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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:37 pm 
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Location: Spain
Hi there. I am new on this forum and am looking to build a non-commercial recording studio in our new home in the south of Spain . I play the acoustic guitar and sing so the space needs to primarily be a live room to accomodate this but if I can use the space for mixing too, then all the better.

The dimensions of the room in meters are:

12m X 3m(ceiling) X 5m

The basement is all concrete except for the floors which are tiled and below the tiles is concrete too.
I am not worried about isolation so much as treatment because I really want the space to sound good and make my raw recordings as best sounding as possible and since our house is in the countryside it is quiet enough to not need isolation.

Since the space is not that big, an idea I had was to maybe treat the space as a control room and then track the guitar and vocals in the back but I don't want to compromise just for the sake of being able to mix because more than likely, my final mixes will go out to someone better than I at this specific task. Of course, if I can accomplish both in this space then great!

Thanks in advance for any help you can swing my way


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:24 pm 
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Acoustically speaking, a live room and a control room are two very different spaces. That being said, you have enough room to fit both. There are loads of examples in this area of the forum. Read up a bit and ask some questions.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:00 pm 
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JasonFoi wrote:
Acoustically speaking, a live room and a control room are two very different spaces. That being said, you have enough room to fit both. There are loads of examples in this area of the forum. Read up a bit and ask some questions.


Hi and thank you. I understand that a live room and control room are different but I was under the impression that more space is usually better and since I only need to track acoustic guitar & vocals, the back of the control room might be better with the correct treatment. If you think this is not the way to go how would you divide this room into two for recording these two instruments?

At the very least, could you perhaps point me to a resource on the site that is applicable to my space and scenario.

thank you


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:39 am 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Hey Armans! Welcome to the site! You'll find that this is a great forum and that it contains tons and tons of amazing information.

I'd suggest you try the search feature of this forum as you'll find plenty of great examples you can base yourself on for your type of project...plenty!!

Everything you're looking for is on this forum, you just need to find it. ;)

Cheers!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:26 am 
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Studio45 wrote:
Hey Armans! Welcome to the site! You'll find that this is a great forum and that it contains tons and tons of amazing information.

I'd suggest you try the search feature of this forum as you'll find plenty of great examples you can base yourself on for your type of project...plenty!!

Everything you're looking for is on this forum, you just need to find it. ;)

Cheers!


Well I don't really understand the purpose of a forum in that case. I read the entire rules and regulations before posting. I paid attention. I Posted with all the info that was required by me and now nobody will help me either than by saying "read the website"?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:17 am 
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Hi Armans,

Studio45 is right that 95% of what you want to know for YOUR space is written somewhere on this site. Sadly, it is hard to find a lot of what you're looking for and you end up reading for days and days. Luckily, on your search, you'll end up reading a bunch of stuff that never crossed your mind. You'll learn a ton more than you ever thought you would. It'll result in a better room. So definitely just cruise the page and read a bunch of stuff. From there, you'll learn terminology and then use the search function... then read more, repeat.

To answer your question in a bit more detail, try some different room dimensions by typing them in here:

