Topic: Building a basement drum studio - need soundproofing!!  (Read 8267 times)

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AndyDierker

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Building a basement drum studio - need soundproofing!!
« on: July 27, 2002, 01:25 AM »
Alright guys, here's another biggun. And I know about the other 100 soundproofing questions on this board already, but I need some specific info.

I'm going to be moving into my basement shortly - and my drums will be coming with me. Right above the basement is the living room, where my parents will be spending my practice time. At first, I was getting nothing but "NO" from the parents, but then Dad offered to build me a small studio room downstairs and would help me soundproof it.

Alright, so now we're getting somewhere. So we'll be dealing with a "room inside a room," and from what I read, that's a good thing. Now - MOST of the worry will be my sound going through the ceiling and pissing of the 'rents. Can you guys offer any soundproofing tips? Keep in mind we're building this room from scratch, so any help you can give me about wall-construction would be great. And the floor-studs of the basement ceiling are open, so I figure I could jam some sound-proofing stuff in there... I dunno what the hell I'm talking about here.

Also, this needs to be as cheap as possible!! Tell me everything! I'm poor, and mom and pop will start up with the "NO" session once I start handing them $800 estimates.

Recap: Building basement studio. Single room. 10feet by 10feet by 10feet. How do I soundproof the walls and ESPECIALLY the ceiling? Halp!!

Thanks ladies.
-Andy

guitarizt

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Re:Building a basement drum studio - need soundproofing!!
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2002, 01:38 AM »
Build a second ceiling?  Dead air is the best sound killer.

AndyDierker

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Re:Building a basement drum studio - need soundproofing!!
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2002, 02:19 AM »
Hmmm.... I thought about taht but didn't know if it was worth it. Is it?

Offline Bart Elliott

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Re:Building a basement drum studio - need soundproofing!!
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2002, 06:32 AM »
I agree ... mass and air are THE sound killers.

When I say mass, I mean making the ceiling thick. Insulate the ceiling, and even use to layers of sheet rock. Also, don't butt the ceiling of your practice room against the ceiling of the basement ... leave some air space. This will keep the sound waves (low-end frequencies) from traveling through the frame work.

Think of what you hear when you see a car drive by; the bass.  High frequencies are more directional because the wave patters are small, fast cycles. The low frequecies are big, slow cycling waves which can bend around corners, sneak through cracks, etc. When I same "small" and "big" I'm not talking about the amplitude ... which we perceive as volume ... but rather the length of the wave and the number of cycles per second.

In the free standing room, but sure to FLOAT the floor as well. Seal up ever little opening with caulk or insolation so that no sound is allowed to escape. If you run a ventilation system in studio room, try to make as many angles and direction changes as possible; make a maze. Doing so will cause the low-end frequencies to diminish because bass frequencies only bend so many corners before the disipate. It would be great if you could build the duct work out of wood, insulate the inside of the duct with a foam insulation. Even if you only hook up a fan to play cool air into your practice room, you want to make sure that there are no openings. This is where you want to build the maze of duct work which draws fresh air in.

Just some thoughts.

I'm going to have to do this very thing when I move to Nashville, except I will be converting an entire garage and/or basement.

Offline Big Yummy

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Re:Building a basement drum studio - need soundproofing!!
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2002, 09:00 AM »
Step one is to fill the space between the floor joists with fibreglass pink and hold it in place with vapour barrier (sheet plastic).  That will accomplish more than you'd expect, for relatively little money.  Ideally, you would then cover that with 3/4" drywall.  That may be a bit beyond your abilities, though.  Drywall acts as a fire barrier, and is a good idea in any case.  Don't use a wood product, though, or you'll be creating a fire hazard.

Next, you need to decide if you can afford a second ceiling.  The cheapest way is to find discarded materials from a commercial renovation and used it to install a supended ceiling below the existing one, with more fibreglass pink on top of that.  That stuff is fairly easy to get from office renovations and a drywall contractor may put some aside and even deliver it to you for a reasonable price.  (In most areas they have to pay to dispose of it.)

It would be better if you could create a second ceiling that doesn't touch the first, supported by second walls around your practice space, but that gets expensive really quickly.  (Do your math carefully.) If you do build second walls, tilt them inward slightly.

If you stick insulation on the walls and cover it with thin plastic and then drop-cloths, that will help a lot.  So will carpeting the floor.

It also helps to kill the corners.  You can stick big pillows, or bags of insulation in each of the four ceiling corners to cut down on reflection.

One important thing to remember is that the smaller the space, the easier it is to contain the sound.  Also, if you do your drawing and your math accurately, you'll find that as you make your space bigger, the material costs increase exponentially.  

