The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
A small home studio with PC and Mic, same room
Old 17th February 2016
  #1
Gear Head
 

A small home studio with PC and Mic, same room

Hi friends,

I need some help and advice about reducing PC noise. I'm not a trained sound engineer nor acoustic engineer, just a producer.

I just build a small home studio setup in my rented apartment. It is about 9x10 sq.ft. (90 sq feet area) and 9-10 feet height. I couldn't get better or bigger place. So both PC and Mic are in same room. And trying to figure how to make PC more quiet or block the PC noise. Below are the details and the problem I'm facing. I'll be happy if you can guide me with some ideas.


STUDIO BUILT:
With the help of a studio carpenter, I made 15 bass traps (made of rock wool) each with 6 feet height, 2 feet length and 6 inches depth with 1 inch gap in between the trap and the wall. (I made them to be able to mount on 2 nails so I don't damage much of the room as it is rented.) 4 traps on the ceiling hanging about 4 inches below the ceiling. 3 traps on both sides and my back. 2 traps in front of me (ie. behind monitors, corners). All the traps around the wall are rised by 8 inch above the floor. The floor is normal vetrified tiles, glossy, no carpet nor wood, so the sound won't become too dead. I fit one Daiken spit Air conditioner (1 Ton) on top ( near ceiling) facing me (switched off while recording).


SYSTEM SPEC:
My system is old hardware. Windows 10 pro x64, Intel dx58 mobo, i7 920 cpu (2.67GHz), 12gb Ram, 4 int-HDDs, MSI Nvidia 9600GT 512MB PCIe gpu.

My audio interface: RME UCX, (just bought a month ago, previously FW410)
MicPre: ART Digital MPA2,
Mic: Rode nt1-A (LDP, Cardiod) and Avantone ck-1 (small diaphragm, replaceable polar pattern)
MY PSU is Cooler Master 600W silent Pro. which is also noisy.

I previously had normal PC cabinet. Now I bought Corsair 550D. It made a very little difference though. And also bought Voxguard fitted to mic stand. Still little improvement only.

My PC is placed on floor on right side below right monitor. and mic is normally best when placed 4 feet diagonally towards left behind me, at the height of the subject to record.


THE PROBLEM:
My PC was getting heated with normal standard aluminum case. PSU was placed on top, so it was only exhaust fan and resulted in loud noise of PSU, and with heavy projects, CPU and GPU fans were getting loud. the cpu cooler is the stock fan. :( But I am still hunting and researching what best in quietness I can get in my country. I thought Noctua nh-u9b se2, but is not available in my country, should import and the rate is more. then want to upgrade my GPU to something else also at one time. But since I bought new PC Case, the PSU went down and noise of PSU reduced, and additional case fans reduced the heat inside. But still the PSU is giving some vibrating noise, which I am unable to find why and what is it.

So what I should do now? I should buy Noctua will it be quiter and worthy for importing? should I get a new PSU with passive cooling? I don't want to burn due to PSU over heating.

I'm yet to build a desk and rack, which I was having idea to place my PC below the rack and put additional door facing me to block more noise. but not sure if it will be useful.

While recording, the PC noise is not too much audible, but I'm doubtful, if at a point, if the sound I recorded needs more eq or compression, then it will be audible. The noise is in around 200-600hz and in 3k-8k. I tried recording foot taps and as it required compression, I heard PC hum and had to apply noise gate and it seem to work. but for tapping sound it was ok. What if I need to record a paper sound or some cloth or some whispering vocals?

Guys, I need your help. I'm sorry for this long post. I stop here by telling my actual purpose of this home studio.

