Building a new Drum Room

Discussion in 'Acoustics (Live Room, ISO Booths)' started by Jason Morris, Mar 19, 2018.

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  1. Jason Morris

    Jason Morris Active Member

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    Hi!

    I have been slowly working on building out a new room in my basement for practicing/recording drums.
    It's been a slow process, that has thus far involved removing water heaters, and breaking up the concrete floor to re-route the water main so that I have a relatively unobstructed floor space to work with.
    I have about 8' 4" from floor to the bottom of the ceiling joists, and about 11 1/2' x 14' of space to work with.

    As a side note, the rest of the basement is finished, and the lovely wife isn't wild about me tearing that stuff apart as I do my build.

    I have started beefing up the existing subfloor above my space using 'rods method' of adding two layers of 5/8 drywall between the joists, with green glue, and then battening them into place with 1x2.

    My plan is to build the 'room in a room' and have a new "inner ceiling" supported by the new framing I build.
    In the picture attached you can see what I have going on thus far.
    My questions are:

    In the attached picture, you can see a space (labeled A). On the other side of that is the brick veneer of my home.
    If I seal that area up with drywall and acoustic sealant, am I essentially creating a small 3-leaf system once I have my drum rooms walls built? Should I fill that cavity with layers of drywall? just insulation? Or is it such a small space that I shouldn't be fretting about three leaves?

    Also, Above this ceiling is our 'formal' dining room (not used much).
    In the space labeled "B" you can see the ductwork feeding the vents in that dining room.
    Keeping in mind that I AM going to be building that decoupled "inner" ceiling, what should I do about that duct and vent feeding the dining room?
     

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  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    Hi Jason, welcome to RO

    I did essentially the same thing a few years back. Doing a room in a room and it paid off greatly.
    I did the setup in the image below but I used a layer of Carton Fibre Naturel "TENTEST" to seal up the rockwool and avoid particules in the air.
    I bought Safe and sound doors and used the 2 glass of a patio door as a window to see the artists.
    The air gap all around the room is a good isolation and having 2 sound isolated walls facing each other helped too.
    As for now, only low frequencies bleeds from my room but it's a very low amount. Not enought to bother my neighbors (I'm in a duplex)
    Also I added bass traps and accoustic pannel inside the room because mine is very small and had Flutter echo and bad reverb...

    green-glue-wall-types-double-stud.jpg
     
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  3. Jason Morris

    Jason Morris Active Member

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    Thanks RCRecord!

    Yep, that's pretty much exactly what I am planning on doing. I had not heard of Safe N Sound doors before. I will look into them. I am going to need two doors for my drum room, and one door from my "control room" to the rest of the basement.

    When you built your studio did you have to deal with any duct work feeding the house above you? That's what I am trying to figure out at this point. The best way of dealing with that. My gut tells me that if I beef up the subfloor and use mineral wool insulation between the joists that by the time I build the rest of my "room-in-a-room" I wont have much sound being transmitted upstairs thru the flexible ducts. But I also dont want to put a bunch of $$ into the ceiling construction only to have it wasted because I neglected to do some simple thing correctly at this stage in construction.
     
  4. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    No I didn't have to deal with ducts. But I guess I would deal with them the same way as any audio source, Isolate with rockwool drywall...
    Are you alowing air to come in your room from the ducts ?
     
  5. Jason Morris

    Jason Morris Active Member

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    Those ducts won't have anything to do with the ventilation of the room I am building. I am planning on pulling in fresh air from outside with some inline centrifugal duct fans. Stale air would be blown out the other side.. maybe into the garage? Cooling/heating will be done with a mini-split system. At least that is my plan right now. :)
     
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  6. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    hey Jason, welcome to RO. congrats on getting the book, and hammering thru the most tedious part of your build. i can relate to your pain, having gone throught the process on several builds. heres a couple thoughts i have regarding your posts.

    i was having a hard time visualizing things from the picture. i annotated your pic, to show generally where the drywall should go. make sure its staggered layer by layer at the juncture where the ceiling bay drywall and the wall bay drywall meet. its pictured in the book. three leaf systems should be avoided whenever possible regardless of size. if it has to be, se la vi, but otherwise the effort should be made to not have them. i believe theres a couple three leaf wall sections at the Powerstation NE, but i am not sure which ones.

