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Thread: Setting up my band rehearsal room above a bar in an old building, need advice!

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    Setting up my band rehearsal room above a bar in an old building, need advice!

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    Hey everyone,

    I have a big project I'm undertaking this year. I am a singer/songwriter/guitarist and I'm shaking up my whole life, moving out of a long term relationship and into a new home and life for the next few years. I stumbled across a bar here in Seattle located in an old building that used to be a small lumber mill, perhaps. Two stories. I asked the bartender about the space above and he said it was currently unused and in need of remodel. Fortunately, that's exactly what I do for a living and we have made a good deal for me to move in and remodel the upstairs. This upstairs space, in addition to a bedroom, kitchen, and bath, has two 16' x 13' rooms side by side at the front of the unit. My band will set up in one of them. I am trying to decided which room to set up in and how to go about minimizing the noise transfer down to the bar below during their business hours.

    Here's the thing, imagine the length of the rectangular building divided in half and at the front there is a roughly 13'x16' room on either side: the ceiling height in the bar below one of these side-by-side 16' x 13' rooms is probably 14' or 15' tall. The other half of the bar's ceiling is only 8' or 9', located underneath my second 16' x 13' room. This is because there is a large 5'-6' drop ceiling above the bar and a crawl space where mechanical, ventilation, etc. are located. So one of my questions is whether I should put my band in the room over the crawl space or in the room with a thin floor over the taller ceiling in the bar below. Like so:



    I'd assume the drop ceiling would at least help with reducing the noise bleed into the bar below but part of me also wonders if that crawlspace might actually resonate and add to the noise. I do have access to the crawl space but haven't looked to see what kind of insulating I could do. Might not really bother with that though so I am making due with what I have and accept that nothing is perfect in this situation!

    My other question is treating the room. I have a couple large 4'x'6 and 2'x6' rockwool-filled sound panels that I plan to hang from the ceiling and walls of my room in addition to rockwool bass traps that will go in all the corners. How should I go about decoupling the drums and bass cab from the floor so that it's as low impact to the bar below as possible? My goal here is just to minimize as complete reduction impossibly out of scope. The floors are painted hardwood. Would you suggest building a riser for the drums and bass cab? If so, what would be the most effective construction?

    Here's what I had in mind for the layout of the room. What do you think?



    How would you lay out these instruments:
    Upright piano
    M3 organ/leslie
    Guitar amps
    drumset
    Bass rig

    I think I've been advised that the drums and bass shouldn't be in the corners so...

    I'm currently in the process of emptying the place out and doing the construction aspects that need doing. Eventually I'll get to focus on the room setup but I want to start planning now. Do any of you have ideas to point me in the right direction? Thank you for reading!
    -T

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    My first thoughts would be to put the band over the crawl space. IF you have access to the crawl, you can probably add a lot of insulation under the floor of the rehearsal room. The other room is directly coupled to the bar, so there is nothing you can do to decouple.

    Per your drawing, the space looks small. I'd start with filling in the corners with rockwool. Do you need all the keyboards. Can you stack all the amps together? Think vertical. Put all the amps, bass and guitar, together against the exterior wall. Players stand together next to each other on other side of room. No rule saying you have to be standing next to your amp.

    Are you planning to record or just rehearse?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chili View Post
    My first thoughts would be to put the band over the crawl space. IF you have access to the crawl, you can probably add a lot of insulation under the floor of the rehearsal room. The other room is directly coupled to the bar, so there is nothing you can do to decouple.

    Per your drawing, the space looks small. I'd start with filling in the corners with rockwool. Do you need all the keyboards. Can you stack all the amps together? Think vertical. Put all the amps, bass and guitar, together against the exterior wall. Players stand together next to each other on other side of room. No rule saying you have to be standing next to your amp.

    Are you planning to record or just rehearse?
    I agree that the room with the crawl beneath sounds like the winner.

