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stone walls in drum room?
Old 17th May 2006
  #1
Gear Nut
 
Matej's Avatar
 

stone walls in drum room?

I will have a chance to expand my studio with one more drum room and I was wondering what
is the general consensus on stone walls...

The reason I'm posting this in "high end" section is that about the only studio I found that has
this kind of walls is Beartracks in upstate NY:



I loved the way it sounded when I visited Jay and Doug at Beartracks and it seems like most
drumming instructional dvds that are released recently get recorded in that room with stone walls.
Of course it's a big room with extremely high ceilings. Would it make sense to build stone walls in my
smaller room with much lower ceilings? I would like to have a live room for drums and acoustic guitars.
I'm considering heavily lacquered wooden plates as an alternative.

What's your take on this?

Matej
Old 17th May 2006
  #2
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Matej,

> Would it make sense to build stone walls in my smaller room with much lower ceilings? <

Probably not. The main problem in small rooms is comb filtering caused by reflections from all the nearby surfaces. So in a small room you'll do better with absorption. A good rule of thumb is to have absorption on any surface within about ten feet of an instrument or a microphone.

--Ethan
Old 17th May 2006
  #3
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aidyhall's Avatar
One of my favourite drum rooms for aggressive sounds is the stone room in Metropolis Studio A, London.

The room is small in terms of square-footage, but it is double height. You have to use screens around the kit to keep the sound of the room out of the close mics, but the ambience from mics placed high is just killing!

If you don't have the benefit of a high ceiling, however, it may be wise not to make the room too 'live' sounding, otherwise you'll just get early reflections, and not a nice diffuse ambience.
Old 17th May 2006
  #4
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nlc201's Avatar
 

Carriage House in CT has a neat little room adjacent to the big live room which has a stone wall or two. Lot's of drums tracked in there. Sounds cool.....
Old 17th May 2006
  #5
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dim light's Avatar
 




I put one stone in my room and the room got more of a live end sound.
Attached Thumbnails
stone walls in drum room?-bensour2-51a.jpg   stone walls in drum room?-watts.jpg  
Old 18th May 2006
  #6
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Psyko/Acoustics's Avatar
 

Metalworks Studios in Toronto has a stone walled room, too! It's a little over the top, IMHO.


The fireplace was the kicker. Not really an audio observation, I suppose.
Old 18th May 2006
  #7
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AdamJay's Avatar
 

Sounden in San Clemente has some stone walls, and if i remember correctly, on at least one wall, some of the stones within that wall were fake, and actually stone disguised absorbers.

how cool is THAT?!?!
Old 18th May 2006
  #8
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Psyko/Acoustics's Avatar
 

Muchos!


Old 18th May 2006
  #9
The Tracking Room in Nashville has a stone room, though I've never used it to record drums.
Old 18th May 2006
  #10
IIRC, The Towne House UK was well known for their stone drum room. Stone works wonders in some cases, but it's not terribly versatile. If you have a room of reasonable volume and have appropriate design and treatments in addition to the stone, it can be wonderful for drums and percussion.

There are other studios besides the ones mentioned here and above that also have stone rooms. There's a Chris Pelonis room I can see in my mind, but I can't recall the name right now. Blue Jay Studios in Carlisle MA has an irregular stone wall in a part of their live room that's cool to set up drums in front of, but it's not an entire stone room.
Old 18th May 2006
  #11
Gear Nut
 
Matej's Avatar
 

Thanks for the replies guys. Ok, so it's probably not the best idea to make the room too live. How bout mixing it up a bit... If I put a combination of stone, wood and absorption materials, with wooden floor (carpet optional) and an absorptive ceiling?

The catch is, I want to record drums and I already have a semi dead room that sounds fine, but it's my dream to have a good sounding live room.

Matej
Old 20th May 2006
  #12
Gear Addict
 

To elaborate on Ethan's comment, if you want to liven up the room by making some surfaces more reflective (like with stone), choose the farthest-away surfaces for this.

Also consider that a straight, flat stone surface will not sound the same as the irregular round-stones-with-mortar wall in the photo. (It will sound worse, most likely.)
Old 20th May 2006
  #13
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jajjguy
To elaborate on Ethan's comment, if you want to liven up the room by making some surfaces more reflective (like with stone), choose the farthest-away surfaces for this.

