtub. If there is anywhere water could leak out, seal it. THEN add your mass and seal it again. Sealing is very very important.

Once you figure out this stage, design your HVAC and electrical. Do all of this in SketchUp.

Greg



Thanks Greg! Yes, when I am formally ready, I will certainly start a brand new thread with pertinent information and pictures/sketch up.

It is very interesting, as the four internal walls are finished with vinyl siding with OSB between that wall and in the external siding. Very odd choice I have never seen in houses I have been to. I will post pics to this thread a little later, but what you say makes sense, as this will be my second room I am doing. My first room had 12” concrete block all the way around, so it was pretty easy to create acceptable isolation.

Like I mentioned, this is a few years down the road, and everything I wrote here is just coming from my head to this forum, nothing formal yet, but the whole definition of a leaf was throwing me, knowing my current external shell is not airtight, but it makes sense that I may be able to change that with caulking and sealing once the internal siding connected to the external shell is ripped out.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 3:22 am 
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Yes, when I am formally ready, I will certainly start a brand new thread with pertinent information and pictures/sketch up.

Please use THIS thread as your design and build thread. Just rename it. That way people can see the process from the very beginning (which is now).

Quote:
Like I mentioned, this is a few years down the road

Perfect. Often people take a year or more to design their studios and accumulate the necessary tools to build them. If I were you, I'd start getting a SketchUp together now and in that process you will face questions. These questions will lead to research and learning which will lead you to more questions. It's a long but fun cycle. Just don't wait for two years to start or your whole process will be put back even further. Even if in the end you don't build your space in the sunroom, you will have all of the knowledge and experience you need to quickly design a studio in another space!

Greg

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 Post subject: Re: Sunroom Studio
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:29 am 
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Hi Gregwor- Good suggestion and updated! So, bear with me as the images may not load. I will edit until done properly. Full disclosure- I do NOT have sketchup yet, and found the free version somewhat limiting. Frankly, time is an issue right now, as I just finished recording my record and have two young kids to deal with, which explains the delay and the "interesting" drawings that I have attached. I also have some actual pictures of the area in which I am trying to work with.

Restating the goal: a room in which the primary functions would be practicing drums, recording drums, teaching and then mixing. I do not need a "world class" mix room, but I would like to be able to track drums privately here for external clients. This will not be a public home studio, but a private place for my projects and online file exchange, but mainly teaching/practicing.

Here is what I have found:

- Sunroom sits on at least 8" of concrete (I dug to 8" so far, seems like it goes deeper possibly, but I got tired!).
- The sunroom is attached to the old exterior of the house, which is the original garage that was turned into a living space.
- It has 3 doors currently, which would ultimately be reduced to 2 doors (1 for entry from external and 1 for entry from internal)
- On 3 sides, there are windows about 3' from the bottom, and are about 4' in height, and the line the entire 3 sides.
- below the windows is, in order from inside to out- Vinyl Siding-OSB plywood-Vinyl siding. There does NOT appear to be insulation, which is apparently common due to the fact that the original intention was a 3 season natural air room. Checked with other neighbors with similar rooms, and they have the same thing going.
- on the wall attached to the internal living area, is all vinyl siding, with a big ole window and the old exterior door.
- keep in mind, this is attached to the old garage, so the sunroom is attached to one wall of the entire house, and the interior room it is attached to is also attached to only one wall. However, flanking will still be an issue.

Still need to:
- take formal measurements for sound isolation. With the goal to be able to play drums at night while kids are asleep, I realize I need to create some good isolation. The good news is I am at least 30-40 yards from 1 neighbor and a good 60 yards from another, which would be for noise getting out. We do not have a tremendous amount of external noise to care for, but I would rather be safe and overdo it. However, measurements will tell the true story, which will take place once this crappy white stuff gets off the ground!
- Account for Air/HVAC. Living in the Northeast part of the US, we need to be able to heat and cool it. We also need to LIVE in it, so pumping freshair is important. This was the first thing we did in my old studio, so, you know, people did not die.
- Determine if, during my process, since I will likely be going down the to the stud, determine if I can/need to change the slope of my roof (essentially getting a new roof, which would need to happen anyway due to the condition), so that my lower height of the slope can go up. More on this below.
- get sketchup, so I can do this with better accuracy.
- We have GREAT lighting in our backyard, but understanding windows are not the best of friends with isolation, I would to determine if I can get away with having a window into the real world, or bag it.
- I have a good friend who is a licensed contractor, who will help with all the permits, Strucutural engineering, and getting some of the harder stuff done within the township guidelines, but he has said he never did a room in a room studio, but was willing to take what I brought him and execute on my plan, and not based on what makes the most sense from his experience. I am happy he is open to some new tactics and I do very much trust him.

Pictures with comments, FIRST attachment is the PDF of the overhead shot:

Overhead #1 is the overhead shot of the room, which currently, interior siding to interior siding, measures at 20'2" x 13'6". There are 3 doors, which are outlined, 1 is a solid exterior door that brings you to the interior of the home (kids play area), which measures 36", and on that same wall is a standard 54" window (single pane). The plan would be to rip the entire siding out of that wall, as well as the opposite side of the wall (and window), and beef up the interior portion of the house for my 1st leaf, leaving the interior of the sunroom with simply stud and insulation. The right exterior door I would keep, so that I could have students come in and out without going through my house. Also easier to move equipment for gigs. The bottom door on the leftside would be blocked out and just be a wall.

In the second picture, you see the side view. the 7'4" bottom of the room caps out over 10', which is why I thought of raising the roof. I figure if I can do it, and am spending the money, why not? There is also the eave vent over hang from the old exterior of the home, which comes out about 14"
Attachment:
1087_001.pdf


This is a shot of the interior of the room I am working with. The siding you see is the interior wall, and for some reason, siding was kept there. This is the wall that is attached to the house.
Attachment:
Sunroom interior 1.jpg


This is the living area that is attached to the sun room. I would take that wall down (it is all old wood siding painted over with hard insulation in between). I would do a double layer of 5/8 drywall with GG between for this wall, as it would be the exterior leaf of the room.
Attachment:
living area 1.jpg


This is the overall shot of the sunroom, so you can get a bigger picture idea. Just trying to highlight what I have to work with. This picture was taken from the middle of my backyard.
Attachment:
sunroom exterior 1.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: Sunroom Studio
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:34 am 
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I'm super interested to see how this one turns out. Your slab is great being so thick!