PURPOSE of home studio:
I'm actually a music producer and composer, not for the purpose of commercial studio with vocal booth. I wanted a calm atmosphere (my city is too noisy), ambient lighting and acoustically treated room with no reverbs. And client can feel a studio atmosphere.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Awaiting
Anil
Old 27th February 2016
  #2
Gear Head
 

Bump
Old 27th February 2016
  #3
Old 27th February 2016
  #4
Noctua NH-U9 isn't necessarily quiet. I recommend NH-L12, if your case is compact tower, and try removing 90mm fan and use only 120mm fan on top. Also try with 'noise reducing adapter' that comes in the box, with two different levels. Watch the CPU temperature closely by the tool like CPUTemp, at high load.

Replace GPU with fanless GPU like Radeon 6450. They aren't expensive. Maybe around $50 (don't know about the price in your country).

For the PSU, I would use the one with 'smart fan control' which turns on only at high load. Fanless PSU is expensive, but you need to make sure airflow inside the case, with quiet case fans.

Good luck.
Old 27th February 2016
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Im not a sound expert but this is what I like.

The 550d has a clearance of 180mm for the cpu cooler so you have room for a noctua d14/15 or my personal favorite phanteks ph-tc14pe if the cpu cooler is what is noisy. Those coolers can practically run in passive mode.

I prefer high pressure fans for cases so at lower rpm I feel they move more air. Currently I like the fractal design premium fans with the rubber mounts, I also like 140mm fans where they fit over 120mm since 120mm seems to be higher pitched.

Your system seems older so going with a modern power supply such as the seasonic x series, evga g2, corsair RMx and others now have hybrid fans that don't spin unless it's a heavy load. If you go with something like 750-850watts the fan will never turn on in your case.

You can also upgrade the video card to a passive card or go with something like the gtx 950 which has a fan that won't turn on unless in gaming.

Just some ideas
Old 28th February 2016
  #6
Gear Head
 

Thumbs up

Thanks a lot guys for ideas. I'll do my research based on your ideas now.

I think i must change my gpu with passive one. But won't it be problem in high load such as film project or gaming?
Old 28th February 2016
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

You are never going to get your PC completely silent. I have found that after-market fans are typically quitter than the stock fans, but only by a little.

You are going to have to move your case into another room. Get monitor extension cables, and as well kbd, mouse and other extension cables. There are several sites where these accessories are not that expensive. Monoprice is one.

Cheers.
Old 28th February 2016
  #8
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post
You are going to have to move your case into another room. Get monitor extension cables, and as well kbd, mouse and other extension cables. There are several sites where these accessories are not that expensive. Monoprice is one.

Cheers.
I even thought of moving it to another room and found 2 complications.

1. Being rented apartment, I don't want to make hole on the wall from one room to another. But I can make hole on the acoustic door which is adjacent to a balcony. And because of the balcony, I might get outside noise a bit. Maybe the hole should be covered by somethings? But more important, there won't be Air conditioner in that other room adjecent to balcony, which like a small passage area. So PC might get heat more.

2. Even if the other room is close by, it is not backside of my monitor. It is left side room. So it needs a longer cables. The carpenter suggested, if I want a hole, it is possible only on top of the door frame. So it needs atleast 6-7 meters or more. For Firewire RME connection and the DVI monitors and HDMI, how much longer will be stable?

These 2 risks made me thing of a solution of making PC as silent as possible. As of now it is more much audible in the mix, so thought a little upgrade of system would be preferable. But same time, don't want to heat up my PC with passive GPU, if it get heated.

However, if longer cables will not give connection problems and a solution for cooling in other room, then I will go for it.

Thanks
Old 28th February 2016
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

What type of construction? If there is a concrete wall in-between the two rooms, that can be problematic. But if it's sheet rock and joists, go ahead and cut a hole. Two holes, actually - one in each room. Use a sheet rock saw to cut the holes. Get a stud finder to make sure you cut in-between the joists. Snake the cables through. Don't put the computer right next to the hole in the other room; move it off to the side a ways. Throw some insulation in the whole, tucking the cabling into the insulation. Seal the hole with a heavy putty pad, or some latex sealant, or similar. You aren't soundproofing it completely, but as long as the computer is not backed up right to the hole, you will be fine. When you move, you can use compound in conjunction with small pieces of cut-out sheet rock (your local home improvement store should have a piece small enough that they can probably just give to you) to fix the hole. Then paint. No biggie.

