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post #1 of 41 Old 06-08-2016, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Have a Few Sound Proofing Questions (sorry)

I'm sure there's a million and half of these threads online, and I have probably read 75% of them over the last few weeks. I've gotten a lot of good info, but I still have a few questions that I haven't been able to find any solid info on from all the reading I've done. I've tried reaching the guys at soundproofingcompany.com, and haven't had any luck (called one and sent in some inquiries using their contact / quote form, haven't heard back yet). I'm even willing to pay someone for their time for any help / consultation they can give me (seriously).

My drywall guys are starting next week, and I want to make sure I'm doing what I can and not wasting any money or time. Right now, I have him doing the inner walls and ceilings in the theater: double 5/8" x type drywall, greenglue, hat channel + sound clips.

Here's a few questions I had:

Backer Boxes on Shallow Canned Lights:

I've read this is a necessity (only after they installed these, doh!). I have sconces in the theater as well, so I may just put drywall over the cans if it's too hard / expensive to do these backer boxes. However, my question is... the type of canned lights they installed in my theater are different than the others they installed in the basement - they are much much shallower and smaller. The other canned lights in the rest of the basement are huge metal looking things that are a lot deeper.

I took a quick screenshot of the cans in the theater to illustrate: http://screencast.com/t/HkVegfpDJHh. These are pretty small and only a couple inches deep. (sorry about the lighting)

Do I still need to install backer boxes on these, or can I just get away with acoustic putty and insulation behind? I'm not handy at all, so I'd have to have someone make these backer boxes, and it may not be worth it (hence the reason I'm considering just covering them up for now).


HVAC Sound Proofing?

I have an HVAC line running through half the room (unavoidable). I don't have drywall up yet, so it's obviously a little loud when it kicks on - is there anything people do to reduce the sound on these? Is there some HVAC wrap or something that works, or will a layer of doubledrywall + green glue + hat channel on the ceiling generally keep the sound out? I'm not looking to go too crazy if it only means a 5% improvement, but I'd like to do what I can.

I also have a vent that supplies air near the ceiling - I know I obviously can't cover it up otherwise air can't get in, but are there any tricks to reducing the sound?

Here's a picture of what I'm talking about: http://screencast.com/t/NBGzRErRk0U. (The large hole is a cutout for the amp rack, but I will probably remove it and put the rack behind the wall in the utility room. I don't want that to sacrifice sound isolation).

Sound Proofing Adjoining Walls on Opposite Side

For the ceilings and walls inside the theater I am doing the usual double drywall + greenglue + sound clips + hat channel. However, on the other side of 2 of the main walls in the theater, there is a bedroom and a main hallway (which is where I'm trying to keep sound out of). My question is, do people treat those opposite walls as well, or is there severe diminishing returns to doing that?

Here's a rough screenshot of the layout: http://screencast.com/t/qjItYiwLRI. There's a key / legend on the top left of what I was thinking.

Floor

The theater is in the basement. The entire floor is concrete. There is a small riser / landing in the back for raised seating that is made out of wood. Other than nice carpet & padding, should I be doing anything on the floor or riser / landing? I'm not looking to go too crazy, but if there's anything cheap that will make a fairly large difference here, I might as well do it now.

Remaining Basement Ceiling

The majority of our main floor is wood - so I'm trying to do what I can to the basement ceiling to minimize noise / footsteps. I had the contractor install R-19 batts in the ceiling, and that seemed to help a bit...but I'm wondering if theres anything I can do that is cheap that will have any noticeable improvement? The basement is ~3500 sq feet, so I'm not too keen on doing anything too crazy or expensive. I'm thinking double 5/8" drywall in the ceiling would help the most for the least amount of money (no green glue), but I could be wrong?

Thanks for any help. I know the theater is not an ideal room sound-proof wise (especially with the HVAC line and canned lights). My last theater was below the garage with suspended concrete with mini-split AC - so I didn't have to do much, and I'm not expecting the new theater to be that good. I just want to make sure I'm not spending a ton of money on sound-proofing walls and ceilings if it's just going to be negated by other things.
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post #2 of 41 Old 06-08-2016, 12:44 PM
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Your HVAC picture made it look like you forced your insulation into spots it was to big for or pushed it in to far. The air space between the layers of the fiber glass is really what makes insulation help with sound proofing. I would suggest fixing that if sound is a concern, which it sounds like it is.

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post #3 of 41 Old 06-08-2016, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Death Dream View Post
Your HVAC picture made it look like you forced your insulation into spots it was to big for or pushed it in to far. The air space between the layers of the fiber glass is really what makes insulation help with sound proofing. I would suggest fixing that if sound is a concern, which it sounds like it is.
Ok - so you're saying to not have that insulation piece stuffed in there as much, especially near that vent? Should I just take some out so it's not so crammed?

Thanks
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post #4 of 41 Old 06-08-2016, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daudi81 View Post
Backer Boxes on Shallow Canned Lights:

I've read this is a necessity (only after they installed these, doh!). I have sconces in the theater as well, so I may just put drywall over the cans if it's too hard / expensive to do these backer boxes. However, my question is... the type of canned lights they installed in my theater are different than the others they installed in the basement - they are much much shallower and smaller. The other canned lights in the rest of the basement are huge metal looking things that are a lot deeper.

I took a quick screenshot of the cans in the theater to illustrate: http://screencast.com/t/HkVegfpDJHh. These are pretty small and only a couple inches deep. (sorry about the lighting)

Do I still need to install backer boxes on these, or can I just get away with acoustic putty and insulation behind? I'm not handy at all, so I'd have to have someone make these backer boxes, and it may not be worth it (hence the reason I'm considering just covering them up for now).
Correction: that is not housing for a recess "can" light. That is an electrical box for a ceiling light fixtures. You can install standard, surface mount light fixture and connect the electrical to that box. A recessed can box looks more like THIS.

Second, you cannot cover up that electrical box. That would violate electrical code. No hidden junction boxes. That said, if you do not need ceiling light fixtures, that junction box and romex is pretty easy to remove. But, what would you replace that lighting with?

Best to minimize the number and size of holes in your double drywall shell. If you decide to install recessed cans, you should build backer boxes for those cans with a flange that will contact the back of the first layer of drywall. Caulk the flange to seal any gaps between the backer box and drywall.

You can see a picture of a backer box in THIS POST.


Quote:
Originally Posted by daudi81 View Post
HVAC Sound Proofing?

I have an HVAC line running through half the room (unavoidable). I don't have drywall up yet, so it's obviously a little loud when it kicks on - is there anything people do to reduce the sound on these? Is there some HVAC wrap or something that works, or will a layer of doubledrywall + green glue + hat channel on the ceiling generally keep the sound out? I'm not looking to go too crazy if it only means a 5% improvement, but I'd like to do what I can.

I also have a vent that supplies air near the ceiling - I know I obviously can't cover it up otherwise air can't get in, but are there any tricks to reducing the sound?

Here's a picture of what I'm talking about: http://screencast.com/t/NBGzRErRk0U. (The large hole is a cutout for the amp rack, but I will probably remove it and put the rack behind the wall in the utility room. I don't want that to sacrifice sound isolation).
Disclaimer: I'm not an HVAC expert, but I can share my opinion based what I did and what I've learned. Yes you can wrap the ducts to help control the noise. The double drywall with green glue will also help.

That vent opening will allow noise from the theater to enter the HVAC ducts and potentially spread to other areas of the home. There are a number of techniques used to reduce the flow of noise into the theater and from the theater to other areas of the home. One key element is using flex duct which allows sound to flow through the sides of duct to be absorbed by insulation (instead of traveling through the duct to other parts of the home). I used joist mufflers with flex duct. Myjoist muffler is basically a double drywall w/ GG box around the flex duct that contains any sound that flows through the walls of the flex duct.

The Soundproofing Company has articles on their site that will be helpful.


