Building Studio 45 - My Home Based Studio

Document your build here: All about your walls, ceilings, doors, windows, HVAC, and (gasp!) floated floors...
Studio45
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Posts: 20
Joined: Wed, 2020-May-13, 11:13
Location: Ontario, Ottawa

Building Studio 45 - My Home Based Studio

#1

Postby Studio45 » Mon, 2020-Jul-27, 20:10

Hi Everyone!

My name is Francis and I'm from the Eastern Ottawa area (Ontario, Canada). I've been lurking forums for quite a few years now and am here to share my build/story. I live off of a gravel road out in the country area on a 6 acres property (mostly forest) and am about 35km away from the city, so I guess you could say I am in a pretty isolated area. My closest neighbours are about. 5-600ft away from our house.

We built our custom home back in 2010 and did most of the work ourselves. I've worked in many different trades in the past and have gained a lot of knowledge and experience throughout the years. Our house is roughly 2700sq/ft and we have an attached garage that is 26' wide by 28' deep with a 23'x24' room above the garage. This area above the garage has cathedral ceilings/walls that runs all the way to the floor with a 12/12 pitch. The idea when we designed the house was always to use that space for my music/studio but originally I wasn't expecting to do as complex of a build. I have to admit, back in 2010 I knew very little about the concepts of sound-proofing and had I known, I would choose to go hardcore into a full studio build I would have designed my studio in a much different way, in fact I would have changed a few things around and moved it all the way in the basement on an isolated slab. Truth is, that time has passed and I have to work with what I've got and that this big space above my garage. I guess you could say I'm that guy that made the mistake of thinking he could get high levels of isolation in an attic space using conventional construction methods.

In the many years of reading and searching for answers and similar threads, I have to say I've come across many stories of people wanting to build an attic studio with high/decent amounts of isolation but in the end VERY few have actually done it. So this is sort of why I'm here today. I'm the guy who made the mistake of starting his studio build and then started reading and searching on forums.

So here I am, roughly May of 2016.
S45-BEFORE.JPG

Things seemed to be coming along great right? Well, that's what I thought too! I also thought I understood how to "soundproof" my studio but the truth is it all started going downhill and fast once I started reading more and more specific posts online. Without going into too much detail, after weeks and months of reading thread after thread and post after post I came to realize that all the progress I had made so far was not going to get me the level of isolation (soundproofing) I was hoping to achieve. Basically I figured out that I was going to waste a lot of money and time for nothing in return.

It's crazy how many different products are out there to supposedly help sound proof rooms in your home, but if there's anything I've learned in the past 4 years, it's that building a recording studio is NOT by any means the same as any other typical room in your home. In short, most conventional construction methods do not mix well with the detailed requirements of building even a semi-pro studio. I found that there's many misconceptions of what's required to get the best level of sound isolation as possible using none of those fancy and expensive products.

Of course I understand that this level of soundproofing isn't always an option for everyone but for the purpose of Studio 45, I plan to achieve the highest level of isolation possible in the given space that I have......within reason of course. If I really wanted a full pro grade studio, I would build a separate building all together from the ground up, but that's not an option for me at this point.

Here I am 4 years later, and I'm starting all over again with this studio build, and I do stress the "ALL OVER AGAIN" part only this time, I've done the research and I've got a completely new plan. In the next coming posts, I will be sharing with you all the work so far. I've done quite a bit but there's still tons of work to do. I understand that this will take time and patience but I'm very excited to final make progress.

To start with, here's a sample of what the studio will look like.
S45-PLAN-DRAFT.png


The goal is to build two fully decoupled rooms, 1 Control Room and 1 Live Room. I'm realistically aiming to get between 45-50db of isolation but hope to get a bit better than that in the end. Time will tell, but you'll see throughout my build that I'm taking the time and making the effort to make sure I get the highest amount of isolation possible. Feel free to ask any questions and/or shoot any feedback my way and I'll be more than happy to try and help.

Cheers!



SoWhat
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Building Studio 45 - My Home Based Studio

#2

Postby SoWhat » Mon, 2020-Jul-27, 20:30

Greetings Studio45,

Very nice SketchUp!

If you haven't already, you might want to read through Jennifer's build:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=8

You should notice some similarities with your own.

All the best,

Paul



Studio45
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Posts: 20
Joined: Wed, 2020-May-13, 11:13
Location: Ontario, Ottawa

Building Studio 45 - My Home Based Studio

#3

Postby Studio45 » Mon, 2020-Jul-27, 21:09

I thought I'd follow up with a post that has a bunch of pictures :)

Deconstruction
The new build required me to undo basically everything I had previously done. You can see the pictures I've included where I've taken down all the wall framing and I've started taking off all the 1x3 strapping, the Enermax panels used as my vapour barrier and the other 1x3 strapping under it. I'm literally stripping the entire room with the exception of the yellow fiberglass insulation. I will be reusing all of the Enermax in the basement when we decide to finish it.

Floor Joists Strengthening
Since I will be building new walls and new ceilings this means that I'm going to bring in a lot more dead weight inside this room and some of the walls that will carry all this extra weight will run parallel and in between two floor joists below. I consulted with a structural engineer who recommended to strengthened all of the floor joists affected as well as add some bridging between the floor joists.

The work I have to say was pretty significant considering haha. You'll see that we originally had the cavity between the joists filled with spray foam insulation, and that all needed to be taken out. I ended up glueing and screwing 3/4" OSB on each side of the affected joists as well as glue and screw the braces in-between. Note that I have to do this exact work in 3 different sections of the studio. I've currently done 2 of 3 but in this post I'm only showing pictures of the first section.

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Studio45
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Posts: 20
Joined: Wed, 2020-May-13, 11:13
Location: Ontario, Ottawa

Building Studio 45 - My Home Based Studio

#4

Postby Studio45 » Mon, 2020-Jul-27, 21:20

SoWhat wrote:Source of the post Greetings Studio45,

Very nice SketchUp!

If you haven't already, you might want to read through Jennifer's build:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=8

You should notice some similarities with your own.

All the best,

Paul


Thanks Paul! It's funny you mention Jennifer's build! That's the first thread I read coming here and the only reason I said VERY few people went through with this type of attic studio build in my initial post haha.

It's really amazing all the work that's been done there. I'm nowhere near that point yet, but regardless I'm hoping to take it all in and learn everything I can to help prepare me for when I do get to that point down the road :).

Cheers!



Studio45
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Posts: 20
Joined: Wed, 2020-May-13, 11:13
Location: Ontario, Ottawa

Building Studio 45 - My Home Based Studio

#5

Postby Studio45 » Mon, 2020-Jul-27, 21:45

HVAC Design & Duct Silencers
I thought I would share some details of my HVAC design that helped me size my silencer boxes properly. (Starting from the registers all the way back to the AHU.

(Please note that I have sloped ceilings so I've divided the total height by 2)
Control Room
Width: 19' Length: 10' Height: 7'
SQ/FT: 190 sq/ft
Air Volume: 1330 ft2
Required Air Changes per/hr: 6
Total Air Volume to move each hour: 1330 x 6 = 7980 ft2
Required CFM to move/exchange per hour: 7980 / 60 = 133 CFM
Required Fresh Air @ 30%: 133 * 0.3 = 40 CFM
Required Cross-Sectional Area at exit of Silencer boxes (Register) @ recommended 200 FPM: (133 CFM / 200 FPM) * 144 = 96 in2
Minimum Cross-Sectional Area at entry of Silencer boxes: 96 in2 / 2 = 48 in2

LiveRoom
Width: 19' Length: 13' Height: 7'
SQ/FT: 247 sq/ft
Air Volume: 1729 ft2
Required Air Changes per/hr: 6
Total Air Volume to move each hour: 1729 x 6 = 10374 ft2
Required CFM to move/exchange per hour: 10374 / 60 = 173 CFM
Required Fresh Air @ 30%: 173 * 0.3 = 52 CFM
Required Cross-Sectional Area at exit of Silencer boxes (Register) @ recommended 200 FPM: (173 CFM / 200 FPM) * 144 = 125 in2
Minimum Cross-Sectional Area at entry of Silencer boxes: 125 in2 / 2 = 63 in2

Here are some pictures of one of the silencers. I was really excited to start building something so I decided to build the silencers required for my control room first to get a sense of how big they are. They sure are BIG! haha

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I'm done for the night, but will try my best to post more tomorrow and the following days!

