Basement setup recommendations?

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Sir Ruff
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Basement setup recommendations?

Post by Sir Ruff » Sat Jun 02, 2007 3:09 pm

Due to a recent move, my only current option for setting up all my equipment is in a basement of an older house. It tends to be cooler down there than the house itself, but it can still be pretty humid. I've already got a dehumidifier running, but I also keep the little side window vents open for circulation, so it's not 100% effective.

Considering this stuff will be down there all summer, what would be an "ok" humidity percentage to keep your average analogue synth, or computer running in? Are there any other options to keep things dry?
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Post by nathanscribe » Sat Jun 02, 2007 4:47 pm

I've a basement studio too, and rather than use a dehumidifier I have a fan vent with a heat exchange unit inside. Running on low, it uses about 20W, and is pretty quiet, though I'd turn it off while using a mic. If you run a dehumidifier whilst a window is open, you're wasting power - a specialist told me that a better method is to have a constant controlled air flow, stops the place getting damp. But then, I'm presuming that our climates are pretty different so my situation may well not apply to you.

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Post by wiss » Sat Jun 02, 2007 5:21 pm

1. Burn a shitload of sage
2. close the window(your just letting air in and people too)
3. if de-hum doesnt have a gauge to display hum% get one and keep at 50% year round.
4. get an airfilter too.
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Post by Sir Ruff » Sat Jun 02, 2007 5:23 pm

nathanscribe wrote:I've a basement studio too, and rather than use a dehumidifier I have a fan vent with a heat exchange unit inside. Running on low, it uses about 20W, and is pretty quiet, though I'd turn it off while using a mic. If you run a dehumidifier whilst a window is open, you're wasting power - a specialist told me that a better method is to have a constant controlled air flow, stops the place getting damp. But then, I'm presuming that our climates are pretty different so my situation may well not apply to you.
ok, thanks... this is helpful.... so what I'm trying to determine is if it's better to have constant circulation (and a fan like you're suggesting), or have the vents shut, and keep the dehumidifier running...
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Post by Blue Monster 65 » Sat Jun 02, 2007 7:45 pm

Yes, the open window will just allow more moisture in, and you're already battling that. Run a fan for air circulation and keep the dehumidifier running at all times. Remember to empty it! If you have AC in the house, running that, too, will also lower the humidity.

If you can, install a heater for the winter, that's specific to the basement. You can install a small, efficient gas heater for under $250-$300 and it will also make the rest of the house warmer for less money overall.

When recording with mics, turn it all off. Erm ... that's rather obvious, right? :lol:

Where are you, Ruff? I'm in Michigan, where the battle with wet basements and humidity is a constant. Bleh! But I keep my workshop down there and have done so with no problems for ages, soooo ...

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Post by Sir Ruff » Sat Jun 02, 2007 11:55 pm

Blue Monster 65 wrote:Yes, the open window will just allow more moisture in, and you're already battling that. Run a fan for air circulation and keep the dehumidifier running at all times. Remember to empty it! If you have AC in the house, running that, too, will also lower the humidity.

If you can, install a heater for the winter, that's specific to the basement. You can install a small, efficient gas heater for under $250-$300 and it will also make the rest of the house warmer for less money overall.

When recording with mics, turn it all off. Erm ... that's rather obvious, right? :lol:

Where are you, Ruff? I'm in Michigan, where the battle with wet basements and humidity is a constant. Bleh! But I keep my workshop down there and have done so with no problems for ages, soooo ...

Woof! - Scott
cool cool (literally, eh? ha..)

I'm in philly, where temps are already in the mid-80s. Humidity will undoubtedly reach that level too at some point :evil:
I don't have windows-they are just little vents that can be open or closed, but I guess the principle is the same, tho I thought having them open might provide a little more circulation. We have air conditioning, but ya know, cool=$$$, so I don't like to have that on all the time.

I guess if I got a little humidity guage I could always test what works best. Keeping those vents closed, plus dehumidifier and fan sounds like the way to go...
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Post by m03 » Sun Jun 03, 2007 2:14 am

If your stuff is going to be in a basement area, it would be a good idea to put it in an elevated area (like on top of a table) incase of some sort of flooding occurring (heavy rain, busted pipes, jammed washing machine, etc).

