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Building a studio on 2 levels
Old 28th February 2019
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundman2020 View Post
Be careful with light-weight decks for "floating floors"! Not a good idea....
There's a very interesting thread on another forum all about the common myths and legends of "floating" floors.... You might find it interesting!
John Sayers' Recording Studio Design Forum •

View topic - Is a Floating Floor Right For You? Answer: Probably NOT.
Aah yeah I see. Now Im confused. But thanks anyway
Old 28th February 2019
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youridebruijn View Post
Aah yeah I see. Now Im confused. But thanks anyway
Yoy could build a lightweight floor with a resonance frequency of say 10 Hz.
Then your isolation starts at SQRT(2) * 10.
But if you load it, f.e. by standing on it, your resonance frequency will change, the compression will fail etc.
And a lightweight partition won't isolate much anyway, as I already told you.
Helaas! There is no free lunch here
Old 28th February 2019
  #33
Lives for gear
My thoughts-

1) Some drawings here show 4 mass layers between rooms, you only want 2. 2 layers with the same amount of material will always outperform any higher amount of layers. To that end removing the existing drywall on the ceiling of the ground floor above the new rooms would be best.

2) Independant ceiling framing per room is going to be far more important than trying to float the floors.

3) Hvac and doors that provide high isolation for this many rooms is going to be expensive. What is the existing hvac? If these rooms are built to have high isolation they will be tight and you will likely need an active ventilation option. To get doors and ventilation to match a high TL build-out is costly. Could be 20-30k just for that.

4) There is no advantage to using higher density insulation than standard fluffy in the wall cavities.

5) Instead of floating floors, float subwoofers using iso-mounts. An acoustic drum set actually produces significantly less energy under 80 hz then people think. It will produce a lot of impact noise, but with a slab on grade, the slab should be pretty well damped. That being said, a loud drummer will likely still be audible in the other rooms. On some level you may want to consider the cost of isolation, vs the cost of doing drums only when less critical things are going on in the rest of the building.
Old 28th February 2019
  #34
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If the house is attached, i would be weary about having a full band in. You might get evicted.

But..serious. There is nothing you can do to stop the spill of sound without rendering your rooms unusable because of how much they shrunk.
Besides: one main reason for spill is that your floors are directly coupled in the walls that you share with your neighbours.

I would look for other options Youri.

P.s: Joemeek use to record in a multistory house. But as soon as someone had to take a crap on the top floor, recordings where interrupted until the **** found its way past the foundation.
Old 1st March 2019
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bert stoltenborg View Post
Yoy could build a lightweight floor with a resonance frequency of say 10 Hz.
Then your isolation starts at SQRT(2) * 10.
But if you load it, f.e. by standing on it, your resonance frequency will change, the compression will fail etc.
And a lightweight partition won't isolate much anyway, as I already told you.
Helaas! There is no free lunch here
Thanks.
Old 1st March 2019
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
1) Some drawings here show 4 mass layers between rooms, you only want 2. 2 layers with the same amount of material will always outperform any higher amount of layers. To that end removing the existing drywall on the ceiling of the ground floor above the new rooms would be best.
Good to know, doesn't seem logical to me but I'll do more research.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
2) Independant ceiling framing per room is going to be far more important than trying to float the floors.
yep, that's already in the plan. But thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
3) Hvac and doors that provide high isolation for this many rooms is going to be expensive. What is the existing hvac? If these rooms are built to have high isolation they will be tight and you will likely need an active ventilation option. To get doors and ventilation to match a high TL build-out is costly. Could be 20-30k just for that.
I already have ventilation from the existing rooms in our current building. I'd like to get way better doors though. Depending on the amount of db reduction by the walls I will decide getting 1 or 2 doors per booth, most rooms will probably only need 1.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
4) There is no advantage to using higher density insulation than standard fluffy in the wall cavities.
Because of the air pockets right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
5) Instead of floating floors, float subwoofers using iso-mounts. An acoustic drum set actually produces significantly less energy under 80 hz then people think. It will produce a lot of impact noise, but with a slab on grade, the slab should be pretty well damped. That being said, a loud drummer will likely still be audible in the other rooms. On some level you may want to consider the cost of isolation, vs the cost of doing drums only when less critical things are going on in the rest of the building.
For the drumlessons we use stuffed bassdrums and snares that arent that loud, but yeah. We'll have to wait and see.

