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Live Room Interior Wall Materials/Drywall Alternatives?

 
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trevorspencer
ass engineer


Joined: 03 Feb 2012
Posts: 43
Location: PNW, WA

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:24 am    Post subject: Live Room Interior Wall Materials/Drywall Alternatives? Reply with quote

I'm starting the long and interesting process of finishing a barn into a new recording studio. Fortunately, the barn has a concrete floor, is very dry, and has electricity, plumbing, and standard framing all along the perimeter!

I'm about to start insulation + drywall (or ?) for the interior walls and ceiling of the entire space, and therein lies my question. My initial thought is to use drywall and then treatment (wood, fabric, diffusion, what have you) per the the acoustic needs of different areas in the large, open "live room" of the space. However, considering STC rating, acoustic reflectivity, aesthetic, climate control, etc., is there a better or more interesting and *single* surface to mount to the framing that will have a similar cost to drywall?

Here are some other parameters/thoughts on my space:

- The building owners are covering the cost of the drywall or interior surface decided upon by yours truly, as long as the cost is similar.
- Sound transmission to neighbors is not a huge issue as there's a football field + in every direction and it's in quiet wooded area. So, acoustic properties, climate control, aesthetic, etc., is more of a concern.
- Is Plywood, OSB, or similar woods worth investigating? They have similar cost to drywall and I think can look pretty neat with the right treatment.

Looking forward to hearing any suggestions and thoughts on this matter. Thanks!
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norton
buyin' a studio


Joined: 07 Aug 2003
Posts: 839
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 10:40 am    Post subject: Re: Live Room Interior Wall Materials/Drywall Alternatives? Reply with quote

Drywall is the material of choice for interior surfaces because it is the cheapest wall material available....both from a materials and a labor/installation standpoint.

Certainly other sheet material will work. But each seam/joint will need special attention and treatment. For example you could add a piece of wood trim to cover each ceiling/wall and sheet to sheet joint.

Then there is the fitting of plywood type materials around wiring etc. Totally possible, just more time consuming and more difficult to patch.

As far as acoustic performance goes.... Plywood vs Sheetrock at the same thickness would perform similarly, I'd imagine the stiffness of the plywood would move it's resonant frequency up a bit higher.

Im sure it was done, but I don't remember the specifics of a direct plywood vs Sheetrock assembly test in the lab.

In any event, I think you'll be better served by going with Sheetrock and then using different materials for your acoustic treatments. Let those elements set your acoustic and aesthetic vibe.
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JWL
deaf.


Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 1866
Location: Maine

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Live Room Interior Wall Materials/Drywall Alternatives? Reply with quote

+1 on Norton's excellent post. It is very very difficult to beat sheetrock in terms of mass per dollar. And that's the main thing you want in your wall materials, adequate mass to stop sound.

Also, at least as important, is whether or not you have a 2-leaf setup. For instance, building a room-within-a-room in a genuine 2-leaf method gives best isolation performance. But even installing drywall -- CORRECTLY! -- using resilient channel or RSIC-1 clips can give excellent performance without having to frame a second wall.

Just make sure you really have 2-leaf, for reasons encapsulated nicely in this image:


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GooberNumber9
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Joined: 20 Oct 2006
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Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Live Room Interior Wall Materials/Drywall Alternatives? Reply with quote

One of the distinguishing properties of drywall is that it has good fire control properties, due to the gypsum layer between the paper sheets. There might even be code implications of using anything other than drywall at least as the subsurface of walls and ceilings.

Drywall will be most likely easier to put together than any other material. Also, any modifications desired after construction will be easier to make in drywall than any other material I can think of; e.g., cutting a hole for a junction box or mud ring with a drywall saw is dead easy, versus plywood which would probably need a drill and a jigsaw or reciprocating saw.
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trevorspencer
ass engineer


Joined: 03 Feb 2012
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Location: PNW, WA

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Live Room Interior Wall Materials/Drywall Alternatives? Reply with quote

Thanks for the great feedback everyone! Already the same answer seems to be a bit more clear...

And to follow up on JWL - I do plan on using this two leaf design for control/iso down the line (I'll certainly be doing the full kit and kaboodle). I've read Rod Gervais' studio building book a couple times now...it's certainly been helpful in those aspects of wall design.

I do have a couple questions using a resilient channel:

- in my single drywall/insulation scenario for the interior walls, could there be a significant *acoustic* difference using a RC? Considering here, acoustic property is much more of a goal that sound isolation?

- in an ideal two leaf (double frame) system (drywall x2, insulation, air, insulation, drywall x2), is there any reason to use a RC on the interior drywall section (my research has said no)? For reference, I'm also planning to use green glue between layers of drywall.
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losthighway
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Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:17 am    Post subject: Re: Live Room Interior Wall Materials/Drywall Alternatives? Reply with quote

One of the most surprising things about building materials for most people (at least it was for me), is that any substantial flat building material that is firmly fixed to the structure will sound basically the same. Concrete floor, laminate floor, hardwood floor- sounds the same. The place where wood walls sound different than drywall is when there's significant texture from grooves, joints, knots, layers etc. But I think in the scheme of things that's still a lot more subtle than what your dimensions, and treatment do to the room.
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JWL
deaf.


Joined: 02 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 2:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Live Room Interior Wall Materials/Drywall Alternatives? Reply with quote

That's absolutely true. We did a test and an article about this:
http://realtraps.com/art_surfaces.htm
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roscoenyc
george martin


Joined: 03 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 5:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Live Room Interior Wall Materials/Drywall Alternatives? Reply with quote

trevorspencer wrote:
T. I've read Rod Gervais' studio building book a couple times now...it's certainly been helpful in those aspects of wall design.




^^^^Smart move.
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norton
buyin' a studio


Joined: 07 Aug 2003
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Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 8:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Live Room Interior Wall Materials/Drywall Alternatives? Reply with quote

You'll notice a significant boost in isolation with rc installed Sheetrock. As far as it sounding different in the room....probably not.

My ears tell me that rooms with a damped layer (green glue etc) installation are different sounding than those with un damped Sheetrock.

I haven't done any testing....but it has seemed to play out that way. Still need to do acoustic treatment and testing. But those rooms seem to come together acoustically a little quicker. Could be completely psychological.
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