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New room on ceiling for practice / recording

Postby the finger genius on Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:25 am

I posted this on the Tapeop board as well, but it seems like this place has more traffic these days, so I'm reposting here.

I'm hoping some of you can help me with some questions on construction of a new space. My wife and I own a condo (top two stories) of a ~100 year old wood frame row house. We are planning some renovations to the second (top) floor, and we are also thinking that if we are ever going to add a roof deck, now is the time. If we do this, we also need to add a room on the top of the structure for stairs to lead to, and if we do this, the best use of that room will be for my band to practice in / record.

I have the Rod Gervais book, and am in the process of reading it (I've read through most of it in the past, and am taking a refresher right now as we are planning construction.) We are working with an architect, but I don't think he has much experience with this kind of soundproofing, as some of his suggestions so far do not seem very practical (e.g. suggesting a large sliding / folding door from the roof room to the roof deck.)

I think I have a good handle on how to minimize noise through walls, ceiling, doors, and windows, but I am concerned about the floor. I don't think it would be wise to add any kind of cement floor to a wood structure this old, and the Rod Gervais book clearly rules out a floating wood floor. Ruling out a concrete slab or sand filled deck, what can I do (if anything)? We are renovating the rooms below, so one thing I am considering is using resilient channel and double drywall on the ceilings below, but I'm not sure how much that will help. My biggest concern is actually my neighbors on each side (remember - rowhouses.)

If a concrete slab is not an option due to the added weight, does it still make sense to go through using resilient channel, green glue, putty pads, etc on the walls and ceilings, or is this just wasted $ and effort?
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Re: New room on ceiling for practice / recording

Postby Pure L on Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:04 pm

If I'm understanding you correctly, just make sure your ceiling joists aren't shared among your floor joists. This will probably cost you some headspace but you can figure it out so that it won't be too much.

If you posted a quick sketch of what you're talking about it might be easier.

I searched for a picture on the johnlsayers site to no avail but it's just a matter of making sure one room doesn't have any contact with the other rooms. I've done this and it definitely works.
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Re: New room on ceiling for practice / recording

Postby bishopdante on Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:59 pm

The problem will be weight. Wood… you say.

Up there? I mean, wood can be pretty strong but you'd need to post a weight budget, and work out where you can put all these loads.

the finger genius wrote:some of his suggestions so far do not seem very practical (e.g. suggesting a large sliding / folding door from the roof room to the roof deck.)


Not only do folding walls leak sound terribly, they are mechanically unreliable and huge when they pack away. I have only met a few, they were all expensive, almost all of them, including rails and special seals, worked out in the end about as soundproof as a normal domestic door with a brass letterbox. I have also never seen anybody try to make a weatherproof one.

However, one can get very good booth doors, and glass is more dimensionally stable than most of the sliding internal dividers I've seen, so it's probably the easiest to source way to go. Problem is glass generally sounds terrible, and given a big span with a lot of panels that's a lot of gaps, and they're moving parts. Have never seen any folding sliding thing that was soundproof, but certainly I've seen opening and sliding glass doors on various booths make an amp stack on full blast virtually inaudible 6ft away from the door and masked out by speaking volume sound in the room.

Well... here's a way it could be done, but it wouldn't be cheap. You build a dirty great frame, and you order some massive bits of soundproof glass half an inch thick or more. You mount all of that into a frame the size of a wall. The frame has to be suspended on a single, very accurate rotating fixing in the center of its mass, this is basically an enormous glass carburettor made out of recording studio window casing. It'd be about 3ft deep. That could be got to seal. Can't get those off the shelf, mail order. One would have to angle the edges on each receiving face so that the whole thing could be clamped shut. The bearing would need to sit on a very serious sort of isolating mount.
.
So you'd be putting about 4 tonnes on that bearing, but it's a moving part, so it's dynamic loading. would require a solid chunk of steel about as thick as a car's driveshaft, but could just be a simple cup bearing packed in grease. The bearing is the only easy bit to acquire. Would need to therefore be structurally rated for 40 tonnes whatever you're sticking it onto. Don't think one can point-load many wood-frame buildings with 40 tonnes.

That's unfortunately a massive glass kid's roundabout, which when placed open will put a large glass wall down the center of the space, which might well get walked into at night. You've seen them before, they're revolving doors.

