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Rhythm House Phase 1 Started
Old 9th November 2009
  #1
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Rhythm House Phase 1 Started

Hello Fellow Gear Heads,
This is my first post here although I have been frequenting the site for a while. I recently got involved in a project around my home town and I am sort of looking for multiple perspectives on max functionality of our space. We are setting up a 32 input HD2 system in a medium space and want to be able to accommodate a 5 piece band at the very least as well as have the capabilities of contracting the studio out for ADR and Foley work as well. Here is a Bare Bones Diagram of the current framework and some images to go along with it (my apologies for the images being sideways).
Old 9th November 2009
  #2
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The idea is to have all members of bands playing instruments (except horns of course) are to play in the control room and have their amps mic'd up in small isolation booths we are planning on building in to the walls (see attached pics here).


Some questions I have been pondering is what dimensions should these boxes be? We plan on having different sizes for different sounds and I also got to thinking if it would be better to have the bass amp in a smaller box than the guitars or vice versa?

Right now we are constructing the boxes with a layer of regular old plywood for support inside a regular 2x4 frame and then we layered 1/2' drywall-a thin piece of rubber-another 1/2' piece of drywall and then 2 more layers of rubber and yet another piece of drywall inside to have a flat surface to put treatments on.
Maybe some suggestions on different materials to ensure we get total isolation?

Also was wondering what the best way would be for testing areas so small to make sure they are acoustically sound.

Im not asking for a miracle here, just maybe some small suggestions or something you might see that we haven't thought of yet. Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

D.J. Belczyk
Old 10th November 2009
  #3
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Instead of three or four plywood boxes for amps to go in, I think a single dead room for all the amps would workout much better. Better isolation from the control room, better sound, easier to use.
Old 10th November 2009
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuntbutt View Post
Instead of three or four plywood boxes for amps to go in, I think a single dead room for all the amps would workout much better. Better isolation from the control room, better sound, easier to use.
With the different types of projects that we will be doing here, I don't want to restrict myself to using certain types of mics because of the space we have. If we did that then I would sometimes be limited to using only types of cardioid mics to minimize bleed. And besides that there just isn't another room for me to take. So I have basically been tasked with taking a 23 x 15 room and building enough booths and boxes to isolate and mic a 5 piece (minus drums, there is a whole room dedicated for that).

You can see from this diagram here the 2 rooms to scale that I have to work with and where I was planning on placing the DAW and boxes/booths ( no separations yet, as we haven't decided the dimensions of each box/booth ). Also the smaller of the 2 rooms is planned to be the drum room, and yes I know that the boxes are marked wrong in this diagram I just haven't uploaded a new concept yet, the room is really 11 feet wide, so each box is 5.5 ft wide in that room, as planned so far...these are just my concepts and brainstorms.



Thanks for the input Stunt and keep it coming!!
Old 10th November 2009
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuntbutt View Post
Instead of three or four plywood boxes for amps to go in, I think a single dead room for all the amps would workout much better. Better isolation from the control room, better sound, easier to use.
I totally agree. I know what the OP is saying, and what he's trying to achieve, but to my way of thinking it's better to have a single room and deal with some bleed (which would be NO means restrict you to cardiod dynamic mics) than deal with a terrible-sounding little box. Honestly, you may want to re-think the plan. You could easily make a single room work with good mic placement and gobos. People do it all the time.

Frank
Old 11th November 2009
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weasel9992 View Post
I totally agree. I know what the OP is saying, and what he's trying to achieve, but to my way of thinking it's better to have a single room and deal with some bleed (which would be NO means restrict you to cardiod dynamic mics) than deal with a terrible-sounding little box. Honestly, you may want to re-think the plan. You could easily make a single room work with good mic placement and gobos. People do it all the time.

Frank
The only problem is there is no other room for me to take and set up like that. I have been given 2 rooms to use as a live room and control room and to still be able to mic up a 5 piece. I know it would be better to have one big room and deal with some bleed, but is it too much to ask that these boxes we construct don't sound horrible?

I wish it was another way guys, I really do wish I had a whole room to mic up all my instruments like in most of my ventures but that is not the case here. I need to make sure that these boxes are isolated and still relatively acoustically respectable on the inside for our mics basically.

