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New Studio Build
Old 14th September 2019
  #1
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New Studio Build

Hey Slutz, need some advice, on a new studio build.
We have a free standing building on 5 acres, in the country.
24' x 48' with approx 8' ceiling.
We realize, that the ceiling is to low.

The construction, is 2 x 4 wood frame walls, on concrete slab,
with 3/12 trusses..
We plan to remove the roof, extend the walls and reinstall the roof.

The plan, is a 2 room studio. 400-500 sqft control and 700-800 sqft live room.
Once it's buttoned up, insulated and drywalled, will do a room in room thing.

Taking into consideration, the highest point on some type of slopping ceilings,
what do you think a good height number, would be: 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 ?
We'll add two more feet, to the number for additional space,
above for insulation.

Thanx for any suggestions.
P.S, fell free to call us names, if need be...Jimi.
Old 14th September 2019
  #2
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Jason Foi's Avatar
 

Congratulations on such a large space. Ebu spec calls for around a minimum of 200sqft for a control room with around 1500cuft of volume. You can go up to about 750sqft/3500cuft, but i would keep the control room as small as practical for your needs and maximize live room. As far as ceiling goes, the higher the better. If you must have a sloped ceiling, orient the CR so that the ceiling gets higher twards the back of the room. You may already be planning to, but i would add a machine room and maybe an iso booth. If possible, no parallel walls in the LR is a big plus.
Old 15th September 2019
  #3
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Thanx for the reply.
Any others?
Keepum' coming...
Old 15th September 2019
  #4
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avare's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunadoo View Post
Thanx for the reply.
Any others?
Keepum' coming...
+1 to what Jason wrote. We need more information to be of any help.

I strongly suggest reading master handbook and Rods book. Details are in the reference sticky at the top of the forum
Old 15th September 2019
  #5
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Thanx for your reply.
Have and read Rod's book,
but the calculations seem to put the roof height way up there(25-30ft),
with our overall dimensions. Trying to keep the construction reasonable.
Am I reading this wrong?
Old 16th September 2019
  #6
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avare's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunadoo View Post
Thanx for your reply.
Have and read Rod's book,
but the calculations seem to put the roof height way up there(25-30ft),
with our overall dimensions. Trying to keep the construction reasonable.
Am I reading this wrong?
Great having read Rods book.

Ceiling height is recommended as 11' minimum for control rooms. Beyond there are no hard and fast recpmmendations for studio rooms. I view 16' as a good working height. Work out the ratios. You have the opportunity to "do it right."
Old 16th September 2019
  #7
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Thanx again for your insight.
Seeing that 16' is a standard lumber size,
than 16 it is...
Old 16th September 2019
  #8
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Quote:
but the calculations seem to put the roof height way up there(25-30ft),
with our overall dimensions. Trying to keep the construction reasonable.
Am I reading this wrong?
Are we talking about the control room, or the live room? Jason already gave you the size limit specs for control rooms, and you can find more details on those specs in ITU BS.1116-3 and also EBU Tech.3276. The height of the control room is a function of the floor area, in order to get close to one of the good room ratios (or at least get away form the bad ones). The room volume impacts the overall decay times and defines many things about the overall acoustic response of the room, which is also defined in those specifications. So the ceiling height for the control room can be calculated easily, once you decide on the floor area and the design concept. All of that can be calculated, because control room design is mostly science, with a very clear single final goal: neutral. That's the number one design for a control room: it must be acoustically neutral, transparent, natural, and have no sound of its own. It must not add anything to the sound that comes out of the speakers, and it must not take anything away. It must not "color" that sound in any form. The way to achieve that, is by designing the room to be so, and that starts with setting the overall dimensions to be as favorable as possible. You are in the very enviable situation that you are completely free to do that, since you can have a control room anywhere in the range of possible sizes, and you can design the shape, size, dimensions, and acoustic response to get the best possible outcome. Many studio builders don't have that luxury, as they have to fit the control room into an existing space, but you do! So your best bet here would be to study those documents carefully, look at the possible design concepts that you could use, settle on one of them, then use that information to decide on the floor area, and thus the ceiling height.

