A bit of advice for a new studio room
Old 20th November 2012
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A bit of advice for a new studio room

I'm looking at a new studio room, and was after a bit of general advice on a couple of different points.

The room is laid out as the picture below with the following dimensions, i didn't do a sketchup of the full room, just the floorplan to give an idea:

The shortest wall is 4.86m, and is a drywall construction;
The flat wall adjacent to this on the inside of the building is 7.92m and also a drywall construction, with a door in the 90 degree corner between this and the short wall;
The angled wall adjacent to the shortest wall is 8.27m, outside facing and is brick construction with 3 windows;
The wall opposite the shortest wall is 6.57m and is also an outside facing wall, brick construction with one window in the corner adjacent to the angled wall;
The room is 3m high.

I'm looking to use the room primarily for mixing and because the space is a decent size, a little bit of tracking from time to time, mostly vocals.

I like the fact that there is a lot of natural light coming into the room, and I don't need to isolate the sound leaving the studio, although it might be nice to try to reduce noise coming in from outside if I do want to record (however, I have an idea for a machine room/vocal booth which could address this aspect), so I'd like to keep that. But thought that perhaps some sort of treatment might be possible to retain as much light as possible, whilst reducing some outside noise coming in through the window. I thought maybe lining the window sills and surrounds (around 30cm deep) with isolation and sealing some perspex over the inside walls might address this. Is this a realistic suggestion?

Secondly, my understanding is that symmetry is very important in a control room, but from another side, perhaps a lack of symmetry might reduce some room mode issues, and in a larger room asymmetry is not so much of a problem, or am I making incorrect assumptions? Essentially, I wanted to know whether some sort of construction to try and address the symmetry (assuming asymmetry is undesirable) is essential, or whether any potential issues can be addressed with treatment alone, and what the advice would be in this regard. As mentioned above, I was considering creating a corridor along the short wall with drywall, hemp isolation and maybe some green glue I have from a former project approximately 1m wide, which would be split into a small machine room and a vocal booth.

Any advice would be extremely gratefully received. I plan to test the room response in the next week or so as it is, but hoped I might get a bit of advice on the above in the interim.

Thank you in advance

Chris


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Old 20th November 2012
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Thank you Jens,

I have read the threads, but I don't see them mentioning much about the symmetry of the room, other than building the construction asymmetrically (position wise) inside an existing symmetrical shell, which is different to my scenario, where the existing room is asymmetrical, both in materials and dimensions, and I don't see anything about the window issue I mentioned, unless I missed that.

Would you have any general advice or reading regarding these, particularly the symmetry, to help my understanding?

I should note that changing the existing shell of the room is not possible, only building within what is there already.
Old 20th November 2012
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Studio construction within an existing space is always a compromise.

You need to make the best of the situation depending on budget naturally. If you can, you could build a symmetric shell (possibly using geometry to take care of most of the early reflections, at least from the sides) within that space and perhaps also fit a small vocal booth next to it if that is a requirement. I would then deliberately build the booth using not too think walls so the control room still sees the entire space in terms on low frequencies. That way you can reach better results in the modal region. Unless it´s not a problem to do most of the tracking with cans or at low volume, you might not need extreme sound isolation between the booth and the control room anyway.
Old 20th November 2012
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Thanks again Jens,

I can get away with not a great amount of isolation between the booth and room, that is not a problem, it's not going to be a focus of what I'll be doing, so I'm definitely prepared to compromise there in order to get a better LF response for the room as a whole.

I was thinking of building the booth along the whole of the shortest wall, which would leave the most space remaining in the room. With the door being there, it also would help a bit with any potential sound leakage through the door, I then thought that maybe I could position myself along the longer wall, then the side walls would be symmetrical at least, as you mention. Does this sound reasonable?

I know generally people say it's best to fire up the length, but I've also read a couple of threads here where it's mentioned that it's not always the best thing to do, and based on what you're saying about creating some side symmetry, my thinking is in this situation it might be wiser, I'd loose too much space by trying to get the room symmetrical along the length.

In this situation, would it be better to face the acute angled corner wall or have it behind, bearing in mind these are the outer solid ones with windows? Or is this something best tested before you could give any worthwhile advice?
Old 20th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gecko View Post
In this situation, would it be better to face the acute angled corner wall or have it behind, bearing in mind these are the outer solid ones with windows? Or is this something best tested before you could give any worthwhile advice?
If you update your illustration so that doors, windows (that cannot be covered) etc. are included, I´ll try and have a look at it later today. Please observe however that my recommendation will be based on the minimal amount of information at hand (no measurements) and therefore, should not be taken too seriously.
Old 20th November 2012
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Thank you!

In this image the white boxes are the windows and doorway, recessed into the walls, so go beyond the internal dimensions given, I would say they are approximately 30cm deep.

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Old 20th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gecko View Post
Thank you!

In this image the white boxes are the windows and doorway, recessed into the walls, so go beyond the internal dimensions given, I would say they are approximately 30cm deep.

Attachment 317939
And none of these windows can be covered by construction?
Old 20th November 2012
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I'd rather not if there is a treatment solution, I spent a few years in a studio with no natural light and would prefer to have some getting in, but if you think it's a really big no to keep them, then it's an option to cover a couple I guess.

Ideally I'd like to do as little "permanent" construction as possible, mainly for budget reasons, but also it may not be a long term thing. If it's a wall that would double as a booth it 's possible, I just thought I'd loose quite some space from doing that along the length and it would be better to keep the space in the control room than a booth.

