Has anyone built a guitar/practice room in their basement?

jbd3

Please Don't Sell Me Any More Gear
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I have a room in the basement that I'd like to use as the guitar storage room, as well as a practice space. The basement has proven water-tight, so I don't need to worry about flooding, but I do need to worry about temperature, humidity, and sound-proofing.

I live in Seattle, so the range of temperatures is pretty moderate. I can't imagine I'd ever have to cool the space, tho I would certainly have to heat it in the winter. I also don't think I'd need to add humidity, tho I might need a de-humidifier. There's a window in the room which is right at ground-level; it's a single-pane window so it has to go.

The ideal setup would have a small heater and humidity monitor so I could keep the room at a consistent temp and humidity year round; it could even be mounted in the window. The room isn't huge so I don't think it would be especially expensive to keep heated.

Anyway I'm sure some of you guys have done projects like this; curious to get your input and advice!

If this is the wrong topic area to post this question in, or this has already been covered extensively, feel free to let me know.
 

JCM 800

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6,614
Yes I have done this. I have 2 rooms in my lower level for studio/rehearsal space. One larger room for rehearsing and tracking and another room for all the studio setup. I remodeled both rooms with new electrical, lighting, thicker insulated walls and ceilings, flooring and solid core doors. I did acoustic treatment in the "control" room. It all turned out quite well. It's not a "professional studio" by any means but it's pretty nice. I can be really darn loud (especially in the control room) and not disturb the rest of the house.

When we bought the house I told my wife that I claim the entire lower level and she can do whatever the hell she wants with the rest of the house. We moved in and my band followed the next week. Being as loud as I want whenever I want was pretty much the main reason for me wanting a house. :)
 

BTB

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419
Yup. 11'x11' room with poured concrete walls on one and a half sides. Studded out with 2x6 and insulates. No HVAC, no cold air returns. Climate ranges from 100 deg to -30 deg. Although I he had up to 4 people playing with gear, it's just me 99% of the time. It's always comfortable as I have in floor heat, never hot in the summer unless I'm in there a long time with glowing tubes, although even then it's never been even close to unbearable. I ran a humidifier in the winter(just put it on 3 days ago) to keep it at 40%. It was -14 this Tuesday am...60 deg 2 weeks ago. Crazy weather!

75FBAAF4-A0ED-4EE1-89BF-54811CF9A79B.jpg

95BDDA24-6AEF-4F19-A569-3AD422E6EDBC.jpg
 

bgmacaw

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8,075
I did one in my McMansion. It was pretty nice 14x12 room with concrete foundation walls on 3 sides. It wasn't soundproof but it was good enough to allow me to play my Princeton Reverb at a decent volume without getting complaints (unlike the place we lived before that). Since it was mostly underground in a hillside, it didn't get too hot or too cold on most days. I got some quotes on building it in as a room within a room for more soundproofing. Unfortunately, the dot-com-bust hit and that meant we had to sell that house.

A friend of mine did do an almost soundproof room-in-a-room in his basement. It worked but it was terribly hot since there was virtually no air circulation when it was closed up.
 

Broomz

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I'd say go for it. I see no reason why you shouldn't. I don't think it's a given that you can rehearse there without disturbing your family/housemates when they are upstairs as soundproofing can be hit or miss and even though I play music, I've also hated to be in a situation where other bands were playing in my home when I was trying to do other things. But especially if you have stretches of time where you get the house to yourself, that may not be a consideration.
 

Multicellular

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8,315
I have a small space 11x25.5 with a little notch out of that.

We did
-double wall of QuietRock (sound proof sheet rock) w/ GreenGlue in between facing the noisy part of the house and the ceiling- HVAC, humans, etc. Rest of the walls are mostly against dirt.
-robust electrical
-I built some insulation absorption
-I built some diffusion

I've been in fully pro studios that sound better, but dude, it sounds good.

