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Acoustic designer recommendations?
Old 7th May 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
Acoustic designer recommendations?

Hello, you guys. Hoping you're all doing well.

I barely know about studio designers and I want to find someone specialized in small rooms. I have a small 3.20 x 2.80M room that I want to turn into a dedicated mixing studio. I know this is not the optimal infrastructure but there's no other options for the time being.

I just want the design and plans, I can measure and build myself. I'm not really interested in DIY design, so I'm looking for a fully fledged, professional solution.

Thanks!

-A
Old 7th May 2019
  #2
I've been meaning to ask this too as I'm in the middle of the same process. There are a handful of guys on the forum who do this work professionally. I only know of one or two. I've always thought it would be beneficial to have a list of those resources -- although it's a double sided coin. Some of them spend lots of time giving out free advice so it's not surprising they might want to lay low.

From my experience most of the people you'll find online require something of a leap of faith. They have an online reputation built from lots and lots of posts --which you'll have to scan through. They might also have a website with pics of their work, which is harder to verify as you'd have to contact those studio owners and ask them how things went. Or maybe they've done YouTube videos or written books. There are a few better known folks who are better known for a reason -- they do larger projects and are (maybe) way out of our price range -- though you didn't say what your price range was. Rod Gervais is one and John Sayers (who also runs another online forum) is another. J Brandt is another who is pretty well known here.

Once you settle on someone, the leap of faith comes into play as it typically involves a down payment of some kind, made to a person who could very well be halfway around the world. You may not be their only client so patience is a requirement. You'll also have to agree on the approach as someone may insist you do things that you really don't want to do. As I like to say, you can do anything with unlimited time and money -- but technically no one has that.

Rod's book is a great resource for the DIY builder. Even if you don't do the design work it will help explain why someone would spec the design to include various features, and help explain some of the details required for construction.

In addition to budget, you'll also need to provide some indication of how much soundproofing you'll need. That is often the most expensive, painful and space eating part of the whole build process. If you really need to block noise coming in or going out it will make your room even smaller.

Good luck. I'll keep an eye on this thread to see if you get other answers.

Last edited by thechrisl; 7th May 2019 at 10:35 PM.. Reason: more words
Old 13th May 2019
  #3
Here for the gear
 

You will find many great professional studio designers that frequent this forum, from the top of my head:

- JHBrandt (https://www.jhbrandt.net/)
- Boggy (http://www.myroom-acoustics.com)
- Avare (I don't know if he has a website).
- Jens Eklund (http://resonatorstockholm.com/)
- Jeffrey Hedback (http://www.hdacoustics.net/)
- G.E. (http://www.ebenlechner.at/de/biographie.html)

I bet all of them can make a great sounding small room. In my experience, when you work with skilled professionals, what matters most it's the 'fit' with your project, how the designer understands your needs and the type of room that he/she designs (some people specialize in particular designs).

The great sounding room is given at this kind of level

Sorry if I miss anyone! I'm sure there are many more.
Old 27th June 2019
  #4
Thanks for the list. I knew about some of these folks but not others. I think it would benefit anyone like myself looking for help. I've been working with someone (not on this list) and it hasn't been going very well so it might be time to cut my losses.
Old 27th June 2019
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitrouspizza View Post
Hello, you guys. Hoping you're all doing well.

I barely know about studio designers and I want to find someone specialized in small rooms. I have a small 3.20 x 2.80M room that I want to turn into a dedicated mixing studio. I know this is not the optimal infrastructure but there's no other options for the time being.

I just want the design and plans, I can measure and build myself. I'm not really interested in DIY design, so I'm looking for a fully fledged, professional solution.

Thanks!

-A
Hello,

No sure with this dimensions you will find a pro.
Old 27th June 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
Chose an acoustic designer according to the room design you want/need.

Some designs might recquieres a min. volume as well.

Good luck with your project
Old 28th June 2019
  #7
Lives for gear
 

I wouldn't use John Brandt. Personal experience with him. Trust me.
Old 28th June 2019
  #8
You put it out there, so can you elaborate?

As I said before, word of mouth is pretty much the only means we have of knowing how good these people are to work with. It's a niche industry requiring the customer to (eventually) make a sizeable payment to someone across the world they may never meet in person or even speak to. Payment methods are often such that any kind of refund is totally up to the service provider, or in other words, very unlikely. Lots of things can go wrong -- not least of which is poor communication.