Also consider that a straight, flat stone surface will not sound the same as the irregular round-stones-with-mortar wall in the photo. (It will sound worse, most likely.)
Actually the "irregular round-stones" are going to act as more of a poly diffuser. Not a bad thing but you would have to be pretty far from it to not get comb filtering effects.

G
Old 20th May 2006
  #14
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Bishbashbosh's Avatar
 

Gotta say.... I HATE stone rooms..... Matrix Maison Rouge, Metropolis and Townhouse stone rooms all just sound(ed) like Phil Collins circa 1986 to me.

The problem with having stone walls is that the character of the room is SO overpowering that it becomes bigger than the actual tone of the kit.

It doesn't matter how damped down the drums are, there's this enormous room sound over the top (think reverb with zero pre-delay, and too much wet signal).

It also plays hell with the dynamics of the room- there is only loud.....

Personally I'd always choose well-balanced over agressive any day..... then at least you have a choice. It's easy to add size/agression if you want it, but you can't take it away if you don't.

My personal favourite room in London at the moment is Sphere Studio 1 drum booth. It's not that large, but it has a highish ceiling. To my ears, drums sound how they should in there... Whoever designed that did a GREAT job.
Old 20th May 2006
  #15
Soft Red Brick Is Better

I have a drum room that is L shaped with 16" thick suffolk red brick up to waist hight on the two longest walls with carpet on the floor and a suspended perforated celing with absorbtion and a huge bass trap above to a pent roof.
The other walls are plastered full hight over the brick they are furthest from the drum position and as the absorbant tiles fell off them over the last 20 years my drum sound improved so I never glued them back. I did cover the farthest wall with a Jbl concert system cabs wall of sound style for rehearsal purposes and there are 3 4 x12 cabs and an eight by ten and a couple of concert system 2x12 wedges and a big celing hight absorbtion baffel I supose thats all damping.
Old 30th December 2012
  #16
The most diffuse amazing for recording awesome drums stone wall room from hell is right here in Birmingham England at http://www.circlestudios.co.uk/stoneroom.php. It can also be rented on a standalone basis via www.dbmstudios.co.uk



heh
Old 30th December 2012
  #17
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vincentvangogo's Avatar
 

Excuse my ignorance, but can anyone explain how much the sound of a room is based on the reflectivity of the material and how much on it's density/resonance?

Or put another way, would a wall covered in a thin wood veneer sound the same as if the whole thing was made of wood?
Old 30th December 2012
  #18
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jmikeperkins's Avatar
I would probably not put the stone wall directly behind the drums, but a stone wall in a small space can work if it acts as a diffuser. The stones should be random in size and pattern so as to reflect the sound waves and scatter them. If you do it right it can make your room sound bigger. But you also need absorption in other places. I think the best sound in a smaller room often comes from a combination of both diffusion and absorption. You might want some of the absorption to be movable so you can vary how bright the room is depending on what sound you are looking for. Some studios, like the Beatles Apple Studios, had movable hinged panels that were bright and reflective on one side and dead and absorbing on the other. You could pick which side you wanted.

A lot of this is a matter of taste. Some people prefer very dry sounding drums, other people like some reflected room sound. I tend to think, generally speaking, most studios are too dead sounding and lack character, but that's just me.
Old 31st December 2012
  #19
Gear Maniac
 

The stone wall in my live room sounds pretty awesome, but it's quite big. I don't think putting a stone wall into a small room will do you a significant amount of good. Do you have any pictures or dimensions of your room? Here's some studio porn of my place:





Old 31st December 2012
  #20
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JonMiller's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by petermiles View Post
The stone wall in my live room sounds pretty awesome, but it's quite big. I don't think putting a stone wall into a small room will do you a significant amount of good. Do you have any pictures or dimensions of your room? Here's some studio porn of my place:

I've recorded drums in my stone basement a few times. They can get really insane sounding. Even though the ceilings are low.

How is the RE-20 on snare? I never tried that. I'd like another 10 RE-20s. They are my "safety net" mic, they always seem to sound good.






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