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New basement studio, asking for design help
Old 12th November 2009
  #1
Gear Nut
 

New basement studio, asking for design help

Starting to plan studio.

I posted this over at John's forum, but thought I'd post here too to get some extra eyes on it.

Basically we recently purchased a home that has a decent basement and because there is four bedrooms between the main and second floor the wife has said the basement is all mine (except the existing Laundry room)!! The basement is pretty much open (see pictures attached, PLEASE ignore the mess we are in the process of renos, and we just moved in). The frost walls are pretty badly insulated and will be replaced.

For right at the moment I am just looking for design suggestions, as I need some extra eyes on this sucker. I'm having real trouble finding the best spots for the rooms I need. I'm not thinking out of the box if you will

So on with the info, hopefully I can keep this concise but as informative as possible.

BACKGROUND: Been recording for almost ten years now wherever I could. My own rented home, parents home, professional commercial studios, etc. For the most part my basement studio will be a project space where my band and friends can jam/record as needed. I have been a member of this forum and searching/reading as much as possible since 2005. I have also been studying my copy of Rod's Book, and whatever info I can get from the various forums.

LOCATION: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. House is on a fairly busy street. I can't hear cars from inside the basement, but I can hear the odd fire truck (siren) that goes by. I haven't had a full band in the basement, but if I play my monitors at 100dB (Fast, C Weighted) at the mix position, I get a reading of 82 dB directly above on the main floor (living room), which would be at about 55 dB with the TV off and no people around. With the same volume at mix position I get about 77dB outside my basement window which is about what I get from the busy street, now of course I realize that monitors cannot compare to a full band, so I will need to get my band in here and take readings and have a walk outside to hear what I hear. I'm not too worried about sound isolation to the outside, as the neighbors party a lot so they can deal with the odd recording session at reasonable hours. I would, however, like to do my best to isolate the studio from the rest of the house. For reference the neighbors to the North are about 22' away at the shortest distance, and the neighbors to the south are about 21' at the shortest point. The back yard is quite large with a back lane, so neighbors to the East aren't an issue and the busy street is accross from a boulevard to the west.

EXISTING BUILDING STRUCTURE: 1500 SF Semi-Bungalow (loft). Concrete/wood construction built in the 1950's.The basement is primarily concrete foundation walls with 4 above grade windows. The floor is a concrete slab with stick on tile (I will probably simply keep the existing floor tile as there is a possibility of Asbestos). The furnace/Laundry room is quite large. Basement walls are 7'-6" tall (inside dimensions) with 2x8 fir floor joists with T&G Subfloor. Most of the main floor is Oak Hardwood over the subfloor. There is a main beam that runs down the center of the basement (again see drawing), 3 steel Teleposts support this beam. The main room is 34'x22'. There is also a duct that runs the length of the basement causing the ceiling height to be 6'-7" at this point. The walls and ductwork are currently covered in wood panelling. I have also indicated a plumbing stack location that obviously cannot be moved. It would be nice to build a bathroom (toilet/sink) in this location, but I am quickly eating up real estate here, so I'll just ignore that thought for now

BUDGET: I have about $10,000 CDN that I have been saving for this project, however, that being said I am part owner in my fathers interior systems company (Drywall, Steel Studs, Insulation, T-bar etc) and I have been given permission to use our account to buy material on our account so this will work out nicely. We are also quite handy so we will be doing most (all) of the work ourselves. We also have electricians and plumbers in the family that I can ask favours of

CONSTRUCTION: So naturaly that being said I am going to be using Steel Studs and drywall as the main construction components. We also have excellent access to Roxul product here in Edmonton, Safe n Sound and RHF product. For the most part I will be recording metal/punk/rock bands, so loud drums, loud guitars, and generally loud folks. this Studio will be in a basement in Alberta so there won't be a need for Air conditioning. I will need to run heat runs and returns, and I will need to "sound proof" these.