We could, additionally, do it like a builder's crane. We could add a massive concrete block to one side of the pivot and have it counterbalance the glazed section. However, this is guaranteed to weigh exponentially more the shorter we want it to be. good few tonnes minimum, and it's extra. Architects love stuff like that, though. The frame would be easy, just weld up some steel, have seen doors done that way 40ft tall that way.

The other way to do it would be like a portcullis, so tow the massive soundproof window upwards out of the way. Probably heinously dangerous, I don't think we're alllowed portcullises these days. I am slightly tempted to send off a planning application for a boiling-oil chute, though.

It's all going to be very heavy if you want a hermetic seal, needs to be one big soundproof unit to make a soundproof door, not lots of little concertina bits.

However, distance is a good solution, combined with much less soundproof and more easily available types of doors. If you had two sets of conventional soundproof sliding doors set about 7ft-12ft apart, though, with a greenhouse or garden table or so, that whole unit might well produce enough sound isolation.

So if you build two sets of soundproof glass sliding doors about 12ft apart with a living space in between, that'd probably work. The more plants you add, the less sound will be able to get through, and that'd do your air quality many favours. The walking into glass at night no-reflections issue can be solved by sticking the right sticker films of a diffuser material onto it. I'd also video project onto glass using this stuff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFcpg5A8AhQ it's amazing.

Actually, now you mention it I've designed something similar recently, had a serious air quality issue with a nearby motorway and some train tracks, so I designed a large greenhouse which pumps air through it, based on a system NASA developed, uses the soil as a particulate filter. Dead simple but really essential with that level of urban pollution. The plants plus the airspace should drastically reduces the amount of noise, also. Still have to get all the government approval to extend the window casings 12ft towards the train tracks, and the build is on the whole building, but fingers crossed.

_______________


Rod Gervais and me did not get on ho ho. Book looks OK from a how to build stuff that won't kill you perspective, but the slide rule physics looked a bit 1930s from my brief scan. I would certainly suggest that he'd be a superb foreman on any serious building project, he is consistent, knows what he knows and ignores the rest, enjoys chewing people out and is aggressively stubborn.

I had a very strange design job, which I was looking at. It was a job called "we want a recording studio on the roof with daylight and a view". Having spent a lot of time in lightless soundproof facilities, I couldn't agree more.

The job was a roof-build studio which ideally would be "made entirely out of glass", built on top of a new building which was designed structurally with a subsequent recording studio stuck on top of it. The owner of the building, who is a good friend and an ex band-mate, and whose whole building project I'd taken from finding an old building to demolish (toothbrush factory), and planning upwards. One day he phoned up and said to me "you'll think I'm completely insane... but I actually want it all to be made of glass or transparent plastic if possible... could you figure out how to do that?". I had a quick think, and said "all glass is asking a bit much, there'll be problems with diffusion. But diffusive materials which transmit light, like glass fiber, that'll give you daylight. Possibly even miles off. Glass fiber inside some sort of thin transparent plastic sheeting or mesh might well work as an absorber, and that'd just look like a panel of sky colour if we hung it on the ceiling. That's cool. If we can figure out how to make a transparent reasonably unreflective non-resonant boundary, we can do it. Most of the visible surfaces probably wouldn't be able to look at all like a window, but we could make sure that daylight gets in for the people inside to see by. That's really interesting. We probably don't have to make absolutely everything transparent, but we could definitely make stuff that's light-transmitting and soundproof. After all, how much of a building is windows? Well, on a modern building really quite a lot of it, actually.

So if the brief is "transparent like a window, I doubt it". If the brief is "transmits enough light to see by", that's a brief I think could be delivered so many different ways it'll be a certainty… in fact, I'm looking at a picture of a perspex QRD trap on the internet right now. Job's a good'un.

Good news was that the architect had designed it so that the building's steel frame had bolts set in ready for the studio building mounts, and had been purpose built and structurally engineered with this in mind. Had taken 'bout 5 years.

So I was putting it around online, and asking for ideas as to why it might or might not work tackled different ways.

One idea, if I recall, was stacking a bunch of plastic rods stacked at different heights, another was thermoforming plastic sheeting into complex shapes, cutting them up & assembling them. Various sorts of holes & flow-paths could be made into layered transparent structures, making channelled transmission lines was of particular interest, one could pipe the sound away and deal with it in concealed structures under the floor. All looking good to me, but missing any sorts of empirical lab data on what it would do sonically. Speaking to plastics factories and seeing some of the "you'd never think it would work but it does" stuff they've built for artists, such as a plastic tablecloth draped over a table, but no table out of 12mm polycarbonate. Unfortunately, I was finding that most plastics has a distinct ability to work in a spring-like fashion, so was concerned that using just plastic surfaces would make it have the same sound as an orange fiberglass roundabout sound absorber/diffuser commonly used in le corubusier's banlieux, which delivers a particular and plasticky acoustic.

