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Octagonal small Studio plans for Studio in Thailand Condenser Microphones
Old 4th September 2011
  #1
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Octagonal small Studio plans for Studio in Thailand

Greetings everyone, We are currently in the final planning phase of our Studio Build project and we'd love to have these plans looked over by the experts before any work begins in earnest.
Over the next few months my friends and I, will be building a small Studio on Ko Phangan Island in the South of Thailand. The studio will be primarily used for electronic dance music production. We are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be able to build our room from scratch. Therefore it has been my aim over the last few months, to come up with a design that will optimize the RFZ and generally minimize reflections. Our other main consideration is that we must soundproof the room as much as possible, as it will be located in populated area. I became interested in the Octagonal designs of many hi end control rooms ,and their use of architecture as a prime element in controlling reflections. We have access to very reasonably priced building materials and also a highly skilled building crew (who have built most of our houses there); so the extra cost/work element of this Octagonal design is fortunately not really an issue for us. I found this design on the Auralex website, which I am assuming is a tried and tested design based on their R&D . Please also note that the ceiling is planned to be sloping from 8 feet to 10 feet at the back. The Acoustic treatment inside the room, is planned to be a combination of Ethan Winer's # 703 & # 705 Basstraps at varied thickness and 2" Broadband and Hi Frequency Panel Absorbers along the sides and ceiling , mainly around the RFZ.
Before we go ahead with the final planning , I would greatly appreciate any feedback from the forum regarding these following questions.:
1) Do you think this design is worth the extra construction effort ,in regards to the Acoustic environment it will create being sufficiently superior to say a rectangular room of the dimensions of 6m.40cm by 5m.31cm by 2m.59cm height.?
If the Acoustic benefits this design are not considered sufficient enough to warrant the extra time and work etc, then what dimension rectangular room would be recommended ? ( our land area is 10meters by 10 meters.)
2) Do these dimensions supplied by Auralex "hold water" as being the ideal proportional ratio for a room of this size and shape.?
3) Any suggestions regarding the actual construction method (pls note the MDF/#705/Plasterboard sandwich proposed for the "inner" wall construction.
4) With the goal of achieving a near to perfect as possible RFZ, are there any design flaws in these plans that look like they are either unnecessary or perhaps even detrimental to this goal ?
5) Due to the Island lifestyle and fierce daytime heat, most Studio work will be done mainly in the evening and night...We would like the room to be quiet enough as to be able to continue late into the night without concern for disturbing our neighbors. Does this dual Breezeblock construction look sufficient enough, as to be able to contain music production in the 90db-100db ballpark ( loudish)
6) Any comments, suggestions, critiques are welcomed and will be greatly appreciated.
Attached Thumbnails
Octagonal small Studio plans for Studio in Thailand-studio-inner-wall-dimensions-.jpg   Octagonal small Studio plans for Studio in Thailand-studio-inner-wall-dimensions-b-.jpg   Octagonal small Studio plans for Studio in Thailand-ban-sabai-studio-outside.jpg  
Old 5th September 2011
  #2
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unfortunately i'd say back to the drawing board. when you see control rooms with angled walls you are looking the acoustic treatment and not the soundproof walls generally.

your design will be very hard to acoustically treat and you will loose a large amount of floor area in the process. for eg. you need bass trapping. if you built a soundproof rectangle and then the acoustic treatment outline looked similar to your layout then you'd have plenty of options for acoustic treatment with deep bass traps to the rear/front corners, broadband along the sides etc.

angled isolation walls are best kept for tracking rooms.

i'd go higher with your ceiling for starters, if it's a new build why not 3-4m high. and longer also. let the bass waves form down to lower frequencies. as one eg, 8mx5.6mx3.6m there ar lots of options. look up ideal room ratios, figure out your ceiling height and work backwards. volume is very important.

look at john brandts room calculators
JH Brandt - Recording Studio Design & Acoustics Publications page

also, are you mixing in 5.1, or stereo...... that effects your acoustic treatment poistion etc.
Old 5th September 2011
  #3
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Jens Eklund's Avatar
You either really need to read up on what the RFZ concept is and how it works or you need to contact an acoustician.
Old 5th September 2011
  #4
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Well perhaps I was mistaken in being under the impression that outwardly slanting side walls assist in dispersing early reflections >?
I am surprised that Auralex have posted this exact design on their website as being an 'ideal" design as it is starting to sound overly complex and unpredictable.
@ Gouge , we have no restrictions on Ceiling height so we could easily construct a 3.6m high ceiling as per your suggestion. Would you say the 8m by 5.6 m by 3.6 m dimension as ideal for a room of this size.?
Also can anyone comment on the double cinder (breeze) block wall as being effective as far as soundproofing goes , or in fact end up creating a non desirable triple leaf situation.
Old 5th September 2011
  #5
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i would probably listen to jens as a blockwork room or any room with angled walls does not create a reflection free zone. your diagram and acoustic treatment idea does not deal with acoustic requirements of a space.


