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New Studio - COncrete Basement Room
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simpsongb
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#1
31st January 2013
Old 31st January 2013
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New Studio - COncrete Basement Room

Greetings!

Let me start by saying I hope that I do not break all of the forum rules in a single post.... :P

I have a room in my basement that has 3 concrete walls and a fourth wall that is just framed with studs. The ceiling is 26" deep floor joists, awaiting insulation. The room is 11 feet by 14 feet and the ceiling is 8 feet tall. There are no neighbors nearby, as I live in the country on a 2-acre lot. I play acoustic guitar and banjo and have two primary intentions for this space:
1. I want to use part of the room as a mixing area
2. I want to use part of the room as a recording space, primarily acoustic instruments and vocals


New Studio - COncrete Basement Room-newstudio.jpg



I am envisioning the following:
1. I will paint the walls white to seal them, and then construct 2x4 broadband absorbtion panels using OC703. The panels will be placed staggered across from each other on facing "side" walls, particularly in the recording end of the room. I am hoping that I can retain some of the crisp live feel that the concrete imparts, while taming using the panels.
2. Leaving the concrete floor concrete and painting that is also something I think will work well.
3. The ceiling will need a "cloud" in the center, and I plan to install about 2 feet of wall board (sheet rock) around the edge of the ceiling, within which I will place lighting.
4. The mixing end of the room will have a small area rug on the concrete floor. At this end I am thinking of building angled walls to reflect the monitor sound back into the live space.
5. From everything I have read, this room is too small to gain much benefit from bass trapping.

So these are my thoughts, "cloud" in the ceiling, concrete floor, concrete walls with panels staggered to reduce reflections, but allow the liveness of the concrete to still be present. Am I crazy??? What am I missing???
#2
31st January 2013
Old 31st January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simpsongb View Post
5. From everything I have read, this room is too small to gain much benefit from bass trapping.
Actually, I would extensively bass trap this room. Smaller rooms need proportionally more. Even acoustic guitar has sufficient low end to excite room modes, especially if you play it back at moderately high levels.

I'd recommend getting baseline measurements before you treat the room.

Before posting your measurement results

Which wall in the drawing is the stud wall? You could build excellent bass trapping into the ceiling joist space, by the way, sort of an internal soffit. To keep the live sound you can always over-trap, then add slats until the balance is right. I prefer wood over concrete for reflection.
simpsongb
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31st January 2013
Old 31st January 2013
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The wall at the bottom of the drawing, behind the desk, is the stud wall. I suspect there may be some controversy around bass trapping small rooms, but I have read a bunch, and Ethan Winer's staements here:

For rooms smaller than 25 by 15 feet you'll do better with broadband bass traps made from thick rigid fiberglass placed in the room corners. Small rooms have peaks and nulls at all frequencies, so broadband absorption straddling corners is better than the tuned traps shown in this article. This is described in my Acoustics FAQ linked above. Once all of the corners are treated, then it makes sense to consider adding bass traps like these flat on the walls.

...seem to suggest that tuning bass traps is very difficult if not impossible in small rooms...one of the flaws of the small room I think.

Thoughts???
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31st January 2013
Old 31st January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simpsongb View Post
The wall at the bottom of the drawing, behind the desk, is the stud wall. I suspect there may be some controversy around bass trapping small rooms, but I have read a bunch, and Ethan Winer's staements here:

For rooms smaller than 25 by 15 feet you'll do better with broadband bass traps made from thick rigid fiberglass placed in the room corners. Small rooms have peaks and nulls at all frequencies, so broadband absorption straddling corners is better than the tuned traps shown in this article. This is described in my Acoustics FAQ linked above. Once all of the corners are treated, then it makes sense to consider adding bass traps like these flat on the walls.

...seem to suggest that tuning bass traps is very difficult if not impossible in small rooms...one of the flaws of the small room I think.
Bolding is by me. An ongoing problem and I am guilty of it as others, is using the "phrase traps" to describe full range absorbers that extend into the bass area.

