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Acoustic designer recommendations?
Old 31st August 2019
  #31
Gear Maniac
 

EDITED: I need to add, that ANYBODY can design Control Rooms following MyRoom Design Principle if he has enough knowledge and acoustical design skills. Design principles are publicly available.

I am always thankful for that. Having access to these resources is great.
I am not an acoustic designer but enjoy to help people when they ask for my opinion in diy projects. As an example, I have put in practice MyRoom Design Principle and it works well. The simplicity (and beauty) of it may hide the hard work behind the concept.

I always advise to hire (as I did) a professional. There is no alternative if you truly want to develop/design an unique acoustic concept; one that represents YOUR vision of what YOU do. Here is another example, when I've commissioned Boggy to help me develop a new concept for my studio, he kindly accepted and (instead of talking technicalities and impose a set of rules) he asked about my personal life and what my intentions were...why I was thinking about a new room and other things that had a stronger impact in the way things turned out. We are still under way....

In sum, the "human element" always counts and is worth to consider when hiring an acoustic designer.

Last edited by Mauricio Gargel; 31st August 2019 at 10:06 PM.. Reason: add paragraph
Old 31st August 2019
  #32
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Northward's Avatar
And we're back to the original statement which is to say that it's not realistic to try and compare services from different companies that serve different types of projects (basically vastly different market segments: home studio, project studio, professional studios, test laboratories etc) and vastly different budgets which vary by at least a couple orders of magnitude (1x, 10x, 100x).

How some designers and companies manage their I.P. also varies substantially.

I appreciate and very much respect all the efforts that guys like Boggy and others put in sharing publicly their design topology and discussing them at length and so openly, but for a company like mine and our in-house FTB design this can never fly.

My opinion being that when the design topology is complex, has stringent performance benchmarks and overall constraints and took years of R&D and hundreds of thousands in investment to work out down to the finest detail, the worst that can happen to it is for it to become public. And that way make sure that down the line it gets a bad name from sub-par, lazy or bad implementations, low budget mostly visual copies etc. And it's not a question of *if* but *when*. You can't control who does what with your topology. "Oh, this room is an (insert name here) design": no, it's not. It's a half-baked sub-par version of it. And my company basically shoved buckets of R&D money and years of work out the window.

Investing in high-end designs is and must remain a label of trust and quality for clients (studio owner and the studio's clients), alongside the clear understanding that each design produced performs flawlessly and is fully certified and guaranteed to that particular standard. No matter where the room is in the world, it basically performs the same way.

So companies like mine will only share the very basics of their design / standards publicly. Only the clients get full access.

Some might say it's hard to trust this from the outside. To which I'd answer "fair enough" - but that also today give or take half the Billboard 100 has one way or another been through one of these rooms - either mixed or mastered or both. That many of the multinational companies that design the drivers used in your car, your home hi-fi, your studio monitors, your bluetooth TV soundbars etc. are using these rooms as test labs and reference test bed for their drivers and products testing.

Discussing designs online can be and often is interesting, but to me it's also a bit pointless to dig in the details if you have never experienced it or have the sufficient technical background to understand the underlying principles that are certainly not straightforward for most, contrary to what some may think. Or what some snake oil "revolutionary" products company want you to think. What a forum like this one is about is discussing things using pretty broad brush strokes.

These designs are complex systems of systems. On the one hand it's true that the advancement of CAD and computing power has helped simplify and streamline daily calculations and planning tasks, but on the other it also greatly complexified the designs by pushing the boundaries of what can be controlled and achieved and the level of detail that can be worked on. Which lead to a substantial leap in quality and control - and sophistication. Often beyond the spectrum of a casual forum conversation.

Also, presence by a designer on a forum and how much free advice (within reason) they give away on social media has little to do with the quality of their work. And a lot more to do with advertising and drawing attention. I always find it strange when I see guys able to post all day, everyday.

