D.I.Y. Studio Construction

May 17, 2013

D.I.Y. Studio Construction

CHAPTER 1. Introduction

Being an engineering company specialized in noise and vibration control we often come across applications in music studios. Noise transmission in studios can be airborne (transmitted via the air) but also structure borne (transmitted via the building elements). Due to the large wave lengths occurring from low frequency sounds (drums, bass, saxophones) often present in rehearsal and recording studios adequate noise reduction is required.

In this paper our proposal for a “room in a room” construction method is presented.

There are several methods of applying the “room in room” construction, but for the purpose of this paper we considered that the construction will start from the floating ceiling, the 2nd part will be the floating walls and the final step will be floating floor that will not be in contact with the walls.

CHAPTER 2. Objectives

The aim of this report is to assist professional or amateur music studio owners or contractors that have decided to follow the “room in a room” or “box in a box” construction method. We often receive enquiries from engineers or music enthusiasts that are looking for methods to reduce the cost of the overall construction by carrying out the work on their own or with some of their friends. We fully appreciate and respect that way of working and came to the conclusion that we need to do something to help.

We therefore decided to put our knowledge and experience together in order to help in achieving the goal of constructing a great quality music studio with reduced budget and expenses.

Obviously, we do not consider that the construction method described in this paper is the only one that works and we would be glad to receive your feedback. We simply believe in this measured and certified solution after using it in several applications. Some parameters (other than cost and effectiveness) that have been taken into consideration before concluding in this method are: ease of installation by non experienced technicians, ease of purchasing the required raw materials, time required etc).

CHAPTER 3. Ceiling

For a floating ceiling antivibration hangers need to be used. There are several types of vibration isolation hangers. The main differentiation is the intermediate material that will be used to absorb the vibration. That can primarily be rubber or spring.

The first step is to decide the natural frequency that we want our system to achieve. Spring hanger can offer a natural frequency of approximately 3 Hz where rubber hangers can be in the range of 10 Hz depending on the thickness and the composition of the rubber.

The below methodology needs to be followed in order to calculate the required quantity but also the weight per hanging point which will give us the deflection, the natural frequency and the theoretical percentage for vibration isolation (%)

1)     Area: ……. x ……. = …. m2

2)     Total Weight of the construction: ……. kg

3)     Weight per m2 : ……. kg/ m2

4)     Spacing: Width …..mm Length …..mm

5)     Required Hangers Quantity: ……. pieces/ m2

6)     Weight applier per hanger: …..kg/hanger

Proposed Vibration Isolator:

  • Rubber Hangers
  • Regufoam Hangers 
  • Spring Hangers

 To acquire the following data, please refer to dynamic characteristics of the relevant product or email us at [email protected] for a free of charge consultation.

  • Load per hanger…. kg
  • Deflection: …..mm (load deflection graph)
  • Natural Frequency (fn): …..Hz
  • Disturbing frequency: …..Hz              fe = rpm/60
  • Overall Vibration Isolation (fe):  …..%

Installation Photos

Below some application photos are demonstrating indicative applications with different types of antivibration hangers.

a)     Neoprene Hangers

b)     Polyurethane Hangers

c)      Spring hangers

CHAPTER 4. Floating Walls

Floating walls are crucial not just for the vibration transmission reduction but also to prevent moisture transmission, which is a common phenomenon in studios in basement levels. In case the walls are located on the floating floor the antivibration mounting may not be required.

In order to secure adequate reduction of structureborne noise, an elastic system is suggested to be used under each stud of the drywall (usually every 60cm). That will prevent sound bridges and noise transmission through the building elements.

The thickness of VIBRO WS can be 50, 75 or 100mm to adjust to any stud dimensions.

To prevent airborne noise transmission under the dry wall stud, mineral wool sealed with acrylic material is recommended.

Walls perimeter: …. linear meter

Stud spacing: …. m

Vibro-WS…. Required Quantity: …. pieces

In case wall height is greater than 3 m, Antivibration Wall Braces may be required (Vibro-WB, Vibro-SC)

Below some application photos are demonstrating indicative applications of Vibro-WS at the bottom and top of the stud.

Installation Photos

CHAPTER 5. Floating Floor

The last part of the room in room studio construction involves the installation of the floating floor.

There are different types of floating floors and different construction methods.

Area: … x … = …. m2

Total Weight of the construction: ….. kg

Live weight: (furniture, people, equipment etc.): ….. kg

Screed Height: …………. Specific Weight: …… kg/m3

Alternatively Double layer of MDF thickness: …… mm, Specific Weight: …… kg/m3

Total Weight of the construction: ….. kg

Proposed Vibration Isolator: Vibro-EP …. x ….. x …. cm

Color code ……

Spacing: width …. x …. Length …. mm

Required Quantity: ….. pieces/m2

Weight per isolator: …. kg/isolator

Technical Characteristics:

To acquire the following data, please refer to dynamic characteristics of Vibro-EP or Vibro-EP.Complex or email us at [email protected] for a free of charge consultation.

  • Load per isolator …. kg
  • Deflection: …..mm (load deflection graph)
  • Natural Frequency (fn): …..Hz
  • Disturbing frequency: …..Hz              fe = rpm/60
  • Overall Vibration Isolation (fe):  …..%
Installation Photos
It should also be noted that sealant at the perimeter of the floor and the walls should be placed
  • L’nw achieved with 5 cm screed & Vibro-EP is 50 dB
  • L’nw achieved with 5 cm screed & Vibro-EP-Complex is 43 dB
According to ISO 140.6 and evaluation according to 717.2
Complete Room in room Construction

All the above information can be summerised in the below section drawing:

CHAPTER 6. Conclusion

This paper is an initial approach to briefly describe the methodology that should be used to construct a music studio following the “room in a room” construction method.

When followed successfully it can offer a satisfactory noise and vibration control result.

That does not mean that making a studio that is fully sound proofed and does not cause any noise disturbance to neighboring noise receivers is an easy job. he accurate installation and execution of the steps described above is a complicated task that required adequate knowledge, experience and supervision.

Additionally, to the described parameters there are a series of crucial factors that will significantly alter the sound proofing of a music studio. These parameters include all the M.E.P. (Mechanical Electrical Plumping) works (ventilation, sockets, A/C, penetrations etc), all the building openings (doors, windows) and a series of minor details that can dramatically affect the final result.

For a professional and certified project it is strongly suggested that an acoustic consultant or a specialized acoustics firm, needs to be hired in order to secure the final delivered result.

Our objective was to outline the procedure and inspire next-door people to make their dream come true and manufacture their own studio. That refers to engineers, musicians and all types of individuals that love recording, rehearsing or just listening to music.

Hope this paper was beneficial for you and we would be glad to have your comments, feedback and recommendations at [email protected]

Good Luck with your D.I.Y. music studio project!

From the Technical Department of ALPHA ACOUSTIKI LTD

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About Antonios Argoudelis
Linkedin Profile Antonios is our Mechanical Vibration in HVAC systems specialist. During his studies as an Industrial Engineer and his MSc in Noise and Vibration control he had the opportunity to set the foundations for enriching the VIBRO vibration isolation product range with more advanced systems.
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