Thanks for your detailed comment.
Old 1st March 2019
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pief View Post
If the house is attached, i would be weary about having a full band in. You might get evicted.
Well that would be kinda drastic. But I get your point if it was in a regular house. It's a commerical building, next to us is a bakery and at the other side a graphic/design shop. In font of the builing is a 750m2 parking lot and behind some trees and more commercial buildings.

The are no real restrictions to the building, and no residential near it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pief View Post
But..serious. There is nothing you can do to stop the spill of sound without rendering your rooms unusable because of how much they shrunk.
Besides: one main reason for spill is that your floors are directly coupled in the walls that you share with your neighbours.
We currently use 10m2 rooms to teach and coach student 1 on 1. Nothing unusable about them I think, we have about 100 to 200 students per year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pief View Post
I would look for other options Youri.
Also a bit drastic for my taste, we currently reside in a residential area, been there for 10 years, litterally with 0 complaints. And the soundproofing is similar, well actually way worse than what I planning right now.
Old 1st March 2019
  #38
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Quote:
But..serious. There is nothing you can do to stop the spill of sound without rendering your rooms unusable because of how much they shrunk.
Unless you build proper fully-decoupled 2-leaf structures, with sufficiently high density materials that they don't need to take up much space. It's more expensive sure, but it can be done.

Quote:
Besides: one main reason for spill is that your floors are directly coupled in the walls that you share with your neighbours.
On a concrete slab-on-grade floor, that shouldn't be an issue, if you build correctly. Set your drum kits on drum risers, bass cabs on isolation pads, and there's no reason why the floor should be a problem. I'd be far more worried about the HVAC system and the doors, than I would about the floor...

- Stuart -
Old 1st March 2019
  #39
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Some of your comments made me consider some other strategy.

Looking in to building the outer walls for every studio out of brickwalls, inside of rooms the usual double drywall and sheetrock, maybe even concrete (floating) floors.. with sheetrock underneath and such.

This monday (4th of March) I'll be measuring the place in detail and checking the floors and wall thouroughly (haven't signed a lease yet) so I can decide I it's all doable.
Old 1st March 2019
  #40
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Quote:
I already have ventilation from the existing rooms in our current building.
You seem to be missing Jason's point: The HVAC ducts are massive, huge, gigantic craters in your walls or ceilings, that transmit truck-loads of sound from one room to the next.... unless you put well designed silencer boxes on each duct where it passes through a leaf. I don't see that on your plans. Silencer boxes are big. Very big.... The more isolation you need, the bigger they are, and the more massive they are (higher surface density).

You also need to do some math here: calculate the correct flow rate and flow velocity for each room, and the correct sensible heat load and latent heat load, in order to determine the sizes of the silencers, calculate your static pressure for all of that, then check that your existing system can supply that much air into that static load while dealing with the worst-case scenario (all rooms packed full of hot sweaty musicians jamming like crazy on the hottest, most humid day of mid summer, with stacks of gear and instruments, while eating hot pizza and drinking beer....).

HVAC is a much bigger deal than most first-time studio builders realize... until they do the research... or until they build it, then find the rooms are unpleasant...

Quote:
I'd like to get way better doors though. Depending on the amount of db reduction by the walls I will decide getting 1 or 2 doors per booth, most rooms will probably only need 1.
Ummmm... No, all of them will need two doors, back to back, one in each leaf. You did say that you want high isolation, and you won't be getting high isolation with just one door. Mass Law is not your friend! You'd need enormously massive (heavy) single doors to do the same job as a pair of much lighter doors with a damped air gap between them. Do the math, and you'll see for yourself that single doors and high isolation do not go together well. Not to mention the issue of how you would build that single door into a two-leaf wall, without coupling the leaves...

