Studio Build

Sinclair

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I thought I'd create a thread on this to add pictures and elicit comments as the 6-8 week construction progresses. If any of you have done this I'd love to hear your experience good and not so good.

After years of playing/recording in my not at all soundproof two car garage, I'm turning the space into an actual studio with a live room, iso booth, control room and storage space. Spurred on by the fact that my son is a recording engineer, writer and touring guitar player it's time we had a real space to work. We've both had projects going in the garage in the past but had to shut down by 10pm or earlier to keep the neighbors happy. This will change that and we're hoping the new room will even attract projects. A leap of faith perhaps with a build it and they will come idea firmly in play.

A few pictures to get started.
 

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Mcjnic

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Very cool.
I'm smack dab in the middle of my own studio build/expansion.
Quite a bit of fun.
What flooring are you going with on yours?
 

dcrigger

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Sinclair - good for you. I took on doing something like this in my old house way back in '87 - and came to never once regret it. It was a ton of work and for us at the time, cost a bunch of money (though we saved big by me serving as contractor, doing tons of the work and hiring primarily starving musician type to help) - but the ability to play and record drums 24/7 if need be ended up being a huge benefit and something that work ended up requiring countless times.

That studio started out as a small studio for hire for about the first ten years or so - but then by about '98, I stopped taking on regular studio clients, spent some money upgrading my drum recording capabilities (basically better mic-pres) so that I could finally recorded "real" drum tracks rather than "demo studio" drum tracks. And from there forward, the studio was primarily a workspace for me - to record drums remotely, to do programming stuff, whatever came up... With the ability to function whenever things came up, with zero need to consider availability, the sleep schedule of others, etc.

Though I've long since moved from there - that space has never gone unused for any length of time. My ex rented to a keyboard playing associate of ours for a long time and it's now being used by a local percussionist as his practice/studio/production space.

Good for you.

I'm sure you've done your homework with all of this - so any questions/comments I have are mainly just out of curiosity.

- I'm curious to what you are doing with the ceiling - hanging a ceiling, building an inner ceiling with joists underneath the existing work.

- Are you keeping any or all of those windows? (I wouldn't - but if you are, I'd be curious as to the plan with them.)

- I assume you aren't building a floating floor. I didn't even with a attached garage and it worked out fine. (I couldn't imagine losing the inner room height)

- I assume you have an HVAC plan - and if so... again just curious.

Anyway - sounds like a great idea to me - best of luck with it.
 

Sinclair

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What flooring are you going with on yours?
We're on a slab. To save money we're not "floating" the floor but there will be a frequency absorbing rubber mat (1 inch I think) under the simulated wood grain vinyl flooring. Hardwood is much too expensive.
 

jmele2

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That space looks great! Did a similar thing here on Long Island about 5 years ago but as part of a basement remodel. My usable space was reduced significantly from what I had before the construction, but very happy to have my own dedicated space plus the space my family can use.

I love these kind of things and look forward to hearing more about the details of your build. One question I have for you is about the decision for one room vs. 2 room situation which I suppose makes sense if your son is an engineer? Would love to know the floor dimensions for the whole space and the dimensions of the new 2-room setup.

Do you think the wall air gap will make a difference given that you're not floating the floor? I'm assuming so, but curious about that, as so much of the research I've done over the years can say otherwise...

Keep us updated!
 

Sinclair

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Sinclair - good for you.
- I'm curious to what you are doing with the ceiling - hanging a ceiling, building an inner ceiling with joists underneath the existing work.

- Are you keeping any or all of those windows? (I wouldn't - but if you are, I'd be curious as to the plan with them.)

- I assume you aren't building a floating floor. I didn't even with a attached garage and it worked out fine. (I couldn't imagine losing the inner room height)

- I assume you have an HVAC plan - and if so... again just curious.
Thanks for your well wishes Dave. I had the feeling you'd been down this road before.

Here are a few shots of the ceiling and exterior wall. You're right, in order to make the live room feel larger we'll be opening up the ceiling which means building an inner ceiling starting 5ft from two of the walls and going up at a 45 degree angle parallel to the existing roof line. This will make a huge different and also leave us with an open feel, a better sounding room, and fewer parallel walls. The control room and iso booth in the corner will still be the standard 8ft. Only half the rafters in the photo will be exposed and those will be beefed up to look more substantial.

We've removed the two windows on the side to make the room tighter. Part of the daylight we loose will be made up by a interior glass door in the control room. There's an exterior solid door to be closed when recording drums and bass.

We do have an HVAC plan. Two units. One for the control room, one for the live room. If there's just mixing going on in the control room only that unit will need to be running.
 

