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Optimal room shape for live room?
Old 28th June 2009
  #1
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Optimal room shape for live room?

Hi!

This might be a little difficult question to answer but does anyone know what would be the ideal shape (and dimensions) for a live recording room? And I don't mean any small rooms. For example Avatar Studios has very nice sounding room in the studio A - is that as good as it can be? I'm interested in rooms that have that "big studio sound"

The reason for this question is that I'm trying find acoustically as good recording rooms as possible and maybe design my own in the future.

Sorry for my bad english and thanks for any advice!
Old 28th June 2009
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sourceq View Post
Hi!

This might be a little difficult question to answer but does anyone know what would be the ideal shape (and dimensions) for a live recording room? And I don't mean any small rooms. For example Avatar Studios has very nice sounding room in the studio A - is that as good as it can be? I'm interested in rooms that have that "big studio sound"

The reason for this question is that I'm trying find acoustically as good recording rooms as possible and maybe design my own in the future.

Sorry for my bad english and thanks for any advice!
You could certainly do worse than Avatar...

The discussions I've seen that argued some finer points of the big "great" tracking rooms drew a few standard conclusions.

Greater than 5000 cu ft, but less than 15,000 cu ft
Irregular shaped/non-parallel walls
RT60 > 1.5Sec
Multiple ceiling heights
Two or more isolation booths with direct sight lines to the main room
Good sight lines to the control room
At least one hard wall

There are so many other arguable/debatable points... this could take weeks to go over... (It did, the last time there was a serious discussion on this subject)
Old 28th June 2009
  #3
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There are tables of "ideal" room ratios available, I have one on my office computer, but you could also simply seach the net.
Old 29th June 2009
  #4

Generally, big is a good shape... If the room is big enough, you can get what you want with gobos and a little planning most of the time.

But, depending on what you are doing in there, you may treat surfaces differently. A good room for a large choir will not be good for latin percussion...




-tINY

Old 30th June 2009
  #5
JWL
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Agreed, movable panels make sense. These can either be freestanding panels on stands or whatnot, or hinged, reversible panels attached to the wall (Wes Lachot has been doing this quite a bit lately in his designs).
Old 30th June 2009
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by spm_gl View Post
There are tables of "ideal" room ratios available, I have one on my office computer, but you could also simply search the net.
When you look at studios like Avatar, Galaxy and Eastwest, these rooms aren't obviously built around room ratios. I'm not saying they aren't, but it isn't obvious if they are. They seem to be built more around the volume of airspace, then the ratio.

It's my understanding that once you exceed the 5000 cu ft threshold, that unless you are VERY close to a boundary, the room ratio is less of a factor and that the RT60 and wave propagation across the air column rise above the ratio characteristics.
Old 30th June 2009
  #7
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True, the room ratios become more dominant the smaller the room is, because they're selected to provide an even modal response. Once the room is big enough, the modal "border", i.e. the frequency above which room modes are no longer predominant, becomes low enough. But that is for very large rooms. Don't know if it's 5000qft, can't think imperial.
Edit: Of course, you still have to avoid ratios that are direct multiples of another (my English sucks today), say 3x6x9 or so.
Old 1st July 2009
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by spm_gl View Post
Edit: Of course, you still have to avoid ratios that are direct multiples of another (my English sucks today), say 3x6x9 or so.
Agreed.

While not an acoustician. nor even that good at adding and subtracting without using my toes for that matter, I cannot remember the actual math behind the 5000 cu ft (approx 140 m3) threshold. I think I remember it being something along the lines of modal boundaries not reflecting enough energy to continue to excite the room nodes.
Old 1st July 2009
  #9
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I wouldn't hang on to the cubic measure too long. A long corridor has serious modal problems, even if it has more than 5000qft.
Old 1st July 2009
  #10
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Correct. There are other 'rules of thumb' besides just ratios. Long tunnels can have all sorts of issues regardless of size.

5000 cu ft is a nice size. Personally, I think that having a high ceiling makes all the difference in the world. It just eliminates so many issues.

Bryan
Old 1st July 2009
  #11
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On a side note, we have a huge old milk(?) tank nearby, nearly hemispherical. Must have about 100m³. Crazy acoustics in there! I should capture an IR one day.
Old 2nd July 2009
  #12
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thanks to all for this information

Yeah Ï've noticed that higher ceilings give much more "open" sound. I've also once heard drums that were recorded inside a huge oil tanker - that was fat sound
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