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princeplanet

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Posts: 3 Member Since: 18/06/2013

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May 9 17 1:32 PM

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Studio construction is serious stuff, I'm onto my 3rd build in 25 years and have gone against the grain in many ways with each of them, yet still managed to be fairly successful. This is the reason I'm not afraid to consider brave, "off the wall" ideas that may seem crazy to some. So here are 3 such ideas I want to throw out there to be shot down in flames ( a fave pass time around here they say! )....

1. Float the floor with, not the usual cement slab, but with cement pavers! 

Let's say I wanted an 80 cm concrete slab, but for various reasons, it wasn't possible to get a poured slab (location, cost, access, gotta be demountable etc). You can get conrete paving blocks, 60 cm square from 20 to 50 mm thick. Same density as concrete, same pound for pound cost  (or kg for kg). Difference? You don't need the cost of the labor, the truck /boom pump hire, the shut-the-street-down cost, the weekend extra 50% loading surcharge (because the building won't allow disturbance during office hours).... OK, a lot of these extras are specific to my situation and they may not be to yours, but when I solicited quotes for the 70 m2 slab the cheapest I could get was around US$25k! Not including the isolators (another $4k). With pavers, if I went for 2 staggered layers, one 30mm and one 50mm, then I can get the same mass for one fifth of the price! Provided I did the heavy lifting and laying myself of course ! .... Problem: How the heck do I keep them straight, and from moving around? And what do I do in between the gaps? They need a base obviously (like a slab would), and some "formwork" to keep them in place? Maybe fill the gaps with tile grout? Or just sand?? Won't work right? Otherwise everyone would be doing it.....or can it?......

2. OK, the next crazy idea is for the walls.

Say I wanna save space (which I do), which means that 48mm of gyprock layers x 2 = 100mm with GG. That along with the 100m air gap betwen the leaves and the room is shrinking! Now, I can't do much about the 100mm air gap, not wise to give that up, but what if I could find an alternative material to 3 layers of gyprock that was only one tenth of the width! You think I mean lead, right? Well, no, because lead is even 50% more dense than what I'm talking about, but over 4 times the cost! I'm talking about Steel !  - 2 steel plates of just 5mm each equals  the mass of 100mm of gyprock! You never hear about people making steel plate walls for their studios, right? Must be expensive, No! Only 40% more than gyprock. Problem: Hmmm, maybe it "rings" where say lead wouldn't.... ok, so we can damp both sides with thin rubber which need not effect the air gap. How do we keep them in place? Hmmm, Steel studs? Caulk edges with solder? I can save almost 90mm of space. Multply that by 4 walls, that's surely gotta be worth considering....?

3. Crazy idea #3. The Folding Acoustic Wall.

No, not for the main walls, but for the isolation booths (including drum booth). You may have seen them, they can be very heavy duty, they are top rolling with no bottom track, they click into place with  a mini toungue and groove fit b/n panels which can be mostly thick lam glass. They have drop seals which automatically fill all gaps to floor and ceiling upon closure. They can provide STC into the 30's with reasonable LF attenuation. They can retract into a stack, or along the outer wall. They are expensive! So why bother? Let's say because sometimes I want booths, and sometimes I want a large Live Room without booths. Bam! Moveable walls! Bonus benefit for me is I have a neighbour in the other side of the live room wall during business hours, so drums in the folding booth provides an extra wall with 2 metres gap between the folding and double wall. I'm pretty sure that's going to attenuate even the kick drum a few more dB. Why am I so sure? Because in my other 2 studios I have drum booths inside the Live Rooms, and when the booh doors were shut I noticed a considerable transmission loss accross all frequencies. They were fixed walls, but probably not much more effective than some heavy duty moveable ones....


So there's 3 crazy ideas to get you started, but I got more, don't worry, like "glueing" glass panes together to thicken my outer leaf (which for some walls is 10.38 lam floor to ceiling windows), or building walls as modular panels that can be demountable or building LF absorbers to the back wall sofa as well as iin the overhead canopy above the sofa. Diaphragmatic absorbers built into inside out walls (studs facing out covered in stretched fabric and or slats). Suspending both ceilings from the roof. Floating the walls separately, allowing me to experiment with the "demountable" concrete paver floor.... Actually, some of the last ones aren't that crazy, I think I stole them from people who are considered sane :)

So load up gents, I got my flame suit on!

 

Last Edited By: princeplanet May 9 17 1:38 PM. Edited 1 time

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scullyfan

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Posts: 1,590 Member Since:27/07/2011

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May 9 17 6:43 PM

Okay, I'll participate!
(1) I really like the look of pavers for a patio, but do you really think pavers would make an adequate floor system? I think moisture wicked up from under-grade would be a very real problem.
(2) Steel is great for things like plate reverbs and the hull of an ocean liner, I'm not sure about sandwiching it in a wall. Maybe you would end up with a giant capacitor...
(3) I'm going to have to re-read the folding walls thing, I didn't quite "get it". I've always used gobos when I wanted to have a wall that moved, so you'll have to forgive me for not thinking out of the box.
BTW, welcome to PRW!

