Question about Rod's book/my construction?

Discussion in 'Acoustics (Live Room, ISO Booths)' started by peteresat, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. peteresat

    peteresat Active Member

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    Hey guys--my name is Peter. I'm new here--I found this forum after reading through Rod's book. I'm about to have a studio built in a room in my basement in Colorado (by a guy who I know has built at least ONE studio before shown here: http://windovertheearth.com/rooms.html), and I've been really going back and forth over Rod's book trying to find an answer, but have been unable to find one just yet. Wondering if some of you guys could maybe help? I'd sure appreciate it. I have a pre-construction meeting Monday and I still need to find an answer.

    My question (at least one of them) is this: I've roughly figured the cubic footage of the room to be 2,730 ft³ (W 17' 10" x L 17' 4" x 8' 10"), and this qualifies me as having--according to Rod's specs--what he calls a medium-sized room (p. 33 in the book). My goal is to build what he calls a "combo room." But it seems to me that the suggestions he gives for using ratios, etc. are only what he recommends for small rooms--i.e rooms under 2,000 cubic feet. What I'm trying to figure out is exactly how to deal with the room modes if my room is bigger than the suggested ratios. Are there other ratios I could use that better fit my dimensions? I know that later in the chapter about "putting it all together" he goes through an example--which is great--but I guess I've never found a concrete answer as to what exactly I should do with the room modes in my particular room.

    I can tell you that I think I understand his descriptions about isolation (a high requirement for me) well enough to be able to communicate what I want to the contractor--I just don't know what to tell him about dealing with the room modes if he doesn't really know what to do.

    Anyway. Thanks for any reply, guys. :)
     
  2. Brien Holcombe

    Brien Holcombe Well-Known Member

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    Did your guy come over today?
     
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  3. peteresat

    peteresat Active Member

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    He did. Thanks for asking, Brien. It was...how do I say this? Both encouraging and kind of a disaster. Ha. Encouraging because it helped me realize I have a lot more planning to do and that I need to get some more help--which I did. (I found a guy who is an acoustician by trade and I scheduled a meeting with him. He seems legit and very straightforward. He spoke in terms very similar to what I believe I've learned from Rod's book. So, we'll see. I just know my limitations, man. There is a point to which I can follow along with the book, but when we get to things like design and room testing, I wanna start crying and wet the bed.) :)

    The way it was a disaster was that this builder guy reeeeally had a mishmash of ideas which, I guess based on what I've learned from the book made me realize if I just hired him to design it and so forth, it could get out of hand fast in terms of what I want. But again, it was kind of encouraging nonetheless because he was happy to help me once I have a more detailed plan, and was willing to not charge me an arm and a leg. So...

    Not what I expected/kind of exactly what I did expect/but ultimately helped me move on to the next phase. And meeting this guy didn't cost me anything. Thankfully. Meeting the acoustics guy will, but not that much. And I think it's reasonable. I'm a musician, man. I'm no builder. If I did this fully myself, I'd be done when I'm dead. So I'm happy with where this is heading.

    (Sorry for posting all that stuff on the wrong thread, btw. I just went with it since you guys were being kind and engaging me.)
     
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  4. Brien Holcombe

    Brien Holcombe Well-Known Member

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    It's cool my friend...posting on the other thread I mean...it is just an orderly fetish of mine....

    You made the right decision to put on the brakes...this part is more time consuming then actually constructing it...trust me...I have been involved in hundreds of these here and at Mr. Sayers place (I go by
    xSpace over there its a play on math...x being unknown and all that)

    Anyway..if your acoustics tech is going to design this thing that's cool...but I (we) would like to be involved as much as possible since you seem to know what you want and understand your limits and this is the first lesson on building101.

    I do not remember where you live in the U.S. so what I say next may not be doable.

    When you construct a room in a room which is what an isolated environment is termed you have to support the structure. ..to the existing building so it can stay upright.

    Many people...acoustics techs...will go right to isolation brackets and things of that nature to aid in the above goal.

    If the design is done properly...and this is the important part...and sheathed first layer with OSB or 3 ply plywood...the inner room will be able to support itself without the aid of connections to the outer building. Make sense?

    ElectriCal wiring is run low or closer to the ground and audio wire is run overhead. You want to keep the two apart and away from each other to kill the opportunity for introducing hum into your audio path.