So I figured I'd put it out on a few acoustics forums. I had no luck whatsoever getting anybody to even consider the subject apart from one guy, who said "it's about the same as plasterboard, actually, anything you can do with plasterboard you can do with polycarbonate or acrylic" via PM on gearslutz [Ethan Winer: http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/foru ... p?t=248337], who I've encountered around the place and have found is reasonable, open minded and rationally physics-based in his view.

Unfortunately, the recording.org community were not happy about what I was asking, or how I was asking it. They called me a lunatic, is this a joke etc. Well, no. We're planning on at least investigating costs and strategies, and if those look good we'll build the thing.

[my chief point of interest being – If I can make an acoustic skylight, I'm not just putting that in recording studios.]

I suggested that in terms of using alternative materials to obtain transparency, and using as much form as possible to achieve the acoustic properties of the structure. A lot can be done with shape, one should not think of dispersed sound waves as being straight lines of reflection paths, the problem is they're spheroid shapes reflected in on themselves, and this is what causes significant comb-filtering issues. Anything that has a diffusive or scattering effect will pretty much cut this out like mist on a mirror cuts out reflected images, but that most acoustic shapes could be formed out of transparent plastics of various sorts. Had anybody considered having lots of daylight and view to be a priority apart from Vangelis?

The expected "you're totally insane" and "I don't even believe you'd be truthful about saying you're going to try that". And of course "glass sounds like arse". Lots of that.

I said "plastic".

Concerned, I was posting photos of vistalite kits and saying "but surely plastic can't be like, way worse than wood, really, can't one do polycarbonate or acrylic walls and just stagger the depth and angle of the wall panels in interesting ways, like a massive stained glass room?". "Horrible horrible plastic drums awful" came the replies.

Unfortunately posting a few suggestions for people running some shoestring budget project studios on a couple of threads on a few other threads, out of goodwill, unfortunately I fell out significantly over the subject of book cases used as diffusers / decoupled mass transmission (ie reflection preventing) barriers.

I like them. Most people own some. He said that it'd be impossible to predict what they do, a book isn't an acoustic material, it's a book, and that a designed diffuser made from rigid materials and straight lines would outperform a book case by orders of magnitude because of the mystical clever of number theory which he doesn't understand but can assure me is very thorough. After inquiring "if I got out a tape measure and simply stacked the books in a QRD pattern, do you suppose that would work better or worse than wood? Do you suppose you could hear the difference between QRD books and normal clutter-books? I suggested that just because something is added up to be stochastic or non-linear in the frequency response of the reflection, doesn't mean that something absolutely random made from the same material won't sound pretty similar, such as reeds of varying lengths. Crank up the resolution, use the random number generator and you'll get a maximally gaussian reflection characteristic. That's a stack of twigs, basically. In blind tests, I'm not sure I could hear the difference between QRD twigs and random-snapped twigs. Random is good, the depth is the cutoff. The other great thing about books is that they are not only movable units, they have movable pages. I'm sure they don't sound like solid Oak. Being that they're so handle-able, I'm still planning at some point to do some extensive acoustic tests to find out exactly what the precise characteristic is and make some sort of useful mathematical table, but I would assume that different paper stocks would do completely different stuff, and that interleaving different materials into the books would produce different effects. Perhaps one could build non-books using book binding equipment which help the acoustics? I mean, libraries sound nice, right? One pretty serious acoustic/architectural designer who helped design a studio with us used to do the plasterwork at the british museum. I was always amazed at how those library rooms sounded, huge with 40ft ceilings and hundreds of people chatting, but no obnoxious church reverb, and we had a lengthy chat. He's one of the only people I know who was able to tell me that no ornamental plasterwork does indeed totally change the sound of the room, and that being interested in what ornamental plasterwork did to sound caused him to retrain in studio building. He runs a company with all the fabrication gear, so when they build a studio it all turns up on lorries prefabricated, with the looms already in it, and the studio is just "installed", rather than shut down as a building site for months.