Humidity - we did a treatment around the whole perimeter; not because we had big issues, but if we were gonna gut the whole place, seemed to make sense. So it has a moat around it and two sump pumps. That overall lowered the humidity. But in the mid-Atlantic east, its real humid. I have both a humidifier and de-humidifier as I like to keep it as close to 45% as possible. Before the water proofing, the de-humidifier was running more than the humidifier. Now it is reversed.

studio_drums.jpg


(with monitor lizard)
studio_desk.jpg


studio_booth.jpg
 

BadHiwatt

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1,535
I'm doing it right now to a small room (9'X8'X8'), poured concrete foundation 2 walls, 190mm concrete blocks 2 walls, 16"OC 2x8 ceiling joists w/ plywood and hardwood above.

I recommend you purchase "Home Recording Studio: Build it like the Pros 2nd Edition" by Rod Gervais. Look at the resources on John H. Brandt's Acoustic site. If your walls are concrete google A.C.C. Warnock "Sound Transmission Loss Measurements Through 190mm and 140 mm blocks with added drywall and through cavity block walls" and his "Controlling Sound Transmission Through Concrete Block Walls", both published by National Research Council Canada.

If you want to do any type of isolation, you need to get your MAM right so that your working frequency is below 80hz (low E on a guitar), or 40 hz if you want to get a bassist in there too. Once you get that done, worry about treatment.

If you have any more questions, just quote this post and I'll respond.
 

metropolis_4

Member
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8,146
I did once. Couple friends and I drove around and found a roll of old carpet and a third away from a mini van sitting out with someone's trash, and then found some scrap aiding and 2x4s at a construction site.

I requisitioned my parents turntable and stereo, and my dad found a few remnants of an old drum set at a building he wss doing some work on.

We set it all up in a corner of my parents basement, covered the walls with spray paint and band posters, and spent every spare moment we had jamming away down there

Good good memories :)
 

T Dizz

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21,668
My house is 100 years old and the basement (guitar storage and practice, basically all my equipment) is like a dungeon. It's heated and I run a dehumidifier in the Summer, but I've never had any problems with temp or humidity affecting my gear... and this is in MN where the temp and humidity can be all over the place
here is a pic of some of my mess:
20161213_165248_HDR_zpsdg2to0pj.jpg
 

Cosmo-D

Silver Supporting Member
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10,734
I converted my basement into three sections. One room is the live jam room, one room is my office and guitar/equipment work station, and one room is my woodshop. I've had no problems with temp or humidity but I do have two HVAC vents, one in the jam room and one in the office.

Soundproofing to the outside world was my goal and between the extra sheetrock and poured concrete walls that has been accomplished. I can play as loud as hell with no issues. Inside the house it can be loud because of the ductwork and coupling to the structure but my wife is OK with it. My ceiling was pretty low because it's an older house so that was a limiting factor. Makes it pretty loud in the jam room but it does sound good, just need to wear earplugs when playing with the band.

It took my a year and a half of busting my ass to complete but it was so worth it. Live jam room:

IMG_20160512_231450374.jpg


This is from another angle but gives you an idea of what I started with, after tearing down a few walls and ripping up the flooring:

P1020721.jpg
 
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custom53

Member
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4,746
Although it is a Disaster right now this is my small, and very cramped half Basement.. The house is a 4 level split level so it is sort of a Basement..





















 
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kev

fire hydrant
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2,957
dang I'm missing our first house with it's basement right now...great ideas and implementations all!
 

BigDoug1053

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6,668
In Colorado when I was married I set up my studio in the basement - worked out ok because basements maintain around 50% humidity year round.

Now I am single, so my living room is my studio! I have really gone to seed without a GF or wife to banish my instruments to a man cave. I even pee in the sink!
 

jbd3

Please Don't Sell Me Any More Gear
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,991
In Colorado when I was married I set up my studio in the basement - worked out ok because basements maintain around 50% humidity year round.

Now I am single, so my living room is my studio! I have really gone to seed without a GF or wife to banish my instruments to a man cave. I even pee in the sink!

Peeing in the sink is the best!

If I wasn't married, the whole house would be a studio. The hope here is to construct a basement room where:

--If she's up on the second floor, she won't hear rocking, and

--Have a room with consistent temp and humidity so my guitars don't go haywire every spring/fall

I should also put a sink down there to pee in, relive my bachelor days......
 




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