    Because of the very properties of a well isolated room...it will be hot...and it will be stifling so you must have air and that is another tedious task handled by baffles and such. You will be in a hermetically sealed room and you can only introduce so much air/pressure into the environment until the system is either not able to put in anymore or if done right...the exhaust will balance the outtake of bad air.

    Windows and doors are always the weakest link so they will get special attention.

    Keep us involved...there may be a nut or 2 here at recording.org that will try to be a superman and gum up the works with over thinking and complete unrelated nonsense. So just know it's coming...lol

    Good luck....I believe you can do it if you give it the required time it takes to produce a plan that works.
     
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  5. peteresat

    peteresat Active Member

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    I appreciate your input, man. Thanks for offering to help me out, too. Believe me--I definitely welcome it. I'm heading out to dinner with the fam right now, but I'll write back later again. I've already got some questions per what you said above. Talk later.
     
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  6. peteresat

    peteresat Active Member

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    Basic dimensions.png Proposed orientation:layout.png 3D Room with joists.png Hey Brien,

    Just wondering if we could open up this dialogue again. So, I met with an acoustics guy, and I decided that I'd rather not involve him. Learning the hard way, I guess. He did help me to not be so intimidated by this whole process--so. there's that, I guess. But basically, again, I felt like his ideas deviated too much from stuff I've read in the book. So, I guess I'm kind of looking to you guys for some advice. I've started messing around with a CADD program to punch in the basic dimensions of my room, so I'm going to upload that stuff here and ask for some opinions.

    What follows is one picture just detailing the dimensions, and then another one with just a slight modification--it's basically just the orientation in the room that this guy proposed--and then lastly a 3d model as close to how it actually looks as I can get.

    What I'm looking for is input on whether the guy's proposed layout makes much sense or if someone would maybe recommend orienting everything in a different way in the room. The room has that sump pump in the corner, so I'm going to have to enclose that in a closet or something, and this guy proposed using the remaining space on that North wall for a closet (I'm sure there's a more "architectural" manner for explaining direction in a CADD program besides using conventional map directions like "North," but I have no idea what they are and this is the easiest way for me to explain direction). Anyway, because I'm confused now about whether to actually use one of the ratios in the book since guys on here said my ceilings are too low, I'm wondering first:

    1. Should I use a ratio or no?
    2. Either way, is there an optimal orientation for this room that any of you guys could suggest? (I.e. anything better or more symmetrical that you could think of than this guy's proposed layout?
    3. Should I try to incorporate all that space on the North wall or partition it into a closet like he suggested to achieve some symmetry? (He also recommended making the doors to the closet somewhat thin so I could fill the closet with insulation or whatever and use it as a big bass trap as well as a storage closet. I like the idea of the symmetry and the bass trap, but this is one area where I felt like his advice was way too different from that of the book's.)
    4. Also, I'm unsure about his vestibule idea. I do see in the book that Rod included an air-lock in the design at the end, but I guess I'm wondering if that is why I think it is: is it because a single door will be weaker than a double wall at that point? I mean: since it seems like doors achieve ratings of around the mid 50's for the STC thing, is it necessary to have two or will one suffice? Sorry. Not sure I fully understand the whole STC thing yet. What I mean is, I don't even know if I were to build a double wall room within a room what the final STC rating could or should be?

    Anyway. Thanks for any help here, man...
     
  7. peteresat

    peteresat Active Member

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    Shoot...I'm not sure I even uploaded those attachments properly. (Is there a better way you could recommend?)
     
  8. Brien Holcombe

    Brien Holcombe Well-Known Member

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    You hit "upload a file" button and then select the file. It may have a file limit...so that could pop it.

    I would suggest using Sketchup...it is so easy to use...much easier then cad if you are just learning.
     
  9. peteresat

    peteresat Active Member

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    Yeah...that's actually what those drawings are from. I just edited it and uploaded them as thumbnails. Hope that's ok.
     