There are plenty of music based forums (including this one) that discuss, praise and criticize the universe of hardware manufacturers, software developers & resellers out there. But not so much these specialized service providers.

IMO if we can keep it civil, honest and to the point, we'll be doing ourselves a favor by discussing our experiences. I'm getting to a point where I'll be ready to discuss mine, I'm just trying to be patient a bit longer.

PS -- Sorry if I'm stealing OP's thread. But I think it's on topic. What I'd like to see at some point is a list of acoustic designers who work with DIY folks, along with a discussion of actual experiences with them and any criteria they have (i.e. minimum room size, budget, preferences for things like splayed walls, soffit mounted monitors, etc).
Old 9th July 2019
  #9
Bumping for more details...
Old 27th August 2019
  #10
Another attempt at a bump. In addition to other suggestions, I'm still curious about @ brandoncross ' comment.
Old 27th August 2019
  #11
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Starlight's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thechrisl View Post
What I'd like to see at some point is a list of acoustic designers who work with DIY folks, along with a discussion of actual experiences with them and any criteria they have (i.e. minimum room size, budget, preferences for things like splayed walls, soffit mounted monitors, etc).
That would be useful. I would add to your list of criteria which room types each is willing to design, eg. BTF, RFZ, LEDE, NE, Ambechoic, ESS.

A few more designers Gekk0 did not list:

- Thomas aka Northward, www.northwardacoustics.com, was missing from the list above, possibly because your room is beneath his minimum usable size of 108 cu.m.
- Rod Gervais.
- DanDan, www.irishacoustics.com.
- Soundman2020, www.digistar.cl (web site has no ability to contact him but a forum PM would reach him).
Old 28th August 2019
  #12
Moderator
 
Northward's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitrouspizza View Post
Hello, you guys. Hoping you're all doing well.

I barely know about studio designers and I want to find someone specialized in small rooms. I have a small 3.20 x 2.80M room that I want to turn into a dedicated mixing studio. I know this is not the optimal infrastructure but there's no other options for the time being.

I just want the design and plans, I can measure and build myself. I'm not really interested in DIY design, so I'm looking for a fully fledged, professional solution.

Thanks!

-A
I would not spend that kind of money on a 9m² space.

Treat it with pre-made panels for now if you're not into DIY and in the future when in a larger and more suitable space invest in a proper design.

In 9m² you're just going to waste money. My company and no other pro designer I know of will work in such a small room because we know that, and because it's technically impossible to work to professional standards within these constraints.

Anybody telling you otherwise is not a straight shooter.
Old 28th August 2019
  #13
Moderator
 
Northward's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thechrisl View Post
IMO if we can keep it civil, honest and to the point, we'll be doing ourselves a favor by discussing our experiences. I'm getting to a point where I'll be ready to discuss mine, I'm just trying to be patient a bit longer.

PS -- Sorry if I'm stealing OP's thread. But I think it's on topic. What I'd like to see at some point is a list of acoustic designers who work with DIY folks, along with a discussion of actual experiences with them and any criteria they have (i.e. minimum room size, budget, preferences for things like splayed walls, soffit mounted monitors, etc).
You can and should contact a designer's former clients. Visit some of his previous designs too. Most of us list the clients on our websites, which for the vast majority are easy to get in touch with via their websites. Just google the names.

DIY has a very wide spectrum budget wise and services wise. It's hard to compare them apples to apples.

Some do limited 5-10k€/$ basic DIY projects, some like my company do 100k€/$+ build costs "DIY projects" that only differ from full pro builds in that the owner builds it slowly with some punctual help rather than a full pro build team. The design services are not invoiced any differently though.

Recent examples of DIY builds to pro specs (so large budgets):

New Mix room and Mastering room: https://thebunkerstudio.com/
Full studio: http://barefootstudio.be/

Those are very, very far away from a 5-10k DIY project.

Having a simple list of names is something I can do in a sticky, but starting a discussion of actual experiences might be harder to implement due to the behaviours that are sadly typical from some anonymous forum users.

Case in point: we have a post in this thread saying "don't work with John Brandt" yet no explanation - and John may well have a completely different point of view and story to tell. Which too often would lead to a nasty, useless online tit for tat conversation and down the line damaging to both parties and not helpful whatsoever.

Sometimes the services may be problematic, sometimes the clients are simply out of line or not honest.

