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Buying my first house - a perfectly little music bungalow
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alexdingley
suffering 'studio suck'


Joined: 13 Feb 2004
Posts: 449
Location: Greater Philadelphia Area

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 9:19 am    Post subject: Buying my first house - a perfectly little music bungalow Reply with quote

A house fell into my lap last week (cue the cash-register sound from Dark Side)... and I'm gonna be settling on it over the summer. It's at a perfect level of fix-er-up-edness... totally livable with plenty of cosmetic needs.

Namely the upstairs... basically an attic space that's already insulated & has central-air ductwork fed in. I'm gonna be putting in a whole new electric service (presently the house has 100a service & 2-prong outlets everywhere)

So... I'd love some recommendations on cost-effective insulation. Should I buy that dry-wall with the metal film in it (that turns vibration into heat)?

If anyone can point me to resources that will help my electrician (who's a pro & a friend) understand any special needs for keeping audio system powered properly.

I'll post pics throughout the process...
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vvv
zen recordist


Joined: 13 May 2003
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Location: Chi

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 1:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Buying my first house - a perfectly little music bungalow Reply with quote

I've no knowledge, just wanna say congrats!
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The Scum
resurrected


Joined: 04 Jul 2003
Posts: 2399
Location: Denver, CO

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 3:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Buying my first house - a perfectly little music bungalow Reply with quote

Quote:
Should I buy that dry-wall with the metal film in it (that turns vibration into heat)?


Anything that sounds too good to be true...

Fill the cavities with fiberglass (or waste cotton, or rockwool), and sheath it with a layer of 1/2", then 5/8" drywall.

Quote:
If anyone can point me to resources that will help my electrician (who's a pro & a friend) understand any special needs for keeping audio system powered properly.


Put all of the studio outlet circuits on the same phase. You can put the loghts on the other phase to keep things somewhat symmetric in the box.

Use variacs if you need dimmers. Or put in a number of smaller lighting loops, each on it's own switch.

Use surface-mounted boxes and conduit, rather than putting a bunch of holes in the shell.

Put in extra outlets - dual gang boxes, closer together than your average residential stuff. Make it so you don't need as many power strips.

If you want to get fancy, ask for isolated ground outlets.

The Jensen whitepapers on grounding and noise reduction are the most factual source of information outside the NEC.
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alexdingley
suffering 'studio suck'


Joined: 13 Feb 2004
Posts: 449
Location: Greater Philadelphia Area

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 11:44 pm    Post subject: I'll all for avoiding snake oil Reply with quote

Hey, The Scum...

Thanks for all the input!

Regarding "if it sounds too good to be true..." I'm all for avoiding hokum products that don't do what they claim... but I believe that the QuietRock stuff might be legit. I worked at a studio, designed & built by Walters-Storyk, and that stuff (I think it was QuietRock 510 by Certainteed) is what every solid wall was made of... (mostly double-layered) and we got a far better isolation rating than we'd planning after the construction was done... All that said, if the money is better spent on rock-wool or limp-mass sheets behind the drywall... I'm down.

Good ideas on the Power needs. I'm planning on putting in way more outlets, and I'll look at isolated jacks.
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norton
buyin' a studio


Joined: 07 Aug 2003
Posts: 839
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 9:39 am    Post subject: Re: Buying my first house - a perfectly little music bungalow Reply with quote

Metal film that turns sound energy into heat?

I've never heard of that. I do know that the parent company (serious materials/energy) of the quiet (rock, seal, etc) company has moved away from acoustic solutions and more into energy related projects.

Any of the pre-manufactured acoustic wall board solutions are very costly and difficult to manipulate (cut/trim etc)...not to mention very heavy.

It's really difficult to beat Sheetrock and green glue double layered wall sheets. Acoustic isolation, just like room acoustics is best looked at as a system.

Your framing and flooring on a 2nd story space are key and all need the same kind of attention in order to achieve any kind of meaningful isolation performance.

As far as thermal insulation goes it's really difficult to beat closed cell sprayed foam. It's not the best for sound, but it does create a fantastic vapor/thermal barrier. Blown in fiberglass is also really great, but it requires more volume to achieve the same r-value.
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norton
buyin' a studio


Joined: 07 Aug 2003
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Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 9:47 am    Post subject: Re: Buying my first house - a perfectly little music bungalow Reply with quote

Using limp mass behind or inside a wall is really about pressure based low end management. You won't get any appreciable sound isolation benefits from mlv.
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The Scum
resurrected


Joined: 04 Jul 2003
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Location: Denver, CO

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 4:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Buying my first house - a perfectly little music bungalow Reply with quote

Looking over the QuietRock lit, it looks like they're making prefab panels of multiple thinner layers of sheetrock laminated together, the fancier varieties appear to add cement board in the sandwhich. Their spec'd wall assemblies appear to use regular 5/8" rock on the other side.