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 Post subject: Re: Sunroom Studio
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:56 pm 
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Full disclosure- I do NOT have sketchup yet, and found the free version somewhat limiting.

SketchUp "FREE" sucks big time. Download SketchUp MAKE. It is also free but doesn't run in a browser. It's a real program and it kicks butt!

https://help.sketchup.com/en/downloading-older-versions

Quote:
- Sunroom sits on at least 8" of concrete (I dug to 8" so far, seems like it goes deeper possibly, but I got tired!).

It's likely a 4" slab but what you were digging around was the foundations that sit on footings.

Quote:
- Determine if, during my process, since I will likely be going down the to the stud, determine if I can/need to change the slope of my roof (essentially getting a new roof, which would need to happen anyway due to the condition), so that my lower height of the slope can go up. More on this below.

With an engineer, you can get ideas for this. Basically, you want it as tall as you can get it!

Quote:
- We have GREAT lighting in our backyard, but understanding windows are not the best of friends with isolation, I would to determine if I can get away with having a window into the real world, or bag it.

It's possible to keep the windows, but the glass you need is very expensive.

Quote:
- I have a good friend who is a licensed contractor, who will help with all the permits, Strucutural engineering, and getting some of the harder stuff done within the township guidelines, but he has said he never did a room in a room studio, but was willing to take what I brought him and execute on my plan, and not based on what makes the most sense from his experience. I am happy he is open to some new tactics and I do very much trust him.

Maybe he is willing to read a bunch of the forum so he gets a better idea of how things are done compared to "normal" construction. That would really help him along the way.

Quote:
This is the overall shot of the sunroom, so you can get a bigger picture idea. Just trying to highlight what I have to work with. This picture was taken from the middle of my backyard.

You have a beautiful place!

Greg

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 Post subject: Re: Sunroom Studio
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:56 am 
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Gregwor wrote:
Quote:
Full disclosure- I do NOT have sketchup yet, and found the free version somewhat limiting.

SketchUp "FREE" sucks big time. Download SketchUp MAKE. It is also free but doesn't run in a browser. It's a real program and it kicks butt!

https://help.sketchup.com/en/downloading-older-versions

Quote:
- Sunroom sits on at least 8" of concrete (I dug to 8" so far, seems like it goes deeper possibly, but I got tired!).

It's likely a 4" slab but what you were digging around was the foundations that sit on footings.

Quote:
- Determine if, during my process, since I will likely be going down the to the stud, determine if I can/need to change the slope of my roof (essentially getting a new roof, which would need to happen anyway due to the condition), so that my lower height of the slope can go up. More on this below.

With an engineer, you can get ideas for this. Basically, you want it as tall as you can get it!

Quote:
- We have GREAT lighting in our backyard, but understanding windows are not the best of friends with isolation, I would to determine if I can get away with having a window into the real world, or bag it.

It's possible to keep the windows, but the glass you need is very expensive.

Quote:
- I have a good friend who is a licensed contractor, who will help with all the permits, Strucutural engineering, and getting some of the harder stuff done within the township guidelines, but he has said he never did a room in a room studio, but was willing to take what I brought him and execute on my plan, and not based on what makes the most sense from his experience. I am happy he is open to some new tactics and I do very much trust him.

Maybe he is willing to read a bunch of the forum so he gets a better idea of how things are done compared to "normal" construction. That would really help him along the way.

Quote:
This is the overall shot of the sunroom, so you can get a bigger picture idea. Just trying to highlight what I have to work with. This picture was taken from the middle of my backyard.

You have a beautiful place!

Greg



Thanks Greg for the follow up. Yes, the property, while a pain in the butt to maintain, it is a space that my wife and I sets up beautifully for our children (5 and 3) to play and grow up on. We were very fortunate to have it setup with a family with two girls who were 7, so there were tons of of things for kids built into the house and property, so it is really cool.

Coming from a house where I spent 4 months building a room in my basement and was very happy with it, it took some adjusting to not have that room, but the trade-off when you have a family is always worth it.

I recently ordered the updated version of Rod's book (I used version one for my last studio build), which I think will be awesome to use as companion to this amazing site. My friend the contractor, as I mentioned, is totally open. I told him about this site. He came here and said "holy cow, this is a lot of really good information!", so kudos to you and all the people who contribute.

My next steps, and I wanted to get your opinion on this: I want to do some measurements with my sound meter. My CURRENT space where the drums are located, are in an office area (in the picture which you commented on, it is the far left room). That is a traditional room with 1/2" drywall on the interior and standard exterior wall building. It also sits on 2x12's over a small area, as it was an addition, and it has block on the outline of the room, but is not on a slab. The room I want to use is the room with all the very thin plastic windows and no insulation in the roof or walls, as it is a "sun room" or 3-season room. I feel like if I do tests from that room, it is going to just be insanely biased toward more isolation. I know I need isolation, but the difference from the room my drums are in now vs the room they will be in, is rather staggering. Do you suggest doing the same series of tests for both rooms, to get a more fair comparison? If the room I wanted to use had 1/2" drywall and insulation all the way around, it would be more fair, but that is not the case, and to me, it will be similar to work with essentially an open air space, so I do not want to think "well, I need 90 DB of isolation, as that is not going to be possible, but it may read that way.


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 Post subject: Re: Sunroom Studio
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:05 pm 
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Quote:
Coming from a house where I spent 4 months building a room in my basement and was very happy with it, it took some adjusting to not have that room, but the trade-off when you have a family is always worth it.