Best is to privately connect with enough former clients of a design firm before ordering the services. Talk to the designer and check the payment/refund conditions and design contract carefully.

Also select the designer according to your means and objectives.
A designer working on full blown ground up rooms is unlikely to be interested in a project studio and vice-versa.
Old 28th August 2019
  #14
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thomlin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitrouspizza View Post
Hello, you guys. Hoping you're all doing well.

I barely know about studio designers and I want to find someone specialized in small rooms. I have a small 3.20 x 2.80M room that I want to turn into a dedicated mixing studio. I know this is not the optimal infrastructure but there's no other options for the time being.

I just want the design and plans, I can measure and build myself. I'm not really interested in DIY design, so I'm looking for a fully fledged, professional solution.

Thanks!

-A
Hi, it is a very small room, but you can always do the best out of what you got no matter what. My control room is 3x4m and no matter what the mob around here (almost everyone already represented in your thread) will repeat now, you can see the measurements below and build your own opinion.

Dealing with room modes: resonators vs. hefty absorption vs. subwoofers

Dealing with room modes: resonators vs. hefty absorption vs. subwoofers

I’m very happy with this concept and everyone, pro or not, that have played their reference songs there, have left the room with a smile on their face. But I can only speak for the concept in my and a few others places.

Wish you the best with your room.
Old 28th August 2019
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northward View Post

Also select the designer according to your means and objectives.
A designer working on full blown ground up rooms is unlikely to be interested in a project studio and vice-versa.
I agree with the points you made about contacting former clients. To me, reading about experiences online should always be taken with a grain of salt and anyone serious about hiring someone should pursue additional data to make up their minds. It definitely doesn't help to say something negative with no supporting info.

To your point above about what designers are interested in, that's partly why I brought all this up. I see a lot of designers (and those I assume as such) posting to this site, but only a few of them have any kind of website -- and some of them are not in english (my loss). I can only assume that guys like John Sayers and Rod Gervais are now just doing higher end projects. But I could be wrong.

Even if we just stick to facts (per Starlight's suggestion on preferred methods, minimum size, etc), getting a list together would benefit both the designers and potential clients, IMO.

I'm currently in the market myself and have already looked at your website. My room, at ~40m² (with a 3m ceiling) is too small to meet your minimum but I really appreciate you putting that out there. I wish the other guys (as in, consultants) would follow suit on what they look for in a project.

Last edited by thechrisl; 28th August 2019 at 09:38 PM..
Old 28th August 2019
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by thomlin View Post
Hi, it is a very small room, but you can always do the best out of what you got no matter what. My control room is 3x4m and no matter what the mob around here (almost everyone already represented in your thread) will repeat now, you can see the measurements below and build your own opinion.
I agree it's possible to get results in a smaller room, especially a control room. But how did you get to that point? Are you trained, self-taught or did you just wing it and get lucky? Or did you work with someone who is both knowledgeable and comfortable with this kind of space? I'm being tongue in cheek but am genuinely curious.

I've read enough to feel as though I could just push ahead and figure it all out myself. But the prevailing wisdom is that that is an expensive idea & will probably result in rework and, possibly, giving up and just working in a crappy room.

The way I look at it, just about anything is possible with enough time and money. If you have a tiny room, you might be able to make something work but it will likely take more money than you have. And if cost is no object, you might as well start by getting a better room. And of course there's that big grey area in the middle, which includes, what is your idea of a good room? If you've only recorded in a standard home bedroom or basement, it probably won't take much to blow your mind. If you've only worked in pro spaces, your standards are pretty high. All this is going to differ from person to person.
Old 28th August 2019
  #17
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At the risk of sounding like a self-serving plug for studio designers (which is not my intention at all): It just makes sense to hire a studio designer for most studio builds.

Now for the counter argument: Can you learn to do it yourself? Sure you can! Any reasonably intelligent person with decent high-school math skills can definitely learn the basics of acoustics, the basics of studio design, the basics of HVAC, the basics of electrics, the basics of construction design, and put together a workable plan for their own studio. It is definitely possible, and there are people here on this forum and on other forums who have done just that, ending up with pretty good studios. If somebody wants to take this route, then it can certainly work. No doubts at all. There's plenty of examples of that around.