When on holiday or travelling for work I can post a little bit more. On a normal schedule all I can reasonably give is maybe 10-15 mins a week. Fellow designers like Wes Lachot and Francis Manzella who have a very serious pedigree are mostly offline. Most of us simply don't have the time to produce YouTube videos, tutorials, long articles or regular 3000 words posts.

All this to say, if you're in the market for a pro design (as in it makes financial sense for you as an engineer/producer to invest in such a facility) you have no other choice but browse the designer market seriously, go listen to at least 2-3 rooms and talk to the past clients about their experience. It means travel time and some expenses. But seeing the kind of investment a pro design requires, it's a drop in the sea.

Otherwise: buyer beware.
Old 1st September 2019
  #33
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boggy View Post
Scattering coefficient:



Diffusion coefficient:



It is not everything, more about these topics you can find here:
https://www.researchgate.net/profile...7ddc323e30.pdf

Thanks, Boggy.
Old 3rd September 2019
  #34
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by thechrisl View Post
An important factor here would be whether you paid him at some point. If so, shame on him for ghosting you. But if not, and you were involved in an ongoing Q&A session, it's possible he found better things to do with his time.
Oh no, I was already sending him files. He asked me to send plans so he can see what can be done. I don't know if I didn't make it clear, but I WAS willing to pay. I wasn't freeloading, at least from my point of view, off of Mr. Brandt. It hadn't been even that long a conversation when he stopped. I know you can get carried away with time, but that's part of the business and you can't use that as an excuse. Business is business, and since I was going to pay, every customer is worth the attention.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thechrisl View Post
I will add that I spoke to another designer a couple weeks ago & mentioned my experience to him. He was a little astonished as he had actually worked with another client who had gone through the same experience I did. With Stuart. There was some additional drama there apparently, which he didn't really go into. But in the end he decided he didn't want to work with me, which sucks. But that's his choice.
I agree about the truth behind this allegation. I did find someone who said Stuart did outright ghost him, but that was it. That was the only bad reference I got out of the lot of good comments and results on his work. As I said earlier, I actually contacted past clients, one-on-one, to see what they thought about their involvement with Stuart, and all of them were pleased.

IMO this conversation won't take us anywhere, because both of us are a bit biased. And to this day, Stuart hasn't gone AWOL on me. I'm not saying he won't but he hasn't still, unlike others.
Old 3rd September 2019
  #35
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boggy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mauricio Gargel View Post
The simplicity (and beauty) of it may hide the hard work behind the concept.
Well, I have 30 years of an engineering career, and one cannot give me a better compliment than “your concept is simple”! Thank you, Mauricio. Yes, a lot of work is needed to reach a “simple concept” (which works satisfactory).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mauricio Gargel View Post
I always advise to hire (as I did) a professional. There is no alternative if you truly want to develop/design an unique acoustic concept; one that represents YOUR vision of what YOU do.
That's what engineers do. They follow a customer’s vision and make it possible.



Last edited by boggy; 7th September 2019 at 04:08 PM..
Old 3rd September 2019
  #36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitrouspizza View Post
IMO this conversation won't take us anywhere, because both of us are a bit biased. And to this day, Stuart hasn't gone AWOL on me. I'm not saying he won't but he hasn't still, unlike others.
I wish you the best & hope everything works out. For myself at this point I'm trying to just deal with the fact that I've been ripped off. As I pointed out in an earlier post, there really isn't any recourse or refund option. This kind of treatment is a blight on what is a niche industry, casting shade on all the smaller DIY room designers -- and myself for even bringing it up. I figure at the very least, my experience will be a warning to others.

Meanwhile I am still working through my build and get to look forward to starting the process of finding someone to work with all over again. Which is what prompted me to add to this thread.

To Northward, I agree with a lot of your points. I think it's up to individual designers to decide how much to share or not share. Even after reading Rod's book, Owsinski & Everest, I feel I'm just understanding the broad strokes in a field where the details really matter.

