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A headache to remember(Basement studio build)
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poopynuggeteer
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11th December 2012
Old 11th December 2012
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A headache to remember(Basement studio build)

Hello, my name is Jack C. Daniels and this is my studio build thread. It will more then likely be a long and probably drawn out process but this thread is where it will take place.

A little background: I am 23 years of age and was just recently able to purchase my own home. I grew up poor and moving allot so I never had a place my parents(mother) owned ever. So this is a great accomplishment to me already. Most of my living in music is made through touring, writing and releasing records. I also have a full time job in retail that let's me leave for tours, recording etc. So, not allot of money saved up for the building of this studio especially while paying for the house as well.

My goal for this studio: I want to not only have a place thats comfortable to write and record for my own projects but also to offer the bands we meet a place to get their ideas out. Bands that may not get the record budgets we've got to work with. My skills aren't that great by any means but I know allot about composition, structure, theory and what it takes to make a great record. My weaknesses are in the engineering side but having a place of my own to work in I plan to hone and craft these skills as best as possible.

I have short term and long term goals for this studio. One to get me up and running now but then I also want to get some plans to build some walls splitting the rooms that I will address later in the thread.

So here we go! The first photo is a sketchup of my basement. Ceilings are 8'4" tall with a drop ceiling starting 1'4" under that.



The gobos have yet to be made. I plan to make them H6'xW4'xD8"

Here's some shots of the Live/Lounge room. Not sure how the rock wall will do with recording drums? My plan is too also stuff those shelves with some OC703 and cover them with fabric. Right now its just a bunch of free foam I collected. For the floors I will sand and epoxy them for now. Once the long term goals kick into effect I will probably do wood or tile.



I placed some of my smaller gobos in place of where the big ones will be. I'm
not sure if this is the best position in the room or not. Also I thought maybe covering that wall with the 3 windows with a heavy show curtain. The few neighbors I have are all about 150 yards from me so I don't think it should be a big problem.



This Image shows the fireplace and the 8' sliding glass doors. I imagine allot of sound will escape from there so maybe 2 more of the big gobos separating the live and lounge will help.



Here's the walkway to the cr/bath, stairs and possible 10'x10' iso booth. Good for cabs and possibly smaller drum set ups if need be.



Control room. It has decent acoustic treatment and actually sounds pretty good. To the left you see where the vocal booth may be. Right now there are a few cabs in there.



My plan is to eventually wall this off for a vocal booth and add a window. For now I was thinking about 2 H6'xW2' gobos to help block it off.



Here's an image of where the bass trap is blocking off that little room. Not sure if this messes up anything having all that space behind the trap on the left but not on the right?



The back of the control room wall leading back into the live room




My goal of this thread is to help me get a good starting point about what realistically needs to happen to turn this into a workable studio space. There are allot of very knowledgeable people here on GS. I've spent the past year reading about all of your designs and watching your spaces grow into great studios just longing for the time to own my own house and go through this great headache of studio building. This house was bought with a studio in mind. I know its a basement and the ceilings aren't the highest but I think its very workable. Any insight and help will be more then appreciated
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11th December 2012
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bah.. you tornado alley bastards always have the best basements :(
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11th December 2012
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I would start with measuring the control room to figure out what is going on, if anything. Above the drop ceiling, if it does not have it already, I would stack fluffy fiber glass up there to make the ceiling one big bass trap.
for testing.
Room EQ Wizard Tutorial - GIK Acoustics

For the live room I would put some panels above the drums to take away reflections from the ceiling.

I would not use a booth as it only produces a small room sound. You could use it for scratch vocals but use the large room for the main tracks.
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11th December 2012
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Originally Posted by Glenn Kuras View Post
I would start with measuring the control room to figure out what is going on, if anything. Above the drop ceiling, if it does not have it already, I would stack fluffy fiber glass up there to make the ceiling one big bass trap.
for testing.
Room EQ Wizard Tutorial - GIK Acoustics

For the live room I would put some panels above the drums to take away reflections from the ceiling.

I would not use a booth as it only produces a small room sound. You could use it for scratch vocals but use the large room for the main tracks.

The ceiling of the control room does have fluffy insulation between the floor joist but there is about 6' of space from there to where the drop ceiling starts that I could stuff more if you think it will be worth it.

