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how to build a small room in basement

hi my name is jermaine, and me and my wife just bought a new house. i am a producer and a dj and i am trying to build a small to medium room in my basement for a small studio to record in. i dont want to finish the whole basement cause i know that a lot of money. but only want to take like one part of the basement and build a small room for it with a door. can somebody please, please , tell me how to do this. i not good with building or material but is willing to do it with some step by step assitance. thank u for any info u can give me. thanks.

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Posted 2011-03-02T16:32:38+0000  by jermaine01 jermaine01

Hey Jermaine01 I've actually done some research on this subject, and you have the right Idea. So much of a room's sound efficiency is down to its walls. 2x4 offset stud construction is the way to go. This means that that there are actually two sets of studs in the wall placed between a 2x8 top and bottom plate (see diagram). This allows you to put 8" of batt insulation in the walls. It also creates effectively two independent walls (nearly). This type of construction is almost always used for "quiet rooms" where audio performance is important. Drywall selection is important. I suggest 5/8" drywall OR high performance sound absorbing drywall (this is more expensive and harder to find, but is much more dense than drywall for better reflection of bass energy).


Offset stud construction does create slightly more work when framing a door, as you will need to use 2x8 for your king studs and header. You will also need a little bit more trim work to get the 4-9/16" door jamb to look nice in a 8-7/8" deep door framing. 



Offset stud wall.JPG



Remember to use a solid wood-slab door as density is your friend when blocking sound (especially low frequency). You will want to use exterior-door weather stripping, as well as caulk all joints to keep the room air tight. 


You may also look at replacing the insulation from your basement to first story (at least above your booth) with a higher R rated batt insulation; also remember 5/8" drywall on the ceiling of your booth. You should be able to use the joists of your existing subfloor as the ceiling for your booth. 


As far as damping sound in the room goes, you will probably want to put up some rockwool on the walls (They don't need to be covered with it, a few panels on each wall will really cut down on echo). Neutralizing bass energy is where things get a little bit more heavy duty. if you are going to be recording live instruments you will need to make a bass trap. Bass traps are essentially devices which convert kinetic bass energy into heat. this usually done by making a 2x4 frame with rockwool on the inside. The side that faces towards the room is finished with a 1/4" sheet of plywood. When bass hits this 1/4" sheet, it pulses in and out (like a drum). This pulse of air is pushed into the rockwool which causes friction and dampens the sound. A simple google search for "diy bass trap" will give you some very detailed instructions. 


I really hope this helps Jermaine. If you have any more questions we are here to help! 



Posted 2011-03-02T20:17:41+0000  by BlakeTheDiyGuy

That fine don't actually know what that diagram means for I have not much experiencing building things. But it hard for me to explain what I doing. But it not for live instruments it for recording vocals and building music. Like I said I just want to make a room on one side of my basement. But if I can send some pick I can show u or anyone else who can help me. So if u can can u go step by step of what I should do and the material needed so I can write it down or maybe get an ideal of what u saying. Thanks again

Posted 2011-03-04T16:59:15+0000  by jermaine01

Hello jermaine01,


It sounds like all you want to do is put up a couple of walls to separate your sound studio from the rest of your basement so I will give you a few links to our how to projects that will show you step by step.


First you will have to figure out where you want your walls to be and mark the floor and the ceiling so you have a reference point once you frame the walls and go to tilt it up into place. (See the framing the wall link below to see how to lay it out.)


Step by step how to links. (Click on the orange phrase to go to the step by step link.)


 1. Framing the walls with an interior door, tilt them into place, and fasten them to the floor and ceiling.


 2. Hanging drywall on one side of the wall so you can still get to the other side to put insulation in.


 3. Install the insulation. Once your insulation is in you can hang the drywall on the other side.


4. Taping the drywall joints. Sand all of them smooth and then it’s time for some primer and paint.


5. Prime all of the drywall with a PVA primer to seal it. This will keep the drywall from sucking up all of your paint. Add a good coat of paint and your ready to add all of your recording components.


I hope this has given you the step by step help that you need. If you get stuck just let us know and one of us will help you out.

Posted 2011-03-04T18:54:18+0000  by Christine_HD_OC

this sounds good to do. but i might have to get a little more help from you guys due to the complications of understanding some of the items is a little frustrated. and i have cement walls in my basement how can i buid a frame on that. also is this more harder then it looks and can i do this on my own or hire a carpenter. it very complicated and i dont want to mess something up on this. i just need a small room that it.

Posted 2011-03-08T22:10:11+0000  by jermaine01

Hello again jermaine01,


I'm sure that it can look very overwhelming if you’ve never done construction before but it’s not that bad if you break it down into sections like I did. Just take one step at a time. As far as the concrete walls you can use what’s called a Ramset to nail into the concrete wall. Here is a link to a video so you can see how it works. The few times that I’ve needed this tool I rented it from the Home Depot Tool Rental. It’s not a tool that I use enough that I feel the need to purchase even though I love tools. :smileyhappy:       



The community is always here to help if you have any other questions. If you feel that it’s not something that you would be comfortable taking on then it wouldn’t be that big of a job to get a contractor to do. You might want to have somebody else do the framing and then you do the drywall and painting. It would save you some money if you did part of the project.


Let me know if you have any other questions. I would love to help.

Posted 2011-03-09T17:18:13+0000  by Christine_HD_OC

Hello : Please don't let urge to feel over whelmed and intimidated get to you. If you can follow instructions, and coaching, and berak the project down into steps or phases this really is VERY doable. You have to break it apart or down into pieces the same way any project is managed.

   First:  Make a plan on paper , the walls of the room, how big will it be, draw them out. Will you have a widow to the rest of the basement, draw it in. Will it be a room with a partition, to seperate it in 2 pieces? If so draw it in. How about lights? Will wall, ceiling mounted, or a few desk type lights be what will be best? Either way draw them on your plan. How about power for equipment, will you need 2 or more receptacles, Will you need seperate circuits for power so te quality of the finished product is right meet your needs? What ever the answer is rdaw them on your plans. 

   How much heat does all the electronics generate ? Do you need extra cooling to keep the electronics happy, if so plan for it, maybe a portable a/c unit or a window uint that could run when not live will work. Take time to figure the need out , then draw it in. While you are at it, will the room need extra heat in the winter time, you do not want your teeth chattering to mess the finished product! If yes talk to a plunbing associate at your local Depot, they can help recommend a solution. Then add what ever is needed to the electrical part of the plans you are creating.


   Now once you know how much you have for a room, you can take it to the Depot, the Building Materials guys can help with what is needed for building walls,  getting insulation, and a finish on them. The plunbing, electrical guys can guide you throught the heat, cool , and lights, and power parts of your project / 3 dimensional puzzle. Then the paint guys can get a color that works for you on the walls and ceiling.

   Then you can start making music.   

Posted 2011-03-10T04:09:46+0000  by elect_answers
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