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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
Moderator
 
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 4 weeks ago
  #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?
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