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Studio Build In Morton Shed
Old 9th May 2018
  #1
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RedTone's Avatar
Studio Build In Morton Shed

As you can see I am new to this forum, I have been here a while grabbing good information as I go.

I am in the process of buying a new home that has a 40x50 morton shed on the property. It already has a concrete floor and is heated (I plan to add an A/C system to the furnace eventually as well).

My plan is to cut the shed in half and use the back half as my project studio/band practice space. Right now it is a completely empty building with a stairway up to a narrow loft in the back, that holds the home sized forced air furnace.

I am planning a 10x20 control room with about 9 foot ceilings, and a larger live room attached. Sizes are estimated at this time because of not being in the property yet. The control room will have double wall construction and am looking to get it as sound isolated as possible. So two walls with two layers of 5/8 drywall to create a two leave system. I have read Rod Gervais's book "build it like the pros" and will be using most of his tips from that. This will be a long project that will come over time, after some of the home improvements the wife has planned...

I have attached a sketchup file, I am new to sketchup so please excuse the crudeness.

What are your thoughts on room sizes? Does this look like a worthy project? Good enough sound isolation to record a full band? Should I face my desk on the short wall or the long wall of the control room? I don't plan on having a window, but maybe using closed circuit TV's.
Attached Files
File Type: skp Recording Studio (3).skp (7.77 MB, 142 views)
Old 9th May 2018
  #2
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your file is not to scale.

loaded into my computer your control room is ~6x11'

ignoring that, 10x20x9 is not well ratio'ed. I think you will need to wait until the building is secured and you can get into it before really diving in.

If the existing loft structure in the shed is inside of your live room, your live room will not have isolation from the outside world and vice versa. The need for this is of course not detailed yet. With that in mind, your leaf system as draw reflects that indeed, the live room can and will leak sound in and out


You could design this yourself. Budget EXTENSIVE amounts of free time learning. It could end up somewhere between decent and utter failure. No offense.


OR budget about 10-20% of construction cost to a someone who has experience, which you will undoubtedly make up for in material savings from not over building elements that do not get realized because of other under built elements.
Old 9th May 2018
  #3
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RedTone's Avatar
Thanks for the quick reply.

I haven't been to worried about the live room being sound isolated from the outside world, it is a rural area and I assume I wouldn't be able to record during rain storms or high winds. But on good days I was hoping the control room would be isolated enough from the live room.

I knew cubed rooms are bad, but I could eat into the live room to add more square footage in the control room if need be as well. I'm not sure what kind of ceiling height I will ultimately get, not until I get in there and measure better any ways... I could possibly do angled walls as well, but that will eat up even more floor space I would bet.

I've got more than enough time for learning, this will be a slow process and probably won't get started even this year. I'm hoping to lean towards decent...
Attached Files
File Type: skp Recording Studio (4).skp (7.77 MB, 120 views)
Old 9th May 2018
  #4
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johndykstra's Avatar
 

Right on man, I get it.

This is a pretty tight group of contributors here. Ultimately you can get to where you need to go.

Don't angle your shell walls. Angle treatment walls within the shell.

Is this a worthy project? I think so. I also think it's not going to be cheap.
Old 12th May 2018
  #5
Gear Guru
Noise

How noisy is that forced air furnace?

DD
Old 14th May 2018
  #6
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RedTone's Avatar
That is yet to be scene, it is a normal home furnace probably 15 years old or so. It will definitely have to be shut off for recording in the live room. The shed is fully insulated and I was told it stays 10 degrees warmer than the outside in the winter and 10 degrees cooler than the outside in the summer. So turning it off and on during long recording sessions will be a pain, but doable. I'm hoping for nearly full isolation to the control room, so a solution will have to be realized for heating and cooling that. The space underneath the loft gives me a lot of room for air boxes and secondary fans if need be.

