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RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.
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johndykstra
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28th January 2011
Old 28th January 2011
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RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.

First off, a big THANK YOU to all of you who have helped in my learning here over the last few years.

The journey of this space began just about a year ago:

Control room build: modes, soffits, slat walls, etc.

In that thread you will find a lot of the "guts" of the design process, and contributions by many previously thanked. That thread will remain functional as an information gathering device. As far as the design portion of the process goes, I really don't think there is anything else I can pontificate on until some preliminary work/acoustical measurements have been completed. This thread will be dedicated more to the execution.

For those not interested in sifting through 9 (currently) pages to get an overview, here are some sketchup shots of how the room will (hopefully) end up looking:

RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-cr-side.jpg Name: CR side.jpg Views: 861 Size: 545.2 KB ID: 216967" style="margin: 2px" />RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-cr-back.jpg Name: CR back.jpg Views: 558 Size: 731.1 KB ID: 216968" style="margin: 2px" />RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-cr-rfz.jpg Name: CR rfz.jpg Views: 539 Size: 716.9 KB ID: 216969" style="margin: 2px" />RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-cr-mix.jpg Name: CR mix.jpg Views: 1083 Size: 625.4 KB ID: 216970" style="margin: 2px" />

These "plans" are the result of countless hours of drawing/redrawing. Using my understanding of ray tracing (see other thread), I'm pretty confident about everything above the critical frequency. Having said that, I'm willing to change any/everything needed to get a proper response. Given the non rectangular shape of the space, I have thrown ratio attempts out the window, and will instead focus on maximizing every cubic inch I can and work from there modally.

Here's also a drawing showing the boundary dimensions of the space, collar ties and knee walls excluded:

RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-cr-dimensions.jpg Name: CR dimensions.jpg Views: 1228 Size: 179.5 KB ID: 216971" style="margin: 2px" />

So why RFZ rather than non-environment or some other room design?

Well, first off, I lump everything else as "some other" as there is less information available regarding other types of models. So between the two that I am familiar with on paper, I like RFZ for a few reasons:

My tracking room is on the dead/small side. Having the ability to track some acoustic instruments in a "live" control room would be of huge benefit to me. Being a mainly private use studio, there will be a great deal of writing going on in this control room, and a relatively "dead" environment just doesn't seem conducive.

Secondly, while there is a "ton" of available trapping space in the eves and peak... making a NE room rather achievable, it would bring my ceiling rather low (7'ish)... not to mention there is a sizable portion of the roof line between the collar tie/knee wall junction that would need to be radically trapped to maintain NE criteria.

To be fair, I have ZERO experience stepping foot in a room designed with a room model in mind. So my listening preference is completely out of the equation.

Well, here we go! Should be a fun ride. I've got a few days work worth of photos I need to sift through, but I will post them in the next few days.


Thanks again to those who've helped & thanks to you for tuning in,

John
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28th January 2011
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Good to see you about to get at the construction. Your dedication to acoustically designing the place has been admirable and quite interesting. Good luck !
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29th January 2011
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looks exciting
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29th January 2011
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Cheers!

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29th January 2011
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Good luck! Hope to see some pics soon.
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29th January 2011
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Well alright! Been waiting for this thread, glad to see things are finally underway.
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29th January 2011
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Hey y'all,

super stoked on all the positive vibes. thank you.

We've got three solid days of work in. All collar ties in the control room are in, as is about 3/4 of the roof insulation and duravents. Still have the rest of the attic to complete this step, then onto the floor. Would have liked to get the floor done first, as it would have made knee wall construction considerably more easy. However, with the cold Wisconsin winter, coupled with 40 bags of insulation in the way, we sorta had to start reverse order of what I'd have liked. I've got a plan though to make the next step easier.

Still sorting through the photos, but don't really have time at that computer yet to get them up here.

