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Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer... Studio Monitors
Old 6 days ago
  #1
Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...

So, I thought I'd share a little photo diary of my efforts to treat my recording and mixing space, a rectangular box of a spare bedroom in our house. I do love it and like many I put way more dollars into gear - I am an avowed gearslut after all - before coming to the realization that all those "invest in room treatment first" replies on a myriad of threads weren't just boilerplate.

Thanks to a lot of the fine folks on this board and others, I eschewed the foam route in favor of acoustic panels. While I realize that what I've done is far from perfect I can say I hear a pronounced improvement or "honesty" in my playback after completing this little journey. My space is 17.5' x 13' with a bump out walk-in closet in the back right of the room as you enter. So, I essentially have only three true corners (coincidentally I also had only three wisdom teeth to be pulled when I was a kid as well - i know, it explains so much). The floor is carpteted with a nice thick pad underneath.

Based on research from what others here have done and youtube, as well as my own budget (those GIK diffusors are gorgeous but not in my price range) and logistical constraints (the wife's not gonna let me float any walls), I came up with 2" Roxul 2' x 4' panels for walls and ceiling and 4" thick versions for my corners. I went with Roxul and after investigating across the interwebs settling on acoustimac for my materials. I costed out Lowes/Home Depot and a variety of other acoustic shops, but for my needs acoustimac was best.

What I loved about them, is that they send you the frames pre-built. Which is a godsend for me. I'm great at demolition and grunt work, but the finer the DIY skill requirements the less I shine. Think Homer Simpson's birdhouse. Mounts, fabric, Roxul, hardware - pretty much everything I needed they had. And priced right. The only downside is the shipping costs related to the Roxul and frames. But based on a special order at Lowes (the only big box in my neighborhood that carried Roxul), it was actually a wash. Acoustimac had way better prices until you factor in the shipping and then it's pretty much the same. But again, the upside of pre-built frames, accessories, etc. won out. The only thing I didn't go with them on was the ceiling mount package. I chose instead to go with anchors and eye hooks vs. their curly Q plastic screw in hook. Didn't feel like they'd be secure enough though I'm sure that's an over reaction.

Putting the panels together was a breeze, but you'll need a good amount of room if you're working with 12 2' x 4' panels. A staple gun is your best friend but it's as straight forward an operation as you could hope for. The only thing i do wish they'd do is to make the frames slightly bigger to allow for the quarter inch or so wood used to create the frames. You're left with more Roxul than frame and it's a bit tricky to smoosh it down. Most of my panels are little bulgy on the right side. But no real biggie and definitely not an eyesore or in any way a compromiser of absorption.

The mounting clips for the non-ceiling or corner panels are easy peasey. They come with a wall cleat that you hammer in place. It has a lip that the matching mount screwed into the panel locks into. The "Z" clip is the same concept for corners. They come with mounting screws and I added drywall anchors for added strength as the four-inch panels are pretty beefy. I placed four panels directly above my mix position/desk. It required a bit more eyeballing to get right as the walls perpendicularity to my ceiling are not always true. Also, as a one-man operation, it's not a lot of fun attaching in place. But using the heavy duty eye hooks with dry wall anchors was definitely a good way to go. At least for me.

I'll share the pics in the next couple of posts. What I would like are any specs or ideas for a "mobile" panel, a la a gobo that I could use for back wall reflections. The closet again kind of eliminated any chance treat that part of my space. But again, really happy with my investment and I can honestly say to newbies or fellow recalcitrants like me, "invest in treating your room first. Especially, if you're looking to blow major dough on monitors."
Wheels

Last edited by Wheelomatic; 6 days ago at 09:49 PM..
Old 6 days ago
  #2
Here's how they came. For what I ordered, they also shipped pretty quickly too.
Attached Thumbnails
Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-roxwool_box.jpg   Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-roxwool_frame_boxes_01.jpg   Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-frame.jpg   Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-frame_box.jpg   Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-roxwool_box.jpg  

Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-roxwool_frame_boxes_01.jpg   Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-raw_panels_01.jpg   Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-raw_panels_02.jpg  
Old 6 days ago
  #3
Again, if you have a staging area near your studio that helps a LOT. Though I had two sets of stairs to contend with, at least I didn't have to do this outside in the 90-plus heat and humidity.
Attached Thumbnails
Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-completed_panels.jpg   Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-bracket_panel_01.jpg   Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-panel_hook.jpg   Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-wall_mount_01.jpg   Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-wall_mount_02.jpg  

Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-mounted_panel_01.jpg   Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-mounted_panels_02.jpg  
Old 6 days ago
  #4
The previous post shouldn't has the panel hook. But here's how those buggers went.
Attached Thumbnails
Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-eye_hook_01.jpg   Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-ceiling_anchor.jpg   Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-installed_panel_hook.jpg   Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-mounted_eye_hook.jpg   Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-good_luck.jpg  

Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-mounted_ceiling_panel.jpg   Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-mounted_ceiling_panel_02.jpg  
Old 6 days ago
  #5
Gear Guru
 
DanDan's Avatar
Disaster

Wheel, sorry to be the one to point this out. But a hard backed panel prevents you from availing of the free extra LF absorption which an airgap delivers. Also 2" is about of quarter of our regularly recommended minimum. i.e. 4" plus 4" airgap.