In your situation, you need full range absorption. More that what would be required for a larger room.

Enjoy!

A full trapper,
Andre
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Last edited by avare; 4th February 2013 at 02:26 PM.. Reason: Corrected typing error.
#5
31st January 2013
Old 31st January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simpsongb View Post
The wall at the bottom of the drawing, behind the desk, is the stud wall.
That's good, actually. Relative to the other concrete walls, the stud wall will pass more low frequency and in my experience, it's better for that to be on the front or back walls as opposed to a side wall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by simpsongb View Post
I suspect there may be some controversy around bass trapping small rooms, but I have read a bunch, and Ethan Winer's staements here:

For rooms smaller than 25 by 15 feet you'll do better with broadband bass traps made from thick rigid fiberglass placed in the room corners. Small rooms have peaks and nulls at all frequencies, so broadband absorption straddling corners is better than the tuned traps shown in this article. This is described in my Acoustics FAQ linked above. Once all of the corners are treated, then it makes sense to consider adding bass traps like these flat on the walls.

...seem to suggest that tuning bass traps is very difficult if not impossible in small rooms...one of the flaws of the small room I think.

Thoughts???
Your OP used "bass trapping" generically and above you are talking about tuned bass traps. Thus I responded in the generic sense because one of the major treatment issues in small rooms is the need for a large quantity of low frequency trapping capacity. In my opinion, you're never going wrong in a small room to have lots of broadband trapping and that includes larger volume traps in the corners - which will trap low frequencies. But with regards to tuned vs. broadband, the decision-making process is unique to each room. Tuned traps have been used effectively but the process to get to that point can be involved and may require reiteration. And don't ignore that the bread and butter of Ethan's business is broadband trapping so I wouldn't expect him to be making a plug for a tuned bass trap.
#6
31st January 2013
Old 31st January 2013
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Quote:
Let me start by saying I hope that I do not break all of the forum rules in a single post.... :P
Quote:
and banjo




All kidding aside you want to straddle as many broadband bass !!!!TRAPS!!! in as many corners as possible. To keep some upper energy in the room you can use a slat design on the front to help scatter/diffuse upper frequencies. Also you can use tuned !!!!TRAPS!!! that will also help.
Just a view things to help you understand set up, small room acoustics and different kind of trapping.
http://gikacoustics.com/the-basics-b...fusion-panels/
http://gikacoustics.com/video_bass-traps/
http://gikacoustics.com/understandin...bass-trapping/
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Built in Slat design (Scattering/Diffusion) on all Bass Traps click here
simpsongb
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31st January 2013
Old 31st January 2013
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Syncamorea, avare....Glenn......thanks!......

It is nigh onto impossible to insult a banjo player.....

It seems to me that "heavier" broadband panels (4" thick for example) placed at an angle, or stacks of insulation rolls, in the corners, could go a long way towards reducing the nulls in the low end response in the room.....

I do recognize that along with preferences, there are also commercial concerns mixed in the suggestions. But I am fine with that, as long as the suggestion has some rationale to back it up......
simpsongb
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1st February 2013
Old 1st February 2013
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Updated sketch. I am showing 4" traps in the four corners of the room. Should these be 8' high? Or can they be 4' high and placed at the 2'-6' height?? Then the remainder of the panels are 2" 2x4' panels. The rounded rectangle is a cloud above the mixing and the recording positions...

Does this make sense?? Is this too much on the walls?? Too little in the corners?? What say those of you as this to start with, or am I over-engineering????
New Studio - COncrete Basement Room-newstudio-2.jpg
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2nd February 2013
Old 2nd February 2013
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Looks reasonable. You can always add slats if you need to bring mids and highs back. You probably won't over trap the LF in that room.
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3rd February 2013
Old 3rd February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syncamorea View Post
Looks reasonable. You can always add slats if you need to bring mids and highs back. You probably won't over trap the LF in that room.
Plus one.