Quote:
Originally Posted by daudi81 View Post
Sound Proofing Adjoining Walls on Opposite Side

For the ceilings and walls inside the theater I am doing the usual double drywall + greenglue + sound clips + hat channel. However, on the other side of 2 of the main walls in the theater, there is a bedroom and a main hallway (which is where I'm trying to keep sound out of). My question is, do people treat those opposite walls as well, or is there severe diminishing returns to doing that?

Here's a rough screenshot of the layout: http://screencast.com/t/qjItYiwLRI. There's a key / legend on the top left of what I was thinking.
Generally diminishing returns, but some people have treated those opposite walls. One approach involves installing a second layer of drywall w/GG on the room side. Another approach involves installing a second layer w/GG between the studs. The first approach is typically easier because one can use large sheets of drywall instead of ~13" strips. A bedroom shares one wall with my theater. I put a second layer of 5/8" drywall in the bedroom just in case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daudi81 View Post
Floor

The theater is in the basement. The entire floor is concrete. There is a small riser / landing in the back for raised seating that is made out of wood. Other than nice carpet & padding, should I be doing anything on the floor or riser / landing? I'm not looking to go too crazy, but if there's anything cheap that will make a fairly large difference here, I might as well do it now.
Some people have put down a layer of Serenity Mat and topped that with a couple layers of OSB. That reduces sound passing through your concrete and gives a more tactile floor so you can feel bass response.

I chose to go with pad and carpet on concrete. I haven't been disappointed that I skipped Serenity Mat.

Suggest you try again to call Ted/John and the Soundproofing Company to talk through whether the cost/effort is worthwhile given your goals and bass expectations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daudi81 View Post
Remaining Basement Ceiling

The majority of our main floor is wood - so I'm trying to do what I can to the basement ceiling to minimize noise / footsteps. I had the contractor install R-19 batts in the ceiling, and that seemed to help a bit...but I'm wondering if theres anything I can do that is cheap that will have any noticeable improvement? The basement is ~3500 sq feet, so I'm not too keen on doing anything too crazy or expensive. I'm thinking double 5/8" drywall in the ceiling would help the most for the least amount of money (no green glue), but I could be wrong?

Thanks for any help. I know the theater is not an ideal room sound-proof wise (especially with the HVAC line and canned lights). My last theater was below the garage with suspended concrete with mini-split AC - so I didn't have to do much, and I'm not expecting the new theater to be that good. I just want to make sure I'm not spending a ton of money on sound-proofing walls and ceilings if it's just going to be negated by other things.
Some people put a layer of drywall or two with greenglue between the ceiling joists (on the underside of the subfloor). The labor can be significant including flattening the nails that protrude through the subfloor from the hardwood installation. That would dull the sound, but you have to decide whether the labor/cost tradeoff is worthwhile.

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post #5 of 41 Old 06-08-2016, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by daudi81 View Post
Ok - so you're saying to not have that insulation piece stuffed in there as much, especially near that vent? Should I just take some out so it's not so crammed?

Thanks
I meant more the whole wall looks like you put to much insulation in between the studs. Or pushed it in to far to cause those huge creases.

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post #6 of 41 Old 06-08-2016, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedStripe88 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by daudi81 View Post
Backer Boxes on Shallow Canned Lights:

I've read this is a necessity (only after they installed these, doh!). I have sconces in the theater as well, so I may just put drywall over the cans if it's too hard / expensive to do these backer boxes. However, my question is... the type of canned lights they installed in my theater are different than the others they installed in the basement - they are much much shallower and smaller. The other canned lights in the rest of the basement are huge metal looking things that are a lot deeper.

I took a quick screenshot of the cans in the theater to illustrate: http://screencast.com/t/HkVegfpDJHh. These are pretty small and only a couple inches deep. (sorry about the lighting)

Do I still need to install backer boxes on these, or can I just get away with acoustic putty and insulation behind? I'm not handy at all, so I'd have to have someone make these backer boxes, and it may not be worth it (hence the reason I'm considering just covering them up for now).
Correction: that is not housing for a recess "can" light. That is an electrical box for a ceiling light fixtures. You can install standard, surface mount light fixture and connect the electrical to that box. A recessed can box looks more like THIS.

Second, you cannot cover up that electrical box. That would violate electrical code. No hidden junction boxes. That said, if you do not need ceiling light fixtures, that junction box and romex is pretty easy to remove. But, what would you replace that lighting with?

Best to minimize the number and size of holes in your double drywall shell. If you decide to install recessed cans, you should build backer boxes for those cans with a flange that will contact the back of the first layer of drywall. Caulk the flange to seal any gaps between the backer box and drywall.

You can see a picture of a backer box in THIS POST.


Quote:
Originally Posted by daudi81 View Post
HVAC Sound Proofing?

I have an HVAC line running through half the room (unavoidable). I don't have drywall up yet, so it's obviously a little loud when it kicks on - is there anything people do to reduce the sound on these? Is there some HVAC wrap or something that works, or will a layer of doubledrywall + green glue + hat channel on the ceiling generally keep the sound out? I'm not looking to go too crazy if it only means a 5% improvement, but I'd like to do what I can.

I also have a vent that supplies air near the ceiling - I know I obviously can't cover it up otherwise air can't get in, but are there any tricks to reducing the sound?

Here's a picture of what I'm talking about: http://screencast.com/t/NBGzRErRk0U. (The large hole is a cutout for the amp rack, but I will probably remove it and put the rack behind the wall in the utility room. I don't want that to sacrifice sound isolation).
Disclaimer: I'm not an HVAC expert, but I can share my opinion based what I did and what I've learned. Yes you can wrap the ducts to help control the noise. The double drywall with green glue will also help.

That vent opening will allow noise from the theater to enter the HVAC ducts and potentially spread to other areas of the home. There are a number of techniques used to reduce the flow of noise into the theater and from the theater to other areas of the home. One key element is using flex duct which allows sound to flow through the sides of duct to be absorbed by insulation (instead of traveling through the duct to other parts of the home). I used joist mufflers with flex duct. Myjoist muffler is basically a double drywall w/ GG box around the flex duct that contains any sound that flows through the walls of the flex duct.

The Soundproofing Company has articles on their site that will be helpful.


Quote:
Originally Posted by daudi81 View Post
Sound Proofing Adjoining Walls on Opposite Side

For the ceilings and walls inside the theater I am doing the usual double drywall + greenglue + sound clips + hat channel. However, on the other side of 2 of the main walls in the theater, there is a bedroom and a main hallway (which is where I'm trying to keep sound out of). My question is, do people treat those opposite walls as well, or is there severe diminishing returns to doing that?

Here's a rough screenshot of the layout: http://screencast.com/t/qjItYiwLRI. There's a key / legend on the top left of what I was thinking.
Generally diminishing returns, but some people have treated those opposite walls. One approach involves installing a second layer of drywall w/GG on the room side. Another approach involves installing a second layer w/GG between the studs. The first approach is typically easier because one can use large sheets of drywall instead of ~13" strips. A bedroom shares one wall with my theater. I put a second layer of 5/8" drywall in the bedroom just in case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daudi81 View Post
Floor

The theater is in the basement. The entire floor is concrete. There is a small riser / landing in the back for raised seating that is made out of wood. Other than nice carpet & padding, should I be doing anything on the floor or riser / landing? I'm not looking to go too crazy, but if there's anything cheap that will make a fairly large difference here, I might as well do it now.
Some people have put down a layer of Serenity Mat and topped that with a couple layers of OSB. That reduces sound passing through your concrete and gives a more tactile floor so you can feel bass response.

I chose to go with pad and carpet on concrete. I haven't been disappointed that I skipped Serenity Mat.