They're publishing STCs based on regular test methods, so it's not total snakeoil, but expensive and hard to work with. It's also likely not the weakest link in the room.

I don't see metal foil mentioned anywhere by them - in fact, they make it clear thaere's no metal, so you can still score & snap the panels like regular drywall.

It adds up about like multiple layers of regular drywall. One thing that's common when layering regular drywall, but harder to do with prefab panels, is staggering the seams between layers, to help seal things up.
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alexdingley
suffering 'studio suck'


Joined: 13 Feb 2004
Posts: 449
Location: Greater Philadelphia Area

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 7:55 pm    Post subject: interesting Reply with quote

Well.. yeah, now that I look closer at their pages... I see them mentioning "no metal film here... super easy to work with...etc" Maybe that was a passing fad that turned out not to be worth the trouble of working with it.

that said... I remember the build process, and those quiet-rock sheets were really a pain in the ass to mount things to. Most self-tapping screws sorta gave up when they hit the metal-film layer.

Cool enough. All of this has been good input. I just spoke to my electrician friend, and he's proposing a 60a Sub-panel be placed in the upstairs so that we can keep the power runs to the (many many many) outlets short.

All of this excitement will begin around August and we'll see how long it takes... I'm not planning/expecting to have a gorgeous room finished in the first few months of living there, but I'll lay the ground work (electrical pun intended) right away. I suppose this will make for a fun blog
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roscoenyc
george martin


Joined: 03 Jun 2007
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Location: NYC

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 9:51 am    Post subject: Re: Buying my first house - a perfectly little music bungalow Reply with quote

Buy Rod Gervai's book Home Studios Build It Like The Pros!
He addresses everything (like how using 2 different thicknesses of sheetrock isn't really any more effective than 2 sheets of the same thickness).
All manner of construction, electrical, HVAC, soundproofing and room tuning.
He also compares all the currently available materials that have actual test data.
It's the best 30 bucks you could spend.

Remember, it costs a whole lot more money to do the job twice!

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/home-recording-studio-rod-gervais/1100355128?ean=9781435457171
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alexdingley
suffering 'studio suck'


Joined: 13 Feb 2004
Posts: 449
Location: Greater Philadelphia Area

PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:46 pm    Post subject: Progress Reply with quote

I've been working on this place for a month now — ripped out the crumby old attic insulation & tore down the crap walls. Found that there's plenty more structural issues that need addressing, so there's no permanent studio going up in rev1 of the house. but I'm doing a half-decent attic lining with Mineral Wool. learned a lot during this process & there's plenty more to learn.

I raised the ceiling about 6 inches... so that there's actually enough room to sneak an overhead mic above a kit. ... and enough room to hang some QRD panels without having them hit my head.

Here's a pic of current progress.

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mrc
re-cappin' neve


Joined: 23 Nov 2003
Posts: 611
Location: Dead Center, Bible Belt, USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:19 am    Post subject: Re: Buying my first house - a perfectly little music bungalow Reply with quote

looking' good!
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norton
buyin' a studio


Joined: 07 Aug 2003
Posts: 839
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Buying my first house - a perfectly little music bungalow Reply with quote

The space looks like it could be fun!

In an attic situation like yours I'd recommend as much insulation as humanly possible for thermal reasons up there. Your machines and you will be so much happier cool than hot and humid.

Mineral wool isn't any better at thermal or sound transmission in side a wall than fiberglass...so if it's more $$ then I'd save it for acoustic treatment.

Now if you are building acoustic treatment into your inner shell wall system, then I'll be quiet.
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mrc
re-cappin' neve


Joined: 23 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:52 am    Post subject: Re: Buying my first house - a perfectly little music bungalow Reply with quote

Just back it with the prodex R 16 and their tape, and you are there!it's only 3/16ths!
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alexdingley
suffering 'studio suck'


Joined: 13 Feb 2004
Posts: 449
Location: Greater Philadelphia Area

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:32 pm    Post subject: Making a little more progress Reply with quote

it's been a couple of weeks... but we're getting some work done. My primary contractor-friend has been scrambling to finish work at his day job. The Pope's visit to Philadelphia is causing all sorts of tradespeople to have really insane schedules, these last few weeks.

That said: we've made headway.


We've got 3 - 20A dedicated circuits up there, and a bunch of shared circuits for miscellaneous electronics. Fresh & clean grounds are setup at the main electric panel & the floors are refinished (hence the paper)
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norton
buyin' a studio


Joined: 07 Aug 2003
Posts: 839
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:41 am    Post subject: Re: Buying my first house - a perfectly little music bungalow Reply with quote

Nice! Progress is good. you'll be hoppy with the dedicated power.

Looking forward to seeing the space come together.
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