I have thought about boxing it in and making it more isolated from the rest of the space, but it sits on the loft structure so there may be vibrations and things introduced anyways.
Old 21st June 2018
  #7
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Ok, I am in and have been able to do some measurements. The inside dimensions are 40x50ft. I have attached a new plan in Sketchup so you can see what my plans are. I have decided to remove the loft in the rear, it is way too low and even at the peak I cannot stand up straight. I will have to find a better way to store things but it shouldn't be a problem. I've decided to make the live room smaller because the band I am currently in has decided to "retire" so there is no longer a need for a large practice space. So more time and energy will be spent on the control room for my own projects for now.

I did my best to isolate the furnace in the back left corner, and it also provides a bit of storage space underneath.

Also attached are some pictures taken inside and from the outside of the shed. It is a mess in there now, but trying to get a plan going. For the rest of the year I will most likely only be erecting the dividing wall between the wood shop up front and the recording space in the rear. Then as time and finances allow build up the control room then the live room down the line.

The control room measures roughly 19x16ft internally, I plan to treat the complete back wall with at least 18'' of traps, there will also be a very large cloud to stop ceiling reflections. I'm hoping to have a finished ceiling somewhere near 10ft.

I know bigger is always better, but is it worth moving the dividing wall a few feet forward to make the rooms 21ft or 22ft long? I don't want to cut to far into the shop, still need to have room to do work on vehicles.

There is an attic space before you make it too the outer shell roof, that is well insulated, if I put up a ceiling in the control room will that make a 3 leaf issue? Starting from inside the control room it would be 2 sheets of 5/8 drywall, pink fluffy isulation, air space, steel panel, pink fluffy insulation, 2 ft air space, steel panel.
Attached Thumbnails
Studio Build In Morton Shed-inside.jpg   Studio Build In Morton Shed-outside.jpg  
Old 21st June 2018
  #8
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RedTone's Avatar
It seems the Sketchup file didn't load... 2nd try....
Attached Files
File Type: skp Recording Studio 2 (3).skp (6.75 MB, 72 views)
Old 15th August 2018
  #9
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I have everything moved in to the shed, but between moving in and taking care of things on the house for the wife I haven't had time to work on this at all this summer. I have got the materials ordered for the dividing wall now and will probably start on that soon.

I have taken a baseline REW measurement with my newly acquired ECM8000. I thought I'd post them here to see if anyone would like to see what it looks like in a big shop with concrete floors, OSB walls and a tin ceiling. The shop is 40x50' and my computer and monitors are set up in the rear half close to one of the side walls.

I realize there isn't much benefit in this measurement because there are a lot of things that will change in wall construction, size and treatment. Also the fact everything will move a million times before it is done.
Attached Files
File Type: mdat Baseline.mdat (8.83 MB, 68 views)
Old 27th November 2018
  #10
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So, I have the dividing wall up and have changed all my plans from the first post it seems. I will now be going with one large room, I feel I will be the only one using the space 99% of the time so why have 2 small rooms when one large room will hopefully sound better.

It will be a LEDE type room, attached is a new sketchup file. How does my plan look?

There will be superchunks in each corner and squared sofit type traps in all corners. I plan on having deep absorbers at the first reflection points along with 2 clouds one over the mixing position and one over where a drum set or vocal set up would go.

I'll attach the Sketchup file on the next post, maybe a REW file but again it won't show much with pretty much no treatment. The loft is still in the process of coming down and interior walls for the closets need to be put up and drywalled.

I am out in the country and there isn't much noise most of the time so I am putting drywall all the way around on layer for now until I see how it sounds.
Attached Thumbnails
Studio Build In Morton Shed-img-1121.jpg   Studio Build In Morton Shed-img-1124.jpg   Studio Build In Morton Shed-img-1125.jpg   Studio Build In Morton Shed-one-room-studio.jpg  
Old 27th November 2018
  #11
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Here are the MDAT and Sketchup files, if anyone cares to have a look.
Attached Files
File Type: mdat Nov 26 21_25_41.mdat (2.86 MB, 35 views) File Type: skp Recording Studio One Room.skp (4.27 MB, 44 views)
Old 28th November 2018
  #12
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Question. In using the dB meter on my Iphone (I know not very accurate) I get about 38dB standing in the middle of the room with nothing running but my laptop and the LED lights that seem to buzz a bit. Does that seem high? What is a normal reading in professional recording spaces? Tracking room? Control room?