the room sizes i provided are one example of a good room size to start with. based on a rectangular room that is. there are lots of sizes that work. it's a case of how long is a piece of string.

maybe take a step back, buy a book on studio design and read it then start again.
Old 5th September 2011
  #6
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Thanks Gouge , and yes I took on board Jen's advice regarding the sloping walls not creating a RFZ solely by design, However I am keen to discover whether they will in fact assist in the control of flutter echo and early reflections around the listening position as I have been under the impression that they might from what i have read so far.
It is almost impossible to get anything sent to Thailand from Amazon books etc due to import restrictions etc,( i have tried many times to get various books and currently waiting on someone to go to Europe or Australia to bring back some books) so we are unfortuantly in dire need of reference info etc, so please understand just how much everyone's input with our project is greatly appreciated.
Old 5th September 2011
  #7
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ok, no worries,

yes angled walls and ceiling help with flutter echo and early reflections but you don't need angles to achieve either of those outcomes.

i believe the rfz idea when used with angled walls is about reducing the amount of acoustic treatment required. but that's a very simplistic explanation as i am not an expert and all of those outcomes can also be achieved in a rectangular room - except maybe the reduction of acoustic treatments.
idea being that you force the sound waves to the rear of the room and extend thier reflection times to greater than 20ms.

still doesn't mean you can build a room untreated.

with the room you are looking at you will effectively be forced to buy auralex treatment to make it work. it doesn't really allow for diy treatments.

with hollow core blockwork, or even core filled blockwork if you fix an extra layer of plasterboard/ply/mdf to it you reduce it's low freq attenuation.

i also noted on the aurelex website they recomended a ceiling 3m+ for best outcome.

if it were me i'd build a rectangular room with the external wall having a Rw value or 79 or there abouts. and leave out the internal angled walls so that i maximised my volume and i'd build resonator type walls internal from that concealing base traps and broadband absorption.

the general advice on gearslutz is to stay with the rectangle for your control room as it's easier to build and calculate modes etc. complex shape rooms require complex software to calculate outcomes. most likely way above what either of us can understand.

edit, had a thought, why not just go for a lesser angle on your side walls. like 6deg. then you keep the bigger space but help with the flutter echo. as an option.
Old 5th September 2011
  #8
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Jens Eklund's Avatar
RFZ is a LEDE based design that uses geometry to redirect early reflections (but early LEDE designs also used angled walls before it got the name “RFZ”). Assuming soffit mounted speakers, all the walls can be made reflective (above the modal region) and thus increase the change of reaching the level of the termination of the IDS-gap required to meet the LEDE/RFZ criteria.

I strongly advise against attempts of building a LEDE/RFZ room if one does not understand the concept.
Old 5th September 2011
  #9
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Yes Gouge, it appears that these Auralex room plans are definitely geared towards exclusive use of their acoustic products to achieve the desirable result , and this would be impossible for us both budget wise and ultra scarce availability of any , let alone Auralex, acoustic foam materials in Thailand.


"if it were me i'd build a rectangular room with the external wall having a Rw value or 79 or there abouts. and leave out the internal angled walls so that i maximised my volume and i'd build resonator type walls internal from that concealing base traps and broadband absorption."

I do believe we shall be taking your good advice mate, and doing just that..Keeping things simple and manageable, easier to calculate room modes etc.

As far as the Rw of our external walls goes, well to be honest I have a really hard time understanding any of the info I've found on calculating the Rw of a certain material. Would anyone have any info/direct experience with walls built from 10 " thick cinderblocks, cladded on the the inside surface with 3/4" plywood and rendered on the outside with an inch or so of cement...? Would this be of a sufficient Rw index to contain fairly loud production( @90-100db at times)
Old 5th September 2011
  #10
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unfortunately not.

the render on the outside won't make much difference if you use core filled blocks. if you use hollow filled then the render would make a small difference.

the ply on the inside is a no go. fixing material to one side of a blockwork wall reduces it's effictiveness in the lower frequencies which is not what you need in your situation.

to get around this you need to increse the cavity between the internal linings and the blockwork wall. how deep that cavity needs to be depends on the amount of insulation within the cavity and the density of the internal linings.

