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Author Topic: i need your help  (Read 3256 times)

MoreSpaceEcho

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i need your help
« on: April 09, 2007, 01:44:31 pm »

hello,

i have A Problem. i'm lucky enough to live in a big warehouse space, we have lots of room and can make all the noise we want. i've put up a bunch of bass traps and absorbers in my 'control' (read:bed) room and it sounds pretty good in there. the problem is we live over a pizza place, and they have an exhaust fan (or something) which is basically right underneath my window. it's loud. a constant 200-300Hz drone. similar to highway noise i suppose.

i don't think there's much we can do with the fan itself, so it seems the only thing to do is to build another wall in front of the outside wall. i can spare a foot or so from the room, and making a wall wouldn't be any trouble, we could do it in a weekend i'm sure, but my question for you folks is do you think it would make any appreciable difference? i've read up on staggering the studs and resilient channels, i can afford to put up a couple layers of sheetrock...i just wonder if it's really going to help at all.

i've attached a crummy pic of the room, the wall behind the monitors is the one in question. unfortunately the window has to stay, it's the only one in the room. currently i have a slab of 4 sheets of soundstop that i put in the window when working, which helps. i could do something similar/better with the new wall, make a plug of some sort.

i realize this is a dumb question to ask on the interwebs where you can't hear the problem, but i gotta start somewhere.

thanks guys,
scott

http://www.rohdelikat.com/crag/oldcolony.jpg
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Tom C

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Re: i need your help
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2007, 02:35:11 pm »

If changing the window possible?
Double or triple glass helps a lot against highway noise, so if
it's a similar sound they would help here, too.

Tom
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franman

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Re: i need your help
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2007, 09:43:09 pm »

Double pane glazing would certainly make a difference in the 200-300Hz range.. Maximize the air space between the glass, and put in as thick a piece of Laminated glass as is practical..

If you want to build an additional partitition inside, this could easily knock 12-15dB or more off in this range (I didn't look this up, as I'm at home, so don't jump on me if I'm wrong here..) ... I would recommend a decent air space (4-6"), an insulated stud bay (2x4 or 3 5/8" Steel Studs) and three layers of materials on the inside: Drywall, MDF, Drywall (perhaps).. Stagger all seems and caulk each layer to seal around the perimeter. This will put a nice hit in your low midrange noise..

UNLESS it's getting around other flanking paths?? It's impossible to give you solid advice on Sound Transmission without actually measuring and/or experiencing the noise problem in person... The above advice is 'generic' and certainly not an evaluation of your particular situation!!

It might turn out that "plugging" up the window is sufficient.. it's really impossible to make a strong recommendation from hear (on my couch)...
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MoreSpaceEcho

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Re: i need your help
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2007, 10:48:50 am »

hi fran,

thanks for your reply, and i think the couch is a perfect place for dispensing advice. unfortunately i'm pretty sure just plugging the window won't be enough. the noise sure seems like it's coming through the whole wall...and thinking about it last night i wondered if it isn't coming right through the floor as well. so, more questions:
1. would it help to build in another layer of floor? if it would, how should i go about it? i can picture building the wall in my head, but i've no idea about a floor.

2. for the wall, do i just want one layer of drywall on the outside?

3. the window has to be able to be opened. i will die in the summertime otherwise. does this entirely defeat the purpose of another wall/floor?

if the answer to 3 is yes, i'm prepared to just abandon all hope, switch my schedule around entirely and just work from midnight-10am when the stupid fan is off. this isn't as ridiculous as it seems, it's actually as quiet as the country here that time of night, and it's kind of nice to be the only person awake in the whole neighborhood, no distractions...

anyway, thanks again.
scott
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jimmyjazz

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Re: i need your help
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2007, 02:58:13 pm »

If you open the window, then yes, you will surely defeat any efforts you have made to attenuate the fan noise.

Have you considered discussing your problem with your neighbors?  Maybe the fan isn't in good working order, and you could just buy him a new one (or split that cost)?  
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MoreSpaceEcho

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Re: i need your help
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2007, 08:21:54 pm »

dunno where my last post went....that's weird...

anyway yes of course an open window is useless, i keep it closed and covered up when i'm working, i mention it only because i do need to be able to open it in the summer or it'll be a perpetual 1000 degrees in here. so my question is given that the window has to be there will another wall still be somewhat effective?