Realistically, it will take you about 6 months or so, or maybe a year, to learn the basics of acoustics well enough to design your own place to a good level, assuming you can dedicate several hours every day to study and research. Then another 3 to 6 months or so to learn the basics of construction, structures, framing, building techniques, materials, regulations, and suchlike. Then maybe 3 months or so to learn the basics of HVAC and how that applies to studios. Then another 3 months to learn the basics of electricity, wiring, circuits, etc., and how to apply that in studios. Then another several months to learn some type of design software, such as SketchUp or AutoCAD, well enough to be able to actually design the place in full detail. So, in total call it about two years or so, realistically, to be at the point where you can start designing. Then allow another 3 to 6 months for the actual design process itself, and maybe a year here too. And once again, all of the above is assuming that you have several free hours per day that you can dedicate to this. If you only have an hour or so free per day, then extend the total time to maybe three or perhaps even four years, or more. On the other hand, if you are super smart, can dedicate 8 hours per day, already have some of those skills, and learn really fast, you might be fully up to speed in a year or less. Maybe.

So can you do it yourself? Absolutely! But do you REALLY want to spend all that time learning a complex technical skill that you will only ever use once in your life, or maybe twice? (How many studios do you think you'll build in your garage? ) Is that a good use of time for a musician or mix engineer? For some people, they really do want to learn, and are happy to do that, and can afford the time. More power to them! That's great, and laudable. Admirable! But for most home studio builders, they just want to start building next week, and have it over and done with as soon as possible, so they can get back to doing what they REALLY want to do: make music.

There's also the issue of experience: You might learn enough in those 2 or 3 or 4 years to do it yourself, but it will be your very first attempt at studio design, and there's a LOT of stuff that you will still get wrong, and will cost you money to fix: mistakes that you will make due to not having any experience with design. A good studio designer will not make those mistakes, since he has the experience and knows what to avoid, what corners he can cut, what corners he cannot cut, how to reduce costs, what materials to substitute, etc. You can probably pay for a large part (or even all of it... or more!) of the studio designer's fee simply by NOT making the mistakes that you would have made. Knowing how to avoid costly errors comes from experience, not from book learning or looking at web sites on the internet. Real world experience is invaluable. I'm aware of cases where people have started to build studios all on their own, then run into trouble, and found that they had to tear down most (or all) of what they had done already, and rebuild from scratch: Expensive! And frustrating. Even worse is those folks who go through the whole process, build the place, finish it beautifully, but then it sounds like garbage inside, acoustically, or the neighbors call the cops because it does not isolate, or any other number of reasons that can trash a studio design done wrong.

That's the real underlying issue here: Can you do it yourself? Absolutely! Does it make sense to do it yourself? For most people, probably not.

So, that leaves "most people" with two choices: 1) Come to one of the forums about studio design (such as this one), start a thread about their empty room and their hopes and dreams, ask lots of questions, and hope that more experienced forum members will help them out with advice (maybe even generous studio designers giving out free tips... ). Or: 2) Pay a studio designer to do it for them. Both are valid. Both work. That's an individual choice.

Of course, all of the above is relative to home studios / project studios / hobby studios. For professional studios, there really is no question here at all: Just hire a studio designer and get it done right.


- Stuart -
Old 29th August 2019
  #18
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thomlin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thechrisl View Post
I agree it's possible to get results in a smaller room, especially a control room. But how did you get to that point? Are you trained, self-taught or did you just wing it and get lucky? Or did you work with someone who is both knowledgeable and comfortable with this kind of space? I'm being tongue in cheek but am genuinely curious.

I've read enough to feel as though I could just push ahead and figure it all out myself. But the prevailing wisdom is that that is an expensive idea & will probably result in rework and, possibly, giving up and just working in a crappy room.

The way I look at it, just about anything is possible with enough time and money. If you have a tiny room, you might be able to make something work but it will likely take more money than you have. And if cost is no object, you might as well start by getting a better room. And of course there's that big grey area in the middle, which includes, what is your idea of a good room? If you've only recorded in a standard home bedroom or basement, it probably won't take much to blow your mind. If you've only worked in pro spaces, your standards are pretty high. All this is going to differ from person to person.
Agree, it all goes down to preferences, prerequisites and how much money and time you’re willing to spend.

