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New to build studio: Room ratio's Dynamics Plugins
Old 17th November 2009
  #1
Gear Head
 

New to build studio: Room ratio's

Hi guys,

Im planning to build a new studio in my backyard but i have rather limited space.

What would be an absolute minimum room size to still record with semi-professional recording gear (I use RME hardwareinterface and buying my first neumann TLM103 next month to give u an impression of used gear).

The plan is to record small bands or local solo artists.

Im not planning to record Seal or The Rollingstones or anyting (altho they are always welcome to chill ) but.. i dont want to find out after a few year that "only if i would have build my room a meter wider"-kinda feeling..

So my concrete questions

Does anyone have a good experience with a "smaller" ( <40m2 or 430 sq feet) recording room and.. what where the ratio's used?

Im planning to build a brick/concrete double garage 5 x 8 meter /16.4 x 26.2 feet (outside dimensions) with a height of about 2.8 meter inside (9 feet)... Within this i need one recordingroom..and if possible/wise a listening/tracking room. Any suggestions which road to take?? Ratio wise...or other suggestions.

All advice is welcome

thx,

Lemon
Old 18th November 2009
  #2
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jhbrandt's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazylemon View Post
Does anyone have a good experience with a "smaller" ( <40m2 or 430 sq feet) recording room and.. what where the ratio's used?

Im planning to build a brick/concrete double garage 5 x 8 meter /16.4 x 26.2 feet (outside dimensions) with a height of about 2.8 meter inside (9 feet)... Within this i need one recordingroom..and if possible/wise a listening/tracking room. Any suggestions which road to take?? Ratio wise...or other suggestions.
Lemon, check these room mode calculators... on the last page I have listed some ideal rooms with dimensions.

Metric
SAE

I have more info on my other threads.
Old 18th November 2009
  #3
Gear Head
 

Now THAT's what i call a usefull excel-list!!
Thx a lot jhbrandt

Can u tell me something about Height only maybe??
Is it possible to have a room from 3.75 x 6.25 meter with a height of only 2.5 meter. It's a good ratio but will the volume be sufficient to be able to make a decent sounding room??

And one more question.. Are these the dimensions of the inside room??

Im planning to use a box-in-a-box principle. The outside box would be my "garage" (brick+concrete) the inside would be wood or similar...
Would the dimensions of the outside box matter?? Cuz i think some low freq. will pass thru the first box. Or should i focus on the dimensions of the inside box only??
Old 18th November 2009
  #4
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jhbrandt's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazylemon View Post
Can u tell me something about Height only maybe??
Is it possible to have a room from 3.75 x 6.25 meter with a height of only 2.5 meter. It's a good ratio but will the volume be sufficient to be able to make a decent sounding room??
Plug those dimensions into the Room Mode excel and it will show you where there are at least 3 triple incidences and numerous doubles. Not a good ratio. Look, rather at the last page where I give 'already calculated' room sizes that will definitely work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazylemon View Post
And one more question.. Are these the dimensions of the inside room??
Yes, these are inside dimensions... finish to finish, the actual enclosed space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazylemon View Post
Im planning to use a box-in-a-box principle. The outside box would be my "garage" (brick+concrete) the inside would be wood or similar... Would the dimensions of the outside box matter?? Cuz i think some low freq. will pass thru the first box. Or should i focus on the dimensions of the inside box only??
It all matters.. how much? It depends.

Box-in-a-box is an excellent design. thumbsup Concrete outside is very good. Design your studio internal dimensions based on the best compromise between the best modal response and number of rooms needed.

You don't need to slant your walls or build in corners. But you must treat your rooms: Here I shall quote some 'Ethan'
Broadband bass traps straddling as many corners as you can manage, including the wall-ceiling corners. - thin foam and thin fiberglass don't work to a low enough frequency.
Mid/high frequency absorption at the first reflection points on the side walls and ceiling.
Some additional amount of mid/high absorption and/or diffusion on any large areas of bare parallel surfaces, such as opposing walls or the ceiling if the floor is reflective. Diffusion on the rear wall behind you is also useful in larger rooms.

There you go.
Old 18th November 2009
  #5
Gear Head
 

Hello jhbrandt, thx again for answering all my amateur questions.

I've read a lot of post here on Gearslutz about acoustics but its a nasty complex theory. Thx for guiding me around a bit!

I found out i can't avoid using basstraps and ceiling/wall treadment even if i would have the most "perfect" room possible.

I'm still in a starting stage but what gets me stuck everytime is making this choice:

I have a limited amout of money and space. What i CAN do is build a box-in-box principle in a room of aprox 8 x 5 meter (height aprox 3m).

I can go half a meter longer if really neccesary/wise

I can't choose if i want to split this room in two and have a trackingroom + recording room OR focus on a single recordingroom and do the tracking somewhere else (kitchen...or someother room..but thats a discussing between my wife and me..hehe).

