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Basement Mixing Studio Design
Old 3 weeks ago
Here for the gear
rmccam's Avatar

Basement Mixing Studio Design

Hi Everyone,

I've been a long-time lurker but this is my inaugural post here in the acoustics section.

I am a professional engineer, sound designer, mixer, by which I mean that it's how I've paid my bills for the past 20 years. Half my time is spent on music projects, mainly as a mixer these days, while the other half is in post, as a sound designer and mixer. Like most people my age, when I started out it was unheard of for clients to not be sitting on couches behind you, but these days, very little of my work is done face-to-face with clients. I work a lot with David Bottrill, who is of the Daniel Lanois lineage, and have somewhat adopted their attitudes of not having to worry about a working space being perfect, so long as it feels good to work in... to a point, of course. I'm currently in a large, open loft space with minimal acoustic treatment and no isolation. It's not ideal, but it works. However, I am now moving to a house and will be occupying the basement, which is less forgiving and, as I'm sure you've inferred, why I'm here.

The room is essentially 23'8" x 11'7" with a 6'2" ceiling height (I recognize that this is my biggest issue). I stumbled through the basics of Sketchup and cobbled together a somewhat accurate design, which I've attached, but my skills are limited. There are a few missing drops in the ceiling for ducts and a couple of windows (which I don't mind being covered), as you can see in the photos I've attached.

The room is drywall with carpeted floors. Two walls are to the outside (the wall with the windows and the wall opposite the door), one wall is to the furnace room and a bathroom (the wall with the door), and the last wall attaches to neighbours (the wall across from the windows). I'm not worried about isolation though. I'm just looking to tune the room as best I can given the circumstances. Other aspects of note:

• This house is a lease so I can't really do much structurally. Ideally, I'd love non-permanent solutions that I can remove and patch up holes when I leave.

• I work on an Avid/Digidesign D-Command and have a few racks of outboard gear.

• Most of the time I monitor quite low.

• I work in 5.1 half the time.

• I'd love to keep my budget to a few thousand dollars but I'm willing to spend what's needed to make the space workable. I sort of have to.

• I hope to have a couple soft chairs for clients but I don't necessarily need them to be in a good listening position. I just need the mixing position to be fairly accurate.

So, in closing, my question: What would you suggest I do to the room to make a good, relatively neutral listening position?

If that's an unrealistic, overly-simplistic question, please let me know. Thanks everyone.

Attached Thumbnails
Basement Mixing Studio Design-rmcc-basement-dimensions-01-sml.jpeg   Basement Mixing Studio Design-rmcc-basement-photo-01-sml.jpg   Basement Mixing Studio Design-rmcc-basement-photo-02-sml.jpg   Basement Mixing Studio Design-rmcc-basement-photo-03-sml.jpg   Basement Mixing Studio Design-rmcc-basement-photo-04-sml.jpg  

Attached Files
File Type: skp RMcC-Basement-01.skp (291.1 KB, 12 views)
Old 3 weeks ago
Gear Addict
johannburkard's Avatar
Even though your budget isn't huge, I would first measure the room to document where the room modes are.
Old 3 weeks ago
Lives for gear
lynngraber's Avatar
I just recently finished moving my room to my basement from my bonus room over my garage. Im actually really happy with my room. FR and decay times are amazing despite my 7 ft ceiling. Better than my first room.

Whats above your room? Can you open up the drywall and fill with rock wool? My bedroom is directly above my studio, so it is mostly unoccupied most of the day. I filled the joist with fluffy pink, then did a layer of rock wool, covered with fabric. The entire ceiling and rear wall are 100 percent absorption. Floor, front, left, and right wall are all concrete. No other treatment needed. In fact, adding corner traps made my FR worse.

Old 2 weeks ago
Here for the gear
rmccam's Avatar

Thanks for the replies. I thought I was setup to get notifications on replies so I hadn't checked in.

Lynn – Thanks for the info. The place is a rental so unfortunately I can't rip out the ceiling. It's not ideal but I have to make it work. That's interesting about the bass traps. I figure I'm basically going to have to get in there do the measurements and go from there.

Thanks again!

Old 1 week ago
Gear Maniac
DaveNJ's Avatar

You need to check out this thread. When I saw he had such low ceilings I was thinking "no way this could work" (as were others...) - but, with a knowledgeable acoustician and designer behind him, he made it work:

Building my own studio in a basement
Old 1 week ago
Here for the gear
rmccam's Avatar

That’s great, Dave. Thanks a million!

Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear
Originally Posted by DaveNJ View Post
You need to check out this thread. When I saw he had such low ceilings I was thinking "no way this could work" (as were others...) - but, with a knowledgeable acoustician and designer behind him, he made it work:

Building my own studio in a basement
TBH, we couldn't see proper measurements from this thread.

My best advice would be to hire an acoustician, not to copy a design room.
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