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2 Car Garage conversion to studio.
Old 28th June 2017
  #1
Gear Head
 

2 Car Garage conversion to studio.

Hi Everyone. I am a film composer and more and more a DIY guy and woodworker throughout this process. I converted my 2 car garage into my studio for writing, mixing, and recording. In that order of importance. I received invaluable advice and couldnt've done any of this without you guys here at gearslutz. I'm forever grateful to this community and wanted to share my 2 year journey.

I think I came up with some cool solutions to my unique challenges as well as common challenges as well. What to do about the garage door and massive internal hardware? I decided to trash it and build custom wooded carriage doors from scratch. That way no hardware or Garage door ever inside.

Here are some before pics and my crude plans.
Attached Thumbnails
2 Car Garage conversion to studio.-2pi1ek0.jpg   2 Car Garage conversion to studio.-img_5219.jpg   2 Car Garage conversion to studio.-z44nw69.jpg  

Last edited by Aram9012; 28th June 2017 at 08:22 AM..
Old 28th June 2017
  #2
Gear Head
 

4 months later, I had some nice carriage doors.

I'll refrain from writing about how extremely nerve racking, dramatic, stressful overbudget, and over time every step of this whole build was in every post, but know that it was. I might post the door building process in another forum.

Then was time to rip out the old drywall. I found an old knife inside the wall! I hired a pro to come in for framing of the second layer of wall all around the studio about 1-2 inches inside.







Old 28th June 2017
  #3
Gear Head
 

Hadn't accounted for this at first, but after careful reading of Rod Gervais' posts here, started this long process of integrating an ERV system for air circulation, and built 2 labyrinth/baffle boxes out of MDF to slow down and quiet the air.


Old 28th June 2017
  #4
Here for the gear
 
bummblefly's Avatar
looks like you had a blast.i would have.finished studio pic?
Old 28th June 2017
  #5
Gear Head
 

Time to insulate. 2 Layers of wall. I used R13 for the outside layer, and R15 for the inside layer. R30 for ceiling. I left out pics of the painstaking amount of sealing and crack/hole/crevice closing that went on.




Old 28th June 2017
  #6
Gear Head
 

I then hired someone to do double 5/8 drywall on the walls. And single layer on the ceiling. The vents you see are for the ERV unit on the other side of the double wall, the storage section of the garage. I'm finally starting to see the end, but I was still pretty far from it.





Old 29th June 2017
  #7
Gear Head
 

Was no easy feat installing these heavy mdf baffle boxes. I had to build scaffolding to get the top one in. I lined the inside of the boxes with OC703. And heavily coated them with this clear Flex Seal spray to form a rubbery coat around it to keep the fibers in tact. This was my solution. The recommended material is duct liner, which is apparently impossible to find. I think mine was a success.








Then ducted and drywalled.
Old 29th June 2017
  #8
Gear Head
 

Replaced old door with 2 new doors. An exterior outswinging, and interior solid core door.


Paint, stain, laminate flooring....


Old 29th June 2017
  #9
Gear Head
 

Time for treatments out of OC705. I had inherited a bunch of 705. Glenn Kuras here on the forum advised me to make my corner traps 6 inches thick straddling the corners, with a little airspace in between so I went to work. .





mounted a TV.
Old 29th June 2017
  #10
Gear Head
 

I then moved in, but a few months later I built the next round of treatments. Since this is first a composing room, Atmosphere and roominess were of utmost importance to me. That's why I opted for a big room and not splitting off a control room/recording room.

I had been researching all over about how to get art on the panels. Everyone's talking about acoustic fabrics here and testing them. I found society6.com. They sell millions of cool artworks in the form of wall tapestries in various sizes that can get huge. I took the chance, and when it arrived it felt like a very thin muslin or bed sheet type material. I didn't test the acoustics of it, but common sense told me that it was super thin and can't possibly tamper with sound. I made the side wall panels 4 inches thick with OC705.




