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FDP Forum / Home Recording Forum / Hopefully going to start on my studio before too long.

Contributing Member


Too Much GAS
Sep 10th, 2017 03:11 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have a 12' X 24' wooden shed with an 11' barn-shaped roof in my back yard that I'm going to turn into a man-cave/recording studio.

A few months back I hired an acoustician (acoustics engineer) to help me with the design. His job is going to design barrier walls to keep what I want in and what I don't want out. He is also helping with the room treatments so that I can get the room to sound as good as I can get it to. He was booked for a few months so now he's getting into my project.

I have had some minor health issues of late so I wouldn't have been able to work on it anyway. Between all of the doctor's appointments and work I have had no time. I had some sinus surgery done 3 weeks ago and I'm on the mend so I should have some more time. I just need to get at the studio construction before it starts getting cold. I'm sure I won't finish it but I'd like to get started on it at least. Then I can mess with it when I get a chance and the weather allows me to.

The shed is 30 yards from my nearest neighbor so there's a bit of space between us. My next closest neighbor is 100 yards away. I just hope I can get the room isolated enough where not much gets out into the environment. I have about a 45 to 50dB noise level outside so keeping that out shouldn't be much of a problem. Most of that noise is birds and other critters. There is an inner loop bypass about 1/4 mile away so there is SOME traffic noise but it's not too bad.

I can't wait to have a stand-alone studio again. Somewhere I can work on my stuff without having to be concerned if it's bothering anyone or not. Who knows. I might even be able to record loud guitar amps again instead of using the modeler all of the time. YIPPIE!

After spending a fortune on gear all of my life I decided to put a real effort into making my listening environment sound as good as I can for my budget. I can do the construction work. I just needed someone with a higher knowledge to help with the acoustics for a small room. There are lots of acoustical problems associated with small rooms that I want to control as best I can. I don't have the luxury of a large room to help control all of the sonic issues.

Maybe, once I get the studio done, I can spend less time practicing my guitar and more time writing music again.

(This message was last edited by ninworks at 05:13 PM, Sep 10th, 2017)

Contributing Member

Whitehorse Canada

I don't get out much
Sep 10th, 2017 06:51 PM   Edit   Profile  

Sounds like fun....I am jealous...:>)

Looks like your distance from the neighbors won't be a problem....
Investigate the "inverse square law" to determine how the attenuation of sound in a point source system behaves. That will tell you what the neighbors will hear

Pretty much certain that the neighbors won't be an issue.
Keeping sound out is another matter.
As a "for instance"....when using pink insulation to stop sound....the thickens of pink must be 1/2 the wave length of the target frequency to stop the energy from leaving or entering the room.
A 60 Hz wave is about 16 feet long....so.....pink is off the menu.
I am quoting from stuff I read 20 years ago.....so.....my numbers may be wrong.

Contributing Member


Too Much GAS
Sep 13th, 2017 03:45 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have been doing a lot of studying modern barrier wall construction and low frequency attenuation and absorption. The shed is just an old 2X4, studded wall, wooden shed with 1/2" exterior paneling on the outside. It has 2x8 floor joists on 12' centers with 3/4" plywood for the floor. There's not a lot of material between the insides and outsides so I am going to have to add to it substantially.

I intend to frame an interior wall and ceiling inside the existing structure from 2X12's after adding some more material to the 2X4 shell that is already there. In between each stud I am going to tune the low frequency modes by building a diaphragmatic absorption unit in between each of the 2X12 stud spaces. I can tune the low frequency problems around the room by changing the absorption characteristics of each of the diaphragmatic aqbsorbers between the studs around the perimeter of the room. After doing that it will be a matter of placing foam panels of different absorption levels and rates to help control the mid and high frequency reflections. The 2X12 interior walls are going to eat up a lot of floor space but I can deal with that. It's going to be just me out there most of the time and I have no ambitions for turning into a commercial facility. Smaller and good sounding is more important to me than larger and sounding lousy or having the neighbors hear when my stomach is growling.

