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Another Boring Small Home Studio Assembly Thread
Old 10th August 2018
  #1
Gear Head
 
GriffMob's Avatar
Another Boring Small Home Studio Assembly Thread

Greetings All,

I'm using this thread as a place to consolidate the visual progress of a small, average room to be used for recording, as well as get insights from new sources and hopefully help others out who are doing the same thing.

Bought a new construction house recently, and turning one room into a mixing/tracking/recording area, for a variety of genres. There is also a large closet under my stairs which I will utilize as an isolated amp room for recording loud guitars.

The dimensions of this room are approximately 12.5' x 10' x 8'.

The posts that follow will chronicle the journey. I'm a little ahead of myself, so the pics I post might be a a couple of weeks old.

Sound/Acoustic treatment is EXTREMELY important to me, and is crucial for a studio of this size in a residential home. I might be putting the cart slightly before the horse, but I'll be treating this room before the speakers even go in.

To this end, I found this link VERY highly useful and would encourage anyone else who is putting together a home studio to learn it, live it, and love it:

amroc - THE Room Mode Calculator

Basically, you put in your room dimensions, and you'll be shown all of your room modes and whether or not your room has a "good" ratio.

More later.
Old 10th August 2018
  #2
Gear Head
 
GriffMob's Avatar
Here's the room shortly after moving in. Boring, I know.





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Last edited by GriffMob; 10th August 2018 at 07:20 PM..
Old 10th August 2018
  #3
Lives for gear
Did you think you posted something, or is your room white on white?
Old 10th August 2018
  #4
Gear Head
 
GriffMob's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
Did you think you posted something, or is your room white on white?
This is my first time posting images on here, and I must be dumb. I tried putting in links from Dropbox and Google photos, neither worked...

I figured it out
Old 10th August 2018
  #5
Gear Head
 
GriffMob's Avatar
First challenge

So the first challenge was what to do with the windows. The builder would not leave them out during construction, so I was stuck with them.

One window is right in the way of where I wanted to mount a 4K TV to use as a monitor, and the other looks like it's going to be a reflection point.

So I decided to cover the glass for outside aesthetics, and create an insert to cover them up on the inside.

Headed to WalMart and picked up some blackout curtains and they did the trick just fine. On the outside, all you see is black
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Old 10th August 2018
  #6
Lives for gear
As someone who has struggled to tame a slightly larger ex-bedroom, I caution you to expect that it will take a LOT of thick trapping in almost every possible placement to get really good acoustic results. By “a lot”, I mean probably more than you can now imagine. But it can be done.
No foam, no fiber less than four inches, a large cloud or multiple clouds, trap across floor/wall boundaries behind desk and furniture... if you have airspace that you do not occupy, reserve it for trapping. If you ever get the room too dead, take out one panel, you’re done.
Old 16th August 2018
  #7
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Owen L T's Avatar
Easy enough to put absorbers in the window recesses. Cut 4x1s that are the height of the recess. Stand them up on the left and right, resting on the sill. Cut 4x1 s that are the width of the remaining gap, and just slightly over, so that you have to bash them with a hammer to get them to fit in between the uprights, and wedge them into place. Fill the cavity with suitable Rockwool (discussed at length elsewhere). Staple your front fabric to the frame, stretching as you go. Get some nice wood finishing strips to tack over the front, to hide the hundreds of ugly staples. Job done. (Unless you need to sound-proof the cavity first, to limit sound escaping. That's a whole other ball of wax.)
Old 16th August 2018
  #8
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GriffMob's Avatar
The next step was to put a door on the room, as there was just a large open doorway to begin with. It's just a normal hollow-core door, as I'm not concerned with isolation here. The door looks like it might also be on a reflection point, so there will most likely be a panel installed on it.