Yep. It's funny how life goals change so much once you have a family.

Quote:
I recently ordered the updated version of Rod's book (I used version one for my last studio build), which I think will be awesome to use as companion to this amazing site.

I highly recommend that you read this as well:

www.roletech.net/books/HandbookAcoustics.pdf

Quote:
I want to do some measurements with my sound meter.

It never hurts to take measurements and document the results. I think you know what is up regarding isolation at this point enough to make an educated decision on what you will need to do for your build.

Greg

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 Post subject: Re: Sunroom Studio
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:18 am 
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So, as mentioned, my "music room" is currently occupied in an office space that is about 11.5' x 11', which is why I want a new space! My speakers are at the front of the room, shooting down toward the back wall, which has a window (standard size window). I took my first measurement, just to get a baseline of music playing, for if I am listening at full volume (I would not want to do this at night, but figured I would give it a shot). Please note: This is NOT the room I will be using, but I wanted to see first what my speakers produce at their current daytime state. Next steps will be outlined below my findings. Sound meter was set to C weighting- Slow Response (I think I did that right, but keep me honest).

- At mix position, I set the volume louder than I normally would, and it was 89 db. Before putting music on it was 51 db, with ambient noise only.
- At the outside position, directly outside the window, it was 61 db
- At my property line, I picked up ambient noise, and it was actually 64 db! However, I could not hear a trace of the music. The distance from the window was 60 feet. From the property line to the neighbors garage, it is 50 feet, and past the garage is another 25 feet, so in total from my current room EXTERIOR, it is 135 ft, or roughly almost half a football field. I feel very good about this, and for the record, in my current space, I have never had a neighbor complain.
- From my hopefully new location, it is 84 feet from my closest corner to my neighbors property line. I feel good that it is a little bit further.

Next steps with regards to measurements:

- Do the exact same measurement at night (I feel like there was more ambient noise out there during the day than at night. Gutters running (snow melting), etc...
- Measure my drums from my current room both during the day and during the night.
-do all 4 measurements in the new space, which as mentioned, is not isolated even close to acceptable for normal living conditions. As stated, it is a 3-season room, so I am trying to look at both rooms for a true "where I am now" opinion.

Regarding legal limits- from our township codes site:

"The making, creation or permitting of any noise in the Township of such character, intensity or duration, when heard or detected over the property line of the property within which the noise is generated, as to be detrimental to the life, health or welfare of a reasonable person of normal sensitivities or which either steadily or intermittently annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, peace or safety of a reasonable person of normal sensitivities is prohibited and is a violation of this chapter."

"Other devices. The playing, using or operating, or permitting to be played, used or operated, of any radio, tape player, cassette player, compact disc player, phonograph or other device which amplifies sound, or singing, shouting or playing of musical instruments in such a manner and at such a time which is generally considered to be inappropriate and which excessively or unreasonably disturbs the peace and quiet of the immediate neighborhood or surrounding area."

Nothing in the bylaws at all about specific dB measurements at property lines. Is this normal? I want to be certain and not assume anything in this process. I may call the township to double/triple check.


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 Post subject: Re: Sunroom Studio
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:55 am 
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Quote:
Sound meter was set to C weighting- Slow Response (I think I did that right, but keep me honest).
:thu:

Quote:
- At mix position, I set the volume louder than I normally would, and it was 89 db. ... directly outside the window, it was 61
so you are getting around 28 dB isolation from your room. The level for a typical house wall is around 30, so you are getting a bit less.

Quote:
At my property line, I picked up ambient noise, and it was actually 64 db!
With such a high ambient level, you won't be able to get any reading at all on your own noise. What was so loud there?

Quote:
- Measure my drums from my current room both during the day and during the night.
Acoustic drums? They typical level of acoustic drums played normally is around 110 dBC. Played loud, that can easily be 115 dBC... or more. To put that in perspective, 110 dBC is about one hundred times more acoustic intensity than what you had with your speakers set to 90 dBC... Yup. One hundred. The decibel scale is logarithmic, not linear, so each time you go up 10 dB, that implies ten times the intensity. Thus, considering your isolation is around 28 dB, your drums played at 115 dB will be about 87 dB OUTSIDE the window, which is roughly the same level as INSIDE the room when you did your initial test...

Question: Do you plan to record stuff in your room? If so, then sound getting out isn't your biggest problem... sound getting IN is your biggest problem.... Rain, hail, wind, thunder, traffic, aircraft flying over, sirens, dogs barking, lawnmowers, radio, TV, people talking outside, etc....

As a point of reference, most home studios are isolated to around 50-60 dB. Any less than that is not usually acceptable.

Quote:
Nothing in the bylaws at all about specific dB measurements at property lines. Is this normal?
Nope! Not normal. And probably beatable in court, because it is all subjective. But good luck with trying to beat it!

"generally considered to be inappropriate" What does that even mean? Who decides that "appropriate" means? What does "generally considered" mean? Your definition of "appropriate" might be very different from what your neighbor considers "appropriate", and both of you might differ greatly from what someone else considers ""appropriate". A teenager and a mother with a small baby would have very different opinions... By not defining an objective level that can be measured with an instrument, there's no way to enforce that. It would be like setting a speed limit at a level of ""generally considered to be inappropriate".

"which excessively or unreasonably disturbs the peace and quiet of the immediate neighborhood or surrounding area." Same issue here: What is their legal definition of "excessive" or "unreasonable"? What constitutes the "immediate neighborhood"? Is that a one thousand foot radius around your property, or a ten foot radius? Who decides?

But it's bad news for you, not good news: trying to fight that would take forever and cost a fortune. Even though you might win....

Basically, you are screwed with that. And that's probably why they wrote it like that, because they know they have you, and there's not much you can do about it. If they would have defined real levels, like most places do, then you could simply pull out your meter and demonstrate that you are not exceeding the limits, but with such vague, subjective language, you cannot prove that you are not exceeding their "limits"... and they cannot prove that you are"! He-said, she-said...

