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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am about to start building a multipurpose HT room. It is in the basement with concrete walls. I have decided to spend the money on green glue on the ceiling only as I am more concerned with sound transmission to the upper floors as my basement is all underground. I will also insulate the ceiling behind the green glue drywall. Here are my questions:


1. Will I lose a lot or all of the gains from the green glue if I cut in standard 6" recessed lights in the HT area?


2. If so, what kind/brand of lights can I use to simulate a recessed light that is surface mounted?


3. I plan to have basically 3 types of lighting in the HT part of the room; recessed lights, wall sconces and rope lighting (behind crown molding shining on the ceiling and maybe behind the 100" diagonal front projector screen. I want to be able to dim all of these lights and have setpoint scene capability. Do I need a light controller like the graphic eye, or can I control this environment fine by using a gang box of the Lutron maestro IR dimmers with the 4 theme setpoints? I have a single Lutron IR dimmer upstairs and use my Harmony remote right now to control it, so I understand the basics of this setup. At what point should you move up to the graphic eye, or what capability determines the need for that system?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherokee180c /forum/post/0


I am about to start building a multipurpose HT room. It is in the basement with concrete walls. I have decided to spend the money on green glue on the ceiling only as I am more concerned with sound transmission to the upper floors as my basement is all underground. I will also insulate the ceiling behind the green glue drywall. Here are my questions:


1. Will I lose a lot or all of the gains from the green glue if I cut in standard 6" recessed lights in the HT area?


2. If so, what kind/brand of lights can I use to simulate a recessed light that is surface mounted?


3. I plan to have basically 3 types of lighting in the HT part of the room; recessed lights, wall sconces and rope lighting (behind crown molding shining on the ceiling and maybe behind the 100" diagonal front projector screen. I want to be able to dim all of these lights and have setpoint scene capability. Do I need a light controller like the graphic eye, or can I control this environment fine by using a gang box of the Lutron maestro IR dimmers with the 4 theme setpoints? I have a single Lutron IR dimmer upstairs and use my Harmony remote right now to control it, so I understand the basics of this setup. At what point should you move up to the graphic eye, or what capability determines the need for that system?


1. I would think that you would lose a significant part of the sound isolation that you are trying to achieve if you just cut a regular recessed light without soundproofing around it. I have seen throughout the various HT build threads that the guys have built surround boxes out of MDF for the can lights, retaining the integrity of the ceiling. I think that this would answer #2 as well, as I don't think that you could duplicate the look of a can light without actually going with a recessed light.


#3.......you'll have to ask someone else, as I have no experience with automatic lighting, or whatever a grafik eye does.



This is a great forum, however it seems that the Dedicated HT forum gets a lot more traffic, and would be better suited for soundproofing issues and the like, a lot of the builds on the General HT forum are along the lines of a finished basement, with HT considerations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What are others using to replace the recessed lights?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherokee180c /forum/post/0


What are others using to replace the recessed lights?


They weren't replacing the recessed lights, they were building a dedicaded MDF "container" that was attached to the drywall, sealing all the wiring and the pot lights, in essence they were building the soundproof room around the can lights.


There has been some talk of using low voltage cabinet lighting, but I don't think that low voltage is the way to go from what I've read...or do a search for puck lighting....


You could always go with sconces....


Do a search for recessed, can or pot lights...I'm sure you'll eventually stumble upon the threads that explain what I'm talking about.


Check out the dedicated HT build threads.....the ones with 100+ views, I think a couple of them have detailed instructions on how to build the surround boxes.
 

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Cherokee,


As mentioned above, you want to do more research over in the Dedicated Theater forum. There are tons of valuable information over there. Here are a couple of things that come to mind:


1) I don't think you will get much benefit from just treating the ceiling w/ GG. Research a term called "flanking".


2) There are can lights made that are supposed to be sealed better than other that help w/ sound isolation. I believe I saw a somewhat recent thread on this over in the dedicated section. Your other option is to build the mdf boxes to install the cans in.