I know it isn't the most conventional or ideal setup but any suggestions anyone has to design or treat these boxes to have them work as best as possible would be greatly appreciated.
Old 11th November 2009
  #7
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Line them with at least 2" of rigid fiberglass or mineral wool, then cover all that with fabric so it doesn't get all over your hands and arms every time you take an amp in or out. I'm not sure what else you can do. They still going to sound...well, boxy...but it'll be an improvement.

Frank
Old 11th November 2009
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weasel9992 View Post
Line them with at least 2" of rigid fiberglass or mineral wool, then cover all that with fabric so it doesn't get all over your hands and arms every time you take an amp in or out. I'm not sure what else you can do. They still going to sound...well, boxy...but it'll be an improvement.

Frank
The picture I uploaded is just of a test box to see how isolated the sound will be with those materials.

Today we lined the inside with foam and some sound is still escaping.
One thing we will do with the actual boxes we are going to use is angle the walls to reduce standing waves, then I am going to run a frequency sweep to test the insides, as well as try our best to design these boxes to Ian's recommended ratios. All in all we will have around 7 isolation boxes of different sizes/shapes for different instruments/sounds.

One thing we are going to try before we start over with different materials is different types of insulation. The test box is using regular pink insulation and we are going to try the insulation that looks like styrofoam for a denser material. If that doesn't work we will probably have to do another test box using MDF instead of regular plywood.

Thanks a ton Frank

And keep it coming!! I will update every so often in this thread on our progress and as the project moves further into completion, and once it is finished I will add our before and after pics on the dedicated page for that.
Old 11th November 2009
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belczyk0316 View Post
Today we lined the inside with foam and some sound is still escaping.
You're talking about sound proofing them too?? You'll need to do a whole lot more than apply foam man...you're talking about doubling the thickness of the walls, ceiling and floor of the boxes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Belczyk0316 View Post
One thing we will do with the actual boxes we are going to use is angle the walls to reduce standing waves...
DON'T DO THAT. All you'll do is reduce the interior volume of the boxes without solving any significant problems.

The best way to go about improving the sound of those little boxes is to line them with rigid fiberglass or mineral wool (48-60kg/m3 density), then cover it with fabric like I said above. Foam isn't going to do the trick. You could also try pink insulation but you'll have to compress it at least 2:1.

Frank
Old 12th November 2009
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belczyk0316 View Post
All in all we will have around 7 isolation boxes of different sizes/shapes for different instruments/sounds.

I know you don't have a lot of room. What I meant was, instead of building the 7 boxes, build a single dead room that uses the same floor space as the 7 boxes. Put your 7 amps in there. It is far from ideal, but still way better than putting amps in little boxes.
Old 12th November 2009
  #11
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You're talking about sound proofing them too?? You'll need to do a whole lot more than apply foam man...you're talking about doubling the thickness of the walls, ceiling and floor of the boxes.

Right now each wall has a layer of 1/2 inch plywood, 2 layers of 1/4 inch drywall and a layer or 2 of rubber in between each layer as well. the walls are a good 2.5 inches thick (I'm not that much of a noobie, hehe - mass/density for isolation and treatment for reflections ). For having no outer walls its doing pretty well and we are going to see how many layers outside of this test construction it would take for complete isolation. Then we are going to try different materials to see if we can slim the walls down with MDF and different insulation.

The best way to go about improving the sound of those little boxes is to line them with rigid fiberglass or mineral wool (48-60kg/m3 density), then cover it with fabric like I said above. Foam isn't going to do the trick. You could also try pink insulation but you'll have to compress it at least 2:1.

We are using the pink insulation around 2:1 in the framework between in the inner and outer walls, floor and ceiling. I will be going back out sometime before the end of the weekend to see how that sounds.

I know you don't have a lot of room. What I meant was, instead of building the 7 boxes, build a single dead room that uses the same floor space as the 7 boxes. Put your 7 amps in there. It is far from ideal, but still way better than putting amps in little boxes.

The 7 boxes will never all be in use at the same time, its just for different configurations. We might also be building housing on the wall to fit the boxes into. So you can open the door, put the amp and mic in-close the door on it and its housing for seperation.

The only hitch in this plan is sound proofing and isolating these boxes and making sure we can still get a decent sound from it. I have seen some guys mic amps in some really cramped closets and under their staircases before so I don't see how a custom designed box planned properly wouldn't be just as good if not better than that.

Last edited by Belczyk0316; 13th November 2009 at 06:29 AM.. Reason: Change of Plans
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