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Tornado

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Do you think the wall air gap will make a difference given that you're not floating the floor? I'm assuming so, but curious about that, as so much of the research I've done over the years can say otherwise...

Keep us updated!

It should be fine given that this is a stand alone building and the goal is to not disturb his neighbors.
 
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Ptrick

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Nice man! I’ll have to check it out sometime. I remember the old garage setup well.
 

owr

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Nice Sinc, congratulations. Re: floating floor, my understanding is that you made the right call, not necessary with the slab foundation. It’s easy to create a giant resonating chamber underneath. Google “John Sayers floating floor” sometimes if you have a few hours to kill and are looking for good old internet fun.

Room looks great!
 

dcrigger

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Do you think the wall air gap will make a difference given that you're not floating the floor? I'm assuming so, but curious about that, as so much of the research I've done over the years can say otherwise...
I think of it this way - the ability to contain sound is pretty much determined by the weakest link - so looking at the garage as a six sided box - 4 sides and a top made from basic 2x4 framed panels (normal walls) with the sixth side consisting of 4 to 6 inches of poured concrete sitting on a near infinite amount of dirt.

Isn't the challenge to be able to try and bring those 5 sides up to anything close to the level of sound rejection possessed by that sixth side? I think it would a stupendous accomplishment to bring those walls and roof up t level of sound proofing that floor possesses.

Of course, this would be a whole different discussion with a building with a raised, above grade floor - typical floor made with joists with a crawl space underneath. Now that sixth side would be no better than other five - and thus a prime candidate to be included in the inner box-inside-a-box.

That applies to a lot of situations - which I would think would support their being so much discussion about raised floors.
 

Sinclair

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One question I have for you is about the decision for one room vs. 2 room situation which I suppose makes sense if your son is an engineer? Would love to know the floor dimensions for the whole space and the dimensions of the new 2-room setup.

Do you think the wall air gap will make a difference given that you're not floating the floor? I'm assuming so, but curious about that, as so much of the research I've done over the years can say otherwise...
Thanks for your interest jmele2. Monitoring your recording on (lets say) a pair of headphones in the same room as the players is less than ideal. It's nice to have a control room to hear what you're actually recording.

The interior walls and floor are "suspended" on acoustic rubber. They're also filled with a sound insulation and will have a sheets of rubber twice as thick as the floor under the drywall further suppressing low end transfer. Same rubber added to the new ceiling as well. Hoping that'll suffice.
 
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gbow

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Nice Sinc, congratulations. Re: floating floor, my understanding is that you made the right call, not necessary with the slab foundation. It’s easy to create a giant resonating chamber underneath. Google “John Sayers floating floor” sometimes if you have a few hours to kill and are looking for good old internet fun.

Room looks great!
Yep, I've done many studios, The John Sayers forum is one of the best resources on the net. Lot's of knowledgeable people there, very worthwhile to just go read threads for a while.

There are a couple of detailed threads there where people document the entire process.

Another good resource is the video series by the guy from True Sound Studios. He goes through his build very well. Here's the youtube playlist to it.

 

jmele2

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Thanks for your interest jmele2. Monitoring your recording on (lets say) a pair of headphones in the same as the players is less than ideal. It's nice to have a control room to hear what is being recorded.

The interior walls and floor are "suspended" on acoustic rubber. They're also filled with a sound insulation and will have a sheets of rubber twice as thick as the floor under the drywall further suppressing low end transfer. Same rubber added to the new ceiling as well. Hoping that'll suffice.
Sure thing, Sinc -

I get it about the monitoring for sure. Makes a lot of sense, especially if more than one person is sharing the space! Sounds like you've got a great plan and I can't wait for the updates! Thanks for sharing the info on the floor. When I built my space, I didn't do any floor other than laying tile on the cement. Sometimes my neighbors can hear my bass drum in their house (which is only about 20 feet away from mine. Oh well! :cool: Luckily we have a good relationship and I don't play super late any more...

Happy building

Jon
 

Sinclair

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Sometimes my neighbors can hear my bass drum in their house (which is only about 20 feet away from mine.
Part of talks about containing bass drum low end was to set up on a riser. Cheap to build and it doesn't need to be very high. Even 6 inches off the floor would help. Your neighbors might appreciate it. For the money I'm spending I'm not setting up on no damn riser. ;-)
 

dcrigger

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Part of talks about containing bass drum low end was to set up on a riser. Cheap to build and it doesn't need to be very high. Even 6 inches off the floor would help. Your neighbors might appreciate it. For the money I'm spending I'm not setting up on no damn riser. ;-)
And you shouldn't have to with what you're building.
 


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