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New Studio

Member for

21 years
Hi all

I have spent some time reading in this forum and I am excited to have found this place. I am fairly new to recording and I will share my current setup before asking advice for my future/current plans. At that time you will have learned that I probably have more money than sense and let me add that I don't have a ton of money.

Pro-tools mbox 2
bbe sonic max
a computer system that can not be bought by the general public (it is enough - trust me)
a couple vocal mics
an instrument mic
event monitors
Gibson studio
martin acoustic
g & l bass
fender strat
not much common sense.

My plans are to build a room addition 20' x 24' on 6"x6" pressure treated post and am looking for suggestions and tips on soundproofing the floor? the walls? any design tips at all would be appreciated? this will be a new construction and will mainly be used for recording. I will also mention that the equipment above will be replaced. I have ordered the DAW vocal booth plans also.

Any suggestions would be appreciated



Member for

13 years 10 months

bent Fri, 11/02/2007 - 21:08
a computer system that can not be bought by the general public

Deep Blue?
The Cray-2?
That computer at NORAD in Wargames?
What speed have you got? 280.6 TFLOPS? :lol:


It's never hurts to float the floor (make an airspace underfoot).

If you can, the best sound control (killing it from going outside, not killing it inside the space) is to fill the walls with sand.

Don't kill all the reflective space in the room, keep some liveliness in there! Make use of some non-reflective, mobile walls if you want to deaden things short-term.

Find yourself some old sliding glass doors, remove them from their frames and make some new frames out of wood, double pane them of course, one piece of glass slightly angled from the other and slap them in the wall.

It's alot more involved than that, but you get the general idea.

Member for

21 years

Member Fri, 11/02/2007 - 21:16
Thanks for the reply bent!
The computer is more than enough for any and all audio processing i'll ever need. I just wish it was mac based. We can refer to it as computer 51 - LOL!

I should also mention that sound leaving the room is not an issue as I basically have know nieghbors. Do you think it would be better to let some sound escape? or should i seel this studio so minimal sound escapes?

Member for

14 years 2 months

Space Fri, 11/02/2007 - 21:25
bent wrote:
a computer system that can not be bought by the general public

If you can, the best sound control (killing it from going outside, not killing it inside the space) is to fill the walls with sand.
Wonder if you could explain how to build a 2X4 sand wall?

You looking to use the 6" p.t. posts as a post or a sill?

Member for

21 years

Member Fri, 11/02/2007 - 21:41

my home is on a 3 ft tall ,block foundation and i do not want a cement truck on my driveway so a footer is out of the question. I must get the room up off of the ground so i will use 6x6 post to get the floor even with the floor in my house. Also to follow local code, I must use 2x10 floor joyce! I like the idea of a floating floor, it might be easy to run cables. The problem is, I don't know how to get a floor to levetate off of a surface to create an air pocket, - LOL!!!! BTW: I will never win a spelling B!

Member for

13 years 10 months

bent Fri, 11/02/2007 - 21:43
It's not uncommon, but a bit rare to find.
You can keep sound from transmitting through the walls by adding extra layers of sheetrock, or drywall, or high R-value insulation.

Sound travels easily through air. When you add solid materials it lowers it's volume considerably. Sand and rock / brick are very good insulators against sound transmission.

I've seen blueprints for sand-filled walls around, thought I had them saved on my HD, but alas I gotta search for them...

Member for

13 years 10 months

bent Fri, 11/02/2007 - 21:45
In order to reduce the transmission of impact noise or to increase the sound transmission loss (TL) rating of the structure, a Kinetics® Floating Wood Floor is frequently used. Kinetics® Floating Wood Floor construction is used in condominiums, apartments, and commercial buildings for the control of impact noise produced by pedestrian footfalls or other impacts.

In recording studios, sound rooms, television or movie studios, Kinetics® Floating Wood Floors are selected to reduce the transmission of external noise into the studio. Kinetics® Floating Wood Floor construction is also used for dance and exercise floors with resiliency requirements which comply with standards established by amateur and professional dance groups.

Member for

14 years 2 months

Space Fri, 11/02/2007 - 22:03
A floating floor, if it is of any need, is the attempt to isolate one structure from another. If the building has not been built, there is not much need for floating the floor.

And when it is built, if it is built specifically for sound related purposes, there still should be no need for floating the floor.

