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Turning my living room into a studio
Old 5th May 2018
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Turning my living room into a studio

Hello fellow Slutz!
I've been in the process of turning my living room into a studio for about 10 months now. I have no carpentry experience (well at least before I started this project) so it has taken a lot of time but I'm slowly getting there. I've been planning on starting this thread for a long time but haven't really got around to do it. Well now it's time!

My plan with this room is to have a multipurpose room which I can use as a living room and hang out with friends, watch movies and such but also use as a studio for writing songs, mix and master.

The room is 4,25 x 4,35 x 2,52 meters or 13'11" x 14'3" x 8'3" so it's almost square.

Frequency response in the bass region:


Waterfall: (notice the scale, 1800 ms!)


I've come in contact with an acoustician who's been really helpful with this project and I'm so thankful for that! It's really a dream come true to have all that knowledge poured on to my project and I can't thank him enough for it!

Ok let's get started!
The first thing to do was to take care of the horizontal standing waves. They are super strong since the room is almost square. The plan was to cover the back wall with a 60 cm thick absorber. (40 cm of rockwool plus a 20 cm airgap) (1'4" of rockwool, 8" of air) Then some slats on front.

I, with my limited acoustical knowledge, first though of making it 30 cm thick but according to the acoustician 60 cm would be better and would take care of the standing wave a lot better. I didn't want to lose that much space though so I instead built 2 gobos 40 cm thick that made up the middle of the wall. Then I could push them into the wall when needing more space and then pull them out to create the airgap and thickness needed to absorb the standing wave when mixing or listening to music.

Pictures from the build:

Frame for the gobo. This took 9 hours to build, not joking. Did I say I had no carpentry experience? At least the end result was good! I measured both diagonals and they differed only 0.2 mm!


Second frame, took twice as fast to build. It's a learning process for sure!


Joined together.


MDF board attached.


On the short sides too.


Done!


Two of them made, with wheels on bottom!


Left corner done!


The right corner will be a bit tricky since there are boxes for internet and TV. My solution was to build a box that you could pull out to reach those boxes.


Right corner done! Now onto that box!


I'm building it in place so the fit will be exact.


The result! It's far from straight but I'm adding some diagonal pieces to straighten it up!


Painted some of the wood where the edge of the fabric would be. In case any wood would be showing.


The fabric!


Backside of the gobo. Horrendous results! I have to be more careful when doing the front side!


Looks alright from the front. Phew!


Now on to the rockwool!


The entire wall filled with the stuff!


Used string to keep the wool from touching the fabric for a more professional result!


The box, filled with wool!


Now with fabric.


The entire wall filled with fabric!

More pictures to come soon!
Attached Thumbnails
Turning my living room into a studio-waterfall-bt.jpg  
Old 6th May 2018
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Alright what did the measurements say?

Frequency response in the empty room



Frequency response in the empty room with added EQ from a DSP unit (miniDSP)
Turning my living room into a studio-innan-vaggen-eq-no-text.jpg


Frequency response after the absorber was built with the added EQ.
Turning my living room into a studio-efter-vaggen-no-text.jpg


Waterfall in the empty room
Turning my living room into a studio-waterfall-bt.jpg


Waterfall in the empty room with added EQ
Turning my living room into a studio-waterfall-bt-eq.jpg


Waterfall after the absorber was built with the added EQ.
Turning my living room into a studio-qater-.jpg
Attached Thumbnails
Turning my living room into a studio-innan-vaggen-eq-no-text.jpg   Turning my living room into a studio-efter-vaggen-no-text.jpg   Turning my living room into a studio-waterfall-bt.jpg   Turning my living room into a studio-waterfall-bt-eq.jpg   Turning my living room into a studio-qater-.jpg  

Old 10th May 2018
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Might add more measurements. I have two subwoofers and I experimented with their position in the room. I put them directly beneath the monitors, in the corners and a lot of positions in between.


Green line is subs in the corners, red is subs next to the monitors, blue is subs beneath the monitors. (See pictures below)

The measurements are from different days, that's why the volume is different.

This is after the absorber on the backwall was built. The dip in the blue line is because of SBIR due to lack of treatment on the sidewall. As I moved the subs towards the corners the dip shrunk and its frequency increased.


Blue line


Red line, kinda. The were a little bit closer to the middle than in this photo.