Another thing to remember is that these suggestions, while cheap, won't begin to "soundproof" the room.  They'll just cut down the noise a lot.  The bass will be the biggest problem.   It's almost impossible to stop that without a lot more work and money than what I'm talking about.

You might want to consider trying to make your drums a bit quieter, too.  Brushes?  Damping?
"Some people say I ain't so super groovy.  Why don't I leave the music alone?"  Black Uhuru

AndyDierker

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Re:Building a basement drum studio - need soundproofing!!
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2002, 10:50 AM »
Second ceiling seems pretty plausible. I bet we could swing that.

Thanks for all the help guys, and keep it coming! What materials should I use inside the walls/ceiling that I build? Is there some kind of sound-absorbing material? I mean, what about that foam stuff? Is that expensive? Does it WORK?

TME: I actually don't care how technically "soundproof" the room is - I just can't have ANY sound going upstairs. I need to try to make it as quiet as possible so my parents aren't being driven mad by my constant pounding.

We're building this room for the sole purpose of isolation. The fact that I may get a studio-like sound-room is just considered icing on the cake.

Carn

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Re:Building a basement drum studio - need soundproofing!!
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2002, 11:56 AM »
i had the same prob, my practice room is an old attic, its pretty big (big enough to have a 5 piece band, including gear and even extra stuff like mixers etc).

for the floor i used alot of old carpets, and on top of that i had a good one to walk/play on. my teacher advised me to put my drums on a little platform (just a few centimeters), and put rubber where the platform makes contact with the floor (cuts out some of the vibration coming of the bassdrum). fortunatly enough, that wasnt necessary.

for the walls me and my friends (and my dad) built a wooden frame, around 5 cm of the wall itself. we stuffed that 5 cm full with special isolating wool. after that, we screwed big plaster plates on the framework. on the plates themselve are those carton things they put eggs in (only in my case, apples n stuff, i work at a local supermarket).

in the end, it worked fairly well. my drums can still be heard from the outside, but it isnt really "present".

AndyDierker

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Re:Building a basement drum studio - need soundproofing!!
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2002, 12:45 PM »
Carn: Yea, thanks! That's really all I need - something that my parents can turn up the T.V. a bit and drown out. It would just be nice to get it as quiet as possible.

Where did you get this "isolating wool" at? And what about these "big plaster plates?"

Offline Bart Elliott

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Re:Building a basement drum studio - need soundproofing!!
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2002, 12:51 PM »
Also ... talk to Felix. He is actually designing a new type of material for sound proofing ... it's called Wooley Wall. Do a search on the Cafe on the topic; you'll find more information about it there.

Carn

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Re:Building a basement drum studio - need soundproofing!!
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2002, 12:59 PM »
well im dutch, so my english isnt all that great....plaster as in that white, hard stuff, they come in big plates, oftenly used for temporarely walls n such, it also comes in a liquid form to put on walls (to close holes n such)

i got the wool at a store where they sell construction materials and such.

felix

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Re:Building a basement drum studio - need soundproofing!!
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2002, 03:07 PM »
Lots of great advice here.

Wooly Wall is selling like hot cakes thank goodness and I just so happen to have about 12,000 sq. feet lying around.

www.woolyinc.com and you can see our product.

It's really alot easier to work with than the loaded PVC barrier for about the same price and actually has a better STC (sound transmission code).

I would probably tear down the existing drywall if there is any in your basement ceiling (10ft isn't much) and place mineral filled insulation between the studs...but the wooly wall over that and then screw on rtc (resiliant channel- voila instant air gap) and then screw your final layer of drywall up...that should get you close to 60-70 db of attenuation.

I would also use some of the wonderful foam sound absorbing  products out there...but get at least the 4" stuff.

Be prepared to put your drumsticks away for awhile when you are making your studio and dive and get it done.  Plus DON'T FORGET ABOUT VENTILATION...figure something out...you are going to need it.

AndyDierker

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Re:Building a basement drum studio - need soundproofing!!
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2002, 06:24 PM »
Errr, what is "RTC"?

Also, I thought everyone was saying "second ceiling," meaning that I would make more of a soundproof BOX than a soundproof ROOM. Like, not have my studio ceiling touching the actual basement ceiling at all....?

So this is what I gained so far, lemme know if I'm misunderstanding: I'm building a 10x10x10 box. In between studs I'm putting insulation, which we have lots of. After that, I'm buying Wooly Wall from you, and putting it in there (how much would I need? And how much would it cost?) Then I'm screwing in RTC... but what the hell is RTC? Then I'm slapping on dryway? I figured I'd put some carpet over the drywall for that little extra umph... and because we have a LOT of carpet lying around.