Also, since most people listen to music in non-treated spaces, a bit of character to the room is absolutely fine, in fact it's required for you to be able to hear sound properly, an anechoic chamber would make a rubbish project studio. Books are good, also because you can read them. Surely buying a whole book-case of acoustics books and just moving your furniture around would work out a lot more effective than saving up to pay somebody turn up in person to give them expert advice, and get the plans for an absorber that costs a few hundred dollars in materials, which would likely work first time. Just one book, or books all of the same dimensions wouldn't be so successful, but Rod Gervais might be a person who would have enough copies of them to be so kind as to supply some objective standing wave tube tests for us, and some transmission data. I refused to believe that books behave like bare bricks. I don't want a bare brick rear wall anywhere I'm working with sound, I'll stack up whatever.

One thing I know for sure is what a library or paper storage warehouse sounds like, also boxes of books being dropped. Dead material, much deader than MDF.

I then explained at length, that reflections cause standing waves, and that preventing wavefronts from propagating evenly across the surface requires interactions with materials that are hard to measure, the microscopic deflection of the wood as it responds to sound pressure is what give it a pleasant reverb characteristic, I often use a doctor's stethoscope to investigate what a panel is up to. Using materials which deform in different ways is also a very good way of absorbing sound. Cushions are equivalent to rockwool panels, so adding a huge rockwool panel or a sofa may measure similar, in a small space one can build a large sofa-shaped structure people can sit on to conceal a large bass trap. Even moving furniture around a few feet can massively influence the way a room measures. Move yourself around, also, the sound changes enormously. Human beings act as useful sound absorbers... soundchecking an empty venue is ridiculous.

I suggested that just because a furnishing-sized object's acoustic impact can't be easily quantified doesn't mean it's not useful, and that as cheap ways to cure a reflective back wall, books have a generalised beneficial effect based not on the depth of the spine variance, but upon vibrations being absorbed by their structures, which are extremely compliant, so on a tight budget of a few hundred dollars for a project studio setup, moving the furniture around is a good place to start. If you think about how a book can be flexed, and how air pressure interacts with one, stick a book in a wind tunnel, you'll see it's quite different to a brick or a plank of MDF – the brick has no compliance, the MDF will flex in a small way, the book will flap around. Now just scale that movement down so small you can't even see it and that's what's going on when a book interacts with sound waves. Books don't resonate and don't reflect like bricks, they're compliant, and the surface isn't flat, so the effect it'll have is scattering what it does reflect.

I suggested that their uneven size and vibration mode made them highly insulating and also generally chaotically diffusive, if one estimates the depth-variance of the books to the wall, one can figure out what the lowest frequency the book case will influence will be. By moving the bookcase outwards and using a few test tones, improvements can be quantified.

I also suggested that I have found it useful to make various boxes of acoustic functions, and just install a bunch of shelves in the studio room, enabling one to fiddle about with the acoustics, and to mix acoustic treatment with books, and that by attaching a rockwool panel to the back of a freestanding bookcase rather than a wall, one can get a lot more distance from the boundary and have a fair amount of control over what the device is doing, and thus maneuver it into a good place using a measurement mic and some pink noise / tones plus any calibrated computerised recorder.

The FMs generally hit me consistently with arguments something like "You know nothing".

I told him to put up a measurement mic and throw away all his books if he thought that straight lines made from brick will sound less resonant than a book case, or that a standing wave isn't a reflection.

The other forum mods, who made spelling mistakes regularly and didn't know what a damping ratio is, nor that electronic damping factor is an electrical version of a similar effect found in acoustics.

RG kicked me off for telling a particularly foremanish character with a hammer and saw icon as his avatar to stop typing insults in capitals, and if any of them wanted to acquire some empirical information on the matter, to go shout at his books and then shout at a wall, and see if he could hear the difference.

Admittedly the allusion to excess unsold stock would probably wind anybody who writes or publishes books up… but c'mon. If you make books surely you'd know what they do in large quantities in a room?

Unfortunately, all the arguing about who I was and whatnot, restraining myself from cracking jokes about glass houses and stones, getting really annoyed for 3 weeks arguing on some internet forum, not actually anything particularly informative, cost me the time I could have put into doing that design job, during which somebody else pitched for the job with the argument "it'd never work", and I unfortunately lost touch with a good friend of mine, and future access to a really good commercial studio. Which is a shame.