if you contact your local block manufacturer they may be able to provide test data for their walls. i'm sure you'll find something. just be aware you need to see the frequency/attenuation plots so you can see how effective it is at lower frequecies.
Old 5th September 2011
  #11
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Gouge , thanks again..I have been checking into the STC of different types of cinder blocks ( and have managed to source one here in Thailand made from a sand aggregate, quite heavy, and has no centre holes) I understand now how the wider the air gap the lower frequency of the M.A.M resonance, but I am still not clear on what are the best ways of augmenting the brick wall ( plywood/painting/etc) to obtain better transmission loss values..
If I was for example , to have ( from inside to out>) 2 layers 1/2" Plasterboard ->4 " #703 type insulation->6" air gap->..?????...-> 15cm cinder block wall-> 1" of cement render..What , if anything , would be advised for the (?) layer ?..e.g: some reference material I have read suggests that the STC of concrete blocks is improved with the addition of 1 layer ( or 2) of plasterboard on each surface. Because the inside of the wall would be exposed to intense humidity, i would supplant treated plywood for this plasterboard in this case..Would this significantly assist in reducing sound transmission through the wall or end up being detrimental? Thoughts please?
Old 6th September 2011
  #12
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at work at the mo so unable to provide full explanation....

but, i'm not sue you can use solids. you need to hold up your roof and solids don't really allow for this. especially in cyclonic areas

typical construction is core filled blockwork with reinforced cores which provide tie down for the roof down to the slab.

your roof would need to be either timber framed or suspended concrete, you ould also use a bondek concrete roof, all of those systems require a suspended ceiling of some description below.
Old 6th September 2011
  #13
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The studio will be constructed by the building crew that have been building all our houses over the years, and they're pretty good thankfully..The roof and reinforcement will be done in the same manner as all the houses in the area , so no fortunately no major worries for us there..Any thoughts on the benefits or non benefits of having a layer or layers attached to the cinder block wall to enhance the STC?
Old 6th September 2011
  #14
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hello again.

there is no advantage attaching plasterboard to the blockwork wall. nrc paapers suggest anyhitng less than 60mm insulated cavity is bad and test data shows that low freq attenuation suffers badly. there's no way around this. that's the way it is.

i think you have 2 options to start with, there are most likely plenty more. but these option require carefull construction practices and really a set of detailed architecturals are needed or someone on site needs to understand what's important. last studio i designed i drilled both the client and the builder on what was important "philisophically" and although that's a bit weak they took it onboard and really achieved a great outcome considering.

so the options - based on and 80+db reduction for the walls and a 70+db reduction for your ceiling because you mention issues with residential areas. i also don't know if you have traffic problems or aeroplane problem but there more a concern if you are doing recording. which you don't seem to be.

option 1. - because blockwork is cheap for you to source. 80+ stc. no problems with resonant frequencies for walls and floors. ceiling approx 10hz

walls-> render,190 core filled blockwork, 150mm min cavity filled with 11kg/m3 min insulation, 190 core filled blockwork, render. the external wall must be decoupled from your internal floor slab and ceiling makeup but the internal blockwork can load on the slab.

ceiling/roof -> 150mm bondek slab min, 400mm cavity filled with 11kg/m3 insulation, 3 layers of 13kg/m2 linings, skim coat ceiling (class5 in australia). concrete bondek slab to load onto external blockwork wall and ceiling to be suspended with resilient mounts. you need to confirm the seismic requirements of suspended ceiling in thailand.

floor-> concrete slab isolated from external blockwork.

option 2. 80 stc. no problems with resonant frequencies for floors. walls and ceiling approx 10hz

walls-> render,190 core filled blockwork, 400mm min cavity filled with 11kg/m3 min insulation, 90mm timber stud, 3 layers of 13kg/m2 linings. the external wall must be decoupled from your internal floor slab and ceiling makeup but the internal wall can load on the slab.


ceiling/roof -> 150mm bondek slab, 400mm cavity filled with 11kg/m3 insulation, 3 layers of 13kg/m2 linings, skim coat ceiling (class5 in australia). concrete bondek slab to load onto external blockwork wall and ceiling to be suspended with resilient mounts. you need to confirm the seismic requirements of suspended ceiling in thailand.


floor-> concrete slab isolated from external blockwork

your weak point will be doors and windows. you need doors obviously, i'd include a window and make you soundlock better based on your design. also they need to be located (if possible) away from neighbours. and again the details are critical or the whole system falls down. putting any opening into your building whether sound rated or not looses quite a bit of stc.

your other weak point is aircon and services. if you go full blockwork then you are chasing services into walls or you need ducted skirting. plasterboard either ducted skirts or run through cavities but dealt with appropriately.

you also should look at condensation issues because of the high humidty.
also, dare i say it, local approvals.

not sure on the typical houses built in thailand but i'd be allowing for big overhangs to prevent heatload onto your blockwork walls.