When I do record I wanted a folding portable booth. Hilariously called a gobo for some reason. So I loved the idea of putting artwork on it like some of the acoustic companies do now, and I still had 705 to work with so I made a cityscape gobo. NY on one side and LA on the other. 2 inches thick with hinges. When not in use, it folds and acts as the 4th corner trap.

Old 29th June 2017
  #11
Gear Head
 

Then I wanted a diffusor on the back wall. So I found Tim Perry's website and posts here. He was kind enough to give me some advice on these too, so I built his Leanfusor diffusors out of poplar.




Then stained...
Old 29th June 2017
  #12
Gear Head
 

Then slowly been decorating, some cool lamps, furniture. And now I'm really pleased with how it turned out. Took a long time, and money. My brain is so full of unexpectedly learning how to do things like ductwork. My dad helped a lot. I still have to add a few more treatments like ceiling cloud and top corner panels. But things are sounding pretty good here so far. I get plenty of sound isolation in here. I think if I pushed it to the next level, it would've enormously increased time, cost, only for a few more dB's of reduction. I used double drywall, double studded walls. Single layer of ceiling I felt was ok since it's a detached structure. I didn't use green glue, float the floors, or resilient channels. I hired out only for framing, drywall, ductless AC installation, and electrical.

Here is the finished room! Hope you enjoyed!




Old 1st July 2017
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Owen L T's Avatar
That's an awesome-looking space - everything from the outside doors (totally worth it) to the bold colours and artwork.

Regarding the fabric, the important thing isn't the thickness (a foil backing on rockwool makes an audible difference), but whether air can pass through it easily, or not. So, thin bedsheets (which are tightly woven) would definitely lessen the absorption of the panel, but a thicker fabric with a less tight weave would be fine. Hence the breath test - where you really can tell a huge difference between something you can easily breathe through, or the sort of thing that could be pressed over someone's mouth and nose in a crime movie!

But as fabulous as it all looks, the inspiration factor probably far outweighs any slight differences in NRC performance.
Old 2nd July 2017
  #14
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen L T View Post

But as fabulous as it all looks, the inspiration factor probably far outweighs any slight differences in NRC performance.
Thanks so much!! Well put. And I'm ok with that,assuming the loss of performance is minimal.

What threw me off with that fabric test is that, I actually had some Guilford of Maine that I took off old panels that were given to me. I actually used them on the backs of all these panels. I felt I couldn't breath through those. And secondly, The corner panels you see with no art, those are covered acoustic suede from Acoustimac. I felt I couldn't breath through that either.

Either I'm not doing the test right or I have to get my lungs checked.

It would be so cool if someone could actually test the society6.com tapestry fabric's acoustic properties. I feel this would be a wet dream for anyone building their own panels that wants to customize the look since they have millions of every style of art and photos.
Old 2nd July 2017
  #15
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Owen L T's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aram9012 View Post
Thanks so much!! Well put. And I'm ok with that,assuming the loss of performance is minimal.

What threw me off with that fabric test is that, I actually had some Guilford of Maine that I took off old panels that were given to me. I actually used them on the backs of all these panels. I felt I couldn't breath through those. And secondly, The corner panels you see with no art, those are covered acoustic suede from Acoustimac. I felt I couldn't breath through that either.

Either I'm not doing the test right or I have to get my lungs checked.

It would be so cool if someone could actually test the society6.com tapestry fabric's acoustic properties. I feel this would be a wet dream for anyone building their own panels that wants to customize the look since they have millions of every style of art and photos.
There wasn't much guidance, in general, about what terrible things would happen to one's panels if the fabric wasn't breathable, or what the sliding scale of breathability was. But from what I've been able to piece together it (a) only affects the upper frequencies; and (b) not by very much.

I warned the assistant in John Lewis's fabric department that I was looking for fabric with which to front acoustic panels, and that I was going to attempt to breathe through any samples I liked. Which, duly, I did. This being England, he didn't bat an eyelid, though I assume he had a good laugh about it later! You definitely CAN tell the difference in airflow, and in particular I noticed a huge difference between more robust, tight weave, and the fabric I bought, where you can clearly see the fabric weaving in and out of itself. (And where, if you've not done it before, you can belatedly see clearly where you've cut across the weave on some panels, and with it on others!)