That's the control room, which must be strictly controlled, acoustically. The live room is a different story: that can be whatever you want it to be! It can have whatever sound you want it to have. It could be bright or dry, reverberant or dead, warm or cold, etc. It should be designed to be good for whatever types of music you plan to record in there. The general rule for a live room is: "make it as big as possible, with the ceiling as high as possible"! Then treat it to get the sound "signature" that you want for it. There's one other vague guideline that you might want to consider: some studio designers recommend that the total air volume in the live room should be about 5 times the air volume in the control room, or at least 3 times. There are good acoustic reasons for that. It's not a hard-and-fast "written in stone" rule, so its not necessary to follow it rigidly. But its still something useful that you might want to consider when deciding on where to split your space between the two rooms: choosing a division that gives about three or more times more volume to the live room, where the live room has a nice high ceiling and the control room meets BS.1116-3 more or less in the middle of the range, would be a good starting point.

- Stuart -

Last edited by Soundman2020; 16th September 2019 at 01:48 AM..
Old 16th September 2019
  #9
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Wow, great insights Stuart!
Appreciate you taking the time to share.
I think with the ruff dimensions we have,
we can lower the ceiling in the CR to whatever the numbers call for.
One thing were trying to work out, is the finished size of the CR.
Really, the length or depth of the room.
Would love to keep the width somewhere around 16',(have a 8' console),
We don't want to eat up to much of the length on the building,
to take space, from the LR.

Hope I'm explaining this clearly.
All the best...Jimi.
Old 16th September 2019
  #10
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(The late great) Eric Desart worked out the Louden ratios to 3 sognifocant digits. I do not have them handy but the 1:1.4.1.9 refoned is pretty good. With rough figures thos would be 11' height, 15.4' width and 21' length. Going sideways this 3' for low end absorption.
Old 16th September 2019
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunadoo View Post
Wow, great insights Stuart!
Appreciate you taking the time to share.


Quote:
I think with the ruff dimensions we have,
we can lower the ceiling in the CR to whatever the numbers call for.
One thing were trying to work out, is the finished size of the CR.
Really, the length or depth of the room.
Would love to keep the width somewhere around 16',(have a 8' console),
We don't want to eat up to much of the length on the building,
to take space, from the LR.
OK, so if you want a 16' wide CR, it will have to be rather long: it is usually better to have the speakers firing down the longest dimension of the room, to ensure that the reflections from the rear wall only arrive back at your ears after a long enough delay, at a low enough level, and sufficiently diffuse that they don't interfere with the psycho-acoustic response (the way your ears and brain actually perceive the sound). If the room is very large, then you can have it wider-than-long and still get good results... but that also depends on the design concept that you choose for your room. There are concepts such as LEDE (outdated now), RFZ, NER, FTB, CID, MR, and others. Each has its own set of specs, so it's important to settle on that concept early on in your design process, as it will set certain parameters for the layout and dimensions. Personally, I'm very partial to the RFZ concept, and that's what I use in pretty much all of my rooms, since it gives the best overall acoustic response. RFZ stands for "Reflection Free Zone", and this style of room does exactly what the name suggests: it creates a zone around the mix position where there are no early reflections at all. Nothing but pure, clear, clean, pristine sound direct form the speakers to your ears. The room then produces a neutral, transparent ambient field, with all the late reflections arriving at your ears after a suitable delay (given by the room length, but preferably 20ms or more) and with a suitably low level (preferably about 20 dB lower than the direct sound), with decay rates that are even and smooth across the entire frequency spectrum, even down to very low frequencies. That's the ideal environment to mix in, since it gives your ears and brain exactly what they need to in order to do the job well, while also providing a pleasant, non-fatiguing environment that just sounds "right". That's my personal opinion of course; other studio designers might have different opinions on their favorite concept! But the end goal is the same for all concepts. However, it is important to choose that concept as soon as possible in the design process!

