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Townhome Basement Drum Room Build Suggestions Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 11th September 2015
  #1
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Townhome Basement Drum Room Build Suggestions

Greetings all,

I have been scouring this site and others for the better part of the past week regarding a project I would like to have tackled.

The Goal
I would like to have a particular room in my basement sound treated such that I can play my acoustic drum set without disturbing the other people in the house or neighbors. I have read a lot about various methods, but seeing as I will be paying a contractor to do the work, I would like the job done, as well as possible, the first go around. I have read a lot about various methods of sound treatment, but it would really put my mind at ease if someone far more knowledgeable than me spoon fed me what they think is the best way to accomplish this goal.

I do not particularly care about sound quality, right now, I just want to contain the sound.

The Budget
I would like the materials cost to be under $2000. If this is way high of a budget, I am happy to pay less. If this is just shy of a sure-fire method for accomplishing my goal, I may be flexible.

The Space
Click here for a rough mock-up of the room.

The small square in the upper left of the room is a drywall closet which can very easily be torn down. A little more difficult is that there is a full bath and laundry room inside the room, too. I would be willing to see if the door can get moved to the other side of these rooms (as there is a bigger room on the other side of them), but it may be possible to just buy heavy duty doors? The good news is the right most wall is drywall over solid slab concrete foundation. At least no wall is connected to a neighbor's house.


As of right now, my best inclination is to trust the SoundProofingCompany's website and try to go with wall solution 5 (clips, channel, GG, drywall), but, again, I would love to hear it from someone with experience say what will work.

Please let me know if there is any more information you need from me to help guide me towards my goal. I just want to play my beloved drums without bothering anyone else!

-Evan
Old 11th September 2015
  #2
Hey. Not sure how deeply you've looked into pricing on the materials. Your room is roughly 180sqf. A budget of $2k means $11 per sqf. That wouldn't cover the materials for a room that size, add to that labor.
It would take much more than that to isolate a room that size with a drum kit playing.

I didn't see a ceiling height notated on the image. That makes a considerable difference in a lot of designs.
Old 12th September 2015
  #3
Here are a couple links to videos of my studio build of years ago.I believe some of the information may help you with your current project.

Basement Control Room - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwccUGUCHM0

Live Room - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cVo353Qbgg

I'll try to find my material cost list and will post it.
Old 12th September 2015
  #4
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norton's Avatar
For drum isolation you're going to want to demo the room back to the studs. Insulate all cavities with r19 or better and use some sort of decoupling assembly for your walls and ceiling. Resilient channel is the most likely solution where ceiling height is an issue, or risic clips and hat channel etc...

Then you've got your Sheetrock/gg assembly. It would be wise to also address the floor through structure transmission as well and float a drum riser as well.

I think $2k could get you quite a ways, if you were doing all the work yourself and were able to sneak out your construction debris piece by piece in your residential trash.
Old 12th September 2015
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmetal View Post
Hey. Not sure how deeply you've looked into pricing on the materials. Your room is roughly 180sqf. A budget of $2k means $11 per sqf. That wouldn't cover the materials for a room that size, add to that labor.
It would take much more than that to isolate a room that size with a drum kit playing.

I didn't see a ceiling height notated on the image. That makes a considerable difference in a lot of designs.
I will get a ceiling height measurement tomorrow. I am fine with 2k covering the materials.

To the others I will look into the flooring and the generous videos, but what do you all think about the laundry and bathroom? Would I have to relocate the doors or are there solid enough door systems to not have to do that?
Old 12th September 2015
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by norton View Post
For drum isolation you're going to want to demo the room back to the studs. Insulate all cavities with r19 or better and use some sort of decoupling assembly for your walls and ceiling. Resilient channel is the most likely solution where ceiling height is an issue, or risic clips and hat channel etc...

Then you've got your Sheetrock/gg assembly. It would be wise to also address the floor through structure transmission as well and float a drum riser as well.

I think $2k could get you quite a ways, if you were doing all the work yourself and were able to sneak out your construction debris piece by piece in your residential trash.
$2k would barely cover the channel and caulking for a room that size.
Old 12th September 2015
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmetal View Post
$2k would barely cover the channel and caulking for a room that size.
Okay, forget the hard number for now, I should have started with finding out how to do it the way that will work. I hope the materials do not slaughter my wallet TOO much, but I understand how hard it is to successfully suppress drums.