    if its possible to re-route it, that could be the quickest easiest solution. you have two options if the duct has to stay, presuming the ducting isnt the same diameter/width as the joists. put the drywall above the duct, tight to the deck, like you did on the other bays, or pad out the void in the bay that surrounds the duct, then install the drywall in the bay, so the duct is buried. that would be my preferred order to those methods.

    as an aside you may want to look at it as an opportunity to upgrade to an insulated solid duct, which is much more efficient that flexible. i dont believe rod recommends soft ducts for anything.

    it would also help if you had a sketch of the basic floor plan/layout because its difficult to feel oriented otherwise (for me st least).

    also, i wanted to verify your using backer rod and (non hardening) caulking the gap between drywall and joist. an FYI, not sure if your using the temp nail/ledger board method, or screwing the drywall directly into the deck. where applicable, ie you wont screw thru floor above, you may be able to save some time doing it this way.


    anyway, congrats on your build, the obsessive attention to detail required, is worth it in spades, every single second your in that studio.
     

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  7. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    unless you need rockwool for fire code reasons, stick with standard fluffy R- value insulation. its cheaper, more efficient at absorbing bass. the slight db or so advantage. rockwool provides, is not worth it in wall cavities. save the money for when you need rigid fiberglass/rockwool for the acoustical finish treatment, thats where its best applied in studios, generally. insulation's job in a cavity, is simply to dampen resonance within the wall(s) cavitie(s). like adding moon gels to your toms. your isolation is gain thru decoupled, air sealed mass, drywall in this case.

    just wanted to mention that when i thought of it.
     
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  8. Jason Morris

    Jason Morris Active Member

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    Hey, thanks for responding Kyle!
    And thanks for annotating the pic I provided.

    So, if I am understanding you I should fill those small 6"x3"x5" cavities just above the concrete wall with drywall.
    Also I should try to remove that insulation from the cavity above that.
    I'm not sure how rough that will be. It's that blown in, glue-like stuff... Like "Great stuff" on crack... not the fluffy insulation.

    Also, I AM using backer rod and Green-Glue acoustic sealant in the corners.

    Regarding my ducts.. I'm not sure if re-routing is an option, because the way the room is built, there isn't really another place to route it in.
    So I think my only option would be to not have any HVAC service to that room in the house. Personally, I don't much care, as the room doesn't get used a lot, but I feel that if I ever wanted to sell the place that could come back and bite me on an inspection and I'd potentially be required to put hvac back in the dining room.
    I will think about it a bit though and see what the boss thinks of that idea.

    I DO like the idea of replacing the ducts with insulated solid ducts. If I need to keep that service there, I will do as you suggested and rip out the flexible duct, add my two layers of drywall, backer rod, and caulk, then place solid insulated ducting in there.
    Thanks for that suggestion.

    I will try to get a new floor plan worked out in sketchup asap. I have an old sketch I did, but it included a "box" around a problematic water main that was exactly 2 feet into the middle of my drum room. I decided to break up the concrete and re-route that water main to the area that will be my "air lock" between the drum room and the control room.

    I was unaware that the fluffy insulation was better at absorbing bass. In fact, I thought it was the other way around? Ugh. Every time I think I have a handle on this stuff, I find out I read something wrong. :D
    Is there a particular R-value you would recommend for between the joists? Should the whole cavity be filled?

    Thanks again for taking the time to respond to my numerous questions. I apologize if I'm too wordy. I'm just trying to make sure I know what I'm doing.
    My new wifey and step-kids did NOT grow up with my drumming, so I really want to make the space I have available as isolated as I possibly can, within the confines of what she will go for, or course! even if it costs a bit more $$ or takes me a bit more time.
     
  9. Jason Morris

    Jason Morris Active Member

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    I went ahead and attached a couple of the old sketches I did for my room.
    At the time I did these, I was planning on an "inside-out" wall. After reading Rods book, I am wondering if I should should just build the walls an inch away from the existing concrete walls. I think it might be simpler and easier to seal up.

    As I mentioned above, that box in the upper right is no longer part of the plan, as I move the water main around the corner.
    The grey walls are concrete. To the left of my room is the garage, with the far left door leading to a flight of stairs going up to the garage.