Suggest you try again to call Ted/John and the Soundproofing Company to talk through whether the cost/effort is worthwhile given your goals and bass expectations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daudi81 View Post
Remaining Basement Ceiling

The majority of our main floor is wood - so I'm trying to do what I can to the basement ceiling to minimize noise / footsteps. I had the contractor install R-19 batts in the ceiling, and that seemed to help a bit...but I'm wondering if theres anything I can do that is cheap that will have any noticeable improvement? The basement is ~3500 sq feet, so I'm not too keen on doing anything too crazy or expensive. I'm thinking double 5/8" drywall in the ceiling would help the most for the least amount of money (no green glue), but I could be wrong?

Thanks for any help. I know the theater is not an ideal room sound-proof wise (especially with the HVAC line and canned lights). My last theater was below the garage with suspended concrete with mini-split AC - so I didn't have to do much, and I'm not expecting the new theater to be that good. I just want to make sure I'm not spending a ton of money on sound-proofing walls and ceilings if it's just going to be negated by other things.
Some people put a layer of drywall or two with greenglue between the ceiling joists (on the underside of the subfloor). The labor can be significant including flattening the nails that protrude through the subfloor from the hardwood installation. That would dull the sound, but you have to decide whether the labor/cost tradeoff is worthwhile.
Thanks for the in depth response. The lights are surface mount cans (i think that's what the electrician called them). Since they aren't traditional cans, do I put putty behind them or backer boxes, or does it matter? Not really sure what to do there. There are also sconces on the side walls, so there is lighting other than the surface mount cans on the ceiling.

I'll have to look at the hvac stuff, looks very interesting.

On a side not, I just spoke to the drywall guy and told him I wanted to do sound clips and hat channel and he looked at me like I was speaking a different language. He said he's done resiliant channels and green glue / double drywall but has never heard of these sound clips and thinks I'm being fed incorrect info. Time for a New drywall guy or am I using the wrong lingo?
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post #7 of 41 Old 06-08-2016, 03:29 PM
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Not just time for a new drywall guy, it's time you put down the checkbook and do some research on the forums.

This isn't me being "mean", it's me trying to save you a ton of heartbreak a month down the road. You pretty much get ONE chance when building a theater. Would not want to see you having to tear out drywall/etc due to wrong methods being used.

Quick thoughts:

Skip the light boxes, build a soundproof shell of dd/gg/clips/channel (fyi: Resilient channel is NOT the way to go and that drywall guy needs to LISTEN to you about the clips or leave) and build a soffit INSIDE the shell. Then you can mount the can lights of your choice inside the soffit without having to build backer boxes.

Clips/channel: Have you thought about doing that part yourself? It's easy to learn, just time consuming. I did it with my wife over a few weeks. Saved a ton of cash and I know it was done right.

I know you said you are "not handy". I recommend this be the time to start learning/trying out new skills. You will buy some tools (that you will use again), your wife will appreciate you being more "manly" (well mine does.....ha), AND you will save quite a bit of money. I could not imagine how much my room would have cost if I did none of the work.

HVAC: Read read read. There are few to none when it comes to "HVAC Guys" that have a clue on how to build a proper system for theaters. You will want to focus and read the forums about the following topics:

Proper sizing of ducts to reduce airflow noise due to high velocity.

Isolation of ducts from the rest of the house (think mini-split dedicated system).

Dead vents

Joist mufflers

Vent materials (duct board, metal ducting, flex ducting)


In a nutshell, a theater is much like Rome....and neither will or were be built in a day. It's a luxury room as I like to call it. Take your time, do your research, do SOME of it yourself! Trust me, I went through the majority of this adventure over the past 2 years. A proper theater is an evolution due a result of long term effort!
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post #8 of 41 Old 06-08-2016, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I meant more the whole wall looks like you put to much insulation in between the studs. Or pushed it in to far to cause those huge creases.
It was just installed yesterday (I didn't do it). I had to pull some of it out a bit to fix some wiring and started putting that acoustical putty behind the boxes, I don't think I put it back fully yet in that picture. However, I'm not an insulation guy so you may still be right about it being too tight - I do remember thinking it looked a little "sloppy" when I saw it first but I wouldn't know one way or the other.

As far as fixing it - how would I go about doing that? Shave some off so they fit better (i.e. more room). I can call the installer and let him know to fix it - but I wouldn't know the first thing about telling him "what" to fix.

Thanks!
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post #9 of 41 Old 06-08-2016, 06:22 PM
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As far as fixing it - how would I go about doing that? Shave some off so they fit better (i.e. more room). I can call the installer and let him know to fix it - but I wouldn't know the first thing about telling him "what" to fix.

Thanks!
That is correct. You would shave it of so it fit properly. Easy to do with a box cutter. Just pull it out, line it up as if it was going to go straight in, and then push it up against the stud and cut it along the stud. If that makes sense lol

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post #10 of 41 Old 06-08-2016, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by freudie1 View Post
Not just time for a new drywall guy, it's time you put down the checkbook and do some research on the forums.

This isn't me being "mean", it's me trying to save you a ton of heartbreak a month down the road. You pretty much get ONE chance when building a theater. Would not want to see you having to tear out drywall/etc due to wrong methods being used.

Quick thoughts:

Skip the light boxes, build a soundproof shell of dd/gg/clips/channel (fyi: Resilient channel is NOT the way to go and that drywall guy needs to LISTEN to you about the clips or leave) and build a soffit INSIDE the shell. Then you can mount the can lights of your choice inside the soffit without having to build backer boxes.

Clips/channel: Have you thought about doing that part yourself? It's easy to learn, just time consuming. I did it with my wife over a few weeks. Saved a ton of cash and I know it was done right.

I know you said you are "not handy". I recommend this be the time to start learning/trying out new skills. You will buy some tools (that you will use again), your wife will appreciate you being more "manly" (well mine does.....ha), AND you will save quite a bit of money. I could not imagine how much my room would have cost if I did none of the work.

HVAC: Read read read. There are few to none when it comes to "HVAC Guys" that have a clue on how to build a proper system for theaters. You will want to focus and read the forums about the following topics:

Proper sizing of ducts to reduce airflow noise due to high velocity.

Isolation of ducts from the rest of the house (think mini-split dedicated system).

Dead vents

Joist mufflers

Vent materials (duct board, metal ducting, flex ducting)


In a nutshell, a theater is much like Rome....and neither will or were be built in a day. It's a luxury room as I like to call it. Take your time, do your research, do SOME of it yourself! Trust me, I went through the majority of this adventure over the past 2 years. A proper theater is an evolution due a result of long term effort!
Funny you say that - I was just talking to my wife about wanting to just halt construction on it to give me some time to do some more research and get things done right. Sadly, most contractors around here know nothing about "best soundproofing practices" so they just go in there and do the work and I find out later it might not be great for sound proofing (i.e. the HVAC and insulation).

The problem is that we are finishing the whole basement in tandem, and we can't move in until it's done - so I've been feeling pressured to hurry it along and learning as I go. I may just halt construction on the theater for now and let them finish the rest of the basement. The GC doesn't seem happy about having his guys come twice, but it is what it is.

I spoke to the drywall guy a few hours ago, and I did tell him that I would just do the clips and hang the hat channels myself. I looked up some videos and instructions online and it looks incredibly easy (measure thrice, then screw in, rinse repeat). I did the acoustic putty myself, which obviously wasn't hard (just smelled bad).

As far as the HVAC goes - that vent you see in the picture is only a few feet long (the furnace is just behind that wall) so if I needed to put something else in there it wouldn't be difficult. However, there is a big return/supply line running through half the room, and I can't really do much about that. I spoke to the HVAC guy about possibly moving or relocating it before we purchased the home and it was too complicated - I would have loved to put a mini split in there but the layout of the basement just wasn't feasible.

For the lights, you said to build a soffit inside the shell and mount the cans of my choice. I'm not really picturing what you mean - I can do some research online - but is there an illustration / explanation online that explains it?

