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Sound Treatment Advice for 9'x11' Recording Room
Old 14th November 2015
  #1
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Sound Treatment Advice for 9'x11' Recording Room

Background on my project: I’m just about done with a jam room build (playing rock and funk with acoustic drums, guitar, bass, vocals, around 90dB), in a free standing 1 car garage (converted into a room), which measures 12 feet wide x 15 feet long x 9 feet high (a few inches shorter at one end due to slanted floor). I have two layers of 5/8” drywall with Green Glue in between them on all walls and the ceiling. The garage has a concrete slab floor, which is slightly slanted. There is a standard side door and a sliding window (with a second sliding window doubled up 4" away). There will be 2 rugs on the floor per the attached images.

I've attached Sketchup screenshots of my setup, and gear placement (drums on one side, guitar, bass and vocal amps on the other side), as well as my non-scientific attempt at sound panel placement. The panels on the walls and ceiling would be 24"x48"x2", and the corner bass traps would be 24"x48"x4".

I didn't place any panels over the guitar/vocal amps because I have an attic fold-down stair access in that area, and lights on either side.

I've read way too many GS threads on this subject, and for small rooms like mine, the motto seems to be: add as much deadening as possible, since small rooms don't have too much ambience. However, my budget has been depleted with the build thus far, so I don't have a ton of money left to fill every nook with sound panels.

Can you guys give me some feedback on whether this sound panel layout will give me a reasonably flat/tight recording room? This is not a professional recording studio, but I would like to get reasonably good mixes for my friends.

Is there anything else I should watch out for? I had a similar drum/guitar amp layout at my previous music space, which had carpet on the floor, the ceiling and back wall covered with a softish fiber- type acoustic board. The sound was actually not horrible there.

I appreciate all feedback, thanks!
Attached Thumbnails
Sound Treatment Advice for 9'x11' Recording Room-top.jpg   Sound Treatment Advice for 9'x11' Recording Room-top-ceiling.jpg   Sound Treatment Advice for 9'x11' Recording Room-north.jpg   Sound Treatment Advice for 9'x11' Recording Room-north-2.jpg   Sound Treatment Advice for 9'x11' Recording Room-south.jpg  

Old 16th November 2015
  #2
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Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Yes, that looks excellent.

--Ethan
Old 16th November 2015
  #3
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Great, thank you Ethan (by the way I've been watching your sound treatment videos on YouTube; very helpful, thanks)!
Old 17th November 2015
  #4
nms
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This room will be a mess in the low end and very far from flat. You need decent bass trapping in here if you wish to impact the room's low frequency issues at all. A double layer of drywall means more severe room modes. I would not recommend under any circumstances using panels which contain less than 4" of absorption depth in here. And thick corner traps floor to ceiling in all corners will be crucial.
Old 17th November 2015
  #5
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Hi nms,

Thanks for the suggestion- I have heard that for small rooms you want as much absorption as possible. 6" traps in the corners floor to ceiling, and 4" absorbers on all walls/clouds ... that is a lot of absorption!

In terms of mounting the corner bass traps, I have a slightly odd situation to workaround: there is a 6 inch tall by 1 inch wide section of concrete footing on 3 sides of the room, which sticks out into the room.

Seems like I'd need to custom cut a notch out of the sides of the bottom bass traps to straddle this protrusion (so the trap sides would contact the wall). Or would it be ok to mount the bass traps above this protrusion, or in front of it?

Photos attached (they got rotated by the forum upload- they should be rotated 90 degrees so that the grey is the ground)).
Attached Thumbnails
Sound Treatment Advice for 9'x11' Recording Room-corner-1.jpg   Sound Treatment Advice for 9'x11' Recording Room-corner-2.jpg  
Old 17th November 2015
  #6
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Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
You need decent bass trapping in here
Agreed, I typed too fast.

The basic treatment looks good, but this room needs more corner bass traps, and the wall-ceiling corners are good after doing the wall-wall corners from floor to ceiling.

--Ethan
Old 18th November 2015
  #7
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Thanks Ethan.

In my updated design (attached) I've added floor to ceiling bass traps in all corners, and sounds like you'd recommend adding ceiling to wall bass traps after that, eh?