Cheers!



lostandfound
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Posts: 29
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Location: ITALY- Bergamo
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Building Studio 45 - My Home Based Studio

#6

Postby lostandfound » Tue, 2020-Jul-28, 04:06

Hi Francis, my compliments for the massive work you are doing !!
I like your silencer construction, which I will have to deal with shortly too. I wanted to ask you what kind of fiberglass you used, are you sure it won't release fibers from the air intake duct?

Have a good time, I will keep viewing your thread.

ciaoo

Lucio



Studio45
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Location: Ontario, Ottawa

Building Studio 45 - My Home Based Studio

#7

Postby Studio45 » Tue, 2020-Jul-28, 09:13

lostandfound wrote:Hi Francis, my compliments for the massive work you are doing !!
I like your silencer construction, which I will have to deal with shortly too. I wanted to ask you what kind of fiberglass you used, are you sure it won't release fibers from the air intake duct?

Have a good time, I will keep viewing your thread.

ciaoo

Lucio


Hey Lucio!

Glad you like the progress so far, lots more coming. Yes, of course! I ended up going with a product from John Manville called Linacoustic RC.
S45-SB-LINER.jpg


It's a fiberglass duct liner and it's made exactly for that, duct work! Here's what the installation instructions called for:
All transverse edges, or any edges exposed to airflow, must be coated with an approved duct liner coating material, such as Johns Manville SuperSeal products.

https://www.jm.com/content/dam/jm/global/en/hvac-insulation/duct-liner/linacoustic-rc/JM_HVAC_LinacousticRC_Data_Sheet_EN.pdf

In my case, any exposed edges were covered with custom tin pieces and the liner has 2 sides that are pre-coated so I ended up using those pre-coated side wherever I had exposed edges.

Note that I didn't post all of the pictures from the silencer build so I'm not really showing the full details.

Hope that helps! :)

Cheers!

Francis



Studio45
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Location: Ontario, Ottawa

Building Studio 45 - My Home Based Studio

#8

Postby Studio45 » Tue, 2020-Jul-28, 20:01

Hey everyone, here's another update post.

In this post I'm sharing the details of how I was able to brace and support the silencer boxes close up against the ridge beam.
If you look at the 3D model sample of the studio in the previous post you'll see these big boxes sitting on top of my room ceilings. Those are the silencer boxes and you can also see, they take up a lot of room. They're HUGE!! To give you an idea, used almost 2x 4ft x 8ft sheets of 1 inch thick MDF to build each of these boxes and each sheet of MDF weighs roughly 120lbs. Add glue, sealant, duct liner, fasteners and I estimate each box to weigh around 250lbs if not more.

The first series of pictures below shows the braces I built out of 2x6 lumber and 3/4 inch OSB plywood to support the weight of the first (return) box above my future ceiling. You'll see the existing support ridge beam and how I was able to install the braces between the ridge beam and roof trusses.
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I used some sections of 1x2 inch metal tubing with some 5/8" threaded rod as a sort of strut support system for the boxes.
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Here you can see where I used a custom winching system to help lift the box in place. Due to the COVID pandemic I had to improvise before having people over to help was not possible, so I ordered 4x rope & pulley winches from amazon as well as a series of additional pulleys and hardware to make it work. Overall the lift went really well!
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My father was present during the lift of my first box. He was very interested and curious to see how I would be able to lift this thing without killing myself haha. He kept saying if COVID doesn't kill me this studio build will. :shot:

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Now that the box is sitting at the top, I tried my best to completely surround the box with insulation. I had to fill every little nook and cranny and make sure there's no air gaps anywhere. Lots more insulation will need to be done later on but for now I'm making sure I address all of these hard to reach places because once the ceilings are framed I will not be able to get to those places so it all had to be done now.
S45-STRUT-10.jpg
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Next up will be the 2nd section where I rip open the floor and strengthen the floor joists. ;)



Studio45
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Location: Ontario, Ottawa

Building Studio 45 - My Home Based Studio

#9

Postby Studio45 » Tue, 2020-Jul-28, 20:13

Here's the 2nd section of the floor where I had to rip out the existing sub-floor. I tell ya, must have filled around 35-40 garbage bags of spray foam insulation for the two sections combined. Doing this section was very similar to the first section so since I learned a few tricks from the previous section I was able to save a bit of time doing this one. Only difference this time is that I had to open it up a little wider to span across 3 floor joists versus 2 for the previous section. This section of the floor will support two separate inner leaf walls. 1 for the Control Room and the other for the Live Room. They will be approx. 14 inches apart.