Thanks for the help!
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post #11 of 41 Old 06-09-2016, 07:55 AM
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Awesome. Finally a thread were I can help. I just went through this myself.

A few tips I found that should help. When installing the clips, don't use regular wood screws that you buy at Lowe's or Home Depot. We were breaking the heads off of them left and right. Use what they have labeled as construction, or deck screws that have the star shaped head. Those things are animals.

I would build shallow columns for your sconces so you don't have to put any more holes in the soundproof shell than is necessary. I pulled the wire through a small hole in the drywall when the guys were hanging. Just make sure it doesn't get pinched. I did the same thing for the speaker wire. Then just squirt some acoustical sealant in the hole. (See picture below)

At first I was planning on putting in a bunch of recessed lighting in the ceiling, but in the end, decided I was only going to add recessed lighting for the screen. I looked at a friends theater that went the same direction and the sconces were plenty of light for the room. If he turned them up all the way it was too bright. I did build backer boxes for my screen lighting, even though Ted said that if the recessed lighting penetration in the drywall is < 4", a backer box is unnecessary. They weren't hard to build, so I did it anyway.

When you build them for the lighting, don't follow the directions provided by the Soundproofing company. I used their recommendation (7/16" OSB and Concrete board), but the smallest drywall screws I could find were 1". I tried running the screws in from the outside (through the OSB) and it would break the concrete board. The only way to do it was to run the screw in from the inside, which meant if you grabbed the box wrong, you were jamming pointy screw ends into your hands.

As for HVAC, I choose to go with a mini-split system and not install a fresh air intake from the beginning. I can always punch a hold in an opposite wall if necessary and do something like a dead vent. From speaking with Ted, he said that it would take a lot of people a very long time to cause an issue with just recirculating the air in the theater. I'm going to take a shot and hope I don't die in the theater by falling asleep in there after watching a movie.

Actually, I'm planning on picking up an air quality meter when I'm done and actually gathering some data on the room.

Also, according to Ted, you don't have to treat the HVAC duct in the ceiling since the ceiling will be decoupled. Although he did say you can add duct liner or mass loaded vinyl if you want. I choose not to do anything which may or may not bite me in the ass later.

Oh, and when you're doing the clip installation, make a pole out of a piece of lumber to line up your clips. I laid out the first stud the way I wanted, then held up a piece of lumber and marked the location of the clips. Then just use that stick to make the marks all the way around the room. Keeps from having to drag the tape measurer all over the place.
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post #12 of 41 Old 06-09-2016, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyderturbo007 View Post
Awesome. Finally a thread were I can help. I just went through this myself.

A few tips I found that should help. When installing the clips, don't use regular wood screws that you buy at Lowe's or Home Depot. We were breaking the heads off of them left and right. Use what they have labeled as construction, or deck screws that have the star shaped head. Those things are animals.

I would build shallow columns for your sconces so you don't have to put any more holes in the soundproof shell than is necessary. I pulled the wire through a small hole in the drywall when the guys were hanging. Just make sure it doesn't get pinched. I did the same thing for the speaker wire. Then just squirt some acoustical sealant in the hole. (See picture below)

At first I was planning on putting in a bunch of recessed lighting in the ceiling, but in the end, decided I was only going to add recessed lighting for the screen. I looked at a friends theater that went the same direction and the sconces were plenty of light for the room. If he turned them up all the way it was too bright. I did build backer boxes for my screen lighting, even though Ted said that if the recessed lighting penetration in the drywall is < 4", a backer box is unnecessary. They weren't hard to build, so I did it anyway.

When you build them for the lighting, don't follow the directions provided by the Soundproofing company. I used their recommendation (7/16" OSB and Concrete board), but the smallest drywall screws I could find were 1". I tried running the screws in from the outside (through the OSB) and it would break the concrete board. The only way to do it was to run the screw in from the inside, which meant if you grabbed the box wrong, you were jamming pointy screw ends into your hands.

As for HVAC, I choose to go with a mini-split system and not install a fresh air intake from the beginning. I can always punch a hold in an opposite wall if necessary and do something like a dead vent. From speaking with Ted, he said that it would take a lot of people a very long time to cause an issue with just recirculating the air in the theater. I'm going to take a shot and hope I don't die in the theater by falling asleep in there after watching a movie.

Actually, I'm planning on picking up an air quality meter when I'm done and actually gathering some data on the room.

Also, according to Ted, you don't have to treat the HVAC duct in the ceiling since the ceiling will be decoupled. Although he did say you can add duct liner or mass loaded vinyl if you want. I choose not to do anything which may or may not bite me in the ass later.

Oh, and when you're doing the clip installation, make a pole out of a piece of lumber to line up your clips. I laid out the first stud the way I wanted, then held up a piece of lumber and marked the location of the clips. Then just use that stick to make the marks all the way around the room. Keeps from having to drag the tape measurer all over the place.
Great info - so where did you get the deck screws? Is it a specialty shop or just any home improvement store?

I wish I could have installed a mini-split system. The main issue was that the theater room is right next to the HVAC / utility room and the theater room is where the main trunk branches into all the other rooms (including upstairs). So they would have to re-route the huge trunk line to the other side of the house and unfortunately there's a stair case there. Not to mention the home is fairly large, 6500sq ft - and its a rambler, so rerouting that much ducting would be incredibly expensive. I'll make sure the next home we buy has one of those suspended slab theaters under the garage (like my last one). Soooo much easier to work with.
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Oh I forgot to ask a couple questions - I had them written down I'm not sure how I missed it - will try to edit my original post as well for more visibility:

Clips / Hat Channel on Ceiling with HVAC / Soffit splitting the room

I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to run hat channels and clips throughout the ceiling. The problem is that the HVAC line is running through half the room in both directions

Here's a couple pictures that show what I'm talking about from both angles: http://screencast.com/t/8OYPfDMgo & http://screencast.com/t/byZICWBNmFN.

Do I need to do clips / channels under the soffit framing since it's already kind of "decoupled from the joists / ceiling subfloor? If so, how do you run hat channels through it? Do I run them parallel to the soffit framing? Since I'm doing this myself, I am pretty confused on what to do here. How do people usually do this? Should I just do the ceiling part up to the HVAC / soffit - or do I need to do the whole ceiling?

Acoustic Putty Behind the Surface Mounted Cans

So those little black circles in the ceiling are "surface mounted cans" according to my electrician. He said it would be OK to putty behind them, they are only 2-3 inches deep, if that. Do I still need to build backer boxes for these, or will a bunch of acoustic putty work?

Anything Special for the Riser / Landing?

Might be a silly question, but I Just want to make sure I have my bases covered. For the riser (see pics above), do I need to do anything special? Like dampen it, or decouple this or that?
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Funny you say that - I was just talking to my wife about wanting to just halt construction on it to give me some time to do some more research and get things done right. Sadly, most contractors around here know nothing about "best soundproofing practices" so they just go in there and do the work and I find out later it might not be great for sound proofing (i.e. the HVAC and insulation).

The problem is that we are finishing the whole basement in tandem, and we can't move in until it's done - so I've been feeling pressured to hurry it along and learning as I go. I may just halt construction on the theater for now and let them finish the rest of the basement. The GC doesn't seem happy about having his guys come twice, but it is what it is.
I completely agree that you should halt construction on the theater and get the information you need to make sure it is built right the first time. If you are spending the money to contain sound, then the construction should not compromise your investment.

Unless you are working with a builder who has constructed a high performing theater room, the construction approaches will be unfamiliar and in many cases counter-intuitive. For example, why frame the soffit after drywall? Why leave gaps in the corner so drywall doesn't touch? Why install drywall so that seams in the first and second layer are staggered?

