Attic Studio Build / Room Remodel Documentation with Questions...

keganheiss

New member
Hey yinzall, my musical-co-conspirator/wife and I are upscaling our home studio to a larger space and thought we'd share plans, pictures, progress and ask the occasional question.

The room we're moving into is bigger than the space we're currently using, but it's not without its challenges -- it's an irregular shape, and lots of ceiling angles. It's about 20' x 14' (if you don't count the dormer out-croppings). We'll be using the space for both tracking (vocals, guitar) and mixing, with mixing as the top consideration.

Here's a few pictures in the current state:

IMG_2513.JPGIMG_2514.JPG

The first thing we're going to do is some wall repair and painting, and then rip up the carpet and do something with the plywood sub-floor. There's hardwood beneath it, but, unfortunately, there's also a nice layer of lead paint that we're not excited about messing with. :) We have a bunch of rockwool panels and will be building more for corners and first reflection points.

This is our working floorplan:

TopDownLayout.png

I think we have the desk placed in a good position, considering the irregular shape of the room. I also have two ideas for how we could improve the symmetry in the room, but I'm curious if they're at all worthwhile. The first is to build a soffit to make the space behind the recording desk symmetrical, like so:

Front wall without soffit:
WithoutSoffit.png

Front wall with soffit (in green):
WithSoffit.png

Idea #2 is to wall off the dormers with rockwool gobos, like so:
TopDownLayoutWithGobos.png

Any opinions on if either of these ideas are worth executing would be appreciated!
 

keganheiss

New member
Thanks! We're pretty excited. Any idea how worthwhile / worthless building a soffit to match the left-hand ceiling angle behind the listening position would be? My instinct is that there are probably enough other issues in the room shape that it isn't worth it, but if it'll make a difference it's probably one of the first things I should tackle.
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
I would not build out anything until I tried the space first - as many rockwool panels as you can to start, then put on some music and walk around and LISTEN,
 

keganheiss

New member
Demo has begun! Carpet is pulled up.

And looks like some lovely asbestos tile underneath... The paint on the floorboards beneath that is definitely lead, so we're leaning towards installing plywood boards over the existing tile.
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keganheiss

New member
Yeah. It's a bummer that I'm wearing a mask at home now too. :). I don't think I can do a floating floor, as it's not particularly level. The debates on nail-or-don't on all the construction forums are as heated as superchunk-vs-airgap on this one. At least using the wrong bass trap isn't likely to give you cancer!
 

keganheiss

New member
Demo is done, removed the built-in cabinet thing and the wainscoting. Replaced critical outlets with GFCI, as well as adding two more under the windows for baseboard heaters. Though it's been disturbingly nice for October-November, so maybe I won't ever need them? Still need to put in a fixture box in the ceiling (the fan was screwed into the lath). Replaced the missing lath where they'd added outlets and did a base coat, brown coat and finishing coat (of sorts) over all the damaged areas. Just a skim coat over all the distressed walls, priming and painting the walls, leveling the missing/damaged tiles, a coat of protective floor paint, floorboards and baseboards to tackle, and then I can start thinking about sound treatment!

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I have Ethernet coming in the wrong side of the room, so I'm going to route a channel in the baseboard to bring it around to where I need it. It's tempting to run some balanced cables around the perimeter while I'm at it and put some combo wall jacks on opposite ends of the room. Please talk me down from doing this. The room's small enough that I don't think it's necessary. It's just tempting...
 
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mjbphotos

What?!?
Ugg - lath and plaster, too? My old house had l&p. In some rooms I totally demo-ed them, what a mess - but the old lath made great bonfires! (Burned real quick, being 100 years old!)

With all those corners to 'bend' cable around, I would not try to run cables around the inside of the baseboards.
 

keganheiss

New member
Building continues... Plaster repairs finished:

IMG_2722.JPGIMG_2723.JPGIMG_2725.JPG

Skim coat of plaster knocked down to match the rest of the house & two coats of primer:

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Paint! Some probably-pointless paper on the floor and floorboards cut and acclimating to their new home:

IMG_2782.JPGIMG_2787.JPGIMG_2791.JPG
 

Folkcafe

Active member
Nice to see that I am not the only one to move up from the basement. Bass management at the low end is easier to deal with without the concrete walls but the angled ceilings complicates calculating all the math for treatment. My control room untreated was pretty bad. I went modified live end-dead end lengthwise and after working out monitor placement, simple pool table geometry for the side reflections. When I added a sub, it highlighted where the room still needed a bit more work. Don't let all those angles overwhelm you. They can be easier to deal with than you might think.
 

jimmys69

MOODerator
For the soundproofing side no windows are better but you can get some sunshine in your room via...

View attachment 107836

Well, since by studio is in my basement, that skylight would look a bit silly coming through my upstairs living room! LOL

I have no issue with soundproofing. That is done between rooms in the space as much as needed. Luckily, I have no issues with neighbors, railroads, or anything coming in. Not since the crazy lady next door stopped coming by wearing only a robe. Trust, that was something people can't un-see....
 

TAE

All you have is now
Well, since by studio is in my basement, that skylight would look a bit silly coming through my upstairs living room! LOL
Hey you could route it out to the side of the building...the waterproofing might be a challenge but with this bitchin expanding foam they make these days totally doable ...c'mon man you're a tile setter damnit! We can do ANYTHING!

Not since the crazy lady next door stopped coming by wearing only a robe. Trust, that was something people can't un-see....

Wow that reminds me of my poor wifes granny when she was going through those end years medical nightmares...I mean like in her 80's they put her on something called Adderall and she went bat shit crazy...The poor neighbor gouged his eyes out and cried for weeks..OK I'm exaggerating a little... She was out in her yard lifting up her dress with no panties on telling him to "come get some of this, it's the best pussy you'll ever get".....She was mortified when she came back to planet earth ...and the neighbor ...oh man, that poor neighbor talk about bad luck ..another story for another time about my wifes whacky Uncle going to jail for several months for his drunken inner actions with that unlucky bastard.
 

BroKen_H

Re-member
That "corner" between the windows is really cool. If there was any way to set the desk up there (acoustically...I mean obviously you could put it there) and set your near fields in the two small alcoves and your mid fields in the alcoves where the windows are, that would make a great look, but it may not give a good sound... Sound is much more impressive in a studio area than look.
Great looking space. Have you consulted at all with a professional about the acoustics of the room. Have you tried REW in the space yet or done any modal calculations?
I know you're probably keen on getting everything rolling, but if you have any time, (and assuming you haven't) you should stop and read a couple of books by Phillip Newell... at least Recording Spaces. Very helpful.
 
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