I got satisfied third time I rebuild my room. In a small room as mine I should have focused more on the standing waves from the beginning. But I got great ideas and help from Matts from SMT How to take care of the huge peak at 30Hz and how to calculate the HH. His suggestion was to build a big HH in the ceiling back of the room (which No one else even considered), which gave the room a much wider sweet spot and didn’t take any floor space.

I also put a V4 (HH) beneath each speaker which took care of the 50 Hz in the front between the console and the front wall (and also a space saving solution). All around the walls of the room I’ve put wings. No bass traps, no thick absorbtion (only some behind the wings) etc.

I spent $8000 for the material and built the room myself with guidance and help from Matts .
Regarding the time I’ve spend rebuilding and trying the most common solutions with bass traps in the corners etc. I think I got a great solution in the end, space saving, cost effective with great measurements and comfortable and correct listening environment.
Old 29th August 2019
  #19
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G. E.'s Avatar
 

Tiny Room Acoustics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitrouspizza View Post
... I barely know about studio designers and I want to find someone specialized in small rooms. I have a small 3.20 x 2.80M room that I want to turn into a dedicated mixing studio. I know this is not the optimal infrastructure but there's no other options for the time being.

I just want the design and plans, I can measure and build myself. I'm not really interested in DIY design, so I'm looking for a fully fledged, professional solution. ...
Actually I'm not specialised in small rooms -- I do whatever is within budget to make it work for the client (or I tell the client which budget is needed to make the room work up to its potential). To give you an example, I did this 10,4m^2 [~112ft^2], 2,5m [~8'2"] height, pretty odd shaped room for Drum & Bass producer Reinhard Rietsch (Camo & Krooked).
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Old 29th August 2019
  #20
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boggy's Avatar
Hello everybody,

Thanks, Gekk0 for a recommendation!

The smallest room which we designed was 3.56x3.67x2.55m = 13m2 (if I remember well) in 2008. or 2009.

This was introduction of MyRoom Design Principle (Pressed Lizard Studio) together with RES Media Studio.
Results are presented on 129th AES Convention, 2010. in San Francisco.
http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=15717

If you do not want to buy that paper here is summary in our White Paper:
http://www.myroom-acoustics.com/host...hite_paper.pdf


or similar paper presented at a different conference:
http://www.myroom-acoustics.com/host...2010_09_24.pdf


We used hybrid diffusers for small (and big) rooms, more about them you can find in new Peter D'Antonio and Trevor Cox book (and also a picture of our Fractal Hybrid Diffuser from RES Media Studio):
Acoustic Absorbers and Diffusers: Theory, Design and Application 3rd Edition

To check if designed and finished Control Rooms performance fit in limits recommended for critical listening we used these papers:

1. "Multichannel surround sound systems and operations", AES Technical Council, Document AESTD1001.1.01-10, New York.
2. “Methods for the subjective assessment of small impairments in audio systems including multichannel sound systems”, ITU-R Recommendation BS.1116 (rev. 1), ITU, Geneva, 1997.
3. W. Hoeg, L. Christensen, R. Walker, “Subjective assessment of audio quality– the means and methods within the EBU”, EBU Technical Review Winter 1997, pp. 40-43.
4. "Listening conditions for the assessment of sound programme material: monophonic and two–channel stereophonic", EBU Tech. 3276 – 2nd edition May 1998, European Broadcasting Union, Geneva, Switzerland

If someone has a too-small room and doesn't want to invest in it, I recommend practicing mixing on excellent headphones, not random acoustic treatment.

Small rooms are extremely difficult to design, I know that well, but if designed carefully, while knowing drawbacks, it can be used for making mixes which will have an excellent translation if the customer is skilled and know what he wants to hear.

About price ratio of design/build:
Everybody needs to include the price of residential space per m2 when asking people to find a BIGGER room... In my country... 9m2 (child room) is still more expensive (10-18kEUR) than fully designed and built control room acoustic adaptation in that space, following MyRoom Design Mark 2+.

If someone loves to work in pajamas and slippers, engineers duty is to find the best solution for them (IMHO).


MyRoom Design Mark 2 is presented in 140th AES Convention, 2016. in Paris, you can find it here (free for download)

http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=18225


Everything we did in Control Room Acoustics for small and big rooms, we publish in scientific papers at Public Conferences. This way, the integrity of our work is checked by the best acoustic professionals we have now in the Audio Engineers Society and my School of Electrical Engineering. One cannot publish something there what doesn't make contribution worth mentioning to other acoustic professionals and amateurs, without Conference Jury permission.



