The more I practice, the more I realize I need to practice
Learning Rock Star
45 years old
Bay Area, California
I love performing live - I can't get enough of it!
Joined: 4-May 10
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Last Seen: 30th November 2013 - 06:43 PM
Local Time: Dec 22 2013, 01:48 AM
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20 Nov 2013
Per Tony's request, I'm creating a new thread dedicated to ideas/concepts concerning remodeling or building from the ground up a sound-worthy recording studio.
In my OP, I asked the question - what would you do if you had 13 square feet in which to put up walls to create a recording studio.
Tony Miro replied, to that thread, which I'm pasting here to start the thread.
may I suggest that we discuss your build in a spearate thread? It's probably going to be require quite a few backwards and forwards responses and lots of questions, answers and discussions.
In the interim a couple of quick questions, comments and suggestions from me...
1/ Do you need to soundproof in order to meet any local noise regulations/not upset family or neighours, rather than just isolate the recording area to minimse bleed? Effective soundproofing, particularly if its to meet legal noise requirements, is often quite expensive and needs quite different materials than sound treatment.
2/ Is the room single purpose? Is it recording and/or mixing?
3/ If it involves recording then how many and what instruments etc would be on the sound stage?
4/ Are you happy to break th space up in separate defined areas or do you want it as a single large space?
5/ What equipment and any instruments need to be located?
6/ What are the electrics, water, lighting and aircon like?
7/ What is the floor made of?
Todd's post has got some good stuff in it and certainly worth the read.
Also Ethan Winner has a good site about acoustic treatment for studios here. He's quite opinionated and whilst he knows his stuff not everyone agrees with everything he says but his site is still very helpful and well worth at least a quick read. Also, he has a room mode calculator which will be helpful once you know your dimensions etc :-).
1/ 13x13 isn't a great shape as it's a square. Squares are actually the worst shape as you will have big problems with reflections and standing waves. So you will need to as a minimum put in a partition to break that up. When you do you do not want to end up with a perfect regular rectangle (where one wall is a mutiple of the perpendicular one i.e.6x12). Those are better than a square but not much. A sort of ship type shape/irregular hexagon or octagon is a much better shape bit would need careful thinking to use the space you've got effectively.
I'd consider at this point if you have enough room to have a small machine room. If you do then you can put your pc daw, AD/DA and anything else that can be a bit noisy/intrusive but whch you don't needs hands on all the time and so keep them out of the studio. Including a small machine room at the build stage might be cheaper than buying a rack pc and trying to soundproof and isolate it.
2/ You may need to consider the floor particularly as the room isn't on the ground so might need more consideration about vibrations etc.
This means that you might have to look in to some form of resin/polymer washer/seal between the floor joists and floor covering. You might also need to double layer the floor so that a false floor floats on top of but is isolated from the actual floor.
3/ 3 stud walls and a concrete one isn't that bad. You'll have to put in at least one major stud partition though to break up the 13x13 square. You should also consider having sufficient depth between the stud and partition so that you can place some sound insolation to a depth of at least 4''. If you don't need to sound proof then the stud walls can help let frequencies escape and so reduce build up of standing waves. They also are good as you can run cabling etc thorugh them rather than having it snaking all over the floor...
4/ Corners are a pain as the bass frequencies tend to accumulate there. So these need a lot more treatment than the walls. Foam does not absorb low end effectively so you need a much better material. Most of us use mineral glass wool and I think in the US that is probably made and sold as Corning 740. The number is related to the density and it needs to be no less than 703 - 705 is better. If you use a lower density then you end up having to use increasingle more layers of it and can end up with a really thick trap that is too bulky to site. With 740 the trap still probably needs to 6'' or more in depth - less than this and you just won't trap. Glass/rock wool will sag so you need to build a frame around it to support it. The frame also makes it easier to site and move around. (Note: glass mineral wall can cause dermititis so you need to wear gloves and face mask when you handle and cut it.)
5/ Straight walls need a mix of reflection and absorption. Here you can use foam but it needs to be open cellular and not closed. It's probably easiest to buy sready made pecialised acoustic foam panels for this.
6/ You'll need ceiling clouds as well, which will need to be suspended from the roof joists.
7/ If you can have the flouescent light changed as it will almost certainly generate hum.
8/ Speaker placement is going to partly depend on the final room dimension and shape. However, if you're using 2 way mixing monitors they are probably a ported design. Ported designs nearly always need to be sited very close to the wall behind them as the wall acts to increase the bass. That wall also needs to be solid one - a stud would just let the bass escape and you'd get no help from it.
