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Acoustic Treatment Optimise acoustics in your studio environment for accurate mixing - the best advice here..

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Old 21st March 2011 , 10:39 PM
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Default Rented rehearsal room in Slovakia

Living in a flat with neighbours above and below, making a noise is unsociable, and illegal after 10pm here in Slovakia. From next month I will have a room in a commercial building, so evenings and nights are mine to make a noise! Today I took a couple of photos and measured the place (before the owner has moved his stuff out). Dimensions are 3.02 metres high, 2.55 wide and 6.07 long.





Having read enough forum topics where someone announces what they have done, only to be told that it is not suitable, I would prefer to present my thoughts and have them constructively criticised before I do anything. The primary use of the room is to learn, practice, rehearse and enjoy playing my instruments. I have done some recording in the distant past. My quest is for acoustic treatment so that I don't get fatigued by resonating echoes and suchlike and, if possible, so that recordings will not suffer from obvious and easily avoidable mistakes due to the room's acoustics and treatment.

My thoughts include:

1) Sound isolation. A soviet era building, it has thick concrete floors, walls and ceiling. The window and door are the weak points. I would like to reduce the noise of traffic coming in the single glazed window and reckon on mounting a single thick pane of laminated glass on the inside edge of the 38cm deep window sill, plus some absorbtion inbetween. Apart from adding seals to the panel door I am not sure whether anything is either helpful or even necessary.

2) Absorption. Floor to ceiling broadband traps in the 4 corners, adapted to accommodate the radiator by the window and the overlap with the opening door, which I guess I could either mount on hinges or just have it free-standing and movable. I am thinking that I should do what is shown in the picture plus absorbers along the wall to ceiling corner all round before measuring the room. Is that the right (or at least a reasonable) way to go about things? I expect I would need a movable absorber across the door. By the way, I have never measured a room before so I will need some way of doing this, whether by ear or equipment.

3) Cloud. The room would struggle to accommodate a 12 sloping cloud (the pink line). A 6 slope could be done. However, Frank didn't include a slope in his Room Treatment Report from Frank (GIK) and so I wonder whether, for a mostly rehearsal room, I could avoid the sloping cloud and make up for it with absorbtion where necessary.

4) Is facing the window better than facing the door?

5) Instruments. Drums and piano are both electronic. Guitars are normally played at sing-along volume. The flute is loud in the higher octaves. I expect the bass, my new toy which is in the UK until I come over in May, will be helped if I face the bass combo down the length of the room but not parallel with the walls.

6) Recording kit. I have a pair of condenser mics (Kam C3, similar, I suspect, to Rode NT-1A), some other kit and an iMac with a copy of Logic Express. I used Logic 20 years ago - no audio in those days. Things have moved on and I want to move on from my 4-track Tascam portastudio.



I will have other questions, expecially after 1st April, once I am in there. So, do please pick holes in my thinking; that will a great help, honestly!

Edit: Oh yes, budget. I spent it on a bass combo, so it will be around 50 per month, which I think is a good thing as I cannot make too many hasty and foolish purchases.
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Last edited by Lester; 22nd March 2011 at 03:38 PM. . <
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Old 21st March 2011 , 11:03 PM
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Looks mostly sensible. It probably doesnt matter much which one you face as long as you have absorption behind you (that is a mirror point too).
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Old 9th April 2011 , 11:57 AM
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A week ago it looked like this:





And now it looks like this:







Having studied acoustic treatment for a few months my thoughts are that the acoustic value of paint is ignored; I feel more inspired in a colourful and musical room than I would in a white box.

The music is low on the wall as the next job is the installation of acoustic treatment. I will post some more pics when there is something useful to show.

I do have a question. The ceiling is solid concrete, to tap it sounds as solid as the 44cm outside wall. Here are some rawlplugs; which one(s) would you recommend for hanging the 1.2 x 0.6 m rockwool clouds?
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Old 31st May 2011 , 05:37 PM
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380m of 20x20mm timber (from the Czech Republic) and 90sqm of hessian (from the UK) have arrived. The Knauf TI 140 Decibel (similar to rockwool) insulation is due in about a month, time which I can use to make the broadband and bass trap frames. When the Behringer ECM8000 mic arrives I can measure the room's acoustics. At the moment it sounds like a small cathedral and Bb booms badly - which concurs with axial mode calculators.
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Old 31st May 2011 , 05:47 PM
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For the rawlplugs to use in the concrete ceiling, I'd go for the standard nylon type: http://www.rawlplug.co.uk/index.php?...d=98&Itemid=34 they are even listed as suitable for suspended ceilings, or the scaffolding anchor points: http://www.rawlplug.co.uk/index.php?...d=77&Itemid=34
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Old 31st May 2011 , 07:28 PM
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Thanks Dave, I thought as much but it is always nice to hear someone confirm my thoughts.
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Old 15th July 2011 , 08:39 AM
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Progress, albeit slower than I had planned. The wood to frame the traps has all been cut and the insulation has arrived so some busy evenings are ahead.



The in-house PA has been installed!
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Old 15th July 2011 , 02:38 PM
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This thread has evolved nicely chaps.. will 'stickie' the blighter
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Old 15th July 2011 , 05:53 PM
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love the colour scheme! Very bright and cheery!
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Old 15th July 2011 , 07:22 PM
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I missed this thread before somehow. Coming along nicely Lester. Wish i had a room like that to use!

Can i just ask a question though, what is all this about a sloping cloud? It's for future reference when i actually get around to buying acoustic treatment myself from GIK. I've been saying that for months mind you

Do you buy a sloped panel, or do you just hang it from the ceiling in a slope? Is the slope important?
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Old 15th July 2011 , 07:54 PM
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you just hang it on a slope.
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Old 16th July 2011 , 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piano View Post
... what is all this about a sloping cloud? Is the slope important?
Having read so much from so many sources - books, PDFs, internet - I can't remember (or find again) why a sloping cloud would be important, so I am planning on just hanging a cloud horizontally to minimise standing waves between the two parallel surfaces, floor and ceiling.

I am making the traps myself, Chris, hence all the wood, insulation and hessian.
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Old 16th July 2011 , 09:10 AM
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higher frequencies will reflect even from a cloud (if it is made of rigid rockwool or similar). If you slope it they will reflect behind your listening position rather than right back at you.
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Old 9th August 2011 , 09:44 PM
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Traps. You can see trap frames, filled but not yet covered traps and here is one of the finished traps. Behind it you might just be able to make out the corner superchunk traps which are now in all 4 corners of the room. It's progress. Already the room has stopped sounding like a small cathedral.
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Old 14th August 2011 , 12:06 AM
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A few long evenings and all but two of the corner and ceiling ceiling traps are now in place. Three traps tied together make a sloping cloud over the mixing position, with a 15 degree slope.

Now there are enough traps in place I can hear the change in the sound: whereas in the empty room I could hear plain old reverb, I can now hear a definite tr-r-r-r-r-r-r-r sound when I clap my hands as all I am hearing is a single reflection bouncing between the two side walls. I guess that must be flutter echo. It helps me understand why the traps in the playing/tracking area will need to be placed to ensure that there are no bare parallel boundary surfaces.
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