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Shed Studio Help Dynamics Plugins
Old 26th December 2010
  #1
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Mystic's Avatar
Shed Studio Help

I'm looking for some advice for some questions I have on building a new shed studio by people more in the know than I am on the topic.

The background is that I've played with several other ideas to do this, but I decided on the shed idea for a few reasons. I want something outside my house because I'm easily distracted. I played with the idea of a concrete building, but because we're going to be tearing down the current house and rebuilding in a few years, I'd end up having to destroy a concrete building where I can just move this one out of the way. The new house will have a full studio in it so this external building could very well be converted into an in-law suite.

So first off, I've pretty much decided on a 16 x 24 Cheyenne cabin by Summerwood. I'll just be using the plans and building it myself. I believe this is the same cabin that SSL uses in their Shed of Your Dreams. I like the design and it's spacious enough to work in.



So the questions:

I want to do this right. From the other threads I've read, it would be best to put something like this on a concrete slab, which isn't a problem at all. What kind of insulation should go between the slab and the floor? Also, what about the walls/ceiling themselves?



Another thing I need to consider is that I live in the north east US, so we sometimes have heavy winters and humid summers. Good insulation considered for both sound and weather will be major things to think about as well as what type of HVAC to use.

Occasionally, there will be live recording done in the room as well. I'm not too sure about putting in a second room, but I will certainly be putting in a vocal booth and maybe making it big enough for guitar work... not sure about drums though.

Also, what information do I need to know about types of wood and windows to use that is best for sound isolation. I suppose a good part of that would also include the insulation being used... I'm not sure rock wool would be the best material for this type of project.

As always, thanks for the information.
Old 27th December 2010
  #2
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OK, I've built my shed so I feel qualified to offer some suggestions:



We built onto a 4" concrete slab - the floor is on joists of 2x2 treated timber and is 18mm marine ply which we built the rest of the structure off.
The internal floor is 18mm chipboard is floating on 30mm of high density rockwool - this seems quite solid and satisfactory. (sorry about the mixed units).

If I were building it again, I might use a different construction for the walls and roof - we just used 4x2's with 4" RS45 rocksilk in between, OSB ply and cladding on the outside and a double thickness of Plasterboard on the inside.
Next time i would offset the joists so that those on the inside don't go all the way to the outside and vice versa. It's not terrible as it is - sound transmission through the walls isn't the weak link - but if you tap the outside of the wall, you hear it inside...

The weak point for sound getting out will be the door and windows.

ALSO - my room is pretty airtight - we spent a fair amount of time caulking and sealing everything to achieve this, but we didn't put any ventilation in at the time (we just have a break and open the doors).
Ideally it should have - but designing some method of achieving it without compromising the soundproofing is probably the most difficult aspect of the project........ so we left it.

Mine is quite cozy in the winter and quite cool in the summer (until the gear has been running for a couple of hours).

K.
Old 28th December 2010
  #3
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Mystic's Avatar
Thanks for the info.

I'm pretty sure the design I'm doing calls for double wall and I think we're going 4" x 4". I'll know more once I actually buy the plans for it.

What made you go with chipboard for the internal floor though?
Old 28th December 2010
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic View Post
What made you go with chipboard for the internal floor though?
Cost probably. T&G flooring grade 6x2 chipboard sheets and plenty of PVA glue seemed like the easiest way to do a floating floor.

I'd done something similar with a commercially made isolation room install a few years back and THAT worked quite well. That was a chipboard floor on neoprene strips on a chipboard floor on felt underlay on a concrete floor...
Old 28th December 2010
  #5
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenton View Post
Cost probably. T&G flooring grade 6x2 chipboard sheets and plenty of PVA glue seemed like the easiest way to do a floating floor.

I'd done something similar with a commercially made isolation room install a few years back and THAT worked quite well. That was a chipboard floor on neoprene strips on a chipboard floor on felt underlay on a concrete floor...

i wonder what a bunch of stripped matresses would do for a floating floor.
Old 28th December 2010
  #6
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic View Post
Thanks for the info.

I'm pretty sure the design I'm doing calls for double wall and I think we're going 4" x 4". I'll know more once I actually buy the plans for it.

What made you go with chipboard for the internal floor though?
I don't think chipboard is a good idea for a floor. Moisture will destroy the integrity of the glue.
Old 29th December 2010
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Twinhit View Post
I don't think chipboard is a good idea for a floor. Moisture will destroy the integrity of the glue.
I'll most likely be using the same material for the floor that I use on the rest of the building which will most likely be pressure treated wood, spruce, or pine and then throw hardwood flooring down.
Old 29th December 2010
  #8
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SörenHjalmarsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic View Post

Occasionally, there will be live recording done in the room as well. I'm not too sure about putting in a second room, but I will certainly be putting in a vocal booth and maybe making it big enough for guitar work... not sure about drums though.
Hi Mystic,

Start by determining some optimal room ratios for your space, in order to achieve a good modal distribution in your room(s) (more here: RealTraps - ModeCalc). This is really where your design needs to begin if you want to accomplish a good acoustic response. In this case your aim should definitely be to make one big room (with a good modal distribution) rather than multiple bad ones. This room will then have a fighting chance at being well suited both for tracking and mixing.

