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andYz00m

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Hey there. I recently got access to some increased space in my building and my studio partner and I are going to absorb a unit in between our units to use as a conjoined live room for our respective control/mix rooms.

My room is 24.5x20x10 and currently is laid out very poorly for mixing. There is a bunch of storage and weird isobooths/closets along one of the long walls, and there is storage above those spaces.

I want to remodel the room to be better shaped for tracking/mixing as well as set up some proper long term storage/tech space and a small iso booth for vocals and guitar amps which is what I overdub mostly.

Another major limitation is the hvac is a casette type heat exchanger on the wall that I dont want to move. That wall is already full insulated and isolated exterior wall.

Im open to any ideas and something completely different to what I am thinking as well.

Existing room set up:
IMG_2566.JPEG IMG_2535.JPEG

My current thinking:
  • Option A: Devide the room through the middle-ish and do a control room with dimensions of 9''Hx16"'Wx20'L and booths and storage on the other half. (put drywall on the ceiling)
    • This is the easiest construction wise but also produces some nasty modes 60/120 and a whole bunch of junk in the low mid range.
    • 1664833826628.png
    • IMG_2567.JPEG
  • Option B: CR to be longer and thinner with the booths and storage along one side 9'8"'Hx14"'Wx24'L (leave ceiling open)
    • This looks a lot better on paper and would only have 120Hz to deal with and a lot less junk in the low mid range. However, this makes the booth and storage quite narrow and the doors to those rooms a bit inconvenient.
    • 1664833936009.png
    • 68451844280__7F82E25A-8D2E-41A6-8E5B-AFD7D27F5C13.jpeg
 

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Tubetec

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Hi Andy ,
movable acoustic screens are a usefull way of breaking up room modes and flutter echoes ,
its easy to make up your own and put them on casters so their easily moved around as required .
Alternatively there are premade screens of the sort used in open plan offices to deaden down sounds , if you find a used office furniture dealer he might have them going cheap , if the appearance is a bit tatty you can always re cover them in sack cloth (hessian)
 

andYz00m

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Thanks tt for the advice. I actually raided an office building years ago that went out of business and grabbed a ton of cubicle deviders which ended being amazing gobos and treatment for free.

I am prepared to treat the room properly once we have the main construction done, and I know I will have some measuring and treating to do no matter what room dimensions I choose. Im trying to start with the best dimensions for me layout to reduce the need for treatment down the road if possible!
 

Tubetec

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Rock wool is the usual 'go-to' but it can degrade into problematic smaller fibres eventually ,
likewise the modern phenolic based foams give off some nasty substances into the air you breathe ,
Im working on a construction methodology mainly from recycled stuff ,without the need for noxious, harmfull and expensive chemicals .
Heat treated (marked HT here) pallets contain no chemicals and theres an never ending supply of them for free ,
Ive been thinking of arranging the boards in a ship-lapped fashion on a curved surface , so its quite effective at diffusing reflections ,not like your usual concrete box room with parrallel highly reflective surfaces .
 

Tubetec

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It could if it was lying around on the ground a while Shabtek ,
Wood destroying beetles arent as common here in Ireland ,
in general treated timbers are used for construction , it gives a life expectancy of around 50 years minimum ,
but it is nasty stuff , I know that from a few friends who applied the stuff by hand on the roof trusses of properties built before treated timber was a thing .

Wildlife in general here isnt quite as wild as the USA ,
Probably the most dangerous creature we have here is a large male deer ,
there really only dangerous if you try and corner one , or perhaps if you get between him and his females durring the rutting season . Wild pigs and wolves were a feature of our landscape a few hundreds of years ago , when the country was mostly forrested , slow growing Irish oak was a favourite of Her Majesties ship rights , but that as we say is old history now .
 

chilidawg

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What about a colony of wood termites? I've had all of my acoustic panels and wooden floor devoured by them in just a matter of days. A house next door that has its wooden roof truss heavily infested was going under a renovation, so they got disturbed, decided to relocate their nest someplace else. These tiny things actually dug a tunnel inside a 10" thick solid concrete wall, and came out on the other side, just conveniently behind my acoustic panels.
 

noizetoys

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In your first post you state:
my studio partner and I are going to absorb a unit in between our units to use as a conjoined live room for our respective control/mix rooms
I don't see that reflected on the drawings. Am I missing something?