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Originally Posted by daudi81 View Post
For the lights, you said to build a soffit inside the shell and mount the cans of my choice. I'm not really picturing what you mean - I can do some research online - but is there an illustration / explanation online that explains it?
Question: If you keep the surface mount electrical boxes in the ceiling, what type of lighting would you use? That surface mount lighting cannot hang too low or it could obstruct the beam from the projector (depends on your ceiling height, projector location, screen location). Worth figuring that out.

Many of the professionally built theaters start with a double drywall / green glue shell with minimal penetrations. Electrical and low voltage wires are pulled through small holes in the shell. The picture from @Spyderturbo007 illustrates that.

In your case, you would have the electrician remove those surface mount cans from the ceiling. And, I would argue you should remove as many other electrical boxes as you can afford since this is the time to make that change. After drywall is cut and installed, changing is very cost prohibitive.

If you go this route, electrical outlets are typically installed in columns or in surface mount boxes behind an acoustically transparent screen.

However, you may want to be more practical. Since you've already spent the money, the next best approach is to apply the puddy pads to the back of the electrical boxes to minimize noise that escapes through those large holes in your double drywall shell.

Back to your request:

Room drywalled with minimal penetrations for high voltage electrical and low voltage:



Soffit framed around the room:



Recessed light cans installed in the framed soffit. Accomplishes goal of no recessed light penetrations in Double drywall shell:



Soffits covered with drywall (sides) and MDF (bottom):



Soffits finished, painted, etc with recessed lights on. The recessed lights around the perimeter are quite effective lighting the room. The screen helps since light bounces off that surface to light the room. You can build a light tray in the soffit to install LED accent lighting.

My in progress build thread: The Salt Mine

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post #15 of 41 Old 06-09-2016, 11:55 AM
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Great info - so where did you get the deck screws? Is it a specialty shop or just any home improvement store?
I got them at Home Depot.

This is what I got, but I think mine were the 2 1/2" version.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Grip-Rite...GCS1/204959258

Quote:
Originally Posted by daudi81 View Post
I wish I could have installed a mini-split system. The main issue was that the theater room is right next to the HVAC / utility room and the theater room is where the main trunk branches into all the other rooms (including upstairs). So they would have to re-route the huge trunk line to the other side of the house and unfortunately there's a stair case there. Not to mention the home is fairly large, 6500sq ft - and its a rambler, so rerouting that much ducting would be incredibly expensive. I'll make sure the next home we buy has one of those suspended slab theaters under the garage (like my last one). Soooo much easier to work with.
I went with a ductless system. All we had to do was run a line set from the outdoor unit, along the joists and to the back of the theater. It comes out a 2" diameter hole in the back piece of plywood. I'm not sure why you would need to reroute existing ductwork for the mini split. Don't change anything on my behalf, but I just wanted to throw that out there.

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Originally Posted by daudi81 View Post
Oh I forgot to ask a couple questions - I had them written down I'm not sure how I missed it - will try to edit my original post as well for more visibility:

Clips / Hat Channel on Ceiling with HVAC / Soffit splitting the room

I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to run hat channels and clips throughout the ceiling. The problem is that the HVAC line is running through half the room in both directions

Here's a couple pictures that show what I'm talking about from both angles: http://screencast.com/t/8OYPfDMgo & http://screencast.com/t/byZICWBNmFN.
I'm not seeing anything in the way in the pictures, unless I'm looking at the wrong thing. I see some thermopan that's flush with the existing joists, but it won't interfere with anything. You would just secure the clip to the joist and then the channel snaps into the clip. It will keep the drywall about 7/8" away from the joist so it won't touch the Thermopan. The only time you would have to worry is if there was something hanging down below the plane of the joists.

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Originally Posted by daudi81 View Post
Do I need to do clips / channels under the soffit framing since it's already kind of "decoupled from the joists / ceiling subfloor? If so, how do you run hat channels through it? Do I run them parallel to the soffit framing? Since I'm doing this myself, I am pretty confused on what to do here. How do people usually do this? Should I just do the ceiling part up to the HVAC / soffit - or do I need to do the whole ceiling?
From the looks of the picture, you'll need to do the soffit too. It appears as though the soffit is directly connected to the joists and the wall. You'll need to do the face as well as the underside of the soffit. I'm attaching a picture of my soffit that might help (see below).

Quote:
Originally Posted by daudi81 View Post
Acoustic Putty Behind the Surface Mounted Cans

So those little black circles in the ceiling are "surface mounted cans" according to my electrician. He said it would be OK to putty behind them, they are only 2-3 inches deep, if that. Do I still need to build backer boxes for these, or will a bunch of acoustic putty work?
A problem I see is that that box isn't an adjustable depth box. You'll need to bring the box out an additional ~2" beyond the plane of the framing to be flush with the second layer of drywall. Remember, you're adding ~7/8" for the channel and clips, then another 1 1/4" in drywall.

I added blocking behind my adjustable boxes to pull them out even further. They started getting wobbly when they were extended more than an inch or so (see crappy picture below).

Quote:
Originally Posted by daudi81 View Post
Anything Special for the Riser / Landing?

Might be a silly question, but I Just want to make sure I have my bases covered. For the riser (see pics above), do I need to do anything special? Like dampen it, or decouple this or that?
I haven't gotten that far in my build yet, but everything I'm reading says that there should be some type of underlayment. Most recommend some type of rubber followed by at least one layer of OSB. Then the riser gets built on top of that while making minimal contact with the underlayment and no contact with the walls. It's recommended to build the riser after the drywall goes up.

I could see big issues if the riser was built before the drywall and touches the wall. You've effectively coupled the riser to the framing and bypassing the soundproofing all together.
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post #16 of 41 Old 06-09-2016, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I got them at Home Depot.

This is what I got, but I think mine were the 2 1/2" version.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Grip-Rite...GCS1/204959258



I went with a ductless system. All we had to do was run a line set from the outdoor unit, along the joists and to the back of the theater. It comes out a 2" diameter hole in the back piece of plywood. I'm not sure why you would need to reroute existing ductwork for the mini split. Don't change anything on my behalf, but I just wanted to throw that out there.



I'm not seeing anything in the way in the pictures, unless I'm looking at the wrong thing. I see some thermopan that's flush with the existing joists, but it won't interfere with anything. You would just secure the clip to the joist and then the channel snaps into the clip. It will keep the drywall about 7/8" away from the joist so it won't touch the Thermopan. The only time you would have to worry is if there was something hanging down below the plane of the joists.



From the looks of the picture, you'll need to do the soffit too. It appears as though the soffit is directly connected to the joists and the wall. You'll need to do the face as well as the underside of the soffit. I'm attaching a picture of my soffit that might help (see below).



A problem I see is that that box isn't an adjustable depth box. You'll need to bring the box out an additional ~2" beyond the plane of the framing to be flush with the second layer of drywall. Remember, you're adding ~7/8" for the channel and clips, then another 1 1/4" in drywall.

I added blocking behind my adjustable boxes to pull them out even further. They started getting wobbly when they were extended more than an inch or so (see crappy picture below).



I haven't gotten that far in my build yet, but everything I'm reading says that there should be some type of underlayment. Most recommend some type of rubber followed by at least one layer of OSB. Then the riser gets built on top of that while making minimal contact with the underlayment and no contact with the walls. It's recommended to build the riser after the drywall goes up.

I could see big issues if the riser was built before the drywall and touches the wall. You've effectively coupled the riser to the framing and bypassing the soundproofing all together.
Awesome - that helped a lot.

So I'm still doing clips + channel on the hvac box - got it. That picture really helped, I didn't know we needed to do the side/face of it as well, this should be fun. Would it be easier to just remove some of that framing around the HVAC and decouple it (I'm not sure how that would work, but I could ask). That way we don't have to install clips and lower the ceiling another 1.5 inches. Just a thought?

I spoke to the electrician about all the switches and boxes, and having the drywall / channels push the wall out. He said he would have to go back in and build some extensions - but I was a little confused as to when he was supposed to do this. Made it sound like he could do it after the drywall was up, but that doesn't make a lot of sense does it? I could be wrong.

For the riser / landing, it IS actually touching the back wall, so I will have to talk to my framer to get that fixed. I don't think it's fastened to the wall (if it is, probably just a few screws), so we may be able to just pull it out so the drywallers can do their thing and then we can slide it back. I'm glad I asked, it sounds like that would have been a big mistake. Once the room is drywalled, I'm guessing the landing doesn't screw back into the wall? Or would it be ok because the wall will be de-coupled?

I'll do a little more research on the flooring. If it's not too expensive, I don't mind putting something in if it helps. The only thing I'm worried about is the ceiling height. They are 9ft foundation walls, however with the hvac framing, half the room is ~8' ...and where the riser is under the hvac framing it's another 8" down from that (8" tall landing). But the landing isn't very big, and people will mostly be sitting in that area anyway.

How important is the floor thing? Does anyone have any experience before / after treating their concrete floor?

Just purchased the clips (ib1) and green glue (2 buckets) this morning, not cheap but hopefully worth it!

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post #17 of 41 Old 06-10-2016, 06:50 AM
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Awesome - that helped a lot.

So I'm still doing clips + channel on the hvac box - got it. That picture really helped, I didn't know we needed to do the side/face of it as well, this should be fun.
The clips and channel are actually a piece of cake once you get moving. Just take your time on the layout and go slow. I would recommend you read the directions 2 or 3 times. Speaking of directions, make sure you have the 2016 version of them. The Soundproofing Company sent me a version from 2012 that was missing some critical information causing me to go back and change things after it was done.

If I remember correctly, the version number is on the cover page.

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Originally Posted by daudi81 View Post
Would it be easier to just remove some of that framing around the HVAC and decouple it (I'm not sure how that would work, but I could ask). That way we don't have to install clips and lower the ceiling another 1.5 inches. Just a thought?
I'm sure you could, but it sounds like a ton of work. I would just go with the clips and channel, but I can't say with certainty. You'll want someone with more experience to chime in on this one.

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Originally Posted by daudi81 View Post
I spoke to the electrician about all the switches and boxes, and having the drywall / channels push the wall out. He said he would have to go back in and build some extensions - but I was a little confused as to when he was supposed to do this. Made it sound like he could do it after the drywall was up, but that doesn't make a lot of sense does it? I could be wrong.
They do make extensions for electrical boxes, but I'm wondering why he wouldn't just swap them out with adjustables. It just seems easier to deal with it now as opposed to later. The other thing I could think of, if you're being anal about the soundproofing like I was, is that part of the extension isn't going to be covered with the putty pads. I'm not sure how much effect that would have on the shell, but I'm just throwing it out there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daudi81 View Post
For the riser / landing, it IS actually touching the back wall, so I will have to talk to my framer to get that fixed. I don't think it's fastened to the wall (if it is, probably just a few screws), so we may be able to just pull it out so the drywallers can do their thing and then we can slide it back. I'm glad I asked, it sounds like that would have been a big mistake. Once the room is drywalled, I'm guessing the landing doesn't screw back into the wall? Or would it be ok because the wall will be de-coupled?
I've read a bunch of stuff posted by the really experienced guys around here indicating that the riser should not touch any of the walls. I would so what you said, pull it away, have them drywall and then push it back leaving about 1/4" - 1/2" of clearance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daudi81 View Post
I'll do a little more research on the flooring. If it's not too expensive, I don't mind putting something in if it helps. The only thing I'm worried about is the ceiling height. They are 9ft foundation walls, however with the hvac framing, half the room is ~8' ...and where the riser is under the hvac framing it's another 8" down from that (8" tall landing). But the landing isn't very big, and people will mostly be sitting in that area anyway.
I'd kill for 9' ceilings. My screen wall (under the soffit in the picture) is only about 6.5' tall. I don't think the extra inch or two are going to hurt anything, but only you can make that decision. Maybe temporarily hang something from the ceiling to simulate the few inches you'll lose from doing the floor and see if it bothers you. I don't suspect so because you'll only be making one set up and then sitting down right away.

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How important is the floor thing? Does anyone have any experience before / after treating their concrete floor?
I read something that BIG posted awhile back. He mentioned going to the other side of the room, putting your ear to the floor and having someone hit the concrete in the theater with a hammer. Then put down a 1/2" rubber mat and a layer of OSB and doing it again. I didn't do it, but I've hit concrete with a hammer and it does tend to resonate. I'll be doing the floor. It won't be too expensive.

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Originally Posted by daudi81 View Post
Just purchased the clips (ib1) and green glue (2 buckets) this morning, not cheap but hopefully worth it!
Soundproofing is anything but cheap, that's for sure. I just added everything up and I'm into the soundproofing for $4,030.20. That's putty pads, acoustical caulk, green glue, IB-1 clips, IB-3 clips, insulation, plywood, extra layer of drywall, blah, blah. I'm sure I'm missing some incidentals, but when you do the math, it's nauseating. It turns out to be $14.60 / sq ft of floor space.

EDIT -> One thing I noticed when I was looking at your pictures.....What are the white boxes on the screen wall? The appear to be in the position for speakers, but don't really look deep enough. If they are for speakers, I would seriously rethink the way you are doing them. The box is nailed to the wall and you're going to stick a speaker in there. That's going to transmit the sound right into the framing and cause a big issue.

To give you an idea, the backer boxes I built for my Atmos speakers weigh about 40lbs. They are 5/8" drywall + GG + 1/2" OSB + GG + 5/8" drywall.
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post #18 of 41 Old 06-11-2016, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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The clips and channel are actually a piece of cake once you get moving. Just take your time on the layout and go slow. I would recommend you read the directions 2 or 3 times. Speaking of directions, make sure you have the 2016 version of them. The Soundproofing Company sent me a version from 2012 that was missing some critical information causing me to go back and change things after it was done.

If I remember correctly, the version number is on the cover page.



I'm sure you could, but it sounds like a ton of work. I would just go with the clips and channel, but I can't say with certainty. You'll want someone with more experience to chime in on this one.



They do make extensions for electrical boxes, but I'm wondering why he wouldn't just swap them out with adjustables. It just seems easier to deal with it now as opposed to later. The other thing I could think of, if you're being anal about the soundproofing like I was, is that part of the extension isn't going to be covered with the putty pads. I'm not sure how much effect that would have on the shell, but I'm just throwing it out there.



I've read a bunch of stuff posted by the really experienced guys around here indicating that the riser should not touch any of the walls. I would so what you said, pull it away, have them drywall and then push it back leaving about 1/4" - 1/2" of clearance.



I'd kill for 9' ceilings. My screen wall (under the soffit in the picture) is only about 6.5' tall. I don't think the extra inch or two are going to hurt anything, but only you can make that decision. Maybe temporarily hang something from the ceiling to simulate the few inches you'll lose from doing the floor and see if it bothers you. I don't suspect so because you'll only be making one set up and then sitting down right away.



I read something that BIG posted awhile back. He mentioned going to the other side of the room, putting your ear to the floor and having someone hit the concrete in the theater with a hammer. Then put down a 1/2" rubber mat and a layer of OSB and doing it again. I didn't do it, but I've hit concrete with a hammer and it does tend to resonate. I'll be doing the floor. It won't be too expensive.



Soundproofing is anything but cheap, that's for sure. I just added everything up and I'm into the soundproofing for $4,030.20. That's putty pads, acoustical caulk, green glue, IB-1 clips, IB-3 clips, insulation, plywood, extra layer of drywall, blah, blah. I'm sure I'm missing some incidentals, but when you do the math, it's nauseating. It turns out to be $14.60 / sq ft of floor space.

