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Skyline diffusers and more for my living room- advice please Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 8th September 2007
  #1
Question Skyline diffusers and more for my living room- advice please

Hi folks,
This is my living room:
ImageShack - Hosting :: livingroomsketchak4.jpg
ImageShack - Hosting :: livingroomphotofv5.jpg

The only treatment I have are 9 portable glasswool 5cm thick absorving panels, and 13 half tube absorvers with wooden back, and they are rotated so what ain't absorved is reflected (dare I say diffused? naaaa.....) to another direction. I found the material on the street, and being poor, I just did the panels with that cheap stuff- yes is tames the highs mostly. I finished sound engineering school and I am aware of frequency dependant NRC and diffusion. We've learned about the skyline and other diffusers. However, It's still hard to put things into practice, so your advice needed.

Look at my workstation and the distance from the back wall, which is actually a never-opened window (sort of), so I covered it with the half-tubes. At current state, running a sine wave at listening levels sometimes causes small vibrations to little things on my desk, just because there are a lot of things there (-: The window never vibrate, the glass is a coarse one by the way, maybe it helps diffusion a bit, from the exposed surfaces, and it's heavier then normal glass.

BUDGET: very small.
DIY ABILITIES: good.
CURRENT POOR MAN'S INVERNTORY: 2 thick blankets, a few pillows and wool blankets.
WILLING TO CHANGE: I don't have a life so I am willing to do whatever is good for my profession. Walls, ceiling, everything. I don't care about the isolation, I can record at quiet hours. However, I still work in a studio (sort of) so remember that I want good results, not world class, critical conditions. The things you see in the right side of the picture will go- the computer, table and will be left empty, as well as anything in the middle of the room, like the 1 man sofa.
Please note that the black area on the bottom of the sketch (where the shot was taken from) is the corridor, and is only seperated from the living room by a thick, double folded theater fabric.

My goals, in this order:

1.In the "lower" side of the living room should enable me to record overdubs. Wheather if it's congas, upright, acoustic guitar etc. I would like to create a more live sounding portion in that area in which room mics won't shame me but make me proud. The table under the small window on the right side of the picture might go.
I want a present, clear midrange that will cut through the mix. I hate veil.

There are several things I could do on my own, but the first thing I'm thinking of is the Skyline diffuser, made of styrofoam.
http://www.bobgolds.com/DifuserKgveteran/home.htm
I have the Acoustic Calculator software.
Acoustic Calculator 1.3

Off coarse I can look at the figures of the size vs. bandwidth all day but experience is needed now, not numbers, and someone that can say: "this is too big and is actually an overkill", and "you should do fine with that no worries". Maybe two sizes of diffusers for different areas or mixed in the same area.

2. I take my portable recording rig to record projects on different locations. Just the same as I can use the acoustical properties of my current panels for certain goals, whatever I make would be best if it could serve for that purpose as well. What sound blockage can I expect (efficiency and frequency-wise) with using the styrofoam diffusers? The current glasswool panels are quite effective, by the way, but of coarse I wouldn't use them to "enhance" the sound of many things...

3. A reasonably neutral mixing environment. I mix on low levels from a pair of Genelec 1029A, and might add a sub later. However, it's just an option. For now, the frequency response measures good and I'm very pleased with how revealing the Gennies are at the current state. However, it's not saying that the panels are as good as it can get for my application. The Gennies have very little response under 70Hz BTW.

Sonex is too expensive, although attractive. The "Rockwool" in Israel is actually a cheaper, less efficient version then the one familiar to you, but it's a standart and maybe should do the drick for lowering the RT60 to a reasonable level around the mixing station, as the sound is quite nice for now.

I'm thinking that maybe it would be wize to absorve the whole ceiling, and not diffuse the "live" portion of it, because if I would like to record 2 instruments together, and seperate them with panels, the panels won't go as high as the ceiling of coarse, so I need the least refections from there.

I am willing to do something that will change the angle a bit on the ceiling in order to eliminate one parallel surface, like putting slightly angled pannels on it.


I can go on forever but now it's time for some of your thoughts and ideas.
Thanks guys!

Adam
Old 8th September 2007
  #2
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamZuf View Post
I can go on forever but now it's time for some of your thoughts and ideas.
Adam, I think your room is a bit too small for diffusion. Maybe you'd benefit from some on the rear wall behind you when mixing. But the side walls are too close for diffusion. Also, if you do make diffusors, use wood instead of styrofoam. It will last longer and not break the first time someone bumps into them.