- Stuart -
Old 1st March 2019
  #41
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Quote:
Looking in to building the outer walls for every studio out of brickwalls, inside of rooms the usual double drywall and sheetrock, maybe even concrete (floating) floors.. with sheetrock underneath and such.
It seems you still haven't grasped the concept here: the outer leaf of Studio Number 1 IS the inner leaf of Studio Number 2. Each studio is built as a SINGLE leaf, all of them inside a "shell" that surrounds them.

Imagine standing in any one of those studios, and looking around you: between you and the next room in ALL directions, there can be ONLY two leaves of mass. Not one. Not three. Just two. Like the image below...

The key here is "two leaves". Only ever two leaves, in any direction, including the ceiling. The only exception is the floor: that can be a single concrete slab-on-grade.

- Stuart -
Attached Thumbnails
Building a studio on 2 levels-msm-two-leaf-wallchunk-conventional-not-inside-out-three-room-corridor-s04.jpg  
Old 1st March 2019
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundman2020 View Post
The only exception is the floor: that can be a single concrete slab-on-grade.

- Stuart -
Flanking?
Old 1st March 2019
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundman2020 View Post
It seems you still haven't grasped the concept here: the outer leaf of Studio Number 1 IS the inner leaf of Studio Number 2. Each studio is built as a SINGLE leaf, all of them inside a "shell" that surrounds them.

But I wonder if I get you right. Should I go for just 2 leafs because 4 doenst make a difference?

Imagine standing in any one of those studios, and looking around you: between you and the next room in ALL directions, there can be ONLY two leaves of mass. Not one. Not three. Just two. Like the image below...

The key here is "two leaves". Only ever two leaves, in any direction, including the ceiling. The only exception is the floor: that can be a single concrete slab-on-grade.
This is not the actual situation. There will be atleast 4 leafs between every room as i'm planning it now.

From inside room 1 to inside room 2 it will be like this.

Room 1
absorber / drywall / drywall / sheetrock / air / sheetrock / drywall / drywall or OSB

Hall
just air (or maybe brickwall, not connceted to the rooms)

Room 2 (out to in)
drywall or OSB/ drywall / sheetrock / air / sheetrock / drywall / drywall / absorber

So it will be seprate booths/rooms in a hall. ( I could even do drywall/sheetrock on the inside of the exteriorwall)

But I wonder if I get your right, do you mean I should just go for 2 leafs?
Old 1st March 2019
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youridebruijn View Post
Good to know, doesn't seem logical to me but I'll do more research.
See attached. It's because of the resonances (short answer). In the same space, given the same amount of material, a double leaf system will always perform best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by youridebruijn View Post
yep, that's already in the plan. But thanks!
Great, just make sure the ceiling framing is completely disconnected from everything but the room it is sitting on. No sway braces etc. Not sure how the law/code works where you are, but if you need a structural engineer have them pick up the wall shear bracing in the drywall so they don't call out any sway braces or ties to other walls. Worse case you can cut let-ins into the studs or use straps etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by youridebruijn View Post
Because of the air pockets right?
Because insulation isn't isolation (until it is a thick as the wavelength you wish to isolate). In a wall cavity, the benefit is to lower the q and peak of the mass-spring-mass resonance. Standard fluffy does this as well if not slightly better than any higher density insulation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by youridebruijn View Post
I already have ventilation from the existing rooms in our current building.
Central ducted? If so, keep in mind that this system will have limited isolation. It's generally a fairly direct path that couples the rooms together. You can build baffle boxes etc, but the important thing is that an isolation system is only as strong as its weakest component. Effective baffle boxes also get pretty big pretty fast. If you build baffle boxes and the resulting isolation is say 40dB STC through the ducts, then you will only waste money on walls and doors etc that are higher than that. And STC isn't a good measure here because we have bass to deal with, but you get the idea.