3) Search on "Acoustical Sealant". You can use this to help seal up the gaps made from elictrical boxes etc.


4) The other sound isolation stuff you might want to worry about is your HVAC and doors... these are likely the largest culprits of sound leaking out of(or into) a theater room. There is also the whole decoupling the room from the rest of the structure... It is easy to get quickly overwhelmed w/ the whole sound proofing thing. But if it is important to you, research the heck out of it. And plan for it now.


5) As far as light control goes. It sounds like you want a Grafik Eye, or something similar. I think Insteon dimmers are what some other people use. The problem with putting a group of Maestros together in a gang box is how you would control them with a remote. I suppose if you were going to have a single scene, you could preset them all to where you want, and turn them on/off w/ your remote, but you wouldn't get individual control. I just had my GE installed last week, and I love it. I wish I would have used them in other areas of my basement. Just wish they weren't so darn pricey.


Hope this helps,

aaron
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Aaron,


Thanks for the reply. My problem is that it is not really a dedicated room, and my budget is already close to max, so I have to pick and choose what adds the most value. I will try to find a source for those acoustic recessed lights as that will probably help the most and then use acoustical sealant around any holes for electrical/recessed lights. I still plan to use double 5/8" on the ceiling with gg and insulation as I believe that will be the biggest culprit. The basement is mostly below grade and I have a cinderblock wall that is not sealed. Cinderblock is an excellent sound absorber and we plan to isolate the 2x4 wall off of the block, so I think any sound transmitted through the wall will be somewhat absorbed by the block before making up to the ceiling. I am also thinking about how to isolate the wall a bit more from the floor joist above.


The real issue will be the flanking problems. The biggest of which is we have 2 cats and their litter boxes are in the basement, so right now I have a plastic cat door opening cut into the hollow core door that separates the basement from the upstairs. I am not sure if a solid core door will give any improvement if it is short circuited with a cat door in the bottom.


To be honest, I only have one son, who is 13, so I really only need the sound knocked down to below my wife's complaint threshold when I play video games. She is extremely sensitive to base and seems to never complain until something blows up, which is a lot if I play a lot of shooters. When we watch movies we are normally altogether.
 

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My room is not yet complete, but sound isolation was originally not a concern, so I didn't do any of the normal sound isolation techniques as far as the framing is concerned. I also didn't do light boxes or anything.


As we moved further on in the build, it became more and more of a concern. I ended up going w 2 layers of drywall on all four walls and ceiling w/ GG in between. We have a family room right above the future theater room, where our A/V system currently resides. I can still hear things while down in the theater room, but it is pretty damn muffled. I am anxious to see how it will be in the rest of the house once I get the room finished. It's not perfect, but I think it is good enough. Heck, I fired up an air compressor in the room this weekend, and my wife didn't even notice it at first. Couldn't hear it at all on the second floor.


If you are concerned about the bass getting through, you might want to do a little more than just do the 2 layers w/ GG. If you don't want the expense of using the RISC clips and hat channel, then at least think about running some furring strips along the studs and ceiling joists at 24 OC, and have the drywall attach to that. This will provide a bit more flex in the drywall, which should help with the lower frequencies. Furring strips are cheap... use 1x3s or something like that.


I wanted to go the furring strip route, but time was running out, and my can lights were already up, and I would have had to lower them all to be able to drop down enough for the furring strips and two layers of drywall.


As far as your basement door is concerned, I wouldn't worry about it for now. See how things perform once you get setup, and then if that seems to be a weak link, change it out later. Do use some solid core doors in your HT room though.


Use the acoustical sealant in the corners of the room where the drywall meets, and along the floor and ceiling. I think BasementBob has some pictures somewhere on where it should go.


How far along are you in your build?
 