Green line
Old 10th May 2018
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Now onto the slats. I wanted them white and I wanted them to have a shiny finish, which wasn't easy. I had to experiment a lot with different rollers and techniques to achieve that result. No pictures from that process though. I'll start with the painting.


I started painting the first eight ones. These will be on the left side of the absorber. I started with the edges. I clamped them together to be able to paint them all in one go. First I used a mixture of wood glue and water to seal the edges. MDF absorbs a lot.


Then sanding, one layer of primer, sanding, one layer of top coat, sanding and a second layer of top coat. Looks good!


Then on to the fronts. Had to sand them first because of the paint that got through the cracks when painting the edges.


Then the wood glue and water mixture. Then fast forward to...


First slat is up! The glitter and red balls is from the christmas decorations that I hadn't removed.


Second half is up!


The slats are supposed to be in a regular pattern so I made spacers to make it easier to install them.


6 cm between the first and the second.


It wasn't straight so I put a guitar pick underneath, it seemed to do the trick.


Second slat is up!


All slats are up!


The rest of the slats, sorted by length. Ready to be painted!


Done!


Painting the fronts of the slats that goes on the right side.


Slat on the box that you can pull out to reach internet and TV boxes.


First slat done.


All slats done!


The slats that sits on the joint between the fixed absorbers and the gobos. The should be 145 mm but since the go over the joint I had to cut them in half.


Looking good!


Done!


The slats that goes on the underside of the absorber.


Painted and attached!


Last twelve slats!


All done!

Now we are at the present moment. Whats left to do now is to paint the two slats that cover the joint between the gobos. Then the absorber is finished! I plan to finish painting them today!
Old 10th May 2018
  #5
Deleted User
Guest
It looks like your project is coming along pretty well. I like your roll away design for the back wall!
Old 10th May 2018
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana_T. View Post
It looks like your project is coming along pretty well. I like your roll away design for the back wall!
Thanks!
Yeah, only two slats to go then the back wall is finished. It has taken a long time though... I started in July 2017. There's a lot of errors made that's not in the photos.

I first made the two gobos but they were not good at all. A bit crooked and the design made it hard to attach the fabric and the slats, so I had to take them apart and build them again. You can actually see the first design in the 5th and 6th photo. I've also spent a lot of time in carpentry forums asking tons of questions. Like what tools to use and how to construct certain elements.

Then I had the slats cut for me by a construction store (or whatever it's called in english, a store that sells building material and tools and such) and they got some of them wrong. So I had to make them cut them again and wait for that. Then the experimentation with the painting took forever as well.

The fun part though is that I'm pretty good at carpentry now, so the remainder of the build is going to take a lot less time!
Old 10th May 2018
  #7
Gear Addict
 
Fergies Watch's Avatar
looking good buddy, look forward to seeing the rest of the room come together
Old 10th May 2018
  #8
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by ostfisk View Post
Thanks! There's a lot of errors made that's not in the photos.
We have a saying in the US. "A little calk & a little paint, will make a carpenter what he aint". Looking at your pics, if you do not tell, 99.999% of anyone looking will never know. Great job!

Quote:
The fun part though is that I'm pretty good at carpentry now, so the remainder of the build is going to take a lot less time!
Now, when your buddy's come over and ask where you bought them, that will be when you can puff out your chest, and explain they were built in house, by your own hands. There is a type of satisfaction that can not be explained, when you are the master of the build.
Old 22nd July 2018
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Hello!

Next step in the studio build is coming up, an absorber in the ceiling. It's not fully designed yet. I'm in talks with the acoustician about what depth it needs to be.

I have a question though. My original plan was to have the ceiling absorber black, to match the rest of the studio. But I'm now rethinking that plan.

My concern is that it will feel too confined sitting there, with a dark ceiling above.

A picture of the latest design of the absorber.
Turning my living room into a studio-hagmarksgatan-studio-tak-15-40-plus-4-5.jpg

Any thoughts?
/Jens
Attached Thumbnails
Turning my living room into a studio-hagmarksgatan-studio-tak-15-40-plus-4-5.jpg  
Old 25th August 2018
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Hello everybody!
Next step is coming up!! The rest of the build! This is the plan:

Ceiling absorber:
Turning my living room into a studio-tak-klart.jpg
I'm not able to drill into the ceiling because of water pipes so I have to attach it to the walls on brackets and wooden joists. It's 20 cm (8in) thick at the start (the middle of the room), then 25 cm (10in) thick in the middle, then the depth increases to 65 cm (2ft) closest to the wall. The mean depth is 30.5 cm (12in) which is enough to absorb the standing wave 90%. 25 cm (which is the depth were the first reflection strikes) is enough to absorb said reflection.


