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building a practice space for drums

Discussion in 'Drums' started by JCurtisDrums, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. JCurtisDrums

    JCurtisDrums Active Member

    Hello all,

    My goal is to build a practice space for my drum kit in the garden. I produce and record YouTube videos, for which I shall be using the room, but it will primarily be a rehearsal space for myself, so sound isolation is the primary goal, with room acoustics being a nice addition, but not as important. It will only be me in there, so just a drum kit. My sound meter records peak levels at around 93DB when it's right next to my kit and I'm playing. Maybe I'm not a hard hitter.

    My house is the end of terrace (Nottingham UK), so I have neighbours on one side. However, my garden is a large, triple plot backing into a field, with no neighbours on that side. The idea is to build the room in that far corner, furthest away from any neighbouring houses.

    garden plan.png

    This is a rough plan to show you the layout. The green area is my property. The three arrows show the rough distance to the neighbouring buildings. There is a field to the right, and the main road with no neighbours on the other side to the bottom. The goal would be to place the room where the red box is, with a minimum desired floor plan of 8x10, and be able to practise for 3-4 hours daily during daylight hours, with a minimum disturbance to the neighbours.

    I was planning to self build with the help of my dad, with whom I single handedly (quadruple handedly?) refurbished my entire house, including rewiring, replumbing and, crucially, stud walling. I plan to build the structure from timber studs, which brings me to my question today.

    I am reading Rod's excellent book, Build it Like the Pros, and was fascinated reading the wall construction section regarding the placement of mass. It seems a MAM 2-leaf double stud wall is ideal, but I am curious how this would work as an/the exterternal/structure wall. I am not building this within a room in my house, but as a standalone outbuilding. Would it work to simply build the double stud, with some extra external cladding on the outside surface? Rod's warnings at the start of the book have made me suspicious of adding ANYTHING to the walls in case I ruin the isolation.


    1. Does this look like a viable project? I'm not going for hightech, just a small, simple, isolated practice space made from timber, sitting at the bottom of the garden.

    2. If I want the double stud, 2-leaf MAM wall to serve as the wall for the building, how do I make it a suitable external wall? Will cladding simply add mass, or ruin the isolating properties?

    3. Do you have any tips or advice for a project like this? What would be my simplest approach for getting what I need?

    That should be it for now. I'll ask about the ceiling once I'm more sure on how the walls will work.

  2. JCurtisDrums

    JCurtisDrums Active Member

    Nobody has any thoughts on this after 10 days?
  3. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    Just a suggestion - although I liked that you drew a map? I did have to spend considerable time trying to decipher it to actually understand what I was looking at - like several reads and re-reads of your message and post to make sense of the pictograph. I'm not even sure why you drew it - basically you just needed to say I want to build a structure in my garden 30 to 50 feet from my home and neighbours and 20 feet from the road.... is that about it?

    I'm not one of the guys who will be giving advice re construction - not my area of expertise at all - but what I'd be looking for first from you if I was - was some idea that I wouldn't be wasting my time - like are you even in the ballpark money and understanding wise for this project. What's your current budget? Do you have permission to build a proper structure on your property? Are you going to heat/cool the place? Run power?

    I also went to your website. (The link doesn't work correctly from your profile - comes up as an untrusted connection -you need to edit the link and remove the "s" from "https" as it is not a secure "s" connection.) That might have spooked some people who wanted to check you out first.

    I think what happens here is often guys come asking for advice but they come on pipe dreams - and the experts get a bit burnt out offering up advice. That's why most of the experts here wont talk to you until you say you've got "the book"....

    But lately I see the pipe dream guys show up paying lip service to the book -- but still showing later that they didn't read it at all (and maybe didn't even have it) - and tricking the experts into giving advice only to find out that they guy was a time waster..... I don't think you are one of those guys - but others might be a bit gun shy to jump in, and if you add to dodgy link it probably spooked a few guys from jumping in.

    I watched a few of your youtube videos btw -- I liked the meter stuff you were doing - will watch again. Good luck
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I'm not an acoustics expert... but I can tell you that those here who are don't generally like to see anything with the adjective "roughly" used in the description.


    Don't kill the messenger .... I'm just making suggestions as to how you might get more attention from those who know what they are talking about.
  5. JCurtisDrums

    JCurtisDrums Active Member

    Wow, ok. Tough crowd. I tried to be as clear and concise as I could in my original post. I'm just trying to get some opinions on whether my project is doable, and get a bit of information on the processes described in the book "Build it Like a Pro...".