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Is it more important to insulate the upstairs from sound, or to get good acoustics in the room? If the latter, then I suggest you spend what money you have on treatments for the ceiling, back wall, critical spots of the side walls and, ideally, behind the front speakers to reduce bounce-back.


If the main idea is to not wake up your wife late at night, though, that might be where you should spend the money now -- you can always add surface treatment later (but don't forget about it).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaron_hinni /forum/post/0


My room is not yet complete, but sound isolation was originally not a concern, so I didn't do any of the normal sound isolation techniques as far as the framing is concerned. I also didn't do light boxes or anything.


As we moved further on in the build, it became more and more of a concern. I ended up going w 2 layers of drywall on all four walls and ceiling w/ GG in between. We have a family room right above the future theater room, where our A/V system currently resides. I can still hear things while down in the theater room, but it is pretty damn muffled. I am anxious to see how it will be in the rest of the house once I get the room finished. It's not perfect, but I think it is good enough. Heck, I fired up an air compressor in the room this weekend, and my wife didn't even notice it at first. Couldn't hear it at all on the second floor.


If you are concerned about the bass getting through, you might want to do a little more than just do the 2 layers w/ GG. If you don't want the expense of using the RISC clips and hat channel, then at least think about running some furring strips along the studs and ceiling joists at 24 OC, and have the drywall attach to that. This will provide a bit more flex in the drywall, which should help with the lower frequencies. Furring strips are cheap... use 1x3s or something like that.


I wanted to go the furring strip route, but time was running out, and my can lights were already up, and I would have had to lower them all to be able to drop down enough for the furring strips and two layers of drywall.


As far as your basement door is concerned, I wouldn't worry about it for now. See how things perform once you get setup, and then if that seems to be a weak link, change it out later. Do use some solid core doors in your HT room though.


Use the acoustical sealant in the corners of the room where the drywall meets, and along the floor and ceiling. I think BasementBob has some pictures somewhere on where it should go.


How far along are you in your build?

I just moved the gas lines, had the outside pre-cast stair entrance installed, and finished the bathroom rough in (saw cut concrete slab for plumbing). I am working with a contractor, but he is a good guy and will work at my pace. He is about to start framing next week. I am definitely going to put the money into wall treatments for sound absorption to improve the acoustics. I want to reduce the sound transmission upstairs, but would be happy with a fairly high reduction in the high frequencies (voice range) and a moderate improvement in base transmission. I am interested to hear how much of an improvement doing the ceiling was vs. the walls. Did you add the double layer to the walls originally or later? My AV system is also in my family room just off one room above from the new HT area. My biggest problem is lack of floor space, so I do not want to reduce the area even further by doubling up on the walls. I will put in sealed recessed lights with only two in the HT area as well as ceiling insulation. I will also try to use solid core doors. Here is a picture to see my layout. Again any other advice to maximize the efectiveness of what I do will be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwatte /forum/post/0


Is it more important to insulate the upstairs from sound, or to get good acoustics in the room? If the latter, then I suggest you spend what money you have on treatments for the ceiling, back wall, critical spots of the side walls and, ideally, behind the front speakers to reduce bounce-back.


If the main idea is to not wake up your wife late at night, though, that might be where you should spend the money now -- you can always add surface treatment later (but don't forget about it).

What material is best to use to make your own panels? I planned to put 2x6 or 2x4 panels spaced on the back / back right walls as well as the left side wall. Unfortunately the room is not 100% dedicated and is connected to the other areas. I read about the FR701 material from GOM to cover the panels, but what material should I make them out of, linacoustic? A local store near me called Theater Xtreme carries pre-made panels, but they are about $120 each. Also what should you use on a dry wall ceiling?
 

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Home-made sound control:


Owens Corning 703 seems to be the standard. You can buy it in thicknesses up to 4", although you'll need to custom order from some supplier. ATS Acoustics sells the 1" and 2" versions for reasonable prices. They also sell ready-made, fabric-clad panels for reasonable prices. Another supply of ready-made panels is GIK Acoustics . You can also usually find 703 on eBay. I would use at least 2". Also, if possible, use it without a solid backing, placed diagonally across the corners, for maximum bass control.


