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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 4:53 am 
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Location: Charlotte, NC USA
I may be moving into a new space which would have either a bedroom sized room (150-250 sq. ft.) or a large open area (800 sq. ft. +/-) that I could use for a mixing area. I don't have any dimensions yet to see if there are any issues with that. This large area is similar to an open loft living space with a big room for kitchen, living room etc with a high ceiling. Since I am there alone, I can share this space with a mixing area if it can work acoustically.

This is a rental, so I can't build permanent walls, just do some treatment. If I use the large area I would pick a spot and possibly place an cloud and some free standing absorber panels/columns to give some additional focus in the mixing area. A third option would be to build a room in a heated garage that would need to be torn out when I leave.

I would appreciate any opinions or experience, especially with large mixing spaces.

Thanks in advance, Jeff


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 12:07 pm 
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If you take a look at the specs for "critical listening rooms", such as ITU BS.1116-3 and EBU Tech.3276, you'll see that they recommend a floor area of 20 to 60 m2, which works out to roughly 215ft2 to 650 ft2. That's the optimal range. That does NOT mean that you can't have a successful control room in smaller room (see here for an example of a successful room that is smaller than 215ft: Frank's thread). It also does NOT mean that you can't have a good control room in something larger than 650 ft: It just means that, the further you get outside of that range, then harder it is to achieve excellent acoustic response. In both cases, it will be a lot harder to design, and a lot harder to treat. An 800 ft2 room would have excessively long decay times, no matter how you treat it, and a 100 ft2 room would have excessively short decay times, no matter how you treat it (along with other issues).

So that's the basic situation.

Quote:
This large area is similar to an open loft living space with a big room for kitchen, living room etc with a high ceiling.
First question: can you remove all of that, to leave it as JUST a large open area, with nothing in it? Just four walls, a floor, and a ceiling? If the answer is "no", and you have to leave the kitchen and living room stuff in place, then I'd eliminate this as a possibility. But if you CAN leave it totally empty, then the next question is:

Is it symmetrical? Is the room basically rectangular in shape, with no strange nooks, bay windows, kinks, fireplaces, etc.? If it is just a rectangle with four walls a floor and a ceiling, then it might still be possible to use it.

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Since I am there alone, I can share this space with a mixing area if it can work acoustically.
If it is a symmetrical rectangle, and completely empty, then it might be able to work acoustically.

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If I use the large area I would pick a spot and possibly place an cloud and some free standing absorber panels/columns to give some additional focus in the mixing area.
You would need to do a hell of a lot more than just that! You need to get the decay times down to usable values, you need to get bass trapping in there, you need to get a symmetrical layout, you need to deal with first reflections, and you need considerable diffusion in such a large space.

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A third option would be to build a room in a heated garage that would need to be torn out when I leave.
That sounds like an interesting possibility! Is it larger than the bedroom and smaller than the large open space? Does it have a decently high ceiling? I'm inclined to think that this would be your best choice, but without further details, it's hard to say...


- Stuart -

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:26 pm 
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A third option would be to build a room in a heated garage that would need to be torn out when I leave.

What is your time line like?
What is your budget?

Like Stuart said, this would probably be your best option but to do it well, it will take a lot of time and money. Are you wanting an awesome space or a half assed mixing room?

Greg

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:44 pm 
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Location: Charlotte, NC USA
I mix a weekly local TV show, so I really need to be up and running quickly, so building a room from scratch probably can't work in the short term. I am setup in a bedroom size room now and get good results, but it is physically very tight and has a tiny sweet spot.

I did have a room of about 500 sq. ft. with good dimensions, a high ceiling, a cloud and very little treatment and it worked well for me for a long time.

This is a space for just me to work, so I don't need to impress anyone with anything other than the work output.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 6:42 pm 
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It sounds like you've given yourself an answer then :D

Greg

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:12 am 
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I think the answer I gave myself is NOT actually the one I'm going to do.

I think the best course for me now is to make the best of either the bedroom space or a portion of the large room temporarily without much effort, and build a dedicated space in the large garage area. I'm trying now to figure out if the right answer is to build something for less money in place using standard frame construction (that would be torn out later) or spend more to build a room in a way that could be relocated when I eventually move.

Gregwor wrote:
It sounds like you've given yourself an answer then :D

Greg


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