Awesome I planned on doing a cloud above the drums and also stuffing that ceiling with fluffy stuff as well. And thanks for the tip on vocals I'll just move some of the live room gobos for tracking.

As far as room eq goes that program is such a pain in the butt(for me anyway) No matter what I can't ever get any input signal on there even though I hear and see on saffire mix control the input signal going in. I've tried room eq in past and when I come back to it I always leave frustrated.
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12th December 2012
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Looks like a really great basement to build a studio in! I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of the ready built studio! I'm a real sucker for that type of stonewalls.
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12th December 2012
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Having worked in rooms like this, my first thought is to deal with the ceiling. 1st, flourescent lighting can cause real problems with electric guitars, amps, and such. Next, the clear plastic cover on the lights tends to vibrate with loud sounds. And last, those ceiling always seem to impart a sort of dead/boxy/cardpaper tone to the room. I'd seriously consider taking it down, and reworking the ceiling, if you can swing it.

Other than that, I agree that a vocal booth is probably not needed (unless you want to be able to record vocals with the band playing, but you'll likely overdub those anyway.) In the studios I've worked in, I never use the vocal booth, always sounds boxy and weird.

You're lucky to have a good amount of room to work with, have fun!
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12th December 2012
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as for Room EQ Wizard,
are you on a Mac or PC?
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12th December 2012
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Originally Posted by AwwDeOhh View Post
as for Room EQ Wizard,
are you on a Mac or PC?
I'm on Mac. My interface is a focusrite saffire liquid 56.
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12th December 2012
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Originally Posted by John Suitcase View Post
Having worked in rooms like this, my first thought is to deal with the ceiling. 1st, flourescent lighting can cause real problems with electric guitars, amps, and such. Next, the clear plastic cover on the lights tends to vibrate with loud sounds. And last, those ceiling always seem to impart a sort of dead/boxy/cardpaper tone to the room. I'd seriously consider taking it down, and reworking the ceiling, if you can swing it.

Other than that, I agree that a vocal booth is probably not needed (unless you want to be able to record vocals with the band playing, but you'll likely overdub those anyway.) In the studios I've worked in, I never use the vocal booth, always sounds boxy and weird.

You're lucky to have a good amount of room to work with, have fun!
Yeah my guitar amps hate the fluorescent lights. I never turn them on anyway. But I didn't think about then being noisy. I planned eventually switching to the tracks with the little swivel lights.

As far as the cieling goes what do you think I should do? While isolation from the rest of the world isn't a problem, it is for the sleeping wife. I planned on putting a cloud above the drums and filling the rest with pink stuff. Wouldn't the rock wall help with the cardboard deadness?

awesome ill scratch the vocal idea
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12th December 2012
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Filling the area above the drop ceiling should help with isolation, but I don't think it'll do much to the tone of the room, though it might shorten any room reverberation. I'd try it and see how it sounds, I suppose!

The little track lights are cool, but be careful with dimmers. I'm told there are some good ones now that are LED compatible, though the LED bulbs are still quite pricey.

I typically like old fashioned floor lamps, with old fashioned incandescent bulbs, no dimmers.

Good quality dimmers are more expensive, but can help a lot with electrical interference, humming from the dimmer, etc.
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12th December 2012
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Hi Jack

First off this is a great space!!

Where to begin.

What is your budget? I think you need to prioritise as I sort of get the impression that you don't have a lot of cash to throw around? I am not being disrespectful but you need to be honest with yourself regarding what IS possible and what would be "nice to have". Isolation is expensive and may not always even be possible within the structure, for what you require/expect? I mention this due to the almost throwaway line about your "sleeping wife upstairs". During your introduction you said that your neighbours are 150 yards away, if you plan to work late into the night with a live rock band and domestic patio doors isolation may be an issue? On a low budget, with live drums and a rock band I would estimate complete isolation is going to be out of the question and what is achievable on a low budget is probably not going to give you a worthwhile cost/benefit. So, if you are sweet with the neighbours (... and your wife) and maybe limit the high SPL tracking to reasonable hours, things may be fine?