So, forgetting the number, what would you do with this room?
Old 13th September 2015
  #8
If it's a concrete floor... I'd plan on a room within a room for the whole area. If you have the ceiling height an independent ceiling is the more efficient option from a cost benefit stance. If ceiling height won't allow that, and money was plentiful I'd use risc clips and gg. The structure has to be able to support the load. Typical installs with this system max out at 3layers of fire ode drywall. Add the glue between layers, that's about as much iso as I would expect. For less but not 'alot' less you have a basic resilient channel which I'm not sure off the top of my head, can or cannot support three layers of fire code drywall.
Usually higher loads require tighter spacing between channels and more clips screws Ect, so more money. Green glue is also the same deal, high performance tight space, higher cost of entry.

I'd go for the most isolation because with a drum kit your gonna need it. Ceiling height will really determine big things in the design regarding cost and expected isolation.
Its imho almost always easier to rip down basic walls like would tidally exist in the laundry and bathroom, and frame them with their own ceiling Ect, and count it as usable space, for not much more money.
It's a lot easer to plan and build with eepvrything wide open, whenever possible.
So if I had the room a nice big room within a room on the common foundation would be my first choice. Bang for the buck materials and labor. I'd plan on multiple layers of drywall added to the outer shell, and multiple layers on the inner shell. Depending on if it was a jazz drummer, or a rock band, and the neighbors/housemate I'd weigh up the cost of GG.

When all is said and done youd end up with a room about 40% smaller than the outer dimensions, so it'd be cozy. It could give you reasosnbel isolation for a reasonable drummer, and it would easily cost $30k. Electrical services, plumbing, cables, all have substantial prices.
I'd be really sure I wanted this before I put a dime down. Plan plan plan.
Old 13th September 2015
  #9
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norton's Avatar
There are a few important questions that need to be sussed out. What's the layout as far as common walls with the other units? I'd imagine the slab is not shared. Ceilin height? Can you hear the neighbors now? When was the unit built? Windows? Doors?

I ask, because the driving force behind the refinement of green glue was condo/townhome construction. It's possible that your town home could already have gg assembly's in place. It would be worth checking into. Windows doors and hvac points of connection are wek links and will need to be treated very carefully to keep up with the performance of your walls/ceiling. Not impossible, not even necessarily crazy expensive....but very important.

kmetal is totally on the money..... a room within a room would be ideal. However ideal isn't always practical. Even if you were going for a room within a room you could still adapt your existing hvac and electrical. However, dedicated circuits for studio spaces are always preferred.

If your room is in a basement.... I'd strongly recommend the floating decoupled drum riser. This is crucial for keeping the drum transients from leaking through the entire structure.

3 layers of Sheetrock and gg are better than two. However you hit a steep wall of diminishing returns after that 2nd layer of rock goes on. You may be better served by having fiberglass insulation blown in (not cellulose). But blown fiberglass. You can get a bigger jump in stc with a more densely packed insulated cavity than another layer of rock would provide.

In addition, a sandwich of 1/2" rock and gg on rc will out perform a sandwich of 5/8" rock and gg mounted directly to studs. Similarly...studs 24" on center are better than 16" oc....and steel studs are better than wood as far as stc targeted assembly's go. Isolation clips tend to outperform RC but only very slightly so. If you are on a budget I'd go with the lightest gauge of Dietrich RC you can get, and make up the slight loss in another area.

It's important to look at any sound isolation situation as a system. No one product or assembly is a magic bullet to acoustic isolation. You've got to look at the room as a whole and address each element with the end goal as the focus.
Old 14th September 2015
  #10
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To answer some questions, the ceiling is 92inches high. An HVAC vent DOES run through it unfortunately. The common wall is foundation, but I am not sure if it is shared with the other neighbors. I haven't heard the other neighbor's at all in any part of the house thus far, but I haven't lived there full time yet as work still needs to be done in other parts of the house. The unit was built in 1989, there are no windows in the room, and there is a door to the rest of the basement, then internal to the room doors to the laundry and bathroom. I believe the flooring is just carpet on top of concrete.

To elaborate further on the goal, if my tenants can watch TV up a floor at a comfortable level and very faintly hear me, that's okay. I do not intend to play at midnight.
Old 14th September 2015
  #11
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norton's Avatar
Ceiling height is an issue. If you use clips you'll be looking at a very low ceiling. Is go with rc on the ceiling. The hvac duct that runs through the room is only a hassle because you need to build around it.

The hvac concerns imwould focus on are the intake and supply lines that feed the room. They will need to be dealt with. I've had great results by using insulated 4" ducting and undulating it through a wall/ceiling cavity. The insulation,and bends allow good airflow but keep sound leaks to a minimum.

1989. No green glue.

Common wall is concrete foundation? But you're not sure what that space is on the other side?

For that concrete wall I'd suggest a steel stud wall 24" o.c. close to, but not touching that concrete wall, insulate it and gg/Sheetrock it. You can get steel studs at 1 5/8" which won't eat up much space. You can rc that steel stud wall if you want to go all out. The rest of the space rc, gg and double rock at minimum.