https://amcoustics.com/tools/amroc

Basically, don't get really hung up on getting the perfect room dimensions because it doesn't exist. What you want is dimensions that aren't BAD. Again, you can find a bunch about this that Soundman2020 has written on the forum. I'm missing details here, but basically the more evenly spaced modes in the bottom end the better. The lower the Schroeder Frequency, the better. You don't want modes bunched up close together if possible. Avoid dimensions that are either the same or multiples of each other (ex: an 8x8x8 room is the worst ever).
Regarding acoustic treatment, you'll basically want as much bass trapping as possible. That means things like having your entire rear wall of your control room full of hangers and as deep as you can afford space-wise. Aim for like 20 inches +. If you have two rooms, you will want isolation between them no matter what. Especially if you're recording delicate instruments like acoustic guitars.
Even if you decide that zero isolation for your room(s) is alright for your studio, you must REALLY spend some time designing your HVAC. Make sure you have at least 6 changes of air in your rooms per hour. Make sure that the air velocity leaving your registers is less than 300 feet per minute or else those perfect acoustic guitar takes will be ruined with wind noise. If you decide you want 2 rooms, again, I'd REALLY suggest isolating the two. That means building with the "room within a room" design. That eats up some space. Deep acoustic wall treatment eats up space. THEN, you will need four large HVAC silencer boxes (home made) per room. So that's a total of 8 for your two rooms -- one on each leaf for supply as well as return. Those eat up a ton of space. Depending on whether you have the height or space between your inner or outer leaf to have your inner leaf silencer boxes just shoot their wooden sleeve through the drywall with a register cover over it or not, you may have to place your inner leaf silencers in your room. That means having their inlet sleeve penetrate your inner leaf then have duct work route to where you need them (supply and return must be on opposite sides of the room). To maintain double your cross sectional area (which happens as soon as your supply duct hits your silencer inlet), you'll have HUGE ducts running across your room. I have to do this with my space... so I have a bulkhead running around the sides and back wall of my room. Luckily I only have to have my inner leaf return silencers in the rooms. The rest I was able to fit outside of my inner leaf.
Once you find some dimensions that aren't bad, you'll have an idea whether you're going to have one room or two. From there, you have to consider isolation intently. Consider the fact that acoustic guitars and vocals are quiet instruments. If anyone is mowing their lawn, or you have a loud furnace or roommates/wife/girlfriend/children living with you, there's going to be lots of noise that will ruin your recordings. Even if they're quietly walking around your house. So you have to keep that noise from getting into your rooms. There are tons of threads regarding construction on the forum. John invented a technique called "inside out" where you can basically achieve great acoustic treatment all while isolating your room, utilizing only a fraction more space than would be required if you JUST put up acoustic treatment!
Everyone is here to help, but instead of holding your hand from step one, you can do a few days (I'm talking like 16-48 hrs worth) of reading and chances are you will only have a handful of questions rather than thousands.

I look forward to seeing your vision come to fruition. I expect to see some questions and ideas from you in a few days here ;-)

Greg

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:10 pm 
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Gregwor wrote:
Hi Armans,

Studio45 is right that 95% of what you want to know for YOUR space is written somewhere on this site. Sadly, it is hard to find a lot of what you're looking for and you end up reading for days and days. Luckily, on your search, you'll end up reading a bunch of stuff that never crossed your mind. You'll learn a ton more than you ever thought you would. It'll result in a better room. So definitely just cruise the page and read a bunch of stuff. From there, you'll learn terminology and then use the search function... then read more, repeat.

To answer your question in a bit more detail, try some different room dimensions by typing them in here:

https://amcoustics.com/tools/amroc

Basically, don't get really hung up on getting the perfect room dimensions because it doesn't exist. What you want is dimensions that aren't BAD. Again, you can find a bunch about this that Soundman2020 has written on the forum. I'm missing details here, but basically the more evenly spaced modes in the bottom end the better. The lower the Schroeder Frequency, the better. You don't want modes bunched up close together if possible. Avoid dimensions that are either the same or multiples of each other (ex: an 8x8x8 room is the worst ever).
Regarding acoustic treatment, you'll basically want as much bass trapping as possible. That means things like having your entire rear wall of your control room full of hangers and as deep as you can afford space-wise. Aim for like 20 inches +. If you have two rooms, you will want isolation between them no matter what. Especially if you're recording delicate instruments like acoustic guitars.
Even if you decide that zero isolation for your room(s) is alright for your studio, you must REALLY spend some time designing your HVAC. Make sure you have at least 6 changes of air in your rooms per hour. Make sure that the air velocity leaving your registers is less than 300 feet per minute or else those perfect acoustic guitar takes will be ruined with wind noise. If you decide you want 2 rooms, again, I'd REALLY suggest isolating the two. That means building with the "room within a room" design. That eats up some space. Deep acoustic wall treatment eats up space. THEN, you will need four large HVAC silencer boxes (home made) per room. So that's a total of 8 for your two rooms -- one on each leaf for supply as well as return. Those eat up a ton of space. Depending on whether you have the height or space between your inner or outer leaf to have your inner leaf silencer boxes just shoot their wooden sleeve through the drywall with a register cover over it or not, you may have to place your inner leaf silencers in your room. That means having their inlet sleeve penetrate your inner leaf then have duct work route to where you need them (supply and return must be on opposite sides of the room). To maintain double your cross sectional area (which happens as soon as your supply duct hits your silencer inlet), you'll have HUGE ducts running across your room. I have to do this with my space... so I have a bulkhead running around the sides and back wall of my room. Luckily I only have to have my inner leaf return silencers in the rooms. The rest I was able to fit outside of my inner leaf.
Once you find some dimensions that aren't bad, you'll have an idea whether you're going to have one room or two. From there, you have to consider isolation intently. Consider the fact that acoustic guitars and vocals are quiet instruments. If anyone is mowing their lawn, or you have a loud furnace or roommates/wife/girlfriend/children living with you, there's going to be lots of noise that will ruin your recordings. Even if they're quietly walking around your house. So you have to keep that noise from getting into your rooms. There are tons of threads regarding construction on the forum. John invented a technique called "inside out" where you can basically achieve great acoustic treatment all while isolating your room, utilizing only a fraction more space than would be required if you JUST put up acoustic treatment!
Everyone is here to help, but instead of holding your hand from step one, you can do a few days (I'm talking like 16-48 hrs worth) of reading and chances are you will only have a handful of questions rather than thousands.

