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Author Topic: studio floor  (Read 2467 times)

minkthinking

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studio floor
« on: June 04, 2009, 08:09:58 pm »

Okay everyone please forgive me for not searching the forum well for a post on this topic...
and also for not really having an expert grasp on acoustics...

Tomorrow my uncle is coming to help me install a floor in my studio.  He is an excellent carpenter that builds great houses and he also has ZERO knowledge of acoustics.

The room, as it stands now, is 15x25 and the walls are concrete, as is the (current) floor.  We will be building a sub floor out of 2x6s and the frame will act to level the room.  Then we will be laying sheets of plywood on top before I put down the laminate flooring.

I have been told by an expert that I should isolate the 2x6s from the walls using neoprene and that I should stagger the placement of the gaps with the frame... so that they create random "chambers" under the floor of different widths.  Also that a moisture barrier is crucial and that if I can afford to... some sort of insulation or sand should go into the hollow "chambers" that will be created under the floor, before the plywood is laid.

Would you all advise against using sand?

Also, will any sort of rubber work well... not just neoprene?
I don't think that I can source neoprene on such short notice but I have found various other sheets of rubber in the city.

I really should have given this much more thought and planning but it was all very spur of the moment (4 days notice) and also all of the lumber AND labor is free.  If I would have known that he was available a month in advance I would have planned it out better and gotten some books on the subject.  I simply didn't have enough warning!

Anyway any advice is appreciated.
I am renting the space and not building the studio from the ground up so whatever I do is not a permanent thing for me in my life... but it is an opportunity for me to learn about how to do this properly or... uh... improperly.

Thanks!
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jetbase

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Re: studio floor
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2009, 08:23:33 pm »

Hi Nathan,

Just to get in quick in case noone else does. I have been advised several times that a lightweight floating floor may do more harm than good in a recording studio. Unless you are building a concrete floating floor you might be better off building directly on to the existing floor.

You mention that building a sub floor will level the room. Does this mean the current floor has different levels?

I'm no expert on this, I'm just flying up the warning flag in case what you're planning to do tomorrow is something you'll have to undo straight away. Sorry if I'm wrong. Hopefully one of the experts here will chime in soon.

Cheers,
Glenn
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minkthinking

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Re: studio floor
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2009, 08:36:40 pm »

Thanks,

The hardwood floor is more for cosmetic purposes to be honest.  

The existing concrete floor is way too reflective for my tastes anyway and even with carpeting it seems to do horrible things to the sound of the recordings.

The building was originally a lacquer factory.

The concrete floor is all one (floor) level but if you look across the room it dips quite severely because it is a basement level room.  I have had this problem with other rooms as well. Usually you buy self leveling mix and spread it until it seeks its own level.  I did that with the control room and then laid the hardwood directly on top of the concrete floor once it was evened out and it was fine.

In the live room it seems to be too drastic of a dip to simply solve the problem with self leveling mix.  This is why we decided to go with the sub floor installation.  Also, the ceilings are 25 feet high so I can afford to lose 6 inches on the floor.

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Thomas Jouanjean

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Re: studio floor
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2009, 02:37:00 am »

If you use rubber, IIRC using a max 45 shores one should be the better choice.

Space unde your floor isn't good, and you will get resonances and re-emission from it. So you should fill this bad boy up as much as you can.

Concrete floors are very reflective indeed, but so are wood floors, even if they have a different 'print'. Most studios have fully reflective floors.

How is the rest of your studio treated?

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Thomas Jouanjean
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minkthinking

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Re: studio floor
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2009, 07:43:57 am »

Thanks for your replies!

This is more of a cosmetic thing.  Right now the studio isn't treated because I tore everything out so that we could paint but when I start to put the treatment back up I would love to discuss it here.  

What do you think of using sand to fill it up?  There will be a moisture barrier but if ANY moisture got under the floor at any point I would be worried about having sand down there.

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minkthinking

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Re: studio floor
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2009, 07:45:08 am »

Thomas Jouanjean wrote on Fri, 05 June 2009 01:37

If you use rubber, IIRC using a max 45 shores one should be the better choice.




If I wasn't using rubber, what would you suggest?
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Thomas Jouanjean

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Re: studio floor
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2009, 07:48:43 am »

Some Sylomer or equivalent. Cut it in small pieces, place a strip or square every 30/30cm.

Sylomer & Co aren't cheap though.
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Thomas Jouanjean
Northward Acoustics - Engineering and Designs
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jimmyjazz

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Re: studio floor
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2009, 10:47:06 am »

If you use sand, I would strongly suggest you leave it in the bags as much as you can.  Being a rental property, you will no doubt be moving at some point down the road, and shoveling sand OUT of the floor chambers would probably be twice as hard as shoveling it INTO the floor chambers!

Maybe you could lay out the bags before dropping in the 2x6 lumber?
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Dominick

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Re: studio floor
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2009, 02:34:54 pm »

Any musical instrument that sits on a floor,
drums, conga, cello, string bass, piano, dancing, etc.
will sound different on an inert massive slab floor than a raised wood floor.
No concert hall stage that I know of is solid & non resonant.
Musicians certainly prefer to get something back from the floor.

At Right Track A509 scoring room, we deliberately built a raised wood floor above the decoupled concrete isolation slab.
2" X 8" joists 16" OC, space between joists filled with R19 fiberglass, 3/4" plywood, 3/4" MDF, 3/4" finish plywood. Staggered seams between layers. No sealant applied to the top plywood layer.
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Dominick Costanzo

minkthinking

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Re: studio floor
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2009, 11:54:48 pm »

thanks for your posts.

Dominick...

ironically this is EXACTLY what we have done, minus the MDF and 2nd sheet of ply... haven't gotten that far yet.

it seems to be pretty cool so far...
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Constantin

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Re: studio floor
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2009, 02:27:24 am »

Quote:

No concert hall stage, that I know of is solid & non resonant.
Musicians certainly prefer to get something back from the floor


But do you realy think, it is a good idea to build a resonant floor in a studio, where you spend thousand of dollars to get a good roomresponse, and reverbation time?

I won`t build a floor like this, and keep the recordings as clean as poosible, without BAD roominfluence.

But maybe it`s a choice of taste.


cheers

Dominick

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Re: studio floor
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2009, 09:04:34 am »

Constantin wrote on Sat, 06 June 2009 02:27

Quote:

No concert hall stage, that I know of is solid & non resonant.
Musicians certainly prefer to get something back from the floor


But do you realy think, it is a good idea to build a resonant floor in a studio, where you spend thousand of dollars to get a good roomresponse, and reverbation time?

I won`t build a floor like this, and keep the recordings as clean as poosible, without BAD roominfluence.

But maybe it`s a choice of taste.


cheers


Certainly a choice we made. The floor was part of the room's sound.
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Dominick Costanzo

Bob Olhsson

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Re: studio floor
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2009, 02:51:18 pm »

The original Motown Hitsville studio used to be a photo studio with a soft wood floor so that lights and tripods could be spiked into it. It was wonderful for drums and sounded great because it wasn't particularly resonant.

The Westlake rooms had multi-layers of 1 1/8" plywood with compressed fiberglass damping in between. Then the heaviest rug pad available on special order was put on top covered by carpeting with wood tiles that optionally could be placed on the rug.
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