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IamJohnGalt
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5th December 2012
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Need Feedback On Medium Sized Home Studio (Dims, Pics & DIY Methods Included)

Hello GS;

I want to thank all of the knowledgable posters who have generously provided all of us GS users with heaps of valuable information. I am in the process of treating my home project studio and I would not have known where to begin if I didnt come accross GEARSLUTZ.com. The fact that the pros share so openly on this forum and all egos are, for the most part, in check on these threads is absolutely awesome.

The intent of this thread is to share with you specifics about my space and what I have done thus far in the treatment process. I am hoping to get feedback about what I could do differently, what I may have done wrong and confirmation if I have done something correctly. Additionally, I will share my absorber/bass trap construction and mounting techniques in hopes that it will benefit other slutz or I will learn a better way from feedback.

I am thick skinned and will not be offended by direct critical feedback. I am not a pro and, although I have been a musician for over 32 years, I am just learning about sound engineering and the art and science of acoustic treatment.

I have not done room measurments at this point but have started attacking the obvious and general room issues and intend to measure when I have completed my basic installation and need to fix or address room specific problems. (This may be a mistake...)

Room:

18'Wx25'Lx10'H
Limestone Floor
Sheetrock Wall & Ceiling (3)
Floor to Ceiling Glass on Entire Right Wall (uuhg)

Orientation is.....well a picture tells a thousand words:

Need Feedback On Medium Sized Home Studio (Dims, Pics & DIY Methods Included)-frontwall2.jpg

This is the front wall (18Wx10H). I plan to center the desk on the wall. The door leads to a bathroom and I should probably treat it. (No...the lava lamp in not for sale;)

Need Feedback On Medium Sized Home Studio (Dims, Pics & DIY Methods Included)-rear-wall.jpg

Rear wall has a built-in floor to ceiling wood cabinet with flat doors accross 12 of the 18 feet and an exit on the right hand side with a partition creating a corner in front of the door...as you can see.

Need Feedback On Medium Sized Home Studio (Dims, Pics & DIY Methods Included)-left-wall.jpg

Left wall has a low wood cabinet centered and leaving 5' on either side. (Baby changing station and instruments can move if necessary). Above are shelves, TV and cabinet cube that is mounted (all of that stuff has to stay).

Need Feedback On Medium Sized Home Studio (Dims, Pics & DIY Methods Included)-right-wall.jpg

Right wall poses an interesting challenge. Shitty picture but there are 6 floor to ceiling glass panels. The center 2 are sliding doors. There is a black-out shade that drops from a slot in the ceiling roughly 10" from face of glass and aligns with the wall corners --covers the whole glass wall (you can see better in the Front Wall pic).

Treatment:

I have made broadband absorbers/traps out of OC703FRK and OC705 "like" product.

4"-2x4 OC703FRK with FRK facing wall/ceiling- Plan on putting these accross top of left wall, on front wall and hanging from ceiling.

4"-2x4 OC703FRK &OC705 with FRK facing room for corner traps accross both wall to wall on Left Wall (currently 8' high but I am thinking about building a larger one to go all the way to ceiling...will that make a big dif?) Thinking about building a freestanding trap along these lines that I could place in corners of glass wall condition (right wall).

Here are a few shots of how I went about building the traps:

Need Feedback On Medium Sized Home Studio (Dims, Pics & DIY Methods Included)-panel-upolstry-progress.jpg

Uses a 1x3 frame (stapled and glued) on back of panel and attached RFP with contact adhesive. Used a transparent plactic corner bead (.5") that you find in the shower enclosure section of the hardware store to make edges and corners perfect. Wrapped and stapled fabric to back doing my best with the corners;) At this point I have made about 15 of the 30 or so that I will probably need to get this room right and I am getting faster as I go...lots of work though as many of you know.

Ok so the only thing that I am doing that I havent seen is I am using 18gauge 1.25" metal angle on ceiling and on back of panels for mounting ease and flexibility.

Need Feedback On Medium Sized Home Studio (Dims, Pics & DIY Methods Included)-panel-back-w-bracket.jpg

Pretty self explanatory but along with the tracks on the ceiling I can hang them at angles (using longer cables on one end or the other), at different orientations and different heights very easily in cloud. I can also make changes as necessary without a lot of effort.