And a drum riser. 2" rigid insulation wrapped in fabric or plastic to prevent shedding... Plywood top, offset stacking pattern screwed together....you can gg the plywood together or add some other layer of damped material on top of the plywood. Mlv, etc....and top it with carpet.

This type of build out should give you excellent isolation. A smartphone playing music would completely drown out what might leak through.

Of course....the door and any hvac into the space also need to be treated. Solid core door, or add gg/wood to a solid door, tight framing around the door, all gaps filled/insulated. Beefed up weather stripping and door stop and thresh hold.
Old 16th September 2015
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by norton View Post
There are a few important questions that need to be sussed out. What's the layout as far as common walls with the other units? I'd imagine the slab is not shared. Ceilin height? Can you hear the neighbors now? When was the unit built? Windows? Doors?

I ask, because the driving force behind the refinement of green glue was condo/townhome construction. It's possible that your town home could already have gg assembly's in place. It would be worth checking into. Windows doors and hvac points of connection are wek links and will need to be treated very carefully to keep up with the performance of your walls/ceiling. Not impossible, not even necessarily crazy expensive....but very important.

kmetal is totally on the money..... a room within a room would be ideal. However ideal isn't always practical. Even if you were going for a room within a room you could still adapt your existing hvac and electrical. However, dedicated circuits for studio spaces are always preferred.

If your room is in a basement.... I'd strongly recommend the floating decoupled drum riser. This is crucial for keeping the drum transients from leaking through the entire structure.

3 layers of Sheetrock and gg are better than two. However you hit a steep wall of diminishing returns after that 2nd layer of rock goes on. You may be better served by having fiberglass insulation blown in (not cellulose). But blown fiberglass. You can get a bigger jump in stc with a more densely packed insulated cavity than another layer of rock would provide.

In addition, a sandwich of 1/2" rock and gg on rc will out perform a sandwich of 5/8" rock and gg mounted directly to studs. Similarly...studs 24" on center are better than
16" oc....and steel studs are better than wood as far as stc targeted assembly's go. Isolation clips tend to outperform RC but only very slightly so. If you are on a budget I'd go with the lightest gauge of Dietrich RC you can get, and make up the slight loss in another area.

It's important to look at any sound isolation situation as a system. No one product or assembly is a magic bullet to acoustic isolation. You've got to look at the room as a whole and address each element with the end goal as the focus.

There is no reason to believe that floating a drum riser on a concrete basement studio floor is ever a good idea, unless in unusual circumstances.

A drum kit on the floor is as good as it gets. Drum risers unless designed properly make things worst by adding all kinds of sympathic hums and rattles. Making the sound and recording much worse. All with No gains in TL (isolation). if you need a wood deck on top of a foundation floor, for some reason like can,e runs, there are a couple ways to do it, either a basic sand filled wooden deck, or plywood over ridig fiber glass.

Floating a drum riser in this case is unnecessary, expensive, and will make things worse.

There is no reason to believe blown in insulation performs any better that typical rolled fluffy type. Insulation is to dampen the cavity only. Any changes that happen due to insulation type, are minuscule, and expensive. They are also only effective in a limited range of frequencies, a db at 1k in a isolated wall cavity is not worth the money. Save it using standard stuff (which has been acoustically tested and documented) in the walls.

I would like to see the documentation from Norton proving that blown in insulation can somehow outperform a third layer of drywall and GG. Considering the full range of a drum kit, and high dbs, we are talking bass frequencies that are below what stc ratings rate. TL is what we're talking. Blown in insulation simply doesn't have the mass to block bass like drywall does. Acoustic absorbsion is not what I'm speaking here.

ISO clips outperform channel systems by 4-6 db in general.

Steel studs while having the effect of a wood wall whith channel reach their max load far sooner than wood (ie less layers of drywall), and cannot support an independent ceiling until you get into heavy steel framing.
Old 16th September 2015
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by norton View Post
Ceiling height is an issue. If you use clips you'll be looking at a very low ceiling. Is go with rc on the ceiling. The hvac duct that runs through the room is only a hassle because you need to build around it.

The hvac concerns imwould focus on are the intake and supply lines that feed the room. They will need to be dealt with. I've had great results by using insulated 4" ducting and undulating it through a wall/ceiling cavity. The insulation,and bends allow good airflow but keep sound leaks to a minimum.

1989. No green glue.

Common wall is concrete foundation? But you're not sure what that space is on the other side?

For that concrete wall I'd suggest a steel stud wall 24" o.c. close to, but not touching that concrete wall, insulate it and gg/Sheetrock it. You can get steel studs at 1 5/8" which won't eat up much space. You can rc that steel stud wall if you want to go all out. The rest of the space rc, gg and double rock at minimum.

