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Blackbird studio acoustic design Utility Plugins
Old 2nd April 2013
  #1
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ramil's Avatar
 

Blackbird studio acoustic design

Hi,

It seems that I can't find any technical papers or info about Blackbird studio acoustic design. All I get is that beautiful picture from its control room and zero info on what principles/techniques were used for designing diffusors etc.. Can someone help me out please?
Old 2nd April 2013
  #2
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jhbrandt's Avatar
Ramil,

You are obviously talking about Blackbird Studio C. The room was designed by George Massenburg and Peter D'Antonio.

See attached.

Cheers,
John
Attached Files
File Type: pdf iRoom_Blackbird.June_2006.rpg.pdf (2.55 MB, 1692 views)
Old 2nd April 2013
  #3
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GIK Acoustics's Avatar
 

A better question would be to what specifically do you want to know?

Yes - skyline diffusion covers the entire room. If you'd like to design your own diffusors, check out QRDude for skyline (2D) diffusors, or AMFG Reflex for 1D diffusors.

I believe there's a PDF about the design spec floating around somewhere.
Edit: Oh, there it is!
Old 2nd April 2013
  #4
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Thanks both of you! I'm more interested in what mathematical formula was used in designing diffusors used at Blackbird studio C. Reading pdf right now, I guess it will provide clues or links to aes papers on specifics... If anything will ask here again. Thanks guys!
Old 2nd April 2013
  #5
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GIK Acoustics's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramil View Post
Thanks both of you! I'm more interested in what mathematical formula was used in designing diffusors used at Blackbird studio C. Reading pdf right now, I guess it will provide clues or links to aes papers on specifics... If anything will ask here again. Thanks guys!
Instead of reading the formulas used in a specific situation that was room dependant, read up on the mathematical sequences used in typical diffusors and why they're used. The usual suspects are primitive root, quadratic residue, maximum length, among other sequences for their quasi-random behaviour (though there are many other applied sequences as well). There are countless papers on it, but I would consider checking out a book on diffusion - perhaps Cox & D'Antonio's Acoustic Absorbers and Diffusors to get started on the theory and application of diffusion. Notwithstanding some difficult mathematics, there is tons of explanation on these concepts without oversimplifying them. D'Antonio also helped design the exact room, so the theory involved in the book is coming 'straight from the horses mouth' as it is in this case.
Old 2nd April 2013
  #6
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ramil's Avatar
 

Totally agree with you. Was reading this book one year ago at university and you just reminded me it has all information I need. Will have to visit library today :D
Old 2nd April 2013
  #7
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Bjorn Omholt's Avatar
 

A side note.
Has the ambechoic concept failed? In some ways it may seem like it has. Those who mix in this room now, have covered several of the diffusers with blankets. Most likely to get a sharper and precise image.

A room like this, despite of no absorption above schroeder, will sound quite dry and dead by the way.
Old 2nd April 2013
  #8
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A couple of months ago, I watched a session in progress in Studio C. There were no blankets on the skyline, so maybe it's engineer/producer specific.
Old 2nd April 2013
  #9
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avare's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwo View Post
A side note.
Has the ambechoic concept failed? In some ways it may seem like it has. Those who mix in this room now, have covered several of the diffusers with blankets. Most likely to get a sharper and precise image.
??? See the post above this for just one example.

Quote:
A room like this, despite of no absorption above schroeder, will sound quite dry and dead by the way.
??? again. Diffusors have significant absorption due to 1/4 lambda absorption. 1/4 lambda abosrbers aer used industrialy for frequency specific mufflers.

Too many people seem to think that Schroeder type diffusors have no absorption.

Andre
Old 2nd April 2013
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syncamorea View Post
A couple of months ago, I watched a session in progress in Studio C. There were no blankets on the skyline, so maybe it's engineer/producer specific.
recording or mixing?

and who would want to cover up the PRDs when video footage is being recorded
Old 2nd April 2013
  #11
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Bjorn Omholt's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by avare View Post
??? See the post above this for just one example.
Yes. I wasn't aware of that. I've seen blankets in there several times. Perhaps it depends on the usage and/or on who's using the room.
Quote:
Originally Posted by avare View Post
??? again. Diffusors have significant absorption due to 1/4 lambda absorption. 1/4 lambda abosrbers aer used industrialy for frequency specific mufflers.

Too many people seem to think that Schroeder type diffusors have no absorption.

Andre
I'm well aware of that. What I strictly meant was that there are no dedicated absorbents. Only diffusers above Schroeder. Bad choice of words by me.