I will be recording mostly acoustic guitar and vocals, but I sing and play loud, it seems the noise floor will be low enough now. It may go lower as a finish the construction, I will be putting another layer of drywall up on all 4 walls. Will the acoustic treatment help with this as well? Once it get the room tamed so it isn't a echo chamber like it is now?
Old 29th November 2018
  #13
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So, I have been designing some simple broadband absorbers to hang on the walls, mainly in the first reflection points. In tearing down the loft I have quite a few nearly 7 foot long 2" X 7 1/4" boards. I have drawn up the plans in Sketchup, but they are pretty simple. I'll be using a hole saw to put the holes in the vertical frame work, I thought that may help with sound waves hitting them at an angle.

My question this time is what should I stuff them with? I figure I can fill them with at least 6 inches of insulation and can hang them off the wall at what ever distance I desire. I have a lot of room to play with. In using the porous calculator I think Safe and Sound is the way to go over OC403. Any objections? Better materials available in the US?
Attached Thumbnails
Studio Build In Morton Shed-rear.jpg   Studio Build In Morton Shed-front.jpg   Studio Build In Morton Shed-calculator.jpg  
Old 29th November 2018
  #14
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTone View Post
Question. In using the dB meter on my Iphone (I know not very accurate) I get about 38dB standing in the middle of the room with nothing running but my laptop and the LED lights that seem to buzz a bit. Does that seem high? What is a normal reading in professional recording spaces? Tracking room? Control room?

I will be recording mostly acoustic guitar and vocals, but I sing and play loud, it seems the noise floor will be low enough now. It may go lower as a finish the construction, I will be putting another layer of drywall up on all 4 walls. Will the acoustic treatment help with this as well? Once it get the room tamed so it isn't a echo chamber like it is now?
dB isn't telling much.
Measure with decibel ultra (on a bunch of iPhone SE's this is very accurate) the LAEQ, so the A-weighted leq.
And record the sound and analyze it so you can see the spectral contents.
You can even record sound in other rooms so you can compare the results.
That way you can determine which source is causing the sounds.

Treatment will help to lower background noise because a load of reflections are eliminated, but it also makes the remaining sound more noticable as it is less maske .
Old 29th November 2018
  #15
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTone View Post
So, I have been designing some simple broadband absorbers to hang on the walls, mainly in the first reflection points. In tearing down the loft I have quite a few nearly 7 foot long 2" X 7 1/4" boards. I have drawn up the plans in Sketchup, but they are pretty simple. I'll be using a hole saw to put the holes in the vertical frame work, I thought that may help with sound waves hitting them at an angle.

My question this time is what should I stuff them with? I figure I can fill them with at least 6 inches of insulation and can hang them off the wall at what ever distance I desire. I have a lot of room to play with. In using the porous calculator I think Safe and Sound is the way to go over OC403. Any objections? Better materials available in the US?
OC 703 seems a good choise, a lot of companies use it and it works fine.
Old 29th November 2018
  #16
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I agree that 703 is what a lot of companies use and has worked well in many situations. But, it seems to me it is used mainly in very thin instances <4", I have 6"+, would the Safe and Sound be a better fit? The calculator seems to show that. Maybe a layer of 2" OC703 then 3" of Safe and Sound would be a good choice...
Old 3rd December 2018
  #17
Gear Head
 
RedTone's Avatar
New question, this time about GOBO's. I am planning on building a couple to wheel around the room as need be, mostly around a drum set or behind a vocalist. Maybe even for helping during mixing at first reflection points, if they would work that way.

Question is, what should I fill it with for good blocking and also good absorption? They will be about 6'8" square and 7 1/4" thick. Do I fill them completely full with OC703 or SnS? Do I put a layer or 2 of drywall down the middle, or a layer or 2 of drywall on one side (so one side would be absorption and the other side more reflective)?