That being said I have questions about your ceiling:- the void above, the construction of the floor that and ceiling heights? If I understand it correctly; the live room has a ceiling height of 8'4" with a drop ceiling 1'4" below with standard "acoustic" ceiling tiles of some sort? However, over the control room you have 6' void (ie a very big gap to structural ceiling) is that correct? If so is there any "solid" partition from structural floor to structural ceiling around the proposed control room?
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12th December 2012
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Originally Posted by Icecube1 View Post
Hi Jack

First off this is a great space!!

Where to begin.

What is your budget? I think you need to prioritise as I sort of get the impression that you don't have a lot of cash to throw around? I am not being disrespectful but you need to be honest with yourself regarding what IS possible and what would be "nice to have". Isolation is expensive and may not always even be possible within the structure, for what you require/expect? I mention this due to the almost throwaway line about your "sleeping wife upstairs". During your introduction you said that your neighbours are 150 yards away, if you plan to work late into the night with a live rock band and domestic patio doors isolation may be an issue? On a low budget, with live drums and a rock band I would estimate complete isolation is going to be out of the question and what is achievable on a low budget is probably not going to give you a worthwhile cost/benefit. So, if you are sweet with the neighbours (... and your wife) and maybe limit the high SPL tracking to reasonable hours, things may be fine?

That being said I have questions about your ceiling:- the void above, the construction of the floor that and ceiling heights? If I understand it correctly; the live room has a ceiling height of 8'4" with a drop ceiling 1'4" below with standard "acoustic" ceiling tiles of some sort? However, over the control room you have 6' void (ie a very big gap to structural ceiling) is that correct? If so is there any "solid" partition from structural floor to structural ceiling around the proposed control room?
I'm at work so I will reply to more if this later. As for the drop cieling its the same in both room. the 6" I mentioned was from the drop curling to where the insulation starts. It was just refering to how much space I have to stuff more insulation. The 1'4" was the space from drop ceiling to the bottom of the floor in between the joist in the live room which has no insulation.
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12th December 2012
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Originally Posted by poopynuggeteer View Post
I'm on Mac. My interface is a focusrite saffire liquid 56.
REW uses Java.
Macs' don't play nice with it using an AI.
Plug directly into the Mac (ie, don't use the AI) while testing and it should work fine.
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12th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poopynuggeteer View Post
As for the drop cieling its the same in both room. the 6" I mentioned was from the drop curling to where the insulation starts. It was just refering to how much space I have to stuff more insulation. The 1'4" was the space from drop ceiling to the bottom of the floor in between the joist in the live room which has no insulation.
So many things to say.

First, Glenn is right it would definitely be worth measuring your control room for reference and later for treatment tweaking. However, If you already have 6", or more, "fluffy" above the false ceiling I doubt another 6" additional porous material is going to be needed, or high priority within the overall scheme budget. It will definitely not give significant isolation benefits for your sleeping wife! Plus, you actually stated that you like the sound of the control room? So, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!? Concentrate on budget spend to get the tracking room up and running. (incidentally what's your current/long term cabling plan? It may be prudent to think of that from the outset?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Suitcase View Post
Having worked in rooms like this, my first thought is to deal with the ceiling. 1st, flourescent lighting can cause real problems with electric guitars, amps, and such. Next, the clear plastic cover on the lights tends to vibrate with loud sounds. And last, those ceiling always seem to impart a sort of dead/boxy/cardpaper tone to the room. I'd seriously consider taking it down, and reworking the ceiling, if you can swing it.
+1 John

You have a reasonable ceiling height there Jack (~8' +). As part of your "long term" plan I would consider replacing the whole of the drop ceiling, if there was no other useful purpose for it? Fluorescents are nasty on three counts, light colour temperature, RFI and acoustic rattles and buzzes.

The "blanket" acoustic tile ceiling is overkill for your live room, in my opinion, and will not make for a pleasant musical sound. I appreciate that the first stage of the studio plan is to just get it useable, rather than ideal, but in the long term personally I would not keep it. So, that being said, you could take out a significant proportion of them to have a variable acoustic between areas, live/dead (with added treatment at the LF end to balance the effect of the tiles). Of course once you remove the tiles you may find the ceiling grid rattles, which is another story, but you have lost nothing as you can always put them back again or take down part of the ceiling grid if you like the sound of the ceiling opened up.
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13th December 2012
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Originally Posted by Icecube1 View Post
Hi Jack

First off this is a great space!!

Where to begin.