Following the same line of thought, a vocal booth may not be the best option. More here: RealTraps - Vocal Booths

And finally some inspiration: Container Studio


Cheers,
Old 29th December 2010
  #9
Lives for gear
I'm curious as to why you'd build a floating floor. Unless you had trucks or some industrial site nearby. From what I can gather reading Rod's book and looking elsewhere, the isolation of a staggered stud or iso clips-hat channel, double layer drywalled interior shed, isn't any better than a good slab. Maybe I'm missing something here. The shed I'm building has a pier and grade beam perimeter foundation (the most stable thing in expansive California topsoil) with a separate 5" slab in the middle. I haven't gotten to interior yet. I could do some degree of isolation and give up a few inches of head room (it has 10' vaulted ceilings) if it would make an appreciable difference.
Old 29th December 2010
  #10
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jhbrandt's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic View Post
So first off, I've pretty much decided on a 16 x 24 Cheyenne cabin by Summerwood. I'll just be using the plans and building it myself. I believe this is the same cabin that SSL uses in their Shed of Your Dreams. I like the design and it's spacious enough to work in.
Good Idea. Looks like a nice space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic View Post
I want to do this right. From the other threads I've read, it would be best to put something like this on a concrete slab, which isn't a problem at all. What kind of insulation should go between the slab and the floor? Also, what about the walls/ceiling themselves?
A concrete slab is standard. Be sure to check code for footers and/or rat wall depth... You could also go with underfloor heating (in the slab). No insulation is needed between the slab and your preferred surface. I would recommend a hardwood floor, with will convert nicely to an in-law suite.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic View Post
Another thing I need to consider is that I live in the north east US, so we sometimes have heavy winters and humid summers. Good insulation considered for both sound and weather will be major things to think about as well as what type of HVAC to use.
You will need to build it a little differently from the plans for sound isolation. This will also improve your thermal insulation. Either double stud or staggered stud construction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic View Post
Occasionally, there will be live recording done in the room as well. I'm not too sure about putting in a second room, but I will certainly be putting in a vocal booth and maybe making it big enough for guitar work... not sure about drums though.
I would still recommend the one-room studio unless drum work is a constant. There are ways to do that in a one room studio that involves good closed ear headphones. A vocal booth would also be unnecessary. Have a read here and in my publications too. There is also a good Room Mode Calculator there...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic View Post
Also, what information do I need to know about types of wood and windows to use that is best for sound isolation. I suppose a good part of that would also include the insulation being used... I'm not sure rock wool would be the best material for this type of project.
For sound isolation, use standard building insulation in the cavities. It does just as good a job as rock wool for less cost.

Windows; double stud wall - the mass of the glass in the window of each of the wall assemblies should match or exceed the mass of the wall itself (mass of the gypsum board for internal wall & mass of the sheathing and exterior finish materials).

Hmmm, I really don't know about that container studio thing... I think more problems than it's worth. - My opinion.

Cheers,
John
Old 29th December 2010
  #11
Gear Nut
 
Mystic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SörenHjalmarsson View Post
Hi Mystic,

Start by determining some optimal room ratios for your space, in order to achieve a good modal distribution in your room(s) (more here: RealTraps - ModeCalc). This is really where your design needs to begin if you want to accomplish a good acoustic response. In this case your aim should definitely be to make one big room (with a good modal distribution) rather than multiple bad ones. This room will then have a fighting chance at being well suited both for tracking and mixing.

Following the same line of thought, a vocal booth may not be the best option. More here: RealTraps - Vocal Booths

And finally some inspiration: Container Studio


Cheers,
I do have an SE Electronics Reflection Filter I've been using thus far. The reason I wanted to go with a vocal booth is both for isolation so anything done within the confines of the booth won't be heard (or will be much less heard) outside of the cabin itself.

The other reason is that of complete silence, though I'm not sure how much of an issue it is with things like computer or amp fans running in that type of environment would effect live recording.
Old 29th December 2010
  #12
Gear Nut
 
Mystic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeolian View Post
I'm curious as to why you'd build a floating floor. Unless you had trucks or some industrial site nearby. From what I can gather reading Rod's book and looking elsewhere, the isolation of a staggered stud or iso clips-hat channel, double layer drywalled interior shed, isn't any better than a good slab. Maybe I'm missing something here. The shed I'm building has a pier and grade beam perimeter foundation (the most stable thing in expansive California topsoil) with a separate 5" slab in the middle. I haven't gotten to interior yet. I could do some degree of isolation and give up a few inches of head room (it has 10' vaulted ceilings) if it would make an appreciable difference.
Eventually the building will have to be moved when we go to build the new house, so putting in a floating floor would be the only way to do it without having to worry about the building being damaged when we do go to move it. Otherwise, I'd simply build directly on the concrete.
Old 29th December 2010
  #13
Gear Nut
 
Mystic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhbrandt View Post
Good Idea. Looks like a nice space.