So with the room design you need to remember that your monitors will probably have to have the concrete wall close behind them.
Small 2 way monitors also have a requirement for you to be quite close as they often don't produce sufficient spl and volume for you sit some way away. If you sit quite a long way away th n you need to drive a small speaker really quite hard to get sufficient spl and volume. That often means they distort at either the power amp and/or spakers.
Getting an ideal equilateral triangle between you and the speakers can be compromised by a need to also get a desk/console/surface in front of you. (The need to have computer monitors, rack equipment and studio furniture don't help either.) Often you end up having to compromise and accept that you just won't end up with an ideal stereo. To be honest very, very few mixing and recording studios have their monitors placed ideally. We usually achieve this in mastering partly because we don't need the big console and tons of outboar but even then I know quite a few mastering engineers/studios who accept a non-ideal stereo as a consequence of their room and other things.
Monitors should fire down the longest length of the room. So the rear and facing wall - and consequently your concrete wall - need to be the narrow ones. They should also be set symmetrical from the rear and side walls. Again all of this limits where you put them, how you dimension the room and so on and ultimately you might end up having to live with a bit of a compromise.
Oh and I wouldn't plan on soffit mounting them in to a wall. I don't think there is enough space here to really warrant it and you'd have to use a solid wall to do it - messy and expensive and limits up any future upgrade. To be honest I also don't think the normal 2 ways in most home studios are of a high enough quality to merit it.
9/ If the mix room is separated from the sound stage you may need to put a glass window and door between them. The window will need to be double, or better still triple, glazed and ideally use glass that minimise reflections. You can buy glass that is specialist for studios but it is really quite expensive. It's a lot cheaper, although not as good, to use a drop down persian blind or heavy curtains. Doors ideally should be the sort of air lock type construction and well sealed to the floor.
10/ You should think about how you are going to provide talk back to the soundstage and also how you run audio cabling. If your budget allow then its worth looking into ou might want to look at looms and wall boxes to do this.
11/ Cabling - try to use balanced connections and cables throughout. If you can use a multicore, coloured loom as the colours help you know which connector is which and the loom helps keep things neat and tidy. Audio cables ideally should not run parallel to electric cables or you can getinduced hum. Different types of cable have different maximum distances that you can run them before you get appreciable signal loss etc.
12/ If you have some outboard and a few mics consider a patch bay for the control room. It will make connecting and unconnecting stuff a lot simpler and save you trying to access the back of stuff that's racked.
If you have, or plan on getting hardware outboard like eqs and compressors etc then you should plan to put them in to proper racks. If you can think about using a floor mounted one on wheels. That way you can put it out of the way if you're not using and so hopefully help minimise comb filtiering and reflections from them. If you do need the equipment sited so that all the controls are easyily to hand then consider having racks that are set in to a desk at an angle rather than just sit them on top.
Also consider building some studio furniture at this point if you have the time and budget. Most people use computer desks but to be honest they're not great places to put a console etc.
Great project Chris and I wish you lots of luck with it. I'lll try and help offer opinion as much as I can. If you post something youwant me to look at nudge me and I'll try and respond asap :-).
19 Nov 2013
Well, I went and spent this year's allocation of funds on a new computer. I've been without a reliable machine for about 2 years now after my regular beast gave up the ghost. I should be receiving it by mid December.
I'm also turning some office space into a home recording studio, so this years is I think a really good year for me in terms of gear and music, not to mention brushing up on my carpentry skills
Looking forward to the moment I'm able to get everything situated and begin recording again.
26 Jul 2013
Hey guys ~ and Todd, I know you'll have some insider info if Bogdan is not around, but basically - I picked up a new bass and have really been getting into it - kind of a situation that was born out of necessity as my current cover band lost our bass player and we needed someone to fill in ~ and I had just purchased this bass for recording :
Anywas, back on point!
New to the world of bass and tone, I'm trying to find a tone comparable to Hunter's tone of AFI from this song - whether it's a pedal, a plugin, an EQ... whatever I can get my hands on. Any recommendations?
Thanks in advance!
10 Jan 2013
Now that's heavy metal!
11 Dec 2012
I went ahead and broke my piggy bank on a Mesa Roadster head. I'm giddy with excitement. Can't wait for it to arrive!
I found a used Black Jute model for a pretty decent price
21 Nov 2013 - 5:15
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29 Nov 2012 - 5:38
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