Picture from Sketchup attached...I will try and find a pop up wheel solution so it sits directly on the ground.
Attached Thumbnails
Studio Build In Morton Shed-gobo.jpg  
Old 20th February 2019
  #18
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RedTone's Avatar
Just as an update, the next wall has started. Still slow going with the unpredictable winter we are having this year. Need to get out and find me some more 12ft 2x4's.

This will give me a storage space of about 8x23ft, and leave on big room for the studio side 38x23ft.
Old 20th February 2019
  #19
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Having trouble with the picture uploading...
Attached Thumbnails
Studio Build In Morton Shed-second-wall.jpg  
Old 15th May 2019
  #20
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Finally got the wall up and the place cleaned up a bit. Attached are a couple of pictures.

Feels good to have it done this far, you can really get a feel for the size of the room now. It feels huge with the high ceilings!

But.... It sounds like an echo chamber in there, especially in the middle of the room. I think most of it is coming off of the ceiling and floor bounce.

So far I have the right wall covered in cloth so I will need to balance it out still. I'm really contemplating just doing it in plywood and painting the whole room instead of hanging drywall all the way around and having to mud and tape for ever...

Then on to making the room sound good!!
Attached Thumbnails
Studio Build In Morton Shed-img-1523.jpg   Studio Build In Morton Shed-img-1522.jpg  
Old 15th May 2019
  #21
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RedTone's Avatar
Check out the quick 20sec clip of a 360 view of the room on my YouTube page.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VN_8Ao2jyzM
Old 20th August 2019
  #22
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Slowly moving forward on this. It gets hot out in the summer so not much work gets done in the shop...

Also spending time mixing my own songs, but I can tell that I really need to work on the room for my mixes to translate better. Frequency response doesn't seem to be so bad, but the reverb in the room completely masks everything I do so it is tough to make informed decisions.

I have started on my ceiling cloud first. Pics below. 72 5inch holes drilled! Good to have that behind me. I've been documenting the whole process on video so I will be uploading that to my YouTube Channel once finished. (Hit subscribe now so you don't miss it! ) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoy...7khaIszfu_jHnw

I'm going to have 4 lights in it as well as some LED strips that should bounce off the ceiling for ambiance. Gonna fill it with at least 6 inches of Safe n Sound.
Attached Thumbnails
Studio Build In Morton Shed-img-1683.jpg   Studio Build In Morton Shed-img-1684.jpg  
Old 6th September 2019
  #23
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RedTone's Avatar
I have gotten my Ceiling Cloud finished and ready to go up! It turned out heavier than I thought it would be, so getting it hung is going to be a challenge, but I have be documenting the whole process on video so you'll see my surely ingenious plan soon!

I want to do a before and after calculation with REW so I know what I have fixed and what I haven't. Could some of you who are smarter than me check out the before mdat to see if I have done anything wrong that would throw off my comparison? I don't want to take this back down once it goes up!

Anything else that stands out in the mdat file? Most of the posts on this forum are from guys trying to help a small bedroom or basement type situation. I have a very large room 23'x32' or so. I notice my waterfall looks terrible, but I think my FR isn't too bad (besides 79hz). I need to finish the wall to the right, it has no inner shell only 3 inch of fluffy insulation and 5/8ths drywall on the outside.

I think I make good eq decisions in the room, but can't hear reverb enough to even come close to correct. I also think I need to apply a gentle slope to the highs because I seem to mix dark unless I really try to push the highs up during the mix.

Attached is the .mdat along with a few pictures of the room and the nearly completed ceiling cloud.

Thanks!!!
Attached Thumbnails
Studio Build In Morton Shed-img-1690.jpg   Studio Build In Morton Shed-img-1691.jpg   Studio Build In Morton Shed-img-1694.jpg   Studio Build In Morton Shed-img-1695.jpg  
Attached Files
File Type: mdat pre treatment.mdat (5.79 MB, 6 views)
Old 6th September 2019
  #24
From your .mdat, I would say that 50 Hz mode is your biggest problem at the moment, unless you get subs. You'll need a lot more treatment to get the midrange under control.

Impulse response looks very dry but there's some more reflections bouncing around.