Your point about market segments and orders of magnitude is well taken. But there is definitely a market for those who have just enough budget for a semi serious facility in a small-ish space that we have to build mostly by ourselves or with minimal help. Finding those who are interested in this kind of client is an uphill climb. I think it's almost a given that it will fall to people who are active online since we're dealing with a range of inexperience here. Online forums & social media is where this market segment hangs out. I think that a lot of the designers you refer to who have a serious pedigree are also in that higher magnitude which moves in professional circles and architectural digests. Which is to say, well out of the range of many of us who would be reading this thread. And I'm not trying to disparage either group. But I disagree with the notion that the whole effort is pointless if you don't have at least 3500ft³ and a six figure budget.

I guess what I'm trying to say is there is a spectrum of cost, labor and results between a tiny untreated closet and world class recording facility. It's surely a parabolic curve where as quality goes up, cost and effort go up exponentially. Everyone interested in recording has their ideal spot on the curve (and I'm sure at some point you really are better off just recording direct and mixing with headphones). I'd like to think mine is within my price range, but I'd like to find someone - both qualified and honest - to help me get there.
Old 3rd September 2019
  #37
Boggy, I've been looking at the MyRoom white paper and your info in other threads. Am I right in understanding the design requires approximately 50% loss in original room volume to treatment?

Applying that to my room, which, after the inner wall is constructed, will be around 6.7m x 4.9m x 2.4m -- that would be like giving up an extra meter in each wall and part of one in the ceiling for treatment? Obviously we're talking really rough numbers here, I'm just trying to get my head around the idea & trying to figure out how small a room I can live with. The intention would be as a multipurpose live/mix room.

I would love not to have to give up space to the room in a room design but my environment dictates a decent amount of soundproofing. I'm starting with a 9ft (3m) ceiling and really don't want to end up with anything less than 8ft (2.4m). I am considering inside out walls and ceiling to facilitate space for treatment but this would obviously require way more space than a "normal" stud bay or joist bay provides.
Old 5th September 2019
  #38
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
That's what engineers do. They follow a customer’s vision and make it possible.
As a consulting engineer with 50 years of experience and who is asked to be on design teams for high-end, hugely expensive projects for the wealthiest clients on the planet, for which my systems alone can cost over $100,000,000, I will share with you one thing that the world's finest consultants will all do for their clients. They will educate their clients every step of the way so that they can make the best possible decisions about how to spend their money.
Old 5th September 2019
  #39
Here for the gear
 

I'd like to say hello to everyone, as I haven't been active in here regarding writing posts, but I often read the threads because I'm a newbie regarding acoustics. Regardless of that, I'm actively involved in it, as I'm CEO of MyRoom Acoustics LLC, Boggy's company, who is thankfully also my mentor.
I have a pleasure to work with Mauricio Gargel and I really wanted to thank him for good observation and reasoning and further more for giving Boggy (MyRoom Acoustics) such a compliment that makes me feel privileged and it's
also uplifting for me, as it's coming from him.

Thank you,
MM


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mauricio Gargel View Post
EDITED: I need to add, that ANYBODY can design Control Rooms following MyRoom Design Principle if he has enough knowledge and acoustical design skills. Design principles are publicly available.

I am always thankful for that. Having access to these resources is great.
I am not an acoustic designer but enjoy to help people when they ask for my opinion in diy projects. As an example, I have put in practice MyRoom Design Principle and it works well. The simplicity (and beauty) of it may hide the hard work behind the concept.

I always advise to hire (as I did) a professional. There is no alternative if you truly want to develop/design an unique acoustic concept; one that represents YOUR vision of what YOU do. Here is another example, when I've commissioned Boggy to help me develop a new concept for my studio, he kindly accepted and (instead of talking technicalities and impose a set of rules) he asked about my personal life and what my intentions were...why I was thinking about a new room and other things that had a stronger impact in the way things turned out. We are still under way....