As a point of reference, most real noise regulations specify a limit of maybe 45 dBA during the day for residential areas, or perhaps 55 dBA for a commercial area, and a lower level at night, such as maybe 35 dBA for residential, and 50 for commercial. The actual level varies from place to place, but if you check those levels you'll find that they are always ridiculously low: even whispering loudly at night as you walk down the street could get you arrested... :shock: So even they places that do set objective levels are still out to screw you! And even those ones usually have a tiny piece of fine print added on at the end of the fixed levels, saying something like "... or any other sound that is considered to be excessive or unreasonable". Which takes us right back to your current position!

In other words, you are screwed any way you look at it. :)

Quote:
I want to be certain and not assume anything in this process. I may call the township to double/triple check.
Do that, and I bet they give you the run-around, with no definitive answer! Maybe also ask them if they get a lot of noise complaints, so you can get an idea of how strict they are, and how likely you are to get hit with a warning or a fine...


- Stuart -

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 Post subject: Re: Sunroom Studio
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:33 am 
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Thanks Stuart. Between you and Greg, it is greatly appreciated that you are chiming in, as both of your opinions and direct feedback is what I enjoy!

Quote:
so you are getting around 28 dB isolation from your room. The level for a typical house wall is around 30, so you are getting a bit less.


Yeah, this is an older home, built in the 60's, and I see visually areas where there are minor gaps, so it is performing somewhat how I expect, based on the build.

Quote:
With such a high ambient level, you won't be able to get any reading at all on your own noise. What was so loud there?


We got hit with some really bad snow yesterday, and today it is in the high 40's, so everything is melting, so gutters, trees, all dripping waters. Cars that are driving by splashing puddles, as opposed to dry roads, etc... It is a bit louder out today than normal, which is why I want to try this at night, when it is a bit more quiet.

Quote:
Acoustic drums? They typical level of acoustic drums played normally is around 110 dBC. Played loud, that can easily be 115 dBC... or more. To put that in perspective, 110 dBC is about one hundred times more acoustic intensity than what you had with your speakers set to 90 dBC... Yup. One hundred. The decibel scale is logarithmic, not linear, so each time you go up 10 dB, that implies ten times the intensity. Thus, considering your isolation is around 28 dB, your drums played at 115 dB will be about 87 dB OUTSIDE the window, which is roughly the same level as INSIDE the room when you did your initial test...


Yup! Acoustic drums! And I am up for the challenge. I am a quiet player, so 115 is probably excessive, but I have hit around 104-106 when measured in the past. Keeping in mind, the room that I use now will NOT be the room, and I understand that my build will be much stronger than vinyl siding-OSB-Insulation, 1 layer of 1/2" drywall. In my old space, I was able to get 65 dbC of isolation, but I was in a basement underground and had 12" concrete block as one of my leafs. The plan would be to, even though it will cost me a little space, do a room in a room, unless for some reason a really solid build with a single wall, two leaf system would get me close, which I doubt it will.

Quote:
Question: Do you plan to record stuff in your room? If so, then sound getting out isn't your biggest problem... sound getting IN is your biggest problem.... Rain, hail, wind, thunder, traffic, aircraft flying over, sirens, dogs barking, lawnmowers, radio, TV, people talking outside, etc....


To answer, the order of priorities-
1. Drum practice
1A. Drum recording
2. drum teaching
3. mixing

So, I want to build a room that is focused more on tracking/playing than it is mixing. Plus, it will be a private facility.

Quote:
As a point of reference, most home studios are isolated to around 50-60 dB. Any less than that is not usually acceptable.


Question- when you say 50-60 dB, where is that being measured? Curious, as space comes into play, if there is a formula that says, outside of an isolated space, for every "x" feet, this much more dB drop occurs at these frequecies.

Quote:
Nope! Not normal. And probably beatable in court, because it is all subjective. But good luck with trying to beat it!


Yup! Thanks! The good news, the old neighbors, who I am very friendly with, move out in a month, and with me planning on doing this build in a few years...yes years...I would plan on making sure I have a solid relationship with the neighbors so that they would feel comfortable enough coming to me before going to the police! Northeast PA laws are funny!

Quote:
"generally considered to be inappropriate" What does that even mean? Who decides that "appropriate" means? What does "generally considered" mean? Your definition of "appropriate" might be very different from what your neighbor considers "appropriate", and both of you might differ greatly from what someone else considers ""appropriate". A teenager and a mother with a small baby would have very different opinions... By not defining an objective level that can be measured with an instrument, there's no way to enforce that. It would be like setting a speed limit at a level of ""generally considered to be inappropriate".

"which excessively or unreasonably disturbs the peace and quiet of the immediate neighborhood or surrounding area." Same issue here: What is their legal definition of "excessive" or "unreasonable"? What constitutes the "immediate neighborhood"? Is that a one thousand foot radius around your property, or a ten foot radius? Who decides?

But it's bad news for you, not good news: trying to fight that would take forever and cost a fortune. Even though you might win....

Basically, you are screwed with that. And that's probably why they wrote it like that, because they know they have you, and there's not much you can do about it. If they would have defined real levels, like most places do, then you could simply pull out your meter and demonstrate that you are not exceeding the limits, but with such vague, subjective language, you cannot prove that you are not exceeding their "limits"... and they cannot prove that you are"! He-said, she-said...


The thing I MAY be able to get written somewhere, and although it is unlikely, is when I pull my permits from the township, perhaps I can get more clarification as to a way other than she-said he-said, but I do agree, it was written as a way to make money in court. If you could easily validate how much sound you made, how would the court make money??? lol

Quote:
As a point of reference, most real noise regulations specify a limit of maybe 45 dBA during the day for residential areas, or perhaps 55 dBA for a commercial area, and a lower level at night, such as maybe 35 dBA for residential, and 50 for commercial. The actual level varies from place to place, but if you check those levels you'll find that they are always ridiculously low: even whispering loudly at night as you walk down the street could get you arrested... :shock: So even they places that do set objective levels are still out to screw you! And even those ones usually have a tiny piece of fine print added on at the end of the fixed levels, saying something like "... or any other sound that is considered to be excessive or unreasonable". Which takes us right back to your current position!