Need Feedback On Medium Sized Home Studio (Dims, Pics & DIY Methods Included)-left-wall-ceiling.jpg

There are three "tracks" which consists of two rows of angle spaced 20" apart (same spacing as back of panel btw). They cover my kit, desk and rest of tracking area pretty well. I had to avoid lights and speakers in the ceiling but I am hoping this will give me the coverage I need (You can see black track in middle and white tracks on either side on ceiling in the room pics above...wife wants white) I tenatively plan on putting 6 panels (2x4) on each track spaced closely. Thats 18 panels covering ?% of celing....havent done the math yet. I was thinking about experimenting with angles and staggered heights and am hoping to get lots of input on ceiling cloud placement from you folks. The tracks should allow the flexibility enabling me to accomplish what I need to do.

Currently I have BBA's hung from picture frame hook on monofilament that is long enough to put spacers behind the frame to create space from wall as necessary. I suppose I should try to bring those 4" off wall as they are 4" thick? Will that make a big dif? (Wife thinks they are ugly already...I think they are beautiful...besides - its my f#^%in room;) Also, I have hung five panels in a straight line symetrically accross top of left wall because of the aesthetic balance...am I much better off staggering them more? I did stagger FRK on the 5 panels with 2 having the foil facing the room and the others the wall.

Goal:

So...with all of that said, I would really like some feedback on my room and ideas about how to maximize the end result. I know the first responses I get will be "come back after you take measurements!". My theory is that I already know the room is broken. I know, as Ethan says, you cant trap to much bass. I dont think I run the risk of creating a dead space with the volume of the room and all the hard surfaces (limestone floor is hard a rock...cause it is.) Therefore, as a starting point, I thought I would just get the basics covered with the corner traps, absorption on ceiling and walls and see what I am left with (I am going to do the floor to wall corner behing the console with 705 as well.)

I do have some specific issues that I am concerned about:

-Will I need diffusion on walls (rear..)?
-How screwed am I with the left wall being all glass. The solar shade is like a thick opaque vinyl canvas and it covers everything.
-How to treat the corners where they meet the glass? Free standing ideas anyone?
-Doors on front and rear walls.

The bare room is loud and full of all sorts of issues but actually sounds better than I would have thought when tracking certain stuff (acoustic guitar). The dimensions are not inherently problematic based on what little I have read so I am very optimistic that I can acheive a good to maybe quite good ranging sound.

Thanks for reading this if you got this far. I am sure I left out important info but my hands are tired;) Any and all feedback or commentary is greatly appreciated and I thank you in advance for your help and/or participation in this process. Not to blow sunshine up anyones arse, but I will be thrilled if Ethan, Glenn, Andre and many others who I have learned so much from chime in here.

I am having so much fun learning about this stuff and building these tools of acoustic control. I love playing around where art and science meet (check out Jojo Mayer...major drum influence) and I can see why you guys would enjoy doing this for a living. Eventually I would like to build a professional studio in my home or somewhere cool. Friends of mine say the studio biz is like the wine biz in that if you want to have a million dollars when growing wine you have to start with 5 million (or something like that..).

Thanks again.
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Need Feedback On Medium Sized Home Studio (Dims, Pics & DIY Methods Included)-guilford-fabric-stone.jpg  
IamJohnGalt
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5th December 2012
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Not sure how that last photo got there but it is 40yds of Guilford 701 fabric in the color "Coin". Built 5 panels using a breathable fabric from Joannes Fabric but decided to splurge for this stuff....easier to work with and looks killer imho.
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5th December 2012
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bump for west coast lunchbreakers
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5th December 2012
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Mods...was I supposed to have posted this thread in the "Photo diaries..." Sub forum? Let me know or feel free to move it if that would be a more appropriate location. I want to follow the rules and get the most feedback from members as possible. Thanks.
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5th December 2012
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I'll think through this more and get back later. But first that TV has to go! Not because of acoustical issues, just because it's a diversion! j/k
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5th December 2012
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But I like to watch old Partridge Family episodes while I track drums....is that bad?

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6th December 2012
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6th December 2012
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Given what I know about the room now, plus the things you want to fit in it, I'd be tempted to really shake up the arrangement. I'd move my mix position to the opposite wall with the dark partition. Then take the TV and sitting area to the other end (where your mix desk is now). In between those two areas, I'd make a free-standing partition parallel to the short wall(s). One one side of the partition, the seating would face the TV, on the other side, I'd have the drums facing the mix position. From that partition on towards the new front wall, I'd make another free-standing partition that serves as a treatment for the glass.

Both of those partitions could be discontinuous so you wouldn't have to walk all the way around them, to make the area more open and to allow light through. Then I'd do as much corner trapping as possible, put up a sizeable cloud and think about the possibility of a soffit in the mix end.