Same as the first section, I had to glue and screw 3/4" OSB plywood on both sides of the affected joists and had to do some bracing/bridging between the joists that will support the walls.
S45-SB-21.jpg
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Next post I'll show the work done for the second (supply) silencer box ;)



lostandfound
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Building Studio 45 - My Home Based Studio

#10

Postby lostandfound » Wed, 2020-Jul-29, 09:04

Studio45 wrote:Source of the post It's a fiberglass duct liner and it's made exactly for that, duct work! Here's what the installation instructions called for:
All transverse edges, or any edges exposed to airflow, must be coated with an approved duct liner coating material, such as Johns Manville SuperSeal products.



....Thanks Francis for your specification ... I will certainly look for a similar product distributed in Italy at a sustainable price. I took a look at your progress .... really interesting how "professionally" you are facing the solution to the various (countless) problems that occur for every job you do, I really need a person like you here but .... the distance is certainly not our friend :( :(

All the best

Lucio



Studio45
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Building Studio 45 - My Home Based Studio

#11

Postby Studio45 » Wed, 2020-Jul-29, 16:45

Here's another update with the work I did for the second silencer box.

You'll see most of the work is very similar what was done for the first box.
S45-STRUT-B1.jpg

Here you can see the idea behind how the bracket is secured on the roof truss.
S45-STRUT-B2.jpg


S45-STRUT-B3.jpg

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I had to install the 10" round duct work before lifting the box into place because once the box is up I wouldn't have enough room for install the insulation all around the duct work.
S45-STRUT-B5.jpg

S45-STRUT-B6.jpg

Here you can see again I'm trying my best to surround the ducts with rockwool insulation
S45-STRUT-B8.jpg

And finally using the same pulley and winch system, I lifted the second box into place. Overall my little rig works really well!
S45-STRUT-B9.jpg

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Cheers!



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endorka
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Building Studio 45 - My Home Based Studio

#12

Postby endorka » Wed, 2020-Jul-29, 17:43

That is some serious engineering there, nice one!

Are the silencers resting on sorbothane pads?

Cheers!
Jennifer



Studio45
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Building Studio 45 - My Home Based Studio

#13

Postby Studio45 » Wed, 2020-Jul-29, 19:25

endorka wrote:Source of the post That is some serious engineering there, nice one!

Are the silencers resting on sorbothane pads?

Cheers!
Jennifer


Thanks Jennifer! Much appreciated! I have to say, your build thread is pretty darn impressive and amazing! I'm far from being at the same stage you are but I can't wait to get into it.

To answer your question, Yes they are! I saw another build where someone had used pads to put underneath and thought that was a great idea.

Cheers!



Studio45
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Posts: 20
Joined: Wed, 2020-May-13, 11:13
Location: Ontario, Ottawa

Building Studio 45 - My Home Based Studio

#14

Postby Studio45 » Thu, 2020-Jul-30, 09:24

Good day everyone!

Here some work done to close off the HVAC closet from the studio. The last thing I want is to hear a big fan motor running while I'm in a recording session so I'm making sure to isolated as best as possible the HVAC closet where the AHU (Air Handling Unit) is located. Since I'm totally closing off the HVAC closet from the studio, in the future any maintenance or servicing will be done from inside the house. Note that this work was done before I started tearing down everything so it might confusing seeing certain pictures.

I also realize there's still a bit of work to be done to really seal off the duct work going through the wall. I made sure to leave about 1/4" 1/2" inch all around the square trunk to put some acoustical caulk of some type. The current leaf that you see for the HVAC closet is composed of 3/4" OSB, but might end up putting an additional layer of 5/8" drywall. I might even need to poke another hole or two for running additional ducts for the HRV unit.

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Studio45
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Posts: 20
Joined: Wed, 2020-May-13, 11:13
Location: Ontario, Ottawa

Building Studio 45 - My Home Based Studio

#15

Postby Studio45 » Thu, 2020-Jul-30, 10:10

Here's some work where I framed the entrance area to the studio. While this was done a little while ago I thought I'd share pictures.
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Have a great day! More to come later this week :)




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