In sum, the "human element" always counts and is worth to consider when hiring an acoustic designer.
Old 6th September 2019
  #40
Here for the gear
 

Hello,
Boggy is currently unavailable. I'm his colleague, and I've been talking with him how to reply on your questions

So here we go bit by bit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by thechrisl View Post
Boggy, I've been looking at the MyRoom white paper and your info in other threads. Am I right in understanding the design requires approximately 50% loss in original room volume to treatment?
No. It depends on the room, its characteristics and absorptive materials available in the local market. Also absorptive layer can't be without thickness(!). Following our principles, absorptive treatment should be done by integrating diffuser and absorber into one system, hence they have mutual influence on each other. So we can manage the thickness in certain limits, if certain absorptive materials are available. The thickness of the treatment can be in total (e.g.) 30cm per wall (approx. 10cm diffuser + 20cm absorber). We need that on walls if it is preferred to prevent (unresolvable) big dips in Frequency Response at listening position.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thechrisl View Post
Applying that to my room, which, after the inner wall is constructed, will be around 6.7m x 4.9m x 2.4m -- that would be like giving up an extra meter in each wall and part of one in the ceiling for treatment? Obviously we're talking really rough numbers here, I'm just trying to get my head around the idea & trying to figure out how small a room I can live with. The intention would be as a multipurpose live/mix room.
Boggy told me about Philip Newell and how he was doing low frequency treatment with hanged panels. The treatment was 1-1.5 m thick per wall. So, if we succeed in reducing thickness of whole wall/ceiling treatment by 3 or 5 times in a small room, which would mean about minimum 30cm per wall with adequate materials, with acceptable results, that would be already some progress, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thechrisl View Post

I would love not to have to give up space to the room in a room design but my environment dictates a decent amount of soundproofing. I'm starting with a 9ft (3m) ceiling and really don't want to end up with anything less than 8ft (2.4m). I am considering inside out walls and ceiling to facilitate space for treatment but this would obviously require way more space than a "normal" stud bay or joist bay provides.
If soundproofing needs to be done in residential building, first of all it is not that easy, if it's even possible, because of Low Frequencies. And that is mostly because of load bearing limits in such buildings (which is usually just about 150kg/m2). Without further and deeper analysis of your particular case, we won't be able to tell you how thick your treatment and soundproofing should be, and to check if it's even possible.


MM
Old 9th September 2019
  #41
Thanks for the reply. 30cm doesn't sound all that bad, except for the ceiling. But I suppose if it does ultimately sound good, even a 2.1m treated ceiling might be acceptable.

I think I have a pretty good handle on the soundproofing. MSM calculators are helping me understand what to expect. And I know my structural limitations. In the end it will be a somewhat "typical" application of room in room construction, with 2 layers of mass for each room, air gap and insulation between. Plus a door for each leaf. It's not going to be ideal at lower frequencies but should help keep the outside world at a dull roar. Certainly better than it was initially.

For now I'm trying to finish up the outer leaf. I'd like to have at least a general direction on the design before constructing the inner leaf.

Have you guys designed any commercial facilities in the US? Ideally in the western half? I'd like to check one out, as someone suggested earlier in the thread.
Old 9th September 2019
  #42
Moderator
 
Northward's Avatar
Mod hat on:

Guys, if you are to discuss the specifics of a particular project, maybe start a dedicated thread? Thanks!
Old 20th September 2019
  #43
Sorry, I do have a build thread.

Back to the subject at hand, does anyone here have any experience with Dennis Foley? He has his own forum but I noticed most of the conversation is very brief, ending with him asking people to sign up for his free room analysis. He generally seems to avoid dealing with any room having a ceiling under 11'. He also sells a number of acoustic treatment products.

I get the low ceiling thing, but lately we've also been seeing some designers embrace new approaches to small room acoustics - which, let's face it, is a pretty common issue.

