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Improving sound in rehearsal room (rock band).
Old 11th August 2018
  #1
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Improving sound in rehearsal room (rock band).

Hello all!

Our rock band are lucky enough to have our own rehearsal room with the size: 7 meter length, 5 meter width and 2.8 meter height. Ceiling and 3 walls of wood, and one made of concrete. The floor is also concrete, but with thick fabric tiles covering it. One wooden door, and lots of windows on one of the long walls.

So far we have covered the one 5 meter wall behind the drummer with sound absorbers (premade, only 5 cm thick), Bass Traps in the corners and heavy curtains over the windows. the other short wall of concrete is naked, and we are in the process of building 6 absorber panels (20 cm x 95 cm x 57 cm) for it.

Alright, dampening the room is relatively easy - but we don't want to only quiet it all down - we want to improve what's left of sound reflections. So I read about diffusers... But almost all information is about "how to use in control room"... Are they useless in a live band rehearsal room? Should we build some other constructions to improve sound?
Old 19th August 2018
  #2
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Lively place this... 260 views in one week, not a single reply could mean:

1: I ask a stupid question.
2: I ask a difficult question.
3: My English is so bad no one understand the question.

Either way - I'd love to know the reason, so I can improve my asking...
Old 19th August 2018
  #3
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2


All I remember about the sound quality of a rehearsal space was fighting for adequete mix levels and who was in the best position to hear one another. That concrete wall sounds like a major problem. An outsider opinion may be useless without ears in the room.

Watch some videos about difusion, seems kind of unnecessary in a deadened room though.
Old 19th August 2018
  #4
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IMO, for a rehearsal space, the best you can do on a budget is this:

1. Treat with absorption ("dampen") so you get an RT you like (I like around 300, 400 ms for rehearsals). But don't go overboard.

2. Place all the instruments including amps as far away as possible from all the walls, so you minimise SBIR (early reflection interference). Ideally, in the middle of the room, but amps against a wall and drums facing the amps is OK (or the other way around might be also OK)

3. Place all the instruments relatively close to one another (within reason of course), so that each musician gets as much as possible of direct sound

4. After you do this, you can play with diffusers on sections of walls which are non-absorbent, but IMO this comes last.
Old 19th August 2018
  #5
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Thank you so much for your replies! Alright, seems like treating the concrete wall is the way to go first then. We have now covered about 1/3 of the concrete wall with absorption panels (15cm rockwool in wooden frames, thin fabric as fronts). Would it be an idea to hide the rest of the concrete with wood panel?

I guess we could move the amps closer to the drums... But as mentioned - it narrow down the space where everyone actually hear all instruments...

I thought diffusers was all about spreading the waves in all directions - and that they could help us creating a bigger area to hear all instruments. Like - if I place a diffuser at the opposite wall of the amp, the reflected waves would be more spread all over the room. Will try to read up on it.

Again - much appreciated!
Old 19th August 2018
  #6
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You could have all your amps behind your drummer and may be the sound would mesh together. or everyone could face a wall of amps as your hair gets blown back by sound.
Old 19th August 2018
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bib_ak View Post
Would it be an idea to hide the rest of the concrete with wood panel?
Concrete is not radioactive You don't need to hide it with anything. I suggest you spread out the panels all around the room more-less equally, including the ceiling. No need to focus on any wall in particular, regardless of composition. It depends



Quote:
Originally Posted by bib_ak View Post

I thought diffusers was all about spreading the waves in all directions - and that they could help us creating a bigger area to hear all instruments. Like - if I place a diffuser at the opposite wall of the amp, the reflected waves would be more spread all over the room. Will try to read up on it.

Again - much appreciated!
Diffusers do spread energy, but you won't achieve much without knowing exactly what you are doing.

1. Lower RT 60
2. Experiment with instrument positioning, keeping in mind that, theoretically -> ears closer to the source and further from reflective surfaces is better.
Old 20th August 2018
  #8
Gear Maniac
Bass traps in the corners are the best place to start. So, good job there.

After that you need to reduce flutter echo as much as possible. Stand in the general vicinity where each band member will stand during rehearsal, clap your hands, and determine where the flutter echo is coming from. Place a broadband absorber on the surface (wall or ceiling) where the echo comes from.

This will really clean up the sound for each member, and your rehearsals will be much more effective.
Old 22nd August 2018
  #9
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Thanks for valuable suggestions!

We will try to set up everything more like a stage setup tonight, drums in the middle of the room, amps and PA on each side, or a little behind the drums.

The main reason I asked about diffusers in a rehearsal room is the problem that the guitar amps (in particular) have a very different sound when standing in direct line in front, compared to only a few degrees on the side... Why wouldn't a diffuser on the wall in straight line from an amp spread the mid/high's reflection sound and broaden the "sweet spot"?

Probably worth to mention: The amps are raised 75 cm. off the floor - to prevent the guitarists to turn up the volume unnecessary because their legs don't hear so well
Old 22nd August 2018
  #10
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it seems positioning is important, and you could draw out a logical way to have everyone hear at optimal conditions. otherwise time to start looking into a mixer and some monitors, maybe an isolation room, smaller tube amps.

if those amps are within 3 ft of a wall they will couple with the house and become so bassy that your mids will turn to mud.
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