For cooling, maybe a fan a few feet from the computer, blowing on to it (not aimed directly at the exhaust fan) will work. But that depends on hop hot it really gets in there. If the fan wont be enough, get a small portable a/c. You can also get a timer, so that it is not on 24/7. Maybe an hour on, half hour off? Or maybe get a unit that has a thermostat. Put that on the other side of the room - again, not near the hole.

In terms of cable length, you will have to do some research online, and see what the recommended lengths are for each peripheral. I really don't think you will have a problem there, even though the monitor is on the other side of the room.

Cheers.
Old 28th February 2016
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by anilnc View Post
I even thought of moving it to another room and found 2 complications.

1. Being rented apartment, I don't want to make hole on the wall from one room to another. But I can make hole on the acoustic door which is adjacent to a balcony. And because of the balcony, I might get outside noise a bit. Maybe the hole should be covered by somethings? But more important, there won't be Air conditioner in that other room adjecent to balcony, which like a small passage area. So PC might get heat more.

2. Even if the other room is close by, it is not backside of my monitor. It is left side room. So it needs a longer cables. The carpenter suggested, if I want a hole, it is possible only on top of the door frame. So it needs atleast 6-7 meters or more. For Firewire RME connection and the DVI monitors and HDMI, how much longer will be stable?

These 2 risks made me thing of a solution of making PC as silent as possible. As of now it is more much audible in the mix, so thought a little upgrade of system would be preferable. But same time, don't want to heat up my PC with passive GPU, if it get heated.

However, if longer cables will not give connection problems and a solution for cooling in other room, then I will go for it.

Thanks
This is your only solution. Its what I did. Putting your computer out on your balcony is probably not a good idea, especially on a rainy day. The 2nd option will work. As far as heating up your computer cause you dont have air con, it wont make much of a difference how hot the room is, all your cooling is internal.

You just need a HDMI cable to your computer and a firewire from your computer to your interface which will be on your desk where all your other audio/midi cables will run from. Mine is firewire too.

HDMI cables can go beyond 10m with no problem, same with firewire and usb3 with next to no latency.

As for your keyboard/mouse, use wireless. The range is quite far. Although I had problems with the mouse so I use a cable for that but thats only cause I refuse to buy the expensive brands. My keyboard is wireless.

You dont need to drill a hole in your door, even with the door open it will make a world of difference, but obviously you can still close it most of the way which will almost blanket out the sound all together.

Other device I use is midi drum controller which is a usb2, no problems with connectivity there or with any other of my cables. So that's 3 cables, all around 5m. Sometimes my interface resets when I step on the cable so I just avoid doing that.
Old 28th February 2016
  #11
Gear Head
 

Thanks Jeff Hayat and Kinh 222.

I'm not sure what the walls are made of, but while drilling the hole for AirCon inside my studio and while drilling nails for bass traps, the technician team said it's very hard. But it used to be bricks with cement etc. Anyways, I don't want to make hole on wall, the house owner can tell me to vacate the house.. haha.

The other room which I was telling is not exactly in balcony, it is adjacent to balcony, a small passage kind of room (12sq.ft.) where only 2 people can stand. That room has another door for balcony. So that door can be closed at times of rain. But there is no AirCon in that small room. However I think I can open my studio acoustic door at times to make way for my studio's AirCon to spread in that room.
Old 28th February 2016
  #12
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Masaaki View Post
Replace GPU with fanless GPU like Radeon 6450.
There are many in this model by different brand names. What I should look?

The NH-L9 isn't compatible with my Socket LGA1366.
Old 28th February 2016
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by anilnc View Post
There are many in this model by different brand names. What I should look?