I found a pretty in depth conversation here from several years ago, about his bass traps, which use activated carbon. Ultimately it seemed inconclusive to me.

Now, I'm not saying that selling both goods and services (which would likely recommend purchase of those goods) is a bad thing. But it does make me want to be question the approach a designer takes, and their willingness to work with someone who wants to DIY as much as possible. Dennis does sell kits, by the way, which is a nice compromise.

Another one that comes to mind is GIK. Their main business seems to be treatment products, but they do offer consulting services, I think. It may be just the treatment part rather than ground up design. I'm planning to find out. In any case, I've always found Glenn and other GIK folks' contributions to this forum helpful & professional.

So, long story short, does anyone have experience specifically with the designer services offered by Dennis Foley, GIK or other manufacturers?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #44
Another bump for info. If I get any more leads I will follow up.

By the way, Stuart/Soundman2020 was recently banned from the Sayers site (where he was a mod). Apparently others reported a similar experience to mine. Which is really a shame when I read some of his posts. He really sounds like he knows what he's about, is very detail oriented and (very important for some of us) is comfortable designing small rooms. So who knows? He might bend over backwards and help you build a brilliant studio. Or he might take your money and cut off all contact with you. Maybe he just unilaterally decided that every once in a while, someone has to pay for all that free advice.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #45
Just saw Northward's new thread. Thanks, I'll keep an eye out for updates.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #46
The more info the better. But, I'd definitely like to see what the designer's philosophy is on "small" rooms. The more I research this the more I realize they truly require a different approach from traditional acoustic spaces.

This approach seems to fall into three categories:
  • A ton of broadband trapping, followed by targeting the remaining problem frequencies with tuned devices and perhaps additional diffusion. In other words, similar to what one would do in a larger room, but more of it. From what I gather, the results can range from very good to not bad but what did you expect in such a small room?
  • Very specialized designs i.e. MyRoom and others. These seem to provide "better" results but may cost more to implement and take up more space.
  • Those, like yourself, who set a minimum dimension and choose not to deal with smaller rooms. Which is great, because I'd rather not go down that road with someone if they're not comfortable with the job. Especially when they don't tell me...

I think it's important because, lets face it, the vast majority of people who come to this forum for advice are working with rooms on the smaller end of the spectrum.

This self deprecating point from DanDan a while back was telling:
Quote:
Many of us would like to know which would be the most effective way to approach small room treatment. Many are currently going with the 'safe bet' broadband approach. Perhaps that is just uncertainty, laziness even, fueled with lots of anecdotal successes using BB.
And maybe there's a thread on this somewhere in the ancient past, but it seems there should be a set of realistic expectations, based on room dimensions and budget, known by both parties before proceeding. Things like Noise Criteria, Room Response, RT60, IDTG, etc. that may be X but will never be Y -- and is that OK?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #47
Moderator
 
Northward's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thechrisl View Post
The more info the better. But, I'd definitely like to see what the designer's philosophy is on "small" rooms. The more I research this the more I realize they truly require a different approach from traditional acoustic spaces.
Laws of physics are the same in small and large rooms. Same maths apply, just scaled in some aspects. Small rooms are just very impractical to work in due to their dimensions, expensive per surface unit and difficult to build. They require very good building skills. When it's even possible to get that amount of treatment in there.

In the overwhelming majority of cases, you can't float them, you can't work a proper shell geometry, you can't load the structure. You can't bring HVAC in properly. You'll often sit close to your speakers in a nearfield setup, so can't use the good stuff which is mostly 3 ways since it won't be coherent at that distance. In acoustics engineering terms, it's a perfect storm of major constraints.

The smaller the room, the more you will lose room volume to treatment. Start with 220ft² 20m², end up with less than half of that if you want results approaching Pro rooms.

