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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:22 pm 
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Location: Calw, Germany
Hello all,

after reading for a while here, this is my first post in this forum and I am hoping to get some proper advice, to upgrade my recording studio acoustics over the next few weeks of lockdown.
I am no acoustician at all, but am totally willing to learn to get the best possible out of my recordings.

After a few years of recording small live bands in the field of authentic 1950s Rockabilly, Country and Blues in my recording studio (see link in profile), I think it's time to bring the acoustics, which initially could not be taken care of optimally, up to scratch. We are located in a 200 years old Fachwerk house in the Black Forest in Germany. The plan is to do an acoustic upgrade, while maintaining the cosy vibe of the room. Although It's absolutely ok for me to have a bit of the old radio studio aesthetics in here aswell.

Attachment:
BSR_Outside.jpg


Budget is around 2k€ as we will do all the construction ourselves.

The room measures 5.72m x 5.13m x 2.53m. Walls are sandstone and brick, some plastered Fachwerk underneath perhaps too. It's quite hard to tell with such an old building structure. The room has a pitch pine wooden floor. There are 4 windows in the room with 1,3m height and a glass door with 2m height, but these can be covered with curtains. Until now we never had complaints from neighbours about the levels of our bands here, they mostly play moderate levels, by todays standards. I have uploaded an overview of the room in the attachment.

Attachment:
TopView_Empty_1 Measurements.jpg


According to the Amroc calculator, the room modes show some cumulation between 65-70 and 90-100 Hz etc.

https://amcoustics.com/tools/amroc?l=513&w=572&h=253&r60=0.6

I made a first simple measurement in the room by using REW to double check:

Attachment:
BSR_Messung_Average.jpg


The measurement setup was such that the K+H O110 speaker was placed in a tri-corner of the room and I measured in each corner and in the center of the room at ear level. From this I created an average graph. Please give feedback if this setup does not fit, I have never measured recording rooms before.

Currently I have a combination of 6 Hofa Absorbers with 10cm Basotect in them plus 4 thinner Basotect Elements on the ceiling, 9 x EQ Acoustics L5 tiles and two Primacoustic Max Traps spread over the rooms walls and corners

Attachment:
BSR_Panorama_N.jpg

Attachment:
BSR_Panorama_E.jpg

Attachment:
BSR_Panorama_S.jpg

Attachment:
BSR_Panorama_W.jpg


Problem: The room is too damped in the mids/treble for my taste, but in the bass I have strong modes that I would like to control better. I get a nice tight drum sound, but since we often record live there are often unsightly modes on the other mics. This can be improved I think.

Goal: More balanced modes in the bass range and an interesting, airy reflection spectrum that gives the impression of a big room.

Important sidenote: We want to keep the impression of a classic 50's studio if possible and avoid modern looks, if you know what I mean ;) Anyhow Pegboard, absorbers with fabric covers etc will fit in nicely. It should still look homey and fit into our overall concept of the studio in the half-timbered house. Examples of studios with similar design are Dan Auerbach's Studio or Toe Rag in UK.

My plan so far is as follows:

1. East and West-Walls

I would equip 2 of these opposite walls with 3-4 pieces of 20-30cm deep broadband absorbers each. Assuming that I will be using materials with 5kPa-s/m i.e. Sonorock or TP1

=> Does this make sense from your point of view? I still haven't treated the very low modes, how would you attack these?

Attachment:
BSR_AkustikUmbau_5.jpeg

Attachment:
BSR_AkustikUmbau_6.jpeg

Attachment:
Breitbandabsorber_2-300mm.png


2. North and South wall to the control room

I would like to equip everything above 1m height with perforated tiles in different depths. I have rescued about 100 pieces from an old hairdressing salon, which I would like to install here. In addition, below 1 m height perforated pegboard distributed widely across the area. I would take the pegboard material, which is available in the Bauhaus here in Germany. I have calculated 2 variants with 15cm absorption material behind each. Where I would probably rather choose the variant with larger hole spacing, because of the higher effectiveness in the bass range.

=> What do you think about the mixed concept of diffusion/middle absorption above 1m and perforated plate absorber below 1m?

Attachment:
BSR_AkustikUmbau_1.jpeg

Attachment:
BSR_AkustikUmbau_4.jpeg


Attachment:
Akustik-Platten.png

Attachment:
Akustik-Platten1.jpg


Pegboard-Absorber 25mm Hole Spacing
Image
Pegboard-Absorber 15mm Hole Spacing
Image


3. Ceiling

This is where I'm missing a proper approach. I have these mentioned acoustic tiles available for this build and am thinking of treating the ceiling quite extensively with them. (Attached also an estimated curve for the panels, but no claim to correctness here) In addition, maybe hang a few ceiling clouds from perforated panels above the drum corner, to diffuse the reflections even more. As an alternative we could build kind of a dropped ceiling with the pegboard and play with the angles to make the reflections kind of irregular.

What are your experiences here with rooms of this ceiling height? I'd like to achieve diffusion for one thing, and of course I have prominent modes between floor and ceiling that needs to be addressed. But on the other hand I don't want to lose too much height.

Attachment:
BSR_AkustikUmbau_2.jpeg

Attachment:
BSR_AkustikUmbau_3.jpeg


------------------


It's clear the room does have anything but the ideal dimensions and I'll only be able to mitigate that somewhat with acoustic treatment.
But still I would be happy to get some tips from your experience to get the best possible out of this.