NEEDS/WANTS: I would like to record a full band comfortably, so I'm suspecting much of my Square footage will be taken up by a pretty large tracking room. I would also like to have at least two isolation booths for guitar amps and possible vocals. I would like to build a farely large control room so that I can have a couch and room for an extra TV for video games etc. This control room will also serve as my personal "hang out" spot, so I would like the area to be as comfortable as possible even when I'm not recording. I have also been asked by the boss (wife) if I can keep the "closet" and "cold storage" area, I have said I will try, but no gaurauntees. I am not ruling out relocating both of these. I will need a closet/storage area for various recording and non recording equipment.

So I am having a complete brain lapse on where to put anything in this space. I don't expect to not do any work on this layout but I'm hitting a brick wall here, I have researched many plans on this site, John Sayers, and HR, but I haven't been able to find a floor plan that would fit into my existing footprint. I'm just hoping someone can give me some suggestions as far as layout so I can get my butt in gear.

I have attached a layout idea, this is for placement only. In this layout one would need to enter the control room through the laundry room and Vocal booth. Which I am realizing now, kinda sucks! Entering the tracking room from the bottom of the stairs would be ok.

I come to the forum frequently, so if there are any questions please ask!

Josh
Attached Thumbnails
New basement studio, asking for design help-facing-south.jpg   New basement studio, asking for design help-facing-north.jpg   New basement studio, asking for design help-facing-east-stairs.jpg   New basement studio, asking for design help-floorplan.jpg   New basement studio, asking for design help-clocken-20studio-20test-20layout.jpg  

Attached Files
File Type: skp clocken studio.skp (349.1 KB, 152 views)
Old 12th November 2009
  #2
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jhbrandt's Avatar
Nice going!

I think your layout is good.

But I wouldn't build the slanted walls because (a. they don't help the low frequency modal response - they just make them more difficult to calculate, (b. diffusion and flutter echo elimination can be better done with absorption panels and qrds or polys, and (c. you loose room volume.

Glenn Kuras and Ethan Winer have quite a few posts here and have some very good info on their sites. Also you can have a look at http://www.javakustik.com/myths.pdf
Old 12th November 2009
  #3
Lives for gear
 

You are subdividing your space too much for the square footage you have. At the bottom of the stairs have the top laundry wall (up in your plans) as close to the furnace as possible (you may need to get to that side of the furnamce for matenience/filter replacement, just get it as close as you can) and run this wall all the way to the right. Put a door into the laundry right at the stairs. Just past this door will be your control room wall. Hopefully you will now have a workable 12' x 18' control room now. The live room is to the left of that control room wall with no closets or divisions. Leave the stairwell open to the live room for the additional square footage of air, just soundproof at the top to the stairs. Storage will be available under the stairs from either the laundry room or live room (your choice). I'd still go ahead and make a small room at the far right side of the laundry with a door into the control room and just use that for storage (keeping your laudry/utility room easier to use). Vocal booths need a line of sight to the rest of the band so that is just dead space anyway. Have the vocalist in the control room for seperation. So basically you will have 4 rooms, (live/control/laundry-utility/storage) and three doors (between live and laundry-utility/between live and control/between control and storage). This division of space will work for resale as the control room will become an additional bedroom with the storage room as it's closet.
Old 12th November 2009
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Thanks!

Great Suggestions! Thanks! I guess you guys are thinking the same way I am as far as room location goes, cool! Yes, the furnace room wall is far enough away from the furnace to access the filter etc. Where that wall is drawn is where the teleposts are so it is kind of unusable space anyway. It never occured to me that there would need to be sitelines between the singer and band, good point. I've been recording my own band too much lately, and our singer is blind

So what I think I'll do is put in a closet in the room to the right of the furnace room and built an amp room. In a comercial studio I have been recording in lately they have an amp that works well that is smaller than this. Chances are I will be putting double doors in each doorway opening so this will eat even more real estate. Actually as I typed that I'm thinking double doors may not be needed as there is no door between the live room and control, so a double door between the amp room and control room may be overkill, I'll investigate this further.

As far as soundproofing at the top of the stairs, this may be difficult. I will think about this. There is nine rises up from the basement to a landing and then 3 more rises to a door that opens into our kitchen. I suspect that if I put a bunch of effort into adding mass and absorption to my joist space the stairwell will turn into my weak link. I don't want to do any extra construction upstairs except maybe putting in a beefier door. Again as I type this I'm realising that this are will not be an "air lock" anyway as the upstairs won't be sealed. hmmm, interesting thoughts. I wonder how usuable the area at the bottom of the stairs will be anyway as there is a telepost location there that I would like to frame in (see sketchup file). There is going to be interesting problems in this space with the HVAC.