    As I said, I will try to update my sketch and add more detail this week.

    Thanks again.
     

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  10. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    hey glad i can help. please excuse all the quotes, it helps me keep track.

    yes.

    what is behind that insulation? lol, if removing that insulation is as rough as it gets, you'll be the luckiest studio builder in history. if it comes down to it theres probably a 'best method' or trick, online. i hated wallpaper glue, and scotch tape resiudue, until i discovered murphys oil soap, and wd-40, melt that stuff away.

    excellent! rods plans work, provided they're followed precisely. you can substitute the brand name 'acousitical sealant' for non-hardening silicone, or butyl caulking. save yourself some more money and buy it bulk, your gonna need alot of it. several cases gets expensive at $6 a tube.

    tpypically residential hvac systems are overspec'd. theres a possiblity you could patch into some other ducting, perhaps in the attic, or thru the wall. Hvac is the area i know least about. in my experiences ducting either been there already, or we installed the ductless systems.

    where is the control room located? you are aware that air-locks diminish isolation a little right? just want to check.

    im in over ten years, 6 studios, and taking graduate level physics online, and still scratching the surface of the acoustics world.

    the R-value is whatever code calls for in those joists (which are 2x??). not sure how many layers of drywall your planning on, (with drums id be planning three), but you may have to use something sized down, if the drywall in the bays, and the ceiling design calls for it.

    are you still planning an independently framed ceiling?

    having only done it Rod's method, i can only attest that it works as prescribed. any time ive inserted my 'bright ideas' without verifying with an acoustician, it hasnt worked like i wanted. fortunately it only took a couple fails to learn. Rod generally describes the most efficient way to do everything. Its a great resource an had an immensely positive effect on my life and work.

    i attached your sketch with some of my thoughts on it, some things are easier to express right on the pic.
    i cannot stress how crucial this attitude is towards having it done right and within a reasonable budget. theres alot of planning involved, but willingness to take the time will pay dividends in the end. you never regret doing it right, and you'll only cry once at the bank. theres nothing worse than 'if i only had....' once the place is built and the budget is used.

    have you taken some sound meter readings with and without you playing? do you have a working budget? what other rooms or gear are involved in the studio? do you have your electrical, lighting, and wiring planned? not trying to be overbearing, just trying to get a feel for the whole scope of the project, since its as strong as its weakest link. (enough cliches for ya? lol)

    i always enjoy when people are willing to put in the effort and do these things right. there's too many hacks and myths out there.

    cheers!!
     

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  11. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    PS. if you haven't already, you'll probably want to get some backer on bulk from amazon or somewhere. its significantly cheaper than at the hardware store, and you can sell the rest. you'll need quite a bit of this stuff. i usually order 3/8", and 5/8" reels.
     
  12. Jason Morris

    Jason Morris Active Member

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    Behind that insulation is whatever sheathing is attached to the house, and then the brick veneer.
    I haven't really tried to remove the insulation yet, and if that's what I have to do I will bite the bullet and figure out how to get it out of there.
    However, I have been browsing around and I thought that I saw a post of Rod's where he talked about filling voids like that with closed-cell spray foam, which is what that is.
    I realize there is no acoustic absorption benefit to doing so, but my understanding was that it would couple the drywall that I plan to install over those cavities to the sheathing on the other side of that cavity so they become "one leaf", thereby alleviating the "three-leaf" problem.
    That was my thinking, but if you are pretty sure it's a better idea to scrape all that spray foam out of there and fill it with drywall, I'll get to scraping!

    $6? I'd love to pay 6 bucks! I've been paying 8 a tube for the Certainteed Green Glue from Menards.

    I was NOT aware that an airlock would diminish my isolation! Thank you! The "Control room" is really a pretty loose term for just a finished part of the basement that I have my gear set up in. The wifey was not keen on me ripping and rebuilding that whole area from scratch, as it was nicely finished, but she has become far more accepting of the ideas of adding drywall and acoustic treatment. I just had a door frame framed out last week so I can isolate that area a little more from the rest of the finished basement. It's not ideal, but it's what I have to work with. I attached some pics to give a better idea.