The NH-L9 isn't compatible with my Socket LGA1366.
I'm talking about NH-L12, not L9. L12 should be compatible with 1366 because I'm using it with my i7 950 on X58 board.

But if your case is big, I recommend D14 as suggested by remiscs.

There are many GPU brands, but I usually go with Sapphire, or EVGA if available. I also have Zotac GT730 fanless which also works just fine.
Old 28th February 2016
  #14
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Masaaki View Post
I'm talking about NH-L12, not L9. L12 should be compatible with 1366 because I'm using it with my i7 950 on X58 board.

But if your case is big, I recommend D14 as suggested by remiscs.

There are many GPU brands, but I usually go with Sapphire, or EVGA if available. I also have Zotac GT730 fanless which also works just fine.
Oh Sorry, my mistake. You were telling L12 not L9. And L12 is compatible. But I think I prefer tall heatsink as I have the intel stock which is small heatsink, not sure if it will make difference. And considering most of the noctua has to be imported and no warranty coverage and expensive, I am not able to think about D14. And I saw D14 installed in a studio PC and found it noisy.

Thanks for the GPU recommendation. I think I must get that ZOTAC gt730.

thanks
Old 28th February 2016
  #15
Gear Head
 

Sadly the fanless model of zotac gt730 isn't available in my country and should be imported.

what do you think about EVGA GT720 02G-P3-2724-KR model?
Old 28th February 2016
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by anilnc View Post
Sadly the fanless model of zotac gt730 isn't available in my country and should be imported.

what do you think about EVGA GT720 02G-P3-2724-KR model?
If Noctua is not available, Cooler Master Evo is also decently quiet, and cheaper.

EVGA GT720 also looks fine. Just install video driver, and no other 'bloated' gaming utilities.
Old 29th February 2016
  #17
The problem wont be your cpu/gpu fan. I have Noctua in mine, they make no difference. The problem is your case fans, they're the loudest. All full tower case fans are loud.
Old 29th February 2016
  #18
Gear Head
 

I saw mixed opinions about EVO in comparison with Noctua.

No it's not case fans noise in my case, its first PSU, then in medium load, cpu fan and gpu increases.
Old 1st March 2016
  #19
Noctua NF-S12A ULN is the quietest I've heard yet
Old 1st March 2016
  #20
Fractal case and Noctua Fan - if you can't afford or obtain these or similar products, then get your PC in another room and buy a wireless keyboard ( logitech's is fantastic and will work through walls. ).

I recently went from having a normal build to a build with Fractal case and Noctua fan and the difference is staggering - I can record in my room now without noticeable noise. Also, get an ssd hard rive - which further reduces noise.
Old 1st March 2016
  #21
There are some companies that make special cabinets, a sort of a 'sound booth' for your computer. You can even build one yourself, but there must be great attention to proper ventilation so you don't get over heating conditions. I myself am gearing up to do this very thing.

In my situation, the noise from computers is worsened by the fact that I'm using 'up to' 4 PC's at times. I recently put my PC's in a large 5 1/2 ft commercial rack that I acquired a while back. I also installed my related rack equipment (audio interfaces, audio & matrix switchers etc) at it's rack mount face. Currently, this rack has no side, front or rear panels, but I intend to build the necessary panels out of sound board.
After I make & install side panels, there will be the front & rear to deal with. Much of the face of this huge rack has my 19" rack gear mounted already. Any spaces left over can have blank panels installed. The rear will especially take some consideration, as the rears of my 4 computers butt up against, or even over extend to the rear of the rack. Factor is all the connecting cables, and this makes it extremely challenging to even begin to seal at all. Not to mention that the rear of the rack is butt up against my room wall, with little to no space left, as my other equipment in the room has to be in front of it (my midi sound module rack & monitor mixer, then my expanded edrum kit.

