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Thread: Acoustic treatment for a garage studio space?

  1. #1
    SourIce is offline New Member
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    Acoustic treatment for a garage studio space?

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    Hey guys, I'm going to be constructing a 20Lx12Wx10H studio space in my garage this week and I'm wondering what kind of acoustic I'm going to be needing to make the room suitable for general recording. It's just a simple rectangle, one wall is going to be separating the garage in half and the other is an exterior wall.


    1. What are going to be the problem areas I should focus on? I've been doing research into building acoustic panels and bass traps and building them won't be a problem.

    2. What kind of flooring should I look into putting in? Basic carpet, those interlocking rubber squares, etc.

    3. The exterior wall has concrete blocks that jut out a couple inches into the room. I plan on putting up the wall directly in front of this, but should I insulate the gap between the walls?

    4. Is there any specific kind of insulation I should be putting in the walls or does basic fiberglass suffice? It doesn't have to be sound-proof, but any soundproofing I could easily get by building it right I'll do.

    Any help would be great, if you need any more info I can get it quick.

  2. #2
    Ethan Winer's Avatar
    Ethan Winer is offline Acoustics Expert
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    Lightbulb

    1) This short article explains the basics in plain English:

    Acoustic Basics

    2) Carpet is good.

    3) Yes, always insulate gaps between walls.

    4) Plain fluffy fiberglass is fine.

    --Ethan

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    GIK Acoustics is offline Dedicated Member
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    1. I would focus on getting some deep bass trapping in the rear of the room. If your plan is to build bass traps to put into the room, you could test the room after the walls are constructed to address specific problems of the room. Otherwise, Rod Gervais has written an excellent book titled "Home Recording Studio: Build it Like the Pros" that focuses directly on studio construction, and goes into details for things like bass traps built into walls and the like. An excellent read, and certainly worth the $20-something dollars it costs.

    2. What are the other options? Carpet works, but hard flooring with thicker absorbers on the ceiling would give a better sound. Budget typically dictates flooring, and options change pending where you live.

    3. As Ethan responded, insulate.

    4. Again as Ethan reported, standard building insulation is best for this purpose. Also, I would calk all along the seams of drywall as well as all the corners, as it can add to your soundproofing for minimal work.
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    SourIce is offline New Member
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    Thanks for the responses! What type of hard material would be appropriate for the flooring? I'm open as long is the cost isn't outrageous. I can't put in like a nice hardwood floor, but would some kind of large wood paneling on the floor suffice? Also would the entire ceiling have to be covered with some absorbant material or could you space out smaller squares of absorbers.

    I have another question, this time about monitor placement. I plan on having my mixing area centered near the wall length wise, this way since the room is 20ft. long I can't imagine I would get any reflections off the back wall with my monitors. Is there any advantage to putting the desk in a corner instead of centered against a wall?

    Thanks for the help, it's greatly appreciated.

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    GIK Acoustics is offline Dedicated Member
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    When I say deep trapping on the rear wall, I mean the one behind you when you're sitting at the desk, not in front of you. The rear wall is a great place for thick trapping to control bass resonances in the room.

    I would definitely advise to sit against a flat wall, NOT in a corner - that is the last place you'd want to be! Well, other than the direct middle of the room on all three axis.

    Stained concrete can look good for the price, but any hard flooring would be great. I would opt for hard flooring, a nice rug around your mix spot, and clouds up on the ceiling. The clouds don't have to be all one large piece. You could do four 4' x 4' absorbers or so hanging in the room, or maybe six...pending the room size. Rod's book goes over most of this, in much much much more detail.
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    alangf is offline Banned
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    Hey my friends,

    I know that this is a bit older topic, however, I would like to contribute to anyone else that might have the same dilemma and ends up turning to this forum...

    One time my friend was redecorating his garage to turn it into an office and we said that he went with oak wood flooring. He also mentioned that it did not scratch at all and that he found a really good place to purchase those.

    I'd love to hear what you eventually picked.

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    mjbphotos is offline Been Here, Posted That
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    Quote Originally Posted by alangf View Post
    Hey my friends,

    I know that this is a bit older topic, however, I would like to contribute to anyone else that might have the same dilemma and ends up turning to this forum...

    One time my friend was redecorating his garage to turn it into an office and we said that he went with oak wood flooring. He also mentioned that it did not scratch at all and that he found a really good place to purchase those.

    I'd love to hear what you eventually picked.
    You don't want to put solid wood flooring directly on a concrete surface. You need to build a framed subfloor with a vapor barrier or your wood flooring (or even laminate) is going to wick up moisture and warp. Not sure what your 'it did not scratch at all' comment means. Wood flooring will scratch if you drag something heavy and hard across it. Multiple layers of polyurethane will combat that of course.

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    Um yeah, wood floor+concrete do not=long term investment.

    Stained concrete is a good option, and a bit cheaper than hardwood in this situation. You will raise your floor 2 1/4" if installing hardwood. I would just go the epoxy floor coating myself. Or just commercial grade 'glue down' carpet on the cheap. Spend your money on bass traps. Don't cut corners to have pretty stuff.
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