EDIT -> One thing I noticed when I was looking at your pictures.....What are the white boxes on the screen wall? The appear to be in the position for speakers, but don't really look deep enough. If they are for speakers, I would seriously rethink the way you are doing them. The box is nailed to the wall and you're going to stick a speaker in there. That's going to transmit the sound right into the framing and cause a big issue.

To give you an idea, the backer boxes I built for my Atmos speakers weigh about 40lbs. They are 5/8" drywall + GG + 1/2" OSB + GG + 5/8" drywall.
Oh you're right. I looked at the instruction manual and it says "Sound Proofing Company 2012" at the bottom of every page. I emailed them and asked for the newer version but haven't heard back yet. Do you happen to still have it if I send you my email through PM? (not sure if that is allowed or against the rules). I'm glad you told me that, I was planning on going to Home Depot today to get the screws and get installation underway today.

I'll talk to the electrician about installing the adjustables. I have a feeling he is going to just want to do the extensions (less work for him). However, he is a theater guy (he's the one that actually referred me to the clips + hat channel ordeal), so I'm surprised he didn't install adjustables to begin with. Does this apply to all the outlet boxes etc as well - or just the recessed canned lighting?

I spoke to Ted about doing the concrete floor - and surprisingly he said the concrete floor is good enough and I won't notice much difference. I still might do something if I can find a cheap solution. Where do you get these large rubber mats to cover the whole floor?

As far as those white backer boxes, those are just temporary. He was going to initially install some Klipsch in-walls, but I didn't like the fact that they have an open back. I found some triad in-walls that would go in a similar position, so I just kept the backer boxes installed to show where the in-walls / in-ceilings would go. Triad said their in-walls have very nice enclosures and sound won't transmit sound behind them (or very little should). I'm doing double drywall + green glue on the back side of that adjacent room as well - so that should help.
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post #19 of 41 Old 06-12-2016, 08:21 PM
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Just thought I would toss a few ideas out there about your HVAC since this is my area of expertise. I recently did a sound proof room in a customers home so he could jam with his band and not bother his family.

We removed any duct work that penetrated into the space. The main duct runs that passed through the ceiling bulk head got spray foamed to stop any possible resonance. A ductless split unit was installed for comfort cooling. We also installed a HRV with a inline duct heater for fresh air, free cooling in the winter, and of course, heat. GC did the usual clips and hat channel with double drywall. The results were pretty good, but the winter cooling wasn't enough when you get all the guys and gear in there. But that's a problem for another day, and not one I had foreseen.

I learned a lot during the process. I'm going to relocate our furnace and ductwork to along the outside wall when I redo our basement, it'll give me nice ceiling height with no bulk head, and make my room penetrations much further away so sound transfer to other rooms will be greatly reduced. Luckily I'm in a bungalow, so it's pretty straight forward.

Obviously the best case scenario would be to install a separate HVAC system for the space. You can get ductless units that do heat and cool. If you have to use your existing HVAC system for the HT, it's best to take your supply and return from as far away as possible. For you it sounds like right from the furnace since it's reasonably close. Use heavy duty rubber, canvas, or insulated flex duct for the majority of the run to help with noise suppression.

If that is tin lining the joist for return, I would paint it with a product called Duct Seal. It's a liquid rubber type product that will really help to stop any possible pops, bangs, or resonance from that stuff. Thermopan, being aluminized cardboard isn't as prone to those issues, but can still act like a "speaker box" once installed. It is a much better product then just light gauge tin though. Another idea would be to remove the joist lining, and run pipes or rectangular duct in the joist to completely isolate it from everything. Like I said, just tossing ideas around. Hopefully you find something of use in all that.

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Just thought I would toss a few ideas out there about your HVAC since this is my area of expertise. I recently did a sound proof room in a customers home so he could jam with his band and not bother his family.

We removed any duct work that penetrated into the space. The main trucks that passed through the ceiling bulk head got spray foamed to stop any possible resonance. A ductless split unit was installed for comfort cooling. We also installed a HRV with a inline duct heater for fresh air, free cooling in the winter, and of course, heat. GC did the usual clips and hat channel with double drywall. The results were pretty good, but the winter cooling wasn't enough when you get all the guys and gear in there. But that's a problem for another day, and not one I had foreseen.

I learned a lot during the process. I'm going to relocate our furnace and ductwork to along the outside wall when I redo our basement, it'll give me nice ceiling height with no bulk head, and make my room penetrations much further away so sound transfer to other rooms will be greatly reduced. Luckily I'm in a bungalow, so it's pretty straight forward.

Obviously the best case scenario would be to install a separate HVAC system for the space. You can get ductless units that do heat and cool. If you have to use your existing HVAC system for the HT, it's best to take your supply and return from as far away as possible. For you it sounds like right from the furnace since it's reasonably close. Use heavy duty rubber, canvas, or insulated flex duct for the majority of the run to help with noise suppression.

If that is tin lining the joist for return, I would paint it with a product called Duct Seal. It's a liquid rubber type product that will really help to stop any possible pops, bangs, or resonance from that stuff. Thermopan, being aluminized cardboard isn't as prone to those issues, but can still act like a "speaker box" once installed. It is a much better product then just light gauge tin though. Another idea would be to remove the joist lining, and run pipes or rectangular duct in the joist to completely isolate it from everything. Like I said, just tossing ideas around. Hopefully you find something of use in all that.
Thanks for the info. My contractor did spray some stuff over the tin lining (exterior), although I'm not sure what it was called. I'm guessing it is very similar.

Yea I wish I could move the HVAC easily. I am sure there is a way (I've learned there's ALWAYS a way depending on your wallet size). However, I decided not to go all out because not only does the room have some other issues that make it less than ideal - the home is realistically a 7-8 yr home max - if that. It's a rather large and expensive 6000-7000sq ft home on an acre lot (can't remember exact footage), and once my kids are out of the house I'll probably downsize into something smaller and more realistic for 2 people. I'm also using this as sort of a learning experience for my next theater. Our next home will be built and I'll make sure I get the nice under garage, suspended slab, mini-split duct, etc etc - and do everything by the book and spare no expense.

My goal for this room was to do was much as I could without tearing up the house, and still staying practical. Which is funny because my contractor thinks I am nuts going with the double drywall + green glue + hat channels + clips + insulation + acoustic putty. I told him that from the forums I visit, that was pretty much bare minimum and he looked at me like I was crazy.

BTW - I am making him tear up that landing so it's not coupled to the back wall - he's not happy but he's being paid so I guess that's OK!

Drywallers are here today, so I hope I did everything right!
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Many of the professionally built theaters start with a double drywall / green glue shell with minimal penetrations.

Room drywalled with minimal penetrations for high voltage electrical and low voltage:



Soffit framed around the room:



Recessed light cans installed in the framed soffit. Accomplishes goal of no recessed light penetrations in Double drywall shell:



Soffits covered with drywall (sides) and MDF (bottom):

@RedStripe88 A question about your soffits and, more generally, about fixtures within an "acoustic shell": You make a point of there being minimal penetrations in the shell. Does fixing the soffits to the shell, presumably with long screws that go right through, not violate that principle? Same goes for columns, acoustic panels or any other fixture that you might want to screw to the walls. Thanks!
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In case Redstripe doesn't see the Bat Signal, when you build inside an isolated drywall shell you only attach the soffits and other interior items to the decoupled shell you do not sink screws all the way into the underlying framing. Three ways to do this

1)Your screws hit the decoupled channels beneath the double drywall, pre-planning of channel placement is critical.
2) You glue (Liquid nails) and screw everything to the 1 1/4 inches of drywall, you would be surprised and how much weight a 1 1/4 inch of drywall will support.
3) You substitute a layers of OSB or plywood for the first layer of drywall, very useful for a coffered ceiling treatment, you can just do the ceiling if you want. You can also do plywood plus two layers of DW.