Quote:
Should these be 8' high?
Yes the more corner area you cover the better the response on the low end.
Bass Traps and Understanding Low Frequencies - GIK Acoustics
simpsongb
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4th February 2013
Old 4th February 2013
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Thanks Glenn
Thanks Syncamorea

My biggest concern here is not creating a dead room. The cloud, the panels, all combined, seem to cover a substantial amount of the wall and ceiling surface. I presume that was why Syncamorea suggested slats, to add some reflection back in...BUT....about the only places where I could see adding slats (because of early reflection concerns) might be in the live area on the left, rather than using the two panels......

I have done some reading on slats...they do seem a bit complex to do....although it would seem to me that for recording acoustic guitar, simply reducing the amount of broadband absorption on the walls in the liver area and leaving the floor hard may produce a lovely live sound. Perhaps I could craft some panels for that area that are 1x4 rather than 2x4 and place them less generously....???

Lastly, I am planning on buying am area run. perhaps 8x10, and placing the mix position on it...and roll it up away from the live area when tracking...put it back down when tracking...

I do love the wealth of knowledge over here.....
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14th February 2013
Old 14th February 2013
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So in my garage I have 3 cases of Rockboard 60 (Thank you ATS). I plan to build 4 4" 2x4 panels and 8 2" 2x4 panels. Then I plan to place the 4" panels in the four corners of the room and use the remaining 8 for refflection points, as shown roughly in my drawing. A couple of questions:

1. I am concerned that the 4" traps may suck too much mid and high out of the room, since I want to do recording in the top end of the room. So I am thinking that for the bass traps in that end of the room I will face them with pastic to reflect the mids and highs back, while helping with the bass.????

2. WHile I know that the preferred approach is to treat the corner floor to ceiling, I really do not have enough $$$ for enough panels to do so. I am wondering if the 2x4 trap will be more effective on the floor, or at the 2'-6' level???

3. The 2" panels will go against walls, to help with reflectiuon and flutter echoes. Can they be flat against the wall for this purpose, or should they still be 2" away???

4. Does anyone have any good ideas for attaching/hanging in a concrete room....I do think I may just make some sort of "hangers" that suspend all the way from the floor joists overhead. Has anyone ever built stands for the panels????

5. For the cloud, I plan to fill the 26" floor joists with insulation, and then cover that with some sort of fabric. I have seen some suggestions that this may deaden the room too much, but with 3 concrete walls and a cocrete floor, do you think so???? I supposse I could always build it this way, and if it feels too dead, then add some refrelction around the edges of the ceiling....

All in all, getting pretty excited here. I am planning on framing the Rockboard, and wrappiig in burlap. My wife is a quilter/sewer and knows fabric stuff really well, so I expect these will end up looking quite nice.

Now to research paniting and staining concrete.......

And to get pricing on insulation for the 26" floor joists overhead - should be a nice soft cloud.....

THANKS!
simpsongb
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29th April 2013
Old 29th April 2013
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Fini!! or almost.....I do have a closet door to add and put the corner trap back in the corner, and a main door to add also. The corner traps are 4" Rockboard 60...2x4 feet.....the remaining panels are also 2x4, but only 2" thick....the mix end of the room sounds very tight to me. The panning is easily heard, the instruments separate nicely, vox also. Meanwhile the "live" end of the room has less paneling, and has a "brighter" sound...I know, it is all subjective....but I have no omni mic to run testing with REW....ceiling is 26" joists with faced insulation, facing dow to protote brightness in the live end, and then covered with fabric.........

Wanted to send pics ..............THANKS to all for the advice......

New Studio - COncrete Basement Room-dsc04978.jpg
New Studio - COncrete Basement Room-dsc04981.jpg
New Studio - COncrete Basement Room-dsc04982-small.jpg
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