Last edited by boggy; 29th August 2019 at 04:05 PM..
Old 29th August 2019
  #21
Here for the gear
Sorry guys, didn't notice the post had become such a thread. Update is that I went with Stuart Allsop, he's an australian designer who lives in Chile (or something like that) of username Soundman2020. As per so many of you suggested I tried contacting past clients and results and opinions were favorable. To be honest he's a bit slow on response time but that's bearable considering the support I have received from him and the way he is actually trying yo make it work no matter what.

As some of you said, putting money into that room is kind of risky, and many of you have suggested me not doing it. But then there are people who are willing to take the risk and design the room.

I haven't built anything yet, the design is about to be finished, and so far, Mr. Allsop hasn't got me any bad news.

Sadly, it's what I've got to work with. I decided investing on monitoring rather than gear because I couldn't find something that would improve my mixes in as a single piece of hardware as I could. I figured out I want to have monitoring as true as posible and manage itb for now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by brandoncross View Post
I wouldn't use John Brandt. Personal experience with him. Trust me.
Yes. He ghosted me and gave no reason... If possible, not working with him anymore. :/
Old 29th August 2019
  #22
Lives for gear
IMO there is both politics and unwarranted secrecy in this field which makes choosing a designer very difficult. There is also "name calling" that goes on behind the scenes, and sometimes even accusations that "so and so has no idea what he/she is doing." A red flag suddenly goes up when "so and so" happens to be a world renowned designer who has many multi-million dollar facilities on his referral list, and also has the respect of peers in the field who are also highly credentialed. This is when you realize that even a niche field like this is not free from human politics and name calling. Sad but true.

Bottom line is that some of these designers have big egos, and they think that their way is right and the other guy's way is wrong. They will say "only my design is pro" and "if it is not done my way then it is amateur." They portray it as black or white, with nothing in between. Then when you ask them to please explain they tell you to hire them first, ask questions later.

Like someone else in this thread said awhile back -- it takes a "leap of faith" which for some could be a leap into a non-refundable black hole.
Old 29th August 2019
  #23
Gear Addict
 

Well, some of 'm have a certification for their rooms, so that makes 'm trustworthy.
Old 31st August 2019
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by bert stoltenborg View Post
Well, some of 'm have a certification for their rooms, so that makes 'm trustworthy.
Having a certification is definitely useful to show that a set of goals was reached, regardless of the method used, or the cost, or the time spent, or the amount of drama involved. But it doesn't make the designer automatically worthy of a recommendation.
Old 31st August 2019
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitrouspizza View Post
Yes. He ghosted me and gave no reason... If possible, not working with him anymore. :/
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. Just playing devil's advocate here. A lot of these guys do spend tons of time talking, posting, emailing with prospective clients, sharing wisdom and free advice. I'm sure it gets taken for granted. I'm not saying that's what happened with you but I'm sure it can get old.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitrouspizza View Post
Sorry guys, didn't notice the post had become such a thread. Update is that I went with Stuart Allsop, he's an australian designer who lives in Chile (or something like that) of username Soundman2020. As per so many of you suggested I tried contacting past clients and results and opinions were favorable. To be honest he's a bit slow on response time but that's bearable considering the support I have received from him and the way he is actually trying yo make it work no matter what.

As some of you said, putting money into that room is kind of risky, and many of you have suggested me not doing it. But then there are people who are willing to take the risk and design the room.

I haven't built anything yet, the design is about to be finished, and so far, Mr. Allsop hasn't got me any bad news.
Hmm, well, I'll just go ahead and say that I also started working with Stuart a few years ago. As you can see from his post above, he's very generous with advice and even moreso on the Sayers forum.

After one of those extended Q&A sessions, I agreed to make a down payment on a design for my room. This was 2017. Right about the time we agreed on what I wanted and what he would provide, I started experiencing that "slow on response time" issue. Eventually it became what I would call downright ghosting.

After a really long pause, I got fed up and brought it up with John Sayers. Somehow that jump started things right away. Stuart blamed it on his email, his ISP, the website, etc.. We started emailing again & eventually agreed he would work out an HVAC plan for me and we'd go from there. That was April. April is the last I've heard from him.

I included a screenshot of my most recent attempts to contact him on my Sayers build thread, which I expect to be taken down shortly after I post this. I should note Stuart posts there almost every day. He is on spammers like white on rice. He's definitely paying attention.

