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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2021 4:35 pm 
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Location: Detroit, MI USA
Hi Folks,

I’m new to contributing and I’m about to start my first build (all other rooms I’ve worked in were bedroom studios). This will be in the basement of a 1964 quad in Detroit, Michigan USA.

I’m an amateur keyboard player and songwriter/engineer and I have a pretty good understanding of acoustic principles, though I’m more comfortable with treatment topics than isolation/construction (I still have a lot to learn in this arena). I have a busy career, a wife, and two toddlers, so this is a passionate hobby that unfortunately only gets a few hours per week (right now).

I’ve looked at a lot of the studio builds on this site and I think it’s important to share my context. I need a room for mixing amateur projects and I’d like to occasionally record a guitar player or vocalist. I’ll never record live drums or a Marshall stack and with 120-foot lots (and cinder block walls), disturbing the neighbors isn’t a big worry. My primary goal (with the constraints I have) is to build a room with the best low-end response I can muster, to make mixing more enjoyable and efficient. My first 15’x12’x8’ bedroom studio had terrible standing waves and that left an early impression on me. The music I create is keyboard-heavy with sampled drums and it’s a combination of Chill Drum & Bass, Jazz, Fusion, Progressive Rock, and soundtrack/New Age.

I don’t want to do anything that is going to negatively impact the resale value of the house. Some of the builds and techniques on this site are phenomenal, but I need to design this so that a future owner can tear down a wall and have a usable open space. That’s why I didn’t do splayed walls or slat-style construction. I have countless bass traps and broadband absorbers already, so I have a lot of treatment options for a rectangular room. That being said, if you see something in my plan that can be improved layout-wise (and wouldn’t scare off a future buyer), I’ll always take the feedback.

This basement project also has a few storage areas and four new basement windows, so it’s not just a studio (I can’t occupy the full basement). My wife would like to keep the total cost to $20K USD, but I think that’s unreasonable in today’s market. If I could hit ~$30K that would be success. If I exceed $40K I’ve probably gone too far for my hobby.

The primary physical constraint I have is the ceiling height (7 feet from concrete floor to bottom of joist). I’ve researched open ceilings vs. closed ceilings, and despite the low height, I’m sold on a drywall ceiling.

Most of my questions are going to center on humidity/dehumidification, insulation, and probably electrical. I’m not going to ask anything specific to begin, but I’ll certainly take any first impressions of the design.

Basically it’s a 21’ x 13’ x 7’ rectangular room with cinder block behind two walls. I’m leaving a 3-foot corridor along the studio perimeter for plumbing access and I’m going to enclose my furnace and water heaters as best I can within code. I plan to do a resilient channel ceiling with 5/8” drywall and the interior walls of the studio portion will be 5/8” drywall, maybe doubled-up drywall, or I may go the Quietrock route. The studio walls that don’t mate with cinder block will have two leaves (all cinder block-facing walls would be single leaf). I plan to stuff the walls with R13, the ceiling joists with R19, and I’ll use Hilti putty pads and acoustic caulk throughout. The door will be 2.25-thick but I’m hesitant to get into weatherstripping and other sealing techniques until I can better understand humidity/dehumidification.

I’ve already learned something since joining: I’d be better off with 25ga metal studs and 24” stud spacing. The 16” timber plan that you see in the images will change accordingly.

One last note: You might find my mix position or layout a bit unusual. I work with headphones most of the time, but when I mix and master I like to have no obstacles between the speakers and me. I learned this from Bob Katz. I don’t follow the typical layout of putting NFMs on the desk. I keep a third LCD monitor on the floor in the mix position so that I can make adjustments while listening.

I appreciate any initial feedback based on my constraints and goals.

Thanks in advance.

Todd (aka Sundown)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2021 3:48 am 
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Location: Old Tappan, NJ USA
nice, but have you put any thought into this? :twisted: LOL

actually the plans look good. couple of ideas:

- use iso clips on joists and suspend hat channel. RC will be less effective.
- R30 in joists, R19 in walls - slight compression will be fine.
- build duct silencers for room breaches
- (re)mount furnace on isolation pads to eliminate vibrations via floor
- air exchange will be an absolute necessity - even songwriters need oxygen
- air circulation plan - 6-8x complete room air changes and this must run continuously when occupied - so additional zoning for the house system will be needed

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2021 9:38 am 
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Location: Cork Ireland
I recommend keeping an open mind on locations until you are finally in there.
There are cases to be made that the Front Wall doesn't need treatment, and that Back Wall treatment is way way important.
Also, the perennial, speakers generally perform best either very far from the Front Wall, i.e. more than 2.2M.... OR very close to the FW, less than 20cm.
Attachment:
Genelec SBIR .jpg


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2021 3:23 pm 
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Location: Detroit, MI USA
Hi Guys,

Thanks for the quick response and feedback.

DanDan - Great suggestion on flexibility. I plan to put dedicated audio power outlets (20A isolated grounds on a common leg) on all walls in case my plan changes or my working style changes. I’ll have to measure the location of the speakers in the model, but surely it isn’t 2.2 meters. The layout in the new room is pretty close to my current setup and I’ve always modeled my treatment on the live end / dead end concept.

Glenn - I would use iso clips, but the profile really starts to lower the ceiling. The ones I’ve seen are 1-7/8” with the hat channel, and that’s before 5/8” drywall is fitted (for a total of 2.5” off the joists). With just resilient channel and some shims I could be at 1-1/8” off the joists with 5/8” drywall. If I had 9-foot ceilings it would be irrelevant but at seven feet even a half inch counts. I’ll have to give that one some thought.

With regard to insulation, isn’t lower density better for isolation? Or are you recommending the higher density R19 / R30 for better low frequency response (as opposed to isolation, given that isolation is a lower priority for me)?

I’ll be putting in a fourth climate zone for the basement. The studio room will get two supply ducts and two cold-air returns and the storage areas will get supply as well. I’m still concerned about humidity so I have to learn more about dehumidification quickly.

I’m convinced there is a small but stable market for low-volume ducted dehumidifiers. I love the idea of ducted dehumidification for a specific room (with a humidistat of course), but all of the applications I have seen are basically whole-house dehumidifiers that have been adapted to a single room. That’s complete overkill for a 21 x 13 room (and it costs $2-3K).

Thanks again for the feedback.

Todd


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2021 2:51 am 
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if you use something like this: https://kineticsnoise.com/home/icw.html
the profile is fairly low - essentially the depth of the hat channel.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:04 pm 
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Location: Detroit, MI USA
gullfo wrote:
if you use something like this: https://kineticsnoise.com/home/icw.html
the profile is fairly low - essentially the depth of the hat channel.


Wow... That is an *awesome* device. And you’re right, it really gets up into the joist.

If my joists are on 16” centers (and I plan to mount RC on 24” centers), would I need a clip like that for every joist? It looks pretty heavy duty.

I haven’t been able to find them for sale anywhere. The closest sales contact is in Ohio, but I could always drop him a line to see if there are other sources locally.

Todd


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2021 3:46 am 
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you'll need a box of them and i'd suggest talking to Kinetics to discuss layout to meet the mass loading requirements. my guess is you could span every other joist (32") with the 24" span on the hat channel but verify that with the Kinetics folks (they're typically very helpful in this regard)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 2:12 am 
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Location: Cork Ireland
On a quick skim, I am not sure what the insulation question is referring too. So I will answer broadly.
When filling the A gap in a MAM system, light cheap insulation works exactly equally to higher densities. I would however include some wires or rods poked through to prevent it sagging. It needs to fully fill the void, no airgap. Lightly touch the leaves to damp them, but not compressed, which would transmit some LF.

Absorption in the open is different. Semi Rigid fibre panels are chosen by many for good reason, despite the higher cost. If you have the space very deep very light fibre traps work way better.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 3:11 pm 
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Location: Detroit, MI USA
I’m finding more and more options for doing resilient clips without compromising on ceiling height.

I found these today... You can get the drywall as close as a quarter inch to the joists. A few other manufacturers offer similar recessed designs.

https://www.resilmount.com/products/a10 ... tion-clip/

Todd


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