Over a month has passed since I started to build the sound recording room so it’s time for another update. I have been able to spend about 6-7 full working days since the last update and the room is coming along nicely.
Back in late Feburary I put up the first few plaster boards on the two walls that would be closest to the outer walls of the garage. I had to start by only putting those plaster boards up since I needed exterior access and I if I were to put all boards up it would be difficult to move the already heavy construction close to the exterior walls. There are two layers of plaster boards, the first ones were mounted vertically and the second layer horizontally to minimize sound leaking through the cracks.
Lot’s of screws were used and it took longer to put boards up than I first anticipated. Putting up the horizontal boards took some trickery being on my own, lifting up the upper board dropping it onto a 1cm ledge hoping it wouldn’t slip off and slam down on my toes
After the two exterior walls were finished it was time to move the entire room to its final resting place. I did this by screwing horizontal 6″x2″ (120mm x 45mm) studs along the long side and then laying two 6×2 studs across a pallet lift. It was really easy to lift the entire room up and push it into place. The temporary horizontal studs were then removed and I could continue with the ceiling and other exterior walls.
Meanwhile the garage was looking a right mess. For weeks I got increasingly annoyed at stuff being scattered everywhere… The neighbors may have gotten a bit annoyed at me parking on the street for a couple of weeks too =)
I often used sliding-arm bar clamp to position studs tightly in the right place before screwing things together. Most of the time I had long enough screws with long enough non-treaded sections so it would self-contract, but some the clamping method was still very useful, especially when I was screwing from the sides as the screws themselves would not bull the ceiling stud down to the beam it was resting on.
More boards were coming up and I found the ceiling to be particularly painful. I had to crawl on top of the cross-beams and lift the boards up myself so I think I spent two full nights doing the ceiling alone. To further reduce the chance of sound leaking I used “Akrylfog” which is an elastic filler in all the seams between all plaster boards. I have probably gone through 15 tubes of that stuff by now!
I have an old web camera in the garage which is hooked up to a NAS and it records upon movement. I just had a look at the footage and decided to put together a little time-laps from some parts of the build. The camera often aims in odd angles as it resets the motors. Not the best of cameras and the resolution is awful, still – it shows some parts of what went into the build.
As you can see in the video, a lot of coffee went into this. Maybe I should have made a proper effort to put the GoPro up to make a proper time-lapse, but never mind, main thing is to just get it finished so I can start recording the audio.
By 9th March the boards were coming along but not yet all up. I had to balance building the room with my day-job, spending time with my family, riding motocross, and all other things life has to offer. “Not having anything to do” is a feeling I haven’t had since my summer time off school in 1990.
I built the door out of 6″x2″ studs too. I plan to sound proof it the same way I will do with the walls: 120mm insulation + 2 layers of sound blankets + 80mm sound absorbation foam. On the outside of the door I put double layers of plaster board, just like the walls. First a lot of Akrylfog though!
Now we’ve caught up with today. I mounted the door on 4 hinges (mounted where the studs are in the door) and it seals the room perfectly. I will add some sealing material for the inner door frame. I put 2″x2″ wood on the outer edge of the door and 3″x2″ wood inside the frame. As you close the door from the inside it is pitch black and absolutely no gaps to the real world… If I wasn’t recording audio in this room my neighbors would seriously wonder what such a sound proof capsule would be used for inside a garage =)
I should also mention that I was WAY too optimistic as I built the door. I thought I made it 5-10mm smaller to fit the hole and I did expect to plane some corners off to allow it shutting… but here is a small part of what I ended up shaving off to allow it to close. It was probably four times the amount of wood I had to take off before it shut properly. Thankfully I had a router and an electric planer that came in very handy.
Finally – room is sealed externally and the door is mounted. Now it’s time to continue with the internal space and I’ve got the insulation ready to go. I will first record some sound in the room as it sits today to measure how effective first the insulation is followed by the sound blankets and the sound absorb foam. Will be interesting to hear the results. Right now it’s more of an echo chamber!