Side question: currently my design is at 18 panels, which will be around $1,000 (if I go with a vendor like GIK). If I were to do half of the treatment now, see how it sounds, then add on from there; which 10 panels would you guys suggest I start with?

Thank you, guys!
Attached Thumbnails
Sound Treatment Advice for 9'x11' Recording Room-top.jpg   Sound Treatment Advice for 9'x11' Recording Room-north.jpg   Sound Treatment Advice for 9'x11' Recording Room-south.jpg  
Old 18th November 2015
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
Most of my posts here these days are to guide people away from wasting time & money on ineffective solutions which barely scratch the surface of what you can do to improve a room. It's not cheap, but things which make that great a difference seldom are!

Plan wisely with the big picture in mind.
Thanks nms. "Buy nice or buy twice" ... that's a very true adage.

Regarding the soffit and corner bass traps: due to the concrete foundation that's sticking into the room (photos in my post from yesterday), these traps wouldn't be contacting both sides of the wall- they'd be about 1" from the wall. I understand that having space between a trap and the wall increases low-end absorption, but would that be the case with the soffit and corner bass trap design as well? Or would I be better served to install these above the foundation in order to get them contacting with the walls (though in this case there'd be a gap/lack of treatment in the floor/walls corner)?
Old 18th November 2015
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBigBurrito View Post
Or would I be better served to install these above the foundation in order to get them contacting with the walls (though in this case I wouldn't be treating the floor/walls corner)?
I don't think that you will see much of a difference in room response, if the traps are 1" off the floor.

Aesthetically you might want to shim up the other side so that it's level.
Old 18th November 2015
  #10
JWL
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Yeah, exact placement of each trap isn't hugely important. It's mostly about having enough quality traps in the room. All else being equal, the thicker the absorber the better the low frequency performance.
Old 18th November 2015
  #11
nms
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Yes, you missed my comment but the 1" thick trim is no problem at all. Most rooms have some sort of trim causing this.
Old 19th November 2015
  #12
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Thanks for the input everyone, very helpful.

I've reached out to GIK and will post my final treatment setup plan here before purchasing.
Old 3rd December 2015
  #13
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Where in So Cal are you? Ive been building really nice frameless panels and Id love to help you out if you're interested. I outfitted a room at my rehearsal studio with very similar room dimensions and got great sounding results. You can even try out the room yourself if you'd like. Attached is a progress pic of the room before basstraps went in. Also attached is a pic of the bass traps I build sitting op top of a auralex pro panel for comparison, these particular examples are 4" thick, 2'x2', frameless, and beveled on both sides for flush corner straddling. I can do 2'x4'x4" thick as well, no problem. Let me know
Attached Thumbnails
Sound Treatment Advice for 9'x11' Recording Room-img_4396.jpg   Sound Treatment Advice for 9'x11' Recording Room-img_4363.jpg  
Old 29th January 2020
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBigBurrito View Post
Thanks for the input everyone, very helpful.

I've reached out to GIK and will post my final treatment setup plan here before purchasing.

Did this solution work for you in the end?

I have a room similar to yours. Im building my own panels with rockwool 6cm thick boards. So far I put in 4 boards of 1m x 60cm and very little difference can be heard so I guess I really need to cover my room.
Old 30th January 2020
  #15
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Hi there, I ended up going with a similar setup to the 3D diagram, with the following revisions:

- On the North wall, I went with 4 of the GiK 4'x4'x4" 4A Alpha Panel Diffusor/Absorbers, and a single 2'x4'x4" panel.
- On the South wall, I have a single 2'x4'x4" panel
- no panels on the roof above my kit

My room has 2 layers of 5/8" drywall with Green Glue in between the layers, and denim insulation.

So, did it work for me? Yes ... I'm very happy with the recording sound in my room. It's a small room, so bass is still not ideal (even with the 6" thick corner absorbers floor to ceiling), but when recording it sounds fine, or at least good enough for my amateur recording/jamming needs.

I'll try to post some photos of the finished room tonight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by berex View Post
Did this solution work for you in the end?

I have a room similar to yours. Im building my own panels with rockwool 6cm thick boards. So far I put in 4 boards of 1m x 60cm and very little difference can be heard so I guess I really need to cover my room.
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