I look forward to seeing your vision come to fruition. I expect to see some questions and ideas from you in a few days here ;-)

Greg


Thanks Greg. The schroeder frequency goes lower with room volume so if what you are saying about the schroeder frequency is correct, why would anyone want to split a room into two?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:58 pm 
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They split up their space into two rooms because control rooms have very different characteristics (frequency response and RT60 and often RFZ design) compared to a live/tracking room. You're right though. I know a ton of people are just making a great control room and tracking most things (specifically acoustic guitars and vocals) in their control rooms. It's not the best, but like you pointed out with the Schroeder Frequency, it's often the best scenario for lots of people.
Great question. I'm glad to see you're reasearching and learning. Keep up the great work!
Greg

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:51 am 
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Location: San Antonio, Texas USA
Yes, you can record in your control room if you want, but you have the space to do it correctly, so its your decision. You have an available 540sqft, and EBU specs allow for a control room of around 200sqft minimum. That leaves enough room for a small live room suitable for guitar and vocals.

Armans wrote:

Well I don't really understand the purpose of a forum in that case. I read the entire rules and regulations before posting. I paid attention. I Posted with all the info that was required by me and now nobody will help me either than by saying "read the website"?


We are helping you, nobody is going to design your studio for you for free. We will help you design yours and point you in the right direction. First decide what you want. There are tons of basement studio designs in this forum for inspiration if you need it. Start by picking suitible room dimensions. Your room height is pretty much locked in, so start there. Dont forget to acount for inner leaf ceilng construction, and hvac ducting when determining your height. I would start by using bob golds room mode calc, and then checking your results with the amroc calc. Make sure your ratio falls wihin or as close to the bolt area as possible. Room dimensions are important, but dont need to be perfect. Thats what room treatment is for. You should also read up on studio wall construction and sound proofing if you havent already.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:17 am 
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JasonFoi wrote:
Yes, you can record in your control room if you want, but you have the space to do it correctly, so its your decision. You have an available 540sqft, and EBU specs allow for a control room of around 200sqft minimum. That leaves enough room for a small live room suitable for guitar and vocals.

Armans wrote:

Well I don't really understand the purpose of a forum in that case. I read the entire rules and regulations before posting. I paid attention. I Posted with all the info that was required by me and now nobody will help me either than by saying "read the website"?


We are helping you, nobody is going to design your studio for you for free. We will help you design yours and point you in the right direction. First decide what you want. There are tons of basement studio designs in this forum for inspiration if you need it. Start by picking suitible room dimensions. Your room height is pretty much locked in, so start there. Dont forget to acount for inner leaf ceilng construction, and hvac ducting when determining your height. I would start by using bob golds room mode calc, and then checking your results with the amroc calc. Make sure your ratio falls wihin or as close to the bolt area as possible. Room dimensions are important, but dont need to be perfect. Thats what room treatment is for. You should also read up on studio wall construction and sound proofing if you havent already.