But most of the non-breathable ones all feel the same - and it was only when I identified some more obviously criss-crossed fabric that I went "ah, okay, this must be what they mean by 'breathable' ".
Old 3rd July 2017
  #16
Lives for gear
Well done! and with lots of style! Very nice. Enjoy yourself for a while and appreciate the care you took to get there.
Michael
Old 4th July 2017
  #17
Gear Head
 

Gotcha. Thanks Owen L T. That makes a lot of sense. I just felt with the amount of that fabric one needs on their wall, some art would really make the room feel better. Fingers crossed everything will work out. I haven't tested the room yet, partly because my brain is really fatigued from learning new procedures and partly because I'm scared of what I may find. But one day I will, and adjust accordingly.

mcintalker Thanks so much! Now the easy part. Write brilliant music.
Old 7th August 2018
  #18
Here for the gear
 

Aram9012, can you tell us what the size of the space was before you started and after finished? Also, if you don’t mind sharing, what did it cost you?
Old 10th August 2018
  #19
Gear Addict
 

If you don't mind my asking, how did you get that finish on the walls? Was it done in several stages with different colors -- or was it deliberate, uneven brushing with one? The entire space looks great, walls and everything else.
Old 10th August 2018
  #20
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12tone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WorldPowerLabs View Post
If you don't mind my asking, how did you get that finish on the walls? Was it done in several stages with different colors -- or was it deliberate, uneven brushing with one?
Looks quasi Rothko-esque...
Old 24th November 2018
  #21
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnskinner View Post
Aram9012, can you tell us what the size of the space was before you started and after finished? Also, if you don’t mind sharing, what did it cost you?
The internal space was about 19' by 19' before I started. I split the garage into the studio which became 18' x 14' and a storage space about 3' x 19.'

I don't know exactly how much it all cost but I think it's in the 10K - 13K range. haha. It was paid for and completed little by little over a year.

I can tell you some of the biggest expenses...

-The garage door build was about $2500
-The Daikin AC unit was about $1700 with installation.
-I paid builders $3200 to frame the new walls, and then to dry wall. Just for labor.
-The HRV unit was $500.
-Laminate flooring $450

-I was fortunate to get 2nd hand fiberglass for free for the panels.
-Definitely got creative and clever as to how to get things done cheap. I did most of it myself.
Old 24th November 2018
  #22
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WorldPowerLabs View Post
If you don't mind my asking, how did you get that finish on the walls? Was it done in several stages with different colors -- or was it deliberate, uneven brushing with one? The entire space looks great, walls and everything else.
Again, sorry for the delay, i just saw this.

It's pretty easy to get the finish on the walls.

Start with a white primed wall. The grab your dark paint color. A large brush, and start painting. Vertical strokes, don't saturate the brush too much, and a lot of vertical "scrubbing"motion to get all the spots. And you'll naturally get that mixed translucent look. It's takes some effort to get a consistent level of darkness throughout.

You can even dilute the paint with a glaze and that'l let you work slower and more carefully. I didn't do this though.

It takes a lot of elbow grease.
Old 24th November 2018
  #23
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Pictus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aram9012 View Post
Gotcha. Thanks Owen L T. That makes a lot of sense. I just felt with the amount of that fabric one needs on their wall, some art would really make the room feel better. Fingers crossed everything will work out. I haven't tested the room yet, partly because my brain is really fatigued from learning new procedures and partly because I'm scared of what I may find. But one day I will, and adjust accordingly.

mcintalker Thanks so much! Now the easy part. Write brilliant music.
Congratulations!
I loved the decoration!!
If with the hard part you achieved so much, imagine the easy one!!!
Old 26th November 2018
  #24
Gear Addict
 

Thank you for explaining your technique. I have a room where the previous residents decided to "DIY" the drywall installation -- and it shows if you look at the walls at from a shallow angle. I think that a finishing technique like yours will help me hide some of the flaws after I smooth out the worst of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aram9012 View Post
Again, sorry for the delay, i just saw this.