--Ethan
Old 9th September 2007
  #3
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Rockwool is excellent although nastier to work with than fiberglass. It can be had in a variety of densities. Rigid fiberglass industrial furnace insulation works very well too and is lots less expensive than the stuff marked "acoustical" which I learned to avoid the added expense of years ago.
Old 9th September 2007
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Rigid fiberglass industrial furnace insulation works very well.
Can you please post a link for that, so I'll see how it differs from what I know?
From what I've learned, fiberglass has a very non inear NRC graph, which is more efficient as you go up the frequency,so it doesn't sound alive. What are your thoughts about that, regarding the stuff that you're talking about?

Thanks
Adam
Old 9th September 2007
  #5
Here is what I'm thinking for now:
ImageShack - Hosting :: livingroomwithtreatmentqg4.jpg

Blue is Rockwool (you can see how 120cm wide panels go along the width of the ceiling, sectioned by wood, probably), Orange is diffuser. Maybe because the dimentions are not multiples of 60cm, I'll make different sizes of diffusers.

Still thinking if I should give the ceiling an angle, if so, I guess a wooden back for the Rockwool is needed, right?

Thanks
Adam
Old 9th September 2007
  #6
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

All insulation absorbs more as the frequency rises. Covering it with pegboard helps a lot with this problem.
Old 10th September 2007
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
All insulation absorbs more as the frequency rises. Covering it with pegboard helps a lot with this problem.
Indeed, but it's better to use a more NRC linear material in order to use less of the pegboard if we want the absorbtion to be as efficient as possible and keep the RT60 short.

Adam
Old 10th September 2007
  #8
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamZuf View Post
Indeed, but it's better to use a more NRC linear material in order to use less of the pegboard if we want the absorbtion to be as efficient as possible and keep the RT60 short.

Adam

FRK will work pretty well for this.

Glenn
Old 10th September 2007
  #9
Gear Nut
 

I think the skylines could actually help your room quite a bit. I would put them on the back wall as Ethan suggested. And, even though your room width is pretty tight, I would put them on the side walls in the back around the conga. None in the front 1/3 of the room, though.

If you do make the skylines, you really want a more dense material than the foam from the hardware store. Wood is great, of course. But you can also get more dense foam. You will want the metric equivalent of 2 pcf. An EPS molder will have that and usually will sell small quantities. EPS molders make large blocks of foam for freeway underlays, insulation and other architectural purposes. It is easily cut into sheets.

If you don't like the sound of the skyline on the wall immediately to the side, you can put absorbers there and the diffusers on either side of these absorbers - that will still give you some ambiance.

Jason
Old 10th September 2007
  #10
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
All insulation absorbs more as the frequency rises. Covering it with pegboard helps a lot with this problem.
Just to be technically precise, absorbing material absorbs less as the frequency lowers. That is, it absorbs 100 percent at some frequency and above, but falls off at lower frequencies. Sort of like the difference between a high-pass filter and a low pass filter. But I knew what you meant, Bob. heh

--Ethan
Old 10th September 2007
  #11
Gear Head
 
Nick_1234's Avatar
 

This is really interesting. I would like to ask a question without interuppting this thread.

What is a good general acoustical set up for any room, I mean should I at least make some to throw up on to the wall behinf the desk, and maybe the back wall?

Acoustics are really my downfall.

Respect.
Old 10th September 2007
  #12
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick_1234 View Post
This is really interesting. I would like to ask a question without interuppting this thread.

What is a good general acoustical set up for any room, I mean should I at least make some to throw up on to the wall behinf the desk, and maybe the back wall?

Acoustics are really my downfall.

Respect.
Every room is going to be a little different in the set up, but in general you want:

- As much bass control in the corners as possible
- Panels for the early reflections. (ceiling, side walls and back wall)
- Diffusion to help with flutter echo and to give the room a "bigger feel"

Glenn

Last edited by Glenn Kuras; 10th September 2007 at 08:12 PM.. Reason: my spelling sucks
Old 10th September 2007
  #13
Gear Head
 
Nick_1234's Avatar
 

Glenn

Thanks a lot man, I am gonna make a note of that and start a DIY project to aquire these things

Respect.
Old 11th September 2007
  #14
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

By far the most common mistake is to use too much absorption.

My experience has been that early reflections that have a flat response are pretty important. This is dictated by both the surface and the dispersion of the speakers. An interesting approach is to actually compensate the off-axis response using the early reflection treatment. You don't get the pinpoint imaging from absorbing the early reflections but you do get better tonal translation which I think is far more important to monitoring and translation.
Old 11th September 2007
  #15
Gear Addict
 
SpiderM69's Avatar
 

Hopefully I'm not saying something stupid by not reading the whole thread first, but shouldn't you be careful using diffusers in small rooms? In doing prior research, I read that they're really more applicable to larger rooms, and can actually introduce problems in smaller rooms.

