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Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build
Old 24th September 2018
  #1
Here for the gear
 
jakezap's Avatar
 
Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build

Hello there fellow sluterz.

I’ve got a lot of great information from these studio-build forums in the past and now it’s time to share my own semi-pro studio build, and again, hopefully get some insights from everyone here.

A little about myself and the space I am building.

I work as a professional musician for a living. I play keyboards (primary instrument), bass and guitar. About 70% of my work is live performance with local/touring groups, theatres and things like that. The other 30% is studio stuff like recording (projects done in my studio for others or playing on others’ recordings/scoring/arranging/mixing/sound design etc.)

The studio, like I said, is going to be semi-pro. I’m willing to spend some money to make it a good room, but as I stated before, only around 30% of my work is done in the studio, so I’d like to keep the project costs below $10K if possible. I will be building this myself. I’m a fairly handy guy, plus, I have friends that work in construction and one that’s an electrician.

Onto the details of the space:
My family and I bought a house (we’ll be moving in a couple months) and the studio will be located in the basement. The room is 20’6” x 12’8” with a ceiling height of 7’6”. The bedrooms and the studio are as far apart in the house as possible, so big plus there already. 3 of the 4 walls are exterior walls (poured concrete foundation), and I’ll be putting up a 4th wall to separate the studio space from the rest of the basement. The previous owner has framed the walls of the basement as follows: Concrete >> Wood frame >> Insulation >> Vapour Barrier >> 1 Layer of Drywall.


Things I plan on doing to build the studio:
1. Build a double wall with air gap as the fourth wall with door.
2. Frame the floor and fill with Roxul, then plywood, then flooring.
3. Run 2 15 Amp lines for gear. There’s already a line that’s wired to receptacles (for the studio part of the basement) on 1 breaker and one for all the basement lights on another breaker. So all in total will be 3 15 AMP lines and 1 for lights.
4. Make a vent silencer for the vent
5. Making a 1 to 2 foot, floor to ceiling super chunk bass trap at the front of the room and corner bass traps and the back.


Things I’m still trying to figure out:
1. Ceiling treatment
Option 1:
2 Layers of hard insulation caulked with green glue, then Roxul, then couple layers of drywall caulked with green glue.
Option 2:
2 Layers of hard insulation caulked with green glue, then Roxul, then resistant channel with drywall.

2. Wall treatment
This is what I’m really struggling with. I’ve seen people do many different things between gearlutz forums, other forums and chatting to a bunch of people.
I’m assuming because 3 of the 4 walls are the exterior walls, putting reliant channel on them would be overkill. I’d like to keep what the previous owner has already done, which is Wood frame >> Insulation >> Vapour Barrier >> 1 Layer of Drywall.
So maybe I just put up another 2 layers of drywall with green glue in between.

I should say that the isolation (in terms of sound leaving the studio) I’m looking for should be decent, however:
- I’ll be doing most of the work during the day when the kids are at school.
- Drums/loud guitars (which I don’t do very often) will be done in the garage and again when the kids are at school.
- I’d like to be able to mix at a low to medium volume in the evening. If I can record/play acoustic guitar in the studio without waking my family, then that would be sufficient isolation.

Sorry for the life story there. I'd like to have it all planned out as much as I can before I start the build, which won't be for a couple months anyway.

I've included some rough layouts. Won't be able to post any pics of the space until we get the house but I did include pics of a keyboard case I made and some bass traps.

Looking forward to sharing the build.
Attached Thumbnails
Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-rough-layout.jpg   Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-img_1149.jpg   Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-keys-case-1.jpg   Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-kays-case-2.jpg   Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-keys-case-3.jpg  

Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-bass-trap.jpg  
Old 24th September 2018
  #2
Here for the gear
 
jakezap's Avatar
 
Saw this on another thread.
Feeling like this might be my option for wall/ceiling treatment.
Attached Thumbnails
Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-buildwall2_zigzag.gif  
Old 20th June 2019
  #3
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jakezap's Avatar
 
