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Finishing an outbuilding (making lemonade)
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Finishing an outbuilding (making lemonade)

Hi all,

I've recently moved into a house with a partially built outbuilding that I want to turn into my studio. It's currently pretty bare-bones with standard construction materials. It's a 14'x20' building with 7' walls on one length and 9' walls on the other.

The floor is plywood on a frame of 2x6s that are 16" OC. The floor joists are supported by three 8x8 wooden beams that run the length of the building and sit on cinder blocks. The walls are plywood with 2x4 studs 16" OC. The ceiling is plywood with 2x10 joists 24" OC.

There's a door and several basic windows.

I have to finish the interior of the building (insulation, drywall, laminate flooring) and I want it to sound as good as I can. Isolation isn't a huge concern. I live in a rural area, and I will primarily be recording acoustic instruments and amplifiers. I will occasionally (2 or 3 times per month) want to record drums and bass as well.

Here is my question: Should I finish the construction with standard materials, and then do my best with room treatments, or are there things I should be concerned with for the rest of the build in order to get the best sounding room that I can?

Initially, I thought I'd hang the drywall on RISC 1 clips, but the folks at acoustical solutions convinced me that it would be pointless given the existing door and windows.

I also thought I'd try the decoupled floor in the back of RGs book (2nd ed), but it also seems pointless given the existing construction from which I'll be working.

Acoustic solutions suggested that standard materials followed by room treatments is the ways to go.

Any thoughts? Is there any benefit to two layers of 5/8" drywall vs. one layer? Any point in using green glue instead of standard JC?

Thank you so much for any tips.

Best,
Amil
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
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Anyone?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
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Jason Foi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by amildiaz View Post
Anyone?
Isolation needs to be determined first. Even in the country there are dogs, cars, hail, wind, thunder, planes, etc... All of those things can ruin a take, so decide first and formost what you want. Its not something that can be an after thought. Yes, current doors and windows may be the current weakest links, but those can be changed if needed.

If this is purely a hobby space and isolation truly does not matter, just use standard building materials to code. I would highly recommend starting by designing your entire build in sketchup free or similar CAD software and posting the model here for review. Doing this correctly is expensive, but making mistakes costs much much more.. The best advice you will get is in Andre Vare's signature, " good studio building is 90% design and 10% construction."
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Nut
 

If you have the chance to use the proper materials in a green glue 5/8" sandwich, I'd do that at minimum. But you only get one chance to do this right. If you own the property and really plan to stay there long-term, you should think long and hard about a double-leaf system.

Your insulation costs will double (still cheap if you are getting regular fiberglass insulation), your drywall cost will stay the same (unless you do green glue, which you SHOULD), and then you just have the cost of some more studs. And so for just a bit more (I'm guessing 20-30%?) you'll have a reasonably well-isolated, temperature and humidity-stable, and COMFORTABLE space. Like the other poster said, you can always replace windows and doors down the line.

Your situation sounds like a dream from a city-dweller like me! Make the most of it!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Addict
 

You might also think about a quiet heat and air solution for the space.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David W. Jones View Post
You might also think about a quiet heat and air solution for the space.
I was gonna say a mini-split would be perfect for a space that size.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
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Thanks so much for chiming in ya'll. I'll try to get a sketchup file posted soon.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
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Starlight's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David W. Jones View Post
You might also think about a quiet heat and air solution for the space.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dokterrock View Post
I was gonna say a mini-split would be perfect for a space that size.
A mini-split could indeed be perfect for quiet heat but it would not be a solution for (fresh) air. Ventilation would still need to be addressed.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
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bgood's Avatar
You know your environment best... if it’s pretty quiet where you’re at I don’t know that I’d spend the sort of cash needed to triple leaf green glue the whole structure... especially with the door and windows already installed.

I’d insulate the thing really well... finish it nicely... get a split heating/ac unit, etc.... then spend some money fabricating DIY acoustic panels, bass trapping and gobos
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
You know your environment best... if it’s pretty quiet where you’re at I don’t know that I’d spend the sort of cash needed to triple leaf green glue the whole structure... especially with the door and windows already installed.

I’d insulate the thing really well... finish it nicely... get a split heating/ac unit, etc.... then spend some money fabricating DIY acoustic panels, bass trapping and gobos
Tripple leaf = bad
Old 2 weeks ago
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
A mini-split could indeed be perfect for quiet heat but it would not be a solution for (fresh) air. Ventilation would still need to be addressed.
+1
Old 2 weeks ago
  #12
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bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Foi View Post
Tripple leaf = bad
You’re the expert, Jason...

I just meant don’t blow his wad trying to turn it into Capitol Studio B where he can probably get better bang with a well built structure with lots of thoughtful treatment

I type this as I sit in my outbuilding that’s finished nicely and stuffed with lots of treatment and REW numbers that I’m still surprised I was able to get
Old 2 weeks ago
  #13
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Jason Foi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
You’re the expert, Jason...

I just meant don’t blow his wad trying to turn it into Capitol Studio B where he can probably get better bang with a well built structure with lots of thoughtful treatment

I type this as I sit in my outbuilding that’s finished nicely and stuffed with lots of treatment and REW numbers that I’m still surprised I was able to get
I'm not an expert, nor am i picking on you. Stuff like that is dangerous for new people starting out. They read it and assume its true, and spread false information.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Foi View Post
I'm not an expert, nor am i picking on you. Stuff like that is dangerous for new people starting out. They read it and assume its true, and spread false information.
Which part is dangerous and which part is false information exactly?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #15
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Starlight's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
Which part is dangerous and which part is false information exactly?
Look at post #10 where Jason pointed out the single error in your advice. It is not dangerous as in it will risk the building collapsing but dangerous in the sense that we occasionally see folk write, "I once read on Gearslutz that triple leaf with green glue is the goal to aim for."