Then there's the superchunks and side absorbers:
Turning my living room into a studio-super-sido.jpg

On the left side there a window which means I have to build a freestanding absorber there. The side absorbers are 35 cm (14in) thick (20 cm + 15 cm air). The air gap is there because there's a radiator on the left side that protrudes 15 cm. To keep the stereo balance I have to have a 15 cm gap on the right side too.


This is the finished result:
Turning my living room into a studio-hela-studion.jpg

The build start in a couple of weeks, really exited about this!
/Jens
Attached Thumbnails
Turning my living room into a studio-tak-klart.jpg   Turning my living room into a studio-super-sido.jpg   Turning my living room into a studio-hela-studion.jpg  
Old 11th November 2018
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Construction has started!!


Wooden joists! A lot of them. Rockwool will be purchased later, don't have room to store it! I'll buy it when I'm done with the woodwork!


The ceiling absorber will be resting on two brackets, this is one of them!


The other one!


Brackets for attaching the sideway joists.


Done!


Ceiling height drops as you reach the front wall. Need some diagonal pieces for that!


But first some extra joists to make the ceiling absorber thicker where the first reflection hit. Will also help with the standing wave!


Diagonal pieces in place!


Vertical joist that will be part of the superchunk! Will also help support the weight of the ceiling absorber!


Spacers that will keep the rockwool from touching the wall. Since it's an outer wall, mold might grow if I add rockwool directly to the existing wall!


In place!


Sideways view.


Ceiling absorber finished!


Superchunk! I'm going to add a grill to make sure air will flow underneath and behind the rockwool, to keep the gap ventilated.


The grill!


Slot cut out! Used a handsaw, took forever! Wish I had a compass saw!


Pretty proud! Looks good!!


Didn't have more pictures from that corner, next one is from the right superchunk. Finished! On the floor you see joists that the rockwool will lay upon, allowing air to pass under it. (And behind it, since it will be a tiny gap between the rockwool and the wall!


Steel ribbons to keep the rockwool from touching the front wall!


This outlet has to be accessible after the build is finished so I'm going to build a box that you can pull out to reach it!


Don't know what these are called in English, Screw loops? Anyway, I will run thread through these loops in a crisscross pattern. The rockwool will lay on it!


Ceiling and superchunks done!

Next up is the side wall absorbers!
/Jens
Old 12th November 2018
  #12
Lives for gear
 

in your visualisation, you put your subs to face you - i suggest you turn them around 90 degrees so they are firing to the side: you'll get the cones closer to the wall for better coupling and possibly less phase issues with mains. also, make sure the distance between the subs is at either half or a quarter the wavelength of the highest frequency they will produce (most likely the x-over frequency to your mains). then use appropriate delay and polarity flip (to create an endfire sub array).
Old 12th November 2018
  #13
Lives for gear
 

in one of our visualisations, you put your single sub to face you - i suggest you turn it around 90 degrees so it is firing to the side: you'll get the cone closer to the wall for better coupling and possibly less phase issues with mains.

if you still plan on using two subs (which i do not recommend unless they are really weak compared to the mains or you work with really bass heavy music), you may want to consider that arraying/positioning of subwoofers works entirely different than pisitioning of tops: depending on their position and phase relationship, you affect their radiation characteristics: two subs somewhere close to each other but 'randomly' put on the floor do not necessarily act as an omni sources anymore.

so if using two subs firing sidewards, make sure the distance between them is at either half or a quarter the wavelength of the highest frequency they will produce (most likely the x-over frequency to your mains). then use appropriate delay and polarity flip (to create an endfire sub array).

do not turn the array around to face you: it will no longer behave as such! any cardioid (or subcardioid) bass array needs enough air behind it in order to work properly...

if you want your sub to face you, you better have it flush mounted - if you want to use in any other configuration than suggested above, the situation needs to be evaluated again (imo the only other options would be to put one sub at the rear wall or both on the front fall but joint together)

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 12th November 2018 at 01:55 PM.. Reason: typo
Old 12th November 2018
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
in one of our visualisations, you put your single sub to face you - i suggest you turn it around 90 degrees so it is firing to the side: you'll get the cone closer to the wall for better coupling and possibly less phase issues with mains.

