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Acoustic Tratment with Patio Umbrellas!
Old 10th June 2006
  #1
Gear Head
 

Talking Acoustic Tratment with Patio Umbrellas!

Has anyone ever heard of a method of using a large beach, or patio Umbrella as an overhead baffle. I recently came across two older books on home recording techniques from the 70's and 80's with a lot of make shift do it yourself techniques on how to effectively treat a room for multi-track recording.

Now, I'm sure that the majority of these techniques are not 100% effective, compared to some good bass traps, and acoustical paneling. But, I was just curious if anyone has ever used this technique as a make shift ceiling treatment method, or a type of drum separation baffle, with any success . . .

Anyway, here is a passage from a book called: Handbook of Multichannel Recording, by Alton Everest, 1995.

Umbrella Baffle
Large Beach, and Patio umbrellas of heavy Material are being used to provide a modest amount of overhead baffling. Most commonly used over the drums, ..such umbrella could help somewhat in obtaining a tighter sound and reducing leakage to other tracks, especially in the presence of a low, reflective ceiling. . .

second book with this Umbrella over the drum method found was a book short workbook distributed by Tascam, as a Do-It Yourself Home recording Guide, called The Multitrack Primer, by Dick Rosmini, 1780, . . and the passage reads:

When recording drums, the best results are obtained if the room is large and the set is not too closely confined by baffles. If the sound reflects from hard surfaces and enters the mic a second time, the sound of the room will be evident on the tape. Acoustic treatment of the walls and/or floor may be necessary. If the ceiling proves to be the problem, a large (8' or 9') beach umbrella suspended over the set may work .. .
Attached Images
File Type: bmp Umbrella Drums.BMP (53.1 KB, 1334 views)
Old 11th June 2006
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

hmmm.. well they could be usefull as a diffusor.. though in my limited knowledge they'd be better upsidedown.. so that they were convex rather than concave..

but I think broadband absorbtion would be a much better option.. and they're going to have close to no effect on any lower (and even probably low mid) frequencies..

Still.. not a bad Idea for extreme budget sluts.. would probably work better used on walls to diffuse standing waves without loosing all of the liveness of a room
Old 11th June 2006
  #3
Lives for gear
 

if you have them around certainly give it ago
im sure it will help but i would expect a miracle from it. think of any cheep things you can put in your room. book cases etc help, you can turn spare carpet into a baffle.
although im certainly no expert on acoustic treatment
Old 11th June 2006
  #4


Using an unbrella when there isn't a cloud in the sky......




-tINY

Old 11th June 2006
  #5
Lives for gear
 
superburtm's Avatar
 

I saw a picture of cheap trick using this on Bun's kit in the studio
Old 11th June 2006
  #6
Gear Head
 

Hey, . . Thanks for the input guys!

Yeah, I'm not sure how well it will work on lower frequencies. But, it might provide a small amount of baffling isolation and help a little with a low reflective ceiling, . .

Anyway, I just thought it sounded interesting, . .especially when the technique showed up in two separate Recording books. . .

However, with that said, . .these books were written in the 70's, . When all this fairly inexpensive acoustic treatment and bass absorbing panel materials, and covers were not so readily available as they are today.

So, in actuality you might get a better result with slapping a few 4x2x2 panels on the ceiling over the drums, . . compared to hanging a big ole Patio Umbrella from your ceiling . .

But still, . . it might be worth a shot, .since I just happen to have a thick giant patio umbrella in my basement, . . just collecting dust. . .

Besides, if its good enough for Bun E, . . who am I to argue!
Old 11th June 2006
  #7
And of course then the drummer would not get sunburnt.
Old 12th June 2006
  #8
Gear Guru
 

I had just this setup in my last studio. The umbrella was on a pulley so it could be adjusted up and down. I did some A/B tests with my students and the sound was better without the umbrella when recording just the drums as an overdub. The umbrella reflected sound back to the drum mics so it was like having a low ceiling

On the other hand, when tracking a band with the umbrella in place, the bleed to the guitar mics was vastly reduced, as was the bleed going the other way. After that first test, I glued some foam triangles to the underside of the umbrella and that made a big (favorable) difference by absorbing some of the odd reflections.