In other words, you are screwed any way you look at it. :)


Yeah, I would agree. I would think that if I could get 70 dbC isolation, I am looking at 40 dbC MAX on the outside. While I do not have a budget yet, as this is still a few years away, it is something that I would expect to pay between 35-50k USD when all said and done, and I already have the cement slab and some framing I could use for the external "leaf". I would also plan on doing all of the drywall work, sealing work, painting, floor work (probably just a laminate floor) myself. I would contract out the structural work, electrical, HVAC work.

Quote:
Do that, and I bet they give you the run-around, with no definitive answer! Maybe also ask them if they get a lot of noise complaints, so you can get an idea of how strict they are, and how likely you are to get hit with a warning or a fine...


- Stuart


That is a great idea, thank you Stuart.


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 Post subject: Re: Sunroom Studio
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:46 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:17 am
Posts: 11888
Location: Santiago, Chile
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Yup! Acoustic drums! And I am up for the challenge. I am a quiet player, so 115 is probably excessive, but I have hit around 104-106 when measured in the past.
Ahh, but one of the goals you mentioned is "drum teaching", which sort of implies two sets of drums going at the same time... So there's another 3 to 6 dB right there, even if you BOTH play quietly... and if your student is heavy handed, then ... hmmm... :roll:

Point of interest: I have a client in Australia for whom I designed a studio very similar to what you need, a few years back. Here's how it turned out:
Attachment:
Inside-out-ceiling-09.jpg


Attachment:
Inside-out-ceiling-10.jpg


It's not quite as big as yours, but it gives you an idea. It does include an isolation booth at the far end, big enough to fit in drum kit (beyond the sliding glass doors in the second photo.

Like you you, he teaches drums, and records, and practices, and mixes. He usually has two drum kits set up in there, with both going strong. And he can easily hit 110 dB in there, and more! 120 is not out of the question...

However, he gets a little over 55 dB of isolation, which is what I designed it for. His neighbor's front door is about 25 feet away from his door, and it is practically silent at that point. Upstairs in the house, in the room directly above, it is very slightly audible, but very faint: you have to listen carefully to notice.

Initially he wanted to go for higher isolation, but when the owner figured out the cost of doing that, he decided to down-grade his expectations a bit. As I mentioned before, the decibel scale is logarithmic, not linear, so not all decibels are equal! Increasing your isolation by 5 dB is NOT the same for all cases. Increasing isolation from 10 dB to 15 dB is dirt-cheap: you can do that with a sheet of cardboard. But increasing isolation from 90 dB to 95 dB will cost you millions of dollars, and require some very hefty machinery and materials. Both steps are "just" 5 dB... But as you go up the scale, each "5 db step" also gets exponentially more expensive. That's why he settled on 55 dB in this case. And it works fine!

Quote:
Question- when you say 50-60 dB, where is that being measured? Curious, as space comes into play, if there is a formula that says, outside of an isolated space, for every "x" feet, this much more dB drop occurs at these frequecies
Good question! The "standard" distance for measuring sound levels is at one meter form the source, which is very roughly three feet. That applies to things like instruments, radios, TVs, speakers, people, engines, etc. Stand a meter away with your hand-held sound level meter held out at arms length, at chest height, tilted upwards about 45 to 60°, and the tip of the mic 1 meter from the acoustic center of the sound source. But when it comes to entire buildings, it's sort of hard to figure out where the acoustic center of the sound source is! Even so, standing about a meter away from your wall or window is a good starting point.

Now, obviously, sound level drops off with distance. Sound expands as a sphere around a point source, so if you remember your high school geometry classes, you'll realize the the surface area of that sphere expands rapidly as the radius increases, and that the sound is spread out even evenly over the entire surface of that sphere, thus the perceived level at any give distance MUST be lower than it was closer to the source. Right! In fact, there's a simple rule, called the "inverse square" rule, that says you get a drop of 6 dB for every doubling of distance. That's the PERCEIVED level, of course: not the total level. If you could somehow gather all the sound levels from the entire surface of the sphere at any distance, and add them all up, then that total would always be the same: If the acoustic power was 1 watt at the source, then it will still be 1 watt at ANY distance: but since the AREA of the sphere is getting larger as the wave expands out, the sound intensity that you perceive at a given distance does follow the inverse square law: it decreases by 6 dB each time you double the distance.

So, if you measured (for example) 70 dB when you were 10 feet from the wall, then you would measure 64 dB at 20 feet, 58 dB at 40 feet, 52 dB at 80 feet, 46 dB at 120 feet, etc.

Now for the problem: That inverse square law presumes that the sound is expanding evenly in all directions as a sphere: except, or course, that it isn't doing that! There's the ground below you, buildings around you, trees, cars, wind, temperature gradients, humidity, and a whole bunch of other things that can affect how it actually works in the real world.

For all of the above, all frequencies decay in the same manner, simply due to inverse square... but there's also the way sound is attenuated just by moving through the air itself, and that does change with frequency! Higher frequencies are attenuated more by the air than lower frequencies. For short distances (a few tens of feet), this isn't really noticeable, but for long distances it is. If you have ever heard thunder close-up, it sounds like an intense "crack", but if you hear thunder in the distance, miles away, it sounds like a low rumble.... frequency attenuation with distance...

So, there's no easy answer to your question, but it sure is a great question! :)

OK, jokes aside, and technicalities aside: in general terms, for most climate conditions and at the typical distances where your drums and your neighbors might be "interacting", inverse square law won't be too far wrong. It's a decent guide, but always assume that the real levels will probably be higher than inverse square predicts.