Member for

13 years 10 months

bent Fri, 11/02/2007 - 22:26
A floating floor isolates mechanical movement, and sound propagation.
It prevents sound from transferring from one body to another that is sitting on the ground in close proximity.
Stomp your feet on the ground in your house; You can practically make your cabinets shake. I'm doing it right now, and I've got concrete floors.
If you stomp your feet on the ground near a lake the fish in the lake hear it and haul butt - they hear the soundwaves from your feet and scatter!

Member for

20 years 6 months

MadMax Sat, 11/03/2007 - 07:35
Not to rain on Bent's parade, but floating a floor is a serious step to consider requiring a fairly sophisticated bit of engineering to do it RIGHT.

You want to drop the resonant frequency of your floor as low as possible. To get it down to say... 3 or 4 Hz... you are talking SERIOUS energy absorbtion and HUGE amounts of mass. This is only compounded when you are suspending a floor as in placing it on pilings and joists suspended in the air.

There are points of diminishing returns. The best solution is to find YOUR point of diminishing return and work from there backwards.

It really sounds like you're pretty serious about building your studio. I would suggest dropping over to the Acoustics Forum and putting your ideas up and let Rod (et al) look them over and assist you in finding a good solution for your needs.

Floating floors are more often than not, unnecessary. I was of the opinion that they were. Over the last 5 years of designing my studio, I have found that there are plenty of better alternatives, from a cost/point of diminishing returns aspect.

In my case, isolating the rooms on their own pads and putting those pads on sand beds is far more cost effective than floating. The individual pads prevent immediate coupling of flanking noise. The sand acts as an additional dampening agent to any flanking noise transmitted from the pads to earth.

You mention that you have to build on pilings. (I'm not convinced you do) But that's going to present some serious issues. You may indeed be looking at floating a floor. Instead of a meager 6x6 and 2x10 joists, you might actually be looking at 12x12 concrete pilings down to bedrock with steel beams to carry the weight of two different layers of concrete separated by the steel plates and springs. It might be that you can use 6x6 posts, but at some ridiculously narrow spacing. Your soil consistency and local codes will dictate what you will have to do as a minimum. It will be up to you to decide whether the minimum standards are good enough, or if you want/need to go over those standards. All of these factors will be unknown until you actually know how much weight the floor system is going to be, in addition to the additional weight of the walls, ceiling and roof system... including whether you are going to do room within a room design. It can actually be a HUGE amount of weight you are trying to float on these pilings... literally more tonnage than you would imagine.

Actually, floating floors does NOT make it easy to run cables. It actually compounds the issue. You cannot run anything in between the mass layers and your conduits will have to be secured to the joists underneath, or you have to run them in the walls or overhead. Running them overhead potentially creates an issue with your power... again, if you're really serious about how you're putting this together.

Also, concrete can be pumped a pretty darned long way. So the truck could be out on the street and pumping to the back yard with no issues other than a bit more of a charge to get it pumped.

Sand filled walls... Hmmmmm... interesting concept, but rather expensive proposition in that you cannot run romex and your wall penetrations are going to be a real PITA. Why not just use MDF and multiple layers of gypsum? If you don't want a concrete truck on your driveway, you won't want all those sand fill dump trucks on it either.

You really should get a structural engineer involved at the earliest point you can. Again, I would suggest getting over to the acoustics forum ASAP as well. There are some other studio forums I would recommend hitting (and a few I wouldn't recommend). If you're interested, PM me or pop by my thread over in Acoustics and look over the insanity.

Member for

14 years 2 months

Space Sat, 11/03/2007 - 09:55
That's what I meant.

Even if a low ball sq. ft. cost of 50 bucks is used, the floating floor puts budget way over. And I don't even know if there is a budget!

Sure, floating floors and sand filled walls are reasonable measures for isolation but if they don't fit the doesn't matter how good they are at what they do.

That's all I'm saying. At some point, it hasn't happened yet, a voice will type the words "and as cheap as possible."

Wait for it....

That was a darn good r&d explanation Max, thanks.

Member for

13 years 10 months

bent Sat, 11/03/2007 - 11:47
No rain here, finally!
And besides, like all good hitchhikers, I've always got a towel! :lol:

Anyway, truth be told, I considered floating the floors at Rocket City, but there was no way we could have been able to afford it.

So, instead, I did what I could with the angle of the additional walls that I had to frame, and the glass that we installed, and invested a ton of money in high R value insulation - the space is only 750sq. ft. so that wasnt' a huge dent.

Luckily, my business partner and I already owned the gear that we installed, so the majority of our startup cost was put into the buildout and the lease of the space...