    Yep!

    I have indeed taken some measurements.
    My playing in the drum room is about 118DB when I am really whacking them.

    Around the house, I got the following readings
    Dining room (directly above the room I'm building the drum room in): 88 dB
    Living Room: 72dB
    My Sons room which is in the finished part of the basement: 86dB

    The electrical panel is in a closet at the back of the room I am using for a control room. I haven't got the routes planned yet, but am planning on surface mounted boxes to cut down on the number of penetrations.
    I have put some thought into running the other wiring. Planning on running PVC pipe from the control room to the live room. Not a straight run of it, but with a few bends, and maybe rubber couplers to help alleviate transmission noise thru the PVC.
    Looking to cable for maybe 16 mics, 4 headphone returns, and a couple of ethernet cables, as I think if I build this right I should have terrible wi-fi coverage in this room.

    And you are absolutely NOT being overbearing. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your input on this.


    Regarding the comments on the picture.

    I love the idea of using that hallway as a reverb chamber. Had not even considered that. Who doesn't love the "When the Levey Breaks" drum sound? Neat!

    The other side of that wall is a closet, the stairway going upstairs (closet its beneath it). On the other side of the stairs is the furnace room, which is central to the basement. The other finished areas of the basement are around that. I'll try to draw things out more completely this week.

    That area that I was planning on using as an Air Lock.. that could absolutely just be included as additional square footage in the drum room. However, that IS the area where I had to put that problematic water main/meter. If you dont think thats gonna be an issue, I will gladly extend the drum room into that space.

    I have attached some more pics to give a better idea of what I am working with.

    As a side note, the carpeting the the "control room" is going to be taken out.
     

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  13. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    if you can somehow be absolutely sure that cavity is sealed, then add more blow foam and cut it flush with the studs, if you add drywall on top, itll be considered one leaf. it may require you to space the wall off the foundation an extra inch or so, which isnt the worst thing. its either that, or is gotta be taken out. if left as is, its a huge breach in the isolation. my prefernce is to remove it. it gives a chance to peek into the cavites for pipes, wires, and bodies, while keeping variables to a minimum.

    its good you've got a basic idea of the high and low voltage wiring, that can be used as a baseline for the plans, and evolve as needed. you may also want to plan on an hdmi or two, and some USB/data cables, for drives and peripherals. theres a good chance your gonna want a qwrty keyboard, and screen near the drums so you can operate the DAW from either room.

    The advantage you have with the true Room-in-Room, is you can carry much more drywall, both on the existing structure, and the new one. you save money by not having to use clips, and channel based systems, or Green Glue, which are good products, but charge a premium for they're benefits. the more you can stick with standard the better, from cost, convenience, familiarity, and ease of use.

    the place you have to commit to is how many layers between the joists. i'd aim no fewer than three, no more than five layers. 3 is probably the golden number, since you'll gain more performance from additional layers on the isolation walls/ceiling, than in between the existing joists. but if you got the moxy, by all means, as much as you and the bays can take is good, because its wont be easy to get to later.

    while your doing the bays, is a good time to solidify the planning. having the plan complete before starting the new construction is essential. its impossible to plan for the unexpected things that are gonna crop up, so plan for everything you can.

    your most likely gonna want your first layer of sheathing for the iso walls/ceiling to be OSB plywood. this offers structural integrity to the walls, lowers the resonant frequency, and is forgiveness for missing s stud thru 2 inches of drywall.

    cool. its hard to visualize things otherwise. a basic floor plan with, with poles, and other objects of interest noted, and some dimensions, and a basic gear list, would be great for keeping everyone on the same page.

    totally plan on using it for something!! a bass trap, storage, or just extra sqft, the more space you can have for the drums sound the better in this case. the first studio i built was for my uncles home studio, and i just boxed out the water main (which was in the control room) with a little access door on it to get to the shutoff. theres going to be good use for that area.
     
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  14. Jason Morris

    Jason Morris Active Member

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    That's pretty much what I was planning on doing. If I can't get a good seal between the drywall I install over those bays, and the foam, I will rip it out.
    My buddy, who is helping me with this stuff, is a very talented carpenter. Between the two of us we will figure something out, or we will rip the foam out.