That is exactly why a room like this will sound very dry. A LEDE/RFZ room has much more liveliness.
Old 2nd April 2013
  #12
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jhbrandt's Avatar
PRD not QRD

By the way, the diffusors in Studio C are Primitive Root diffusors. They are NOT skylines. You cannot build a similar diffusor using QRDude. The diffusors in Studio C as well as my diffusor designs are high Prime number units and NONE of the blocks are repeated.

A room built like this one WILL take some getting used to, but it is VERY accurate for mixing and many producers & performers enjoy tracking right in that room, ie; acoustic guitar, violin, some vocals, etc.

A good publicly available calculator for these is found on Oliver Prime's site. Have FUN!!

Cheers,
John
Old 2nd April 2013
  #13
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avare's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwo View Post
I'm well aware of that. What I strictly meant was that there are no dedicated absorbents. Only diffusers above Schroeder. Bad choice of words by me.
We, and yes that includes me, have a bad habit of trying to reduce complex things to simple terms which are understood by other experts to mean what was written. Unfortunately people leariing acoustics take them to mean completely differnt things than what is intended. Part of this is the inspiration for Invisible Alpha©. Perhaps for acoustic treatments like Schroeder diffusors I should coin the term Disguised Alpha© for absorption that occurs beyond the recognized, or marketed, effect of products.

Oops, I just did.

The Alpha Man,
Andre
Old 2nd April 2013
  #14
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akebrake's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwo View Post
A side note.
Has the ambechoic concept failed? In some ways it may seem like it has. .
bwo,

Has this concept been "alive" (and popular)? IMHO this is a very special room. A little bit larger than most... Eventually one of it's kind.
Do you know other rooms, built like this?

Quote:
Those who mix in this room now, have covered several of the diffusers with blankets.
I have not seen the blankets yet, only "heard" of them. If you can direct me to some photos or links please, that would be nice.

Quote:
A room like this, despite of no absorption above schroeder, will sound quite dry and dead by the way.
Massenburg and D'Antonio claims it does not sound dead...More like an indoor forrest

Cheers

BTW the small "Spare Bedroom Studio" concept seem to be alive and healthy
Old 2nd April 2013
  #15
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Bjorn Omholt's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by akebrake View Post
bwo,

Has this concept been "alive" (and popular)? IMHO this is a very special room. A little bit larger than most... Eventually one of it's kind.
Do you know other rooms, built like this?
No, I don't know of any other ambechoic rooms that have been built. There are other rooms with much diffusion or only diffusion, but not with the same ETC graphs or diffusion that goes this deep.

Obviously it's an expensive and complex room to build, but shouldn't we have seen at least some more if it was a great success? That's a question I have. I get the feeling that it was interesting experiment, but stranded for unknown reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akebrake View Post
I have not seen the blankets yet, only "heard" of them. If you can direct me to some photos or links please, that would be nice.
Massenburg has said so himself at this forum. You may find it if you search.
You can see some here:
Stranded - YouTube


Quote:
Originally Posted by akebrake View Post
Massenburg and D'Antonio claims it does not sound dead...More like an indoor forrest

Cheers

BTW the small "Spare Bedroom Studio" concept seem to be alive and healthy
The definition of dead would also be relative to something. It's definetly not as dead as an anechoic chamber. And maybe not as dead a Non enviromental room either. But it's definetly not as lively as a LEDE room. Huge amounts of diffusion will absorp a lot.

Yeah. The "bedroom studios" with highly use of EQ plugins are a bit of a shame. With many famous and popular artists/bands you're forced to buy the Blu-ray concert disc to get decent sound today.
Old 2nd April 2013
  #16
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ramil's Avatar
 

Guys keep it coming !
Old 2nd April 2013
  #17
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Quality Clients

This video seems to suggest reasons why music has died.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcTO_SpXs5Y

Apart from the poetic nature of the banter, it does sound quite dead to my ear.
About right for a mix room I would have thought.

Afaik George was pretty pissed off by people wanting to cover the diffusors with blankets and has moved to Canada.

DD
Old 2nd April 2013
  #18
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GIK Acoustics's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhbrandt View Post
By the way, the diffusors in Studio C are Primitive Root diffusors. They are NOT skylines. You cannot build a similar diffusor using QRDude. The diffusors in Studio C as well as my diffusor designs are high Prime number units and NONE of the blocks are repeated.
Thanks for the correction John!
Old 2nd April 2013
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by localhost127 View Post
recording or mixing?

and who would want to cover up the PRDs when video footage is being recorded
It was mixing. Personally, I could work in that room just fine as-is!
Old 2nd April 2013
  #20
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akebrake's Avatar
 

Drum bleed

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwo View Post

........You can see some here:
Stranded - YouTube
Thanks for the link! I think it works quite well with a number of musiciens playing together and with vocal in the same room.