It's going to be rather involved so that's why I hired a professional to do the heavy lifting with the design. He makes up the plans and I build it. That's the only way I can afford to do it unless all of you want to buy a few lottery tickets and mail them to me. :o)



Thank God for guitars!
Sep 13th, 2017 10:26 PM   Edit   Profile  

The 2x12 may be overkill and as you have pointed out will eat a great deal of floor space that you will not get back. I would seriously consider spending your dollars on lots of Sheetrock of two different thicknesses. Put one on the inside of the existing 2x4 stud walls. Then seal all corners and seams with rubber sealant caulk designed for acoustic sealing. Don't worry about how that looks. Then build a room inside the room with 2x4 studs. Don't let the plates touch the existing outside walls. Use a different thickness Sheetrock for these walls and orient the panels horizontally if you had the sheets oriented vertically on the other walls. The different thicknesses and opposite orientation makes for entirely different Sheetrock panel natural frequencies so there will be very little coupling of panel modes from the more outside walls to the room in a room walls. This will take up about the same floor space as the 2x12 wall but breaks the mechanical path to the outside walls. You can put absorbing material between the two sets of walls. The diaphragm absorbers are a bit more of an art. Bigger question is how you are going to ventilate. That can kill a whole bunch of expensive wall construction and acoustic treatment on walls if you don't heed the path that hvac ducts create. I have first hand disappointing experience with this.

Contributing Member


Too Much GAS
Sep 14th, 2017 03:35 AM   Edit   Profile  

I know all about the the double layered sheetrock/dual wall construction. This is the 4th studio I've had a hand in building. Depending upon the recommendation from the engineer I may use some sheetrock along with something else on the existing 2X4 frame before installing the 2X12 wall. Boundary wall isolation is all about layering different materials. There will be an air space between the 2 internal walls. As for "coupling" it has a wood floor so it's going to be attached anyway. Not a lot I can do about that.

As for HVAC I will have the compressor unit outside and a small air handler under the floor. The shed sits on the side of a slight incline so one end is off the ground about 2 feet. I can pull fresh air in from under the building by running a small vent out under the floor on the opposite side from my neighbor. After construction is done I intend to place sandbags underneath around the perimeter to stop any sound from propagating from under the floor out into the environment. Then I'll build a skirt around it to hide them. It's a small room so it won't take much fresh outside air to ventilate it properly. Even with that I'll probably have to build a baffle box to help contain any sound leakage.

As for the diaphragmatic absorbers, there will be no sheetrock on the internal walls. It has to be wood in order for them to work properly. I want them to absorb the low frequencies not reflect them. Not that the sheetrock would entirely reflect them but, the frequency response characteristics would change the operation of the absorbers considerably. Again, that's why I hired a professional to figure all this out.

I have built 2 studios before and had a hand in designing and building one other one. So, I have done a lot of homework and study about barrier wall technology and internal treatments. Even with that, I always thought the rooms could have sounded better. I hired a guy who has been doing this exact work for 30 years and done hundreds of rooms. This guy doesn't just talk the talk, he walks the walk, so to speak. In everything else I have always had the opinion that someone else's experience is almost always cheaper than my mistakes. Since I've been down this road before, I want to do it right this time and not just use what is popular opinion on the internet and by sales pitches from companies selling products. No offense meant to anyone here. Opinions are just that, opinions. I wanted to use someone with the technical training and experience to do it correctly. As with anything, I'll have to see it through to the end to see how well it turns out.



Thank God for guitars!
Sep 14th, 2017 06:27 PM   Edit   Profile  

Now I understand what you meant by diaphragmatic absorbers. In the listening room that we had at GM there was a similar absorber built into the ceiling of the room around the perimeter. It effectively was a rectangular tube with x-section of about 3'x2' with paneling for the walls of the tube. The vertical walls of that room had two very cool acoustic control features. The lower 1/3 made up what amounted to a Helmholtz absorber employing 1" x 4" oak planks with a 1/2" gap between them and a cavity of unknown depth behind them. The upper 2/3 of the walls were panelsbwith a plan view of a parallelogram and mounted on a rotating axis. They were highly absorptive with one of the long surfaces rotated to face the inside of the room, and highly reflective if the other surface was facing the inside of the room. You could radically change the reverb time of the room from pretty dead to pretty live depending on how many of the panels were absorptive vs reflective facing the inside of the room. I had responsibility to schedule and maintain the equipment in that room for about 10 years. Some of the other cool features it had were mechanical isolation from the rest of the noise & vibration control lab and the roof drain pipes were clad in lead to cut down on water flow noise making its way into the room. It sounds like you have considered it all. Enjoy the room!

FDP Forum / Home Recording Forum / Hopefully going to start on my studio before too long.

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