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High School Studio Build, Missouri
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
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High School Studio Build, Missouri

Hello,

I am a HS Teacher who's forming an audio engineering program. We've secured grant funding to $10,000 and purchased an analog tape machine, a DAW pc, an analog console, mics, etc. Now the district is looking at retrofitting either old classrooms as a studio & control room space, or possibly incorporate it into new construction funded via bond issues and other grants.

Currently, the board is looking at moving classrooms out of the upstairs of an old HS building, and we may take over that space. We'd have two rooms with 16' ceilings (before building a room within a room) and about 24x36'. Walls of the rooms are cinder-block, with a hardwood floor.

I had a coworker play guitar at a loud level (~100 db) and went around the building seeing what current bleed was like. It could be heard throughout the building downstairs, except in central office for the High School, which was downstairs, and on the opposite side of the building, which is a good start. However directly under these rooms is a basketball gymnasium, where the sound is easily heard (and with the high ceiling, difficult to treat from that side).

So at this time, I am wanting to see what would effectively lower the sound level to acceptable amounts (40db or less I think?) outside our door and downstairs in other parts of the building. If we could effectively use this space, it saves funds from wholesale new construction, leaving that space for the departing classes.

If this is wholly impractical, my superintendent is open to including Audio Engineering in the new construction. I could certainly propose to have it at the end of a new build, with the control room being the only thing near the rest of the new addition, and the live room being 'built out' away from other rooms to ease isolation concerns. If this path is the one to go down, what significant cost differences in a new build should we anticipate? We hope to speak with the board around Nov 21st, and vote on this in December.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
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If you have a new build coming up, it seems to me that it would be easier and less disruptive to design sound proof space into that rather than retrofit.

You'd be basically building a room within a room to mitigate sound transfer between your studio space and the other classrooms. The construction and expense involved in putting a system like that into an existing space and get messy, quickly.

I think its great to give students access to this, I've designed and ran music and recording programs for kids at schools and camps in the past. Can't wait to hear how yours turns out!

...I'll bite my tongue about your buying a tape machine for now though...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
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Haha! Hey, it is a 2" 24 track...

So if doing a new build, how would that differ construction-wise from a regular build? I understand using two-leaf walls with rockwool between the leaves, burying pvc conduit for lo-z lines prior to pouring foundation, making sure foundation is separate from rest of new build's foundation with a gap-would any of these best practices in a wholesale NEW build drastically change the cost of a standard new build for any old building? That's the confusion I'm coming to... everyone talks about the cost of retrofitting, but there's not much about a wholesale addition with a separate concrete foundation for isolation.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
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You have nice space. What is going support the weight of the inner room? The height just means using scaffolding. Nothing difficult.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
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I am not sure. Obviously the load is limited to the existing floor (in the case of the existing second story rooms). I'd consider a beam down below for support, bit that would be in the middle of a basketball Court, and highly inadvisable.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esrb99 View Post
I am not sure. Obviously the load is limited to the existing floor (in the case of the existing second story rooms). I'd consider a beam down below for support, bit that would be in the middle of a basketball Court, and highly inadvisable.
Exactly. A structural engineer's visit is in order.

It is not too early to master my tagline.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
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In your experience, do structural engineers take acoustic requirements into account? Not sure if I need to get an acoustician out here at the same time-we are out in rural MO, after all!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esrb99 View Post
In your experience, do structural engineers take acoustic requirements into account? Not sure if I need to get an acoustician out here at the same time-we are out in rural MO, after all!
Not really. Describe the rough layout with outside walls being double 5/8" gypsim and new walls twice that. If the structural support is wrong people could die.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
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Got it. I'm consulting with John Brandt this evening.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
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I'm probably in the minority here since this is gearslutz, but why on earth would you select a 2" 24 track tape based recording medium for high school students in 2020?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David W. Jones View Post
I'm probably in the minority here since this is gearslutz, but why on earth would you select a 2" 24 track tape based recording medium for high school students in 2020?
hahaha, Hobby?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
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We're using both tape and digital. It also differentiates us from other programs across the country. By providing our services at cost (i.e, just tape), we hope to attract clients excited about the medium but unable to go to the traditional studio business.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David W. Jones View Post
I'm probably in the minority here since this is gearslutz, but why on earth would you select a 2" 24 track tape based recording medium for high school students in 2020?
I immediately thought the same thing...

BUT, I learned on tape and it was right when digital was becoming accessible to the home market. I'd spend half my time recording to tape, aligning machines and cutting with a razor, etc. and the other half using Pro Tools on a Digi001.

If I didn't have that 'ear training' without the computer early on I'd be much more reliant an a screen today, a screen which I still regularly turn off to focus on listening.

I believe kids won't benefit from learning how a tape machine works but I think they will get a ton of critical skills using their ears and committing sounds instead of having limitless possibilities while they are honing their craft.

I think it's important to teach sound and work flow instead of teaching 'computers can do everything for you.... later.'

The caveat here is that I assume these kids know what Garageband is already and have probably been making hits on their phones for years before entering this class!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esrb99 View Post
Got it. I'm consulting with John Brandt this evening.
The only John Brandt I know is great studio designer. The first question is if the current floor will support the weight of additional construction.
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