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Isolation feasibiity in this property...
Old 3 weeks ago
Gear Head
Isolation feasibiity in this property...

Hi all, I hope some of you can help.

I'm trying to find an appropriate property for a project studio build. I've found one that ticks so many boxes but I have big concerns about whether it's financially feasible, or even possible, to sufficiently isolate a live room (live drums) within it.

It's sandwiched between two residential properties which is obviously an issue. I'll attach an overhead view as well as the listing links. I'm thinking the room at the back of the property would make the most sense to build a live room within being further away from the adjoining residents (on the ground floor). The ceiling back there is low so I considered removing the floor to use the total height of the property.

Does anyone have any experience of trying to get sufficient STL in such a property? One, for daytime use and secondly for evenings assuming residential bedrooms either side.

I realise a thorough sound survey is the way to be more finite but just hoped for your initial thoughts.

Just looking for some opinions, I've spoken to Studio Creations in the UK and hoping to catch John Brandt for a chat next week.

Many thanks,

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Old 3 weeks ago
Lives for gear

Just a few general comments, with no specific logical sequence....

Concrete slab floor: good. Assuming it is "slab on grade"? Are the slabs on the adjacent buildings joined to your slab? Or are there maybe small gaps between slabs?

Brick walls: good. But are they single-leaf dividing walls? Or does the building next door in each side have it's own wall, next to yours, with a small air gap between?

Concrete slab ceiling? If so, good.

Assuming that all the above are in order, then it has the basics for achieving good isolation.

How much isolation do you need? In decibels. You should define that first, then see if it is feasible to get that on your budget. While it is probably possible to silence drums in that place, it's not going to be cheap. A lot depends on how your slab is done, and how it relates to the buildings around you. If it is slab on grade and is not mechanically coupled to the other buildings, then it should be achievable on a modestly high budget. But of the slab is also the ceiling of another room below that, or a crawl space, and the slab is also connected to the adjacent buildings, replace "moderate" with "high" in the above statement....

Points of reference: drums played normally come in at about 110 dBC to 115 dBC. Played hard, along with a big bass cab and other stuff, it can be approaching 120 dBC. Most people consider a level of 35 dBC to be "silent" or nearly so. The difference is 80 dB. Getting 80 dB of isolation is a Really Really Big Deal! As in: add a few zeroes to your budget. A typical house wall get about 30-35 dB isolation, maybe a bit more. 35-45 dB isolation is not too complicated, and can be done without breaking into Fort Knox. 45-55 dB isolation is achievable for most home studios/project studios, and that's the normal range. 55-65 db is a lot harder, but still possible... barely. 65-75 dB requires major engineering and a LOT more greenbacks. 75-80 dB.. well... let's just say that it's probably not going to happen in that space in the photos, even with 5 zeros on the end of the budget and a big digit at the start!

So the question you need to answer: how quite do you have to be? In other words, when the drums are screaming away at 115 dBC, how quite does that have to be outside the studio? Answer that question, and the rest all falls into place.

Short answer: Is it possible to isolate that place for drums? Yes. How much will it cost? A lot, and even more if you need extreme isolation.

- Stuart -
Old 3 weeks ago
Gear Head

Thank you very much for taking the time to reply, I really appreciate it. I believe it's slab on grade and not mechanically coupled to the adjacent properties but it's not a concrete ceiling and I'm unsure about the construction of the walls. All things considered it sounds like getting isolation to an acceptable level for the neighbours would be a financial stretch too far. I'll keep looking for somewhere more appropriate!

Thanks again.

Old 3 weeks ago
Lives for gear

If you can find a sand-alone building, that isn't physically connected to the other buildings around it, that would be the best. Also, having a long distance between your building and the neighbors, is a plus. Sound expands roughly as a hemisphere, so the further you are away from the source, the more spread out the sound is, and thus lower intensity.

Now, if you can find a place with an underground bunker or basement, that's the best possible situation. It's hard to beat having the entire planet as your isolation and damping system...

- Stuart -
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