So.... if the room is 8x5x3 meter (inside: 6,2 x 4,4 x 2,75 lets pretend this is a good ratio), would it be juuust big enough to have a "decent" volume for a recordingroom (small bands, solo artists) then i would pick the one room choice. If there where options to go smaller and thus have the possibility to make a trackingroom inthere as well, i would go for the later ofcourse. Cuz yes.. i still have to learn decent mic-ing techniques and it would be handy if i don't have to walk thru my house, down the garden, into the studio to adjust the mic-position.

What would u choose? and why? ...did i forget other practical things besides running up and down for mics or fearing my recordingroom would not have the sufficient volume??
Old 20th November 2009
  #6
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jhbrandt's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazylemon View Post
I have a limited amout of money and space. What i CAN do is build a box-in-box principle in a room of aprox 8 x 5 meter (height aprox 3m).
I can't choose if i want to split this room in two and have a tracking room + recording room OR focus on a single recording room and do the tracking somewhere else
So.... if the room is 8x5x3 meter (inside: 6,2 x 4,4 x 2,75 lets pretend this is a good ratio)...
What would u choose? and why? ...did i forget other practical things besides running up and down for mics or fearing my recording room would not have the sufficient volume??
Good thinking my friend. That inside dimension actually has a good ratio and gives decent modal response.

You could divide it, though, into 2 rooms because the payoff would be greater for you. You are build a project studio, right?

How about 2.75 m X 3.52 m X 4.235 m ? Use this for the CR - about 41 cu meters. This has good modal response as well, in spite of being just below the 42 cu m recommendation. That will leave you with a tracking space of 12.37 sq m. (BTW, don't make it 4.4m.. keep it 4.235 - modal issues if you you use 4.4m) That leaves you with a tracking room = 2.75m X 2.35m X 4.235m -- and it actually is ok with the mode response.

That's what I'd do, if I were you. You must treat the rooms well, good trapping in every vertical corner & maybe something like the monster bass trap by GIK or the mondo traps by Real Traps in the center of the short walls of the tracking (smaller) room.

In between the rooms I allocated 33cm for two 13 cm thick walls and an airspace of 7cm. Your viewing window to the tracking room will be on your left or right from the mix position... just make sure that it is behind the first reflection point.
Old 25th November 2009
  #7
Gear Head
 

Thanks a lot for your compassion in my project mr. jhbrandt!

Im making some new sketches now with the info you gave me and..with a little creativity there should be a way to realise this

Many thx for your input!
Old 15th June 2010
  #8
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Billyboye's Avatar
 

Mr. Brandt,

Thanks for the sharing the awesome spreadsheet with us. I have a question, how do you factor in splayed walls and vaulted ceilings when choosing a preferred ratio? I currently have a space with shell dimentions of 16.5' H x 32' L x 34' w. After looking at your ratios the best one for maximizing square footage is the 1:1.4:1.9, (16.5' x 23.1' x 31.35') unfortunately this still leaves me with 7' x 34' of unused space. I plan to vault the ceilings and slightly splay(1-2' over the length) the side walls running long in the shape of an isosceles trapezoid.

Would I attempt to the make the average lenght(with splays and vaults) of the room dimentions as close to the ratio as possible?

Would it be better to just build the room exactly to the ratio?

I plan to have 1 large control/ tracking room, with 3 small iso booths around the perimeter.

Thanks

Ryan
Old 15th June 2010
  #9
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jhbrandt's Avatar
Ryan,

Why do you intend to splay the walls? and vault the ceiling?

Splayed walls, in my experience only help with flutter echo and cause more problems with modes than they solve. so, don't do it.

Why don't you splay the treatment in a rectangular room? The modes are then calculable and treatable.

Vaulted ceilings are ok if they are built and treated correctly. Again, a rectangular room is best.

Start with a ceiling of 11 or 12 feet. This height has been proven to be an ideal height starting point.

Cheers,
John
Old 21st June 2010
  #10
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Billyboye's Avatar
 

John,

I want to maximize the space I have available into a large control/tracking room. Similar to fairfaxrecordings.com As i mentioned i have ceiling clearance of about 16- 16.5 ft. Ok so splayed treatments are cool so how do i figure out vaulted ceilings, are you saying it would be better to have flat ceilings? Just build a rectangle. High ceilings are critical to attracting the kind of bands we work with.

So if this is the case 16.5 x 23.1 x 31.35 is the biggest size room i can make based on the ratios you provided.

thanks again for your advise

Ryan
Old 22nd June 2010
  #11
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jhbrandt's Avatar
Ryan,

That's awesome. If you need a designer, PM me.

If you vault the ceiling, use an average figure for calculations. -- I'd just keep it rectangular. The finished dimensions will depend on how much isolation you need...

Are you also planning on recording to tape?

Cheers,
John
Old 23rd June 2010
  #12
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Billyboye's Avatar
 

uh yes... Just purchased my 3rd 827.
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