Quote:
and with me planning on doing this build in a few years...yes years...
Smart! VERY smart! Way too many first time studio builders think they can design the place by tomorrow, start building yesterday, and have it finished a week from now... it doesn't work like that. And clearly, you have realized that this is the case! That makes you one of the smartest new members on the forum! :thu: :)

Realistically, it will take you four to six months to learn enough about acoustics and studio design and construction so that you can start designing the place seriously, then another four to six months to actually do the design in full detail... then you can start building, and that will take at least a year, probably 2, maybe 3. That's typical. The only way you can make it go faster, is to hire people to do some parts of that for you: studio designer, architect, structural engineer, building contractor, plumber, electrician, drywaller, carpenter, painter, etc. Even then, even if you farmed out everything then just sat in your yard and watched it all happen, even then it would not be ready much inside of a year. Doing it all (or most of it) yourself can certainly save you money, but it also extends the timeline.

I'm sure you already get that (which is why you very correctly mentioned "years"), but I'm just filling in the details for others who might find your thread at some point, and think you are exaggerating with that: you aren't!

Quote:
Yeah, I would agree. I would think that if I could get 70 dbC isolation,
One quick nit-picking correction: When you measure sound levels, you do indeed specify dBA of dBC, etc. to identify the weighting curve that you used. But when you mention isolation, you don't! Indeed, you can'! Because "isolation" is just comparing two levels of "something" that is already on the same scale. So you can have "70 dB" of isolation, but you cannot have "70 dBC" of isolation, because isolation itself has no weighting curve. A small point, but important....

OK, you did get a high level of isolation in your previous place because you were underground and had concrete walls. But getting 70 dB from an above-ground studio built with stud framing is a tall order! That's about the limit of what can be achieved, realistically, at reasonable cost. And it's hard to to. To get to that level, reliably, you need a lot of mass in your walls and roof, which implies multiple layers of materials on each leaf, and beefed-up everything to support the weight. It can be done, yes, but do you need it?

Quote:
I am looking at 40 dbC MAX on the outside.
True, but that's the level a few feet away from your wall. What about inverse square? :)

Let's assume a more realistic scenario: you are playing drums with a student, and you have a bass amp playing too, to give you some accompaniment, and the level inside the room is 115 dBC. You build the studio for 55 dB isolation. Therefore the level a few feet outside the walls is 115-55 = 60 dBC. For argument's sake, let's say that the distance you measured at is 5 feet from the wall, to make the math easy. At 10 feet, you get 54. At 20 feet, you get 48. At 40 feet you get 42, which is already pretty quite. At 80 feet, it is 36 dBC. Most people would call that "inaudible" or "barely audible". Plus, there´s the not-so-minor issue that we are measuring dBC, which is correct for loud sounds, but not for quite sounds! For quire sounds, you should use dBA. And dBA is usually what the legal levels are specified in. And that's a large advantage for you, because the "A" weighting scale is much less sensitive to low frequency sounds, such as kicks, snares, toms and bass! And air attenuation at 80 feet is reducing the crash, ride, splash and hi-hat as well. So all things are in your favor here. In reality, at 80 feet your drums would be silent. The only way that might change is if you had the bad luck of the wind blowing the wrong way, and a temperature gradient that is bending some of the overhead sound back down to focus on your neighbors house....

I'm not trying to discourage you from shooting for 70 dB isolation, of that's what you want: no harm in going higher than you need. But you should be aware that it will cost a lot of money to get that high, and will not be easy to achieve. It might be wise for you to work through the match carefully, do some real tests with real drums played at various levels, and set your goal realistically.

Quote:
I would expect to pay between 35-50k USD when all said and done,
Another point of reference: My clients tell me that, for a ground-up build of a home studio, they end up with a total cost of around US$ 80-160 per square foot, and for remodeling an existing building or room, it works out to about half that. So use that as a very rough guide to estimate what your budget will be.

Quote:
I already have the cement slab and some framing I could use for the external "leaf".
Slab is great! That saves a few thousand dollars, right there. Hopefully, you have the original plans for that slab, showing how it was built, waht the ground is like under it, and how much load it can take? If not, the you can get a structural engineer to take a look at it, and tell you. That's going to be important if you are aiming for 70 dB isolation, as that implies a LOT of weight. Far more than it is carrying right now.

Quote:
I would also plan on doing all of the drywall work, sealing work, painting, floor work (probably just a laminate floor) myself.
Laminate flooring: Definitely! Good floor acoustically, looks good, wears well, reasonable cost.

Quote:
I would contract out the structural work, electrical, HVAC work.


If you can do all of those other things, then you can probably do the HVAC installation yourself, and also wall framing too, but the roof trusses are going to be out of reach for you to do alone. Doors and windows should be do-able as well, but with help. The type of door you need for 70 dB isolation... well, let's just say that there's no chance in hell that you'd lift it by yourself! You'll probably need five or six strong guys to help you get each of your doors in place.

And then there's the acoustic treatment, too! You can easily build that yourself, if you can do all the above.

There might be more things than you are thinking of that you can do on your own.

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thank you Stuart.
:thu:


- Stuart -


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 Post subject: Re: Sunroom Studio
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:39 am 
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 5:26 am
Posts: 31
Location: Exton, Pa
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Ahh, but one of the goals you mentioned is "drum teaching", which sort of implies two sets of drums going at the same time... So there's another 3 to 6 dB right there, even if you BOTH play quietly... and if your student is heavy handed, then ... hmmm... :roll:


While I would like to have two kits setup (a bebop kit and a more studio recording kit, both 4 piece jawns), I do have a pretty philosophical practice of not playing drums WITH my students. It is an excellent call out by you, for sure, but have structured my teaching philosophy to not "double drum", as I want my students to do all the playing. I generally do not even use sticks, as I try to do more "coaching" than teaching, but I understand what you mean.

Quote:
Point of interest: I have a client in Australia for whom I designed a studio very similar to what you need, a few years back. Here's how it turned out:
Attachment:
Inside-out-ceiling-09.jpg


Attachment:
Inside-out-ceiling-10.jpg


It's not quite as big as yours, but it gives you an idea. It does include an isolation booth at the far end, big enough to fit in drum kit (beyond the sliding glass doors in the second photo.