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Post by Denms20 » Sun Jun 03, 2007 3:00 am

Sir Ruff,
I'm an hour north of you, and have my studio in the basement also. I was more worried about the speaker cones, etc. than the synths, but so far everything seems to be OK. My windows are closed, and I have a dehumidifier on constantly, unless recording live with mics. IT runs off and on quite a bit, and the drain where I have the hose is pretty well always wet, so it's definitely pulling moisture. I also cut a hole in the heating duct so when the air is on, that helps cool things during the summer. But during the winter, it dries the air a bit when the heat runs through the same ducts.
I'd second the person who said keep stuff off the ground, you never know when a flash flood is going to occur. I have everything up on 2X4's, and if there's any hint of rain in the forecast, all volume pedals, etc come up. Saved my butt a few times already!
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Post by Blue Monster 65 » Sun Jun 03, 2007 3:13 am

Heh heh heh ... I'll be in Philly for the 4th this year.

I totally understand about not keeping the AC on all the time. But I do keep the dehumidifier on constantly - that one for sure!

And I can agree also with keeping things off the floor. Luckily, we're built on a hill, so our house is the one that floods the others in the neighborhood! Hahahahahahahaha! So far, though, so good ...

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Post by Sir Ruff » Sun Jun 03, 2007 6:27 am

Denms20 wrote:Sir Ruff,

I'd second the person who said keep stuff off the ground, you never know when a flash flood is going to occur. I have everything up on 2X4's, and if there's any hint of rain in the forecast, all volume pedals, etc come up. Saved my butt a few times already!
yeah, this is a forgone conclusion in my case from unfortunate past experience! I don't/won't do much straight recording (with all the usual floor accessories), but nothing will be near the floor regardless. We've had the walls refinished, and there's been no natural flooding for a few years now, however a certain dishwasher leak managed to do some major soaking not ath long ago:x

i feel better now thanks to all your suggestions... this leaves only the less solvable problem of dust from all the s**t we've got stored down there. But obviously lots of sheets on equipment and whatnot should keep that to a minimum...
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Post by zukskywalker » Sun Jun 03, 2007 11:53 pm

Look up!
No really. Make sure you have high confidence in the overhead pipes and you might also want to check that a first floor spill can't come thru the floor and down onto your gear. Not anal, I just learned the hard way.
While you're at it you might as well check ALL the grounds.
Oh yeah, and go outside to make sure all the downspouts are clear and draining. Yes, look at the gutters too.

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Post by mr_m0nks » Mon Jun 04, 2007 1:49 am

don't forget a nice comfy chair or two...

oh and maybe a couple of potted plants

a studio should always be a pleasant place to be :)
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Post by rjd2 » Mon Jun 04, 2007 1:23 pm

home depot sells a humidifier for about 150-200 that shows %. yes, close windows and run that thing. if you keep it around 40-50%, you will be changing the bucket every couple days-that's what i do.

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Post by Sir Ruff » Mon Jun 04, 2007 5:42 pm

zukskywalker wrote:Look up!
No really. Make sure you have high confidence in the overhead pipes and you might also want to check that a first floor spill can't come thru the floor and down onto your gear. Not anal, I just learned the hard way.
While you're at it you might as well check ALL the grounds.
Oh yeah, and go outside to make sure all the downspouts are clear and draining. Yes, look at the gutters too.
it's funny, my girlfriend said the same thing about the pipes. Luckily those are fairly new. I've also learned the hard way about downspouts/gutters draining (and a wall beginning to crumble!). However that has all been since remidied.
rjd2 wrote:home depot sells a humidifier for about 150-200 that shows %. yes, close windows and run that thing. if you keep it around 40-50%, you will be changing the bucket every couple days-that's what i do.
hmmm.. i might consider that, but the one I've got, despite being old, seems to do the job pretty well. Set to max, that thing needs dumping almost daily!
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