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

keganheiss

New member
Hey all! Thanks for the interest, insight and suggestions... I'm still in the DIY homeowner renovation phase of this project, but very nearly to the point where I can start working on acoustics. Here's how it's been going -- plywood planks getting nailed in:

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Full-trowel fill and two sanding passes:

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Stain!

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keganheiss

New member
Meanwhile, while the wet things have been drying, I've been working on building the desk... here's the plan:

Desk Image 2.pngDesk Image 1.pngDesk Layout.png

All cut up:

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Getting glued and screwed:

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keganheiss

New member
Nope! House was built somewhere between 1890 and 1910, real brick-clad walls with lath and plaster interiors and I'm the most recent owner who hasn't found it worthwhile to undertake the nasty task of having insulation blown in.
 

Orson

Member
Why would he do that in his space? I am just curious why you would even ask? Seriously, why?

The obvious...........to keep warm for one. Sound treatment the other.

What have I done/said that you find so offensive?
 
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BroKen_H

Re-member
Gorgeous floors! [MENTION=193092]Orson[/MENTION]...I think he's referring to the shape of the room. Room within a room with that many alcoves and windows would be a ghastly expense, both financially and spatially. I don't think he's offended...:cool: Then again, I'm not in his mind. :D
 

BroKen_H

Re-member
Cooling may be difficult without HVAC, but at least you can get quiet heating... Hang some heated panel artwork around the room (I saw this done in a basement studio in Denver when I lived there). They're not extremely efficient, but they don't make any noise, either.
 

Folkcafe

Active member
The obvious...........to keep warm for one. Sound treatment the other.

What have I done/said that you find so offensive?

No offense taken here. Though I'll note the difference between sound treatment vs sound isolation.

I live out in the country with an attic studio. The design of which was more focused on allowing sound (low bass) to escape vs keeping the outside sounds out. I don't really care what the cows across the road hear, just as long as I don't hear them moo. That said, I have a lot of insulation being in the northeast.

So a room within a room wouldn't be called for in my design. I did however isolate the floors as my kids were fairly young 20 years ago when I built it. That and the added mass such as double drywall with resilient channel and insulated doors with seals along with a couple cases of silicone kept sound down enough that I could mix at night while they slept. Also control room was above my bedroom which also helped.

I will say being in Pittsburg, I'm surprised they are not insulating as last I checked, PA has winters. The benefit to being well insulated is heating costs as you point out. When I first built the studio, the PC I was using practically heated the control room. That and the lava lamp. With the new Mac Mini, I have to turn the heat on but once I take the chill out of the room, I can pretty much turn it down if not outright off. The lava lamp is still in place and some of that old analog gear is still generating some heat like the Hafler amps.

Not sure of what the sound transmission coefficient is for lath and plaster but with drywall 16 inch on center there is an odd coincidence dip at the resonant frequency at around 2-4k. It shows up in my room when I RTA it even with sound treatment. The angled ceiling make it a lot more difficult to model room modes. Here is a comparison graph between block and drywall that highlights it.

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Orson

Member
When I meant a room within a room, as a carpenter I mean clad out your existing walls and ceilings. 2" x 2"s on your existing structure with 2" acoustic rockwool then counter batten with 2" x 2" and another 2" acoustic insulation. You could put thicker on if required to give you more insulation. Then line with plasterboard/sheetrock and skim or tape, fill and paint. You would lose a minimum 4.5" off each wall. So reduce by 9" or more if required on width.

It would give you a much warmer more comfortable room exactly the same shape if you wanted. It would take about a week and if you are handy enough to do the floors you could do everything except the plastering or maybe you could do that also?

You could also tear the old plaster walls down as well but thats messy although a better job.
 

jimmys69

MOODerator
The obvious...........to keep warm for one. Sound treatment the other.

What have I done/said that you find so offensive?

Offended I am not. Just a look at the room itself made me question why you would ask that question. Why did you seem offended?

Chill bro. It's all good. :)
 

keganheiss

New member
I'm definitely putting up a lot of broadband panels, which may have some marginal impact on temperature regulation, but really the room's fine in the winter with a space heater and in the summer with a window unit AC. And we're not concerned about soundproofing--the house is distant enough from our neighbors that we've never had any complaints.
 

jimmys69

MOODerator
I'm definitely putting up a lot of broadband panels, which may have some marginal impact on temperature regulation, but really the room's fine in the winter with a space heater and in the summer with a window unit AC. And we're not concerned about soundproofing--the house is distant enough from our neighbors that we've never had any complaints.

Sounds familiar to me. I envy your sunshine. :)

My basement in Denver needs none of the heat/cool nor do I need any type of soundproofing other than isolation rooms.

It is obvious that you are going about this in the right way in regards to acoustic panels.

I am confused tho. Who is Folkcafe? Is that an alias of yours or just a stranger passing through?

Creepy to say the least...
 

Folkcafe

Active member
Sounds familiar to me. I envy your sunshine. :)

My basement in Denver needs none of the heat/cool nor do I need any type of soundproofing other than isolation rooms.

It is obvious that you are going about this in the right way in regards to acoustic panels.

I am confused tho. Who is Folkcafe? Is that an alias of yours or just a stranger passing through?

Creepy to say the least...

I'm just some old guy about to hit his 20 year anniversary on this forum. Used to be more active in the day on the studio construction part of this forum as acoustics is kind of my thing. I took a lot of specialty classes as part of my career including one that involved taking measurements in an anechoic chamber. Also worked as the operations engineer in a decent sized corporate studio 20 years ago. Every so often I even remember some of this technical stuff.
 

keganheiss

New member
Yeah, the heat in the summer is worse than the cold in the winter, surprisingly. Maybe it's just that I'm hot-blooded. I like the idea of the wall panel heaters and may go down that route, we're probably sticking with all-white-all-the-time on the walls, and there's plenty of silent options in that category.
 

keganheiss

New member
Though I'll note the difference between sound treatment vs sound isolation.

I will say being in Pittsburg, I'm surprised they are not insulating as last I checked, PA has winters. The benefit to being well insulated is heating costs as you point out. When I first built the studio, the PC I was using practically heated the control room. That and the lava lamp. With the new Mac Mini, I have to turn the heat on but once I take the chill out of the room, I can pretty much turn it down if not outright off. The lava lamp is still in place and some of that old analog gear is still generating some heat like the Hafler amps.

Not sure of what the sound transmission coefficient is for lath and plaster but with drywall 16 inch on center there is an odd coincidence dip at the resonant frequency at around 2-4k. It shows up in my room when I RTA it even with sound treatment. The angled ceiling make it a lot more difficult to model room modes. Here is a comparison graph between block and drywall that highlights it.

View attachment 107907

Newer construction in Pittsburgh is definitely insulated better than our house... we have hot water radiators on the first two floors that do a great job, but we certainly pay for the heat!

That's interesting about the 2-4k dip, and, yeah, all those ceiling angles certainly complicate things. From what I've read plaster's marginally more reflective than drywall. Anecdotally the room's echoes are heavier in the bass- and mid-range in its untreated state, but there is definitely some ring-and-ping, so I'm imagining it's going to be more a case of adding absorption than anything else.

Gonna dive into frequency analysis this week, see what I can learn.
 
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