Between work, practice, and construction... I need to make some spousal time. Speaking of which, back to that.
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30th January 2011
Old 30th January 2011
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Photos wouldn't load. See the design thread linked above should you care to see the "before" shots

Last edited by johndykstra; 30th January 2011 at 06:36 PM.. Reason: no photos
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30th January 2011
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This is the left wall of the CR. The vertical wall you see will move outward about 2-3" and be the slat walls from the rendering. The bulk of the cavity will be bass trap TBD. Perhaps broadband, perhaps hangers, perhaps some amount of sealed boxes. We'll see what room measures tell us. There will be a second much shorter wall near the eve. This will represent the inner leaf drywall boundary. The cavity behind that will be a shared air space for roof line ventilation
RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-img_0008_6.jpg Name: IMG_0008_6.JPG Views: 1350 Size: 3.53 MB ID: 217280" style="margin: 2px" />

This is a creepy ass photo we found in the eves.
RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-img_0009_6.jpg Name: IMG_0009_6.JPG Views: 508 Size: 3.70 MB ID: 217281" style="margin: 2px" />

We really lucked out in regards to demo. The walls were sheathed in some sort of cardboard/wood hybrid. Very easy to come down. Also, the linoleum on the floor was never attached.
RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-img_0003_6.jpg Name: IMG_0003_6.JPG Views: 1804 Size: 3.51 MB ID: 217278" style="margin: 2px" />

Chimney. Water damage is quite old. There was a complete tear off on the roof a few years ago, and it's now dry as a bone.
RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-img_0012_4.jpg Name: IMG_0012_4.JPG Views: 346 Size: 2.63 MB ID: 217284" style="margin: 2px" />

Collar ties. More on these later
RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-img_0004_7.jpg Name: IMG_0004_7.JPG Views: 854 Size: 3.18 MB ID: 217279" style="margin: 2px" />

More treasures from a 100+ year old attic
RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-img_0011_7.jpg

Anyone know German?
RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-img_0010_7.jpg

A view of what will be the lounge.
RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-img_0001_7.jpg
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30th January 2011
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Gathering supplies. We have an approx 180cu. ft. trailer. Two loads so far
RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-img_0001_2.jpg

Safety first!!!
RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-img_0002_8.jpg

Here's a psuedo visualization of the listening triangle. The actual front wall of the house will be insulated and drywalled. This will be the inner leaf. The tape wall you see parallel to that will be the soffit speaker mount wall.
RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-img_0005_8.jpg

Our first step was to install this secondary collar tie run at the peak. This will be the finish ceiling height.
RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-img_0014_5.jpg
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30th January 2011
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Collar tie adjustment. THese will be exposed in the room. They had been originally installed willy nilly. No regard to level. We removed them (one at a time... hammered out with a block so as not to ding up), sanded them down, and reinstalled them... this time level. They are, on average, up just a touch from the previous location (1-2")
RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-img_0015_5.jpg

Skippin ahead, some insulation installed... but here is a view of the clean & level collar ties.
RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-img_0027_2.jpg

Same thing, however, you can see here, the last collar tie at the chimney. This is left in place temporarily... as this is the rear wall of the CR location. You really appreciate the difference in the wood though. We had previously considered replacing these 2x4's with new wood. 2x6's... but it was difficult to find wood of a similar quality, this being 100 year old, old growth forest wood. There were a few bowed pieces, and we relocated those to more inconspicuous spots. The first one, will be inside the soffit wall, and the last few of the room will be contained in the massive bass trap in the back top corner as seen in the rendering on post #1
RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-img_0028_2.jpg

This dormer window is located on the right wall. Approximately where the diffusor is on the rendering. This will be our exhaust vent for the portable AC we will be using to cool the space.
RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-img_0029_3.jpg
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30th January 2011
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So as the last post would suggest, insulation is under way. Here, you can see one course of insulation that is cut to length representing where the shorter knee wall will be installed. We determined, after this first course, that a single roll, when cut in half, can exactly cover two rafter runs. From here on, we decided to leave the excess, as we can pull it out and insulate the knee wall with no cuts. Bonus. The duravents are installed only as far down as this point. There is not an eve vent for each cavity, so this small air space will allow every channel to benefit from the venting effect.
RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-img_0031_3.jpg

These pictures are not uploading in the specified order... Such is life. Here are the duravents installed up to the peak. We overlapped each section by one "nipple". This allowed the perfect run length with no cuts.
RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-img_0033_3.jpg