What is your budget? I think you need to prioritise as I sort of get the impression that you don't have a lot of cash to throw around? I am not being disrespectful but you need to be honest with yourself regarding what IS possible and what would be "nice to have". Isolation is expensive and may not always even be possible within the structure, for what you require/expect? I mention this due to the almost throwaway line about your "sleeping wife upstairs". During your introduction you said that your neighbours are 150 yards away, if you plan to work late into the night with a live rock band and domestic patio doors isolation may be an issue? On a low budget, with live drums and a rock band I would estimate complete isolation is going to be out of the question and what is achievable on a low budget is probably not going to give you a worthwhile cost/benefit. So, if you are sweet with the neighbours (... and your wife) and maybe limit the high SPL tracking to reasonable hours, things may be fine?

That being said I have questions about your ceiling:- the void above, the construction of the floor that and ceiling heights? If I understand it correctly; the live room has a ceiling height of 8'4" with a drop ceiling 1'4" below with standard "acoustic" ceiling tiles of some sort? However, over the control room you have 6' void (ie a very big gap to structural ceiling) is that correct? If so is there any "solid" partition from structural floor to structural ceiling around the proposed control room?
No sir you're not being disrespectful at all. I agree to be very realistic about this. To be honest I have'nt really set a budget yet but I do have somewhat of a plan. I have 2 forms of income. My regular retail gig which leaves me comfortable covering all bills and living expenses. And then I have the residual income from the bands which ranges from around 5 to $10,000 a year depending on album cycle and sells. I plan to use whatever little income from my music and what little I can bring in recording bands here to build and upgrade the studio as I go. I know this leaves me with a very small starting budget as I'm at the end of both album cycles so I'm at only a few hundred there. I've booked 2 eps here in jan. with deposits that got me around a grand but I spent most of that on gear already. So I know I will have to become very skilled in building to achieve the things I need on this budget. I also have a few really good contractor friends who have agreed to help me build what I need.

I agree that ultimate isolation would be very hard to achieve I would just like to bring it down a few decibels to help a bit at least. I think that stopping the loud music before too late is not too much to ask for if the sound does seem to reach them.
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13th December 2012
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Originally Posted by Icecube1 View Post
So many things to say.

First, Glenn is right it would definitely be worth measuring your control room for reference and later for treatment tweaking. However, If you already have 6", or more, "fluffy" above the false ceiling I doubt another 6" additional porous material is going to be needed, or high priority within the overall scheme budget. It will definitely not give significant isolation benefits for your sleeping wife! Plus, you actually stated that you like the sound of the control room? So, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!? Concentrate on budget spend to get the tracking room up and running. (incidentally what's your current/long term cabling plan? It may be prudent to think of that from the outset?)



+1 John

You have a reasonable ceiling height there Jack (~8' +). As part of your "long term" plan I would consider replacing the whole of the drop ceiling, if there was no other useful purpose for it? Fluorescents are nasty on three counts, light colour temperature, RFI and acoustic rattles and buzzes.

The "blanket" acoustic tile ceiling is overkill for your live room, in my opinion, and will not make for a pleasant musical sound. I appreciate that the first stage of the studio plan is to just get it useable, rather than ideal, but in the long term personally I would not keep it. So, that being said, you could take out a significant proportion of them to have a variable acoustic between areas, live/dead (with added treatment at the LF end to balance the effect of the tiles). Of course once you remove the tiles you may find the ceiling grid rattles, which is another story, but you have lost nothing as you can always put them back again or take down part of the ceiling grid if you like the sound of the ceiling opened up.

As for cabling I have a 100 ft 24 channel snake I was going to run in the ceiling from the CR to the live room. I'm not sure if this is idea or not but it seems like the easiest solution to me.

Yes something with the ceiling in the live room is definitely a long term goal.
I'll try taking out the panels when I have a kit in the room to record and hear the difference. I'm down to try it as you're right I'm not committing to anything and can just put the panels back up. My only problem is that would look bad with some of the tiles missing. Surely there is 2x2 drop ceiling panels of some sort that I can drop in there and not have that same sound. I know there are some diffuser tiles for drop ceilings but those seem to be pretty pricey.

I think I've gathered that it is important to lose the florescent lights and go with lamps or even take a crack at wiring up a track with swivel lights(not dimmable)
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13th December 2012
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Originally Posted by John Suitcase View Post
Filling the area above the drop ceiling should help with isolation, but I don't think it'll do much to the tone of the room, though it might shorten any room reverberation. I'd try it and see how it sounds, I suppose!