Also messing with HVAC gets messy, each room needs supply and return (and baffles boxes for both), but also you may need to install at least manual dampers to adjust and balance the airflow (per room). In addition you have to consider noise from the system, so baffle sizing, air velocity etc all become important.

Even before all that, without a hvac unit that has fresh air intake, you may have a serious lack of oxygen problem. Do you have a commercial style roof top unit here or is it more of a residential style split furnace-ac?

You might be better off pulling all the duct work out and dumping it into/out-of the hallway, then using baffled exchange ventilation to the hallways.

Unfortunately, isolation is expensive. What you generally want to do is figure out what you can reasonably afford and work backwards. If a high TL HVAC system isn't in the cards, then there is no point in building high TL wall assemblies and getting pricey doors with drop seals and so on. I have a buddy that has a multi music-lesson suite without high isolation and they make it work with scheduling and muted drums like you said and so on.
Attached Thumbnails
Building a studio on 2 levels-quadtripledoubleleafstc.gif  
Old 1st March 2019
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youridebruijn View Post
There will be atleast 4 leafs between every room as i'm planning it now.
Stop!

Quote:
Originally Posted by youridebruijn View Post
...do you mean I should just go for 2 leafs?
That is what RyanC and Soundman2020 have been trying to impress upon you. You can either study acoustics or trust what they are saying or learn by your own mistakes. For the most sound isolation follow Soundman2020's diagram.
Old 1st March 2019
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
Stop!
That is what RyanC and Soundman2020 have been trying to impress upon you. You can either study acoustics or trust what they are saying or learn by your own mistakes. For the most sound isolation follow Soundman2020's diagram.
That construction looks so weak with only 2 leafs. It's not to be stubborn I just find it hard to believe, but I will absolutl look into it. Maybe even make a test build. I don't have a deadline.
Old 1st March 2019
  #47
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That diagram shows the principle, not exact measurements, so I can understand you not believing it.

Ryan has now posted an image of STCs. Compare the quadruple leaf (as in your plans) to the one on the right (the same as Soundman2020's image). The same materials and thicknesses, just placed differently can give you up to 29dB additional isolation.
Old 1st March 2019
  #48
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Quote:
There will be atleast 4 leafs between every room as i'm planning it now.
Then you will have really lousy isolation in the low frequencies. I thought you said you wanted high isolation for things like drums and bass guitar? You won't get that with a four-leaf system...

Quote:
But I wonder if I get your right, do you mean I should just go for 2 leafs?
Yes. Two. Only two. Always two. Never one. Never three. Never four. Only ever two. Laws of physics.

Quote:
Room 1 ... absorber / drywall / drywall / sheetrock / air / sheetrock / drywall / drywall or OSB ... Room 2 (out to in) drywall or OSB/ drywall / sheetrock / air / sheetrock / drywall / drywall / absorber
That pretty much guarantees lousy isolation for low frequencies.

Do the math.

This is very simple:

A single-leaf wall is subject to a principle of physics called "mass law", which is not very exciting for high isolation: basically it says that you need huge amounts of mass to get high isolation. Such as half a meter (18") of reinforced concrete.

Any wall that is NOT single leaf, does not work on the principle of mass law alone, but rather mass law combined with resonance. Resonance is a very, very powerful effect in acoustics, and is responsible for many non-intuitive results. One of those is that if you have identical two-leaf, three leaf, and four leaf walls, built with the same total mas and thickness, the two leaf wall will always give you MUCH better isolation, because it has the lowest resonant frequency. As soon as you add extra leaves in there, that raises the resonant frequency of the entire wall, and reduces isolation. The more leaves you add, the worse it gets.

This is simple physics, and you can work through the equations yourself to see that it is true.

