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Home Studio Build
Old 25th April 2007
  #1
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Home Studio Build

We all have seen the many *awesome* studio build threads on this site from guys that are building out some really amazing pro studios, but we rarely get to see the budget home studio builds.

I have another similar thread going over at the Sound on Sound forums, but thought I would duplicate it a bit here to get a bit more exposure and hopefully some good feedback.

Home studios are always an exercise in compromises. The space is usually less than optimum, the budgets are usually much less than those that do this for a living and can take out small business loans, etc.

Hopefully, this thread will be helpful to some of those who like me, only dream of building those awesome state-of-the-art places that we see all these cool threads about.

I am also hopeful that some of my more experienced brethren will be able to give me some suggestions to help with the design.

A lot of the information for this build came from here:

"Home Recording Studio
Build it Like the Pros"

By Rod Gervais

ISBN: 1-59863-034-2

This is a great book, and I highly recommend it to anyone attempting a home studio build.

So, with that preamble... here goes!!!
Old 25th April 2007
  #2
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Here is a **basic** sketch of the plans. These drawings show some *REALLY* splayed walls in the control room, but this is no longer in the plans. Also, some of the dimensions have changed, although when I resized the drawing to fit on the screen for the forum post, it is pretty hard to read the numbers anyway.


Old 25th April 2007
  #3
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This project has its share of "issues" as do all projects like this. One of the biggest issues that I have had to deal with is the existing HVAC ductwork. The existing ductwork needed to be accommodated, so some interesting compromises existed.

Here is quick pic of the existing ductwork which you can see at the top left of the pic:





This ductwork extends down about 6" or so below the floor joists, and makes the construction of a ceiling a bit challenging. I do not want to lose that 6" all the way across the room, so I decided pretty early on that I needed to frame in the ductwork so that the ceiling would be lower in the front part of the room. Here is another of my famous "quick sketches" of what I am planning for the ceiling. This picture is a side view of the room with the floor at the bottom, and the ceiling at the top. The red line at the top is the proposed plan for the new ceiling.


Old 25th April 2007
  #4
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The first thing I did was to frame in one of the walls to the studio-to-live room window:


Old 25th April 2007
  #5
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Next came the floor.

After doing a lot of reading and researching, I decided *NOT* to float the floor. From what I understand, if you incorrectly float the floor, it is worse than not floating it at all. I decided therefore that I would create a solid floor, and fill the area in-between the floor joists with sand to make the *VERY* solid.

This was not an easy task in a basement since it involved hauling a couple of thousand pounds of sand down to the basement in bags, 50 lbs at at time!!! Ouch, my aching back!

The first step was to line the cement floor with a vapor barrier. I used 6 mil plastic sheeting as the barrier, and sealed the seams between sheets with silicone. I then shot nails through the floor joists into the cement floor. All the floor boards are treated wood.





Next, came the sand:


Old 25th April 2007
  #6
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The next step was to install the sub floor. I chose 2 layers of 3/4" plywood as I really wanted this sucker to be sturdy. I sealed each seam with silicone.

Old 25th April 2007
  #7
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The next thing I needed to do was to install the HVAC ducts for the control room. I installed 2 exhausts and 1 return. I cut into the top of the existing ductwork from my post above, and installed the sheetmetal joints. I don't have any pics of this part yet, sorry. I will try to get some shots of it when I next get down there with the camera.
Old 25th April 2007
  #8
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Next up... framing

In this first picture, you can barely make out the door frame to the right.







In this second picture, you can see how we framed in the HVAC ductwork at the top of the picture. The bulkhead is a pair of 2x8's, which should be plenty to support the drywall. You can also see how they added the inner wall and the second widow frame. There is about a 6 inch gap between the walls.







In this third picture, you can see a closer shot of how we framed the HVAC ductwork. Those ceiling joists are only there to support the drywall as everything is free-floating. Therefore we made them 24" on center rather than 16".