One thing I'd insisted on from scratch was sticking the studio on the roof not in the basement. I had said "guys, if we're knocking the building down, all we need is structural points put in which will take crazy amounts of weight, build the building, then we can actually put it on the roof and have some windows with a view."

I still think it can be done, but I'm a bit gutted about how that one worked out. Not quite sure at this point what got built, but the guy who took it over did Johnny Greenwood's place, so it probably worked out fine and probably has enough daylight to read a book comfortably without lightbulbs.

___________


The aerial situation in this case sounds fairly complicated, but one of the best things you can do these days to produce a soundproof structure from a structural cage is to hang everything as well as support it from underneath.

If you use any sorts of isolation mounts, and build a good rigid, dead box inside that which doesn't transmit sound, that'll work.

Floating the floor separately is probably not the wisest if you're building a room-in-a-room in any sort of a suspended way. It can make sense if you have a concrete rebar structure, because putting a heavily damped surface onto the concrete will stop it ringing at low frequencies. One actually needs to do two jobs there: damp down the existing structure and also provide isolation. One also doesn't want the walls transferring via a big area to the floor, so isolating that structure separately can be wise.

That was, also the initial disagreement I had with RG, on the basis of when and why to float floors.

I think, from my brief and unfortunately in my case fruitless interaction, would suggest that he takes the nature of "professional sound quality" as different to sound far, far, far too seriously if he thinks that sound or acoustics is anything other than an everyday occurrence, and is only influenced by materials made by acousticians. Show me one good concert hall built by guys who used that sort of postmodern slide-rule engineering as the basis for making design decisions.

_____


What it seems most people outside music instrument making and mechanical engineering, even people who deal with recording studio acoustics design, don't seem to understand – there's basically two types of things:

resonant

and

non-resonant

.

re-sonance is re-emission of sound/motion, or feedback.

-

It can really all be explained in terms of knock-on and / or knock-back.

An underrated way of dealing with this is to laterally scatter or disperse, which is any sort of damping, such as a plunger with holes in it travelling through oil – that scatters the force in the form of many eddy currents swirling around in the oil, cancelling each other out.

Scattering is what happens to the parts of a machine that fails, scattering breaks down oscillations, every time you blow up an engine producing scattered parts, because of the rather chaos-theory nature of systems that complicated, all the parts will end up in different places. Scattering of forces is the root of damping and friction.

_

Resonant things are items that when played a sound, will reinforce the same sound back into themselves. Resonance is feedback, linear feedback is reflection. Reflections are all you need to make resonance. To cut out any resonance issue, removing reflection of any forces will work.

All you really have to do to get rid of unwanted resonances, which you really do want to do for all sorts of reasons, is make sure that stuff is well damped, can also use irregular spacings of stuff so that the moments of force don't equalise and oppose exactly, scattering the force rather than repelling it. Anything with a random form won't resonate, it'll sound like a pulse of white noise when agitated, smoothing out most impulses rather than returning an impulse of a regular shape.

One thing you can do is just stick a contact mic on something, hit it, load that into a convolution reverb and have a listen to it. Feed a few different sounds into it. One can explore the resonances of most things using that technique, with surprising results.

To really get rid of feedback, you want to break the chain in some way, this is altering the impulse of the material. With sound pressure differing across only large distances, to influence the pressure propagation a number of things must be taken into account which aren't usually, including drag. If you use soft furnishings, the drag of the air moving over the surface of an uneven landscape is a much longer path around all that material, and also may have pressure variances within it which change the speed of sound. This will all erode the basic linearity of travel of waves trying to reflect off or travel through it, nor will the structure resonate in a simple or sinusoidal way. How many cars have you heard sounding like tuning forks? Is that accidental?

Any resonance coupled to undamped / high stiffness / low mass / significant radiating area = loud in a bad way. Resonances are also viciously mechanically destructive. Resonance problems cause knock-on effects and displacements that sustain and even *grow*, even producing runaway failures.

One basically wants to avoid resonances like the plague.

Isolation is a different story, often isolators can work as a pass-band or even amplifier at certain frequencies. Transmission is one of the ingredients for resonance, so a bit of isolation can remove a resonance completely. Placing any non-conductive material at a distance makes a barrier for sound waves, the sound waves that diffract around multiple corners will be inherently quieter and more well-dispersed and have longer time delays – the ultimate extent of this being rockwool's completely chaotic labyrinth of flexible fibers mixed with random shaped air spaces. If rockwool was a regular grille, it'd reflect low frequencies, pass high frequencies, and potentially resonate at its cutoff. It's down to the irregularity of the shape, not necessarily the thickness. When you test arrays of rockwool panels, they do a lot of work on a lot lower frequencies than you might think, depending upon the regularity or irregularity of the space and spacing they can have all sorts of results.

