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Thinking About Starting From Scratch...
Old 3 weeks ago
Gear Head

Thinking About Starting From Scratch...

Hey everybody- I really appreciate the amazing resource that has been created with this forum. Thanks to everyone here for offering their time so generously. At the moment, I am so far into this project, I can no longer tell what’s reality, and what is just an artifact of me chasing my own tail. If anyone has the patience to help me think this through, I would be immeasurably happy. I have a LOT of treatment, and I seriously wonder if it’s too much. I have a combo drum/mix room, which obviously isn’t ideal. I want to coax a pleasant drum ambience out of the space, but I also want to have a reliable spot to check sounds and mix. These two practices are sort of at odds with one another. Really, the drum ambience is most important, because we often send things off to be mixed elsewhere.

Right now, the room is bright, even with a LOT of absorbers up. That said, I don’t really have a clue if my layout makes sense. I don’t have soffit absorbers, I don’t have clouds up above the drums or my computer yet.

Two years ago, I converted my detached garage into a recording space, trying to follow Rod Gervais’ book as closely as I could, with double layers of drywall, green glue, etc.

I ended up with a dual purpose room for mixing, and for tracking live drums- the room is 23.7’ by 13’ with a ceiling that slopes from about 10.5’ on the long wall, down to 8’ on the other long wall. Concrete slab floor with thin carpet sections down, and a heavier rug underneath the drums.

First, I built broadband absorbers for each corner. These are built from 2x6s- big rectangles from floor to ceiling blocking off each corner, stuffed with double layers of Roxul Safe n Sound batt insulation. Behind these, there’s a small air gap, and then home made triangular bass traps- triangular frames about 15” wide, stuffed with stacked triangles of r30 pink fiberglass insulation, then wrapped in burlap, with another unit stacked on top so these go from floor to ceiling.

Right now, I have my computer rig towards the middle of the long wall with the lower ceiling. Speakers are B&W 805s and Yamaha HS8s, about 18” away from the wall. I have 2 big 2x6 frames stuffed with double layers of Roxul safe n sound behind my monitors- the frames are about 33” wide, and I just have two of them side by side, leaning against the wall. I have 2 4x6 panels on the wall on either side of these big absorbers behind my computer desk.

On the long wall opposite my computer (with the higher ceiling) I built four 8’ tall absorbers out of 2x4s, stuffed with Roxul Safe n Sound batts, wrapped in burlap. Generally speaking, amps and the mic cabinet sit along this wall. This wall also has a door- I have a big bookshelf I converted into a gobo, on casters, that I roll in front of the door because this corner was too small for a trap.

On the two short walls, I have three 2” 4x6 absorbers. In front of one of these short walls, I have my drum rig set up... I also have two big gobos on stands stored behind my drums. So lots of absorption around the drums.

on the far short wall, opposite my drums,
I have a QRD diffuser that’s about 80”x40”x11”. I have another diffuser here, 50x24x8, just sitting here. Part of me wonders if this wall wouldn’t be a better place for a mix station. At the same time, of the diffuser is going to help enrich the drum ambience, I should leave it here.

Here are my main questions-

Is my computer in the right place? Tonight, I wonder if moving it to one of the shorter walls would make more sense- but then I would have to deal with the ceiling sloping in front of me somehow.

Does all of this absorption make sense? Did I use suitable materials in the right places, or is this too much? It seems like a ton of panels, and yet I still haven’t quite tamed the top end.

Are my QRD diffusers doing me any good on this far wall opposite the drums? Should I move them? Should I hang the smaller one from the ceiling somewhere or move it?

Once I rethink my computer placement, I think I am going to hang a cloud above the drums, and a cloud above my mix station. Should I keep the cloud parallel with the sloping ceiling, or parallel with the floor?

Should I treat the corners where the ceiling hits the wall? Is that going to negatively impact the drum sound?

Anything else come to mind?

I think that sums it up- i built all of this stuff myself, aside from the diffusers. I wonder if I’ve gone overboard. Any advice would be wonderful- I really feel like I’m either in the home stretch, or starting all over from the beginning. I’d love a nice lively drum ambience. I’d love to have a solid listening environment... the ambience is more important to me than having a perfect space.

I greatly appreciate all your time and energy reading this. Hopefully I can get this finished and get back to making music soon! Seriously, cannot wait.
Old 2 weeks ago
Gear Head

If you could post some pictures, it might be a bit more helpful for folks to visualize.

It sounds like you've got a solid room but my first impression would be to move your computer rig to the short wall so your speakers are firing down the length of the room. A fairly simple fix to the unsymmetrical ceiling would be to hang a plum/level cloud diffusor over your listening position so that it clears up any thing funny that the ceiling might do to stereo image, phase/comb filtering, etc...

After that, I'd just move your panels to cover your first reflection points, put your diffusors on the back wall and live with that for a little while.

It's not by accident that rectangular mix rooms always fire their speakers down the length of the room. After you hear the signal from the speakers, you want as much energy to die/diffuse before it gets back to you (a second time) to ruin the clarity. Having the back wall as far away as possible is a good way to help that.
Old 2 weeks ago
Originally Posted by nwtlnts View Post
Does all of this absorption make sense? Did I use suitable materials in the right places, or is this too much? It seems like a ton of panels, and yet I still haven’t quite tamed the top end.
It sounds like you need to measure more.

A REW measurement will tell you if your speakers are too bright or if there is no bass due to SBIR or modal nulls.
Old 2 weeks ago
Gear Head

Thanks for the replies! You’re absolutely right- I do need to measure more. Unfortunately, the place is trashed right now as I work on putting ceiling clouds together, and trying to find homes for my QRD diffusers.

