Progress has been made! After mangling the insert frames with some less-than-sharp-and-intact borrowed snips, I managed to break my drill bit on a bit of steel embedded in the window jamb ceiling. Luckily my Father the Carpenter saved the day.
The Climate Seal insert sounds great so far! Can't hear the yard work across the street at all, which is exactly what it was intended for. We left enough to space to be able to remove the cracked single pane behind it and replace it with a two pane slider one day, but this serves its purpose very well as is.
We also have a door! (One of four I bought and wisely stuck in the garage months ago instead of doing anything with them..)
Hardware and such coming soon. But it works! Thank again to my dad, without whom this would have likely taken years and been a complete mess instead of handily done in a matter of three visits. He even helped me speed along the installation (read: stapling of velcro to ceiling) of the four ceiling sound panels, creating a proxy booth in front of my workstation while conveniently killing early frequencies for mixing purposes.
We're getting much closer! Just have to move some electrical boxes, drywall these new walls and old doorways, drywall the back of the wall in the other side of the basement, and we'll have ourselves a little sound fortress! The clarity's definitely starting to show through in new recordings. Here's a sample from today:
The mid-highs are less severe, the track feels more present and forward, the low end isn't all murky and junked out from leaky windows and big corners that lead upstairs. It's sounding like a real booth in a real studio! Imagine that. A little tweaking with my mastering to open it up a bit more, and we should have a very nice sound indeed.
Stay tuned for more updates!