    I've removed the "s" from my website, in case that was putting anybody off...
  6. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    JCurtis -- the missing "s" in your weblink caused browsers to give a big red warning that your site was a fishing site - that it was not as it appeared - it wouldn't even allow people to go there - the browser message said basically "this site is trying to steal your information as it is misrepresenting itself". I just happened to dig a little deeper because I'd never encountered that warning before on my browser and found your problem - I even searched out your youtube videos to verify you were real.

    There's also this post from Rod himself. This is not a "hey we're too important to help you" kind of post -- it's a "in order to be able to help you we require some very specific information" kind of post

    I did suggest more info from you might inspire folks to weigh in --- for example: You ask a very specific question about walls -- but you don't provide much in the way of the specifics of the structure you want to build. Rod talks about sound in 3D so I would imagine that answering your question about walls would be dependent on the overall structure you propose to build itself - not just the walls - and the overall goals of your sound proofing needs? It might be impossible to answer without knowing what kind of structure you are building or want to build -- (I myself don't know because I have no expertise here - plus like I said - they could just be that you posted in a busy time period and your post got overlooked).

    Good luck with you project. It will be great for you to get out of the front room of your house and into a dedicated space.
  7. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    A mass/air/mass assembly has only three requirements.

    That you have a wall assembly that can support the external mass and an air space(decoupled area) and an internal assembly that can support the interior mass.

    Anything outside of this basic premise and you no longer have a mass/air/mass assembly. Like you seem to be suggesting that you will construct a double wall assembly...but that double wall assembly will be built inside of a sheathed structure.

    This type of building is typical of what is called a three leaf that has supporting data that shows you lose isolation in the low frequency area...the place you need it most with drums.

    Sorry it took 10 days...I really did not see your post and have been kicking myths out of the forum....which is kinda my forte.

    In any event an 8 x 10 is small....

    Sorry about my English...me and my phone are fighting.
  8. JCurtisDrums

    JCurtisDrums Active Member

    Thanks for the reply Space. It is as I feared.

    How would I solve this? What if my 2-leaf went, from inside to out, double-drywall - innter stud/insulation - air gape, insulation/outerstud - external cladding?

    I can't quite envisage what simply adding a layer of external cladding to what would be the outer layer of double-dry wall though. Surely if it went, inside to out, double-drywall - insulation/innterstud - air gap - insulation/outer studd - double-drywall + outercladding, that's simply adding mass to the outer layer?

    ------ EDIT ------

    Oh, I've just reread your post and it makes more sense. No, I wan't suggesting building the double wall assembly WITHIN an outer sheath, but simply adding outer cladding to the double stud wall to make it weather proof. The outer cladding would be part of the outer leaf, as I attempted to describe above.

    What I really want to know, though, is whether a simple construction like the one I'm suggesting, in the location and showed, would give me enough isolation to practice the drums without much bother to the neighbours. I would hate to complete the building, only to find it's still noise as soon as I hit the drum.

    Thanks for your patience, DosoverLava, apologies if I was rude.
  9. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    "It seems a MAM 2-leaf double stud wall is ideal, but I am curious how this would work as an/the exterternal/structure wall. I am not building this within a room in my house, but as a standalone outbuilding. Would it work to simply build the double stud, with some extra external cladding on the outside surface? "

  10. JCurtisDrums

    JCurtisDrums Active Member

    Ah, brilliant, thanks.

    What sort of sound isolation/reduction can I expect from this? Will it be sufficient to make playing for extended periods of time feasible without too much disruption to the neighbours?
  11. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    What exactly are the materials you will use on the exterior and how many layers of what on the interior?
  12. JCurtisDrums

    JCurtisDrums Active Member

    It would be two layers of drywall with green glue in-between, the middle stud(s) and insulation (depending on whether I do single or double stud), with two layers of drywall + a layer of external timber cladding on the outer layer.

    Because of the distance of the potential building from the neighbours, would I really need a double stud? I don't need maximum soundproofing. I just don't want the neighbours to be disturbed in their homes during the day. If you can hear it in the distance while outside, that's fine. I'm basically wondering if I can get away with a single stud structure.


    Regarding the exact nature of the external cladding, I am open to suggestions. You can buy generic Oak cladding, or there're other standard options like MDF?
  13. JCurtisDrums

    JCurtisDrums Active Member

    Incidentally Space, your profile picture is pretty much what I'm imagining in my head.
  14. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    How will you control temperature/humidity etc? Do you have a plan for that?
  15. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    That's what she said!!!
  16. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Please laugh ;)
  17. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    ha ha
    Space likes this.
  18. audiokid

    audiokid Staff


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