if you still plan on using two subs (which i do not recommend unless they are really weak compared to the mains or you work with really bass heavy music), you may want to consider that arraying/positioning of subwoofers works entirely different than pisitioning of tops: depending on their position and phase relationship, you affect their radiation characteristics: two subs somewhere close to each other but 'randomly' put on the floor do not necessarily act as an omni sources anymore.

so if using two subs firing sidewards, make sure the distance between them is at either half or a quarter the wavelength of the highest frequency they will produce (most likely the x-over frequency to your mains). then use appropriate delay and polarity flip (to create an endfire sub array).

do not turn the array around to face you: it will no longer behave as such! any cardioid (or subcardioid) bass array needs enough air behind it in order to work properly...

if you want your sub to face you, you better have it flush mounted - if you want to use in any other configuration than suggested above, the situation needs to be evaluated again (imo the only other options would be to put one sub at the rear wall or both on the front fall but joint together)
Thanks for your concerns man!
I don't know much about this issue but I trust the acoustician. (Which is by the way Jens Eklund, from this very forum) He suggested two subs and will help me configure the system once the studio is built. So I'm not worried about that!
Old 12th November 2018
  #15
Lives for gear
 

well then, good luck and keep us posted on further progress!



[funny you mention jens as i clashed with him several times here on gz regarding this exact topic... - pls note that this not meant to put him down: from what i get to read here, he seems to be a knowledgeable acoustican. it's just that we seem to have an entirely different approach and preference regarding the low frequency spectrum]
Old 4th January 2019
  #16
Lives for gear
Strange, two sub..... Do you remember?
Old 7th January 2019
  #17
Lives for gear
Any more pics on this studio?

Any chance to have the .mdat?
Old 7th January 2019
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayPee View Post
Any more pics on this studio?

Any chance to have the .mdat?
More pics to come.


All the pieces for the side wall absorbers. Cut up and ready to be assembled.


Two frames for the left absorber, done!


Put together.


Here it is standing up. It's leaning a bit but I will straighten it up with the feet.


Now it's straight!


Feet attached.


Put felt underneath so it will slide on the floor without scratching it.


Right absorber done too!


The reason why I made them on feet. I wan't to be able to move the left one to get some sunlight in, when not mixing!


Here they are, both of them. The feet are at different positions, that way they can slide under each other.


Rockwool arrived!


Fabric attached to the back and bottom. Ready to put the rockwool in!


Fast forward to the finished absorber. Rockwool, 2 cm of dacron then 2 layers of fabric. The middle part is just rockwool and fabric.

Next step is to put rockwool in the ceiling! Excited about that! Not too long until the studio is finished!
/Jens
Old 13th January 2019
  #19
That's a great build.
Old 18th January 2019
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johannburkard View Post
That's a great build.
Thank you!
Old 31st January 2019
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

Progress!


Rockwool in the ceiling. I use string in a criss cross pattern that the rockwool lay upon.


All done!


One layer of 10 mm Dacron.


Two layers!


One layer of fabric!


Two layers. Done!


One layer of Dacron. This is where I am now. I've run out of Dacron! But I've ordered more and it's on it's way! Hopefully it's here before the weekend! I am free on Monday so I have three glorious days to work on the studio!

/Jens
Old 1st February 2019
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
Fred Pearson's Avatar
 

Love this thread - very inspiring. Looking forward to seeing the finished results.
Old 4th February 2019
  #23
Lives for gear
What is that Rockwool?

What's the idea behind this? Only broadband absorption? Helmholtz resonator tuned/based on your measurements?

Looking forward to see the result! Good luck and thank you for sharing this experience with us!

J.
Old 4th February 2019
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Pearson View Post
Love this thread - very inspiring. Looking forward to seeing the finished results.
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayPee View Post
What is that Rockwool?

What's the idea behind this? Only broadband absorption? Helmholtz resonator tuned/based on your measurements?

Looking forward to see the result! Good luck and thank you for sharing this experience with us!