Interesting perspective above the collar ties. There will be a ceiling fan in the middle of the room, and track lighting will run the entire length, installed just above the collar ties on each side wall. Also, a large broadband bass trap will run the entire length of the room, with the exception of a small platform to hang the ceiling fan from. This will be mounted flush with the bass trap.
RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-img_0034_3.jpg

Fuel and motivation. This is a two man project. The rest of the band doesn't share the same labor of love that Chad and I do when it comes to construction.
RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-img_0030_3.jpg

The duravent, only installed as far down as the boundary knee wall's eventual location. If the vents went down further, the cavities where an eve vent are located would "hog" all of the ventilation.
RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-img_0032.jpg

The only aspect of the build thus far not completely executed by Chad & I. Know your limitations... that's what I always say. This is the back wall of the house, in what will be the lounge. Double 50 (whatever that means) run with #6 wire (whatever that means.)
RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-img_0038.jpg
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30th January 2011
Old 30th January 2011
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great project you got on the start here.
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greetings wolfger
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30th January 2011
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Hey thanks man! Wow that was quick!

Cheers, thanks for watching,

John
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30th January 2011
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Hey John,

Just a suggestion: you may want to scale future pics down to a more reasonable size for those on slower computers, portable devices or less than broadband connections.

Just a thought.

Keep up the good work!

-MM
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30th January 2011
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My first obstacle.
RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-img_0007_6.jpg

I spoke briefly in regards to the order being out of whack... in that I'd have liked to do the floor and slat walls first. Insulation is marginally in the way having to do this second... but not a huge deal. You can see here that the 2x4's are currently installed as a "butt joint". That's to say, it ends on the bottom of the joist, rather than next to it with all that extra surface contact. Not sure of the actual terms of these methods, but one should be able to gleen what I am talking about here. Based on current construction, I'm comfortable installing them in the same manner, however, I plan to utilize a 2x6 as a header for the slat walls. 2x6 only because of the angle. This will make drywalling easier, as I won't have to notch around the 2x4 wall... I can simply butt the drywall to the header and caulk it. I wonder, would a nailer strip attached to the back of the header between the joists be beneficial for attaching the drywall to?
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30th January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magickman View Post
scale future pics down to a more reasonable size
Thanks buddy.

What do you think would be a reasonable size? I don't want them getting too small...
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30th January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johndykstra View Post
Thanks buddy.

What do you think would be a reasonable size? I don't want them getting too small...
The size of your SU renderings seems good. Fills a 20"-24" monitor edge to edge but still loads reasonably quick.

Looking good!

-MM
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31st January 2011
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31st January 2011
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...

Last edited by johndykstra; 11th April 2011 at 10:03 PM.. Reason: delete for tidying
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26th February 2011
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Any updates?
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2nd March 2011
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Took the day off work yesterday, and with Chad's help was able to put a very large dent in the construction of a half bath at my house. While this is not studio related per say, it goes along way in spousal relations. This should shortly yield more available time at the studio.
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11th April 2011
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Control room side fully insulated

All old framing removed from lounge side

Collar ties for lounge adjusted.

We decided that instead of exposed collar ties in the lounge, we would instead raise the collar ties up 16" and use them as our ceiling. This will make entrance into the control room feel more grand. Plus, it afforded us to use the space above the collar ties for exhaust vent runs. Being a smoking lounge, this is to be needed. Rather than chop down our old collar ties, we installed new lumber. The old growth collar ties will accompany some new lumber, and be used to sister to the floor joist. This strengthening of our floor is probably not necessary. However, given the climate here, you never know when a huge snow storm will accompany strong winds...the house has faced this scenario many times over the last 100 years, but not with the added live load. Just being safe here.

Next step is to complete the roofline insulation for the lounge half.

