Soundproofing A Basement Studio

dave_lp_strat

Member
Messages
24
Great studio! My cousin had a contractor build a room within a room in his old restored house that could be moved when he moved to a new home. It's now in the new home, but he used it in place for years before. He teaches guitar lessons in the studio several days a week and records at night, mostly. His has a separate control room with a large glass window.

The last time I dropped by to watch his band practice I had to use ear plugs inside the room. Must have been 110db or more! Outside, people were carrying on normal conversations 10 feet away from the wall and the music sounded like a low level car stereo a couple of hundred feet away. You could barely hear it.
 

jmoose

Member
Messages
4,639
Agreed! Look at all the different control room philosophies out there:

Some of these are just variations on a theme, but others are pretty radically different....and all can sound good (and often can sound bad when folks try to copy the designs without understanding the fundamental philosophy behind it).
Yes indeed.

There is no real "golden ratio" for rooms. And most of the time, you don't ever have the luxury of getting exactly what you'd like anyway because of all the predetermined stuff that's already in place... walls & ceilings that can't be moved... how much additional weight the joists can hold & other things.

It'd really suck to build a floating ceiling or a whole room and have it come down on your head.

Anyway...


4. Use special acoustic cauks to close out all air gaps in the edges and corner.
5. Repeat the process for all the side walls :).
6. For doors, use double doors, one inside and one out. If possible, stick a layer of 5/8 inch dry wall on it too :)
Usually most building materials with the word "acoustic" in are just re-badged, more expensive versions of things you can get at Home Depot.

Caulk is a big one. Standard silicone caulk is more then fine. No reason to pay more for 'special acoustic' caulk. And you'll go through cases & cases of it... you'd be shocked. At one point, over the course of a few weeks on that Meth Lab build I cleaned out the Depot... bought all the caulk they had in stock! For one room!

Even the fully floating ceiling was put together with materials that were purchased off the shelf of the Depot. No special 'acoustic' isolators. I don't think I have a picture of the open ceiling frame... Fletcher was amazed by it... and I impressed myself with that one. Sorta shocked that it worked but also never had a doubt that it wouldn't.
 

drfrankencopter

Supporting Member
Messages
2,155
Even the fully floating ceiling was put together with materials that were purchased off the shelf of the Depot. No special 'acoustic' isolators. I don't think I have a picture of the open ceiling frame... Fletcher was amazed by it... and I impressed myself with that one. Sorta shocked that it worked but also never had a doubt that it wouldn't.

Ceiling clip isolators, and green glue were the only specialty products I bought. I didn't have the luxury of being able to have a truly floating ceiling, so I had to hang from the joists above. The clips worked extremely well...better than RC because there's no chance of shorting it out, and it installed pretty quickly. The price wasn't too bad...I think each clip cost $2-3. If I had the room to frame a separate ceiling, I would have done it, saved money over the clips (wood is cheaper), and had better isolation!

If you want to have a "sticker shock", price out some of the studio doors made by Overly! I ended up going with a pair of solid core interior doors, and will be adding wrapped 703 panels on the inner faces to damp out the resonances. Same goes for difusors...if Ikea made them, they'd sell for $25 each, but from RPG they're $250 each (and that's for the plastic ones)!

Cheers

Kris
 

cram

Member
Messages
13,702
That Matchless of yours puts out around 115 dB. A quiet living room probably measures 58 dB; turn on the tv...maybe 63-64 dB.

You'll need to reduce about 55 dB. Not terribly hard to do for a guitar amp, which doesn't go much lower than 100hz. Add bass & drums...that's another story.

Buy Rod Gervais book. He is a great authority on the subject.

Also read the John L Sayers forum. There is an endless supply of hindsight there. Take advantage of other folks' mistakes.

PS My contractors hated me for being such a tightwad about the whole thing, but I easily got the specs I needed. Crank a 50w Marshall at 4am? No problem! :dude
What he said about the book and forum. I have built a basement studio and literally just last night: we played from 7-10pm while a young child slept in a silent environment not 2' away from a full band blowing away.

PAY ATTENTION TO DETAIL.

I built my studio from scratch and I know every detail and why I did it a certain way. I have construction skills so this is why I got into it.. I literally kept Rod's Book by my side for over a year while I researched before hand.

I friggin love that studio though.
 

baxen

Member
Messages
810
Put a second layer of 5/8" sheetrock on with a layer of green glue between them all the way around and then you are in business. Mass is your friend.

Keep the floor concrete - no need to add additional money there in raising it. Live floor - dead ceiling when it is done. Then you can use rugs at your discretion to tame any reflections.
Great posts Glide, How do you like your acid stain floor now that you've lived with it for a while? How many coats did you apply? How did you create the seam effect? Thanks
 

Glide

Member
Messages
1,444
Great posts Glide, How do you like your acid stain floor now that you've lived with it for a while? How many coats did you apply? How did you create the seam effect? Thanks
Thanks baxen,

The acid stained floor has worked out great. I would do the same thing again.

