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Need advice on room acoustics.. best setup for a small, low budget studio?
Old 9th May 2006
  #1
Gear Head
Need advice on room acoustics.. best setup for a small, low budget studio?

Hey guys,

A good friend of mine pointed me to this forum. Up till now I kept bugging a buddy of mine who's a scoring mixer, but he's way too busy and I felt bad bombarding him with questions.. so I figured I'd get some advice here.

I'm about to move into a new place and there are two rooms I can choose between for my studio. See the following two images for room dimensions. The second image also includes dimensions of the studio monitors (size and distance from each other, and from the floor).. those are Event Studio Precision 8, by the way.

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...oomconfig1.jpg
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...oomconfig2.jpg

Also, of course, in the first image, I could put the desk against the longer wall (13'2"). The desk is this: http://www.omnirax.com/site/show_pro...p?pid=76&cid=2

All measurements are to-scale and exact.

So, which of these two rooms is the better studio? If I recall correctly, the 13'2"x10' room had a small angled corner cut out of it where the door was.. I don't quite remember though. And after I pick a room, I have to figure out how to treat it acoustically. I forget the ceiling height.. probably 8 feet or so. Floors are carpeted, standard apartment stuff. http://www.gikacoustics.com is an option. http://www.realtraps.com is a more expensive option.

Any advice is welcome and appreciated!
Old 9th May 2006
  #2


Don't plan on doing much microphone work in either room.

For mixing, grooving, and midi/DI stuff, I'd pick the room that's 13x10. The other room has dimensions that are way too similar (11'2" and 11'6" are essentially the same measurement).

Plan on a lot of bass traps in each wall corner and all the way around the corner of the ceiling. Probably will need several 2'x2'x4" absorbtion pannels too (I like the cotton stuff if I have to build it myself).




-tINY

Old 9th May 2006
  #3
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Tiny is right on the money. Stick with the 13 x10 room. For set up and other things take a read at http://www.gikacoustics.com/faq.htm

Glenn
Old 9th May 2006
  #4
Gear Head
Woops, might help if I told you what I do.

I'm a composer, writing orchestral works.. sample based stuff. So there's that bit of info..

Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it! I'll check out that FAQ. If I have more questions once I move into my new place, I'll post here.

One thing, just for education's sake: why is the 11'x11' room bad? Is it because it's almost a perfect square, and the sound would bounce around much worse than in the 13'x10'?
Old 9th May 2006
  #5


You get a series of standing waves with wavelengths of 22, 11, 7 1/3, 5 1/2, feet etc from both walls.

In the 10x13 room, you get them at 20, 10, 5... form one wall and 26, 13, 8 2/3, 6 1/2.... from the other wall. Floor to ceiling you get 16, 8, 5 1/3....

The more evenly spaced these are, the better. But, you still need bass traps because boundary effects are still going to create peaks and nulls in a room that small.

Ethan Winer has a lot of data on his site.



-tINY

Old 9th May 2006
  #6
Gear Head
Interesting.. your answer kinda flew over my head, but ok. I get the math there.. x 2, x 1, x .666~, x .5. But still, I'm an idiot with this stuff, which is why I posted here for help.

I had a couple people arguing with me over this, they kept insisting that because the Precision 8's are nearfield monitors, the room doesn't matter. I think maybe in a much bigger room, that might be the case..but with that wall behind me, just 10 feet away or so.. I think the acoustic treatment will be necessary.
Old 9th May 2006
  #7


Standing waves occur at integer multiples of the half-wavelength of the parrallel walls. This is because sound is bouncing back and forth between them. Theses frequencies will be boosted and will ring.

For a demonstration, set up a delay with high feedback (so you get 10-30 echoes) then turn the delay time down to about 12ms and 8ms. You can roll off the high end of the ouput too. Mix it with the original signal so that the level is about -1 to -3dB compared to the direct signal.

Run some program material through it - Kettle drums, Tuba, double bass. Vary the delay time a bit until you hear the effect.



-tINY

Old 9th May 2006
  #8
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Lightbulb

MD,

> your answer kinda flew over my head <

All rooms have a series of natural resonant frequencies related to the length, width, and height. If you clap your hands in an empty hallway or narrow stairwell and you can clearly hear a pitched "boyng" sound. For most rooms the resonances are lower in pitch than a narrow stairway, so it's harder to hear them with hand claps. But they're still present.

The problem with a square room is the resonances are twice as prominent because the width and length frequencies are both the same. So instead of one resonant peak at, say, 60 Hz, you have two of them. In a cube room the problem is even worse.

> they kept insisting that because the Precision 8's are nearfield monitors, the room doesn't matter. <

If only. heh

> with that wall behind me, just 10 feet away or so. <

That's yet another issue. Whenever sound bounces off a reflecting surface the result is a series of peaks and deep nulls called comb filtering. So when a wall behind you is closer than about 10 feet, it's advisable to treat most or all of it with absorption. As tINY explained, there's a lot of additional advice about all of this on my company's web site, including most of my acoustics articles from EQ and EM and even a few tutorial videos.

--Ethan
Old 9th May 2006
  #9
Gear Addict
 

you could be worse off lol...


i'm trying to treat a square room right now that has a giant mirror spanning the entire wall on one side, across from which is a sliding glass door... you wanna talk about boyng? lol
Old 9th May 2006
  #10
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zkaudio
you could be worse off lol...


i'm trying to treat a square room right now that has a giant mirror spanning the entire wall on one side, across from which is a sliding glass door... you wanna talk about boyng? lol
All you can do in a room like that is treat as many corners as possible and side walls with 2" panels and hope for the best.. heh

Glenn
Old 10th May 2006
  #11
Gear Addict
 

what is the best/biggest forum to post on for acoustic advice. I recently came upon a LARGE amount of bass traps and diffussion foam... I want to post pics of my materials and the room. Thanks guys
Old 10th May 2006
  #12
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zkaudio
what is the best/biggest forum to post on for acoustic advice. I recently came upon a LARGE amount of bass traps and diffussion foam... I want to post pics of my materials and the room. Thanks guys
Gearslutz!!!!

Glenn
Old 10th May 2006
  #13
Gear Addict
 

!!!!
Old 10th May 2006
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by zkaudio
...and diffussion foam...


I'll be curious to see a picture of this stuff. I can't imagine how you'd do that.....



-tINY

Old 10th May 2006
  #15
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY


I'll be curious to see a picture of this stuff. I can't imagine how you'd do that.....



-tINY

that has got to be a typo I think
Old 10th May 2006
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

do a search for "audimute" on ebay. soundproofing blankets. inexpensive, flexibly rearranged for different setups, and effective. best price/performance in an acoustic treatment product i've come across.
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