The little track lights are cool, but be careful with dimmers. I'm told there are some good ones now that are LED compatible, though the LED bulbs are still quite pricey.

I typically like old fashioned floor lamps, with old fashioned incandescent bulbs, no dimmers.

Good quality dimmers are more expensive, but can help a lot with electrical interference, humming from the dimmer, etc.
Ok I'll probably go without dimmers anyway. And I've always loved the look and vibe of old fashioned floor lamps so a few of those wouldn't hurt either
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13th December 2012
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Originally Posted by AwwDeOhh View Post
REW uses Java.
Macs' don't play nice with it using an AI.
Plug directly into the Mac (ie, don't use the AI) while testing and it should work fine.
As of now I don't have a way to do that so I suppose I'll need a usb mic?
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13th December 2012
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Originally Posted by poopynuggeteer View Post
I also have a few really good contractor friends who have agreed to help me build what I need.

I agree that ultimate isolation would be very hard to achieve I would just like to bring it down a few decibels to help a bit at least. I think that stopping the loud music before too late is not too much to ask for if the sound does seem to reach them.
+!

Stay friends with these guys, they could make all the difference when you don't have the necessary skills or building knowledge
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13th December 2012
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As for cabling I have a 100 ft 24 channel snake I was going to run in the ceiling from the CR to the live room. I'm not sure if this is idea or not but it seems like the easiest solution to me.
Of course for now to get something going that may be the easiest. Kind of like a permanent live gig set-up?

However, bear in mind that generally up there you are going to have mains wiring/lighting circuits etc. Not good next to mic level signals. Second, you are "eventually" going to build some sort of isolation between the live room and the control room presumably? (At the moment you have one big flanking path over the drop ceiling?).

It has been my experience in studio projects to run low level signals at ground level. At some point you then have to potentially destroy the isolation you have worked hard to achieve to get signal back and forth between control room and studio. Looking at your plan you appear to have a short corridor between live room and control room (between HVAC and bath?). Have you considered possibly long term making that a "sound lobby", ie a solid door at each end, and running trunking for signal cable through there? Eventually the trunking can be pugged up at each side of the sound lobby. It may look more professional in the control room as the cable would come up from floor level?
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13th December 2012
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Of course for now to get something going that may be the easiest. Kind of like a permanent live gig set-up?

However, bear in mind that generally up there you are going to have mains wiring/lighting circuits etc. Not good next to mic level signals. Second, you are "eventually" going to build some sort of isolation between the live room and the control room presumably? (At the moment you have one big flanking path over the drop ceiling?).

It has been my experience in studio projects to run low level signals at ground level. At some point you then have to potentially destroy the isolation you have worked hard to achieve to get signal back and forth between control room and studio. Looking at your plan you appear to have a short corridor between live room and control room (between HVAC and bath?). Have you considered possibly long term making that a "sound lobby", ie a solid door at each end, and running trunking for signal cable through there? Eventually the trunking can be pugged up at each side of the sound lobby. It may look more professional in the control room as the cable would come up from floor level?
Yeah I figured that is why I asked. I do plan to build a wall making a "sound lobby" where the stairs hvac and bath are. Building up the walls and maybe somehow stopping the path up top above the drop ceiling and building it up on the wall between the lobby and the control room as well. Also I may have an idea for cabling. I'll pull up the sketchup and try to diagram it. There's a back room I didn't mention on my diagram because it is unfinished(dirt floors even) coindentaly it also has lights and water ran to that room?
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13th December 2012
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I'm late to the party here but you have gotten some excellent advice. I'm in total agreement about eventually removing the drop ceiling. And follow Andre's maxim about planning the project thoroughly first, then moving forward.

With regards to isolation, I have been in a similar situation before and worked on it incrementally and eventually came to a good compromise in terms of making a workable situation for my wife to be able to sleep while we were cranking away. For not many bucks, you should first tackle the simple isolation tasks like sealing all of the tiny leaks - everywhere. The caulk and foam won't cost much but you have to be like a detective on a mission. Bright lights can help find leaks. If your house has forced air heat, the ductwork will carry lots of sound all throughout the house, so you'll need to build isolation into that system. But regardless of all that, you will ultimately be limited by transmission through the structure.

