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Square room, hard surfaces, sounds like crap


ElectricPuppy

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Oh, hai there. wave.gif

Sooooooo teh new Casa de Puppy has a nice new studio room that I'm getting set up. So far, so good, But! I've set up my Rokits (w/ sub), and it totally sounds like ass in there. cry.gif Reflection City, boomy bass. The room is 13 x 13 with a 9 foot ceiling, painted drywall with hardwood floor.

What do??

I know very little about how to approach acoustic room treatment, does anyone have any pointers? I suspect that lining the walls with cardboard egg cartons will earn me serious scorn from SWMBO, so that's out. icon_lol.gif

Suggestions? Thanks, y'all!

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Yep, Puppy, you need to put something in there or you'll have bad resonances going. Puppy, in my home studio I built my own sound panels. It's considerably cheaper than buying them from a company, and it's a few weekends' job if you want. There are instructions all over the web on how to make them, and there are different styles and opinions. If you want to see how I made mine, this is the build thread:

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/bass-...to-thread.html

Other DIY audio / studio things I've built in the past:

Studio desk: http://acapella.harmony-central.com/...o-desk-project

Speaker stands: http://acapella.harmony-central.com/...ker-stands-%29

Recording studio: http://acapella.harmony-central.com/...o-photo-thread

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I'm stuck with this room, Clav, so I'll have to make-do.

Paolo: I see that your DIY project was about 3 years ago, have you changed anything since? Like, did you flip them around so the fiberglass was facing the wall? Did you leave any spacing between the panels and the wall, and did it make any difference?

snacks.gif

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Breaking up the opposing surfaces the standing waves are forming between might help as well.

You could do a bit of a build and put in a false wall that's at a shallow angle.

Getting some sort of room divider thingy and setting it back behind the keyboards might be a lot less trouble, as might putting in shelving and putting stuff on it, both likely to have quite a good WAF.

I love my attic studio even if it;s too hot in summer and too cold in winter... there's hardly any parallel surfaces at all!

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Quote Originally Posted by ElectricPuppy View Post
I'm stuck with this room, Clav, so I'll have to make-do.

Paolo: I see that your DIY project was about 3 years ago, have you changed anything since? Like, did you flip them around so the fiberglass was facing the wall? Did you leave any spacing between the panels and the wall, and did it make any difference?

snacks.gif
From what I saw, his traps just had fabric on them for aesthetics, so it would make no difference if they were turned around. But they should be off set from the wall, to work properly. You need that space to trap the waves. They are only for lows though, for bouncy highs carpet hung with drywall screws works nicely. You could use some orange shag, for when you are pounding on your space-vag.
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Easiest way to get rid of standing waves is make your room NOT resemble a square. Get some sound dampening panels and make it a trapezoidal room (so just need to place them on two adjacent walls). Place serrated sound dampening foam on the ceiling. Add bookshelves on side walls irregularly filled with books (great for high frequency dispersion). Add a sofa in the back to serve as a bass trap. Lots of tricks there. smile.gif

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Quote Originally Posted by ElectricPuppy View Post
I'm stuck with this room, Clav, so I'll have to make-do.

Paolo: I see that your DIY project was about 3 years ago, have you changed anything since? Like, did you flip them around so the fiberglass was facing the wall? Did you leave any spacing between the panels and the wall, and did it make any difference?

snacks.gif
Nop, I left them the way I built them three years ago biggrin.gif so I don't know if leaving space between the panels and the walls would have made a very big difference, but I wanted to go for simplicity and lightness of the panels. There was definitely a huge improvement to the sound of the room - my room is 12' x 24' and when I built it it was exactly like yours now - that unpleasant, hollow, resonant space that you get with reflective surfaces like drywall glossy paint and wood floor.

After mounting the 12 panels I've made, the sound was much better and non-reflective. I could make it even better by building the bass traps that I was talking about in the panel build thread, and that I never got around to making them biggrin.gif but the twelve panels are good enough, I think.

Another thing that helps is a carpet / rug on top of the wood floor!

The one thing I would differently is the material to cover the OC703 panels: I would choose a better-looking material (even if more expensive) rather than the cheap burlap... it's okay, but it looks... well... like having sack of legumes in your studio biggrin.gif There are other materials that cost a bit more but look better.

At any rate, whichever solution you go with, self-built or store-bought, the bottom line is that you need something to absorb and dampen the bad reflections, and unfortunately foam or egg cartons won't do it - you need mass to trap the sound, which only certain materials like the Owens Corning 703 and similar provide, and heavy drapes / curtains etc and carpet / rugs help too, I've found!
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I'd cover one wall completely with sound absorbing material, or perhaps two adjacent walls as already suggested (4" rockwool panels or similar 2-4" away from the wall, e.g. mounted on frames - of course you can cover it with fabric for better looks). Covering two walls might be tricky if you intend to do some serious mixing in there - two sides with differing reflections will seriously impede proper judging of the stereo image. You can perhaps put your desk/monitors in the corner to have surfaces with the same acoustic property on both sides, if two adjacent walls are covered by absorbing material.

Sound absorption on the ceiling is also something to consider. Bare corners such as the ones facing the 'dead walls' could be treated with basstraps from floor to ceiling (set diagonally and tight in the corner). Maybe I'd use a few egg cartons on remaining bare walls (diffusors would be even better), but I'd not cover them more than about 50% probably less, perhaps 30%.

If I wanted to invest less, I'd start with basstraps / absorbers diagonally along the edges (walls/ceiling corners first, then wall/wall corners from floor to ceiling). It is important to treat a corner/edge from end to end, otherwise the damping will be much less effective. It worked well for me in a room similar to yours.

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Acoustic treatment and lots of it.

I had the same issue when I moved to my new studio space. My space is actually rectangular and not the most ideal for monitoring but its what I have to work with. Things that helped me most are the acoustic foam, especially behind the wall mounted monitors which really helped tame frequencies below 200Hz. I also mounted very thick curtains at one end of the room and a thick throw rug (the room has a tiled floor).

studio-2012-01.jpg

One thing I wanted to mention also is that acoustic foam is expensive and sometimes its just not feasible on a low budget, but you could purchase some polyethylene foam (the same stuff used for yoga matts/gym floors), which is cheaper and could effectively help treat some areas.

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Thanks everyone for all your input! I appreciate it! When I get down doing something about it, I'll be sure to post pics as I go.

 

I did get a rug to stick on the floor, and it did help a little bit. it's not a very thick rug, I mainly wanted it to keep from making little indented tracks in the wood flooring as I roll around on my hair. :freak:

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it's not a very thick rug, I mainly wanted it to keep from making little indented tracks in the wood flooring as I roll around on my hair.
:freak:

So... you roll your head around on the floor while recording? What kind of headphones work with that technique? Does it use more headroom?

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Indeed so, Mister Plinky. I'm thinking of making a shelvy thing to put on the 2nd tier above the SV and moving the Virus and MPC on it. That'll clear the desk for a controller for dealing with softie synths. I didn't think I'd ever use the Standtastic 3-tier again, but it does let me have all my keys out, even if the XT is only really playable while standing.

 

And now I await my muse.

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