I got the umbrella for $10 from a House of Weenies that was going out of business. I put black tape over the logo. I mean, at first it was a conversation starter, but after a while, it was just embarrassing.

I used a hacksaw to cut off all but the smallest part of the pole that would stick through the spokes. Then I placed a very large wad of foam over the jagged end of the pipe. I was worried that if the pulley broke, I would end up having a core sample taken of my brain.

as you can see the idea was to build a drum "booth" that was semi-open. I got really good acoustical isolation, but psychologically, the band felt that they were all playing the the same room.
Attached Thumbnails
Acoustic Tratment with Patio Umbrellas!-houseofweenies.jpg  
Old 12th June 2006
  #9
Gear Guru
 

another angle

the slot in the front panel is for feeding a boom through to the kick drum
Attached Thumbnails
Acoustic Tratment with Patio Umbrellas!-how2.jpg  
Old 12th June 2006
  #10
Gear Head
 

Thanks for the info, and pic Joe! Very interesting, . .

If I can remember correctly, . . the old Bearsville Studios that was located up near Woodstock, NY, . . used to have a portable gazebo that they used as a vocal booth in there live room. But, if I'm not mistaken I think it was enclosed???

, . .and come to think of it, I think Bearsville also used the umbrella method to change the ambiance on the drum kit by lowering it, and raising it when recording in the live room also . . .


If anyone else has any pic or info on this method, I would love to check them out!
Old 13th June 2006
  #11
Moderator
 
matt thomas's Avatar
I worked once with danton supple (who engineered/mixed/produced lots of coldplay) who I rank as one of the best engineers in the world (and a hell of a nice guy), and he did this to get rid of some room sound in a particularly cavernous studio, so yeah, it can be done

narco
Old 13th June 2006
  #12
Lives for gear
 

I remember being at the Chan Centre For The Performing Arts in Vancouver, and they had a sort of broken up, parabolic reflector above the stage that can be raised and lowered to reflect the sound back at the musicians or out to the audience. The bigger the group on stage, the higher the reflector. Natural monitoring. Their site descibes it as a "37-tonne acoustic canopy".
www.chancentre.com/
Old 13th June 2006
  #13
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerry123
Their site descibes it as a "37-tonne acoustic canopy".
www.chancentre.com/
hope they have a good strong rope! heh
Old 13th June 2006
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Dave Peck's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq

I got the umbrella for $10 from a House of Weenies that was going out of business. I put black tape over the logo. I mean, at first it was a conversation starter, but after a while, it was just embarrassing.
Oh that is too cool! Any idea where I can get a 'House of Weenies' beach umbrella? Not for the drums, just for my roof deck. That's awesome! heh

DP
Old 14th June 2006
  #15
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Peck
Oh that is too cool! Any idea where I can get a 'House of Weenies' beach umbrella? Not for the drums, just for my roof deck. That's awesome! heh

DP
I heard they went out of business. Though I did see a listing for a House of Weenies in Newark, NJ.

Too bad, you could have had mine! I got the bum's rush out of that space back in the spring and had to move in a hurry. And no place to store things- I had to toss a lot of stuff. Including that umbrella.

Oh well, that one didn't have the aluminum pole so it would only be good for drums.
Old 25th October 2010
  #16
Here for the gear
 

Unfortunately, I haven't heard that even before. All I know were all about Patio Umbrellas which provide cool places to get out of the sun. Using them is a great way to dress up a sundeck, pool deck, roof deck, or patio. Patio umbrellas are the enlarged versions of hand-held umbrellas. When hand-held umbrellas open, the spokes extend to unfurl the canopies. They provide a portable covered space for shelter from the rain or sun. And not knowing it could help into somewhat in obtaining a tighter sound and reducing leakage to other tracks, especially in the presence of a low, reflective ceiling. It is such a great and nice idea.
Old 6th December 2019
  #17
Here for the gear
Some umbrellas filled with heavy foam and wrapped in velvet.

They certainly do their job, together with acoustic curtains in all the windows, the large carpet and some panels on the walls. The room is somewhere between dry and not too dead.

I mix, master and record here.

Cheers

https://www.dropbox.com/s/e0h15p2krz...ellas.jpg?dl=0

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