Like you you, he teaches drums, and records, and practices, and mixes. He usually has two drum kits set up in there, with both going strong. And he can easily hit 110 dB in there, and more! 120 is not out of the question...

However, he gets a little over 55 dB of isolation, which is what I designed it for. His neighbor's front door is about 25 feet away from his door, and it is practically silent at that point. Upstairs in the house, in the room directly above, it is very slightly audible, but very faint: you have to listen carefully to notice.

Initially he wanted to go for higher isolation, but when the owner figured out the cost of doing that, he decided to down-grade his expectations a bit. As I mentioned before, the decibel scale is logarithmic, not linear, so not all decibels are equal! Increasing your isolation by 5 dB is NOT the same for all cases. Increasing isolation from 10 dB to 15 dB is dirt-cheap: you can do that with a sheet of cardboard. But increasing isolation from 90 dB to 95 dB will cost you millions of dollars, and require some very hefty machinery and materials. Both steps are "just" 5 dB... But as you go up the scale, each "5 db step" also gets exponentially more expensive. That's why he settled on 55 dB in this case. And it works fine!


You designed that? It is an excellent room. I feel that interior space will be just out of reach of having a main room with a booth, so to speak, as the interior dimensions with a Room in a Room concept would be about 19.5' L x 12' W. I could be schooled into thinking otherwise. For what it is worth, I just did some playing and had a friend take some measurements. My In the Room volume was between 92-97 dBC (Acoustic drums), with one time hitting 99, for a brief moment and on the other side of the wall it was 68 dBC. When I went to my property line, as you mentioned, there was a faint sound, but the measurment came to 46 dBC. Now, like I mentioned earlier, my neighbors property line has another 50 or so feet to their exterior "living" area, and I am going to have my dad come out this week, ask my neighbors if I can do some testing from IN THEIR HOUSE! To me, this will get the realistic numbers. If it is audible outside and people are inside not hearing it at all, I would THINK I am ok, but we will see.

Quote:
Good question! The "standard" distance for measuring sound levels is at one meter form the source, which is very roughly three feet. That applies to things like instruments, radios, TVs, speakers, people, engines, etc. Stand a meter away with your hand-held sound level meter held out at arms length, at chest height, tilted upwards about 45 to 60°, and the tip of the mic 1 meter from the acoustic center of the sound source. But when it comes to entire buildings, it's sort of hard to figure out where the acoustic center of the sound source is! Even so, standing about a meter away from your wall or window is a good starting point.

Now, obviously, sound level drops off with distance. Sound expands as a sphere around a point source, so if you remember your high school geometry classes, you'll realize the the surface area of that sphere expands rapidly as the radius increases, and that the sound is spread out even evenly over the entire surface of that sphere, thus the perceived level at any give distance MUST be lower than it was closer to the source. Right! In fact, there's a simple rule, called the "inverse square" rule, that says you get a drop of 6 dB for every doubling of distance. That's the PERCEIVED level, of course: not the total level. If you could somehow gather all the sound levels from the entire surface of the sphere at any distance, and add them all up, then that total would always be the same: If the acoustic power was 1 watt at the source, then it will still be 1 watt at ANY distance: but since the AREA of the sphere is getting larger as the wave expands out, the sound intensity that you perceive at a given distance does follow the inverse square law: it decreases by 6 dB each time you double the distance.

So, if you measured (for example) 70 dB when you were 10 feet from the wall, then you would measure 64 dB at 20 feet, 58 dB at 40 feet, 52 dB at 80 feet, 46 dB at 120 feet, etc.

Now for the problem: That inverse square law presumes that the sound is expanding evenly in all directions as a sphere: except, or course, that it isn't doing that! There's the ground below you, buildings around you, trees, cars, wind, temperature gradients, humidity, and a whole bunch of other things that can affect how it actually works in the real world.

For all of the above, all frequencies decay in the same manner, simply due to inverse square... but there's also the way sound is attenuated just by moving through the air itself, and that does change with frequency! Higher frequencies are attenuated more by the air than lower frequencies. For short distances (a few tens of feet), this isn't really noticeable, but for long distances it is. If you have ever heard thunder close-up, it sounds like an intense "crack", but if you hear thunder in the distance, miles away, it sounds like a low rumble.... frequency attenuation with distance...

So, there's no easy answer to your question, but it sure is a great question! :)

OK, jokes aside, and technicalities aside: in general terms, for most climate conditions and at the typical distances where your drums and your neighbors might be "interacting", inverse square law won't be too far wrong. It's a decent guide, but always assume that the real levels will probably be higher than inverse square predicts.


excellent explanation, thank you! :wink:

Quote:
Smart! VERY smart! Way too many first time studio builders think they can design the place by tomorrow, start building yesterday, and have it finished a week from now... it doesn't work like that. And clearly, you have realized that this is the case! That makes you one of the smartest new members on the forum! :thu: :)

Realistically, it will take you four to six months to learn enough about acoustics and studio design and construction so that you can start designing the place seriously, then another four to six months to actually do the design in full detail... then you can start building, and that will take at least a year, probably 2, maybe 3. That's typical. The only way you can make it go faster, is to hire people to do some parts of that for you: studio designer, architect, structural engineer, building contractor, plumber, electrician, drywaller, carpenter, painter, etc. Even then, even if you farmed out everything then just sat in your yard and watched it all happen, even then it would not be ready much inside of a year. Doing it all (or most of it) yourself can certainly save you money, but it also extends the timeline.

I'm sure you already get that (which is why you very correctly mentioned "years"), but I'm just filling in the details for others who might find your thread at some point, and think you are exaggerating with that: you aren't!