Or you can look at the graphs:
Attached Thumbnails
Building a studio on 2 levels-simple-graph-triple-leaf-vs-double-leaf-two-three.gif   Building a studio on 2 levels-2-leaf-vs-3-leaf-wyle.jpg  

Last edited by Soundman2020; 1st March 2019 at 05:31 PM..
Old 1st March 2019
  #49
Old 1st March 2019
  #50
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All super helpful. I clearly have to do way more research. Thank you all so much so far.

Edit: Nope I stand corrected. I actually meant double leaf all this time. So I was on the right path. Then my next question is. Can I do even better or will I have to start using 18" concrete walls? Noy really an option, well I think it's not.
Old 1st March 2019
  #51
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I'd suggest two books to help you: "Master Handbook of Acoustics" by F. Alton Everest (that's sort of the Bible for acoustics), and "Home Recording Studio: Build it Like the Pros", by Rod Gervais. The first one will give you the background in acoustics that you need to be able to design your studio, and the second one will give you the basics for actually designing it and building it.

And of course, keep posting on the forum! The more questions you ask, the closer you'll get to building it right...
Old 1st March 2019
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youridebruijn View Post
Edit: Nope I stand corrected. I actually meant double leaf all this time. So I was on the right path. Then my next question is. Can I do even better or will I have to start using 18" concrete walls? Noy really an option, well I think it's not.
Great-

Just to make sure, this picture shows 3 leaves, and I expect a 4th would be in the adjacent room...so this is not a 2 leaf system in the drawing.

Drywall on the ceiling and floor decking/flooring also counts as a leaf.

Also where I assume there would be ceiling joists here, they look suspiciously small...I don't know all the spans etc, but it's a good idea to use a span table at least and do your drawings with realistic joist sizing.
Attached Thumbnails
Building a studio on 2 levels-room-room-v1.jpg  
Old 1st March 2019
  #53
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Hey Stuart,

I would appreciate if you'd elaborate on the non-divided concrete floor.
I like to learn.
Old 2nd March 2019
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
Great-

Just to make sure, this picture shows 3 leaves, and I expect a 4th would be in the adjacent room...so this is not a 2 leaf system in the drawing.

Drywall on the ceiling and floor decking/flooring also counts as a leaf.

Also where I assume there would be ceiling joists here, they look suspiciously small...I don't know all the spans etc, but it's a good idea to use a span table at least and do your drawings with realistic joist sizing.
Yeah, didnt upload my latest drawing. Would this be considered Double Leaf (horizontal and vertical)
Attached Thumbnails
Building a studio on 2 levels-schermafdruk-2019-03-02-00.21.46.jpg  
Old 2nd March 2019
  #55
Gear Head
 
youridebruijn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundman2020 View Post
I'd suggest two books to help you: "Master Handbook of Acoustics" by F. Alton Everest (that's sort of the Bible for acoustics), and "Home Recording Studio: Build it Like the Pros", by Rod Gervais. The first one will give you the background in acoustics that you need to be able to design your studio, and the second one will give you the basics for actually designing it and building it.

And of course, keep posting on the forum! The more questions you ask, the closer you'll get to building it right...
Thanks perfect. Ill order these books.
Old 2nd March 2019
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
See attached. It's because of the resonances (short answer). In the same space, given the same amount of material, a double leaf system will always perform best.



Great, just make sure the ceiling framing is completely disconnected from everything but the room it is sitting on. No sway braces etc. Not sure how the law/code works where you are, but if you need a structural engineer have them pick up the wall shear bracing in the drywall so they don't call out any sway braces or ties to other walls. Worse case you can cut let-ins into the studs or use straps etc.



Because insulation isn't isolation (until it is a thick as the wavelength you wish to isolate). In a wall cavity, the benefit is to lower the q and peak of the mass-spring-mass resonance. Standard fluffy does this as well if not slightly better than any higher density insulation.



Central ducted? If so, keep in mind that this system will have limited isolation. It's generally a fairly direct path that couples the rooms together. You can build baffle boxes etc, but the important thing is that an isolation system is only as strong as its weakest component. Effective baffle boxes also get pretty big pretty fast. If you build baffle boxes and the resulting isolation is say 40dB STC through the ducts, then you will only waste money on walls and doors etc that are higher than that. And STC isn't a good measure here because we have bass to deal with, but you get the idea.