Rather than go through the extremes you'd have to take to get a high level of isolation, I'd actually be thinking long term about building a separate structure apart from the house. But that's a separate topic and you want bang-per-buck ideas for the space you are working in right now. One thing we did when we recorded drums in the basement was to build a platform for the drums. "Riser" isn't really the right word, because it was only about 4" thick, but it made a significant difference in the loudness in the upstairs bedrooms and also the tone of drum sound that you could hear upstairs. The platform was made of layers of OSB, drywall, green glue, liquid nails, oak and elastomers. Plus a few hundred pounds of lead bars. Since I used to do research for one of the world's leading elastomer producers, I had access to all kinds of gooey, rubbery stuff. We tried to get the platform to have a very low resonant frequency and didn't get anywhere near our target but it turned out to be very effective in reducing the transmission of kick drum, snare drum, etc., because it cut the transmission of the transient significantly. At the same time, we made a very heavy cloud-like device and hung it above the drums and since both were built and modified at the same time, we didn't really know how much each contributed to the isolation. But the platform plus cloud knocked down the kick drum transient in the upstairs bedroom on the order of 4dB. The "cloud" was hung on isolators made for hanging drywall in studios and I think part of the benefit it gave was in lowering resonance of the ceiling of the basement.

Sorry for the longwinded description. Bottom line if this was my project: getting the control room optimized would be a high priority and improving isolation would be another. Down the road, you can just keep picking away at weaknesses and your space can improve up to its practical limits. If all that isn't good enough, look for the best space out in the back yard and build a studio with less compromises. Your basement looks really good, considering it's a basement. Many people have had to deal with a much worse bedroom or basement situation.

Oh, before I forget, the stone wall is an asset. Good diffusion, lots of mass.
#23
13th December 2012
Old 13th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poopynuggeteer View Post
As of now I don't have a way to do that so I suppose I'll need a usb mic?
Though i'm not a Mac guy, i believe you need to use the line-in on the Mac.
A USB mic is essentially an AI, as it has DA converters in it. you want to use the Mac's DA instead. Maybe a small mixer?
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#24
13th December 2012
Old 13th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syncamorea View Post
I'm late to the party here but you have gotten some excellent advice. I'm in total agreement about eventually removing the drop ceiling. And follow Andre's maxim about planning the project thoroughly first, then moving forward.

With regards to isolation, I have been in a similar situation before and worked on it incrementally and eventually came to a good compromise in terms of making a workable situation for my wife to be able to sleep while we were cranking away. For not many bucks, you should first tackle the simple isolation tasks like sealing all of the tiny leaks - everywhere. The caulk and foam won't cost much but you have to be like a detective on a mission. Bright lights can help find leaks. If your house has forced air heat, the ductwork will carry lots of sound all throughout the house, so you'll need to build isolation into that system. But regardless of all that, you will ultimately be limited by transmission through the structure.

Rather than go through the extremes you'd have to take to get a high level of isolation, I'd actually be thinking long term about building a separate structure apart from the house. But that's a separate topic and you want bang-per-buck ideas for the space you are working in right now. One thing we did when we recorded drums in the basement was to build a platform for the drums. "Riser" isn't really the right word, because it was only about 4" thick, but it made a significant difference in the loudness in the upstairs bedrooms and also the tone of drum sound that you could hear upstairs. The platform was made of layers of OSB, drywall, green glue, liquid nails, oak and elastomers. Plus a few hundred pounds of lead bars. Since I used to do research for one of the world's leading elastomer producers, I had access to all kinds of gooey, rubbery stuff. We tried to get the platform to have a very low resonant frequency and didn't get anywhere near our target but it turned out to be very effective in reducing the transmission of kick drum, snare drum, etc., because it cut the transmission of the transient significantly. At the same time, we made a very heavy cloud-like device and hung it above the drums and since both were built and modified at the same time, we didn't really know how much each contributed to the isolation. But the platform plus cloud knocked down the kick drum transient in the upstairs bedroom on the order of 4dB. The "cloud" was hung on isolators made for hanging drywall in studios and I think part of the benefit it gave was in lowering resonance of the ceiling of the basement.