  10. peteresat

    peteresat Active Member

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    So, here's another idea that I actually came up with. It cuts out a lot of the room, but it at least does it in such a way that deals with the sump pump and the pipes on the left side of the room--which has to be done anyway--in an economical fashion. The other side of the room is where I lose the most space, but if I use one section for a vocal booth maybe, and the other for some storage, I think it could be pretty cool. The dimensions for the actual walls on the perimeter of the room are accurate, but the inner walls are only an estimate based on if I did 10.5" wall assemblies. I also have been playing around with the room ratios listed in Rod's book to see if it could work (based on a ceiling height to the bottom of the joists of 8'10"), but that's really still one of the unanswered questions: should I bother using a ratio? These other guys with their "8 ft ceilings are the kiss of death" comments really set me back and I have yet to sort out an answer? Am I wasting my time trying to work with a ratio in this small of a room or no?

    Anyway, in this design, I also like how it would enable me to build in a symmetrical way, and it keeps that stupid beam behind me if I position my mixing desk towards the top wall. What do you think?


    My design idea.png

    My design idea.png
     

    Attached Files:

  11. peteresat

    peteresat Active Member

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    Yeesh. I'm really having a hard time figuring out how to upload the right sized photo, man...here's another try... My design idea.png
     
  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    it appears to me what you are trying to do is make a silk purse from a sows ear. a basement with an 8'10" ceiling is not a good start. what you will end up with is an expensive room in your basement that will lower the value of your house. the first thing the next owner will most likely rip the room out to put in a laundry or a rumpus room for the kids. they will have no need for the splayed walls with a window in the wall that divides the two rooms. that will become a sticking point in the sale.

    an 8"10" ceiling is just not high enough to do accurate monitoring. the first thing needed when building a proper studio is high ceilings.
     
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  13. Brien Holcombe

    Brien Holcombe Well-Known Member

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    I agree with kurt....but I do not remember seeing a budget.
    There is no kiss of death acoustically there is only what do I expect and what I am paying. ...and these are the things I concern myself with.

    If you were looking to setup the next Apple studio with a 10k budget...it wouldn't take but a few minutes to dismantle that pipe dream.

    Some of these old timers...like @Kurt Foster forget the recordings done at Sun records and a host of other acoustically inaccurate places that yielded worldwide fame.
     
  14. peteresat

    peteresat Active Member

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    Ok guys...the point is duly noted: the ceiling is too low. But then, I have to ask: why the eff did Rod write an entire book on how to do this and then work through an entire hypothetical example at the end of said book using a basement with a ceiling only 7' 6" in height to the bottom of the joists (p. 238)?

    I mean, it seems to me that has already been taken into account or the guy wouldn't have written a book for dopes like me unless he's just having a big laugh at our expense--which I don't suspect he is. Secondly, I'm aware of what this project could potentially do to the resale value of my house...and...I don't care. I ain't planning on moving anytime soon.

    So...that leaves me with the original issue I came here with: I need constructive answers. Excuse my terse reply, but the clock is ticking and I'm hoping somebody here can help me out with this. I'm gonna build the friggin thing, so now I want to know how to proceed. So again, I'll ask: does anybody have any constructive ideas regarding the layout I've proposed? And...again...should I or should I not attempt to use a ratio to fit into this space? It seems to me the answer to that question would go a great deal toward helping me sort out the layout/orientation of the space.

    Does anybody have anything to say that will help me proceed? Please?
     
  15. peteresat

    peteresat Active Member

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    My budget is somewhere between 10-18 grand, Brien.
     
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  16. Brien Holcombe

    Brien Holcombe Well-Known Member

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    It's late..I will give this.more time tomorrow...
     
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  17. peteresat

    peteresat Active Member

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    Thanks, pal. :)
     
  18. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.

    ahem ..... uhhh not hardly.
    Sun Studio

    Studio Dimensions
    Front Room : 12' X 17'
    Great Room : 17' X 28'
    Control Room : 17' X 20'

    and it has high ceilings too! here's pics. Sun is a very good room.
     

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  19. Brien Holcombe

    Brien Holcombe Well-Known Member

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    Not in the beginning...it was a dead voice room....those are after success
     
  20. peteresat

    peteresat Active Member

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    Kurt, none of those pics is of the control room--which is all I'm trying to build. What Rod calls a "combo room" in his book--i.e. a room primarily used for mixing but which can maybe be used for a small amount of recording. Have you thought all this time I've wanted to fit a live room in this space?
     

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