A concrete slab is standard. Be sure to check code for footers and/or rat wall depth... You could also go with underfloor heating (in the slab). No insulation is needed between the slab and your preferred surface. I would recommend a hardwood floor, with will convert nicely to an in-law suite.

You will need to build it a little differently from the plans for sound isolation. This will also improve your thermal insulation. Either double stud or staggered stud construction.

I would still recommend the one-room studio unless drum work is a constant. There are ways to do that in a one room studio that involves good closed ear headphones. A vocal booth would also be unnecessary. Have a read here and in my publications too. There is also a good Room Mode Calculator there...

For sound isolation, use standard building insulation in the cavities. It does just as good a job as rock wool for less cost.

Windows; double stud wall - the mass of the glass in the window of each of the wall assemblies should match or exceed the mass of the wall itself (mass of the gypsum board for internal wall & mass of the sheathing and exterior finish materials).

Hmmm, I really don't know about that container studio thing... I think more problems than it's worth. - My opinion.

Cheers,
John
Thank you very much for the information. I'll have to study this and see what changes will need to be made. Once we start plotting this out, I'm sure I'll have a billion more questions.
Old 30th December 2010
  #14
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SörenHjalmarsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic View Post
I do have an SE Electronics Reflection Filter I've been using thus far. The reason I wanted to go with a vocal booth is both for isolation so anything done within the confines of the booth won't be heard (or will be much less heard) outside of the cabin itself.

The other reason is that of complete silence, though I'm not sure how much of an issue it is with things like computer or amp fans running in that type of environment would effect live recording.
Well you dont need to sound isolate vocals from the rest of the studio. Guitar amps/cabinets on the other hand can be nice to to keep in a separate room, but it's not a prerequisite.

If the noise floor inside the CR is a problem, you can buy/build a silence enclosure (silencecases). This will enable a better tracking and mixing situation than a booth would.


Cheers,
Old 4th February 2011
  #15
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RubixGroove's Avatar
 

Heya Mystic,
I've been thinking about a shed studio, as well. Seems like a super cool idea and I REALLY dig the energy of "not being in the home". Gotta say, nothing would be more bad ass than having your own lil' get away in the backyard!

Now... I'm a little less picky in my needs, as I won't be any "real" mastering, if any at all. Just a place to kick back, play my drums, record some tunes & get loud when I need. Nothing more! Super simple.

I'm watching this thread! I really like the shed that you posted, too. Definitely seems like a modestly inspiring, gloriously sexy hovel.


Please keep us posted on your current dealings. I'm sure that there are many more users/lurkers who'd like to see how this awesome project turns out!


Old 18th February 2011
  #16
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Mystic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SörenHjalmarsson View Post
Well you dont need to sound isolate vocals from the rest of the studio. Guitar amps/cabinets on the other hand can be nice to to keep in a separate room, but it's not a prerequisite.

If the noise floor inside the CR is a problem, you can buy/build a silence enclosure (silencecases). This will enable a better tracking and mixing situation than a booth would.


Cheers,
Late reply. Been quite busy lately with shows and such. Just did a week long tech with Bon Jovi.

I was thinking about this the other day because the computer I'm using is quite loud with all the fans on it. I might just consider building one of those enclosures myself.
Old 18th February 2011
  #17
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Mystic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubixGroove View Post
Heya Mystic,
I've been thinking about a shed studio, as well. Seems like a super cool idea and I REALLY dig the energy of "not being in the home". Gotta say, nothing would be more bad ass than having your own lil' get away in the backyard!

Now... I'm a little less picky in my needs, as I won't be any "real" mastering, if any at all. Just a place to kick back, play my drums, record some tunes & get loud when I need. Nothing more! Super simple.

I'm watching this thread! I really like the shed that you posted, too. Definitely seems like a modestly inspiring, gloriously sexy hovel.


Please keep us posted on your current dealings. I'm sure that there are many more users/lurkers who'd like to see how this awesome project turns out!


Thanks, mate. Gonna be talking with a few suppliers to get a general price on what all the supplies are going to cost to make this happen once the snow melts off.
Old 18th February 2011
  #18
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SörenHjalmarsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic View Post
once the snow melts off.
Will that ever happen? I'm having doubts...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic View Post
I do have an SE Electronics Reflection Filter I've been using thus far.
You can sell that one and buy yourself some materials for the isolation cabinet instead.
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