also, please get an acoustic engineer that knows what they are doing to check my figures.... honestly..... i could be wrong.....

hopefully some can chime in..... especially the resonant frequency calcs...........

oh, and you need and engineer......
Old 7th September 2011
  #15
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any input regards my resonant freq calcs above from other slutters..?
Old 10th September 2011
  #16
tun
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tun's Avatar
Hi There,
I'm in Bangkok. I have no problems buying books via Amazon from either the US or UK, I can't see why it would be different on Pha Ngan. Try it!
Agreed about local approval... could get very messy if not dealt with beforehand!
Good luck with the build.
Cheers.
Old 12th September 2011
  #17
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Thanks once again Gouge..After consulting our builders this will be the best option for us>

option 2. 80 stc. no problems with resonant frequencies for floors. walls and ceiling approx 10hz

walls-> render,190 core filled blockwork, 400mm min cavity filled with 11kg/m3 min insulation, 90mm timber stud, 3 layers of 13kg/m2 linings. the external wall must be decoupled from your internal floor slab and ceiling makeup but the internal wall can load on the slab.



ceiling/roof -> 150mm bondek slab, 400mm cavity filled with 11kg/m3 insulation, 3 layers of 13kg/m2 linings, skim coat ceiling (class5 in australia). concrete bondek slab to load onto external blockwork wall and ceiling to be suspended with resilient mounts. you need to confirm the seismic requirements of suspended ceiling in thailand.



floor-> concrete slab isolated from external blockwork



your other weak point is aircon and services. if you go full blockwork then you are chasing services into walls or you need ducted skirting. plasterboard either ducted skirts or run through cavities but dealt with appropriately.


Is there a decent resource you could recommend for useful studio ducting information>? We will be installing a fairly decent AC unit , and also will need to have extraction vents to deal with the stale air.

you also should look at condensation issues because of the high humidty.

We have just purchased a de-humidifier


We have extended the Airgap from 6" to 8" betweeen the Breezblock wall and the inner dry wall construction. So now the layers will be>

Cement Render/-Breeze Block wall/ -
20cm airgap filled with 15cm 15kg m3 fluffy type rockwool/->
Inner studio wall 4" by 2" framing filled in between with 48kgm3 703 type semi rigid fiberglass
3/4" MDF/-
3/4" Plasterboard drywall....
which according to calculations should yield very good isolation at @ 45hz

Could anyone please confirm or advise me otherwise of this hopeful result ?
Old 13th September 2011
  #18
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aircon wise i would contact a commercial airconditioning company and get them to help you design an outcome.

a couple of things..... you need ducted ac because the ducted system can be designed to provide fresh air. a split system or similar only works in a studio environment if you have a fresh air source.


another thing is that an AC system itself acts as a dehumidifier, but unlike a stand alone dehumidifier a ducted ac unit does not input heat into the space. studio control rooms have specific temperatures and humidity levels they are designed to which ties into speed of sound etc.

a commercial a/c company usually has an acoustic engineer onboard. your system will need to be designed with attenuators and sound proof ducts otherwise your sound isolation system won't work.

you should possibly look at a 1m wide machine room at the end of your room to attenuate the a/c equipment. you could also house the equipment in the roof space (above concrete slab roof) and build isolation boxes around the air handling unts and ducts.

do some googling of air conditioners for recording studios. there's lots of ways to skin the cat. even underslab supply might work as the earth will attenuate for you. just need to look at equipment decoupling from your room within a room.

you also need to think about humidity and the airspace beteen your external wall and internal wall. i'd draw a detail of the wall makeup and get your local insulation company to get their technical advisor to look at it. you don't want moisture condensing in the cavity. for ex if you seal the wall space off on a humid day............

on the sound attenuation of your building. you really need to get the construction detail right or the system won't attenuate to the levels you may be aiming for,
Old 10th September 2013
  #19
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How did this project turn out? What design did you settle on? I'm doing a similar studio in Pathum Thani (just north of Bangkok) and am a bit overwhelmed. running into materials issues. Owens-Corning products seem to be unavailable, for example. Several local manufacturers sell closed-cell foams as acoustic treatment (!) which makes them untrustworthy.
Old 12th September 2013
  #20
Gear Addict
i rented a house in koh phangan , my partner opened a restaurant there and had so many problems with thai stuff that he closed one year later. he did loose lots of money. i was thinking bout running my mastering business in wintertime on phangan, but dealing with thais isnt that easy , houses are never save and humidity can be a nightmare there. so i forgot a bout that.
nevertheless i will be on the island in wintertime so i wonder hows the studioproject going on. would like to visit you there.....

still alive ?
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