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Garage conversion to studio & soundproofing

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Garage conversion to studio & soundproofing

Postby chriskfhall » Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:38 pm


I'm in the process of purchasing a house that has an attached garage.

The garage is instantly getting converted into a new production cave :bouncy:

I've started my research in to the various approaches to reduce the amount of sound that will make it to the outside world, and I've yet to find any clear definitive guides that will allow me to create a spec for the builder I'll be working with to price and build it.

There are some good step by step guides but they are often from sites that sell quite expensive products that make up part of the solution (Having said that, I'm aware that soundproofing isn't cheap).

I'm currently looking to build a room within the room.

the internal dimensions of the garage are currently 2.2m W x 5m L

I'll be....

- Building a stud wall that will have rockwool insulation loaded loosely in to the cavities
- Attaching a resilient bar system to the new stud wall
- Attach a sandwich of two acoustic plasterboards and one sheet of mass loaded vinyl
- Using sealant at every stage of the process
- The final finish will then be applied to the wall

I'll also be treating the floor and ceiling, but I'm not so far into the research for that

My main questions at the moments are....

- Has anyone here done this recently? I'd love to hear what you've learnt

- Which plasterboards would you recommend ?
- So far I've looked at acoustic plasterboard from Gyproc, are there other comparable boards?

- Which resilient bars are good options for consideration?

- Are products like's soundboard going to add too much expense to the project? Would I be better off sandwiching vinyl between boards?

- What are your thoughts on wiring, and integrating patching/cabling systems into the build

- Ventilation solutions

- And so on.

I really don't want to overlook any part of the process while I'm in the planning stage, so any step by step help would be amazing!

The studio will be in use every day, music production is my profession, so the treatment has to be effective. The garage is not attached to any neighbours property, but the street is quiet.

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Garage conversion to studio & soundproofing

Postby zenguitar » Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:13 pm

It is worth finding a qualified and experienced acoustician to help with this. Even a day's consultancy to visit the property and assess what is required would identify issues you might not be aware of.

You could spend a lot of money on excellent work but get poor results because of some quirk in the construction of the garage that an experienced eye would identify immediately.

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Re: Garage conversion to studio & soundproofing

Postby Music Wolf » Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:25 pm

chriskfhall wrote:I'm currently looking to build a room within the room.

the internal dimensions of the garage are currently 2.2m W x 5m L


That's pretty much the same size that I started with (typical single garage). I split mine down to about 3.8 in length with a 1.2m utility room at the back. You enter the 'studio' from the house via the utility room and the front wall of the 'studio' (what was the up and over door) is now a solid wall with a small, double glazed, window.

I do not have sound attenuation (aside from a heavy fire door), just some absorbers to try to take the low frequencies for mixing. It's pretty 'snug' as it is and I don't think that I could afford to loose any space by creating a room within a room (not with any meaningful gap). One person working in their is fine, two ok but three starts to feel claustrophobic

I use headphones a lot of the time or choose my times / duration when using monitors.
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Re: Garage conversion to studio & soundproofing

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:01 pm

All the above plus this It is a long thread but well worth a read.
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Re: Garage conversion to studio & soundproofing

Postby James Perrett » Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:28 pm

I built my most recent studio about 6 years ago. Having had various builders involved in my previous studios I decided that the only way I could get it done properly at an affordable price was to do it myself. Builders know absolutely nothing about soundproofing (although they often think they do) and will often do things that totally negate all the effort you've put in to designing a soundproof room.

Having been heavily involved in building 4 previous studios and also having had a few tips from an acoustic consultant I went for a similar construction to your proposal but left out the resilient channel. I went for Gyproc's recommendation of 19mm plasterboard plank with a layer of 12mm acoustic plasterboard on top of that. I also used a layer of Green Glue between the layers of plasterboard and, if the attenuation wasn't sufficient, I knew I could add a further layer of 15mm acoustic plasterboard to improve the attenuation. As it turned out, 2 layers was enough.

I would add that I started with an outer shell that had been built by a local building firm but to a more soundproof specification than the average single skin garage.

My ventilation system is fairly simple - just acoustic ducting bringing in fresh air to each room with separate acoustic ducting going to a powered extraction fan located in the entrance hall to the studio. Provided you use ducts with plenty of excess length so that they can snake around the roof void, there doesn't seem to be too much sound transmission through the ducts. I'll often leave the fan switched off as there seems to be enough airflow for just one or two people without it - and the room has stayed pretty cool over this summer's heatwave.

If you've not done this sort of thing before then I'd echo the advice to employ a consultant as I think my current studio is my first studio where the soundproofing is as good as I'd hoped.
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Re: Garage conversion to studio & soundproofing

Postby chriskfhall » Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:22 pm

Thanks to all for the comments and advice so far, I've started contacting local acoustic consultants, I'll see what they come back with, and go from there.
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