Then onto flooring removal.
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12th April 2011
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Great job ! thumbsup
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14th April 2011
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Looks fantastic!
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19th April 2011
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Fresh pictures.

nothing too exciting yet.

here are some shots after all of the old framing has been removed:

from the control room, looking past the chimney into the lounge
RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-demo-lounge.jpg


and two shots from the opposite direction
RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-demo-control.jpg RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-demo-control2.jpg

as many of you know, demo work can be really fun. Swinging big hammers and such... here's a shot of the down side of demo:

this is just a sampling of the really poorly executed "finish" application here previously. All these nails have to go so sheet rock will sit nicely
RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-nails.jpg


Looking towards the eventual lounge, we decided to move the collar ties up to 8'6", and use this as the finish ceiling height. This will allow for a lot of ceiling cavity space for ventilation, as well as making entrance into the control room feel more grand. We removed the old collar ties, and after cutting one or two down to their new length, decided we should use new lumber here... this saves us a number of longer lumber to use else where. Here are some shots of the new collar ties, as well as a comparison of the two heights... remember, the lower collar ties in the control room are going to be exposed:

RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-lounge-collar-ties.jpgRFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-collartie-distant.jpg

With all of the demo and stud prep completed, it's on to insulating the lounge. For kicks, here's a couple of "action" shots of the process:

RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-chad-venting.jpgRFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-chad-venting-2.jpg

One hiccup. Along the back wall, just above the window, you may be able to make out an old electrical run. We didn't see this previously, as it was tucked just above the ceiling nailer for the old ceiling. It is run in front of the studs, rather than through them ... we don't know where this goes to yet, or whether it is active or not. Thus we had to stop insulating anywhere this thing is in interference. Not a big deal to figure out what's going on here, but we were tired anyway. More soon. Check over at the design thread later, more changes to the plan are coming.
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21st April 2011
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looking great!
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27th April 2011
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Figured some things out last night.

1- I learned attempting to salvage tongue & groove flooring is a PITA. I wanted nice long lengths, but with the feathered installation, this is proving difficult. I did manage to get up one really good length... a 16' board. However, that sucker is unwieldy. I'm just imagining the 30+' of work space it would require to send that monster through a table saw and planner. Decided I'm better off making strategic relief cuts across the boards, roughly every 8' or so depending on how many long boards that will provide. With my current plan for amplitude gratings on the lower half of the side walls, I have plenty of use for 2' boards down the road.

The new 4x8' OSB sub floor will be laid down temporarily, so that we can: Remove old knob and tube electrical for downstairs. Sister in additional 2x4's to the 2x6" floor joists for stiffening. (paying special attention to the joists that run underneath my speaker soffit wall. Lots of sisters and stringers going in here.) Run new Romex for downstairs and a floor outlet for the mixer/rack gear. Run audio snake's conduit for live room and tape machine to the mixer as well (need to look into long firewire cables to get the computer away from me). Insulate floor cavities. Permanently install sub floor. In that order.

2 - I learned it is possible to get a 4x8' sheet of OSB into the attic. I also learned that it isn't any kind of fun. We had to chop out the 'newel post' seen here:

RFZ based control room in an A frame attic.-attic-014.jpg

This was anticipated. It will ultimately be replaced with a removable metal railing, so we can freely bring large pieces up and down.

We briefly entertained the idea of renting a scissor lift to get all the stock up the three flights. However, between the $600 daily rental, and our desire to lose our beer guts, we decided some good old fashion manual labor is in order. Besides, Neil was making his own bricks for cripe's sake... I can't let that punk out DIY me by that much

That's all for now. I'll snap some shots next time I'm out there.

John
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27th April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johndykstra View Post
One hiccup. Along the back wall, just above the window, you may be able to make out an old electrical run. We didn't see this previously, as it was tucked just above the ceiling nailer for the old ceiling. It is run in front of the studs, rather than through them ... we don't know where this goes to yet, or whether it is active or not. Thus we had to stop insulating anywhere this thing is in interference. Not a big deal to figure out what's going on here, but we were tired anyway. More soon. Check over at the design thread later, more changes to the plan are coming.
Oh yeah. Learned something else too. Electric sensor pens are great. You turn it on, and hold it against wires, and it tells you if it's a live run. Simple right? Well... it works best when you have all the possible switches ON when you test. Chad... Turns out we cut the overhead light lead for his kitchen Good thing we're redoing all of that regardless....

Last edited by johndykstra; 27th April 2011 at 05:18 PM.. Reason: emphasis on ON
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