You can use optimization tricks etc, but at one point you're eventually going to hit a glass ceilling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thechrisl View Post
You won't find a designer with a true "small room philosophy"
That's because you need to meet minimum distances to boundaries criteria for all psycho-acoustic models to effectively work. Whether it's LEDE/RFZ, NE, MyRoom, or our FTB. They will have different parameters thresholds, but they all have clear limits in terms of acceptable minimum room size. It's like any other field of engineering, there are no miracles. Anyone telling you otherwise is taking you for a ride.

Unlike some "hard" parameters of room acoustics, Psycho-acoustics aren't scale-able. The brain's response to environment is a system with a set range of values and behaviours. If you look at the population, it's pretty much a narrow Gaussian distribution. You can't change that, we are hard wired that way.

You must understand this if you're to understand the limits of small room designs and why what you're asking for isn't realistic.


You can't sit 1.m/3ft away from a QRD diffusor and not expect issues. You can't use PRD diffusors for Self noise cues like in FTB if the the feedback value is over a particular threshold (i.e. there is a minimum distance to diffusor) or outside a very particular frequency bandwidth (i.e. physical size / bandwidth of the diffusor).

You can't expect true broadband absorption from 8"/20cm. It takes at least 3x as much, using membranes and other pretty expensive tools to manufacture.

Which brings me to my last point: the die hard myth of a home studio that sounds like a pro room, meets pro room criteria, for the price of a home studio.

It's the biggest lie in this industry. This is day dreaming on the end user side, supported by misleading marketing on the provider's side. If it were true, pro studios and facilities would not be investing sometimes over 7 figures in pro rooms. I'd be out of a job, and all these mix and mastering engineers / facilites would work at home from a spare bedroom.

A pro room will need a compliant space and a budget in the 6 figures for the build alone.

Now, you can very much optimize a home studio / small room so it performs as good as it can. The best way to do that budget wise is via educated DIY (read a lot on the subject), followed by a period of "trial and error".

Some designers provide consulting services for such projects to help get the best out of the space, but no one should expect them to go beyond the "room response clean-up" stage. Since going beyond this means the design fee will start to be very substantial (it is a myth that small rooms are faster to design than large rooms) and build costs and complexity follow the same path. For a ROI that is diminishing fast due to the space's very real limitations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thechrisl View Post
And maybe there's a thread on this somewhere in the ancient past, but it seems there should be a set of realistic expectations, based on room dimensions and budget, known by both parties before proceeding. Things like Noise Criteria, Room Response, RT60, IDTG, etc. that may be X but will never be Y -- and is that OK?
There is no general answer to that question for a home studio. Only particular answers based on a specific project's size, budget and location.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #48
Alright, I get it. You have pretty strong feelings on the subject of whether a project is viable according to room size. Which is ironic given that you're moderating a forum which is at least 80% about small - medium rooms.

Still I get the sense that we're saying similar things but still talking past each other. Although you did quote me as saying something I didn't say, but rather your response to what I said.



I know there are designers who disagree with this. I've seen dozens of threads covering the subject. Sure some of them may be scammers but I doubt all of them are. I'm not going to mount a defense for them, hopefully some will do so themselves, although traffic has been sadly thin here lately.

Quote:
Which brings me to my last point: the die hard myth of a home studio that sounds like a pro room, meets pro room criteria, for the price of a home studio.

It's the biggest lie in this industry. This is day dreaming on the end user side, supported by misleading marketing on the provider's side. If it were true, pro studios and facilities would not be investing sometimes over 7 figures in pro rooms. I'd be out of a job, and all these mix and mastering engineers / facilites would work at home from a spare bedroom.

A pro room will need a compliant space and a budget in the 6 figures for the build alone.

Now, you can very much optimize a home studio / small room so it performs as good as it can. The best way to do that budget wise is via educated DIY (read a lot on the subject), followed by a period of "trial and error".
What I find most frustrating about this thread are the generalities.