DD
Old 6 days ago
  #6
Here's the finished product. Hope this is somewhat helpful and I'm all ears on what I need to to do to improve or supplement my set up. Especially anyone with a DIY for mobile back panel.
Wheels
Attached Thumbnails
Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-center_desk.jpg   Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-left_corner_01.jpg   Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-left_wall_corner.jpg   Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-right_corner_01.jpg   Treating My Room: Or how I spent my summer...-right_wall_01.jpg  

Old 6 days ago
  #7
Thanks for the info, Dan. I read the same and the mounts for both corners and wall leave a gap of around 3/8s or little less than 1/4 inch due to the lips and space of the mounts themselves. Is that enough or should I be pushing them out further from the wall?
Wheels
Old 6 days ago
  #8
Gear Guru
 
DanDan's Avatar
No Idea

Hi Wheels, I am afraid that was not my point. Again, a hard back blocks airflow, obscuring nearly half the fibre surface area. Apart from AcousticMac I have never seen another frame with a blocked back. Now, to be fair, if the backing sheet is incredibly light and thin, you might avail of some sort of damped membrane effect. The FRK on the back of RealTraps HF does that. But that is really just a sheet of paper and metal foil.
Generally 1:1 Fibre:Airgap.


DD
Old 6 days ago
  #9
Ah, I get ya. Yes it is quite thin and light too. I’d say the backing board is no more than three or four millimeter thick. What I don’t get is if you don’t back it aren’t you still hitting the wall regardless? Thanks again for the knowledge and input.
Wheels
Old 6 days ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 

No, you want 4" of rockwall, spaced 4" off the wall. 8" total from wall to front of the panel as a minimum. Ideally with all 4 sides covered completely. You could drill lots of large holes in the back of the current panels to make them transparent acoustically.. I tried modelling what you have and it seems to not be effective below 1000hz. Also, the traps on the front wall should be moved elsewhere. Theres no bennifit to their current location. Use the gained space behind the monitors to push them back to almost touching the front wall. This will help with SBIR. Have you measured with REW yet?
Old 6 days ago
  #11
No I didn’t because I knew with the back wall and closet location that there’d be a limit to what I could do based on what the results would yield. I can certainly remove most of the backing from my panels as there’s only two evenly spaced mounts on each. However, I must say I’m surprised that the front two corner traps are essentially useless as this is where I thought I heard a difference. Again thanks for the schooling.
Wheels
Old 6 days ago
  #12
Gear Guru
 
DanDan's Avatar
Details

+1 Jason, as ever. For discussion and information I will point out a couple of things.
Open frames, i.e. with holes, or even no frames, vs fully sealed have been debated here. I would conclude, without direct comparative tests, that there is most likely little to no difference. Ethan has pointed out the quite a lot of absorbent surface area is lost with full frames. Others have pointed out the edge effects caused by such solids. This edge effect may well end up causing as much absorption, in effect.
An open layer of absorbent allows the wavefronts to pass through to some extent. It will then bounce off the wall and pass through again in the other direction. Double bubble.

BUT, RealTraps with FRK facing the wall are slightly better at LF absorption than just 705 batts unfazed. So who knows, if AcoustiMac wooden panels are light enough....... My instinct says 3-4mm is a blocker. But there is at least one case where blocking does enhance LF absorption. Kiwi Audio (Jeff Hedback-designed) - Recording Studio Build (Chicago suburb)

DD
Old 6 days ago
  #13
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelomatic View Post
The previous post shouldn't has the panel hook. But here's how those buggers went.


How do you like the overall improvement after the installation?


.
Old 6 days ago
  #14
Quote:
How do you like the overall improvement after the installation?
Well after the replies I’ve rec’d I’m a little afraid that what I’m hearing is partly placebo. But I would say my biggest issue in my room is mud and low mids in my mixes. In other words I’d have everything balanced and leveled on my monitors and it would sound like I wanted it but translate poorly across most systems save hifi stereo set up. Mostly muddy. I use an overly hyped computer three way speaker set up to keep me honest - it has sub and two speakers - in this respect. Granted too, I’m still navigating and learning the black art of eq and mixing. But with the treatment I went back to mixes and immediately noticed low mid mud and boominess that I didn’t hear before. Short answer, more honest representation of my mixes on my monitors.
Wheels
Old 6 days ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 

You just need some LF absorbtion and youll see vast improvements.
Old 5 days ago
  #16
Gear Nut
 
johannburkard's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Foi View Post
Have you measured with REW yet?
Underrated reply.
Old 5 days ago
  #17
Quote:
Underrated reply.
Agreed but as I mentioned in my original post, there were going to be limits to what I could do to my room going in, especially regarding the back wall and closet bump out. So, to get the omni, flat mic, calibrate sound card, room, etc., didn't really want to go through the hassle if it was going to come up with recommendations which would prove problematic implementing. Instead, I tried to focus on "historically" problem areas for reflections and treated accordingly. But I take your point and will look at doing a proper REW. Especially, as I'm looking at creating some sort of "mobile back wall absorption scheme."