I've done all three and all three work.
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@RedStripe88 A question about your soffits and, more generally, about fixtures within an "acoustic shell": You make a point of there being minimal penetrations in the shell. Does fixing the soffits to the shell, presumably with long screws that go right through, not violate that principle? Same goes for columns, acoustic panels or any other fixture that you might want to screw to the walls. Thanks!
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In case Redstipe doesn't see the Bat Signal, when you build inside an isolated drywall shell you only attach the soffits and other interior items to the decoupled shell you do not sink screws all the wall into the underlying framing. Three ways to do this

1)Your screws hit the decopled channels beneath the double drywall, pre-planning of channel placement is critical.
2) You glue (Liquid nails) and screw everything to the 1 1/4 inches of drywall, you would be surprised and how much weight a 1 1/4 inch of drywall will support.
3) You substitute a layers of OSB or plywood for the first layer of drywall, very useful for a coffered ceiling treatment, you can just do the ceiling if you want. You can also do plywood plus two layers of DW.

I've done all three and all three work.
Thanks @BIGmouthinDC .

I did a combination of #3 and #2 in that room.

The first layer of all walls was 5/8" OSB. The second layer was 5/8" drywall. I used the OSB because I intended to do significant trim work throughout the room.

Regarding your question about whether attaching soffits and columns violates the goal of minimizing penetrations that could allow sound to escape...

None of those penetrations remain open or created a gap that sound could then pass through. For example, in the pictures that you posted, the channels for the soffit framing were fastened to the ceiling with screws and liquid nails. No sound can escape or enter around the screw or get around the channel.

Similarly, trim and framing for the columns were glued and screwed or nailed to the walls. The nail holes are blocked by the nails themselves and there is no gap between the trim boards and the drywall. So the "sound proofing" is not weakened by any of these attachments.

The holes in the shell for low voltage and power wires were each sealed with acoustic caulk.

You only have to be concerned if you create holes with nails or screws that are later removed and not filled with a fastener or caulk.

My in progress build thread: The Salt Mine
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... None of those penetrations remain open or created a gap that sound could then pass through. The nail holes are blocked by the nails themselves and there is no gap between the trim boards and the drywall. So the "sound proofing" is not weakened by any of these attachments.

The holes in the shell for low voltage and power wires were each sealed with acoustic caulk.

You only have to be concerned if you create holes with nails or screws that are later removed and not filled with a fastener or caulk.

Ok that makes sense, thanks. Although, by nailing or screwing into the wall or ceiling you are effectively coupling layers of material at those points. I wonder what impact that has on all the (green) gluing efforts...
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Ok that makes sense, thanks. Although, by nailing or screwing into the wall or ceiling you are effectively coupling layers of material at those points. I wonder what impact that has on all the (green) gluing efforts...
Screws and nails are fastened to the double drywall (in my case OSB/GG/Drywall) which is decoupled from the wall framing. The screws should not be long enough to couple the double drywall to the wall framing.

If you're referring to screws coupling the OSB to the drywall and negating the effect of the GG between those two layers... recall that those two layers are coupled together when the second layer of drywall is attached to the first layer of drywall or OSB during the installation process.

Others may have a more scientific answer, but these installation methods are pretty common. And, I was extremely content with the level of sound isolation I achieved.

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Screws and nails are fastened to the double drywall (in my case OSB/GG/Drywall) which is decoupled from the wall framing. The screws should not be long enough to couple the double drywall to the wall framing.

If you're referring to screws coupling the OSB to the drywall and negating the effect of the GG between those two layers... recall that those two layers are coupled together when the second layer of drywall is attached to the first layer of drywall or OSB during the installation process.

Others may have a more scientific answer, but these installation methods are pretty common. And, I was extremely content with the level of sound isolation I achieved.
Constrained Layer Damping (CLD) looks to describe the concept.

"CLD may be described as a type of shear-related energy dissipation achieved by interconnecting two or more structural materials using a relatively thin viscoelastic layer."

The "viscoelastic layer" being the ubiquitous Green Glue. So much mystery around that stuff yet it's so common as you say. I wish I'd invented it...

Anyway, I can kind of imagine what CLD is; the dissipation of energy thanks to the fact that GG remains flexible, thus permitting the two slices of drywall to wobble a fraction more freely than if they were screwed together. But if you go through the trouble of sticking/glueing two sheets together, all to avoid using screws, then why would you accept driving screws through those same sheets, albeit for a different purpose?

I remain unconvinced...
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Constrained Layer Damping (CLD) looks to describe the concept.

"CLD may be described as a type of shear-related energy dissipation achieved by interconnecting two or more structural materials using a relatively thin viscoelastic layer."

The "viscoelastic layer" being the ubiquitous Green Glue. So much mystery around that stuff yet it's so common as you say. I wish I'd invented it...

Anyway, I can kind of imagine what CLD is; the dissipation of energy thanks to the fact that GG remains flexible, thus permitting the two slices of drywall to wobble a fraction more freely than if they were screwed together. But if you go through the trouble of sticking/glueing two sheets together, all to avoid using screws, then why would you accept driving screws through those same sheets, albeit for a different purpose?

I remain unconvinced...
The two layers are not glued together. The two layers are screwed together. First layer is screwed to the channel. Green glue is applied to the second layer which is also screwed to the channel. Screws go through the GG and first layer. Even if nothing is hung on the walls, the two layers are screwed together.

Regardless, the proof is in the real life application. This application substantially reduced noise flowing into and out of my room. Read through other DD/GG builds. I believe you'll see similar results.
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"I remain unconvinced... "

Then don't do it. We are not forcing anyone to follow the methods that have worked for others, you can simply follow your own logic and maybe discover something new and improved. Please report back.
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The two layers are not glued together. The two layers are screwed together. First layer is screwed to the channel. Green glue is applied to the second layer which is also screwed to the channel. Screws go through the GG and first layer. Even if nothing is hung on the walls, the two layers are screwed together.
For some reason I was imagining that Green Glue was also utilized as an adhesive, but of course as you say screws are still required. Thanks for the clarification.

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Regardless, the proof is in the real life application. This application substantially reduced noise flowing into and out of my room. Read through other DD/GG builds. I believe you'll see similar results.

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"I remain unconvinced... "

Then don't do it. We are not forcing anyone to follow the methods that have worked for others, you can simply follow your own logic and maybe discover something new and improved. Please report back.

I know, I see that a lot of folk swear by GG and I'm not one to say they're wrong, but my skepticism concerns whether it's the kind of thing you can form a strong opinion about based on personal experience. I mean, how do you know it was the GG that accounted for the substantial reduction? Did you build the room twice, with and without GG to compare the difference? What would an extra layer of drywall gotten you had you spent your money there instead? How big in reality was the noise reduction?

Anyway, feel free to point me to the GG debate thread (it must exist surely). I'm sure the questions have been asked and answered before!

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I mean, how do you know it was the GG that accounted for the substantial reduction? Did you build the room twice, with and without GG to compare the difference? What would an extra layer of drywall gotten you had you spent your money there instead? How big in reality was the noise reduction?

Anyway, feel free to point me to the GG debate thread (it must exist surely). I'm sure the questions have been asked and answered before!
I'm almost 2 years into my theater research/design/build process. I'm by no many any sort of expert, just a hobbyist and engineer with time. I have read and researched on here and other places an enormous amount, and I don't think there is really any "debate" on the effectiveness of GG. I just don't see that. Only people that don't know and are thus skeptical (especially when they see the price), and people that answer their questions. I see most of the convincing evidence in these 3 forms:

1. The testing and technical data that the GG company shares, with comparisons across different ceiling/wall structures (example: GG vs Extra Drywall)
2. The many professional theater builders and designers on this forum that can speak to the differences across the vast number of theaters they've done
3. The overwhelming number of theaters built using it with anecdotal evidence

The measurable and proven performance gain may not be worth the price tag to you, and that's certainly understandable. That doesn't mean it's not's as effective as it's clams.
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