JCoop- it’s interesting you mention facing down the long way of the room. I’m sorta wondering if that might not be better. Here’s why

I’m at the base of the slope right now, on the long wall, so my rig is fairly symmetrical. When I’m facing the long wall, I usually have the drums set up to my left- facing down into the room lengthwise. As far as the room goes, the place where I currently have my drums is really my only other option for a mix spot... but I’d need to somehow build a cloud to deal with the asymmetrical ceiling slope. I don’t know if that’s really possible- I see Gene Kuras and other posters indicate it’s better to be at the base of the slope, rather than deal with an asymmetrical ceiling

I really want to put diffusion up on the far wall opposite the drums ... I really like to lean on overheads and room mics when I’m tracking drums, so I gotta think the diffusion will help.... BUT this would mean that when I’m facing the computer in my symmetrical mix spot- I would have diffusion on the wall to my right, about 14 feet away. Is that going to be a problem?
Old 2 weeks ago
Gear Head

So here are some older shots - there are now 6” thick panels filled in safe-n-sound batts behind my mic station, and behind the amps (essentially behind the drum rig). I’ve also added a corner trap to the wall to the left of that big bass stack by my drum rig.
If you can imagine the wall opposite my computer rig, I have 4” absorbers on the wall (you can kinda see this wall- it’s the wall behind the guitars in photo 2)
The wall opposite my drums/to the right of my computer is where I’d like to put my diffusers. Will diffusion on that will screw up my mix position?

I have Johns Mansville 814 panels and I’m making a cloud to put above my drum rug and above my mix station/ but I’m not quite sure if my setup is ideal as it stands-
Attached Thumbnails
Thinking About Starting From Scratch...-5c96ae8b-021e-4572-9002-12ebd05f503a.jpg   Thinking About Starting From Scratch...-d65a513d-07aa-448f-83bb-f06401537f21.jpg   Thinking About Starting From Scratch...-7e36b549-3fac-4dee-9b0b-dc0bd6951d78.jpg  
Old 2 weeks ago
Gear Head

Here’s a shot of the wall behind my computer / mix station
Attached Thumbnails
Thinking About Starting From Scratch...-b8391927-b540-48a4-a101-6ad60bc8ac7d.jpg  
Old 2 weeks ago
I don't have too much to say yet (no measurements ) but I would get speaker stands for all speakers. To get the room resonances under control will probably require a lot more than the few panels you currently have. Your room will look different after the treatment, you will lose volume and so any way you can organize your gear to save space will probably become important as well.
Old 2 weeks ago
Gear Head

You’re very correct about losing space and volume! So far these are the changes I’ve made since taking these photos-

I have added three large 6” deep panels all behind my computer and monitors to cut back on first reflections- panels similar to the ones in these photos

Large 6” deep panels on the wall behind the amps

I have a shorter desk to cut back on reflections

Speakers on stands

I’d take measurements, but the diffusers are sitting the middle of the room, plus my materials for the cloud... I can’t wait to get things to a place where I can actually measure.

Do you think having diffusion on the wall about 13 feet to the right of my mix station would mess up my imaging? If so, maybe the computer needs to go where those amps are presently, and I need to build a serious cloud to handle the asymmetrical ceiling slope. This would put diffusion to my rear instead of to my right...

My goal is to have the drums read with a nice ambience in overheads/room mics, but to also have a somewhat reliable position for checking sounds and mixing.
Old 2 weeks ago
Originally Posted by nwtlnts View Post
If so, maybe the computer needs to go where those amps are presently
If I remember your photos correctly, I would keep it where it is. You may want to space out your speakers and sitting position a bit because it seemed very nearfield.

Again, measurements will tell you what happens.
Old 2 weeks ago
Gear Head

I've played-back/mixed in some pretty random sized and shaped rooms. In my experience, it's never been great when the speakers are set up on the long wall. I can appreciate your concerns regarding drums and other elements of your space though. Ultimately, you want the room to be functional. If you really want to stay on the long wall, I would say that you're going to want to cover that whole back wall with absorption. Since the room length is nearly double the width, it'll be important to tame as much reflection from the back wall as possible. You may even want to consider a couple of GOBOs/portable absorption panels to place on your flanks while you're mixing - to aid in clearing up the stereo image.

Honestly though, I would try to consider some room arrangements that could work within your workflow that would allow you to set up speakers on a short wall. I think the asymmetry of the ceiling is less of a detriment than a close back wall - especially if you build a cloud to hang over your mix position.
Old 2 weeks ago
Gear Head

Thanks guys! You might be right here!

I would love to hear from as many people as possible, if anybody has a second to throw in some layout suggestions!

I have my clouds mostly built now, since we had a snow day here! But I don't know where to put them up, because I'm not 100% on where my drums and computer should go.

Thanks everybody
Old 2 weeks ago
"Just do it."
Old 1 week ago
Gear Head

wish I could- still just stuck. diagnosis: Analysis Paralysis
Old 1 week ago
Gear Head

I get that a lot... I just finished building my home studio with my father-in-law. He's a very good builder and always eager to get things done. With out him always asking "what's next" and kind of forcing me to make decisions, I'd still be trying to figure out where to build the room...

Yes we made a couple of mistakes along the way and had to make some game-time decisions and compromises but, ultimately it feels better to be done than to still be thinking about it.

"Inaction breeds doubt." Johann is right, just do it.
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