And a drum riser. 2" rigid insulation wrapped in fabric or plastic to prevent shedding... Plywood top, offset stacking pattern screwed together....you can gg the plywood together or add some other layer of damped material on top of the plywood. Mlv, etc....and top it with carpet.

This type of build out should give you excellent isolation. A smartphone playing music would completely drown out what might leak through.

Of course....the door and any hvac into the space also need to be treated. Solid core door, or add gg/wood to a solid door, tight framing around the door, all gaps filled/insulated. Beefed up weather stripping and door stop and thresh hold.
You make no mention of ceiling design.

You show no data as to how steel studs performance is improved with rc channel.
Old 17th September 2015
  #14
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norton's Avatar
Whoa.... Kmetal.... Whoa,

The drum riser is a device for physically decoupling the drum kit from the concrete floor. Concrete is a very effective "conductors of physical vibrations. Drum sets generate a lot of physical vibrations not only through the air...but through their stands etc.

The drum riser I proposed is designed to minimize that direct physical vibration transfer, and is a fairly common solution in eappleton's situation.

Rc on a separate decoupled steel stud wall.... Is kind of overkill, which I alluded to. There are a few assemblies I haven't been involved with in a testing facility. One of those is a double rc assembly (source and receiver side) and a double wall steel studs and rc assembly. I would expect that adding rc to steel studs 24" oc would be a very minimal gain. Perhaps a gain in a narrow frequency range, but not enough to gain any stc points. Since I've never seen it, or done it...I can't attest to its effectiveness.

As far as the insulation goes.... More is better, to a point. The concept behind blown in fiberglass is a very densely packed cavity. With blown fiber you get a perfect seal - no air gaps etc. It's a good thermal and acoustic solution. Regular fiberglass the thicker the better. You will gain stc points jumping from r-13 to r30. I've seen it happen in a lab.

I did mention the ceiling assembly. Rc and gg sandwiched Sheetrock. Clips are great...where ceiling height allows. In this instance I would opt for rc and a taller ceiling. Again, I am confident that a system like this, with. Decoupled drum set will allow eappleton to drum at nearly any hour and not disturb his neighbors, or the rest of his home.

Last edited by norton; 17th September 2015 at 04:11 PM.. Reason: Words
Old 19th September 2015
  #15
the concept behind insulation in a studio build is to dampen the cavity.

Not even a death metal drummer is going to shake a concrete floor to the point where it is a weak point in your proposed assembly. In fact the earth damped slab is just about never the weak link in a build like this.

Why would you 'opt in this instance' to lose 4-6 db in isolation over 1" of ceiling height? When considering the db level a drum kit produces.
Old 21st September 2015
  #16
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The concept behind insulation in a wall cavity is absorption, the concept behind green glue is damping.

Blown in fiberglass can be a great product because it completely fills the cavity. No air, no gaps, just a perfectly filled cavity.

Structural borne vibrations are a fact. Concrete transmits physical impact sounds (taps etc) very easily. Any structure physically coupled to a concrete slab can potentially transmit those vibrations to other areas of the building. Block walls can be potentially troublesome. Sound sources like acoustic Drum kits and bass cabinets can easily excite and rumble through a concrete slab.

This doesn't mean that every slab or above ground floor is the weakest point in any given system. However, it definitely makes sense to pay attention to that potential. Given that the solution is relatively inexpensive and easy to assemble, I thought the idea worth mentioning.

As far as ceiling height and RC vs clips goes.....I do think ceiling height is important. It's key to balance ergonomics and function with (stc) performance and expectations.

I'm not sure where you're getting the 4-6 STC points more for clip based channel vs. RC assemblies? It's been my experience in lab tests and in real world build outs....that the differences are more like 1-2.....possibly 3 stc points depending on the assembly and the type of clips.

1 - 3 STC points translates to a barely audible difference in performance....and will generally not a lead to a catastrophic make or break kind of situation.

It might be wise to also consider some of the new electronic drum triggers that drop right onto your acoustic kit. I played around with some this week and they are pretty amazing. Not the real thing but very quiet and not nearly as cumbersome as electronic drum kits have been in the past.
Old 14th April 2019
  #17
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This is an old thread, but it seems to me a good way to go is to raise the budget and just buy something like the taytrix 8x8.

It’s convenient, fits in most modern spaces, can be broken down easily and moved to any new space provided the dimensions accommodate the booth.

It is much more than $2k and isn’t soundproof, but I think it’d make a huge difference and would probably be less expensive than building walls, ceilings, and redoing HVAC to sound proof a room after accounting for materials, labor and time.

Maybe in wrong. I’m stabbing in the dark really
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