I have a few questions about what you have drawn (in no particular order):
  1. What is your budget? The exact amount isn't important, knowing the range is enough.
  2. How handy are you with construction tools and methods?
  3. How important are aesthetics?
  4. How does your partner's space relate to the drawings?
  5. What is your main focus in the studio: Mixing or Tracking?
  6. What is your partner's main focus in the studio?
  7. How long do you plan to be in this space?
  8. How long does your partner plan to be in this space?
  9. What are the things you are storing? Studio related? Not studio related?
  10. Do you need to retrieve stored items frequently or is it more long-term storage?
  11. Do you plan to maintain your current focus or move into other services (i.e. you mostly do mixing but want to do more tracking or vice versa)?
  12. What environmental issues need to be considered (i.e. HVAC, power, water, etc. that are already there or need to be added)?
  13. How much isolation do you need between spaces? Are there any spaces that require more or less isolation?
  14. Do these pants make me look fat?
These are the sorts of questions I ask when trying to get an idea of a customer's end goal. It's hard to make recommendations without knowing what you are trying to accomplish and what you THINK you are trying to accomplish. They often are not the same thing. I don't say this to belittle you but to help you express some (not all) of your reasonings for your design. Understanding some of that will help advise and guide you on this journey. And it will be a journey. It's never as easy as one thinks.

It's easy to spit out some of the standard info about isolation and acoustics, but without knowing what your underlying reasoning and goals are it's not possible to give you more relevant advice.

Ok, that's enough of that.

James
 

Tubetec

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Im in Ireland , St Patrick drove all the nasty critters like those into the sea or so the legend says ;)

The vast majority of houses here are made of bricks and mortar , its only the roof trusses in the attic that might be suseptable , but the large variation in temperature makes its difficult for things to survive without dehydrating or perrishing with the cold . The only wood boring thing I know of here is the woodworm , which is the larvae of a type of fly , they are a problem in antique wooden furniture for the most part . Theres a number of noxious off the shelf substances available to deal with the woodworm , Ive found a drop of tea tree oil into the hole the larvae has made is effective at dealing with them in furniture , another way Ive dealt with them is applying a drop of super glue via a pipette down into the bore hole ,cyanoacrylate fumes are extremely effective .

According to Wiki only 10 species of termites have been identified in Europe , colder climates dont suit these beasties at all , so its a non issue in my part of the world .
 

gullfo

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#2 option would be better. the larger rectangular booth would be better as well rather than a smaller one. since the storage door is not the best, location, you could put the door to it in the end of the booth instead... once you have the basic structural bits done (and presuming you have figured out the sound isolation aspects) and how once you seal things, you'll exchange air (primarily getting rid of co2) and heat/cool, then acoustics treatments would be next...
 

andYz00m

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Santa Cruz, CA, USA
In your first post you state:

Thanks for the thoughtful response and questions! Responses inline:

I don't see that reflected on the drawings. Am I missing something?
I didnt draw that part as we already have a design for that room.

I have a few questions about what you have drawn (in no particular order):

