Show us your studio construction - Do-it-yourselfers

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

  1. Eganmedia

    Eganmedia Member

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    Swampthing-

    Yeah, seven years into the "new" studio and it still feels great to show up in the morning to go to work. The interior walls off all the studios (video rooms included) are a sandwich of 5/8" sheetrock, 1/2" celotex soundboard, 3/4" MDF, and 1/2" sheetrock. All seems are taped and mudded and all seems are staggered so none line up with any others. The great thing about MDF (aside from its density and sound-stopping properties) is that wall treatments can be located anywhere on the walls or ceilings- no need to find a stud though all that mass. You can put a screw in anywhere.

    I hadn't heard anything regarding poisonous off-gassing of MDF, or I might have spend more time researching the stuff. It is a pretty weird material. We do have very good HVAC that circulates new air into the rooms completely every minute and a half or so, so if there is a problem, at least its ventilated well.
     
  2. Jason Lynn

    Jason Lynn Member

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    Yep...I was thinking teh same thing about eliminating the need to find studs.

    I did a bit of digging on the mdf and read that if is is veneered or covered with another layer the hazardous chem is no issue. We are going to put up the drywall...close the doors, start a loop on the marshall and then walk outside for a listen. If it's too loud (which it probably will be) we're going to go with a veneered mdf and have another go. If that doesn't do it...then I'll have to live with the fact of using smaller amps in the wee hours....and that's just fine. It'll be rare that I crank the 50 watters anyway.
     
  3. mothra

    mothra Member

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    this is an awesome thread, your space looks sweet.
     
  4. Jason Lynn

    Jason Lynn Member

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    I'll have some new pics up soon. Took a vacation last week so I could get back on construction. We got all of the walls insulated with mineral wool. Rented a insulation blower from Home Depot and went to town. We actually bought our wool from the manufacturer that is about 40 miles from the house www.amerrock.com. It was cheap, only $5 a bag!

    We installed soundboard and blew up 4 feet then put up a another sheet with top 7 inches cut so I could blow the rest. It worked REALLY well. We were even able to pack in that last gap at the top by hand. Mineral wool is almost like velcro. I will say this...it's some irritative material to work with. Ate me up pretty bad.

    Once we got the insulation in and a layer of that soundboard up we did a little sound check using a classic 30 cranked. Not a marshall but it was pretty loud. I set a loop going so I could get out and walk around.

    All in all it was not too bad. As mentioned the bass frequencies were coming through the most. Also, someone mentioned a concern about the floor resonating and they were dead on. About 1/2 to 2/3 of the sound coming out was coming from under the building. I could hear the amp playing faintly when walking the parameter of the yard too.

    We got about half of the "skirt" around the outside completed this weekend using concrete board (hardy board). We had about 5 bags of the insulation left too so we actually stuff the parameter with a heavy dose of the mineral wool before we closed off the bottom. Also before we started construction we had laid down a layer of vinyl which acts as a moisture and termite barrier. We stapled the ends up to close off the air space. We did a second sound check and insulating/closing off that bottom air space was a pretty tremendous improvement.

    Next up is to use some channel strips and get the drywall up.

    Now about circulating some fresh air into the building....anyone have suggestions? I just don't know how to pull this out without defeating all of the work sealing off the building. If we went up through the roof would the sound travel down? Would be nice to get fresh air in the building if I could.
     
  5. Jason Lynn

    Jason Lynn Member

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    Finishing up the outside. Almost ready for paint.
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    Ready to blow the first 4 foot. Notice we manually packed the framing above the mix room window.
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    30 some odd bags of "rock wool" insulation. For those interested here's where we got it: http://www.amerrock.comwindow.
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    From the live room corner looking back to the control room.
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    From the control room looking back.
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  6. innocent_bystander

    innocent_bystander Supporting Member

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    wow looks pretty good, can't wait to see the final stages of the build....:BEER
     
  7. Jason Lynn

    Jason Lynn Member

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    Thank you, :agree
     
  8. DucRyder

    DucRyder Member

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    What did your buddy do about the roof? Thanks Duc
     
  9. Jason Lynn

    Jason Lynn Member

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    Time for an update. The outside is done except we still have to build a "porch entry".

    Here's some progress on the inside. I found some guys to finish the drywall dirt cheap. We taped and bedded but we're no mud men. They did a great job and textured everything. Last picture you can see 1/2 the paint job up on the ceiling. The walls will be darker. You can see a band running at the paint edge. We put those boards up so I'd have a good place to mount guitars, etc without going through the drywall. The second entry door needs to be installed and if that goes fast enough this weekend we'll be laying the floor next. It's getting close now. This month marked the one year mark for me so I'm sure you can all imagine how ready I am to be done.

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  10. Tonekat

    Tonekat Silver Supporting Member

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    Here's a couple of articles discussing just that:

    http://www.humbuckermusic.com/jul5th20buil.html

    http://videoexpert.home.att.net/artic2/238austu.htm

    These articles suggest things like larger ducts and bigger fans to slow down the air coming into your studio.
     
  11. Jason Lynn

    Jason Lynn Member

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    Thanks Tonekat. I think I've read that humbuckermusic link before. Both articles are interesting reads.

    For now we are going with installing 2 of the minisplits. One for each room. I do have the window in the control room so there is a way to introduce some fresh air in there. I'm still not sold on a solution for the big room yet. Tackling the fresh air problem will probably be one of the last things to happen. I'm going to see how the room feels once I've got some musicians in there before I start poking holes anywhere :) I'm pretty sure something will have to be done.

    We're considering pulling air from the roof via a duct through my control room ceiling. A second duct would be installed in the live room with a fan that would force air out of that room to create circulation. What I need to figure out is a way to have that duct going from live room to attic isolated enough to prevent sound from leaking in/out of the live room.
     
  12. innocent_bystander

    innocent_bystander Supporting Member

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  13. fuzzyguitars

    fuzzyguitars Supporting Member

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    freaking awesome!

    ventilation is a bitch!
     
  14. KennyM

    KennyM Supporting Member

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    Regarding MDF, it's an excellent sound stopping barrier. My last studio was built with a sandwich of 3/4 MDF/ Celotex Fiberboard/ 3/4" MDF. Some areas of the wall were then covered with T&G pine and some areas had fabric covered 703 attached directly to the MDF. As this was in a rental, I mainly went with MDF and screws so it could all be taken apart at a later date. There was a duplex right next to the building and the tennant that lived there for 5 years never had any idea there was a studio right next to him all that time. I guess that speaks volumes to the sound stopping benefits of MDF.

    One thing worth mentioning when using MDF is that due to it's extreme mass over other wallcoverings like drywall, it is very effective at stopping sound waves particularily bass from traveling through the walls. While this is great for all the obvious reasons, this also means that a lot more sound remains in your room. This will probably mean doing a little more treatment within your room especially bass trapping.

    Regarding HVAC, try to use the largest diameter lined duct you can fit in the alloted space and as long of a run as possible. The basic idea is to have the air just sort of fall out of the vents. I spent about $5k on my current studio's system and it was worth every penny over the 2K or 3K I spent with a wall hanging unit in my last room. Being able to keep the AC cranked while cutting a vocal simply cannot be underestimated but you never really realize that until you get a properly designed studio HVAC system.

    Your room is looking great and I know you'll love having it. Having a studio has been the greatest evolution for my music career.
     
  15. JamminJeff

    JamminJeff Member

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    Based on the specs for your space, an exterior pad mounted Air Handler/Condensor Package for HVAC is the professional way to go. This is to prevent transferable vibration and noise. Plant heavy shrub and landscape around it for sound dampening and appearance.

    Air supply (no, not the band) and air return could be via HVAC "conduit" instead of duct work. Turbulence is caused by forcing air over uneven surfaces, bend, joints, etc. and the noise coming out of the defuser/outlet is not easy to resolve without spending allot of money. Turbulence is a big issue, not just mechanical noise.

    Regardless of what system you install, even if it's a wall unit for AC, powering it off during tracking is a reality. Even with a state of the art system, an override button to kill the power is likely. Some are driven from a Controls Computer.

    Electric heat is the easy part if you require heat but then its a very dry heat and your space may require humidification, which causes more noise.

    In the end, ambient noise rarely shows up in the mix. Just watch mic placement and pre-cool/heat the space and energize the system between takes, breaks, etc. Sorry for another long reply.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2008
  16. Jason Lynn

    Jason Lynn Member

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    Here's some updated pics. Starting to looked finished and I'm getting the jitters now knowing it's so close!

    For heat/air I'm going to stay with the mini split system to avoid duct doing any duct work. I'm going to tackle bringing fresh air from outside after I get a feel of how stuffy the room gets. It may be as simple as opening the door and flipping on the ceiling fans for a bit between sessions or every few hours. It would be great if that turns out to be the case. Anything I do to address fresh air will definitely make a dent in all my soundproofing efforts.

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  17. sixstringsteve

    sixstringsteve Member

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    you are my hero. Thanks for the update.
     
  18. bmorelli

    bmorelli Member

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  19. Jason Lynn

    Jason Lynn Member

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    What thickness of quietrock did you guys go with? They were selling it at the local drywall shop we did business with but it appeared you really needed to step up to the expensive/thick stuff to get any real benefit. In my staggered stud construction using Qrock 510 I'd get an STC rating of 54 - with standard drywall one website shows a rating of 48. We added a layer of soundboard and regular 5/8ths and I have a feeling it has the same or higher STC rating as a single layer of QR510. Where I see the real benefit to the QuietRock is for when you are working with a small space and don't want to loose it due to layering up.

    Using a layer of 5/8 and Soundboard was considerably cheaper.
     
  20. wopr

    wopr Member

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    Ok, I bought my quietrock a while ago . . . so the current products aren't the same. The quietrock boards I have all contain a metal piece down the middle, where the 510 pieces seem to be different. But, what do I know about their products. That said, i think you are right to look at regular board vs. quietrock. The product I am looking into is "greenglue". It seems like a great, simple solution. Quietrock seems to have a similar product.
     

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