Also messing with HVAC gets messy, each room needs supply and return (and baffles boxes for both), but also you may need to install at least manual dampers to adjust and balance the airflow (per room). In addition you have to consider noise from the system, so baffle sizing, air velocity etc all become important.

Even before all that, without a hvac unit that has fresh air intake, you may have a serious lack of oxygen problem. Do you have a commercial style roof top unit here or is it more of a residential style split furnace-ac?

You might be better off pulling all the duct work out and dumping it into/out-of the hallway, then using baffled exchange ventilation to the hallways.

Unfortunately, isolation is expensive. What you generally want to do is figure out what you can reasonably afford and work backwards. If a high TL HVAC system isn't in the cards, then there is no point in building high TL wall assemblies and getting pricey doors with drop seals and so on. I have a buddy that has a multi music-lesson suite without high isolation and they make it work with scheduling and muted drums like you said and so on.

Super useful comment. Thanks.
Old 2nd March 2019
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youridebruijn View Post
Yeah, didnt upload my latest drawing. Would this be considered Double Leaf (horizontal and vertical)
No that's 4 leaves both horizontal and vertical. You want isolated space-one leaf-air gap-another leaf-isolated space. The leaf is your drywall or osb.
Old 3rd March 2019
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
No that's 4 leaves both horizontal and vertical. You want isolated space-one leaf-air gap-another leaf-isolated space. The leaf is your drywall or osb.
Okay, I know I've said it before but I think I get it now. Is this better?

Any criticism (or approval) is welcome ofcourse.
Attached Thumbnails
Building a studio on 2 levels-schermafdruk-2019-03-03-03.53.33.jpg  
Old 4th March 2019
  #59
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"sheetrock" and "drywall" are the same thing: Gypsum board panels... "Sheetrock" is a trade name for a specific brand of drywall... So your diagram is a little confusing!

Also, what is that thing that is taking up 15.4cm of space on top the floor? It looks like a bad attempt to have a floating floor...
Old 4th March 2019
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youridebruijn View Post
Okay, I know I've said it before but I think I get it now. Is this better?

Any criticism (or approval) is welcome ofcourse.
Looking good as far as leaves go.

The issue with floating floors is that doing it right is more complicated than this and a slab on grade is well damped as-is (like thousands of hands on a bell) by the subbase (soil beneath slab). If you are targeting higher levels of isolation, you can cut the slab (with approval of structural engineer) or do a properly floated slab. This will depend on what kind of subbase you have...when was this building built? There are some caveats here and you hope that your subbase is just compacted soil with no insulation.

But in any case here is the issue- in order for a floor to be floated in a way that is not detrimental, the mass-spring system needs to be tuned to a suitable infrasonic frequency. If you have a relatively lightweight floor assembly the live load from people and stuff in the room is going to change the tuning or more likely short circuit the springs (compress them all the way). If you have say a 4" concrete slab that is properly floated it will weigh 50lbs psf, this way the affect of people and gear on the floor is much less significant to the tuning and not likely to short circuit the springs. Also the slab itself would be rebar/mesh reinforced and help the distribute weight to all the springs.

Products like U-boats and other dampening based systems might provide a slight increase in structural borne sound transmission- but a whole wood frame on top of them is a large resonant system that will negatively affect the rooms acoustics and can create an audible band resonance that also negatively effects isolation. A better idea than that would be an underlayment before putting a pergo style floor on top. And a better idea than that would be to keep the concrete, and use Iso-mounts on subwoofers and bass systems (or dual-opposed subs) and possibly a massive, properly tuned drum riser.

All that said, it's likely that as-is the bare slab will not be the weakest link from an isolation perspective. The HVAC system, door seals and overall tightness of construction will have to be very good before the slab is your weakest link. The nice thing with isolating flanking sources is you can do it later and as needed.
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