But on that video I think mr Massenburg himself is the man behind the "blanket-trick" heh
Old 3rd April 2013
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
This video seems to suggest reasons why music has died.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcTO_SpXs5Y

Apart from the poetic nature of the banter, it does sound quite dead to my ear.
??? earlier in a similiar discussion you stated it was "quite live"?

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/8710443-post24.html
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/8711686-post30.html
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/8713002-post38.html
Old 3rd April 2013
  #22
Gear Guru
Stalker

On the video I linked the room sounds dead to my ear. Simple statement of opinion. Anyone can listen and form their own opinion.
I have heard a previous video, more awed conversation perhaps, in which the room sounded quite lively. I am sure someone has it bookmarked......
Perhaps the latter was a camera audio compression artefact? Or the new one some sort of noise reduction or companding?
On yet another video a full band recording sounds quite normal, in particular the drums sound natural. Although with Altiverb....

localhost127, the posts by me which you linked to are written as clearly as I would want. The current one also. Exactly what is you want to know?
Or/and what is the purpose of your question?
DD
Old 3rd April 2013
  #23
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i was just curious if there was any particular reason for change of opinion as there was quite a debate in the old discussion/thread regarding the room being considered dead or live.
Old 3rd April 2013
  #24
Gear Guru
DOH?

No change of opinion, just an odd contradiction which I noticed and pointed out. I have no view on it apart from that stated, i.e. the conversation on the video suggests a dead room to my ear.
Again, on a previous video, similarly recorded conversation clearly suggested a lively room.
I have read many comments from people working in there, who say it does not come across as dead but nicely lively The Blanket brigade kinda suggests the same.
I have had no reason to disbelieve these professionals' opinions, nor other indications.
So, the odd man out here IMO is the audio on the new video.
This merely throws up a question, or a couple of them.
Plse do take a listen and let me know if you think this is a dead room or a Noise Reduction or other audio artefact?

DD
Old 3rd April 2013
  #25
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Bjorn Omholt's Avatar
 

The music of Dawn Langstroth from Blackbird studio (video recording I linked to ealier), can be heard here:
Linn Records - Highwire
I have the CD and does sound a little on the dry side as well smooth. It's IMO a pretty good recording overall.

The "more like an indoor forrest" sound is a funny description. What in the world does that mean? Seems like a term stolen from an audiophile magazine.
Old 3rd April 2013
  #26
Gear Guru
Indoor Forest

A lot of people have turned to indoor growing these days. Perhaps that is the cause of the funny phrase, 'indoor forest'.
I think I understand what they mean though. Depending on the type of forest, density and shape of trees, the acoustic can be quite lively in response to handclaps and such.

DD
Old 3rd April 2013
  #27
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AwwDeOhh's Avatar
 

Re: Live or dead

Perhaps there were variables that produced BOTH results that were perceived. Was there not mention (shown) of covering over the diffusor walls in some of the videos? Could not location in the room play a role as well? Were there gobos setup? all valid things that could change the liveliness of any particular recording in the space...
Old 3rd April 2013
  #28
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Rod Gervais's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AwwDeOhh View Post
Re: Live or dead

Was there not mention (shown) of covering over the diffusor walls in some of the videos? Could not location in the room play a role as well? Were there gobos setup? all valid things that could change the liveliness of any particular recording in the space...
There were plenty of gobos in the room - and the wall behind her was soft ...... they even had some sort of quilt covering the piano........

BTW - it's worth taking a minute and watching the video - they really nailed it in there........

Rod
Old 3rd April 2013
  #29
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Glenn Kuras's Avatar
I am kind of surprised no one has spotted that her vocal is a scratch track as is a lot of the video.

Quote:
Dawn Langstroth 4 months ago
I'm not sure how many takes we did for the track, but the vocal was not in one take. I'm too picky! ?
Old 3rd April 2013
  #30
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Rod Gervais's Avatar
 

Glenn - I don't know that it was a scratch track - unless she has the most impeccable timing of any artist I have even seen......

She said it was not one take - not that this take wasn't used to any extent........

BUT - I have asked her the question and will see how she responds....... (if she responds........ )

Rod
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