Sorry, not much but I'm almost
Old 9th September 2019
  #25
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RedTone's Avatar
Thanks for the feedback, but it seems you have contradicted yourself a few times, could you clarify some of your statements.

You mention a 50hz mode, could use a sub to get in control. I can see that, I'm not sure my monitors go down much lower than that being they are only 5". But, then you mention I need to get my midrange under control. What part of the midrange looks bad? To me it is fairly flat.

Then you say my impulse response looks dry, in my room it is very echoy but not as bad in the listening position as in the back of the room. I feel the room has a lot of reflections to deal with, like you mentioned in the next part. Which is it? Dry or Wet?

I understand you were sleepy, so I'm just looking for clarification! Thanks again!
Old 9th September 2019
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTone View Post
But, then you mention I need to get my midrange under control. What part of the midrange looks bad? To me it is fairly flat.
As far as I remember, the decay times in the midrange went up quite a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTone View Post
Then you say my impulse response looks dry, in my room it is very echoy but not as bad in the listening position as in the back of the room.
I think I remember seeing lots of impulses after 20 or so ms which is usually the rear wall.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #27
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RedTone's Avatar
Thanks!

I know I have a bunch of work to do, at least I have taken the initial readings correctly so I can track the performance of the room as I make changes.

I have to hang the ceiling cloud, hopefully this week, then I move on to the next part of the project. The next step I think will be finishing the unfinished wall to bring symmetry back to the room. Then I haven't decided if I will do corner super chunks, side wall absorbers for first reflections, or treating the back wall. I'm sure all will need to be done eventually...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #28
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I got my cloud installed! I still need to get the wiring up to it and the lighting installed, but I am far enough to run some tests...

In the frame it has 2 layers of S&S so about 6 inches, it is spaced about 12 to 18 inches from the sloped ceiling. It is hanging about 11ft above the listening position.

Attached is the .mdat with the before and after measurements. I am still working on learning to read everything in it but it looks as if my FR didn't change much at all. What really changed was the waterfall and spectrogram, it seems my mids don't ring for quite as long as they did before.

I'm pretty encouraged by the results, and can't wait to start on the next steps! I still have a lot to do and this will most likely become a winter project (hopefully this winter )

Let me know what you think and what I should work on next? I'm thinking either first reflection points on the side wall with 2 layers of S&S and 6" of air space, or 2ft of fluffy for the back wall...
Attached Thumbnails
Studio Build In Morton Shed-img-1706.jpg   Studio Build In Morton Shed-img-1705.jpg   Studio Build In Morton Shed-img-1704.jpg   Studio Build In Morton Shed-img-1703.jpg  
Attached Files
File Type: mdat Before and after cloud.mdat (11.52 MB, 4 views)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #29
Gear Head
 
RedTone's Avatar
Since when I scroll threads I like to see attachments so I can check out the graphs quickly with out having to load the .mdat files into REW or if I am at work, here are a couple screen shots of before and after.

After seeing Stuart post a spectrogram from one of his professional builds, it looks like I have a ways to go. I made some improvement, but no where near the tails falling off at around 200ms...

Some mention the ceiling cloud should be hard backed. I didn't do that... tried to save weight. How much would that have helped???
Attached Thumbnails
Studio Build In Morton Shed-no-treatment.jpg   Studio Build In Morton Shed-cloud.jpg  
Old 3 weeks ago
  #30
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Starlight's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTone View Post
Let me know what you think and what I should work on next? I'm thinking either first reflection points on the side wall with 2 layers of S&S and 6" of air space, or 2ft of fluffy for the back wall...
You answered your own question there: bass trap for the back wall and broadband traps at first reflection points.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTone View Post
Some mention the ceiling cloud should be hard backed. I didn't do that... tried to save weight. How much would that have helped???
Other than you no one has mentioned a hard back for the cloud in this topic and I cannot remember reading it elsewhere. With 6" of insulation and a 12-18" gap above the cloud you could add another layer or two of insulation to the cloud if you have some spare - you are working with 3" thick insulation I think. It is, after all, just another broadband trap at a first reflection point.
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