(These pics show the outside of the room)
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Old 16th August 2018
  #9
Gear Head
 
GriffMob's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen L T View Post
Easy enough to put absorbers in the window recesses. Cut 4x1s that are the height of the recess. Stand them up on the left and right, resting on the sill. Cut 4x1 s that are the width of the remaining gap, and just slightly over, so that you have to bash them with a hammer to get them to fit in between the uprights, and wedge them into place. Fill the cavity with suitable Rockwool (discussed at length elsewhere). Staple your front fabric to the frame, stretching as you go. Get some nice wood finishing strips to tack over the front, to hide the hundreds of ugly staples. Job done. (Unless you need to sound-proof the cavity first, to limit sound escaping. That's a whole other ball of wax.)
That's pretty much what I ended up doing, but I attached drywall to the frame and used insulation inside. The bullnosed corners looked bad to me so I just taped the seams, textured it, and gave it a coat of primer.
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Old 16th August 2018
  #10
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GriffMob's Avatar
Clicked 'reply' before all the pics loaded.
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Old 17th August 2018
  #11
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GriffMob's Avatar
Next, we ripped out the carpet and painted. Now, I KNOW the orange looks bright in the pics, but it's awesome in person. And by the time I finish treating this space and the gear goes in, there wont be a whole lot of orange showing
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Old 17th August 2018
  #12
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Owen L T's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by GriffMob View Post
Clicked 'reply' before all the pics loaded.
If the idea is to block sound from getting out, then you'll definitely want to fill the void at the top (and any around the sides) with acoustic caulk. That gap at the top is just like cracking a door open ajar - it let's a whole of sound in/out, even if it's just a crack.

The orange looks great; it'll really pop with some white/light acoustic panels.
Old 17th August 2018
  #13
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Big Orange Studio?
Old 17th August 2018
  #14
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robert82's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
As someone who has struggled to tame a slightly larger ex-bedroom, I caution you to expect that it will take a LOT of thick trapping in almost every possible placement to get really good acoustic results. By “a lot”, I mean probably more than you can now imagine. But it can be done.
No foam, no fiber less than four inches, a large cloud or multiple clouds, trap across floor/wall boundaries behind desk and furniture... if you have airspace that you do not occupy, reserve it for trapping. If you ever get the room too dead, take out one panel, you’re done.
To the OP:

Read this post. Then read it again.
Old 17th August 2018
  #15
Gear Head
 
GriffMob's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen L T View Post
If the idea is to block sound from getting out, then you'll definitely want to fill the void at the top (and any around the sides) with acoustic caulk. That gap at the top is just like cracking a door open ajar - it let's a whole of sound in/out, even if it's just a crack.

The orange looks great; it'll really pop with some white/light acoustic panels.
Thanks Owen! The panels will be tri-colored with three shades of gray. If it looks as good as my mock ups, should be pretty dope
Old 17th August 2018
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
Big Orange Studio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
To the OP:

Read this post. Then read it again.
YES, x1000.

Which is why in the OP I said I'm treating the room before the gear goes in. I am taking some basic test recordings along the way just to compare the progress, but I don't even want to get accustomed to the sound of the room until it's fully treated. By the time all the superchunks and reflection panels go in, there will be far less orange showing
Old 18th August 2018
  #17
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Next, it was time for flooring. After a couple of hours of prep of the bare concrete, we laid down some great stuff from Home Depot. It's durable, looks great, and was super easy to install.
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Old 23rd October 2018
  #18
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drop ceiling

Instead of a cloud, I opted for a drop ceiling. Since the height is only 8 feet, I decided to only give up 4 inches. There is a large airspace above the drywall, with a carpeted second floor above that.
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Old 23rd October 2018
  #19
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Ceiling tiles

After reading countless threads on this forum and elsewhere, I decided to make my own ceiling tiles from 1 inch OC703, and place one layer of 3.5" cotton Denim Ultratouch over that.

I found a local supplier that had the OC703 for roughly 8 bucks a sheet (24"x48") and was all set to drop the coin when I lucked out...

I found a guy on Craigslist who had just built a voiceover studio in his home and overbought some Roxul Rockwool 60, which is pretty much identical to OC703.

He had 20 sheets new in boxes, got 'em all for $50! Plus, he had 2 tubes of Green Glue AND the dispenser which he threw in for free.

I cut 15 sheets in half for the ceiling tiles and covered them with Vigoro Weed Control fabric from Home Depot. Highly recommended. This stuff looks great, is acoustically transparent, easy to work with, and is cheap...over 16 yards in a roll that costs under 20 bucks.

An electric knife is the BEST way to cut rockwool. Slices through like melted butter.