Thanks for your reply also john! I've been researching this stuff for awhile and am familiar with Ethan's articles, however, for some reason I've never come accross this one before, I'll check it out now! Quickly scanning it I am familiar with the double vs triple vs quadruple leaf phenomena and a few other things, but I'm sure I will get some more info from the article. Thanks!

As far as the angled walls. I was modeling the control room from Blue Bear's studio in Ottawa that was design by John S. and many people talk about the splayed walls in the control room. I will of course be adding treatments such as Clouds, superchunks and absorbers with slats.

Bottom line is I will contunue with a layout in earnest based on the initial test layout and see where that takes me.

If anyone else has any more suggestions, please chime in. I would like to do enough planning so that I don't need to build twice

Thanks
Josh
Old 12th November 2009
  #5
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Sticking amps in that storage room is fine. If you eventually turn it into a walk-in closet then you will need 7 feet of width min. to be able to run clothes down each side of it. Just get that wall as close to the furnace as you can, it effects the size of your control room and at even 12 x 18, that isn't alot of space. Put some masking tape down on the floor where walls will be, even hang some cheap plastic drop cloths stapled to the ceiling where the walls will be. This will let you visualize the size of the spaces. Having an airlock at the bottom of the stairs will kill the sighlines from the control room into half of the live room. With small spaces like yours think simple thin overall wall width, 2 leaf resilient channel construction as square footage is MORE important than heavy isolation. Keep it simple, use solidcore single doors sealed well.
Old 12th November 2009
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Cool, I will research construction more later, but by 2 leaf Res Bar walls, you are suggesting (from side to side):

2 layers drywall (1/2 & 5/8)
Resilient Channel
Steel Studs c/w Safe n Sound
Resilient Channel
2 Layers drywall (5/8 & 1/2")

This would be MUCH thinner than a double wall system.

I will keep in mind your opinion on the entryway at the bottom of the stairs i.e. I will design without it. Honestly though, I don't think the furnace room wall is getting any closer to the furnace. I will look in detail tonight when I get home though. When I do my demo that wall is going to be taken out regardless.

Thanks!
Old 12th November 2009
  #7
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avare's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lomky View Post
2 layers drywall (1/2 & 5/8)
Resilient Channel
Steel Studs c/w Safe n Sound
Resilient Channel
2 Layers drywall (5/8 & 1/2")

This would be MUCH thinner than a double wall system.
The resilient channel is doing anything useful acoustically. IOW you do not need it.

If you have that floor space available, go with double steel stud. It will end up about the same thickness.

Andre
Old 13th November 2009
  #8
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The point of moving the furnace wall closer to the furnace is to give more width/volume to the control room. You had 10' drawn which is really pretty tight once you get things in there, plus remember you need a door and walking path which cuts that 10 foot down even further for actual use. Shoot for a 12 foot minimum if you can. Get that wall as tight to the furnace as possible including looking into turning the furnace base 90 degrees (to give you service access). It's all about using the limited space wisely. Inches mater to more than women. Cost versus performance I'm guessing single stud, resilant channel one side, two layers of rock each side with standard batt insulation in between studs might be your best bet. You are not building the Taz Mahal, it's a small basement studio where volume of the space is going to be more important than isolation, keep it simple.
Old 13th November 2009
  #9
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr View Post
The point of moving the furnace wall closer to the furnace is to give more width/volume to the control room. You had 10' drawn which is really pretty tight once you get things in there, plus remember you need a door and walking path which cuts that 10 foot down even further for actual use. Shoot for a 12 foot minimum if you can. Get that wall as tight to the furnace as possible including looking into turning the furnace base 90 degrees (to give you service access). It's all about using the limited space wisely. Inches mater to more than women. Cost versus performance I'm guessing single stud, resilant channel one side, two layers of rock each side with standard batt insulation in between studs might be your best bet. You are not building the Taz Mahal, it's a small basement studio where volume of the space is going to be more important than isolation, keep it simple.
haha, nope no Taj Mahal here! I'm going to have a close look at the furnace room today and see how it looks. I would really hate to turn the furnace. It was installed in 2008 so it is still very new.

