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Mbroady 01-08-2017 06:51 AM

Turning an unfinished basement into a home studio
Just about finished with due diligence on a home and all looks good.
The home has a 500 foot unfinished basement (Concrete floors, walls have insulation and sheet rock. The 8 foot ceiling has non.

Looking to create a home studio and I just want to learn as much as a can about turning this space into an acceptable sounding room, to record vocals and acoustic guitar. I don't expect it to sound like a professionally designed and constructed studio. I realize that ain't gonna happen. What I want to do is focus on making it as optimal as it can be. I already have a good amount of gear and acoustic panels from "real traps" and other companies, so the focus would be on the room. (As I type this I hear a slew of fire truck sirens out side my NYC window. The home is in a very quite neighborhood - LOL)

Ultimately I would love to get advice from an experienced acoustical engineer (Any one have an idea about consult fees - I will be 30 minutes west of Asheville NC). In the mean time I want to read up on as much as I can as well as seek out advice from folks who have done what I plan on doing.

Some, but no all concerns are:
HVAC ducts (heat pump) run through the space
Best material for flooring (once I address any moisture issues)
How best to finish the ceiling (insulation and Acoustic sheet rock?)
Aside from running electrical I will be doing the basics my self.

Rudy4 01-08-2017 09:32 AM

There's a couple of home-brews over on the Talkbass website:

I know there are some really good books out there on home studio construction but I don't own any personally so I'll defer recommendations to others.

Be sure to check out the "Post Your Recording Acoustic Setup" topic:

jim1960 01-08-2017 09:41 AM


Originally Posted by Mbroady (Post 5185466)
Looking to create a home studio...

Sent you a pm

Mbroady 01-08-2017 01:51 PM

Thanks Rudy and Jim.

alohachris 01-08-2017 05:51 PM

Sent You a PM
Aloha mbroady,

I sent you a PM.


Mbroady 01-08-2017 07:15 PM


Originally Posted by alohachris (Post 5186251)
Aloha mbroady,

I sent you a PM.


Hey alohachris

Thanks for all the info in you PM. Being on a budget this info will go a long way.
I posted the links just in case others might find it helpful

KevWind 01-09-2017 07:05 AM

There is a wealth of information on this web sight , although ( it took me sometime to get a handle on the gist of a number of things and terminology )

MikeBmusic 01-10-2017 08:08 AM

I would not change the flooring just for the sound but for aesthetics in which case go with solid wood if the usual basement moisture issue has been tamed .
Otherwise, just paint/stain the floor with a good concrete product, and use throw rugs for comfort and to dampen some reverberation.
Ceiling - rockwool in the cavities and then a double layer of sheetrock green-glued together. If you've got enough ceiling height, you can use rubber spacers, or even suspend a new ceiling not attached to the framing above.
Heating ductwork- you can wrap it in standard fiberglass, but if its noisy when running, the only real option is to turn it off when recording with mics.

Fairlight 01-11-2017 12:21 PM

The only issue that you won't be able to fix after the build is the HVAC hiss. If I were to do mine again, I would treat the inner ductwork with some sort of sound dampening. At least make sure the intake and returns are not installed directly over where you plan to use mics. Depending on proximity, you might even consider extending a remote power switch to the furnace/AC to be save yourself having to walk back and forth and forgetting to turn it back on following crucial sessions. Everything else can be controlled with some well placed Auralex paneling, diffusers and baffles.

Bob Womack 01-11-2017 12:44 PM

A couple of techniques to reduce A/C noise, the type coming in through the duct work:
1. Go to high volume/low velocity A/C supply. The cheapest way to accomplish this is to start as far as you can away from the room and increase the size of the duct. A large percentage of flow noise is generated by the rush of air through a restricted space (the duct). Increasing the size of the duct lowers the pressure and the velocity of the air while allowing equal volume to pass.
2. Create and install a "labyrinthine box" outside your room in your expanded supply duct. This is a high capacity box with fiberglass lining that contains at least 180' of turns to isolate upstream noise. The mean diameter of your expanded duct should be maintained throughout the turns to prevent noise increase. An experienced A/C mechanic should be able to build these for you. The labyrinthine box reduces all forms of sound transmission through the duct, including noise from adjacent room via the registers in that room as well as machine noise.


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