I was on the fence about this, because I do still want to find someone to work with and don't want to be branded as difficult to work with, etc. Ironically I'm not exactly on a fast track either. I've been working on soundproofing for some time now and it's a long slow process. I also held out some hope that I would get eventually get something for my money, or at least a refund. Seems pretty unlikely at this point.

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.

Since we're sharing experiences here, I figured it was time to come out with what happened to me and (supposedly) to at least one other person.

And if I do ever get to work with someone, and things go well, I promise to sing your praises far and wide, honestly.

Old 31st August 2019
  #26
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thechrisl View Post
Having a certification is definitely useful to show that a set of goals was reached, regardless of the method used, or the cost, or the time spent, or the amount of drama involved. But it doesn't make the designer automatically worthy of a recommendation.
But who is going to certificate the room?
Old 31st August 2019
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boggy View Post
Hello everybody,

Small rooms are extremely difficult to design, I know that well, but if designed carefully, while knowing drawbacks, it can be used for making mixes which will have an excellent translation if the customer is skilled and know what he wants to hear.

If someone has a too-small room and doesn't want to invest in it, I recommend practicing mixing on excellent headphones, not random Acoustic Treatment.

Some excellent information offered here

I would also echo the suggestion that for a difficult/impractical room or insufficient budget do not pass over the option of headphones.

Some informal testing and listening I did with pro level Audeze units showed them about equal to a well designed and treated room with pro level monitors. Not at the level of the best rooms but far above typical small rooms with low/medium budget conventional treatments (i.e. not purpose built and lacking truly effective low end control)
Old 31st August 2019
  #28
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boggy View Post
Hello everybody,

Thanks, Gekk0 for a recommendation!

The smallest room which we designed was 3.56x3.67x2.55m = 13m2 (if I remember well) in 2008. or 2009.

This was introduction of MyRoom Design Principle (Pressed Lizard Studio) together with RES Media Studio.
Results are presented on 129th AES Convention, 2010. in San Francisco.
http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=15717

If you do not want to buy that paper here is summary in our White Paper:
http://www.myroom-acoustics.com/host...hite_paper.pdf


or similar paper presented at a different conference:
http://www.myroom-acoustics.com/host...2010_09_24.pdf


We used hybrid diffusers for small (and big) rooms, more about them you can find in new Peter D'Antonio and Trevor Cox book (and also a picture of our Fractal Hybrid Diffuser from RES Media Studio):
Acoustic Absorbers and Diffusers: Theory, Design and Application 3rd Edition

To check if designed and finished Control Rooms performance fit in limits recommended for critical listening we used these papers:

1. "Multichannel surround sound systems and operations", AES Technical Council, Document AESTD1001.1.01-10, New York.
2. “Methods for the subjective assessment of small impairments in audio systems including multichannel sound systems”, ITU-R Recommendation BS.1116 (rev. 1), ITU, Geneva, 1997.
3. W. Hoeg, L. Christensen, R. Walker, “Subjective assessment of audio quality– the means and methods within the EBU”, EBU Technical Review Winter 1997, pp. 40-43.
4. "Listening conditions for the assessment of sound programme material: monophonic and two–channel stereophonic", EBU Tech. 3276 – 2nd edition May 1998, European Broadcasting Union, Geneva, Switzerland

If someone has a too-small room and doesn't want to invest in it, I recommend practicing mixing on excellent headphones, not random acoustic treatment.

Small rooms are extremely difficult to design, I know that well, but if designed carefully, while knowing drawbacks, it can be used for making mixes which will have an excellent translation if the customer is skilled and know what he wants to hear.

About price ratio of design/build:
Everybody needs to include the price of residential space per m2 when asking people to find a BIGGER room... In my country... 9m2 (child room) is still more expensive (10-18kEUR) than fully designed and built control room acoustic adaptation in that space, following MyRoom Design Mark 2+.

If someone loves to work in pajamas and slippers, engineers duty is to find the best solution for them (IMHO).


MyRoom Design Mark 2 is presented in 140th AES Convention, 2016. in Paris, you can find it here (free for download)

http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=18225


Everything we did in Control Room Acoustics for small and big rooms, we publish in scientific papers at Public Conferences. This way, the integrity of our work is checked by the best acoustic professionals we have now in the Audio Engineers Society and my School of Electrical Engineering. One cannot publish something there what doesn't make contribution worth mentioning to other acoustic professionals and amateurs, without Conference Jury permission.


