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Paging Space/Andre...lol..again.

Discussion in 'Room Acoustics / Isolation / Treatment' started by DonnyThompson, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Hi guys.

    I've been reading Rod's book, and I'm thinking about perhaps building an isolation area for vocal recording.

    I have a space which has recently become available to me:
    The space is a spare BR in my house. Dimensions are 8'W x 9'L x 7'.5"/7.7"high ), and I'm wondering if it might be more beneficial to build an actual vocal booth within this room, or, would it be better to alter the existing room, turning the room itself into a booth, which would include altering existing construction and materials that are already in place.

    The walls are not parallel. They vary as much as 2" on the ends of each, including the ceiling, which has a slight canter that results in the ceiling being lower by almost 2" (1 & 7/8 to be precise) on one end.

    Existing materials are what you'd expect in a 70 year old house; plaster ceilings, 5/8" sheet rock walls (insulation between the joists on the outside walls only ( 2 outside walls, with OC R19 in 16" center joists) and a hard wood floor. There is 1 window, ( dbl pane, energy efficient).

    My instincts tell me... no... wait, scratch that. Who am I kidding? I have no instincts.

    I'm looking for a good level of isolation, I don't want to half-ass this. I'm more concerned with noise from the outside getting in than I am sound getting out, although, if one is treated, then so is the other, right? This noise could be anything from birds chirping to a heavy rain storm, or, the occasional truck going by.

    Ventilation is, of course, important. I'd like to be able to breathe in the space while I'm singing. This is not an option. ;)

    It's only necessary that the space be big enough to accommodate one vocalist comfortably, although if you decide that using the entire room would be better, I could easily - comfortably - fit 4 vocalists.

    Acoustic treatment methods within the space are of course a concern. But my main question at this point is: which would be more effective and cost efficient? Reconstructing the room for this use, or, building a separate vocal booth that would be placed inside this room?

    I do have some existing materials on hand - half a bale of Roxul Safe & Sound (3" thick battes) as well as quite a bit of construction grade lumber - 2x4's, 2x2's, 1x2's, as well as four 4x8 sheet of 3/4" ply.

    I have no OC703 remaining.

    Location, Northeast Ohio.
    Budget: $500 (or is this a moronically low figure of expectation?)


  2. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    If you got 2 grand build a booth, if you got 10, do the whole room. If you got 500, keep saving man. A couple of canare wire lengths and switch craft connectors is gonna cost like $80 if you make them yourself. That's 1/5 of the projected budget. See where I'm heading w this? I'm curious to see what the other guys say, but that's my thought on it. At $20-100+ per sqf, $500 doesn't go to far with studio construction. It's roughly $25 for a 5lb box of screws. And $75 for a basic solid core door, slab, no frame. That's about a third of the projected budget. Just for cable, a door,and screws.

    I'm guessing the rooms are on a wooden deck? This is a tricky area. So is reasonable ventilation, although those whisper rooms looked like they had a couple computer fans... so I dunno.

    A 'experinced drywall professional' who's "built studios before" built booths I tore down, and re built. The one booth the owner decided to keep shared a common hollow wooden deck on concrete, with the control room. The CR rear wall(s) assembly houses an ac and the inner wall leaf transmits floor vibration into LDCs in the booth. The booth is a great storage closet :) and unfortunately was the larger of the three in the studio.

    I say save your $. IMHO naturally. Curious what the big dogs say.
  3. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    So k...what the heck is "A couple of canare wire lengths and switch craft connectors is gonna cost like $80 if you make them yourself." <====that?

    But I would say as well, use the entire room. 70 year old houses are often elevated wood framing...that is gonna be your weakest link, sight unseen. The window will require you to develop a window plug that matches as much as possible the existing wall assembly.

    They work....but they can become heavy so you will have to decide will it be removable or stationary. I built mine in place.

    Your ceiling may or may NOT be able to get massed up, if it is on a first floor, you may get a break. Still, 70 year old framing while true dimensions of 2X, material were often spanned at longer distances than are what is now acceptable. We would have to figure that out.

    All things considered, budget considered, massing up the walls, ceiling if possible, and floor if possible, would go a long way in controlling exterior sound.

    The HVAC is gonna be another thing. You would want to decouple the existing air from the house in traditional broken paths with lined baffles. Problem is that unless you install a return air port with the same features, the room will fill and with no pressure release for the air, very little air will continue to fill the room since there is no way for it to exchange with the system, negative pressure I believe it is called, kind of like being in an airplane or hospital room.

    So you would need that release or rather exchange because temperatures would not be stable and more resemble the heat of the bodies in the room rather than the actual temperature after a while.
    kmetal likes this.
  4. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I dunno how relevant it actually is to donnys case. I think what I was trying to say is that 50ft of good mic cable, and some good connectors was almost 1/5 of a $500 budget. I was figuring about a $1 a foot and about $25 for 4 connectors. That's about what I paid last year when we got some spools of the canare neglex. There's certainly others ways to do things, and possibly without a noticable difference audio quality. Just trying to come up w something besides, don't forget how much screws and caulking cost, cuz I usually immediately think of hidden costs whenever someone talks about building something diy

    A very roundabout way of saying I don't think $500, in general, goes far for this sort of thing. Although, I have to say, I wasn't even thinking of the possibities that massing up the existing structure would be suffient. Definatley a lot of holes in my game. $500 does buy a reasonable amount drywall (about 40 sheets around here). now that Im thinking of it, I never really had bleed problems when things are in spe rate rooms, in houses. If anything, it's usually rattles, or hums, that cause more issues than bleed. I think I jump to the extreme with isolation, because my personal preference leans toward absolute privacy.

    I've never been in a booth, or a studio even, that had an efficient (perfomance and cost) HVAC system. I wonder why this is so overlooked?
  5. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Thanks Guys...

    Space... There is a heating vent in the room (also AC through the same vent in the warmer months), that is a direct feed from the plenum of the furnace...

    CRAP. Double Crap! A thought just now came to me, this very moment while typing...

    I'm gonna have some serious noise and/or vibration transmission to deal with from the furnace itself - as it is located directly underneath this room (in the basement).

    There is also a cold air return in the room. (If it matters, this return is of a much older style - it's a piece of wood that is cut out of the floor; it matches the rest of the floor, 1 .5" thick, (with 1" diameter round holes cut into this removable piece.)

    The floor is actually two layers. I can see this looking at the sides of the square that's been cut out for the return vent. There is a first layer of 1.5" thick sub-flooring, and then the hard wood flooring on top of that -
    which is also 1.5" thick.

    In regard to this, as well as the location of the furnace, I don't know how this changes things, and/or to what degree. I promise I didn't leave this part out of my first post intentionally. It literally just now came to me as I was typing.

    It's not sounding good very though, is it?
  6. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    "It's not sounding good very though, is it?"

    All dyslexia aside, if you can isolate the entry and exit ports of the HVAC, you would have to monitor the unit and work when it is not on. Seems easy enough?
  7. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    LOL... yes, that would seem easy enough as a resolution. Unless the temperatures in NE Ohio are hovering around a balmy -15 degrees ... like they are right now. ;)
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    just think, if you had a big old large format console, you wouldn't need heat ..... lol.
    Space, kmetal and bigtree like this.
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff


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