IME, bass trapping, bass trapping, bass trapping.
Old 11th September 2007
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Jones View Post
I think the skylines could actually help your room quite a bit. I would put them on the back wall as Ethan suggested. And, even though your room width is pretty tight, I would put them on the side walls in the back around the conga. None in the front 1/3 of the room, though.

Jason
Yup, exactly how I figured it out, didn't you see the see the link on my third post?

Well, I've changed the way I'm going to apply the rockwool.
The panels are going to be made the same as the glasswool pales you see on the photo. portable, both sides covered with carpet. It will be the cheapest way of doing it, just handing them down from the ceiling, instead of doing it like a traditional office-like acoustic ceiling (of glasswool usualy) with a metal frame going along the walls and between them, creating a net. This will also enable me to angle the panels just by changing the wire's length (hopefully yhr sngling will help, maybe the two panels above the desk will have a pegboard back). I can also start doing the panels and see if I reach a good point in which there's no need of more.

On the walls I'm going to add about 5cm deep of wooden sticks (vertically) with.... arrrr darn how's it called in english.. one side coarse to go on the sticks, and it attached to the other, soft side that goes on the panels... I hate not knowing these little things in foreign language..

So, all panels will have reasonable amount of air between them and the wall behind them, so they will be more efficient...
Old 11th September 2007
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiderM69 View Post
Hopefully I'm not saying something stupid by not reading the whole thread first, but shouldn't you be careful using diffusers in small rooms? In doing prior research, I read that they're really more applicable to larger rooms, and can actually introduce problems in smaller rooms.

IME, bass trapping, bass trapping, bass trapping.
Yes but it's the more neglectable (for mixing), 420 wide part of the room, and I think that 567cm from the big window to that back wall with diffusers ain't exactly small. And as I said, I'm pleased with the situation as it is (the monitors sound superb and precise, no bass problms with their small extension), It's more important for me to add the diffusers but I thought what the heck, let's do it right.

I'll get to bass trapping later. Will probably replace some of the half tubes. I can also do something on the ceiling... It will be easy if there will be a need for it.
Old 11th September 2007
  #18
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
By far the mist common mistake is to use too much absorption.

.
I totally agree, yes you do need to control some of the flutter echo in the room, but really what you need to address is bass trapping and first reflections.

Glenn
Old 11th September 2007
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
All insulation absorbs more as the frequency rises. Covering it with pegboard helps a lot with this problem.

By far the mist common mistake is to use too much absorption.
Quote:
My experience has been that early reflections that have a flat response are pretty important. This is dictated by both the surface and the dispersion of the speakers. An interesting approach is to actually compensate the off-axis response using the early reflection treatment. You don't get the pinpoint imaging from absorbing the early reflections but you do get better tonal translation which I think is far more important to monitoring and translation.
Do you think that the current plan (back wall and side walls of the rear portion covered with diffusers, desk portion all with rockwool) is good?

What do you suggest for the early reflections panels? using pegboard? I never seen someone doing it, but I agree that linear off-axis is important, I also read it in Linkwitz article of the orion and as we all know... he is the man!
Should I measure the current off axis response with a tight cardiod? (the AKG CK**** has a linear off axis response), and see where I'm heading, or is there a generalized way of complementing off axis response which is adaquate enough for optimal result?
Old 11th September 2007
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by myfipie View Post
FRK will work pretty well for this.

Glenn
FRK?
Old 11th September 2007
  #21
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
It is facing that you find on 703 or 705. It will reject some of the highs in the room and act as a membrane which will help absorb more low end.

Glenn

edit... this is good for bass trapping but not good for early reflections.
Old 16th September 2007
  #22
Materials/objects in the mixing environment that "act like a membrane" are sometimes refered as good, as they absorve the vibration, like what you've saidabout the 703/705, and sometimes asbad, as they act as a second sound source. Well of coarse I can hear that a vibrating glass window is a bad thing, but probably there's a grey area... Can anyone explain?

And about the skyline diffusers, it's time to decide frequency coverage/dimentions... advice please!

Thanks
Adam
Old 17th September 2007
  #23
ImageShack - Hosting :: livingroomwithtreatmentsj4.jpg
Here is the current design development. You can find a color legend on the bottom this time. The "front" view has only what it takes to understand everything else.
I took the "bass traps, bass traps, bass traps" suggestion seriously this time... But one clarification, is it ok that the trap ain't sealed?

What do you guys think about the way the panel types are spread across the room?
Old 18th September 2007
  #24
Help?