the fan itself is some big industrial thing, which i'm sure i couldn't afford even half of to replace, and even if i could it's the sort of thing that's gonna be noisy regardless of its condition, so i am just outta luck there. i could maybe see if it'd be possible to insulate the ceiling over it downstairs...but as the folks at the pizza place put up with me recording rock bands here, i dunno how sympathetic they'll be to my plight!
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jetbase

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Re: i need your help
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2007, 09:45:24 pm »

Is it possible to first isolate the fan from the building? If you can then you will most likely only have to deal with higher frequencies coming through one wall. If not, you may have to build a room within your room which is isolated from the fan's vibrations, which are likely to be coming through all your walls & the floor. I did something like this in a similar situation but with limited results (as I did it very much on the cheap). I ended up moving out, but that was more due to dodgy neighbours & a dodgy landlord. I had an MX5050 MkIII back then too! Great little machine.
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garret

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Re: i need your help
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2007, 09:57:46 pm »

How about a big panel/gobo that you put in place over the window when you're recording... 4" thick rigid fiberglass wrapped in fabric, with some sort of anchors so it's tight to the window casing, ought to do the trick.  It won't stop the really low stuff that moves physically through the structure, but it should help somewhat...

Have you recorded the noise profile?  I'd be curious to see what it looks like... if it's fan noise from a simple single blade rotating, it should have a clear fundamental somewhere (probably <100 hz), then overtones at the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th degrees, etc.

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jimmyjazz

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Re: i need your help
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2007, 09:50:08 am »

I have to admit, I'm not sure what you're asking.  You want to be able to open the window, but you want to build a wall in front of it?  That doesn't make sense.  Bear with me, I'm not fully caffeinated yet.

Have you looked into limp mass attenuators like lead-loaded vinyl sheet?  Maybe you could hang that like a curtain of sorts in front of the window while working and then remove it to get some air in.  It would be like the "gobo" idea suggested above, but it would probably seal off the window a bit better.
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MoreSpaceEcho

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Re: i need your help
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2007, 10:28:42 am »

i'm not fully caffeinated yet either, no worries.

what i'm saying is the proposed new wall will need to have a cutout in it so i can still access the window. so basically i'd just be making the windowsill another 6-8" deeper than it is now. does that make sense?

and i was going to ask what would be the best way to plug up the window when i'm working? i like garretg's suggestion of the 4" of fiberglass, but would a half dozen sheets of drywall work better to block out the noise? the plug is use now is 4 sheets of soundstop stuck together, it's somewhat effective, but i'm sure there's something better. the lead sheet idea is cool too.

jetbase, there's no way to isolate the fan, it's sticking out the back of the building and is 20 feet up in the air. alas.

if i get home in time tonight i'll record some of it and see what frequency range we're talking about, and i can also see how loud it actually is, by just seeing how the noise floor changes when the fan shuts off around midnight...

thanks guys!
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jimmyjazz

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Re: i need your help
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2007, 01:54:36 pm »

I think it's unlikely that a second wall will do much good.  Maybe if you installed a second window in the new wall, or better yet, a removable section that allows access to the current window, you'll have some luck.
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MoreSpaceEcho

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Re: i need your help
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2007, 02:46:15 pm »

yeah, a removable section in the new wall is what i'm talking about.
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jimmyjazz

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Re: i need your help
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2007, 08:27:59 pm »

The window is almost surely the problem.  I'd start by coming up with a well-sealed, removable window covering that has some decent mass.  If that's not enough, you probably need more mass, a second wall, or both.  Don't solve more problem than you need.  You can probably design something that will work over your current window AND work in conjunction with a second wall, should you ultimately need to construct one.
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jetbase

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Re: i need your help
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2007, 11:33:40 pm »

I sealed my window (in the similar situaltion I mentioned earlier) by using a solid piece of MDF cut to size & surrounded by high density foam rubber (glued around the edges). I may have covered the window side of the piece with the foam rubber as well, I can't remember. I screwed two metal handles on it and simply lifted it in & out of place (with some effort - it was heavy!), later adding latches to the window frame to prevent it being pushed out by air pressure. It blocked general outside noise fairly well, but not the low frequency rumble of an exhaust fan, which is probably not being stopped by a regular wall anyway (if the fan is attached to the building). It could be a reasonably cheap first move though.
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MoreSpaceEcho

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Re: i need your help
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2007, 01:05:31 pm »

jetbase wrote on Thu, 12 April 2007 04:33

 with some effort - it was heavy


yeah, no kidding, even the 4 sheets of soundstop that i have in there now is about as much as my scrawny arms can lift!

i actually don't know what MDF is and am tempted to ask, however i'm pretty sure the answer is "google".  Smile
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