It is actually the same surface dynamic of opposed forces which is resulting in sound waves and mechanical displacement, forces reflecting back on themselves resulting in some compliance and some opposed force, so waves when they reflect aren't bouncing off, the brownian gas non-linear molecular lattice of the air is bending. The air at the boundary is trapped if it's flat, it can't move sideways. If the air can move sideways, it can move, if it can't, then it will pressurise against the surface. The last few atoms of surface may well reach quite high pressure, because the material won't move in sync, interfaces can create a capacitive skin effect. Highly reflective materials must have a skin effect to really push back double the force at the boundary, sending 100% of the wave away.

Stopping the skin effect from occuring drastically reduces the transmission of the air pressure to the wall, so while isolation won't be achieved, fitting absorbtion to a room's surfaces will cut the amount of sound making it out of the room as well as being able to resonate or reverberate within the room. Most nano-materials on a subatomic level work with messing around with the skin effect, same with the ability of relatively flat materials to influence relatively large waves.

______

It could even be argued that a machine of rotary action, that a wheel or any mechanism is actually a transmission of forces, some sort of resonance. That's why we call them instruments...

Music doesn't want resonance unless you're building a musical instrument.

Generally, instruments if they are well designed, error is considered to be stochastic rather than resonant.

Thinking about it, that's probably why analogue tape machines are eminently suitable for music. Can hear the difference if not explain it rationally.
Last edited by bishopdante on Sun Jun 07, 2015 8:20 pm, edited 24 times in total.
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Re: New room on ceiling for practice / recording

Postby the finger genius on Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:26 pm

I would be ok with the novel if it answered my question, or tried to.

Thanks anyway concrete watcher.
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Re: New room on ceiling for practice / recording

Postby bishopdante on Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:43 pm

Sorry, feasible rather than theoretical answer in there is to do the balcony soundproofing a simple way:

Two sets of sliding glass double-glazed soundproof doors will produce a lot of isolation if you put them about 12ft or more apart.

I would therefore recommend that you employ a greenhouse or conservatory area between the practise space and the balcony.

you could fill it with plants...

________

In terms of the room: Building a stiff, dead non-resonant box which sound can't travel through and then making sure it is isolated from any average displacement affecting its containing structure from transmitting to the outside structure using some sort of suspension mount, that's soundproof. Many different ways to skin that cat, but it's the easiest to get right.

I would, if trying to get clever, look for stuff that will cut the weight budget of achieving that. So I'd use spring and damper isolation:

these sorts of things:

Image

rather than loads and loads of rubber sheeting or high density rockwool. Definitely no sand-filled bunker type stuff or filling stuff with rocks or lead shot.

There are prefabricated foam-core insulation materials which can be quite good, especially if built into thicker panels with additional materials, combined with newer resonance-damping glue formulas.

____

Cork is expensive, but has a really lovely sound as an absorber. Wouldn't need a huge amount of it for a live room, but very good as an absorber or for isolation purposes. Did a few different bands in an all-raw-cork-bark studio over quite a while, control room sounded amazing, live room I thought was basically anechoic [which was astounding but a real problem if you want a natural drum sound]. http://www.roosterstudios.com/

[met the studio (and its very pleasant sounding cork control room) when I was doing the Eel Pie Island EP for the Mystery Jets, who at that time sounded very very strange, but a year later after posting them around (and not telling them anything about what note to play or when) sounded much better at the raves we held on Eel Pie Island... the same sort of weird but with energy, and played properly. I was paid. I gave them good advice. I don't ever listen to that record, I admit. Now they're a pop band of some sort. Very glad I steered Rooster away from taking the ProTools route, they have not suffered any significant loss of work, back when I was there it was Radar only, and I complained plenty about that when the machine was taking 40 minutes to shunt a bunch of files a few milliseconds to time-align the corridor mic I had resorted to using, and having to suck it & see destructively on a duplicated snippet of audio elsewhere on the timeline to discover how many samples to move by, convert that to a number of seconds on a calculator, and turn that jog wheel about 10,000 times to dial in the complicated number, commit, then go out for dinner and come back to what should really take seconds on any sensible system. Really really annoying workarounds required on RADAR, such as keeping all your takes on one timeline to make razor-blading takes together possible, which is where the insane destructive edit times kick in.]
Last edited by bishopdante on Sun Dec 06, 2015 8:28 am, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: New room on ceiling for practice / recording