Thanks. Somebody telling me how I should design my studio is not what I was looking for just a basic idea on how to use the space to get the best results. Or an overall idea on how to treat the interior. For example

1) dividing the space or keeping as a whole (I am only recording myself here)
2) what treatments to use

That surely wouldn't be a long post for anybody and a great starting point for me.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:20 am 
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Gregwor wrote:
They split up their space into two rooms because control rooms have very different characteristics (frequency response and RT60 and often RFZ design) compared to a live/tracking room. You're right though. I know a ton of people are just making a great control room and tracking most things (specifically acoustic guitars and vocals) in their control rooms. It's not the best, but like you pointed out with the Schroeder Frequency, it's often the best scenario for lots of people.
Great question. I'm glad to see you're reasearching and learning. Keep up the great work!
Greg


Thanks Greg. But with a room like mine, and only recording guitar does it really make sense to split the room in two? Won't the back of the room treated correctly sound better than using half that space? You said it's not the best so then if it was your space would you divide it up?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:58 am 
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Well, start by using the amroc calculator and bob golds calculator to come up with good control room dimensions. Make sure to account for wall construction and account for hvac requirements. Youd also need to figure out how much isolation you require so youll know how to build your walls.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:33 am 
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Quote:
Thanks Greg. But with a room like mine, and only recording guitar does it really make sense to split the room in two? Won't the back of the room treated correctly sound better than using half that space? You said it's not the best so then if it was your space would you divide it up?


That's up to you to decide. What you need to realize is that tonally, a good control room will have as close to a flat frequency response as possible. Futhermore, it has a pretty short RT60 value (I'd say <=~250ms). A tracking room on the other hand is not flat sounding. It should add some colour. For acoustic guitars and vocals, it should be a bit brighter and have slightly longer RT60. A drum room, even more so. Also, the rear portion of a control room (or anywhere other than the mixing position for that matter), will have potential first reflection problems. A control room is designed to sound good listening to your speakers. That's it. Having said that, if your dimensions allow it, it would be ideal to have a tracking room and a mixing room separate from one another.

Greg

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:30 am 
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Quote:
But with a room like mine, and only recording guitar does it really make sense to split the room in two? Won't the back of the room treated correctly sound better than using half that space? You said it's not the best so then if it was your space would you divide it up?
The thing, a control room must have totally neutral acoustic response: not live, not dead, not reverberant, not muffled, ... not ANYTHING! It must just not be there at all, acoustically. It has to sound completely "invisible", not adding anything to the natural sounds, and not taking anything away. It has to tell the truth. Thats not such a good environment for recording most instruments: tracking rooms ("live rooms"), on the other hand, DO have character, and life, and warmth, and ambiance, and reverberance, and everything else. They are great places for tracking, because the can make an instrument sound better, more convincing. They can add to the performance by providing their own sound, that complements the instrument.

So there are two different paths here: two different requirements. You can't have them both in the same room! You can't have a room that is both fantastic for tracking instruments, and also fantastic for mixing, because that's two very different requirements. It is possible to have variable acoustic devices on the walls and ceiling, that you open, close, slide, flip, rotate, or move in some other manner, to change the sound of the room. That is possible, but complex to do. The other option, is to have two separate rooms: one that is perfect for mixing, and the other perfect for tracking. With your studio of around 60m2, you certainly do have the space to do that. You could easily have a 25m2 control room and a 30m2 live room, or 20m2 control 40m2 line, or any other combination. A control room should be at least 20m2, but no more than 60 m2. A live room can be what ever size you want it to be, but bigger is better.

Yes, it is certainly possible to record acoustic guitar in the control room, since it doesn't necessarily need a very bright room. Right now you are talking about tracking only guitar, and a 40m2 live room for that alone is a bit much. But what about the future? Is it possible that your friends and acquaintances will hear about your new studio, and want to form bands, jam, perform, make demos, rehearse, etc? If all you have is one big control room, that's not going to work out very well.... but if you have a complete studio, with a good sized control room and a good sized live room, then you can do pretty much anything you want: any instrument, any genre, any session....

- Stuart -

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:46 am 
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Soundman2020 wrote:
Quote:
A live room can be what ever size you want it to be, but bigger is better.



This is precisely my incentive for wanting to keep the room as a whole and you even say it is better. All the great studios I have recorded in and liked the sound of had live rooms that were on the large side, not huge but bigger than 40m2, of course this could be just chance. Is there no current studio design that allows the front of the room in the listening position to be neutral while the back of the room can be treated in such a way as to be ideal for tracking a guitar (diffusers, moveable treatments, wooden slats over fully absorptive walls etc)? If the answer is no, I will have to divide the space period because I do want to do this properly.


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