This is the stuff available here in Israel:
http://www.paz-insulation.co.il/images/acus_h.jpg
The pink line is the most dense 2.5cm thick panel with no frk, 7cm from the wall. Mine will be at least that, probably 10 for the most. I think I'll use that for all the panels, as it is available with backing (forth traps). That way, lots of panels will be portable, as they will be very thin, and I can probably carry about 15 in the back seat of my car.
Going to 5cm thick panel will averagely raise NRC by %5 (the chart looks at 1 NRC as %100), and cost around double.
Is it a good descision?

The backing is quite expensive. If a bare panel cost $5, one with backing cost $8. the difference adds up to about $50. Is there a cheaper, but durable alternative? (maybe appling contact glue on one side or something)
Old 18th September 2007
  #25
Lives for gear
 

Just to carry on the reflection/response portion...

Unfortunately, the side wall reflections are almost never of the same frequency response as the direct sound. As you go farther and farther off axis, you get serious anomolies in the upper mids and highs. This is part of why we absorb them.

Bryan
Old 20th September 2007
  #26
Help, someone? I would like to get this thing going.

Adam
Old 26th September 2007
  #27
Come on guys...
Old 10th October 2007
  #28
I'm afraid to over absorve. On the one hand I know that the RT60 will not be as low as it's "supposed to be", on the other hand The monitors are clear and translate well, and as I probably mentioned, they are less then 1m away and I work at low levels, sometimes medium, so I guess the room reacts less and there's less a need to lower the RT60. It's hard to decide how to do this thing, come on guys help me out. Do you think that the 2.5cm thick material is good enough to use? I can also use cardboard I often find in the streets (many people buy refrigirators and big LCD's these days) instead of FRK, that will make this project considerably less expensive.
The 2.5cm stuff comes in 11 rigid panel bags. Considering that I also have a wood frame line along the middle of a panel, which gives a little spare from each panel I make, I would say that we can look at it as bags of 12 panels at least.
Maybe I should make 8 panels with cardboard backing as bass traps, another 4 without and try to see how it works out with the other panels I've got, for a start. Maybe then I'll know better how to continue.
Old 21st October 2007
  #29
Copied from another thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
I still think you'll do better with broadband absorption because it will hit that frequency, and also give you even more bass trapping at other frequencies. And extra bass trapping is always welcome.

--Ethan
I just discussed this today with my acoustics teacher and he said that the more broadband the Helmholtz resonator, the less it is efficient in the center frequency I'll try to target. Do you agree?

Here are a few measurements I made after absorbing first reflections on walls... The results are quite similar with sweeps or steps, these are the step measurements:



My Genelec 1029A where I sit:
ImageShack - Hosting :: genelec1029aworkareakk4.jpg

Selah Audio's Carnelian where I sit:
ImageShack - Hosting :: carnelianworkareamj2.jpg


Selah Audio's Carnelian at about 2.5m:
ImageShack - Hosting :: carnelianclientlisteninaf5.jpg

The main trap I'm considering is for where I sit, tuned for 75Hz, and another tuned for 62Hz, hopefully both will affect the peaks/nulls at the harmonics. I'll also cover most of the area around me with Rockwool like material (see below), which will be spaced 10cm from the wall (that's for sure for the side walls), creating a kinda linear NRC around 0.9 down to ~250Hz, according to manufacturer (the panels I've used for measurements were the old ones I made from fivex 1cm thick fiberglass boards, spaced from walls not in a very consistant manner :-) but I think it's good enough to know where the problems are...

My current plan my mixing studio (21.10.2007):


ImageShack - Hosting :: mystudioplan21102007vw7.jpg

RED: bass traps, maybe with some diffusion elements
PURPLE: absorbers, spaced 10cm
BLUE: Skyline like diffusers

The big green boxes are the desk and monitors (ignore the green box on the left). The wall behind them is actually a window, and I wish I could make something that can move easily on a curtain rail so I also get some air inside from time to time...Probably it would be wize to make bass traps and first reflection absorbers on that wall, but I can't apply them on the corners of it. I do have my mains behind the desk (mounted on big PA horn subwoofers I don't use.. wonder if they make some difference...), but still got about 50cm space from behind them to the window.

There is also the wall I've hiden in order for you to see, here is a render with the treatment:
ImageShack - Hosting :: mystudioplan21102007reall7.jpg

The sofa (where me/the client enjoys the music, and where I measured the Carnelian speakers, shown above) is about below the lamp (that tube you see models it very accuratly).

Advice on what to do with the bass traps and the window...
Old 30th November 2016
  #30
Here for the gear
 

What do you think of these diffusers?

What do you guys think of these skyline diffusers?

http://rvrb.io/2016-sound-diffuse-af9

They look pretty good, I think I may just stain these myself anyways.

Anyways, any advice would be wonderful as I am new around here.

Thanks!
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