That's just a wild stab at what I'd try as a starting condition. You'd need to do all the due diligence in trying a range of desk/monitor positions with critical listening and measurements - but don't change other stuff like your free-standing trap/partition/gobo treatments while you are trying to optimize the desk/monitor geometry. Limit yourself to just changing one variable at a time as much as you can. And be ready to back up and re-tweak monitor positioning if you later make big changes to your treatments.

Part of my motivation for the above is to make a better environment for the drums. Part is to keep a large fraction of the window wall open to the TV area to give lots of natural light that can diffuse all around the room. And to clarify, when I say "partition", I'd be making a bunch of gobos on steroids. For example, I made a mobile partition for a drummer that had a 17x31x13' room with a ton of glass on the perimeter. I made them 12" thick and two-sided. In the middle of that 12" thickness was a slab of MDF separating the two sides. Each side had a 6" slab of attic fiberglass. One side had about 90% slat coverage, the other about 20% coverage (just to protect the cloth). The drummer could move these pillar-like gobos easily since they were on wheels. They were heavy, by the way. But we got some awesome drum tracks in the room and it had at least as much glass as yours. It was also easy to make a Stonehenge-like vocal booth of sorts. Before I forget, plan on putting a cloud over the drums too.

OK, you should be able to try a few variations on that theme before summer gets here if you work on it extensively... I'd measure the room rigorously, starting with the condition it's in now.
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6th December 2012
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Wow....that something I have not considered. Let me chew on that for a bit...it's a radical deviation from what I had in mind. I really appreciate your feedback and it's interesting to hear how someone with real world experience approaches the solution for this room.

Thanks Sic.
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6th December 2012
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Sync that is.
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6th December 2012
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I forgot to mention that the bases of the drum room gobos would fit tight together. So in party mode, all the gobos were pushed up tight to each other and they looked like a huge cloth and wood pillar mass that could be compacted and rolled off to one side to open the room up to fit lots of people milling about.
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6th December 2012
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Thinking now about some larger panels on ceiling....maybe 4x8 or 8x8 over kit that would span all 3 tracks. Would I get the bang for the buck (mostly added effort)?

Any input on ceiling panel heights or angles?
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6th December 2012
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Quote:
-Will I need diffusion on walls (rear..)?
Need? No but you could use diffusion in that room and or panels with slats to help scatter upper frequencies but still help absorb lows. These can be use in any area (yes even corner) besides early reflection areas.

Quote:
-How screwed am I with the left wall being all glass. The solar shade is like a thick opaque vinyl canvas and it covers everything.
You're not. Use panels on stands if needed

Quote:
-How to treat the corners where they meet the glass? Free standing ideas anyone?

Something stack-able (think of something like our tri trap or soffit trap) and or something on stands.

Quote:
-Doors on front and rear walls.
Nothing you can do, doors let us in and let us out!

The challenge you face (from what I can tell) is getting proper symmetry from where you six at the mix and forward. You are just going to have to think it through and try different spots (welcome to DIY land ). The good news is your room is not as small as most. You can use the following program to test the room to figure out the best area for the mix.

Room EQ Wizard Tutorial - GIK Acoustics
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Built in Slat design (Scattering/Diffusion) on all Bass Traps click here
IamJohnGalt
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6th December 2012
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Thank you so much for your input Glenn. I will check out the tri and soffit traps....I am halfway through my panel production and I am already about DIYed out!

I am hoping to leave orientation close to what it is but will definitely center the console on front wall and trap corners and first reflection points in as symetrical a manner as possible by using something on stands as you say.

As far as ceiling treatment is concerned, I am not sure my idea of 18 - 2x4 panels will give me the coverage I need. Thats 144sqft of the 450 total sqft. which is 32%. Is there a rule-of-thumb regarding coverage % on ceiling in my condition?

How low should I go with the panels for best results given a 10' ceiling?

Should I have them low over kit and/or desk and higher in rest of tracking space?

Is there any benefit to angling the panels (hanging one side lower) or stepping them up or down in height?

I would love input on ceiling cloud ideas given my current orientation....I am willing to make larger or different shaped panels if necessary.

Thanks for the wizard as well....Ill give it a shot.

By the way...is that a Oracle Delphi in the picture of you on your site? I have the Mark VI and I treasure it

Last edited by IamJohnGalt; 6th December 2012 at 01:37 PM.. Reason: add
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6th December 2012
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Quote:
As far as ceiling treatment is concerned, I am not sure my idea of 18 - 2x4 panels will give me the coverage I need. Thats 144sqft of the 450 total sqft. which is 32%. Is there a rule-of-thumb regarding coverage % on ceiling in my condition?
I really do not think you need to cover that much area and if you do I would use a slat design on any panels that are not in the early reflection area. Those areas would be between where you sit and the speaks and above the drum kit.
Quote:
How low should I go with the panels for best results given a 10' ceiling?
The lower the better. Above the mix I would go a good foot or more if you can. Above the drums I might not go as much depending on how high you want to put the over heads.