I learned a ton with my old place, had many limitations, and all things considered, it turned out very well. I used this forum to gather information. I think having folks like you and Greg be direct with people about their builds saves people tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands if they ask first!). My last build, me and 2 friends did the framing, drywall, electric, HVAC, etc..., and it took 6 months of every weekend and many week nights, like an old cell phone plan, to get it done. I think people who do this for the first time do not anticipate the smallest things. Nails, screws, moulding, sealing, the things that are not on youtube! ha! :blah:

Quote:
One quick nit-picking correction: When you measure sound levels, you do indeed specify dBA of dBC, etc. to identify the weighting curve that you used. But when you mention isolation, you don't! Indeed, you can'! Because "isolation" is just comparing two levels of "something" that is already on the same scale. So you can have "70 dB" of isolation, but you cannot have "70 dBC" of isolation, because isolation itself has no weighting curve. A small point, but important....


very good to know, thank you

Quote:
OK, you did get a high level of isolation in your previous place because you were underground and had concrete walls. But getting 70 dB from an above-ground studio built with stud framing is a tall order! That's about the limit of what can be achieved, realistically, at reasonable cost. And it's hard to to. To get to that level, reliably, you need a lot of mass in your walls and roof, which implies multiple layers of materials on each leaf, and beefed-up everything to support the weight. It can be done, yes, but do you need it?


That is the 64,000 dollar question, "Do you need it?". My last place, I used clips and hat channel, stuffed the cavities with insulation (no beef), hung two levels of 5/8" drywall and while it was faint noise above, like you mentioned about your studio, my wife was able to watch TV at a normal volume and not be bothered. Reminds me of using how pants fit to determine weight loss, as opposed to a scale! I plan to spend a LOT of time measuring. When I am done, I will probably measure some more. If I can get the levels of Isolation I need to be A) in compliance legally with the township and B) in compliance legally with my family without doing a Room in a Room, I would say there is no reason to do so, but the science will tell me that,

Quote:
True, but that's the level a few feet away from your wall. What about inverse square? :)


Will be able to speak to this as I digest this new theory (to me, at least).

Quote:
Let's assume a more realistic scenario: you are playing drums with a student, and you have a bass amp playing too, to give you some accompaniment, and the level inside the room is 115 dBC. You build the studio for 55 dB isolation. Therefore the level a few feet outside the walls is 115-55 = 60 dBC. For argument's sake, let's say that the distance you measured at is 5 feet from the wall, to make the math easy. At 10 feet, you get 54. At 20 feet, you get 48. At 40 feet you get 42, which is already pretty quite. At 80 feet, it is 36 dBC. Most people would call that "inaudible" or "barely audible". Plus, there´s the not-so-minor issue that we are measuring dBC, which is correct for loud sounds, but not for quite sounds! For quire sounds, you should use dBA. And dBA is usually what the legal levels are specified in. And that's a large advantage for you, because the "A" weighting scale is much less sensitive to low frequency sounds, such as kicks, snares, toms and bass! And air attenuation at 80 feet is reducing the crash, ride, splash and hi-hat as well. So all things are in your favor here. In reality, at 80 feet your drums would be silent. The only way that might change is if you had the bad luck of the wind blowing the wrong way, and a temperature gradient that is bending some of the overhead sound back down to focus on your neighbors house....

I'm not trying to discourage you from shooting for 70 dB isolation, of that's what you want: no harm in going higher than you need. But you should be aware that it will cost a lot of money to get that high, and will not be easy to achieve. It might be wise for you to work through the match carefully, do some real tests with real drums played at various levels, and set your goal realistically.


Perfect, this makes perfect sense to me. I also need to account for sound getting in. While we are not in a high traffic area, we do have rain and the occasional trucks/cars drive by, and March-October people with their riding mowers, which are louder than many people realize.

Quote:
Quote:
I would expect to pay between 35-50k USD when all said and done,
Another point of reference: My clients tell me that, for a ground-up build of a home studio, they end up with a total cost of around US$ 80-160 per square foot, and for remodeling an existing building or room, it works out to about half that. So use that as a very rough guide to estimate what your budget will be.


I am looking at roughly 234 sqft, which puts me at just over 37k on the high side, but would realistically budget for more, to account for surprises and those small things I mentioned earlier.

Quote:
Slab is great! That saves a few thousand dollars, right there. Hopefully, you have the original plans for that slab, showing how it was built, waht the ground is like under it, and how much load it can take? If not, the you can get a structural engineer to take a look at it, and tell you. That's going to be important if you are aiming for 70 dB isolation, as that implies a LOT of weight. Far more than it is carrying right now.


Absolutely, I may have mentioned this earlier, but I have a good friend who is a general contractor and has told me he is wide open to learning how to do this from a studio perspective. He has tons of "general" construction knowledge, but he came to this site to check it out and was blown away by the wealth of knowledge, and his perspective has widened, which is really great to hear. He has told me that he would defer to me (and I would defer to this forum) before anything was done.

Quote:
If you can do all of those other things, then you can probably do the HVAC installation yourself, and also wall framing too, but the roof trusses are going to be out of reach for you to do alone. Doors and windows should be do-able as well, but with help. The type of door you need for 70 dB isolation... well, let's just say that there's no chance in hell that you'd lift it by yourself! You'll probably need five or six strong guys to help you get each of your doors in place.

And then there's the acoustic treatment, too! You can easily build that yourself, if you can do all the above.

There might be more things than you are thinking of that you can do on your own.


I agree that there is more that I can do that I may not be thinking of. When it comes to framing and roof, I would be just uncomfortable, mainly with the roof. I have never bought acoustic treatment, as I have always built it myself, from BB Absorbers, to Bass Trips, to space array diffusers, etc..., so no problem here either.

Regarding the window, we have EXCELLENT natural light, and the sun shines on this room from roughly 11:30am till sunset, so a window would be cool, but I would have to weigh if it would make all the isolation work null and void. I can always paint a picture of our backyard, lol.

You guys are the best. Cannot wait for daycare to be over for my kids, so I can get some money and get to work! Until another expense pops up...


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