The Ultratouch though...is a bitch to cut. The electric knife struggled with this a bit and most times it was easier to just tear it. However, it too was easy to work with and less hassle than fiberglass. Just have to wear a mask.
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Old 23rd October 2018
  #20
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Thanks for the pics and step by step! Not enough people go take the time to do their small rooms right!
Old 23rd October 2018
  #21
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Next, Super Chunks...

Next, it was time for the super chunks in all the corners. If you're gonna do these, do the larger size. 24" on the sides and roughly 34" across the front.

I used vinyl corner bead from Home Depot and riveted together the frames. The vinyl is much more forgiving than the metal, and is cheaper. It seems flimsy at first but once it's riveted it becomes more rigid and stable.

I used light cardboard to fill in the side panels, because I chose to use fluffy pink (yellow) fiberglass and I didn't want the fibers to get out anywhere.

With the fiberglass, I lucked out once again. Craigslist to the rescue! I found a guy about 5 miles away who had 5 foot rolls of the stuff. I can't remember how many feet long the roll was, but I barely used any of it for all 4 chunks, about 92" high each.

The chunks were also covered with the Vigoro Weed fabric, altogether I needed 3 rolls of fabric for the ceiling and the chunks, but I have quite a bit left. I don't think I'll use it for the reflection panels, so not sure what to do with the remainder yet.

I'm going to be using a large closet as an amp room for isolation, and had to route some wiring across the space between floors. I'm keeping the amp head in the room, so I just ran 2 mic cables and a speaker cable into the closet. More on that later.
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Old 23rd October 2018
  #22
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GriffMob's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerry123 View Post
Thanks for the pics and step by step! Not enough people go take the time to do their small rooms right!
Happy to contribute...thank you for your nice words!

If I can help just one other person to realize the vital importance of acoustic treatment, I feel like I've done my job,
Old 15th February 2020
  #23
Here for the gear
 

Similar Build

Hey Thanks for posting everything. Looks great and nice work.

I'm planning to convert a residential bedroom to a studio myself although I am strongly considering building a room within a room to get some sound isolation (laundry is one door away, tenant one wall away, kids one ceiling away etc...) Curious what steered you away from sound isolation/proofing and to just focus on acoustical treatment?

I am going to be recording vocals in the room and then maybe some acoustic guitar, and possibly electric guitar (also have a closet, understairs, that i was thinking would be great for guitar amps... although my current concern is that this space is strongly prone to flanking and don't know how im going to double door as it's a bifold) Anyways... I might do a similar drop ceiling setup to you. Nice to see as I haven't seen much of it around.

My current ceiling plan is to rip out old drywall, put up new rockwool safe n sound, 2 layers 5/8 drywall. (not sure if rezbar is necessary as this is actually the first ceiling). Plans from there are either drop ceiling w/ 2 layers rockwool. OR frame new ceiling joists to sit on new walls (airgap between old ceiling and new) and then do roxul and drywall again... but I still need to measure how much height Im going to lose.

J
Old 16th February 2020
  #24
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Hi,

My room is only about 10 x 12 so building a room within the room method would have left me with no room, LOL. I have a separate isolation closet for amps so the main room is just for mixing/acoustic guitar/vocals, so no real isolation was needed in my situation. Hope this helps.
Old 19th February 2020
  #25
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Hello @ GriffMob - did you finish the room? Can we see pictures please?!
Old 23rd February 2020
  #26
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Finished room

Here is the finished room. With all the treatment, the room is pretty decent (well, as good as it can be, really) I'm thinking of trying SonorWorks to get it the rest of the way, but mixes in here seem to translate pretty well.

As long as you do chunks in all corners, treat the floor, ceiling and all reflection points properly, you can get in the ballpark at least.

The screen you see is a 55" 4K TV, works great as a monitor. My GPU can't do 4K at 60hz, so for now I use it in 1080 HD and it's nice.

Studio C (Closet, heehee) was stuffed chock full of 6" fluffy fiberglass and then carpeted over the drywall. Isolation in there is great. I measured SPL levels at around 100db from the cabinet, and in the hallway with both doors closed it was between 60-70. My wife can watch TV in the next room and not be bothered, so it works good.

I find I can get the best bass sounds in Studio B.
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Old 23rd February 2020
  #27
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This is great! Thanks so much for sharing the pics and details of your build. Looks like a lot of hard work went into this. Here's to many great recordings in your new space!

(Sorry - I have to go to Studio B to, er, see a man about a horse.)
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