You say the sound-proofing foam (4-inch wedge stuff), but where do I put that in? On the outside of the walls/ceiling after I'm done, or inside between the studs? And isn't that stuff REALLY expensive?

And ventilation... I forgot about that. Uhoh.

Carn

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Re:Building a basement drum studio - need soundproofing!!
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2002, 10:48 AM »
well, if you are the only one going to use that practice room i think ventilation isnt a priority, if you play one hour, take a break (and leave the door open) things would be fine

felix

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Re:Building a basement drum studio - need soundproofing!!
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2002, 11:30 AM »
RSC is resiliant channel.

It is basically extruded metal strips...it can be tricky to find at a fair price, but just be patient and do your homework.  Call Richard at www.noise-busters.com  He is excellent at this sort of thing and he's a great guy.  He can find any noise attenuating construction product for rock bottom prices.
Anyways-
One would screw in a side of the strip on it's edge.  This edge acts as a hinge to a larger screwing surface or land.  So after one puts up all this rsc channel (basically outlining your existing stud pattern) one would have all these metal strips exposed and ready to screw another layer of drywall too.  One has to be careful not to choose too long of a drywall screw for the final layer of wall, cause that will defeat the whole purpose- the screws would act as a vibration transmission "vehicle"- (ever talk into two cans at the end of a string?  Same theory.)  It's tricky to instal but being patient and methodical as well as throwing up a few chalk lines will help you.   A stud finder is not necessary, but can come in handy in a bind.

To figure out the area of each surface one would mutiply the length x width...so you would need a 100 square feet for your ceiling or 600 square feet total.  You would need at least 19 sheets of wooly wall, but I would recommend you get a few extra for windows and or mistakes.  

But since I am such a nice guy and fer sure Bart is for letting me ramble on like this...and just not to give you the sales pitch I suggest you go to www.auralex.com and download their "Acoustics 101" file.  Their foam products are just fantastic...you would have to see one to fully appreciate it.

BTW...ventilation is extremely important.  Carbon Dioxide creeps up on one very fast.  I notice it in my studio within 15-20 minutes...and mine is substantially larger than yours.  I actually start gasping for air!  It's weird, so I actually run my fan (I have a dedicated HVAC system) all the time or at least the heat or AC.  Have to keep that air moving.  Think of the cubic volume of your room, your lungs, how much air they cycle (breaths you take).  We take breathing for granted!  And think of sound like water...to get it under control you have to get the "holes out of the bucket" your room being the bucket.  A "tight" sound treated room will not have any air gaps to let o2 in.

OK have fun.

marker

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Re:Building a basement drum studio - need soundproofing!!
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2002, 05:55 PM »
Room in a room-especially the ceiling-would work great.

To not piss off the neighbors and your parents, hard dense materials are best.  Try a double layer of thick plaster board, including the ceiling.  It's cheap.  Don't let the ceiling of your practice room touch the real ceiling.

On the inside, put anything soft you can get (sheets, carpet, blankets, foam) on the walls, floor and ceiling.  This will allow you to hear what you're playing without a lot of echoes getting in the way.

felix

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Re:Building a basement drum studio - need soundproofing!!
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2002, 06:14 AM »
I have to disagree using two thick pieces of plaster board or hard dense materials. The problem with rigid materials is the sympathetic vibrations...and if you put TWO pieces of the same material together your STC will drop even lower (bad thing).

Sure it's cheap, but your low mids will fly right thru and into your parents family room.  So then where are you?  You totally ruined your basement.

I especially liked Carn's idea of putting up insulation and then plastic to hold it in place.  You might need the plastic if you use batting type insulation or SAB (mineral filled- very heavy and recommended) insulation.   Also rubber floor isolators are the way to go...auralex sells these...as a matter of fact I have almost a whole box I need to get rid of.

Ok have some fun...go for it, you will learn alot about sound by building your own studio.  You would be surprised how it helps you in your musical career.

Offline Bart Elliott

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Re:Building a basement drum studio - need soundproofing!!
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2002, 04:04 AM »
Good point about the two layers of sheet rock Felix. It works for me because my studio is in my garage which is only attached to the house on one side. I don't have any transfer of sound however ... but your point is well taken.

I'm going to be building a new studio in Nashville soon; just bought the house and moving in two weeks. Maybe I should post my weekly developments, showing pictures and designs here at the Cafe. We could all learn as I build this thing, place I could pick everyone's brain in the process.  ;D

felix

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Re:Building a basement drum studio - need soundproofing!!
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2002, 12:45 PM »
Awesome...sounds totally exciting.

 

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