Also, do consider that a fairly large chunk of the total floor area will be taken up by treatment, regardless of which design concept you choose. Some more than others, but the laws of physics dictate that there will be a lot of floor area taken up by the treatment. For example: the rear wall of the control room is always the biggest and ugliest, acoustically, and commonly there's three feet or so of treatment on it. The front wall might also have speaker flush-mount modules (sometimes called "soffits") that take up another couple of feet (depending on the size of your speakers), so if your room is 20 feet long, you might end up with only about 14 or 15 feet of actual space between the visible front wall and rear wall. The visible wall is often fabric, wood slats, diffusers, or something similar that hides the bulk of the treatment that goes back a few feet behind that. Just one more thing to take into account with your design.

So, let's assume that you want an RFZ design with a room that is 17 feet wide, 22 feet long (thus aprox . 370 square feet of total floor area), you could have a ceiling of about 12 feet, giving you a room volume of about 4500 cubic feet: that's a pretty good setup. Those are just very rough dimensions that would need refining in the actual design! I just did some quick "back of the envelope" calculations to come up with those, so don't take them as the final, correct, perfect dimensions! Just a starting point. With those dimensions, I would take 38" off the length at the rear wall for treatment (perhaps some parts could be less than that, but the corners at least would need to be that deep), then whatever depth you need at the front for your speakers, and something off the side walls as well, for treatment there too: so the actual visible walls of your room would seem to be something like 16 - 17 feet long, 15 - 16 feet wide, and maybe 9 feet high. To be clear: that's what it would LOOK like as you stand inside the room, but the REAL room (acoustic size) would still be the full dimensions : 22 x 17 x 12 .

You would then need to allow a couple of feet for the isolation walls around the room (outside of the "acoustic" dimensions of the room, so the total footprint would probably be something like 24 x 19, or around 450 square feet. You have 1100 square feet, so the rest would then be your live room (assuming you don't also need space for things like a vocal booth, machine room, lobby, storage, lounge/green room, kitchenette, bathroom, office, etc.

Anyway all of the above is just very rough "guesstimates": once you get into the design process, those can be adjusted as needed. There's a whole bunch of other stuff that you'd need to take into account as well: studio design is a rather large subject!

- Stuart -
Old 16th September 2019
  #12
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avare's Avatar
 

Gunadoo:

I hope you noticed the similarity in content of the 2 previous posts. We came from different directions and came to the same conclusions.
Old 16th September 2019
  #13
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You 2 Guys (Avare & Stuart) are amazing!
I think you nailed the answer to my question,
along with answers to ones I haven't asked yet.
Can't Thank You enough...SUPERB!
Old 16th September 2019
  #14
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avare's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunadoo View Post
You 2 Guys (Avare & Stuart) are amazing!
I think you nailed the answer to my question,
along with answers to ones I haven't asked yet.
Can't Thank You enough...SUPERB!
We enjoy sharing our knowledge. We both remarked on the dearth of required information to assist you.
Old 16th September 2019
  #15
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Starlight's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunadoo View Post
Seeing that 16' is a standard lumber size, then 16 it is ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunadoo View Post
Would love to keep the width somewhere around 16' ...
16' high and 16' wide is not advisable. Follow what avare said regarding the ratio of the building's 3 dimensions, that is, the building size not the finished available floor space, as Soundman2020 explained.
Old 16th September 2019
  #16
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akebrake's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunadoo View Post
...Seeing that 16' is a standard lumber size,
than 16 it is...
If you like to compare different classic room ratios like Louden and research by Trevor Cox (2004) use this calculator.

http://www.acoustic.ua/forms/rr.en.html

Only in metric but translating to imperial is easily made in REW Room Sim which is another nice exercise.
(Before it's time to measure the real thing (built shell)

Room Sim is part of REW acoustical measurement software (free)

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New Studio Build-skarmavbild-2019-09-16-kl.-13.49.25.jpg  
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
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Thanx akebrake,
Great info, Great site.
All the Best...Jimi.
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