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ktownson

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Posts: 3,155 Member Since:22/01/2011

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May 9 17 6:54 PM

I like out-of-box thinking. I don't care to nitpick, but how are you going to support your walls and roof? Pole barn? Without a slab it seems you would need significant footers to carry the weight of the building and those are usually concrete, at least where I live.

And welcome to the forum! Flame suits not needed.

"Kerry fixed the stereo, and now it doesn't work." (My six-year-old sister)

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morespaceecho

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May 9 17 7:50 PM

from this and your threads elsewhere it kinda seems like you are trying to force a world-class studio into a space that isn't really ideal for it. which is fine, but i think you have to be prepared to either spend a shit ton of money or accept the limitations of the space. 

as far as your ideas:

1. sounds crazy to me. how are you gonna support walls and a ceiling on that? tough to imagine any inspector looking favorably on this idea. i think you'd be better off going full on brian wilson and just making the whole room a giant sandbox.

2. people make VPR absorbers out of steel plates and basotect, so i suppose it could work, but wouldn't steel walls be really, really heavy? 

also having a tough time getting my mind around "caulk the edges with solder". i think i'd stay inside the box and caulk the edges with....caulk.

3. i don't think the moveable walls will do much of anything to keep the kick drum from annoying your neighbor. i also think they're gonna be really heavy and clunky and difficult to move and you'll end up not moving them much at all.

sorry! don't mean to be negative, but i think with acoustics/studio design/construction, it's better to stick with tried and true unless you REALLY know what you're doing.

www.oldcolonymastering.com

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princeplanet

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Posts: 3 Member Since:18/06/2013

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May 9 17 10:16 PM

Well, the pavers would still need to be supported by a tray on springs, much as a slab would. In my case there is an existing slab as the sub floor. There seems no reason that walls and ceiling can't be supported on it, but personally I'm thinking to float the walls separately anyway, so, all good there. As for steel being heavy, that's the point! You only need the same weight as you would for similar mass in drywall, but at a tenth of the thickness. What's heavier, a pound of lead or a pound of feathers...

The Folding wall would exist within the box in a box configuration. It's an extra boundary, far enough away from the problem boundary that the triple or quadruple leaf effect is somewhat mitigated, I would think...

And yes morespaceecho, building all this on the top floor of a 7 level office building is the craziest idea of them all, and things could very well get expensive, unless I really think out of the box....

Last Edited By: princeplanet May 9 17 10:32 PM. Edited 1 time.

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scullyfan

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May 10 17 6:13 AM

I didn't realize that the concrete pavers were going to being sitting on the floor of a seventh story building, so moisture shouldn't be a problem.
I was being silly about the steel sandwiched in the wall forming a capacitor. I meant to say diode.
With all of the proposed weight load on the seventh floor, the folding walls might be those of the lower floors...

... but seriously, some locations just aren't logical candidates for sound studios, unless of course you are willing to spend whatever it takes to make it happen and then be prepared for less than ideal results.

Good luck in your endeavors in wherever they take you!

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princeplanet

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May 11 17 2:36 PM

scullyfan wrote:
With all of the proposed weight load on the seventh floor, the folding walls might be those of the lower floors...

Hehe, that'd be funny, if it wasn't so scary.....   Structural Engineers are usually extremely conservative, if they say 500 kg/m2 can carry soundproof walls, we shouldn't argue...


 

 

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maarvold

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Posts: 3,093 Member Since:23/01/2011

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May 13 17 9:11 AM

Regarding your folding wall idea, I believe my buddy Rich Gibbs built something that makes his live room reconfigurable in several ways at his studio--Woodshed Recording in Malibu.  You might want to take a look into what he did, or try to find out more about it.  I've been wanting to go see the room for a while now, but haven't yet made the trip.  

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seth

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I have a couple of thoughts:

1) There is a thing called polymeric sand for use with pavers. You sweep it between the pavers and then sprinkle water on it. It dries hard but I believe it can be removed more easily than comcrete. https://www.lowes.com/pd/Sakrete-40-Pound-S-Tan-Brown-Polymeric-Sand/3502168

3) Avatar in NY, formerly Power Station, used double-glazed sliding glass doors for booths. In the big room there was a whole wall with tracks top and bottom that could be completely telescoped to make the room bigger. When the sliding glass wall was closed there was another telescoping glass wall that would bisect the booth into two smaller ones, typically one for grand piano and one for drums or vocals. The nice thing is that you could still follow a conductor if you were in a booth. There must be some pictures online.

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