So I decided to let a professional do the plans for the studio. I hired John H. Brandt to make the plans for me. The space is nearly clear of house things and ready for the build. This will be a somewhat slow process for me as I want to make sure I build it right. I will be building between gigging and trying working around the kiddies nap schedule, but nevertheless excited about all of it no matter how slow. Here are pics of the future studio room.
Attached Thumbnails
Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-img_0864.jpg   Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-img_0865.jpg   Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-img_0866.jpg  
Old 16th July 2019
  #4
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Interested to see how you decide to do the ceiling. I've got a space I'm looking to convert with a 7'8" ceiling. I was thinking to keep it soft, using just roxul, held up with fabric and a net.
Old 28th July 2019 | Show parent
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrand ➡️
Interested to see how you decide to do the ceiling. I've got a space I'm looking to convert with a 7'8" ceiling. I was thinking to keep it soft, using just roxul, held up with fabric and a net.
My ceiling is actually just over 9'. The original measurement of 7'8" was floor to joists, but from the floor of the basement to the next floor above is actually around 9' 4".

2 layers of drywall with backer rod and caulk, then underneath that will be roxul. That's how John wants me to do it.
Old 13th November 2019
  #6
Gear Addict
 
thechrisl's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Any updates? Interested to see how this is going.
Old 5th November 2020
  #7
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Well, I'm back at it.
Hopefully I'll get more accomplished this time around.

Got the room sealed. Having a meeting with my acoustician on Monday. Going to start with ceiling treatment/structural/walls ect.
Attached Thumbnails
Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-img_6372.jpg  
Old 25th November 2020
  #8
Here for the gear
 
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Started on the 1st layer of drywall for ceiling treatment. God damn this Firecode X drywall is heavy and dusty.
Attached Thumbnails
Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-img_6543.jpg   Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-img_6544.jpg   Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-img_6545.jpg   Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-img_6546.jpg  
Old 3rd December 2020
  #9
Here for the gear
 
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Though I would caulk a couple panels. Man, the LePage acoustic caulk is difficult do work with. So sticky. (insert pun here......lol)
Attached Thumbnails
Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-b01f74b1-49b5-48a1-879c-0d3ffcbf27dc.jpg   Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-38b237da-a2dc-4713-9e03-cda1e498e4c0.jpg   Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-00b4d342-5df8-4e67-b825-436b60cbf4fe.jpg  
Old 16th December 2020
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Starlight's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Yes, that sure is sticky caulk but it looks like you are doing a great job of sealing those joins airtight. It looks like your progress so far is going well.
Old 16th December 2020 | Show parent
  #11
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Thanks. It was so difficult to work with this "LePage AcoustiSeal". Plus it smelled terrible. I ended finding "Big Stretch" (which is on John's list of caulks) at my local hardware store and it's so much easier to work with. It's a little more expensive than the stuff I was using but it's water based, barley has a smell, plus very low VOC's. Because I'm building in the basement of my house I'm trying to be considerate of my wife and kids and trying not use caulks that are too toxic.
Old 10th January 2021
  #12
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Started on the 2nd layer of drywall for the ceiling treatment. Not much else of excitement. It's coming along slowly, but it's coming along nonetheless.
Next on the chopping block is:
- Building a wall to close the room in
- HVAC (baffle boxes & lines)
- Leveling the basement floor
- Electrical (making the studio sub panel)
Old 22nd January 2021
  #13
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Installed the finishing blocks on half the ceiling.
FYI, some of the caulking is white and some is clear which is why there’s a difference of colour between the drywall and joists.
Attached Thumbnails
Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-cdb5982d-a9ef-48cf-8dbc-ca7e67c17cab.jpg   Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-f0e3825b-1e3d-45c7-9a0d-b0b2e7905964.jpg   Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-090f69b5-40cd-4fbe-ab4b-33ad93ee6f57.jpg  
Old 6th February 2021
  #14
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Baffle Boxes done.
Attached Thumbnails
Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-868d9552-af52-47aa-8c37-509ea164410a.jpg   Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-99bfb509-ad44-4058-8cea-bff507383f5c.jpg   Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-34e24bed-a73f-4f0b-9b75-e2b95637d32f.jpg  
Old 2nd March 2021
  #15
Gear Addict
 
thechrisl's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
How's it been working with John? I spoke with him a couple times and, while he sounded very knowledgeable, I got the sense that it was (for lack of a better phrase), his way or the highway. So I wasn't sure how well we would communicate when it came time for me to explain my own criteria and limitations.