What exactly is "pro room criteria" and what exactly is "small"? Rod's book, which is literally about DIY "like the Pros" defines a large room as 5000cf+, medium as 2000-5000cf and small as <2000cf. That's a helpful starting place. Just for the record, my room is in the medium range. Your minimum for a control room is on the higher end of Rod's medium. I have some ideas about the criteria (EBU Tech. 3276 etc), I'm just pointing out that they're being glossed over in this debate about what is achievable.

I do get your points, I really do. Small-ish rooms are definitely a challenge, and surely cost more to treat on a per sq foot basis. Results diminish in many cases. But for some of us, there isn't another option and we know (to varying degrees) that we aren't going to get 100% (or 50% or X%) pro results. It's just not always clear what that means. But not everyone requires a state of the art 3, 4, 5+ room multimedia facility with independently floated floors. I'm sure these builds can easily get into the 7 figure range.

So my point was that designing small-ish rooms (by which I suppose I mean Rod's "medium" down to some unspecified "small" dimension where an expert will throw in the towel and say "not worth it") is a specialty. As I've said before, there is a spectrum between 8'x8'x8' and Blackbird C. Along that spectrum you have changing cost, effort and results and places that you just can't go. So I think it's the role of a good designer to help you determine where you fit on that curve and be straight with you about what you can hope to achieve with a certain cost (and effort!). And I totally agree if they aren't doing this then there is probably some snake oil involved.

I know of two very pertinent examples (and I won't name names but I've communicated with the client). They involve a "medium" two room facility.

One designer who has been mentioned in this thread worked with the client on the build. He provided a design he probably assumed was good enough for the client. Then didn't ask for many pictures, didn't discuss the client's needs all that much and did very little testing or follow up. After a ton of work the client was unhappy with the sound.

He went to another designer (also mentioned here) for help.

The other designer is a strong advocate for being able to achieve "world class" quality in a medium size room. He worked with the client on fixing what had been done. Long story short, they went down a deep deep rabbit hole that took years, cost a ton of money and involved building some very esoteric devices to treat the room. Eventually (after much wailing and gnashing of teeth, and TESTING), they got it done and the client said it sounded glorious. ...but his sanity is a bit shaken and he spent way way more than he intended.

My point is that these are two extremes. I don't want either of these. I want something in the middle, and I believe it's possible (knowing that I won't have an ideal RT60 and may have some lingering bass control problems, etc etc). I think there have been many many threads here that prove this is possible.

Not all designers know or care enough to help a DIYer with a low 5 figure budget to get there. But some absolutely do. And that's what I had hoped this thread would be about.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #49
Lives for gear
 

it's quite easy: specify your room dimensions (and of course some more details), tell about your needs and goals, how much time and what amount of money you're willing to spend - then see who's willing to chime in, here and maybe on other platforms...

...but don't blame those who will not!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #50
Moderator
 
Northward's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thechrisl View Post
Alright, I get it. You have pretty strong feelings on the subject of whether a project is viable according to room size. Which is ironic given that you're moderating a forum which is at least 80% about small - medium rooms.
I don't have strong feelings about it. But I have strong feelings when I see guys sell lies to those 80% (and recently some taking their money and ghosting them.) There is nothing ironic in that, quite the contrary.

The reality of small rooms physics and psycho-acoustics isn't affected by the number of rooms built or forum users. I'm just telling it like it is - that's one of the roles of a moderator. So that users can plan their next move in terms of studio acoustics with both feet firmly on the ground.

There seems to be a lot of cognitive dissonances about this subject. And those to blame for this aren't the clients. It's the marketing and misinformation/over-simplification spread on the subject by those who think they have something to gain (a forum ego trip and/or financial gains) by distorting reality to sell and parade online unattainable goals. While in reality, there is a lot more to gain by being transparent, efficient, dedicated, serious and available to your clients.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thechrisl View Post
Still I get the sense that we're saying similar things but still talking past each other. Although you did quote me as saying something I didn't say, but rather your response to what I said.