    I will certainly put bass traps in the corners. I will get a piano and already have an organ. Those things are important to me and my music. The two exterior walls with windows in the them are a good place for amps. I'll move the bass rig so that it is on a an ext wall. Thanks for the input. I do have to think vertical.

    I will be rehearsing there and potentially recording but I'm not expecting the best quality for recording. Mostly just rehearsal.

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    Sounds like a great opportunity. Good luck.

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    Thank you! I think I'll just have to set it up and test how it sounds downstairs and then see what I can do to minimize the noise going forward.

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    Do you plan to leave gear in in there, or do you intend to bring it in each time for rehearsals? How wide and high are the stairs? I'm not keen on carrying Leslie cabinets up and down.

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    Decoupling the drums in that tight a space could be a bit of a headache. Building the corner where they are up on a short platform would be preferable (easy to build the base and then attach the platform with decoupling joints and put rockwool between to isolate...but you'd want to make slots/grooves/holes for the legs on the drums so they don't go sliding off the small space. Worked the stationary drum kit magic in one place a band of mine played in long ago. Only problem was when the drummer decided to move things around...make sure the drummer is happy with where everything sits FIRST.
    Bass can be done similarly. Build a small piece that the amp sits on, then do as you've planned and stack everything on top of it.
    US-1800 Interface, Rokit 5/M-Audio M3-8 monitors, Reason, Reaper, Win 7, Cheap Mikes. Soundcloud Page

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    Quote Originally Posted by gecko zzed View Post
    Do you plan to leave gear in in there, or do you intend to bring it in each time for rehearsals? How wide and high are the stairs? I'm not keen on carrying Leslie cabinets up and down.
    Ha! I'm bringing as little gear in and out of that place as possible! The only thing I'll be bringing down for gigs is my guitar gear, sometimes my friend's chopped M3 (with his help) and maybe this thing I built:
    free image host

    Foam core with fiberglass construction. This is a Leslie I can lift easily by myself!
    Last edited by guitylerham; 2 Weeks Ago at 21:52.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BroKen_H View Post
    Decoupling the drums in that tight a space could be a bit of a headache. Building the corner where they are up on a short platform would be preferable (easy to build the base and then attach the platform with decoupling joints and put rockwool between to isolate...but you'd want to make slots/grooves/holes for the legs on the drums so they don't go sliding off the small space. Worked the stationary drum kit magic in one place a band of mine played in long ago. Only problem was when the drummer decided to move things around...make sure the drummer is happy with where everything sits FIRST.
    Bass can be done similarly. Build a small piece that the amp sits on, then do as you've planned and stack everything on top of it.
    The platform you are describing, does it look like the left or right drawing:
    forum image hosting

    I'd definitely want to put some sort of carpet at least on top to keep the drumset from slipping off the platform! I feel like decoupling the drums and bass has to at least help to some degree. That's all I want in this situation is to do my part to minimize the booming pounding they'll hear downstairs! Thank you for your insight.

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    Honestly, was thinking about the right, but if you did both, you would certainly isolate better...as long as stability doesn't become an issue. I would imagine just using EVA foam under would help considerably.
    My thought:
    Sheet of EVA / 5/8 drywall sheet / 2x4 frame with 4" rockwool / Isolators / 5/8 drywall / green glue / 3/4 plywood (to cut holes or attach stoppers to keep the drums from moving around or just put down carpet...).

    I would use drywall for the top and bottom as it has more mass, and mass IMHO will help in any "soundproofing" endeavor. The isolators I highlighted are $1.45 each...pretty cheap for decent isolation. Just make sure you have no air gap anywhere (get the rockwool in tight) or you'll essentially amplify noise instead isolating...

    also have a look at THIS PAGE. Don't know what your budge is, but look at their RIM system...it's designed to do what you're looking for.
    US-1800 Interface, Rokit 5/M-Audio M3-8 monitors, Reason, Reaper, Win 7, Cheap Mikes. Soundcloud Page

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