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New studio design

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New studio design

Postby kinglouis » Mon May 06, 2019 9:32 am

Hi all,

I'm looking just to bounce a few ideas around, any thoughts and opinions very welcome.

I'm building a new studio near my house, in a garden about 30 metres from a lane frequented mostly by tractors. I have built a few studios before with reasonable success at keeping noise intrusion to a minimum, but they were in pre-existing buildings that I adapted, this one is different: I don't want to lay a concrete slab, it'll be raised off the floor by a foot or so with an 8" x 2" joist floor. Studio size is roughly 7.5m x 4m with an apex roof.

From what I have understood (and please note I am not claiming to be any kind of expert at all...) a large component to stopping sound is mass. The heavier the walls the better. Even better, two sets of walls with a bit of separation in between. The most successful studio I built had an existing thermalite block exterior, then an inch gap and an internal stud wall filled with rock wool, clad with plasterboard with seams filled with green glue and then finished with t&g. Too sets of doors, two sets of windows etc - you could only just hear drums when standing outside.

However because I'm building on joists not a slab, I don't think block-laying is an option, the walls will have to be wood.

Therefore my quandary is whether it is worth building a 'room within a room' when both sets of walls would be stud framed. If so, fill both with rockwool?

I know life would be easier if I laid a slab and built it on the floor but that's not an option, these are my parameters. I also know that I will need to be as careful with sound escaping through the floor as with the walls and ceiling.

The success of the studio will not live or die by 100% silence internally; I do record live a fair bit but its only a small proportion of my work - I've just seen quite a few things I've produced back on telly and thought 'why did they put birdsong on my track' only to turn the telly off and the same bird song carries on outside my house... I'm aiming for silence but really will be happy with something workable.

Thanks for reading the essay, if anyone has any bright ideas as to how to construct the walls, I'm all ears!

Many thanks,

Alex
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Re: New studio design

Postby Kwackman » Mon May 06, 2019 9:47 am

Sounds interesting, Alex, although I'm confused about what you are building on. Is there a base from an old building? You said
kinglouis wrote:it'll be raised off the floor by a foot or so with an 8" x 2" joist floor.
What is that floor (the one underlined)?
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Re: New studio design

Postby blinddrew » Mon May 06, 2019 9:57 am

Studio Support Gnome will probably chime in in due course (he is the man wot knows stuff) but, as i think you already know, you are making things difficult for yourself!
For the walls to be effective they need mass, you can achieve this without using blocks but you're going to run into structural issues supporting that on wooden joists I reckon. But that's not insurmountable.
The floor is going to be your challenge. The same principles of mass and separation apply here.
You could build a lovely mass-air-mass wall and ceiling, with a nice high STC, but if they're attached to a single elevated floor you're going to lose that benefit as sound will just propagate through the floor to both shells.
I can't think how you'll be able to build an inner shell of sufficient mass with any mechanical separation from the floor.
You can still build a room, that may function ok for mixing, but it's going to be nothing like your previous builds with concrete bases.
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Re: New studio design

Postby kinglouis » Mon May 06, 2019 10:01 am

Effectively its in an orchard, but rather than laying a concrete slab, I'm sinking posts or screw piles into the ground, like this:

https://myhomepage.ca/archives-helical- ... nd-screws/
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Re: New studio design

Postby kinglouis » Mon May 06, 2019 10:11 am

Blinddrew - yup I have definitely tried to square a circle by suspending it off the floor! I've built quite a few outbuildings where we live and I am trying to avoid any more ground disturbance if possible, especially pouring concrete.

If we all scratch our heads and reckon it can't be done without spending Norway's sovereign wealth fund to make it usable then I'll think again.

There's always block and beam - which provides you with a floating concrete / breeze block base.
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Re: New studio design

Postby blinddrew » Mon May 06, 2019 12:53 pm

Hmmm. It does seem to suggest that correct use of those piles could take the relevant weight of the structure, but we're into design specifics and out of concepts then so you'd need to do the maths.
Do you have an acoustician working with you? I'd absolutely definitely be wanting someone who really knew their stuff. I mean, I'd want one for any studio scratch build, but when you've got an added complication in like this... Spending some consultancy money upfront will at least tell you how much of the Sovereign Wealth Fund you'll need to be asking for... ;)
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Re: New studio design

Postby kinglouis » Tue May 07, 2019 10:17 am

I have no acoustician to speak of currently but would definitely be interested in working with one - do you have any recommendations?
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Re: New studio design

Postby blinddrew » Tue May 07, 2019 4:42 pm

If you're in the UK it'd be worth PMing Studio Support Gnome. He's very highly rated here and, whilst he's not done work for me, he has done work for lots of others on this forum.
I'm sure he'd be able to point you in the right direction if it's not something he's able to help with. :)
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