I know there are designers who disagree with this. I've seen dozens of threads covering the subject. Sure some of them may be scammers but I doubt all of them are. I'm not going to mount a defense for them, hopefully some will do so themselves, although traffic has been sadly thin here lately.

What I find most frustrating about this thread are the generalities.

What exactly is "pro room criteria" and what exactly is "small"? Rod's book, which is literally about DIY "like the Pros" defines a large room as 5000cf+, medium as 2000-5000cf and small as <2000cf. That's a helpful starting place. Just for the record, my room is in the medium range. Your minimum for a control room is on the higher end of Rod's medium. I have some ideas about the criteria (EBU Tech. 3276 etc), I'm just pointing out that they're being glossed over in this debate about what is achievable.
I state very clearly on my website what the minimum technical requirements are for FTB rooms (= what is considered a small room is under that threshold). I believe John Brandt, Fran Manzella and some others do too for their designs. Some are more outspoken than others on the finer detail of the design topology, but that aspect is a different conversation altogether.

http://www.northwardacoustics.com/services/
http://www.fmdesign.com/company-process/
https://www.jhbrandt.net/design-crit...n-environment/

Check the websites of the various service providers you're interested in. If your space is under criteria, move on. If they don't state requirements, ask them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thechrisl View Post
I do get your points, I really do. Small-ish rooms are definitely a challenge, and surely cost more to treat on a per sq foot basis. Results diminish in many cases. But for some of us, there isn't another option and we know (to varying degrees) that we aren't going to get 100% (or 50% or X%) pro results. It's just not always clear what that means. But not everyone requires a state of the art 3, 4, 5+ room multimedia facility with independently floated floors. I'm sure these builds can easily get into the 7 figure range.

So my point was that designing small-ish rooms (by which I suppose I mean Rod's "medium" down to some unspecified "small" dimension where an expert will throw in the towel and say "not worth it") is a specialty. As I've said before, there is a spectrum between 8'x8'x8' and Blackbird C. Along that spectrum you have changing cost, effort and results and places that you just can't go. So I think it's the role of a good designer to help you determine where you fit on that curve and be straight with you about what you can hope to achieve with a certain cost (and effort!). And I totally agree if they aren't doing this then there is probably some snake oil involved.

I know of two very pertinent examples (and I won't name names but I've communicated with the client). They involve a "medium" two room facility.

One designer who has been mentioned in this thread worked with the client on the build. He provided a design he probably assumed was good enough for the client. Then didn't ask for many pictures, didn't discuss the client's needs all that much and did very little testing or follow up. After a ton of work the client was unhappy with the sound.

He went to another designer (also mentioned here) for help.

The other designer is a strong advocate for being able to achieve "world class" quality in a medium size room. He worked with the client on fixing what had been done. Long story short, they went down a deep deep rabbit hole that took years, cost a ton of money and involved building some very esoteric devices to treat the room. Eventually (after much wailing and gnashing of teeth, and TESTING), they got it done and the client said it sounded glorious. ...but his sanity is a bit shaken and he spent way way more than he intended.

My point is that these are two extremes. I don't want either of these. I want something in the middle, and I believe it's possible (knowing that I won't have an ideal RT60 and may have some lingering bass control problems, etc etc). I think there have been many many threads here that prove this is possible.

Not all designers know or care enough to help a DIYer with a low 5 figure budget to get there. But some absolutely do. And that's what I had hoped this thread would be about.
And I do understand your frustration. Hopefully this thread will be a reality check for users.

After your messages and other's PM about certain people taking advantage of forum DIYers, and multiple requests for a list of official designers, there's been a move to clean-up the forum of such individuals. Some seem to have left on their own initiative due to increasing pressure and users coming out in the open about their experiences, some had to be shown the door.

We're all very busy but the list should be ready in a few days, I am discussing the content with other designers to make sure things are represented fairly. This will help the forum users gain visibility in terms of quality and type of services.
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