    I'm not sure if USB would be really useful over such lengths. I actually use my iPad for transport control of my daw when I record myself. I'm planning on connecting a wifi Access point inside the studio, connected to an ethernet cable going back to the main router.

    Yep, 3 was what I was going to do

    SO you think I should do a layer of 3/4" plywood, then two layers of 5/8 drywall?

    In my original 'vision' for that area as an "airlock" I was planning to treat the walls with mineral wool. maybe creating a dead space for vocals or a little amp room.
    I would like to extend the drum room into that area, doing away with the air-lock idea altogether, but I am not sure how I could effectively build a wall around that water main without either making the water main and meter impossible to get to, or without hurting my isolation.
    Do you have any ideas for how I would build a proper wall where that water main/meter is while still making the meter and shut off valve accessible?
     
  15. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Those are the scariest words in home studio. in my mind theres nothing to figure out. a putty knife, chisel, and hammer, will have that out in ten minutes. i wouldnt give it a second thought, just keep it simple. dont mean to sound like an a$$. you can see two of my builds here http://triadrecording.com/ just so you have an idea of the type of projects ive done. im by no means a master, but ive got a good well rounded base, and learned from some really knowledgeable people. id just try and urge you to stick with the known, tried and true, whenever possible. its obviously your call, i have no attachment to the project.

    yes. this is how Rod does most of his builds, and i believe added that detail to the 2nd ed of his book. i only have the first ed. what i wold also do upfront is consider the 'what if' three layers doesnt provide enough isolation. you have the option of more layers, or of using green glue upfront. if budget allowed, the green glue is a good bet, less dust, hauling, and hanging, but is a bit more expensive, than layers of drywall alone, and a toss up when it comes to installation. if its DIY then the GG becomes less of a price difference.

    it dpends on alot of things, but i would look at it as three layers 'might' cover your needs, and it might realistically, but snare drums cut air, and peoples tolerence levels vary so, i would account for this in the provisional section of the budget.

    those are good ideas and definate possibilities. if you build the wall around the pipe, you can put a door, or a small acessess panel there to get to the meter. as long as things are gasketed properly, and the door/panel is as massive as the wall (ie same # of layers of drywall) your all set.
     
  16. Jason Morris

    Jason Morris Active Member

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    I'm already using Green Glue as I beef up the existing structure. I'm planning on Green Glue between each layer of drywall in my build.

    Ok. Maybe I'll give that some thought and see if I can come up with something. Thanks again!
     
  17. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    can you explain this a bit more? green glue is only effective in places they've tested and recommend it would be wasteful/inefficient otherwise..

    Here's a quick illustration of what can be done around that pipe.
     
  18. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    as far as isolation goes, you should be Rock Ready! im glad your realistic from the get go about your requirements, that's usually the folly of most projects. glad to help, this stuff fascinates me. Cheers!

    P.s In 'The Book' in the doors and windows, or hvac section, i believe, rod does as diagram of a little door for an iso wall where they use a Thru wall air conditioner, like what you put in a window. thew same concept can be applied to anything that needs temporary access.
     
  19. Jason Morris

    Jason Morris Active Member

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    I have been cutting 5/8 drywall into 14 1/2" strips to beef up the subfloor "leaf". So between my joists I have GreenGlue, drywall, GreenGlue, drywall, sealed with green glue sealant between each layer, then battened into place with 1x2. I thought that I got the idea from Rod's book, but I have read so many things on the internet, that maybe I'm conflating what I read in his book with something I read somewhere else.

    At this point, the "beefing" is about 80% done, so if I did things wrong, hopefully, it is just wasn't cost effective. I'd rather lose the couple hundred bucks than all the time.

    On another note, I decided to go down and see how easy it was to pull that insulation out.. Way easier than I thought. I will just go that route.

    Thanks for the ideas about dealing with the pipe! I think I will do something like that too. :)
     
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  20. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    oh ok. i dont recall seeing that in the book, perhaps it was the second edition. either way its not gonna hurt top just finish up the way you've been going. the green glue will make an improvement, certainly not make it worse. it just makes the improvement difficult to quantify. no harm no foul at this point imho. Glad to here the insulation removal looks quick.
     
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