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Barn loft build for music space

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by gabeNC, Nov 18, 2020.

  1. gabeNC

    gabeNC TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

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    [​IMG]


    Howdy gents,


    I've been renovating a pole barn over the past few years with the thought of turning the loft into primarily a music space. My wonderful, long suffering wife would LOVE to have the drums/amps/mics/cables/monitors out of our bonus room. :twisted:

    I reframed the beams and joists to bring them up to code and added an electrical panel, 100amps from the house (yes, I pulled a permit AND passed the inspection). The loft is roughly 980 sq feet 35' by 28', slightly rectangular. I'm going to build knee walls with integrated storage as the roof slopes, probably making the area around 750 sq feet of usable space.

    I'm at the point of construction that I need to make some decisions around sound proofing AND acoustic properties of the room. The nearest neighbor is about 100 meters away, and a really nice guy but I don't want to be annoying. My friends have loud guitar amps and I beat on the drums like Keith Moon sans talent.

    Ceiling at peak is about 12', however i'll need insulation and some additional framing. For aesthetic reasons I kinda want to have horizontal wood planks across the ceiling between the roof joists to give it that gnarly barn look. I'm not opposed to gobos when recording but having the space fairly "live" when rehearsing/jamming. I'm not really interested in a separate control room or vocal booth.

    Flooring will probably be hardwood with some rugs, I imagine this gives me the most flexibility for adjusting the bounce.

    What about grounding, circuit isolation, strategies to keep the hum down? HVAC is a given, I'll need that and it's in the budget as well as a beer fridge. The most critical of all questions though, is how many lava lamps do I need?


    What would you do?
     

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  2. JimB

    JimB Tele-Meister

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    It's gonna be hell carrying amps and speaker cabs up a ladder lol
     
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  3. gabeNC

    gabeNC TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

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    Even worse for the Hammond player.
     
  4. Alamo

    Alamo Doctor of Teleocity

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    I was wondering about that too.
    seems a lovely place to get going.
    what's happening on the ground floor?
     
  5. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Four of us played in renovated barn loft for a number of years. We kept the amps and stuff there and only had to come in with guitar cases and small stuff. It got really loud in there. We tried putting stuff up but I was playing through a 5 watt amp by the end of things to keep the peace. We had AC for the Summer and a wood stove for the Winter. The floor was carpeted and we hung stuff to try and help the noise levels. It was functional and we had fun.

    band practice barn.png
     
  6. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Afflicted

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    yes the ground floor looks like a good place to have local acts in the afternoon and show off your hospitality with food and drink to get the neighbors on your side.
     
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  7. ale.istotle

    ale.istotle Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    If you want to go all-in, for sound proofing you can decouple the walls/ceilings from your space. Search "mass-loaded vinyl". You put it up after the insulation and before the wall material Seal air-gaps too. Door gaskets, etc.
    Cool space.
    Also, I think 100 Amp service will permit you to dislodge the roof with one power chord.
     
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  8. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    That's pretty cool. Wish I had a space like that. Good luck on the build.

    - D
     
  9. drumtime

    drumtime Tele-Holic

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    +1 on decoupling. Makes the most difference when part of a total scheme. Rockwool is probably the best for soundproofing insulation layer. Doors and windows become speakers to the outside if you don't have at least some thick curtains.
     
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  10. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    Buckle up, this is a DEEP subject.

    There are two different approaches to room treatment- controlling the environment to provide a good listening space, and sound insulation. Minimizing sound transmission requires two things- air space, and mass. Just chucking stuff around willy-nilly is generally a waste of time (how many practice rooms have you been in with old carpet covered with egg boxes on the walls?), but if you do your homework you can get good results. And I'll second the comment about windows and doors.

    You might want to just set up and have a play with no treatment at all, just to see what your baseline is and how much work you really need to do.

    Lots of good reading here-
    https://ethanwiner.com/acoustics.html

    Ethan kinda goes off the deep end with the audiophile stuff, but the science stuff on this page seems pretty solid.
     
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  11. gabeNC

    gabeNC TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

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    Lots of stuff in there, tractor, tablesaw, mower, chainsaw. This pic is a couple of years old and I've since built an expansion wing on the otherside.