It's pretty easy to get the finish on the walls.

Start with a white primed wall. The grab your dark paint color. A large brush, and start painting. Vertical strokes, don't saturate the brush too much, and a lot of vertical "scrubbing"motion to get all the spots. And you'll naturally get that mixed translucent look. It's takes some effort to get a consistent level of darkness throughout.

You can even dilute the paint with a glaze and that'l let you work slower and more carefully. I didn't do this though.

It takes a lot of elbow grease.
Old 10th July 2019
  #25
Gear Nut
 

Bringing this relatively older thread to life. Not sure if Aram is going to see this though.
....

My questions for Aram or anybody who has an opinion/experience about similar projects:

1) I'm pretty sure you closed down the Garage door side of the studio with double 5/8"s as well, but do you also have a door behind that exterior garage door? Edit: Never mind! Looks like the rear section of your room is the storage area, so no additional doors.

2) Are you getting any noise through those double doors?

3) How quiet is that Daikin mini-split? Is it normally ON when you're recording an acoustic instrument?

4) I've seen some people use those 'Resilient channels' for Drywalling. You didn't think they'd be helpful? Edit: After reading more threads, I realized with the Dual frame technique you no longer have to use RC channels. Please correct me if i'm wrong.

You've done a great job by the way! It looks VERY inspiring. Mine will have to have an acoustic piano in there.
Old 3 days ago
  #26
Gear Head
 

Hi "In the Mix" I just saw this, so sorry for the late reply.


Quote:
Originally Posted by In The Mix View Post
Bringing this relatively older thread to life. Not sure if Aram is going to see this though.
....

My questions for Aram or anybody who has an opinion/experience about similar projects:

1) I'm pretty sure you closed down the Garage door side of the studio with double 5/8"s as well, but do you also have a door behind that exterior garage door? Edit: Never mind! Looks like the rear section of your room is the storage area, so no additional doors.

Correct, No additional doors. There is a 3 ft deep storage area, and then we framed 2 studded walls with double 5/8 drywall. So No noise is coming in that way! The noise has to get through my insulated garage doors, then 4 sheets of 5/8 drywall.

2) Are you getting any noise through those double doors?
No.


3) How quiet is that Daikin mini-split? Is it normally ON when you're recording an acoustic instrument?

It's really quiet. It has a very low fan setting that I think keeps the rooms cool and is all you need most of the time. It's barely audible and I often forget to turn it off for recordings and can't tell the difference.


4) I've seen some people use those 'Resilient channels' for Drywalling. You didn't think they'd be helpful? Edit: After reading more threads, I realized with the Dual frame technique you no longer have to use RC channels. Please correct me if i'm wrong.

I'm no expert, but yes, that is the same principle I took from reading Rod's book and posts here. The decoupling is already happenning from teh 2 studded walls so no need for the resilient channels.


You've done a great job by the way! It looks VERY inspiring. Mine will have to have an acoustic piano in there.
Thank you so much! I've since moved my piano in here. The room is great! I love working in here. The soundproofing is definitely perfect 95% of the time. An occasional helicopter noise, bass rumble from garbage truck, or gardener's leaf blower sound will get through. Unfortunately we're selling our house, and I now I have to build a new one.
Old 2 days ago
  #27
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aram9012 View Post
Hi "In the Mix" I just saw this, so sorry for the late reply.




Thank you so much! I've since moved my piano in here. The room is great! I love working in here. The soundproofing is definitely perfect 95% of the time. An occasional helicopter noise, bass rumble from garbage truck, or gardener's leaf blower sound will get through. Unfortunately we're selling our house, and I now I have to build a new one.
Thank you Aram,
I'm about to finish mine in a week or two. Even sound treatment and panels and stuff are a lot of work.

How did you like that Broan intake/outtake system? I still haven't installed mine.
Old 49 minutes ago
  #28
EOG
Here for the gear
Awesome room, paint is indeed over 9000! And Opals - what could possibly go wrong? More like could have gone, seems like it works still great for you.
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