  1. What is your budget? The exact amount isn't important, knowing the range is enough.
    1. $5-10k ( I know) hopefully just materials and insulation. I have snakes, wall boxes, doors, a shitload of j boxes romex and quad boxes, and all the tools needed. 2x4s, drywall, and insulation are the main materials that I will need to purchase. I also have a ton of treatment and traps already built, two very large diffusers for the back wall of the CR, clouds, a couple boxes of rockbaord, etc.
  2. How handy are you with construction tools and methods?
    1. Have a full woodshop, all the tools and am fairly experienced with framing, drywall, electrical and HVAC. We also have friends who are contractors to help us with the build if there are tricky elements Im not comfortable with.
  3. How important are aesthetics?
    1. It will be half private and half commercial use, so it needs to be presentable enough, but I like the garage vibe and think it lends to the charm of the studio. (At least thats what current clients say). I am not going for the sterile boring look that seems to prevail a lot of new builds Im seeing today (no offense to those that like that)
  4. How does your partner's space relate to the drawings?
    1. His space is smaller and is oriented horizontally instead of vertically like my room. I could draw the whole space if that would be helpful. He likely wont be remodeling his CR as there is already a pretty good layout, treatment and dimensions make a lot of sense already. Also he doesnt have existing poorly designed rooms/closets.
  5. What is your main focus in the studio: Mixing or Tracking?
    1. Tracking and mixing. I do mostly rock or guitar based music but we also record everything from our nice upright studio paino, full bluegrass bands live, and then TONS of rock drums, guitars and vocal overdubs.
  6. What is your partner's main focus in the studio?
    1. Similar to me.
  7. How long do you plan to be in this space?
    1. We just signed a 10 year lease and have full authority to do anything in the space we want that doesn't affect structural framing.
  8. How long does your partner plan to be in this space?
    1. Same
  9. What are the things you are storing? Studio related? Not studio related?
    1. Mics, drums, amps, guitars and all the boxes for rack gear as we buy and sell stuff constantly.
    2. I would also want a small desk/table/counter for repair and minor tech work at the studio. I have my full workshop at my house for deep repair and building.
  10. Do you need to retrieve stored items frequently or is it more long-term storage?
    1. If the mic locker goes in there then we would use it constantly. If its just amps and instruments then likely it would be only during session set up.
  11. Do you plan to maintain your current focus or move into other services (i.e. you mostly do mixing but want to do more tracking or vice versa)?
    1. Likely will stay the same.
  12. What environmental issues need to be considered (i.e. HVAC, power, water, etc. that are already there or need to be added)?
    1. HVAC is currently a cassette type heat exchanger that is mounted on the wall next to the entry doorway at the bottom wall in the drawing.
    2. I dont want to move the heat exchanger and would rather build small and quiet airflow systems for the booth. The live room and the other control room have similar discrete HVAC systems, we likely wont go ducted forced air.
    3. I have a subpanel in the room that will feed the live room and this whole studio. It has a 50 amp main and plenty of space for individual rails. Will likely use one 20amp main for the CR gear and then another 15 amp for the studio. Then two 15 amp lines for the live room.
  13. How much isolation do you need between spaces? Are there any spaces that require more or less isolation?
    1. The live room will be built decoupled from the rest of the spaces with separate framing and double doors, as will the booth in my unit. The live room will have its own cassette style heat exchanegr for HVAC. Isolation is less important than treatment in my CR for proper listening and mixing.
  14. Do these pants make me look fat?
    1. Of course not, queen.
 

nielsk

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Getting the room dimensions as close to ideal is the most important thing, remember the worst place is dead center in the room so that is often an argument for a longer, narrower room. Usually about 1/3 in from the front wall is the best place to be.
Symmetry is very important, looks like you have that addressed..
 

Gold

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Getting the room dimensions as close to ideal is the most important thing, remember the worst place is dead center in the room so that is often an argument for a longer, narrower room. Usually about 1/3 in from the front wall is the best place to be.
Symmetry is very important, looks like you have that addressed..
+1 Sticking as close as possible to the golden ratio saves all manner of acoustic problems.
 

andYz00m

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Getting the room dimensions as close to ideal is the most important thing, remember the worst place is dead center in the room so that is often an argument for a longer, narrower room. Usually about 1/3 in from the front wall is the best place to be.
Symmetry is very important, looks like you have that addressed..
In general, the math seems to indicate that a longer thinner room is far better for modal issues. I would need less treatment and only have to treat down to 125Hz
 

gullfo

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a couple of thoughts: balance is the key - long narrow will not eliminate LF treatments. and likely will introduce other issues like comb filtering and impulse response anomalies.

basically, if you have 6 strong (isolating) surfaces in a room - you will have LF issues. you need to factor workflows and equipment into the equation when deciding the dimensions. while golden ratio is useful, there are other tools out there to help define a best ratio - the key being room volume. more volume = less LF issues. more volume = other issues, cost being one of them - not just the space and construction but also the treatment.

on the commercial thought - consider the implications of accessibility requirements because a commercial space will have different requirements than private spaces. and they can be costly.
 

cyrano

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According to Wiki only 10 species of termites have been identified in Europe , colder climates dont suit these beasties at all , so its a non issue in my part of the world .

Paris has several streets heavily infested with African termites. These weren't present in Europe 25 years ago.
 

andYz00m

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OK, Since we are building the live room now as well, Im going to focus on positioning in the existing room and wait another year or so to redo my control room if I need to down the road.

Right now, looking for suggestions on best positioning in the room for optimal tracking, mixing, and listening. I know symmetry is ideal but since this room has asymmetrical installations currently, there isn't a great spot for the desk.