Sorry for the longwinded description. Bottom line if this was my project: getting the control room optimized would be a high priority and improving isolation would be another. Down the road, you can just keep picking away at weaknesses and your space can improve up to its practical limits. If all that isn't good enough, look for the best space out in the back yard and build a studio with less compromises. Your basement looks really good, considering it's a basement. Many people have had to deal with a much worse bedroom or basement situation.

Oh, before I forget, the stone wall is an asset. Good diffusion, lots of mass.
Better late then never!
Thats funny you suggested building another structure in the long term goal because that is something I've been thinking about. My house is built on a hillside so even the foundation for the basement in the back(where the sliding doors are) is 6' off the ground! Theres a flat area to the side of the house(where the window is) Thats still that high off the ground but there's plenty of area to build. With it being 6' under the basement foundation I could have some massive ceiling height! But that is for another time long down the road. And also depending on how well the studio does out here.

I'm definitely doing a cloud and I like the idea of the drum riser. The only thing that worries me is with the cloud and drum iso pad I'm losing 8" of space! Leaving me at around 6'4" under the drop ceiling. However I think a good idea would be to get rid of the drop ceiling in the area where the drums will be and build the cloud up above it. This may be tricky with the drop ceiling frame there though. Ahhhh! blasted drop ceiling!


And that is exactly my plan When I first looked at this house thats one thing that grabbed me. There is so much potential to build on(Its a frame house with ceder logged siding so this just makes it that much easier to add on!) but also it has the ability to be a nice workable space right from the start with a little extra work. So as I grow at this trade my studio can grow with me. And thanks for mentioning the rock wall! lol I'm glad someone can affirm me in thinking that it will help the sound of the room.
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#25
13th December 2012
Old 13th December 2012
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Originally Posted by Icecube1 View Post
Of course for now to get something going that may be the easiest. Kind of like a permanent live gig set-up?

However, bear in mind that generally up there you are going to have mains wiring/lighting circuits etc. Not good next to mic level signals. Second, you are "eventually" going to build some sort of isolation between the live room and the control room presumably? (At the moment you have one big flanking path over the drop ceiling?).

It has been my experience in studio projects to run low level signals at ground level. At some point you then have to potentially destroy the isolation you have worked hard to achieve to get signal back and forth between control room and studio. Looking at your plan you appear to have a short corridor between live room and control room (between HVAC and bath?). Have you considered possibly long term making that a "sound lobby", ie a solid door at each end, and running trunking for signal cable through there? Eventually the trunking can be pugged up at each side of the sound lobby. It may look more professional in the control room as the cable would come up from floor level?
Here's an image of the new wall I plan to build(or something in that ballpark) to create an air lock and also a diagram in blue showing where I can run the cabling. Unfortunately It wont be under ground but it should be away from the main wiring and lighting that way and still not be seen by anyone.
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A headache to remember(Basement studio build)-studio-sketch-snake-wall.jpg  
#26
13th December 2012
Old 13th December 2012
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Personally, I use a 50ft snake on almost every session, never had any issues with power, etc. If you have to cross a power line, do it at a 90º angle. XLRs are balanced, and do a good job eliminating most interference. Long guitar leads are much more problematic. If you intend to mic amps in the big room, while playing in the control room, you might want to look at one of the solutions out there, like the Radial SGI:
Radial SGI™ - Studio Guitar Interface System

I like to put the snake in the middle of the room, so I don't have long cables to drum mics, etc.
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#27
13th December 2012
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Originally Posted by John Suitcase View Post
Personally, I use a 50ft snake on almost every session, never had any issues with power, etc. If you have to cross a power line, do it at a 90º angle. XLRs are balanced, and do a good job eliminating most interference. Long guitar leads are much more problematic. If you intend to mic amps in the big room, while playing in the control room, you might want to look at one of the solutions out there, like the Radial SGI:
Radial SGI™ - Studio Guitar Interface System

I like to put the snake in the middle of the room, so I don't have long cables to drum mics, etc.
Thats good to know! For now the snake runs through the drop ceiling.
That was just a future plan of when the wall is built.