    That's a brilliant idea. I had a neighbor years ago that would hire a bluegrass band and invite the neighbors. Keep the complaints down when the whole block showed up to drink beer and hang out.


    That's the hope! I used to have a Hot Rod Deville 4x10 that was LOUD... really painful.


    Thanks to everyone for the advice. I'm planning to decouple the room, this is the perfect time to do it. That mass loaded vinyl looks very interesting and expensive! Anyone have experience using green glue?
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
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  12. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Gold Supporter

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    I'm not clear on the situation. So, this is a second story with a 12-foot-high roof peak, and you're gonna put in a ceiling? At what height? Or am I just confused?

    +1 on Ethan Winer.

    OT: What part of Charlotte are you in? I just moved away after living there 35 years.
     
  13. nedorama

    nedorama Tele-Meister

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    While you can decouple the room, it may be overkill. I'd look at doing this for a barn:
    • Vapor barrier on the barn walls and ceiling to keep moisture out of the insulation
    • Electric - ensure that you run all outlets for electrical, ethernet ahead of time. More outlets than you think is always a good idea around the room. I mentioned ethernet as while wireless is fast, nothing beats a cable. You could even bury an ethernet cable in conduit from your house. But get the wiring done before any further work. Either rock wool or spray foam insulation. 2x4 interior framing is normal in houses, but in a barn normally there's bigger stretches between posts - you may want to add 2x6 framers for more rock wool or spray foam.
    • 2 layers of drywall - add 2nd with green glue turned 90° from first panels
    • Floor - instead of decoupling the entire floor, buy several Auralex GRAMMA's to decouple amps from the floor. A lot cheaper. rugs will also help for warmth.
    • Bass traps - you can build these out of 1x4 (or 1x6) wood, cover with fabric and add rock wool. Add casters to the bottom and you have movable gobos/bass traps - perfect for drums, baffling amps, etc. A lot cheaper to build than buy.
    • Door from stairs to Loft - get a good outdoor door and build in an enclosure so that the stairs don't become a sound funnel. Also will help heating zoning.

    Hope that helps! Wish I had a barn or at least a basement out here in CA...
     
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  14. knockeduptele

    knockeduptele Tele-Holic

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  15. gabeNC

    gabeNC TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

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    Nothing is finished on the inside, exposed rafters, ridge beam and 4' edge bearing walls. The ridge beam is 12' at the peak and the rafters are 2x8's. I'm not opposed to additional framing on the ceiling to give me more space for insulation and/or sound proofing but ideally keep as much height as possible. I'll take a picture once I get some debris out, I'm still putting down subfloor.

    I use to live on the east side but now about an hour north near the lake. It's a really nice area of the country, been here 20 years.





    Thanks Ned... these are all very helpful. You are spot on for the vapor barrier and there isn't one currently, the condensation is terrible. I was up in the loft one morning and we had a nice frost, the sun is hitting the roof and it was like rain inside. I'm not sure why the previous owner never installed one, going to be a major pain in the arse to pull the roof and purlins but necessary. I really like the idea of just decoupling the amps and a drum riser. I'm not a fan of ethernet cable anymore, 802.11ac is fast enough.



    THAT is awesome. Yours? Cab looks like it's lived a good life.
     
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  16. nedorama

    nedorama Tele-Meister

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    Yep - vapor barrier will keep the warm air from hitting the cold roof and causing that indoor condensation. Check with builders, but I believe vapor barrier goes on over the insulation and studs before drywall - goal is to prevent the warm air from getting out. Shouldn't have to pull the roof.
     
  17. nedorama

    nedorama Tele-Meister

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    Other thought - if you're building knee walls, ethernet cable in the walls = inexpensive 4-channel audio snakes - multiple companies, including Redco, have Ethernet to XLR adapters. That way you can eliminate some of the cable clutter... Or use multi snake cable...
     
  18. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    This has serious potential. We’ll need copious interior views... and probably some sound clips.
     
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  19. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    There need to B 3 friends to help you haul it up there.
     
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  20. preactor

    preactor Tele-Holic

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    Now that's a Barn!
     
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