This last picture of the set is intended to show the parallel walls, but it is not really all that clear. As mentioned, there is about a 6" gap between the walls all the way around, and no part of the new walls are touching any of the existing structure. ("Room-within-a-room" design)



Old 25th April 2007
  #9
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cool.
Old 25th April 2007
  #10
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Over the last few days, we have made a lot of progress, even though *visually* things don't look that different.

We have been wrapping and insulating the HVAC ductwork and copper plumbing... the copper pipe wrap is more to prevent condensation than anything else...

The electrical wiring is also almost complete, although I am still struggling to spec out the appropriate lighting fixtures.

Here are a couple of closeup pics showing the junction boxes that I needed to use so that they would stick out through the drywall enough to be able to layer 2 sheets of 5/8" drywall. For those of you who are "math challenged", This means that 1 1/4" of the box needs to stick out past the edge of the wall stud. These boxes are *really* deep, and have screw mounting holes on the sides instead of nails.

As it turns out, these boxes are harder to find than I thought, and a bit of a pain to install. They have a small metal tab on one of the corners that does not allow the box to mount flush to the wall stud when using the 1 1/4" overhang So for each box, I had to route out a small notch of the stud in order to get the box to mount flush. You can barely see it at the bottom of the second picture.


Old 25th April 2007
  #11
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good idea on the sand. It doesnt look like a floating floor would have worked well for ceiling height anyway. Looks like the ceiling is already low enough and loosing a few inches on the float wouldnt help.
Old 25th April 2007
  #12
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Lookin' good!

I'll be posting a similar thread in a couple of weeks to chronical my experiences building my new control room. HVAC is a b*tch! Electricians finished up today, all that's left for me is the drop ceiling, caulking, more rigid fiberglass, and cabling!

Keep us updated!

Old 25th April 2007
  #13
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Flooring

i feel your pain i am also building a studio. on the floor issue, yeah rods book is well laid out. have you been to studiotips.com site? i suggest you vist that site, it's full of good stuff. on your floor i decided to not do the floating thing also but the sand thing "according to some people at studiotips.com can still put your floor into "resonance mode" and possibly make it like a big drum head. maybe it will, maybe it won't. you never really know till your done. after i had the crap scared out of me about floor construction i decided to just lay down a couple layers of 3/4" plywood and then my 3/4" maple flooring. of course this is just one issue of many in the "studio build". however i do recommend checking out the site i mentioned. very useful and saved me thousands and from making serious mistakes.

good luck, we will need it

i posted some pics where i am at
Attached Thumbnails
Home Studio Build-liveroom.jpg   Home Studio Build-liveroom2.jpg   Home Studio Build-control1.jpg   Home Studio Build-control2.jpg   Home Studio Build-control3.jpg  

Old 25th April 2007
  #14
For the wall seperating your live room did you do staggered stud?I love these build threads I'm sorry that I didn't get pictures when I was doing mine
Old 25th April 2007
  #15
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Jeff:

Thanks for the Sudiotips.com site advice. I have heard of it, but never been there. john Salyer's site is also a good place.

Your new place looks amazing! It is *way* beyond my humble joint, but that was hopefully the point of this thread... us poor guys!!!

Good luck with your build!





Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
For the wall seperating your live room did you do staggered stud?I love these build threads I'm sorry that I didn't get pictures when I was doing mine


I did not do "staggered stud" walls, but rather used independent floor plates. Each wall has its own support structure. My understanding of "staggered stud" walls is that they use the same floor plate (2x8?) and then you stagger the studs on each wall.

As it turns out however, the wall studs do not line up between the two walls, but that was a function of the how things worked out rather than by design.
Old 25th April 2007
  #16
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Here is a question that has me concerned all of a sudden, especially this far into the wiring:

Should I be using surface-mount wall plug junction boxes rather than having them mounted to the studs and sticking through the dry wall??? This would apply to lighting switches and light mounting schemes as well.