In general: Does my approach make sense to you or would you switch walls with the treatment I have planned?
Would you add bass traps in any corners do achieve more absorption in the low end?

Thanks and greetings,
Ray


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Last edited by RayBlack on Wed Dec 30, 2020 5:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:12 am 
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Location: Cork Ireland
Wow, that's a lot of information. Well done on the energy. I recommend you measure the room acoustically and post the .mdat. To fully show the modes place a speaker or two in a tricorner, say on the floor. Omni mic at the ceiling tricorner opposite. This will stimulate and gather all the modes.
Here is an American Historic Studio. HitsVille the Motown Studio. There is pegboard, ceiling tiles, plywood. All angled so that the musicians could hear each other without headphones. Behind those walls there is up to 4 feet of bass trapping. Inspiring IMO

Attachment:
imgext.php.jpeg


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http://www.irishacoustics.com
http://www.soundsound.ie


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:24 am 
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why not start more simply - corners - wall-to-wall corners (vertical) and wall-to-ceiling (horizontal)? this puts the bulk of absorption out of the "working space" and you can then use various panels on the corner absorption to adjust the level of mids-highs kept while ensuring significant low absorption.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:26 am 
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DanDan wrote:
...
Here is an American Historic Studio. HitsVille the Motown Studio. There is pegboard, ceiling tiles, plywood. All angled so that the musicians could hear each other without headphones. Behind those walls there is up to 4 feet of bass trapping. Inspiring IMO

Attachment:
imgext.php.jpeg


and designed by some of the best (at the time, and perhaps still) RCA acousticians hired by Berry Gordy to revamp an old photo studio into a world-class recording environment...

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 7:53 am 
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Are there any books or papers written by those RCA people? Or others? Details of the hidden and visible treatment of that studio?

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http://www.irishacoustics.com
http://www.soundsound.ie


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 10:37 pm 
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Location: Calw, Germany
Hey guys,

thanks for your replies so far and the inspiration with Hitsville Studios. I'm a big R&B, Soul fan and an admirer of their drum sounds.
I researched a bit and found a long thread on GS discussing this, so I will just repost an interesting graphic by a forum member here.

Attachment:
Studio-A.jpg


Here you see the alternation between pegboard, acoustic tiles and plywood applied on two of the walls,
the other 2 are just similar to the CR window wall. This here ensures, that spill at mic level is absorbed
and at sitting and standing ear height is reflected. that This approach kinda makes sense for our space here
aswell. Already now many musicians here record without headphones to keep the original feel and sound
you experience in the room.

1. New Design based on your input

So I played around a bit with the idea of a "ring of pegboard absorbers" below 80cm all around the room (depth of ca. 15 cm = 6")
and combined it with corner traps, how you proposed. These I would plan quite big, 75x75x106cm (30"x30"x42,4"). Corner traps
probably covered with pegboard below 80cm and fabric above that.

Attachment:
201230_BSR_Plans_N.jpeg

Attachment:
201230_BSR_Plans_E.jpeg

Attachment:
201230_BSR_Plans_S.jpg

Attachment:
201230_BSR_Plans_W.jpeg


Now because the room has so many windows, there is not much space to use for acoustic design.
I could either stay with the approach of using the acoustic tiles for a mix of diffusion and absorption
on the N and S wall and apply broadband absorption on the E and W wall or swap these.

If we would start with this and the ceiling, there is enough flexibility to treat these remaining
walls to tune the room. What do you think?

2. Adapt the Motown/RCA principle

Or I could go all the way and kind of apply the Motown/RCA design to two walls of our room,
which would look like this in a reduced way:

Attachment:
201230_BSR_Plans_MotownCorner.jpg


Would that be worth the effort?
One could also add more angles and really do the Motown Style wall.

3. Still have no clue about the ceiling. What materials and what effect to achieve with them?

For the ceiling I have looked at most of the vintage studio designs and found
that the majority of them use acoustic tiles there, some like Motown with fiber glass behind them.
Since I have quite a low ceiling I can drop it a maximum of 10cm (4") before it gets in the way.

What would you do with the ceiling regarding our pitch pine floor and planned
treatment of the walls?

I could treat the whole ceiling with the tiles Gypsum/Fiber tiles that I showed in my first post (have around 100 of them).
This would be kind of an effort, but would give an uniform look and sound. However I don't know how they really
sound and if this would be of an advantage.


Thanks and Greets to All!
Ray

Ps.: I attached a .mdat after measuring the room the way you proposed. Although you will see my little K+H speaker
is not capable of playing back anything below 50Hz...
Attachment:
Dec 30 17_14_35_BSR_LiveRoom.mdat


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 3:30 am 
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DanDan wrote:
Are there any books or papers written by those RCA people? Or others? Details of the hidden and visible treatment of that studio?

nothing detailed and technical. i think Berry had (like many things Motown did) kept it "secret" or very quiet so as not to let his competitors know what the magic was... i've read some forum posts long ago by various folks who worked there, including some discussion on the cool preamp/DI box they created to eliminate the need for in-room guitar and bass amps (that unit need the entry stairs in the photo)

this might help:
http://www.collinsaudio.com/Prosound_Wo ... otown1.pdf
https://tapeop.com/interviews/30/bob-olhsson/
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/members ... b-olhsson/
https://soulfuldetroit.com/web07-golden ... mclean.htm
https://recording.org/threads/motown-re ... ods.62849/

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:27 am 
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Ooooo a little Treasure Trove of links..... Thanks Glenn.
Happy New Year to you and to all.

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http://www.soundsound.ie


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