What is a scattering coefficient and what is a diffusion coefficient?
Old 31st August 2019
  #29
Lives for gear
 
boggy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bert stoltenborg View Post
What is a scattering coefficient and what is a diffusion coefficient?
Scattering coefficient:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevor Cox and Peter D'antonio et al.
"The scattering coefficient is defined as the ratio of the non-specularly reflected sound energy to the totally reflected energy as shown in Figure 1. Although it is just a rough single number, the coefficient is well adapted for use in geometric room prediction methods involving high frequency modelling and scattered energy following some probability function. The coefficient is used to decide whether a reflection is diffuse or specular in a room model."

Diffusion coefficient:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevor Cox and Peter D'antonio et al.
"The diffusion coefficient is intended to be a measure of quality, as the primary goal in developing the coefficient was to enable the worth of surfaces to be determined. The concept is to measure the uniformity of the sound scattered from the test surface in an analogous way to how one might test the uniformity of radiation from loudspeakers."

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


Last edited by boggy; 31st August 2019 at 05:05 PM..
Old 31st August 2019
  #30
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boggy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bert stoltenborg View Post
Well, some of 'm have a certification for their rooms, so that makes 'm trustworthy.
If you talk about this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by boggy View Post
...........
1. "Multichannel surround sound systems and operations", AES Technical Council, Document AESTD1001.1.01-10, New York.
2. “Methods for the subjective assessment of small impairments in audio systems including multichannel sound systems”, ITU-R Recommendation BS.1116 (rev. 1), ITU, Geneva, 1997.
3. W. Hoeg, L. Christensen, R. Walker, “Subjective assessment of audio quality– the means and methods within the EBU”, EBU Technical Review Winter 1997, pp. 40-43.
4. "Listening conditions for the assessment of sound programme material: monophonic and two–channel stereophonic", EBU Tech. 3276 – 2nd edition May 1998, European Broadcasting Union, Geneva, Switzerland

...............
These papers aren't "certificates" but recommendations. It is something people successfully agreed about technical characteristics of critical listening rooms and write down then published as an official paper.

In audio technology, we have not much of that.



Quote:
Originally Posted by thechrisl View Post
Having a certification is definitely useful to show that a set of goals was reached, regardless of the method used, or the cost, or the time spent, or the amount of drama involved. But it doesn't make the designer automatically worthy of a recommendation.
Yes, that is from ten years ago, when people don't even want to discuss small rooms treatment for professional production. Some even claim that the diffusion field won't exist in small rooms.

Well, some still won't discuss that but we spend our knowledge, money, and energy for designing and building many "impossible" cases, measured these rooms and used these recommendations limits to write papers, to show people what small rooms CAN do, even just on paper. If they want to know how really sound small room with all walls in diffusers/absorbers they need to VISIT these rooms then, LISTEN and MIX music in these rooms... but, still, some of them found easier to "imagine" that this never will work, and write that in public without any responsibility.

Sorry, these papers-recommendations (AES, ITU-R, EBU) are only what we have... there are no more info about Control Room (required or recommended) characteristics. Then we share our findings, from our real designs, with the scientific community, papers are approved by jury (this practice doesn't exist on forums, social networks... you can write there whatever you want, it's "democracy"), and we make them available to everyone, through Conference Papers. It is the best way to share our knowledge. So we have NO "secrets"!

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. Last paper is even freely downloadable, people don't need to pay for it. It will be fine if people, when doing acoustics design this way, give credits to the authors of the Design Principle

EDITED2: Our invention cannot be patented by anyone, because the description of the Principle is published on Public Conference, with evidence that we are authors, so there can't be "patent pending" notice (ever), it can't be prohibited to design and use, anymore.

My post above is just a list of proofs that our efforts aren't wasted for finding the best treatment for small rooms as Original Poster asks about. I find as decent to show him what we did for the professional community about small rooms until today.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bert stoltenborg View Post
But who is going to certificate the room?
Anybody? Well, airplanes won't be crashing because badly produced music. If nobody dies, nobody cares.
Or Dolby?
Or it is a rhetoric question.
You mentioned "certifications" first. So you probably know?



Last edited by boggy; 31st August 2019 at 05:39 PM..
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