Postby TylerSavage on Thu Jun 04, 2015 7:15 pm

love how this started


The problem will be weight. Wood… you say.
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Re: New room on ceiling for practice / recording

Postby bishopdante on Fri Jun 05, 2015 3:48 am

This cork-rubber insulation looks useful, also:

http://www.vanstyn.nl/en/sandwich-panel ... opanel-cr6

Got a bunch of different ones with foam in: http://www.vanstyn.nl/en/sandwich-panel ... ich-panels

The boat industry, if you want it light, is probably a good place to investigate.
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Re: New room on ceiling for practice / recording

Postby the finger genius on Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:08 pm

Hoping to get started next month. I'm trying to decide between using 2 layers of subfloor with green glue in between or mass loaded vinyl over the sub floor. Also thinking we will skip resilient channel and just use double drywall with green glue on walls and ceilings. Any suggestions?
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Re: New room on ceiling for practice / recording

Postby the finger genius on Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:13 am

Finally got approval from the historical preservation society to add the addition on top, full speed ahead.
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Re: New room on ceiling for practice / recording

Postby the finger genius on Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:21 pm

Ok - last question anybody have any thoughts on the sound blocking qualities of a window like this?

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Clearly-Secu ... /206415808
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Re: New room on ceiling for practice / recording

Postby endofanera on Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:02 pm

the finger genius wrote:Ok - last question anybody have any thoughts on the sound blocking qualities of a window like this?

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Clearly-Secu ... /206415808

We have glass block windows installed in our basement. I think they are better than double hung windows and most of the other options you'd be likely to consider, chiefly because they are essentially masonry and are not operable, so they have no gaps for air and sound to sneak past. The ones we have are vented, so they aren't as effective as what you've shown, but they still do a great job.

They're also very secure, as compared with operable windows of any kind. That was one of our chief reasons for installing them.
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Re: New room on ceiling for practice / recording

Postby Bubber on Thu Sep 24, 2015 9:04 am

In many places, if I'm not mistaken, code requires a stupid ugly vent in those glass block windows.
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Re: New room on ceiling for practice / recording

Postby Bubber on Thu Sep 24, 2015 9:49 am

I've written a post or two for this thread and deleted them over the last few days.

I have strong opinions on affordable and effective building practices, including the double-duty capacity of properly framed, sealed, and insulated walls/ceilings/rooves/floors to handle heat flow and sound flow. Since this is the Tech Room, after all, I'd like to point you to ex-Chicagoan Joe Lstiburek, a guy who loves assessing data and improving quality of work in the field.
http://www.finehomebuilding.com/how-to/ ... -wall.aspx

Also, here is a good, free, recent Best Practices construction manual:
http://hammerandhand.com/best-practices/manual/

Think of building to code as doing the worst that you are legally allowed to do. That's a D-.

A bit of additional opinion:
Don't tie your HVAC into this room. Use a single-head ductless minisplit (Mitsubishi Mr Slim is very good, FWIW), and add something for fresh air exchanges. With several people playing in the room at once, you'll want a higher exchange rate when it's running than what a normal expectation might be. For a superinsulated building in my backyard, I bought a CPU fan that's at about 10cfm on a ball bearing, and I adhered it to a PVC pipe I ran through the thick wall and flashed; it's very quiet, cost $6 and draws almost no power. You'd want a second one for intake, and possibly larger, so double that $6 and adjust upwards by a few cents. Well worth the tiny heat penalty.

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Re: New room on ceiling for practice / recording

Postby the finger genius on Sun Sep 27, 2015 8:01 am

Thanks, we are going with ductless AC, hopefully that should minimize leakage. We are also going with double stud construction, I wonder if it makes sense for the windows to basically just install two separate windows on the interior and exterior walls, that way they could still be opened. Does that make sense?
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Re: New room on ceiling for practice / recording

Postby Bubber on Mon Sep 28, 2015 11:09 am

Your response is a really cool surprise. It's awesome and encouraging, not only about how your project can turn out, but that architects and builders out there are committed to using known achievable improvements in building practices in service of doing a good job. I'm happy for you and maybe a little bit jealous (in the good way).
the finger genius wrote:Thanks, we are going with ductless AC, hopefully that should minimize leakage.