With the above in mind, I think what I'll do at 1st, is not install anything on the rear at all. Instead I'll see how well the noise is being reduced. With just side panels on, I'll need no attention to air flow. This really depends on what I do at the face of the rack, there will always be an inherent good & unrestricted air flow there, unless I 'specifically seal' any openings at it's face. The blanks in between my rack gear can always be made with a mesh for air flow. I'll have to wait and see as I go's...making trade off compromises between eliminating sound, and maintaining air flow, even if it will mean developing a forced air system in the event that this rack will be totally sealed.

Being I own this home, I'll eventually build a room extension. But this will be a ways away, Only after the extra space has been created, that I'll be able to place the computers in a separate partitioned area. At this point, I have little options to rearranging the equipment within my room dimensions for functionality.
Old 1st March 2016
  #22
Lives for gear
 

I would go the other route and leave everything as is, record what you need and take out any noise with Noise Reduction plugins. If i can take out trains and cars out of poorly recorded film dialog, a pc fan should be no problem. Just be sure the mic is facing away from the pc when you record.
Old 1st March 2016
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Arksun's Avatar
I would definitely ditch the stock cpu fan, Noctua and other good brands are significantly quieter from my experience.
I also wouldn't worry about PSU heat issues, with a good quality one you won't be getting even close to maxing out its power delivery so even with a fan its unlikely that PSU fan will ever spin or that it'll get particularly hot. Certainly the fan on my Corsair AX760 has never spun up at all, never needed to!

On my PC its 4 case fans 140mm Noctua NFA14 FLX and Cpu cooler on my i7 4790K is Noctua NH-U14S. Positive pressure based setup with Fractal R4 case. Very dry dead sounding studio room so any little noise sticks out but the PC is pretty damn quiet, just a gentle subtle smooth woosh of the slow spinning fans, strangely comforting in some ways.
Old 1st March 2016
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claborn View Post
I would go the other route and leave everything as is, record what you need and take out any noise with Noise Reduction plugins. If i can take out trains and cars out of poorly recorded film dialog, a pc fan should be no problem. Just be sure the mic is facing away from the pc when you record.
This doesn't work. Noise reduction plugins or drastic eq cuts, both of which I've wasted hours upon hours trying, simply drastically suck tone when it comes to music, especially with instruments like guitar.
Old 1st March 2016
  #25
Lives for gear
 
mbvoxx's Avatar
Purchase or build an ISO BOX.
Old 1st March 2016
  #26
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverb View Post
This doesn't work. Noise reduction plugins or drastic eq cuts, both of which I've wasted hours upon hours trying, simply drastically suck tone when it comes to music, especially with instruments like guitar.
Yeah, if you do it wrong.
Old 1st March 2016
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claborn View Post
Yeah, if you do it wrong.
You mangle the the source tone by cutting the noise and it makes the guitar sound off. Anyone with a guitar, a mic and noise reduction and EQ plugins can attest to this.
Old 1st March 2016
  #28
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverb View Post
You mangle the the source tone by cutting the noise and it makes the guitar sound off. Anyone with a guitar, a mic and noise reduction and EQ plugins can attest to this.
You don't need that much reduction, i do it all the time for people who send me sub par recordings to mix.
Old 1st March 2016
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claborn View Post
You don't need that much reduction, i do it all the time for people who send me sub par recordings to mix.
If the track is a central part of the tune then it matters. if it's just lost in a heavy mix than the impact is marginal, I'll agree with you on that.
Old 1st March 2016
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Claborn View Post
I would go the other route and leave everything as is, record what you need and take out any noise with Noise Reduction plugins.
Trains and cars not withstanding, I don't agree this is the way to go. While you will be able to get the computer noise out of some of the recordings, you certainly will not be able to get the computer noise out of most of the recordings.

Reverb is correct - you mangle the source by cutting the noise. And not just guitar - but anything in that feq. spectrum.

Besides, even if you could properly treat the majority of the recorded audio, look at all the extra work and time you are creating for yourself in the long run.

Cheers.
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump