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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 2:10 pm 
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Location: Virginia, USA
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Hello there. My name is Andy. I live on 3.5 acres in a place called Middle-Of-Nowhere, Virginia, USA. The wife, our three dogs, and I moved here three years ago from just outside Washington D.C. It’s awesome. We’re staying a while.

I write and play music (everything from metal to jam band music to jazz). My main instruments are drums and bass. I also do video production work, and am getting more into recording and producing music. I currently use ProTools M-Powered on a decent Dell Dimension. Planning to get a newer, bigger, better PC soon. I have a M-Audio Delta 1010 AD interface and a M-Audio ProjectMix I/O. I use the Event Tria Triamp System for nearfields.

I am planning to convert my 22’ L X 13’ W X 9’ H detached garage into a recording studio, and am in the planning phase. I have been pouring through the threads on this board for a couple of months, and have bought and read Rod Gervais’s book (excellent resource).

I am not a construction guru by any stretch of the imagination and will be relying on contractors to help me do all the work. I have a budget of about $20,000.

I will provide as much information as I can, and hope to get some advice on:

1. A reasonable division and layout of the space. Ideally, I’d like to have a control room, iso booth, and main recording room. I’m too much of an optimist to figure out whether that’s possible in 286 square feet or not! Need a reality check.

I like all of these designs, especially the first two:

Bridge Street Media

Garage Studio 1

Garage Studio 2

2. Required construction materials and methods to achieve the desired level of isolation without going completely overboard.

3. Required acoustical treaments. I definitely like the inside out wall concept, and hope to implement it in my space.

I will post my specific, initial questions at the end of this message, and am grateful for any feedback that you’ve got to offer. I hope to document the process here and continue to post questions and comments as things progress.

Goals for the Studio

1. Record up to 4-5 people simultaneously. I would like to offer recording services to musicians in the area ranging from metal bands to bluegrass to flute soloists.

2. Iso booth for vocals/amps if there is room.

3. Be able to mix with near field monitors late into the evening without disturbing wife in house, or neighbors.

4. Be able to record and practice at high volume late into the evening (drunken, Bonham loud drumming, amps turned up to 11 at 2am would be ideal)

5. Do video editing work in the “control room“ (still unsure as to whether I can get multiple reasonably sized rooms with decent ratios out of the space or not. Hope to figure that out with help here.)

Sound Isolation Requirements

Our closest neighboring house is at least 50 yards away, through the woods. Ideally, I don’t want for any of the neighbors to hear a thing, even if they are outside. A bit of distant bass thump probably won’t bother them, but I’d like to have as little impact as possible on their environment.

As mentioned in the goals above, I want to be able to work and play late pretty loudly at night without disturbing my wife in the house. The garage is detached, but there is a gap in the OSB in the garage attic where the garage connects to the breezeway, which connects to the house (see pictures below). I’m sure that will need to be worked on a bit!

Existing Structure Details

Dimensions: 22’ L X 13’ W X 9’ H

Floor: Isolated concrete slab.

Walls: ¾” sheet rock, R19 6 ¼” Insulation, 7/16” OSB (assuming also some kind of polyethylene wrap, but do not know for sure), vinyl siding. Not sure about the stud spacing.

Ceiling: ¾” sheet rock, blown in insulation on top (not sure what kind)

Finally, here come the questions:

1. First, the reality check. With the goals listed above, can I hope to divide this space into at least two rooms (control room and studio), and possibly a third (iso booth/closet)? I’m not claustrophobic, but I don’t want to be too cramped, and don’t want to impose that on any potential clients. It seems like I might be able to work with the Bridge Street Media design, with some minor modification.

2. Given the info about distance to my neighbors, the gap in the garage attic, and my budget, what do I need to do for sound isolation?

2a. Garage door: What’s the best method of filling this in? Framing it in with 2x4’s, OSB, and drywall, or, instead, cinder blocks? (More greenness apparent here, I know)

2b. Walls: It seems like, in order to get ideal M-A-M, I would need to:
i. Pull down all of the interior drywall
ii. Add sheet rock or some other material between studs to add mass on top of the outer OSB
iii. Fill with insulation, but do not add interior drywall
iv. Leave a 2” minimum gap, then build another wall with drywall on the inside, but not outside.

Do I need to go this far given the info I’ve provided so far? I’m happy too, I just don’t want to go overboard.

Also, as mentioned, I would like to implement “inside out” walls to save as much space as I can, and because I like the aesthetic. How does that jive with M-A-M, since it means putting the drywall on the outside of the inner wall? How much space do I gain doing inside out walls? If the gain isn’t that great, and I would get better isolation without it, I’m happy to put the drywall on the inside of the rooms.

2c. Ceiling: Do I need to add a second ceiling over my inner walls, or is that overkill for my situation? Whether I do or not, what do I need to do in the attic? Should I put down OSB over the top of the existing drywall, studs, and insulation? I happened to find a picture of someone doing this when I googled “OSB” to make sure I was calling it the right thing !

2d. HVAC: I already had one company come out and give me an estimate. They recommended a Carrier Comfort Series AHU, 13 Seer HP 1.5 ton heat pump system. Indoor unit would go in the garage attic. Ductwork would be wider-than-normal flex duct, and I specified that it should be long enough to have several turns between the vents, returns, and the indoor unit. The estimate is for three vents and two returns. I specified three vents/supply lines in the event that I could get three rooms in the space.

i. The HVAC company said that this is a really quiet unit, and that with proper ductwork, we shouldn’t hear a thing. Does this sound right, or am I being naïve?

ii. If I can reasonably expect to put in an iso booth/closet, should I put a third return there, or come up with some other means of filtering air out of the booth based on what I’ve read in other threads and Rod’s book?

iii. Their estimate is for $7,884.78. Is anyone familiar with typical HVAC pricing in the Virginia/east coast area? Is this too high? I am going to get another estimate as well.\

iv. Should I plan to insulate the flex duct? If so, with what?

3. I know that I need to replace the side door with a solid core door. Should I expand the door size to 36”? Given the dimensions of the room, should I frame in that door, and put door(s) somewhere else? I know it depends on the design of the space, but I wanted to post the question since it’s one that’s been rattling around the old crazy noggin’. Depending on the location of the control room, I was thinking of putting a 36” door on the front of the garage. Seems to make sense, since that’s where people will be coming in from.

I think that I have more questions, but I can’t remember them now after sitting here for three hours! I will post them as they come to me.

Thanks again in advance for any feedback you can provide. This board has been an amazing resource. I look forward to hearing from you, and posting progress as it happens.

Andy

PS I am going to try my hand at SketchUp, but I have the drawing/spatial skills of a sea cucumber. :D


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Last edited by sound_jenkins on Sun Nov 18, 2007 2:32 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: More pics..
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 2:16 pm 
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Location: Virginia, USA
More pictures of the garage.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 4:37 pm 
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Location: Newark, DE
Here's my advice: hire a consultant! You've got a nice budget, a nice space, and it won't be too much trouble to attain your sound isolation goals, based on what you've told us. Save yourself some time and money and have someone experienced in studio design evaluate your space and your needs and come up with a feasible, workable solution for you.


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 Post subject: Thanks for the tip!
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:49 am 
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I've thought about it, and may do that yet. If I do, I'll post what they come up with.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:40 am 
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three rooms might be tight but it depends on how you like to work and how your clients want to work as well. one option is to build the third room (isobooth in the sketch) with large doors which you could open out of the way so you can connect the two room pretty much completely. this way when you need a booth you have that option and when you want a more open space you can do that also.

attached is a quick sketch on how it might work in your space.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:01 pm 
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"Quick sketch"...you're pretty amazing Gulfo!

All you need is this design and the construction details outlined. Then you can have local contractors bid on the job. There you go dude! You're already saving money :)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 2:05 pm 
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alas, the devil is in the details :twisted:

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:58 am 
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That's pretty amazing! I will think about this today (while I'm "working") and post back this evening.

Thanks for the quick response and the effort!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:19 am 
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Well, I printed out Gullfo's killer sketch last night and took it out to the garage. I thought a little, had some vodka, thought some more, had some more vodka, thought just a bit more, and then finally honed in on a basic fact that's been nagging at me since I began thinking about how to divide up the room. I'm going to want space to jam, record groups playing together, etc, and am willing to give up any notion of an iso booth, and some control room space to get it.

I still think that I want a separate control room, but, if it seems like it's not possible, I may go with a one room design.

The side door of the garage is 6' 2" from the back of the garage. I think that I would either have to put the wall dividing the studio and control room right up against that door, or move the door further toward the garage's back wall, to leave enough room in the recording room.

Basically, I don't think the back wall of the control room can be longer than 10 feet from corner to corner (aforementioned 6'2" plus 33" door and trim). Adding double walls basically brings that down to 8 feet, right? I'm fine with that.

Is it possible to have a door on the left (or right, for that matter) side of the back wall of a control room without screwing up the symmetry?


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:22 am 
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Studio finished. View details here: http://www.johnlsayers.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=15827


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