I know that I won't get anything near a perfectly flat room under the conditions I'm looking at, and I'm really not expecting that. I'm more looking to get a decent stereo image in as large a listening area as feasible, and a reasonable response, again in as large an area as feasible and I was a bit worried because of the shape (particularly the acute corner and that wall) that the stereo image might end up a bit skewed and it might not be easy to remedy without a lot of construction.

I'm aware it's difficult to address issues that I'm not even sure exist yet without testing, it was more general advice on the concepts, but I thought adding in some info about the room in question might help to put the questions and then the answers into a better context.

Once again, your help is very much appreciated
Old 23rd November 2012
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This is what I would have done if it was my space and a dedicated recording room was needed:

A bit of advice for a new studio room-rfz.gif

A standard RFZ control room design. Lightweight 1D diffusers covering the entire rear wall, letting the lowest frequencies pass (more or less) so the entire back wall acts as a big bass trap.

If it´s acceptable to not have very good isolation between the recording space and the control room, I would deliberately make this wall fairly light, deliberately passing very low frequencies through, thus further improving the modal distribution (lager is almost always better even if not perfect ratios) both in the recording room and the control room.

The recording room naturally also needs treatment. How, depends on usage and the preferred “sweet spot” for tracking. Some general thoughts on recording room treatment:

experimental skyline diffusor with pics - comments appreciated

Modal treatment is naturally also essential as for any studio space.
Old 23rd November 2012
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Is the distinction you make regarding lightweight diffusers because they let LF through to traps located behind?
Old 23rd November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syncamorea View Post
Is the distinction you make regarding lightweight diffusers because they let LF through to traps located behind?
Yes, either in order to act as part of a tuned membrane absorber or just simply to pass LF and use massive amounts of wool behind for good general absorption in the modal region.
Old 23rd November 2012
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Thanks!
Old 27th November 2012
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Thanks Jens,

Been away from a computer for a few days so not had chance to check this.

I don't think I'd need as large a recording space, as I'm primarily going to be mixing and I'd rather have a bit more space in the CR and make that a bit more spacious.

With this in mind, would it be ok to widen the control room design given and maybe leave a the windows behind exposed? Or at least part of them exposed?
Old 27th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gecko View Post
Thanks Jens,

Been away from a computer for a few days so not had chance to check this.

I don't think I'd need as large a recording space, as I'm primarily going to be mixing and I'd rather have a bit more space in the CR and make that a bit more spacious.

With this in mind, would it be ok to widen the control room design given and maybe leave a the windows behind exposed? Or at least part of them exposed?
So perhaps something like this then:
A bit of advice for a new studio room-rfz-2.gif
I guess I don´t need to say it, but this is just a very quick sketch trying to communicate an idea, not a construction plan.

All windows visible. Window to small recording area at entrance. Still almost symmetric design (the two windows on the right hand side will mess it up a bit but acceptable if done right).
Old 27th November 2012
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I understand it's more concept than final plan.

I'll look into the costs involved for something long these lines, and see where I can go.

Very much appreciate your input, and I'll post back when there is anything new to report.
Old 27th November 2012
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Actually, I have a couple of quick questions about the sketch:

I know the blue lines are windows, but would the black lines be something like a drywall construction on all sides or fabric covered isolation?

I do have a couple of cases of Green Glue left over from my last room, so was thinking the outside walls of the CR could be done with a couple of sheets of drywall w/ GG, drywall facing the recording room, and then use fabric covered isolation for the control room internals, with the diffusers covering the isolation on the back wall.

This would mean the walls were fairly lightweight to allow LF to pass through as advised in previous posts, but would it create too dead a room, or would the diffusion help on that side?

It does all depend on the costings eventually, but I just wanted to get a better idea of potential materials before I look into that side of it.
Old 27th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gecko View Post
Actually, I have a couple of quick questions about the sketch:

I know the blue lines are windows, but would the black lines be something like a drywall construction on all sides or fabric covered isolation?

I do have a couple of cases of Green Glue left over from my last room, so was thinking the outside walls of the CR could be done with a couple of sheets of drywall w/ GG, drywall facing the recording room, and then use fabric covered isolation for the control room internals, with the diffusers covering the isolation on the back wall.

This would mean the walls were fairly lightweight to allow LF to pass through as advised in previous posts, but would it create too dead a room, or would the diffusion help on that side?

It does all depend on the costings eventually, but I just wanted to get a better idea of potential materials before I look into that side of it.
First of all; I seriously recommend that you consider hire an acoustician in order to pull a project like this off. If not; prepare to do a lot of reading. But before all of this; you need to decide on a design concept. Don´t just assume that a LEDE/RFZ design is what you´ll like best just because I would, it´s just my personal preference (although shared by many since it´s one of the most common design used).

There are many many informative threads in the forum covering most of the common design concepts. I suggest that you find some of them (on relevant design, whichever it turns out to be in the end) and dig in.
Old 27th November 2012
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Cool, I understand completely what you are saying, to get a pro level design job, you need a pro to do the design and pros to implement it.

Initially I really just wanted a bit of general advice concerning the symmetry and window issues, and whether treatment alone would deal with that, but because you went down the route of offering a design concept I thought I should ask a couple of questions about that, just so I could get a better idea of what sort of construction costs that could entail.

Thanks again for the input.
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