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Old 16th September 2019
Lives for gear

Originally Posted by Gunadoo View Post
Wow, great insights Stuart!
Appreciate you taking the time to share.

I think with the ruff dimensions we have,
we can lower the ceiling in the CR to whatever the numbers call for.
One thing were trying to work out, is the finished size of the CR.
Really, the length or depth of the room.
Would love to keep the width somewhere around 16',(have a 8' console),
We don't want to eat up to much of the length on the building,
to take space, from the LR.
OK, so if you want a 16' wide CR, it will have to be rather long: it is usually better to have the speakers firing down the longest dimension of the room, to ensure that the reflections from the rear wall only arrive back at your ears after a long enough delay, at a low enough level, and sufficiently diffuse that they don't interfere with the psycho-acoustic response (the way your ears and brain actually perceive the sound). If the room is very large, then you can have it wider-than-long and still get good results... but that also depends on the design concept that you choose for your room. There are concepts such as LEDE (outdated now), RFZ, NER, FTB, CID, MR, and others. Each has its own set of specs, so it's important to settle on that concept early on in your design process, as it will set certain parameters for the layout and dimensions. Personally, I'm very partial to the RFZ concept, and that's what I use in pretty much all of my rooms, since it gives the best overall acoustic response. RFZ stands for "Reflection Free Zone", and this style of room does exactly what the name suggests: it creates a zone around the mix position where there are no early reflections at all. Nothing but pure, clear, clean, pristine sound direct form the speakers to your ears. The room then produces a neutral, transparent ambient field, with all the late reflections arriving at your ears after a suitable delay (given by the room length, but preferably 20ms or more) and with a suitably low level (preferably about 20 dB lower than the direct sound), with decay rates that are even and smooth across the entire frequency spectrum, even down to very low frequencies. That's the ideal environment to mix in, since it gives your ears and brain exactly what they need to in order to do the job well, while also providing a pleasant, non-fatiguing environment that just sounds "right". That's my personal opinion of course; other studio designers might have different opinions on their favorite concept! But the end goal is the same for all concepts. However, it is important to choose that concept as soon as possible in the design process!

Also, do consider that a fairly large chunk of the total floor area will be taken up by treatment, regardless of which design concept you choose. Some more than others, but the laws of physics dictate that there will be a lot of floor area taken up by the treatment. For example: the rear wall of the control room is always the biggest and ugliest, acoustically, and commonly there's three feet or so of treatment on it. The front wall might also have speaker flush-mount modules (sometimes called "soffits") that take up another couple of feet (depending on the size of your speakers), so if your room is 20 feet long, you might end up with only about 14 or 15 feet of actual space between the visible front wall and rear wall. The visible wall is often fabric, wood slats, diffusers, or something similar that hides the bulk of the treatment that goes back a few feet behind that. Just one more thing to take into account with your design.

So, let's assume that you want an RFZ design with a room that is 17 feet wide, 22 feet long (thus aprox . 370 square feet of total floor area), you could have a ceiling of about 12 feet, giving you a room volume of about 4500 cubic feet: that's a pretty good setup. Those are just very rough dimensions that would need refining in the actual design! I just did some quick "back of the envelope" calculations to come up with those, so don't take them as the final, correct, perfect dimensions! Just a starting point. With those dimensions, I would take 38" off the length at the rear wall for treatment (perhaps some parts could be less than that, but the corners at least would need to be that deep), then whatever depth you need at the front for your speakers, and something off the side walls as well, for treatment there too: so the actual visible walls of your room would seem to be something like 16 - 17 feet long, 15 - 16 feet wide, and maybe 9 feet high. To be clear: that's what it would LOOK like as you stand inside the room, but the REAL room (acoustic size) would still be the full dimensions : 22 x 17 x 12 .

You would then need to allow a couple of feet for the isolation walls around the room (outside of the "acoustic" dimensions of the room, so the total footprint would probably be something like 24 x 19, or around 450 square feet. You have 1100 square feet, so the rest would then be your live room (assuming you don't also need space for things like a vocal booth, machine room, lobby, storage, lounge/green room, kitchenette, bathroom, office, etc.

Anyway all of the above is just very rough "guesstimates": once you get into the design process, those can be adjusted as needed. There's a whole bunch of other stuff that you'd need to take into account as well: studio design is a rather large subject!

- Stuart -