Show us your studio construction - Do-it-yourselfers

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Jason Lynn, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. Jason Lynn

    Jason Lynn Member

    Messages:
    619
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    For those of us not finished yet. Might make a good place to share what we've learned along the way without disrupting the finished studio thread.

    Here's a quick photo blog of mine. This spans the last 5 months probably.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. JCM 800

    JCM 800 Member

    Messages:
    6,646
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    Pretty cool. You couldn't get away with that type of construction here in MN though!
     
  3. Jason Lynn

    Jason Lynn Member

    Messages:
    619
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Thanks guys. Yeah, it's been a learning experience for sure. Neither me or my ole man have done anything like this. He's certainly the "forman" of the project. I picked up a book on building home studios and we went from there.

    The studio is a 24x26 structure with a live room, mix room/office, and small storage/closet. I've had several people advise on a vocal booth but my expectation is this room is going to be as much for jamming and band practice as much as anything. A big part of this project started out as my need for a home office so the mix room will also serve as my desk during the day. It is indeed in my backyard and part of the big reason we picked our property was because of the oversized yard. Very hard to find here inside the city.

    As far as what I'll put in there...I've yet to even get that far. It will probably be a jam room for it's first year while I recoup on my finances of building this damn thing. Still though...doing it ourselves has probably made this less than 1/2 what it would have with contractors. So for now it'll be filled with my small collection of amps/guitars so I can crank em finally. For recording I'm planning on the Digi 03 system. For wiring I've decided that a couple of snakes feeding over from mix to live room is going to be the way to go. I've had a lot of advice on that one but the snakes seem to be what will work best for me. I'll be able to move the boxes wherever I need them and 2 of them will allow me to access both sides of the room easily.

    This is all new to me and makes me realize how little I really know about the recording side of being a guitar player. Will be fun to dive in for sure!

    Building in MD...yeah, I have no idea what you guys would have to go through. You have to deal with the extreme cold and I know that effects your construction materials etc. It's pretty mellow here. So far we've managed to keep everything to code with our inspector.
     
  4. Mondoslug

    Mondoslug Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,695
    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    That's awesome man...save some cash for some gear!

    congrats.
     
  5. Jason Lynn

    Jason Lynn Member

    Messages:
    619
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Ha ha! Easier said than done :) I'll probably take inventory of the gear I don't use and sale off what I don't need once the studio is done so I can load in some recording gear. I've been pretty lucky throughout this project. Would you believe this whole thing is only gonna run me somewhere around 10k once it's done. I don't know how I could save anymore on it than that. Scary part is....you can spend that same amount on a good mic and pre...yikes. I won't be that lavish with my setup though I can tell you that.
     
  6. Colt

    Colt Member

    Messages:
    1,302
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    I thought this thread looked familiar...haha T-Rocks much? :)
     
  7. Jason Lynn

    Jason Lynn Member

    Messages:
    619
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    All the time :)
     
  8. gixxerrock

    gixxerrock Member

    Messages:
    3,723
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Location:
    Parksville, B.C.
    I see the offset stud construction. I hope you are planning on doing more soundproofing than that. Soundproofing, is one of the most important things you can do to enhance your enjoyment. I suggest before you finish, that you crank up a sound source inside then walk around outside and check for leaks. The last thing you want is a cranky neighbor who sleeps with their window open wrecking your fun.

    When I did mine, on the morning I thought I would be moving in, I realized I needed another layer of drywall all-around. Drywall is a good cheap way to add mass. Sound-channel also works well. Enjoy.

    Shawn.
     
  9. drfrankencopter

    drfrankencopter Member

    Messages:
    1,287
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Here's a thread detailing my design, and some construction pics.

    I'm almost done now. I have the walls built, floor in, and have moved on to the absorbers/traps, diffusers, etc. Next I'll need to conquer the wiring of tie-lines, etc. Then, finally move on to the construction of a desk.

    Some lessons learned:
    1. Consider HVAC early in the process....how will you get enough air in and out of your rooms. And how will you silence the flow of air, and prevent the ductwork from acting as a flanking path?
    2. Ceiling isolation clips are excellent....better than resiliant channel
    3. Green Glue....it works. It's not cheap, but it works. Oh, but don't get any on your shoes and then walk on your carpet.
    4. Solid core, colonial style doors are available...they do exist.
    5. Mineral wool works as well as 703 at a fraction of the cost. Save your 703 for ceiling applications, where its rigidity comes in handy.

    I'll add some more recent pics later today.


    Cheers

    Kris
     
  10. Jason Lynn

    Jason Lynn Member

    Messages:
    619
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shawn,
    Believe me...sound isolation is a big concern. and we do plan to give it some test runs as we apply wall layers. In all our research drywall doesn't appear to be a good sound insulator on it's own though.
     
  11. Jason Lynn

    Jason Lynn Member

    Messages:
    619
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Kris,
    Good questions.
    1. Here's the plan - Ductless Mini-split system.
    [​IMG]

    3. We wondered about the green glue. It works huh! Cool, we'll go back and look at that one. I was considering a special sheetrock (quiet rock) I believe that I think is just rock with the green glue already applied. It's expensive though!

    4. I think that's what we have. The outside door is your typical external door but what's not shown is the second door that will open from the inside. We have the door it's just not installed yet.

    5. That's what I read somewhere too. In fact, we were going to blow fiber into the walls but then I read about rock wool. This lead me to find the only manufacturer of blown rockwool which just happened to be 30 min north of austin, Amerock. The sold us the bags direct and ended up costing less than fiber. I don't know if it's a better sound insulator or not but being it's cheaper and that it's not supposed to settle like fiber we went with it. My big fear of blowing the fiber in the walls was that it would begin to settle over time leaving a big crack at the top of the walls for sound to escape. You can see a picture of our "test" run blowing the wool into the walls. I wasn't happy with it so we're going to remove it and start again.
     
  12. drfrankencopter

    drfrankencopter Member

    Messages:
    1,287
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    I forgot the link for my design thread:

    http://www.johnlsayers.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=4152

    1. Ductless mini split will be fine for keeping air cool....but what is the plan for drawing fresh air in and exhausting stale air out? Most systems for typical residences will depend on lots of infiltration due to poor sealing of doors, etc. But in a studio there is no infiltration...things can get funky (i.e. stinky) in a hurry.

    Green glue over Quiet rock any day of the week! With Green glue you get the added advantage of even more mass than quiet rock, so you end up with a better wall performance. Also, I doubt you can meet you goal of $10k with quiet rock. I spent $20k on my construction...and that's in a basement, so I already had some of the walls built! I did very little of the work myself though.

    Oh, one more lesson learned....when dealing with contractors, explain to them the priciples behind sound isolation/proofing. Let them know that they need to be precise in how they follow instructions, and should not improvise. Prepare to review their work often....better to inspect sooner, and have them re-start, than to have them assume something, get it wrong, and you end with a poor performing final product.

    Cheers

    Kris
     
  13. Kappy

    Kappy Member

    Messages:
    14,044
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    West Village, NYC
    That looks awesome. I have a big garage that I keep thinking of trying something with, but it's a big project and I'm a total n00b with construction type stuff. Maybe one day. Anyway, all the best to you in your plans. It's gonna be a sweet place to hang out and jam when you're done!
     
  14. Jason Lynn

    Jason Lynn Member

    Messages:
    619
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I hear ya. I really don't know how to handle the funk to be honest. I've about decided that stale air is something I'll have to deal with. Your definitely hitting on the things me and my ole man have discussed several times over. You got any ideas on that one? Quiet rock would just be used for the live room only if we went that route...but I'm hearing what your saying. I'm going to look into that green glue some more.

    Someone suggested using MDF on the walls and my Dad found some that has a veneer to it that could actually be stained and serve as the finished wall. Have you heard of using this? Also....would a layer of green glue between MDF and sheet rock still do what it's made to do?

    Yeah, I can only imagine the nightmare of dealing with a contractor for studio construction. As we've moved along on this project I've heard tons of bad suggestions.

    I'll check out your link to John's forum. I've lurked there quite a bit :)
     
  15. chrisgraff

    chrisgraff Member

    Messages:
    2,649
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2002
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I'm almost sure MDF contains formaldehyde. In light of the latest FEMA trailer situation, I would definitely NOT recommend using it. Your "stale air" might turn out to be downright toxic!
     
  16. drfrankencopter

    drfrankencopter Member

    Messages:
    1,287
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    MDF will work with greenglue. It's also quite heavy, and more expensive than drywall. There is formaldehyde in it...I guess as part of the glues that hold the fibers together. It's probably not a real big concern as long as it's painted/veneered. Most budget furnature is made of the stuff, as are the grand majority of speakers. Just be real careful when cutting it...wear a mask. Personally I wouldn't use MDF.

    Best bet for walls is to use as few 'leafs' as possible. Do a search on the the 3 leaf problem on John Sayers site. Remember that the keys to sound isolation are mass, dead air, and damping. Drywall layers will give you mass, insulation and green glue will give you damping, and thick walls will give you dead air...

    How much isolation are you targetting anyways? How close are the neighbours?

    Cheers

    Kris
     
  17. gixxerrock

    gixxerrock Member

    Messages:
    3,723
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Location:
    Parksville, B.C.
    When it comes to absorbing bass frequencies, it is really a mechanical problem. You need to have a bunch of mass that will move a bit with the vibrations and absorb energy. It boils down to mass and having a lossy coupling. I used offset studs, insulation, drywall, soundboard, sound channel, more drywall and plywood. Heavy exterior doors, weather stripping also help. The biggest problems in my current studio is the window (single double glaze) and one wall that has a bit of a mechanical coupling to the exterior wall on my house.

    Where I live, I don't need to worry about air conditioning. I have electric baseboard for heat in the winter and in the summer I draw curtains over the windows while the sun is on them. When it gets stinky, I open up the doors and windows for a bit or burn incense.

    Enjoy your new creative sanctuary. Mine was one of the best investments I ever made.

    Shawn.
     
  18. Ulysses

    Ulysses Member

    Messages:
    1,189
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
  19. chrisgraff

    chrisgraff Member

    Messages:
    2,649
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2002
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    FWIW, I built a room somewhat like yours about two years ago. I read so many horror stories on the johnlsayers webite, I just about had paranoia fits weekly. I'd hate to see you spend all that money, and not get the result you want.

    How are you soundproofing your floor? It looks to me like it could potentially resonate like a drum head. If that's the case, you'd have wasted the money on the extra mass on the walls.
     
  20. Jason Lynn

    Jason Lynn Member

    Messages:
    619
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Hey guys. Some seriously good information flowing here and I really appreciate the input!

    I didn't even think about formaldehyde being in the MDF but yeah that's a very serious concern, thanks. Looks like I'll be scratching that one. This studio is going to serve as an office for 40 hours a week plus my play time on off hours....I don't need a chem spa in there!

    Having a hard time finding a definitive explanation of 3 leaf on that site. Hundreds of hits are coming up on that site. I'll keep digging.

    Anyways, glad I started this thread.
     

Share This Page