J.
The Rockwool is called flexibatts. Rockwool flexibatts 70x580x1170p 5,43 16 st/pall | XL-BYGG OSBY

The back wall absorber is a kind of helmholtz absorber. The rockwool provides broadband absorbtion and the slats create some kind of helmholtz effect. But the main purpose of the slats is to reflect mids and highs back into the room. Since the absorber is not sealed, it's not a proper helmholtz absorber. Still it creates some helmholtz effect! As you can see I got more absorption below 40 Hz after the slats were installed.
Turning my living room into a studio-pre-slats.jpg
Before slats

Turning my living room into a studio-after-slats.jpg
After slats

Also got some more energy from 1000 to 7000 Hz. So more even decay!

The rest of the build is just rockwool. Ie broadband absorbtion. According to the acoustician though, if the room sounds to dead it's possible to add slats to the superchunks. But we'll have to wait and see!

/Jens
Attached Thumbnails
Turning my living room into a studio-pre-slats.jpg   Turning my living room into a studio-after-slats.jpg  
Old 5th February 2019
  #25
Lives for gear
Can't wait to see the whole pictures (mores pics of your finished room and mdat).

Thank you once again sharing it with us!

J.
Old 8th June 2019
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

Update! Almost done!

White fabric installed! 2 cm of Dacron, two layers of fabric


Put staples in a rectangle. This part will have black fabric. Then it will match the rest of the studio build. Black parts is where the first reflections hit. Looks more studio:ish!


Fabric cut out. The dacron is visible!


Black fabric is put into place and the edge is covered with battens!


Batten that covers the edge of the fabric where the ceiling absorber ends. All done!!

Measurements!

Green line is the back wall absorber only, the red one is with the side wall absorbers added, the blue line is with the ceiling absorber installed!


Same thing but here's with EQ added to the monitors with a miniDSP unit. (green=back wall, red=side wall, blue=ceiling)

What about waterfalls?

Back wall absorber only


Side wall absorbers added!


Ceiling absorber added.

More pictures to come soon!
Old 9th June 2019
  #27
Gear Maniac
 

On to the super chunks!

Filled with rockwool and two cm dacron on top.


Two layers of fabric!


Batten that covers the joint between the super chunk and the ceiling absorber. Super chunks finished!


Spotlights installed.


Philips Hue!


More spotlights!


Done! All the construction is now done! What's left is a new desk and new monitors!
Old 9th June 2019
  #28
Lives for gear
Old 9th June 2019
  #29
Lives for gear
 
Deckdaddy's Avatar
Congrats!
Old 16th June 2019
  #30
Gear Maniac
 

Tried different desk designs! I only need a flat surface where I can put my audio interface, a keyboard, a mouse and then some room for a plate or sheet of paper or whatever. So no rack units or anything. Just four legs and a flat surface.

I bought plywood sheets in different sizes and put them on a keyboard stand. Like this:


Then I did a measurement and looked at the ETC. How loud is the reflection? This was the result:

First I tried different widths.
70 cm (27in) gave a desk reflection of -14.6 dB


60 cm (23in) equaled -15.9 dB


With 50 cm (19in) I got -19.9 dB.


So I figured 50 cm is the maximum width. (-20 dB is my goal)



Next I tried depth.

70 cm gave me a desk reflection of -8.4 dB (the width was 90 cm)


60 cm = -8.3 dB (still 90 cm width)


50 cm = -8.2 dB (I guess the width is the problem here! This board was 90 cm wide too)



Went straight to the 30 cm (12in) deep board.

Now I got -16.9 dB. A lot better but still over -20 dB.


Next strategy was to use the 30 cm deep board and try different distances to the front wall and 75 cm (30in) from the TV got me -20.5 dB. Hurray!



So if I make a design where the desk is no more than 50 cm wide up to 75 cm from the TV I should be good. Like this:



Result:

-15.5 dB! Reflection is still there! Acoustics is not intuitive sometimes! After some talking to Jens (Eklund) he said that the sound is affected by the entire surface and he wasn't surprised by the result! He suggested a perforated surface and that's what I tried next!



Drilled holes into the board in a 60 degree pattern. This was the result:


Well -18.2 dB. Not bad actually. But not -20 dB!



Instead I tried to cut slats into the board!

Now I got - 18.4 dB. But I give up here! I think it's OK! The final version will have slightly wider slats so even better performance! I'm happy with the design now!

Next step is to make this desk out of wood. I'm planning to buy a rectangular keyboard stand with four legs and use that as a base. This one:
https://www.thomann.de/se/km_18950.h...2a50d29c25bb55 It's 40 cm deep, just like my desk.

Then I will try different heights for the monitors and also put the tv on the wall. The project continues!
/Jens
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