They started out by scraping the floor:



Then they laid down the chalk lines:



Then they brought in a concrete etcher to cut the tiles:



Then they brought in a scrubber and de-greaser and got it clean enought to eat off of.



Here's the etching and scrubbing when it is finished:



I had a two color acid spray to make it look like leather. Here he is spraying highlights:

 

cram

Member
Messages
13,702
Just leave the door open when not there. Install a ceiling fan to cool. A little milk house heater if cold. You are not in there for large chunks of time without leaving to use the bathroom, etc...where the door will have to be opened anyway. Below ground cellars should be around 60 degrees at all times.
Bull.

I mean, it's [no HVAC] "doable", but at a cost and inconvinience:

I've built a room with and without ventillation. Sound isolation construction is way different than normal construction. The fundimental principle is that it be air tight.

If you have a band with only 3 dudes in a 20 by 20 room without a dehumidifier, the floor will get slippery and you'll be fighting for breath if you're in there for more than a half hour. Trust me: I howl into the mic and I've been light headed as a result of being in that room. Even the dehumidifier comes at a cost where the room will heat up and whatever moisture is created by bodies - the humid feeling will be amplified by the heat created.

If you get anything from this thread - get Rod Gervais' book. Literally, I keep it by the hopper and pick it up while I... I've done this for over 2 years and each time I pick it up I learn or recall something like the different classification of RC1 to RC2 [Resilliant Channel] for constructing walls.

Heh... anyone wanna borrow my BOOK??? :)

More HVAC as I digress -
There are many variations for proper ventilation. If space is a concern there are even companies that run air through smaller tubes to heat/cool a room. So long as you have ducting constructed propertly (air diverted through a muffler of sorts), fundimentally; you're good to go.

I like seeing threads like this to see how people have built studios. I could talk about it all day. I learned a LOT from the rooms I've built and I may be helping someone do the same. The end product sells itself when I have an infant sleeping in the room above while a band is blowing away!

Kind regards!
 

headstack

Member
Messages
195
When you folks are doing your HVAC, you can make your own sound baffles (mufflers) for the supply and return for each room using Dow Corning 703.
We have simply built long rectangular boxes 18x18x48 would be a decent one for a small room with low CFM (vocal booth) and the inside of the box has slices of 703 that are placed on 16" centers (first slice at 16") (IIRC) standing 12" or so tall. On the opposing side of the box the slices begin at 8" so the air has to zig zag around the turns like a maze.
Sound does not turn corners well unless it is reflected and the 703 does a very bad job of that while eating up anything else trying to get through.
This is pretty similar to the design of the $$$ ones, but they are dirt cheap to make and you can make them any length/volume/flow you want/need.
I use beads of construction adhesive and aluminum duct tape (the stuff with the peel off paper) to make them up.
Any kind of HVAC flanges can be fitted to the slabs on the ends of your contraption and they can be placed anywhere there is room.
Another plus is, with a length of flex duct these do a decent job of removing vibration from the HVAC system.
 

billyguitar

Member
Messages
5,164
I don't if anyone mentioned this yet but in most major cities there will insulation supply houses than can sell you the fiberglass boards you want and you can go pick them up yourself, if you have a truck or a van. I am an insulation contractor that services the HVAC and plumbing contractor's needs. I think there are now 6 supply houses here in the Kansas City area so whatever area you're in should have a supply house available. These supply houses are not the same as those who sell wall and ceiling insulation although they may have some other kinds of boards. I knew a guy who sound proofed his high end stereo store with 3' x 4', thirteen pound density fibg boards that he got from a roofing supply house. He wrapped them in cloth and hung them on the wall.
 

headstack

Member
Messages
195
I knew a guy who sound proofed his high end stereo store with 3' x 4', thirteen pound density fibg boards that he got from a roofing supply house. He wrapped them in cloth and hung them on the wall.
Is this the stuff you put down as underlayment for a rubber roof?
Thanks!
 

mikebat

Member
Messages
10,868
Just a side note....about air circulation, and its's effects on heating and cooling.

When you make a room within a room, with all the insulation, and the gear, and the sweaty guys..... if there is not a dedicated HVAC system that vents but somehow does not transmit sound, that room will get HOT and rank if you do not take breaks and use fans to get the old air out and new air in.

Don't worry about getting cold in there even in the winter, that level of insulation will keep enough heat in that room to stay comfortable even in the most extreme cold of winter. Turn on an amp or two and you can heat the room and keep it toasty for a good while.
 




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