Other materials that may work (depending on goal, level of fit, etc) include R13 fiberglass batts, and acoustic ceiling tiles, both of which you can find at any hardware store. The R13 will sag, though, and the ceiling tiles may not give enough bass control. Jute burlap is a popular cloth, because it is very acoustically transparent, fairly strong, and affordable; you can find this at your fabric store.


More upscale sound control options:

Auralex Acoustics makes the kind of foam you'll see on "dead room" walls and studios (that's what I learned to use for treatment, but aesthetically it's an acquired taste). RealTraps seem to specialize in corner-mounted bass traps that also help treat overall sound.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherokee180c /forum/post/0


I am interested to hear how much of an improvement doing the ceiling was vs. the walls. Did you add the double layer to the walls originally or later? My AV system is also in my family room just off one room above from the new HT area. My biggest problem is lack of floor space, so I do not want to reduce the area even further by doubling up on the walls. I will put in sealed recessed lights with only two in the HT area as well as ceiling insulation. I will also try to use solid core doors. Here is a picture to see my layout. Again any other advice to maximize the efectiveness of what I do will be appreciated.

When it came time to drywall, I had them double layer all four walls, and the ceiling with GG in between. So I don't have any comparison for what it would have been like w/ just doing the ceiling. I was also originally thinking that I wanted an open basement, but went ahead and walled the thing off, so I could have a dedicated room. Our sacrifice was to use double doors, which suck for trying to keep sound in (or out). Even though they are solid core, they are still our weak link.


From looking at your picture, it looks like the basement is one big open space. Are you thinking about doing 2 layers and GG for the whole ceiling, or just over the space? You might want to post something in the Green Glue thread in the dedicated theater building section, and see if they have any recommendations. I suspect you wont get that great of results if you just use it over part. Your basement is one big giant room, and would likely need to be treated as such.


Also not sure how you are going to best set things up acoustically with the missing walls. I hired Bryan Pape to model my room and determine what kind and where the acoustical treatments go. I started researching it for a while, and decided it was a task to be left up to the pros.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaron_hinni /forum/post/0


When it came time to drywall, I had them double layer all four walls, and the ceiling with GG in between. So I don't have any comparison for what it would have been like w/ just doing the ceiling. I was also originally thinking that I wanted an open basement, but went ahead and walled the thing off, so I could have a dedicated room. Our sacrifice was to use double doors, which suck for trying to keep sound in (or out). Even though they are solid core, they are still our weak link.


From looking at your picture, it looks like the basement is one big open space. Are you thinking about doing 2 layers and GG for the whole ceiling, or just over the space? You might want to post something in the Green Glue thread in the dedicated theater building section, and see if they have any recommendations. I suspect you wont get that great of results if you just use it over part. Your basement is one big giant room, and would likely need to be treated as such.


Also not sure how you are going to best set things up acoustically with the missing walls. I hired Bryan Pape to model my room and determine what kind and where the acoustical treatments go. I started researching it for a while, and decided it was a task to be left up to the pros.

Thanks aaron. I plan to do the GG all over the entire basement ceiling. I also plan to insulate the entire ceiling and the newly created utility room including its ceilng. I also plan to insulate the ceiling in the unfinished storage area. My system upstairs currently has no treatments at all and is flat against a wall between two windows shooting against the back exposed sheetrock wall. I hope to be able to get a moderate improvement in sound quality over that installation, but realize I will never get the performance of a dedicated room. The reason we want the basement to be one big room is that the rest of the house is a series of smaller rooms and we want a bigger area to play in. I also help my Yamaha reciever with the automatic set up microphone can somewhat compensate for the missing right side wall.


If you don't mind me asking about how much was it for Bryan to do the analysis and recommendations?
 
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