That's all, no less, no more.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #16
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Jason Foi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
Which part is dangerous and which part is false information exactly?
I read a post by Eric Desart many years ago that really stuck with me, and I feel its perfect for this instance.

"Your comments were not offensive, nor was I offended.
And having read several messages I know you're intelligent and are able to help lots of people.

So my response didn't meant anything else than what I wrote.

There is too much misinformation on the net, which tends to get it's own live and becomes gospel.
So a good approach is to wonder: Do I know what I think to know?
If not tell it as an assumption, leaving questions open for discussion.
Visitors seeking help mostly won't be able to distinguish this in your place and just accept what you write as fact.

Warm regards
Eric"

http://johnlsayers.com/phpBB2/viewto...=1893&start=15

Dangerous in the fact that it could ruin someones studio build. Isolation is tricky, expensive, counter intuitive, and the fact that the majority of people asking about it refer to it as soundproofing speaks volumes to the ammount of disinformation out there.

False in the fact that a tripple leaf costs more and performs worse.

Someone could take your comment as fact, design their studio around that info, get terrible results, and lose 10's of thousands dollars, tearing out and redoing their work
Old 2 weeks ago
  #17
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Thank you all so much for your input and advice. As a neophyte I am extremely grateful to be able to converse with you. I started my sketchup rendering, but decided I still need to solidify my approach before I continue. I thought I'd post some pictures of the current state of the build and elaborate on my goals.

My primary goal for the studio is to have a space where I can record professional sounding overdubs acoustically and through amplifiers. I've been doing this; previously in the living room of a rented house treated with DIY absorption panels and currently in an attic space with similar treatments. So, I'm confident that this studio will be an improvement no matter which approach I decide to take.

My secondary goals are to have a studio where I can record drums and bass, VOs, and mix in a room that isn't working against me too much. Occasionally I'll record friends and acquaintances, who understand that it's not a professionally built studio, and perhaps I'll record demos for folks that don't want to drive 45 minutes to the nearest pro studio. I'm thinking that well planned room treatments to help even out the low and low-mid frequencies will get me a room that is better to work in than anything I've had before.

I'm also not trying to build my "forever" studio. We're going to be here 3-5 years, so in reality I'm trying to build a bunkhouse that I can use as a studio in the meantime. I'm not going to replace the windows or the door.

The area is truly rural. Yes there are exterior sounds; wind, thunder, gunshots on the weekends. I can work around these things if I need to.

It seems like my question is getting reduced to: Is it worth the additional cost and time to hang a second layer of 5/8" drywall on the walls and ceiling, given the existing window, door, and floor assemblies.

Immense gratitude for your input!
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Old 2 weeks ago
  #18
Gear Nut
 

Are those dual-pane windows? If so, do green glue. If single pane, they're definitely the weak link and they'll pass enough sound that you'll get no benefit from green glue. (In my opinion!)
Old 2 weeks ago
  #19
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Jason Foi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by amildiaz View Post
Is it worth the additional cost and time to hang a second layer of 5/8" drywall on the walls and ceiling, given the existing window, door, and floor assemblies.

Immense gratitude for your input!
Not to me, no. Just insulate and close up the walls as normal.

Acoustically, a control room and live room can be very different spaces. I would keep that in mind when designing the room treatment. Have a look at this thread for ideas on vatiable room treatment.

http://johnlsayers.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=20845

This way you can tailor the room response for whatever sound you're after but also make an envronment suitable for mixing.

It might be smart to finish the room and measure with REW to see what youll need for treatment and go from there
Old 2 weeks ago
  #20
Here for the gear
 

I am in the process of building a similar studio as you at the moment. Mine is also a separate outside structure, although I want to reduce the noise levels, making it totally soundproof isn't a big concern for me either. I have lined the walls and ceiling with insulation and a single layer of drywall and I am at the stage of designing the ventilation and flooring.

I am no expert but from my research I can offer you the following advice

If I was going to put another layer of drywall, I would choose a different thickness or material, so they don't resonate at the same frequency. It is better to add an air gap in between, but this cuts down on the size of your room if you do it properly. Drywall/insulation/air gap/more insulation/ drywall I am not going to worry about this myself.

If it is an outside door, it is probably a solid door, that's a good start, use felt weather stripping around your door frame and a rubber draught stopper at the bottom of the door. make sure there are no leaks. If the door is hollow, replace it.

For my window, i am getting a thick clear acrylic sheet to put over the window on the inside, so it is somewhat like double glazing, not as effective but a cheap option. Also angle the acrylic sheet to the window to prevent standing waves or resonances or you could get heavy curtains, I want some natural light though.

If you have a sloping roof, it can be a good thing if it is perpendicular to your listening position, the less parallel surfaces you have the better. but you need to keep it symmetrical, so if the slope is going from left to right across your listening position, that is not so good. I have a pitched ceiling in mine, which is a good thing.

If you are making it airtight, ventilation is essential, if not, it is just a comfort thing.
Anyway, hope that helps.
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