Quote:
Is there any benefit to angling the panels (hanging one side lower) or stepping them up or down in height?
If the panels are a 100% absorptive then there is not much benefit. You can though so if you want do it.
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6th December 2012
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Bump for more input

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7th December 2012
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I thank Glenn and Syncamorea for the feedback but I am suprised that nobody else has chimed in on this. Maybe these topics have been so thoroughly discussed and so many specific rooms analysed that GS members are over it by now. The old threads along these lines got tons of participation (which I have learned from by reading).

Have a lot of the veteran pros left GS at this point? Is free advice hard to come by these days? I am a new user here and am just suprised at the lack of response to all of my posts and threads so far. I cant even get an educational question answered by the mods. Oh well...I am grateful for what I have learned anyway and love this site.
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16th December 2012
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16th December 2012
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Just made an 4'x8'x4" panel for over counsel....its getting addicting. Acoustic treatment provides huge bang fir buck in terms of sound improvement.

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16th December 2012
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Consider using freestanding panels to attenuate wall reflections. The room is very nice but panels on the wall will make the acoustics narrow. You have to play around the glass wall or stand something in front of it.
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16th December 2012
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Thanks for the reply. I agree with freestanding panels. The blind is thick and when lowered it helps with the glass wall but I need to add something behind kit and at frp's fir desk and kit on glass wall.

Can you expand on your comment about wall absorption panels narrowing my room please. The room is pretty wide and I have shelves, books, tv and low credenza creating diffusion...I thought anyway.

Any more specifics would be greatly appreciated. Thanks man.

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Since this is a multi-purpose room, you can carefully use freestanding panels to create two reverb for the mixing area and the drum area. Wall panels will more likely close off reflection paths from one side to the other, where freestanding panels will allow a bit more reflection from the other side of the room. This is what you should aim for. You can use the glass wall as front or rear of mixing area, while having the drum kit to one side, which uses the glass wall to extend the reverb by directing sound down the long dimension. Using panels orientated for max effect at the mixing location can allow more transmission orthogonal to that area.

Some more pictures would help. A good perspective is from a top corner of the room that shows the entire space and all the geometric irregularities.
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18th December 2012
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Ok so hanging the 4'x8'x4.75" panel was a pain in the arse. I used a pully and my wife and I nearly killed ourselves getting it in place but its sweet in its effects over the listening space. Helped the whole room. I think hanging 4x4 panels my be a happy medium.

Have a few more to go and then I will run some tests. Have been going by ear thus far with what I consider to be obvious first steps.
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18th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpusOfTrolls View Post
Since this is a multi-purpose room, you can carefully use freestanding panels to create two reverb for the mixing area and the drum area. Wall panels will more likely close off reflection paths from one side to the other, where freestanding panels will allow a bit more reflection from the other side of the room. This is what you should aim for. You can use the glass wall as front or rear of mixing area, while having the drum kit to one side, which uses the glass wall to extend the reverb by directing sound down the long dimension. Using panels orientated for max effect at the mixing location can allow more transmission orthogonal to that area.

Some more pictures would help. A good perspective is from a top corner of the room that shows the entire space and all the geometric irregularities.
Thank you very much for the input. I will post more pictures as soon as I can. My goal is to get a good flat response in the room without significantly changing the orientation (for a variety of reasons) but if I cant get it where I want it then I will be open to moving things around. ...That Argosy desk weighs about 10 tons btw

Once I have finished the ceiling treatment and the freestanding traps, I will experiment with the glass wall. The retractable solar shade is thick vinyl and runs floor to ceiling along the whole length of the wall...room sounds very different when raised vs down obviously. I will need run some tests and see what the room is really doing when the shade is up or down etc.

I hope I will be able to get some slutz to help me with the test results as I have never run REW and really dont know how to read the charts at all (except you want it nice and flat I guess...

The acoustic treatment has changed my room to such a degree that I am astounded and its not even completed yet. It has stoked my enthusiasm for developing as a musician and recordist.

My iMac should be here in "January" according to Apple and I am leaving my new Apollo Quad in the box until it arrives, although its tempting to hook it up now. My old computer (2006 iMac OSX10.4.11) has been behaving badly and, therefore, doesnt deserve to talk to the Apollo.

Thanks again to everyone who has given feedback and Ill keep posting updates as I progress fwiw.
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20th December 2012
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