Hey, that's really great. Make sure to not skip some sort of an air exchanger or intake+exhaust or exhaust-only-plus-intake-vent system. Fresh air matters! If you're worried about compromising the work you're doing to contain the sound, make sure to point the cannons of your PVC ventilation pipes away from anyone who could possibly care. This might mean using a flaccid wang shape (PVC elbow downward) if you're really forced to aim it somehow toward a common wall neighbor.
the finger genius wrote:We are also going with double stud construction,

Super super awesome. Strongly consider gluing/screwing/priming-and-seam-taping a layer of plywood sheathing within the interior of that double-stud-wall system, where nobody is going to compromise it. Every point of that hidden airtight plywood box deep inside your walls/ceiling/floor and at every seam will need to be taped and/or foamed for it to work well. Maybe you're already doing this? Some try to do the airtight-drywall approach with gaskets and adhesives and foam, but it's fussy and easy to fuck up and hard to maintain.
the finger genius wrote:I wonder if it makes sense for the windows to basically just install two separate windows on the interior and exterior walls, that way they could still be opened. Does that make sense?

It does, and it really could, but as always, the devil is in the details, and you more likely could just be throwing money at a problem unsuccessfully. In practice, two casements (I'd assume), opening one to the interior (purpose built with soundproof glass, I'm guessing) and one off-parallel opening to the exterior would be a fussy installation and a pain in the ass to put into use. And in that case, drop the cash for the exterior window built perfectly for this function instead (if one exists) and skip the double set of windows. It'll undoubtedly be very heavy but on a pivoting system to make it effortless. Probably Optiwin from Austria or similar. I don't know if they have a soundproof line.
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Re: New room on ceiling for practice / recording

Postby the finger genius on Sun Oct 04, 2015 7:09 pm

I'm having trouble finding exterior windows built specifically for this, does anyone have recommendations for manufacturers available in the US?
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Re: New room on ceiling for practice / recording

Postby Bubber on Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:20 am

the finger genius wrote:I'm having trouble finding exterior windows built specifically for this, does anyone have recommendations for manufacturers available in the US?


A curtain wall and an operable window are two different animals / two different sets of expectations, so, good luck on that: the US is typically bad about advanced window construction, even though foreign countries often use glass from US-based Cardinal Glass (such as the triple-glazed Argon-filled IGUs as recommended).

You'll most likely find answers in the Green Building Advisor forum. Some people will not have good ideas about this particular thing. Others will; there are especially some architects & scientists there who really really know their shit.

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/com ... reet-noise

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/com ... nd-control

etc
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Re: New room on ceiling for practice / recording

Postby Bubber on Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:24 am

... One thought: I do have a fixed (inoperable) triple-glazed window from Thermotech (Canada), not to be confused with the entirely different Thermo-Tech (Minnesota). They make operable ones, too, if they still exist. You might find a NY or NJ installer who gets them at wholesale. Surprised if you'll find a US mfr that makes what you want, though, unless you change what you want.
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Re: New room on ceiling for practice / recording

Postby the finger genius on Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:16 pm

Did some research but wasn't able to find anything from the Canadian company. One other idea I'm considering is building a gobo that fits snugly into the window frame on the inside (wood frame with drywall and insulation inside with some silicon seals around the sides) which I can add / remove as needed.
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Re: New room on ceiling for practice / recording

Postby Bubber on Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:19 am

Here.

http://www.cardinalcorp.com/wp-content/ ... _05-08.pdf

Those are the STC ratings of the insulated glass units (IGUs) made by Cardinal, which supplies to most of the world manufacturers of windows that you're likely to buy.

Some domestic (US) companies say they'll make windows to customer specifications, but after some time hemming and hawing, you may find out there are pretty tight limits on what that means.

Glass STC ratings, and frame STC ratings, and installation detailing, and air infiltration rates [edit: not exactly true; a really leaky window will leak sound but the finer points of its infiltration are not exactly what matters for STC] (which you can find on the NFRC.org database website; independent testing by the US-based National Fenestration Rating Council) all affect sound transmission. If there's an independent testing body for STC of windows (and there may be) I don't know it.

But there's the glass itself. As far as your research goes, it's a start.
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