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Straw Bale Structures for Recording Studios
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Forum Posts: 4
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April 8, 2024
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April 9, 2024 - 1:31 pm
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I built a few straw bale structures. The house I built in Lake County is absolutely awesome. It would make one killer recording studio too if it wasn’t so damn far up in the mountains off grid. Everything has to be brought in and power too! so I would like to find another opportunity to build a straw bale structure for an actual recording studio . I have several designs I have been working on as well as dedicated music rooms (not a studio)… If you have ever seen or been inside a straw bale house it’s worth checking into. I built mine with 4′-2′-16″ bales laying flat so with the 3-4 inches of stucco on the exterior and 3 inches plaster/mud on the interior the walls are roughly 2 1/2 feet thick. I build a 2′ thick perimeter foundation for the bales to sit on, ran rubber tubing into the concrete so I could thread a shipping strap and strap the walls to the foundation. I used black tar on the foundation to stop moisture, I used rebar stakes into the cement sticking up 3′ every 4′ and empaled the first row of bales onto them so they were locked and then every row of bales I used large rebar stakes driven into them to lock them together. Straw Bales are not hay. I had custom order 3 string rice straw bales packed very dense and consistent size for building. They are fire proof and earthquake proof and sound proof without a damn thing done to them. You won’t believe how solid and dense the walls are. they will stop large ammo and a Mac truck and are the best natural insulation. I never have to heat or cool the house.
The studio designs I am doing use the same 2′ thick perimeter foundation and the studio and control room are a separate 6′ deep slab not connected to the walls or each other at all. The floor of the control room is a divided grid and filled with sand or dense carbon foam and then sub flooring and then nice wood flooring and then a thick oriental rug in the sweet spot.
The interior walls will be nicely paneled and I am working on the plan for diffusers and absorption … it a high pitched roof and there will be a cloud above the mixer and additional diffusers up there once I figure it all out. The exterior of the roof will have straw bale covering it and then another roof onto of the bales and all enclose and weather proofed… so the ceiling, roofs and bales will make it about 40′ thick and total sound proof… you won’t hear a thing from outside.

I have a question in this regard and the straw bales… I am thinking the walls being as dense and thick as they are will act as a “Bass Trap” if that is the correct term. I built an outdoor stage with a huge straw bale back that sounded great! I wasn’t trying to use it that way I just wanted to contain the sound and block any from behind the stage… It blew my mind that it made such a huge difference in the sound on stage and if you walked behind you could barely hear a full band with 5 drummers!… so I am wondering if I had the rear wall of the studio not paneled and just covered the bales with a nice acoustic fabric, their would help the bass in the room immensely!… Does anyone have inexperience in this? Opinions?

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