First off, I want to start by saying that budget is a HUGE factor. I am renting this townhouse. The owners have agreed to let me finish the basement and they'll pay for the supplies, but they are not going to be interested in big budget sound isolation/proofing. I don't mind spending a little out of pocket, but absolutely not for a home I rent. As it is, I'm already going to be spending on internal wiring for the speakers and HDMI, so any suggestions above what I've listed for my ideas so far, try to keep below $1000CAN. If they are above that, please don't bother suggesting them because it won't be helpful. Added note/warning (lol). This is a townhouse. One that's only a few years old where they only care about fire code, not sound.
Edit: added an idea at the end of this.
The whole basement is almost completely unfinished. No flooring, no ceiling, no drywall, no studs. "Minimal" meaning that the outside walls are insulated and vapor-barrier, a couple of basic lights and a couple of outlets for the space in question. I'm going to be finishing the whole basement, minus the bathroom for now at least (it's roughed in - it's a new-ish house. Just a bigger and different project than the rest). This will include putting up some new walls to section off the theater room, probably a double door entrance, wiring, etc. The room will be roughly 19' x 11'. The joining walls are mostly concrete except for these odd sections that I took pics of:
(fyi, not my system. Left by the owners when they decided somewhat last minute to move to Slovenia. The Paradigms in the first pic are mine).
I drilled a small hole in one of those drywall panels to try and see what's behind there and seems it's just insulation. The concrete wall is not behind that. There is also NO insulation in the ceiling, above the concrete wall, between the units. I was in the basement last weekend and I heard vacuuming so clear I thought it was right above my head.
So, my plans/ideas so far, but open to changing. That's the idea of this post.
Using metal studs and setting them about an inch away from the concrete wall. Using pink insulation (much like the stuff in the pics) to go all the way across, including behind the metal studs, using the plastic vapor-barrier and sealing it much like an outside wall. Using some extra of the insulation to stuff the top of the concrete wall/ceiling, and the first couple of spaces (not concerned about sound going up, just to the neighbours).
Putting up resilient channels on the ceiling. Ceiling, outside walls, and internal walls, using 1/2" drywall (might be okay going to 5/8", but I don't think that's needed for the whole basement. Not to mention I'm doing this myself). The joining walls, using 5/8", Green Glue, and another layer of 5/8". Acoustic caulking in the spaces all around that. I also want to add a small box in the ceiling for a power outlet and HDMI port for a ceiling mount projector. (wondering if adding the vapor-barrier to seal the ceiling might help as well)
For the flooring, using this
for an underlay. Then this
on top of the underlay, making sure it doesn't touch any of the wall framing. Using acoustic caulking again to fill the space between that wood and the metal studs, as well as sealing it. My thoughts are a cheap/easy floating floor. Yes, I know, not as good as the real thing, but thinking it should be better than nothing. And then laminate flooring on top of that, again, making sure it doesn't touch the framing. The underlay, wood sub-flooring, and laminate would be continued through the whole basement.
The vents you see in the pics, I was thinking of shortening them and having them pointing down from the ceiling instead of having odd corners in those two corners just for the vents to be closer to the floor. I'm not overly concerned about heating with that many layers and the furnace room being right next to it.
So, that's my idea so far. I'm open to suggestions and other ideas though. The only thing I'm somewhat concerned about is those areas in the pictures where the concrete wall is 'missing'.
Also, I was wondering if there was something I could put between the metal tracks for the stud framing and the concrete floor that might also help with the vibration, or should that not be a concern.
Edit/Added: I was wondering about building a wall on the floor with drywall and 1x2 (I don't think it has to be to code for this exact idea. Read the whole thing before commenting on that), and lifting it into place with the drywall on the concrete side, and the 1x2 facing towards the room. Then building the other walls as I suggested. Insulation > Vapour Barrier (yes, I know a "vapour barrier" isn't needed on that wall, just using it for sealing and sound suppression) > steel studs > 5/8 drywall > Green Glue > 5/8 drywall. And acoustic caulking all around, etc. That might get me something of a "room within a room", at least with those 2 walls (yes, I know the ceiling and other walls wouldn't be decoupled. Open to cheap/easy ideas for that, though).
Also, as for the ceiling, which would be better? Anti-vibration tracks, or just dual layer drywall?
Small stuff like a few extra sheets of drywall and/or some 1x2 pieces of wood wouldn't be that expensive and can easily be added to the materials list for the owners to pay.