Basement Mancave/Echo Chamber Need Help.

Skyking

Senior Member
So this is my problem. In 2 months, my new drum room/man cave/unfinished basement is an echo chamber. Finishing might or might not happen. I'm setting up 2 acoustic sets and an electric kit. Any good first ideas to keep the sound manageable? It's just me playing old garage band music through my E kits big speaker. I can be loud, the wife likes my music and I love the sound of real cymbals, but ...Any ideas would be appreciated. This is not an apartment with walls. All Concrete, steel beams, wood, and fiberglass insulation. I was thinking blankets hanging from the rafters as a start.
 
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cbphoto

Gold Member
Energy absorption is your friend. You can:
  • Install Rock Wool in the gaps between the floor joists, and secure it in place with chickenwire or a finer mesh wire.
  • Construct your own acoustic panels: 1"x8" boards cut to create 6'x4' panels stuffed with Rock Wool, and covered in a loose-knit fabric such as burlap.
  • Use large carpet remnants on the floor to minimize high-frequency reflections.
What's your budget?
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I had similar issue . Try isolating a smaller area hanging acoustic blankets , add carpet or rubber mat to floor then address walls. Still will have some but more manageable
 

roncadillac

Member
With some 2x4s, a sheet or two of 1/4" thick ply wood, some acoustic foam (or a foam mattress topper), and spray glue and/or Staples you can make lightweight panels. These panels can be as high or wide as you'd like (I usually go about waist high so I can see over them) so you can set them up in front of and around your kit. Alternatively you can hang them on the walls, or a combination of both.

Another really affordable option is to put your drums on a rug in the corner and fix a heavy duty tarp or thick quilt/blanket across that corner (to make a triangle surrounding your drums) to make a mini isolation area.

None of these are sound 'proofing' but they will help to reduce unwanted room overtones and dial in your ambient sound a bit without doing anything permanent, I also advocate waiting a year or two for a permanent solution because you'll find a leak... Somewhere
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
I was thinking blankets hanging from the rafters as a start.
1. Definitely build some baffles.
2. Try to find office cubicle pieces that you can link together and stand upright.
3. If you can find or afford to buy some auralex foam pieces, then you can mount those to some plywood, and crew the plywood to the ceiling rafters. You can also mount home-built baffles to the ceiling here.
4. Block the entrance from the stairs with a thick curtain, and keep the curtain tight to the walls, since sound will leak out the holes.
5. Consider mounting curtains that have some curve and shape, from the rafters, and/or near the walls, to tame reflections.

You can get some very cool drum sounds in a huge room like that! But a small, dry sound is cool, too. So the ideal situation would be that you can move whatever curtains, dividers, and baffles to suit the sound you want.
 

Skyking

Senior Member
Although I'm buying loads of crap water softener, Laundry tub basement lighting I want to do this right. It is a spec home and they wouldn't finish the basement. Until then I'm on my own. But I did buy it to set up my drums. I never told the wife that but I think she suspects.
 

Skyking

Senior Member
All great ideas really and thanks . I have a feeling this'll be like playing in a subway. I'll be like all Phil Specter and his wall of sound. Forget the ghost notes, where are the Ronnetes when you need them? (I know one died). It's going to be interesting. I'm still thinking >>>initially<<< free hanging blankets will absorb the sound with little transmission. So I'm thinking Salvation Army store. Later after settling- in, maybe wall panels.Unknown.jpg
 

Skyking

Senior Member
So to answer CB, my budget is as you go (while buying everything else). But the ideas of heavy curtains that pull back as a more permanent inexpensive room sounds good. Shag carpet and muffling the drums (a bit) might work. I can always pick up cheap drapes at consignment stores...until I can do it better and less unsightly.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
Have you ever seen a club with the lights on?

The architecture doesn't look that bad, its concrete, but it also has lots of different surfaces. The flat floor is probably the worst. Personally, I have a finished attic, as my man roost, but I don't think its all that necessary to be finished. I think its more important that you make it aesthetically somewhere you like hanging out, but doesn't interfere with property values, or finishing later. Maybe an exercise mat of some sort. Keep in mind a utility room is nice also, so having a work bench and maybe a utility sink/tub. You can also hang art in there, maybe a drafting table or bachelor pad furniture. I like to do photography, and I have taken to collecting discarded frames so that I can replace the photo. I hang them in my garage. Its surprisingly neat to drive into the garage and see all this art hanging there, right next to the unfinished 2x4.

There are different finishes for the concrete itself. Maybe rubberized or textured, but this may depend on what you want to do in the future.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Carpet on the floor, suspended ceiling, drapes on the walls, windows or not. Block the corners. At the least something under you and something above you.
 
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KamaK

Platinum Member
I would recommend sealing/painting the floor and using rugs instead of wall to wall carpeting. This makes things easy to clean/fix when the basement leaks or a sewer pipe breaks or your 1st floor tub overflows and waterfalls down the steps.

Remember that regardless of the facade you add, it's still a basement, and shit runs downhill.
 

Trip McNealy

Gold Member
I used 4" thick high density foam, heavy curtains, and a stage/riser with carpet in my cinder block basement. It made a huge difference and was cheap as I sourced the foam from a shipping company's "waste", and curtains from thrift stores.
Wow that's really cool! When I move again, that's how I envision my drum "space" to look; just like you did with a lone main kit and then two of my secondary kits on the other riser. Is that laminate or vinyl plank flooring? Also, did you create a sub-floor first before laying down the top surface? I forget the official name but I've seen in Home Depot plywood sheeting that has a rubber/plastic "matrix" on the underside which I imagine is there to provide a moisture barrier.

Also, how'd you make the riser areas? Just create a frame from 2x4's, plywood top, and carpeting?
 

Rotarded

Senior Member
Is that laminate or vinyl plank flooring? Also, did you create a sub-floor first before laying down the top surface? I forget the official name but I've seen in Home Depot plywood sheeting that has a rubber/plastic "matrix" on the underside which I imagine is there to provide a moisture barrier.

Also, how'd you make the riser areas? Just create a frame from 2x4's, plywood top, and carpeting?
Vinyl plank, over moisture barrier, over the concrete.
Pressure treated 2x6 , plywood, carpet.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Mine was really echo-y till I added carpet, then rubber mat and carpet in drum area. Then all the empty is filled to the brim with storage so the echo isn't nearly as bad. So if you have nothing to fill buy a huge air balloon and fill it up to occupy all the space-deflate it when not In use. LOL
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
First get carpet. Something nice, but not too nice in case of spills. I'll explain later.

Your drums go where you are standing.

Facing the stairs, the recessed wall to the left, fill it with arcade games. Pac-Man, Frogger, Street Fighter, etc. How ever many needed to fill the wall.

Opposite wall with the window, put a bar over there under the window. A big one you can sit at, like at a bar. This is where the spills originate from.

To the left of the bar, in the corner, goes a pool, foosball, or air hockey table.

Standing at the bottom of the stairs like you just came down, facing the wall, a big screen TV or projector screen goes there. Seating in front of it as couches, recliners, whatever. Put a table in there also for drinks. More spillage.

Put whatever on the walls. Fill them up. The more the better. Dart boards are both cool and dangerous!

And make sure to wrap those steel posts. If yer gonna have a bar in the basement, some drunkass will eventually wander into one. Or fall into it.

There should be enough room on this end with the drums for the rest of the band. It looks like a good sized space right there.

Most of your echo should now be gone.

Hurry up already so we can come over!
 
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