I am all of a sudden concerned that I am going to be creating HUGE holes in my soundproofing using the method I am currently using.

HELP!!! I am neck-deep in wire, and need to get this clarified before I go much further!

Thanks!
Old 26th April 2007
  #17
Insulate around the receptacle and caulk
Old 26th April 2007
  #18
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I used acoustic tape on the studs where the boxes were to be affixed to. Then, I insulated around it and sealed it using a combination of Great Stuff (the not-so-expanding door type, not the regular kind) and acoustic caulk.
Old 26th April 2007
  #19
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AC BOX MOUNT

Doublehelix,

I am glad you brought that up. Fix it now before you can't. What your nervous about is the same thing that bugged me. This is my own invention. It's kind of a hassel but once you figure out the building scheme it goes pretty good.

I used metal boxes because i think plastic ones suck.

I am using electrical conduit and you'll need a fitting with a flange on it that goes through the knockout in the bottom of the metal box so you can glue the through conduit piece into for your wire.

Make sure your using the USG brand Acoustical Caulking on all of you caulking work. It's the only brand of caulking that has been tested. I am a big fan of using only products that have been tested in labs for acoustical properties.

The beauty of this is once you've got the sheetrock up all you do is mount your like "wire mold surface low profile box" into your 2x4 with sheetrock screws wire up your recepticals and back-fill the tube with acoustical caulking and bing, bang, boom, your done. Minimal intrusion and you don't have this hugh hole that you can't seal very well in your wall you spent so much time and money on.

I know it's a bitch that you have got these already mounted but don't skimp on this, do it right and save your stc rated walls. Believe me i have had to redo stuff also and i am glad i did. your in the build stage and you have the oppertunity to correct this now, you will be happy in the long run.

Good Luck
Attached Thumbnails
Home Studio Build-ac-box-mount.jpg   Home Studio Build-ac-box-mount-2.jpg  
Old 26th April 2007
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

The way to deal with your outlet boxes is to cover them with putty packs. I would think that Rod's book would mention them since I'm pretty sure I got this idea from him over at Sayers' forum. You could do a search over there.

Unfortunately I don't have the brand and model at my fingertips since I did my build years ago, but the putty packs are normally used for additional fire rating on electrical boxes.

Also, don't put any outlets or holes in your wall back to back or 'short' the studs of double studded walls with conduit. That is, use a separate conduit system for each room. Oops, looks like you're not using conduit. Sorry, didn't notice at first.

The way I dealt with the outlet boxes themselves was to use a standard box plus an extension plus a mud ring.
Old 26th June 2007
  #21
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I am placing a couple of junction boxes into an existing wall. I cannot get to the backside so I have to install the junction box from the finished drywall side. I was using plastic junction boxes that have the nails in them but this would require a giant hole in order to get the nail and the box in. Is there a junction box for this purpose or just find one that doesn't have nails cut it in and then caulk around it. btw, Is there somwhere locally that I can get acoustic caulk...I live in Nashville if that helps anyone. Great thread!
Old 6th July 2012
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdunard View Post
I am placing a couple of junction boxes into an existing wall. I cannot get to the backside so I have to install the junction box from the finished drywall side. I was using plastic junction boxes that have the nails in them but this would require a giant hole in order to get the nail and the box in. Is there a junction box for this purpose or just find one that doesn't have nails cut it in and then caulk around it. btw, Is there somwhere locally that I can get acoustic caulk...I live in Nashville if that helps anyone. Great thread!
I bought my acoustical sealant from these guys:
Door Soundproofing, Green Glue items in TMsoundproofing store on eBay!

Price was good and they shipped fast. I don't see putty packs listed currently, but you might be able to contact them and see if they have / can get (for your outlets).
Old 26th April 2014
  #23
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None of the pictures are showing up
Old 25th July 2014
  #24
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by gearz View Post
None of the pictures are showing up
It's because they were posted in 2007. Probably not online anymore.
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