As for guitar I was wondering about this. My heads are in the control room so really I just need a safe way to run the speaker cable from the head to the cab in the live room. The SGI seems to be a way from the guitar to the head so I don't know if it will work in this application.
#28
14th December 2012
Old 14th December 2012
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Originally Posted by poopynuggeteer View Post
I'm definitely doing a cloud and I like the idea of the drum riser. The only thing that worries me is with the cloud and drum iso pad I'm losing 8" of space! Leaving me at around 6'4" under the drop ceiling. However I think a good idea would be to get rid of the drop ceiling in the area where the drums will be and build the cloud up above it. This may be tricky with the drop ceiling frame there though. Ahhhh! blasted drop ceiling!
If you make a riser, you need to make certain you don't create a resonant platform. That makes common sense, but I've seen it go wrong a few times - one of them my own fault. Back when I first played around with it, I had access to lots of materials that were either dense or elastomeric and also composites. For example: steel, aluminum, and lead in sheets, bars, rods, pellets, etc. - and in the extreme - our "large" lead supply was a stack of 1" thick 20 x 40' sheets. You should have heard that when we sheared it down to manageable pieces!

Anyway, you can make a short riser that is very dead if you work at it. Our best one was assembled in place because the parts were so heavy. Lead wrapped in an elastomer sealed in a wood confinement structure can work great. But lead is really nasty crap and I can't really recommend it, although I still have a few hundred pounds in my personal kit. Filled epoxies can be easily made incredibly dead by floating them on elastomers but you need an industrial-type facility to cast them properly because the polymerization is very exothermic. Some laboratory benches are made of filled epoxies but it's not the kind of thing you can find on Craigslist.

If I was working with Home Depot type of materials, I'd use 3/4" MDF, plywood, pine 2x4s, elastomers and something dense like concrete pucks made in a home-made mold. If you just laminate MDF and plywood with a properly applied filling adhesive, you can get a pretty dead platform, especialy if you top it with a hard rubber pad.

I look forward to seeing your build progress!
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#29
14th December 2012
Old 14th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syncamorea View Post
If you make a riser, you need to make certain you don't create a resonant platform. That makes common sense, but I've seen it go wrong a few times - one of them my own fault. Back when I first played around with it, I had access to lots of materials that were either dense or elastomeric and also composites. For example: steel, aluminum, and lead in sheets, bars, rods, pellets, etc. - and in the extreme - our "large" lead supply was a stack of 1" thick 20 x 40' sheets. You should have heard that when we sheared it down to manageable pieces!

Anyway, you can make a short riser that is very dead if you work at it. Our best one was assembled in place because the parts were so heavy. Lead wrapped in an elastomer sealed in a wood confinement structure can work great. But lead is really nasty crap and I can't really recommend it, although I still have a few hundred pounds in my personal kit. Filled epoxies can be easily made incredibly dead by floating them on elastomers but you need an industrial-type facility to cast them properly because the polymerization is very exothermic. Some laboratory benches are made of filled epoxies but it's not the kind of thing you can find on Craigslist.

If I was working with Home Depot type of materials, I'd use 3/4" MDF, plywood, pine 2x4s, elastomers and something dense like concrete pucks made in a home-made mold. If you just laminate MDF and plywood with a properly applied filling adhesive, you can get a pretty dead platform, especialy if you top it with a hard rubber pad.

I look forward to seeing your build progress!
Thanks fella! That's all very helpful information. I will keep that in mind if it comes to it. I think I will start with the gobos and then build a cloud to get me through the projects in January/February. From there I'll probably sand the floors and stain them. The see about filling the live room cieling with fluffy stuff. Then start building the wall and filling holes! From there if I'm not happy with where I set on isolation I'll look into a drum riser
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#30
14th December 2012
Old 14th December 2012
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Ok, so here are the gobo's I plan to build. I've done allot of searching and from collectively gathering things from other this is what I came up with.

They will be 6'x 4' x 8" deep. They will have an inch of plywood. 2 5/8 sheets of drywall(maybe more maybe less?) And then an air gap and 4 inches of OC then fabric. So one side open and one side reflective.


Here's the gobo with the drywall about to be dropped in.



After I seal the dry wall I plan to measure 4" down from the top and set my 4' 1x2's in to create a frame to set the insulation on.




After that I will cover the front in fabric and then place 1" wood stripping over the edges for a nice clean look. As far as standing goes they will just sat upright on the ground. No casters to assure they are blocking to the best of their ability.

Let me know if you think this will work as an effective gobo as I've never built these before.
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