Here are the potential locations, looking for opinions. Im also going to do some measurements in each position to see where the best starting place would be. Using REW, there are going to be issues with any of these positions and it doesn't really have a way to simulate being in a corner. (maybe this is an indication that this would suck haha)

Option A:
1668271127582.png

Option B:
1668271278149.png

Option C:
1668271391547.png

Option D:
1668271906898.png

Option E:
1668272417983.png
 

kags

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Nov 2, 2019
Messages
24
Lots of things going on here, but creating an enjoyable and balanced mixing setup shouldn't be difficult. Here are a few things to remember:

1. Room modes always exist and we don't want the least amount of room modes, we want the most even distribution of the modes. In fact, an ideal room would have tons of room modes, like 3 modes for every 1/3 octave, even in the low frequencies. That's what the Bonello and Bolt indicators show in the Room Mode Calculator - the beneficial distribution of modes. REW has amazing tools to predict your room's response and then measure it. The Room Mode Calculators are a great help in learning which boundaries contribute to each mode.

2. The biggest problem I find in commercial and project rooms is not poor frequency response, but poor decay time. The decay time must be similar at all frequencies or the room will sound confusing. Don't treat your room with only 1" or 2" (or even just 4") acoustic panels or your bass decay time will be so much longer than your mid- and high-frequency decay time and your room will have no definition. You are hoping for a room that has a balanced frequency response from 30-ish Hz up with a variation of plus or minus 3 to 6 dB. Don't expect flat - that just rarely happens. A room with an even decay time at all frequencies will sound amazing!

3. The keys to starting our right are: 1. find the best listening position, 2. Find the best speaker location 3. For smallish rooms, you'll need about 10 square feet of acoustic treatment (depth to be explained later) for every square meter of floor space. (sorry for mixing units, but that's how my brain is thinking right now)

From your drawings, I like version D, except for the symmetry (extra room on the door side. I would build a solid wall (maybe with more storage) to continue the wall to meet the edge of the door frame. (see image) Then cheat the desk toward the door to create more symmetry. Option C could work if you built a front wall diagonally across the corner to match the angle of the desk, but that layout would be hard to predict and might be awkward for having space to walk around the room.

Screen Shot 2022-11-12 at 1.56.44 PM.png
Now you have symmetry and some good broadband absorption in the front and back of the room.

If possible, do not put drywall on the ceiling (unless you need it for sound isolation purposes). Take advantage of that space to put insulation in the ceiling. If you have more than 8" or depth, you can use inexpensive roll insulation and cover it with thin plastic and then fabric. If it is 4" - 8" deep, I would use Roxul Safe n Sound and also plastic sheeting and fabric. If less than 4" use a denser insulation board, like OC 703 or 705.

If you can do this ceiling treatment over the front 40% of your room, the low frequencies will be very well controlled and the room will sound well-balanced. If you need to cap the ceiling, then build a large cloud of 8" Roxul SnS to cover as much of the front of the room as possible.

Treat any first reflection point on the side walls with 2" to 4" panels. You will probably wind up with 4 to 8 (2' x 4') panels scattered around the room to stop flutter echoes and first reflections.

-----
Find your ideal listening position! You can use the REW Room simulator to move the listening position and speakers around. Your speakers should be as close to the front wall as possible, with some 4" absorption in the area behind the speakers to avoid SBIR problems. You can also find the ideal listening position by putting a single speaker in the front corner and playing some music and start around 38% from the front wall and slowly roll your chair forward and back (as much as a few feet in either direction) to find the most balanced listening position. I usually start with the REW prediction and then do a listening test to fine-tune the location.

__________-
After you dial all this in, then shoot the room with REW and look at the waterfall graph to find any areas of long decay time. Your room should be between 150ms and 250ms from 50 Hz up. If you have a hot spot in the bass, you may then want to build or buy some tuned traps to address a specific low-frequency mode. Remember that the tuned trap must be placed at an area of high pressure, ie, against a wall that contributes to that modal resonance. I would expect to need about 20 sq feet of tuned trapping (the area of the trap facing into the room) to hear any measurable result.
______________

So, basically, 1. build a symmetrical layout, 2. find your listening position, 3. locate your speaker (probably close the front wall) creating close to an equilateral triangle with spot 1 foot behind the listeners head and center of each speaker's face, 4. Treat the room with broadband absorption down to as low as you can manage (8" to 12" insulation depth), 5. After all this measure the response of your room and treat the frequencies with the longest decay time.
______________________-


Hopefully, this was concise enough, but also complete enough!

- Adam
 
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