I ended up working with Stuart (Soundman2020) for a while but he took my down payment and ghosted me after delivering exactly nothing. I'm not the only one.

Then I found a local architect who sounded very knowledgeable and promising but he also disappeared, I assume due to workload or perhaps crazy Covid issues. At least he did not rip me off.

So I'm back to looking for help on my design. To be honest I think I could do a reasonably good design on my own (single room-in-room) were it not for the ventilation requirements. I just can't shake the feeling that I will screw that up if I wing it.

In any case, I'm not sure how available it is for you but I've been pretty happy with OSC SC175 Acoustic Caulk. I have to order it by the case from Home Depot and absolutely need a powered caulk gun to save my hands but I've gone through about 7 cases sealing my outer shell and it went pretty well.
Old 6th March 2021 | Show parent
  #16
Here for the gear
 
jakezap's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thechrisl ➡️
How's it been working with John? I spoke with him a couple times and, while he sounded very knowledgeable, I got the sense that it was (for lack of a better phrase), his way or the highway. So I wasn't sure how well we would communicate when it came time for me to explain my own criteria and limitations.

I ended up working with Stuart (Soundman2020) for a while but he took my down payment and ghosted me after delivering exactly nothing. I'm not the only one.

Then I found a local architect who sounded very knowledgeable and promising but he also disappeared, I assume due to workload or perhaps crazy Covid issues. At least he did not rip me off.

So I'm back to looking for help on my design. To be honest I think I could do a reasonably good design on my own (single room-in-room) were it not for the ventilation requirements. I just can't shake the feeling that I will screw that up if I wing it.

In any case, I'm not sure how available it is for you but I've been pretty happy with OSC SC175 Acoustic Caulk. I have to order it by the case from Home Depot and absolutely need a powered caulk gun to save my hands but I've gone through about 7 cases sealing my outer shell and it went pretty well.
It's been great working with John. Definitely very knowledgeable.
I'm sure he would have listened to your criteria and limitations, he did with me at least. The least he (or any other professional studio designer) would have done is to tell you wether you can achieve your goals as far as what you want from the space. And I'm exaggerating here....unless you want a 10 foot by 10 foot space sound like a huge drum room and build it for $100....it's just not going to happen.
Sorry to hear you got ghosted. That really sucks.

I've ended using Big Stretch. I managed to find it at a local hardware store, I'm in Ontario, Canada, and get a bulk pricing on it. Still not as cheap as the "acoustic caulk", the black tar like stuff but I'd rather use Big Stretch as it's way easier to work with and has virtually no smell. Certainly worth the extra 50 cent per tube.

Good luck on your build.
Old 4th June 2021
  #17
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Long time no post.

Had to wait for some supplies to come in. Nevertheless, got my HVAC baffles sorted and working on framing in the room.
Once I finish my return baffle I can get the inspector to come in and check everything. Then I finish the wall that closes in the room.
Attached Thumbnails
Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-7bce2750-2285-48a1-a47a-eda00cae4ab2.jpg   Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-b31bad60-e438-4f48-a3b6-f4b13baef0ce.jpg   Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-4973e94a-5ba9-4195-a8c3-04901966b322.jpg   Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-a44e6668-1b08-4b2a-b339-665a67e2688a.jpg   Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-00c68245-536a-4792-adec-37e0087c7509.jpg  

Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-7989c0ab-4459-43ca-814f-d1296054f835.jpg   Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-c35a7efe-116d-4b8b-9983-53686a713abb.jpg   Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-bb10d44d-81c9-43af-89fe-64865ee21479.jpg   Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-0cab2902-6ae7-454d-bd35-0d3f49acb2d6.jpg   Semi-Pro Basement Studio Build-941680ef-f3fc-47fd-85db-6b2836354d7b.jpg  

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