I agree inches will matter, and keeping it simple is good. I'm going to do some more thinking and planning (uh oh) this weekend and see what I come up with. Honestly, if I can keep the width to 10' I should be ok. I have my gear pretty much in the place it would be now, and it is ok. I would LOVE another 3' but I don't think it can happen :(

Interesting Res bar one side. I'm going to talk to the bosses (my dad and uncle) tonight and see if they have done that in any of the jobs they have worked on. We have done interiors of schools, stores, offices etc.

The nice thing about being in Canada (edmonton specifically) Roxul Safe n Sound is really quite cheap. The RHF product is a little more (do they still make that stuff?) but still VERY reasonable.
Old 13th November 2009
  #10
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avare's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lomky View Post
Interesting Res bar one side. I'm going to talk to the bosses (my dad and uncle) tonight and see if they have done that in any of the jobs they have worked on. We have done interiors of schools, stores, offices etc.
If you are using steel studs, resilient channel is redundant.

BTW safe'n' sound seems to be a great Canadian bargain.

Andre
Old 13th November 2009
  #11
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PaulP's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by avare View Post
BTW safe'n' sound seems to be a great Canadian bargain.
Has anybody used Safe'n'sound for filled corner traps ? I'm wondering if the
insulation is stiff enough to support a column of triangles without compressing
too much ? And if you can cut suitable triangles out of the stuff.

The Spec Sheet says it's 2.5 lbs/ft3 (40kg/m3).

Paul P
Old 13th November 2009
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by avare View Post
If you are using steel studs, resilient channel is redundant.

BTW safe'n' sound seems to be a great Canadian bargain.

Andre
Hey Andre, off the top of your head, do you know what the effect of stud thickness (1 5/8", 2 1/2", 3 5/8" etc) has on isolation? I'm assuming the more "springy" the wall the more absorption. I wonder if double 2 1/2" walls would be ok? Also, does it matter if the insulation between the walls is touching? I wouldn't think that there would be much coupling with fiber (rockwool) insulation.
Old 13th November 2009
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulP View Post
Has anybody used Safe'n'sound for filled corner traps ? I'm wondering if the
insulation is stiff enough to support a column of triangles without compressing
too much ? And if you can cut suitable triangles out of the stuff.

The Spec Sheet says it's 2.5 lbs/ft3 (40kg/m3).

Paul P
I haven't used it for a "superchunk" yet, but I think it would work fine. I was planning on doing exactly this with maybe an RHF (or equivalent face)

It would be fine to cut with an Olfa knife, seems easier to cut that fluffy pink.
Old 13th November 2009
  #14
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avare's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulP View Post
Has anybody used Safe'n'sound for filled corner traps ? I'm wondering if the
insulation is stiff enough to support a column of triangles without compressing
too much ? And if you can cut suitable triangles out of the stuff.
Yes, yes, and yes.

Wow that was easy,
Andre
Old 13th November 2009
  #15
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avare's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lomky View Post
Hey Andre, off the top of your head, do you know what the effect of stud thickness (1 5/8", 2 1/2", 3 5/8" etc) has on isolation? I'm assuming the more "springy" the wall the more absorption. I wonder if double 2 1/2" walls would be ok? Also, does it matter if the insulation between the walls is touching? I wouldn't think that there would be much coupling with fiber (rockwool) insulation.

Studs in those dimensions meaning wood? Not a siginificant increase in TL. BTW it is not that the walls absorb more, it is that they isolate more. With increasing depth. What is the limiting factor in the isoalotion is the connection at the plates.

Andre
Old 13th November 2009
  #16
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by avare View Post
Studs in those dimensions meaning wood? Not a siginificant increase in TL. BTW it is not that the walls absorb more, it is that they isolate more. With increasing depth. What is the limiting factor in the isoalotion is the connection at the plates.

Andre

nope, steel. I assume that the "thinner" the steel stud the more flexible it is. Really, the purpose of Light Gauge steel studs is to hold the drywall on the wall.
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