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Acoustic Treatment for Recording Drums in My Large Space
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trubadoor
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30th December 2012
Old 30th December 2012
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Acoustic Treatment for Recording Drums in My Large Space

My live tracking space consists of a 15x15 foot laminate birch stage, 13 ft ceilings covered by insulation (shiny side down), the side walls are drywall and 17 feet apart and the room is 50 feet long. The stage is oriented at one of the 17 foot ends of this shoebox shaped space. The back wall of the stage is solid concrete.

I found a really great deal ($215) for 12 12"X36"X2" rockwul panels and want to maximize their effectiveness for drum recording in the space. Where should I put the panels?

1) Place them all on the ceiling. I've been told that the shiny side of the insulation is reflective. I'm curious about whether the ceiling is the most significant reflection point in a room this size.

2) Scatter them across the 17 ft parallel walls. But will 6 per side make an audible difference?

3) Mix it up and and put six on the ceiling and build some gobo stands for the remaining six panels to connect together and place on either side of the kit.

4) Something else?

P.S. I don't need the panels for my control room. That space is treated properly already.

Thanks! Your input and opinions are appreciated!
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30th December 2012
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Picture of the Space

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Ceiling Above Stage

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From Back of the Room

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Recordings Made in the Space

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Doing 2 or 3 is going to be the way to go. Having something moveable in a space like that is always welcomed.
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30th December 2012
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So jealous... even put up a couple of rock star stage shots to rub it in, didn't you?

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Scatter

2, your ceiling seems corrugated so it will reflect back down nicely. As the floor seems to be carpet, your decay time is probably OK. Scatter panels along the sides, alternating opposites, fibre opposite bare. This will kill flutter. You may have a slap off the back wall needing attention.

DD
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If I were to go with number 2 and scatter six panels per side, what would the scatter look like? From what I've read the idea is that no two panels should be directly adjacent to one another from wall to wall. This way your getting absorption and a fair bit of diffusion as well because the parallel(ness) of the walls is broken up.

Is this correct?
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30th December 2012
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Also, should the panels be scattered from the ground all the way up each wall, or is there a target area of greater significance to concentrate my treatment.

Remember that I only have 12 36"X12"X2" panels.
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31st December 2012
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Little

Oops didn't take note of that. As you have an apparently shiny hard stage, I would place all 12 panels there. Focussed at cymbal, speaker, and vocal height.
DD
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31st December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
2, your ceiling seems corrugated so it will reflect back down nicely. As the floor seems to be carpet, your decay time is probably OK. Scatter panels along the sides, alternating opposites, fibre opposite bare. This will kill flutter. You may have a slap off the back wall needing attention.DD
The Shiny stuff on the ceiling is insulation. I'm not sure if the beams count as a corrugated surface. I was thinking that some overhead treatment might be helpful. Would one inch acoustic panels suffice or some kind of padding?
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31st December 2012
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Condiffusion

Understood, but the shiny HF reflective layer is curved. So you will have scattered return from the ceiling but no flutter. Lively.
But the walls are bare and parallel. I would treat them first, maybe try a cloud over the drums. 12 little panels isn't a whole lot in any case.
And, in any case, an airgap behind the panels will cause them to behave somewhat like thicker panels.

Happy New Year, DD
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5th February 2013
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...so unfortunately I didn't exactly follow what anyone advised and put the panels directly across from each other. The panels are hanging a few inches off the wall and angled down at the floor. The panels are facing each other about 16 feet apart.

I feel like an idiot for not staggering them, but i'm curious about what the resulting recorded sound will be for recording drums in this space.

Here are some pictures:





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5th February 2013
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New Idea:

I have a bunch of scrap pieces of birch laminate.

Maybe I should cut out 12 reflective panels that are the same size as the absorption panels, install a 2x4 anchor below the existing panels, move half of the absorption panels to the bottom row, and stagger angled reflective panels against absorption panels opposite to them.

This might be cool.

What do you think?
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5th February 2013
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Birch

If you angle those birch sheets it would prevent flutter echo and greatly increase the complexity of reflections.
Big Reverbration Test chambers often include hanging sheets of wood for exactly this purpose. i.e. to make the sound field more diffuse.

DD
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5th February 2013
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you can build geometric Slat resonators and tune them(broadband tuneing) to the to the frequency range that cosign the problem in the room.(often low and low/mid)
And also frequency range that sounds bad for drums(if it becomes too much of it), often around 150-500hz range is a good tuneing range for slat resonators in a drum room.
The most high frequency are only related to large parallel hardwalls(flutter echo, early refections) so the most of it can be eliminated by the geometric shape of slat resonators.

Here are some examples of slat resonators Wall Units
Another example of a geometric shape http://www.johnlsayers.com/pgalleryCouch-and-Axes.jpg
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5th February 2013
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Thanks you guys.

Should the slant of these resonators point to the floor like the already installed absorbers or should they point at the back concrete wall, or to the room? Also, is it necessary that these reflective surfaces have insulation behind them as the above link suggests? I'm not sure I want the reflective surfaces to absorb as well as reflect.
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7th February 2013
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Here's the plan for the slanted reflector install:

I've got enough 1/4" to 1/2" thick birch laminate sheets to build 4X 3'x2' slants that rise up to 2"in the center and thus slant to front and back wall.

I was thinking of using 2x4 scrap to mount the reflectors to the wall.

The slanted wood will be hollow. No insulation behind the wood.

Is this an effective design? Is there anything else I should know? I have no idea how to tune these things.
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8th February 2013
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you want insulation inside to dampen the cavity and extend the Q of the units. the slat openings dictate the operating range of the units. if you're not making sealed units and they're simply reflectors, i've still put insulation behind them to provide absorption of lower mids and LF.
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Mixed

glenn's advice is sound of course, if you want absorption.
I frequently use full sheets of 8x4 leaning against the wall when recording drums. It is a treatment that can be slid in an out to adapt a domestic room to drum recording. I also include space arrays and couplers.

The wood prevents flutter echoes, but it does resonate. Quite a bit. But I like it. It adds a nice woody warm low mid tone.

Bit mad I know but there you go, it's drums.

DD
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8th February 2013
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I already have plenty of rockwul 2" absorption on the side walls. I was hoping to break up the walls that the scattered absorption panels are facing.

Non insulated reflectors seem like the best option to keep the walls lively without deadening them.

So long as there isn't some unwanted side effect of leaving the reflectors uninsulated, I think I'm going to go with the above plan.
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ok, if you already have enough absorption then your approach should help retain some of the HF and mid energy.
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8th February 2013
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No worries

I don't see a problem. My boards ring quite a lot, which I like, because they are not anchored in any way. Your will probably not ring much or at all due to mounting and the absorption behind. I would try to max the angles within reason.
DD
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