Quote:
You just need some LF absorbtion and youll see vast improvements.
Thanks, Jason. In your earlier post you mentioned that the corner traps as is are not really doing anything below 1000. So, I'll look there to replace with true LF solutions. Is that what you're getting at in terms of improving absorption? I'm okay with taking those out and replacing and spending some money on prefab GIK or like products. If you have any recommendations, by all means please forward my way. And thanks again.
Wheels
Old 5 days ago
  #18
Gear Guru
 
DanDan's Avatar
Data

I would love to see Absorption Data on those things. I am not fully convinced that they are in error. I have not seen such an arrangement tested.
There are pretty easy DIY solutions.
Best DIY Trap EVER

Note a nice fat roll of attic insulation, in it's package, stacked on top of another, is a full floor to ceiling genuine LF absorber. Wrap in fabric, done.

DD
Old 5 days ago
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelomatic View Post
Agreed but as I mentioned in my original post, there were going to be limits to what I could do to my room going in, especially regarding the back wall and closet bump out. So, to get the omni, flat mic, calibrate sound card, room, etc., didn't really want to go through the hassle if it was going to come up with recommendations which would prove problematic implementing. Instead, I tried to focus on "historically" problem areas for reflections and treated accordingly. But I take your point and will look at doing a proper REW. Especially, as I'm looking at creating some sort of "mobile back wall absorption scheme."


Thanks, Jason. In your earlier post you mentioned that the corner traps as is are not really doing anything below 1000. So, I'll look there to replace with true LF solutions. Is that what you're getting at in terms of improving absorption? I'm okay with taking those out and replacing and spending some money on prefab GIK or like products. If you have any recommendations, by all means please forward my way. And thanks again.
Wheels
The corner traps are probably ok due to the airgaps. The 1/8" panel might be a problem. I was refering to the 2" panels with .25" airgap on the walls.

BUT, deep fluffy fiber is the answer to your prayers if you can swing it. Its cheap and effective
Old 5 days ago
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
ReDRuMx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
My instinct says 3-4mm is a blocker.
The GiK Flexrange "membrane" is 3-4 mm thick HDF.. But it is "freestanding". Also, if not acting as a membrane, I would guess that such a material is pretty much transparent for frequency range < 300 Hz.
Old 5 days ago
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Starlight's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
Note a nice fat roll of attic insulation, in it's package, stacked on top of another, is a full floor to ceiling genuine LF absorber. Wrap in fabric, done.
I don't want to disagree with Dan, who is by far my superior in acoustics, but my understanding is that bass traps perform better when they are of larger dimensions and lower density material and that leads me to think that as rolls of attic insulation are tightly compressed that they will be better than nothing but not as effective as unwrapped insulaton in a frame larger than the bag they came in. Alas, I have no statistics to prove what I have just said.
Old 5 days ago
  #22
Lives for gear
 
gradivus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelomatic View Post
So, to get the omni, flat mic, calibrate sound card, room, etc., didn't really want to go through the hassle...
I'm about to start doing my room and grabbed a calibrated UMIK-1. $105 + shipping. Might seem like a bit of a pain to do tests and such, but if you're going to the trouble of treating the room so you can hear things more accurately, isn't it worth it to spend a few extra bucks and test/calibrate stuff?
Old 5 days ago
  #23
Gear Guru
 
DanDan's Avatar
Friends

The UMIK and REW is also a reasonably accurate Sound Level Meter, which can be tweaked to exact. The combo can also test Mics Speakers even Electronics. A friend for life.

@Starlight, without testing nobody really knows. Fluffed out fluffy has a really vague but assumed very low GFR. I have been pushing and squeezing the big fat Ecose rolls in B and Q........LOL Got thrown out...... They are not that compressed really, very soft compared to rigid batts. My gut says they are just about right, the bigger fatties anyway. Sometimes, during the sales, I am tempted to get six rolls to fill an alcove here, giant bass trap.

DD
Old 5 days ago
  #24
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gradivus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
The UMIK and REW is also a reasonably accurate Sound Level Meter, which can be tweaked to exact. The combo can also test Mics Speakers even Electronics. A friend for life.
Yeah, I need to start looking into that in the coming weeks—using them to get the levels in the output chain set. Will probably be pestering you guys then.
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