John Sayers' Design Forum

John Sayers' Recording Studio Design Forum

A World of Experience
Click Here for Information on John's Services
It is currently Tue May 26, 2020 4:10 am

All times are UTC + 10 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:17 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:17 am
Posts: 12
Location: Salisbury England
Hey guys!

Just about to embark on a studio project which I’ll design myself from scratch.

It’s going to be an outdoor cabin type construction and for outside dimensions, I want to keep it in multiples of 4ft (for the 8×4 wall sheeting). So looking at a length of 20ft and a width of 12 – maybe 16ft at a push. Approximately half of that area will be studio space optimized for mixing and the other half justifies the build with the missus – a summer house. :lol: Of course this will also double as a rehearsal room/man cave/live studio. Both will be rooms within rooms.

So my question – given a studio size of about 12X10ft (or maybe 16X10?) should I try and keep the dimensions within the ‘golden ratio’ (L X B X H) often spoken about for smaller rooms to help with standing waves? The walls will be angled so none are parallel and the monitors soffit mounted so would those general dimensions still apply?

Thanks in anticipation!

_________________
My music is at https://soundcloud.com/trevlyns-1


Last edited by trevlyns on Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

Report this post
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:40 am 
Offline
Senior Member
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:17 am
Posts: 11940
Location: Santiago, Chile
Good to see your design thread starting! :thu:

Quote:
I want to keep it in multiples of 4ft (for the 8×4 wall sheeting).
It's a nice thought, and I try to do that where possible in studio designs, but you'll still end up cutting a hell of a lot of drywall! :) Better get used to it...

Also, you need to take into account the thickness of the drywall: For example, if you have two layers of 5/8" drywall on the end walls of a rectangular room, then the room is now 2 1/2 inches shorter... so if you made the length a multiple of 4', you'd need to cute 2 1/2" off at least a couple of panels. On the other hand, if you made the room 2 1/2" longer, to make up for that, then your framing would not line up at the far end of the room...

And considering that you need to stagger the joints, you'd need to cut 1 1/4" off the end panels for the second layer in any case, on all walls...

And if your inner-leaf wall is designed with exact 4' multiples in mind, your OUTER leaf wall won't work out anywhere near that, since the wall has thickness...

In other words, there's no real need to try to keep exact multiples: it's wonderful in theory, but it won't work out too well in practice.

Quote:
Of course this will also double as a rehearsal room/man cave/live studio. Both will be rooms within rooms.
When you say "both", do you mean that the studio will have two rooms in it, plus the summer room which won't be "room-in-a-room"? Or do you mean that the studio will have only one room, and that both it and the summer room will be isolated?

Quote:
should I try and keep the dimensions within the ‘golden ratio’ (L X B X H) often spoken about for smaller rooms
Actually, there's no such thing as one single "golden ratio" in acoustics! Rather, there's a whole bunch of ratios that have been found to be good, with some being better than others, and everything depending on the overall size, as well as the purpose of the room. Acoustic scientists with names like Sepmeyer, Louden, Volkman, Boner, and others have all done extensive research, and written highly respected papers on this subject, and many of the good ratios are named after them. Arguably, the "best" of all ratios is Sepmeyer's first ratio, which is 1 : 1.14 : 1.39, but Louden's first isn't far behind it, even though it is very different, at 1 : 1.4 : 1.9. Another researcher, by the name of Bolt, took all these good ratios, plotted them on a graph, and came up with a general rule: he defined an area of that graph, now known as the "Bolt area" or the "Bolt region", and it's a fairly safe bet that if you have a ratio that falls inside the Bolt area, it will be decent.

What you should do, is to NOT aim for a "golden" or "perfect" ratio! Rather, you should just check your dimensions in one of these two room mode calculators, and see if it is reasonable:

http://www.bobgolds.com/Mode/RoomModes.htm

http://www.bobgolds.com/Mode/RoomModes.htm

If your ratio falls within the Bolt area, and the Bonello plot is reasonably smooth, and there are no red flags for other reasons, the you are fine.

Don't get sucked into the myth of needing the best possible ratio, or aiming for some magical cubicoid rhomboid doedecahedroid or whatever-oid that is claimed by its inventor to create a "perfect" sounding room... total garbage. There is no such thing. It takes a good understanding of what "room modes" really are to get this, and I can go into the details if you'd really like to learn about that, but if not, then just look choose a set of dimensions that are not directly related mathematically (such as 8 x 12 x 16, for example...), and not within 5% of being mathematically related. Staying 10% away is better, but not always easy, and 5% is OK.

The truth is, ratios are just one of MANY factors that need to be taken into consideration when designing a studio: Modes can be damped (especially the higher frequency ones) and controlled, and there are more important aspects. If I'm designing a small control room, and find that I need to make it smaller in order to hit a good ration, then I won't do that! It is more important to increase the room volume, than it is to hit a good ratio. For a small room, I will pretty much always give priority to the total air volume, over ratios. As long as the ratio is not terrible, volume take precedence. For a large room (over about 2000 ft3) I might tweak dimensions a little to get the ratio nicer, but even then I won't go nuts about it.

Quote:
to help with standing waves?
Modes are standing waves, yes, but most people have totally the wrong idea about what this is all about. People want to "get rid of" the modes, when in fact that's the exactly wrong thing to do, and is impossible anyway! You do NOT want fewer modes in your room. You want MORE!

I wrote a long post about this a while back, so I'll just "cut and paste" a bit, to bring you up to speed. If you aren't interested in why you need modes, and what to do about them, then you can skip this. But if you really want to understand the basis for studio design, then it's worth taking a few minutes.

It works like this: The walls of your studio create natural resonances in the air space between them, inside the room. This is totally different from the MSM resonance of the walls themselves: this is all about what happens INSIDE the ROOM, not what happens inside the walls. Two totally different things.

So you have resonant waves inside the room. We call those "standing waves" or "room modes". Those "modes" (resonances) occur at very specific frequencies that are directly related to the distances between the walls. They are called "standing waves" because they appear to be stationary inside the room: they are not REALLY stationary, since the energy is still moving through the room. But the pressure peaks and nulls always fall at the exact same points in the room each time the wave energy passes, so the "wave" seems to be fixed, static, and unmoving inside the room. If you play a pure tone that happens to be at the exact frequency of one of the "modes", then you can physically walk around inside the room and experience the "standing" nature of the wave: you will hear that tone grossly exaggerated at some points in the room, greatly amplified, while at other points it will sound normal, and at yet other points it will practically disappear: you won't be able to hear it at all, or you hear it but greatly attenuated, very soft.

The peaks and nulls fall at different places in the room for different frequencies. So the spot in the room where one mode was deafening might turn out to be the null for a different node.

Conversely, if you have a mode (standing wave) that forms at a specific frequency, then changing to a slightly different frequency might show no mode at all: for example, if a tone of exactly 73 Hz creates a standing wave that is clearly identifiable as you walk around the room, with major nulls and peaks, then a tone of 76 Hz might show no modes at all: it sounds the same at all points in the room. Because there are no natural resonances, no "room modes" associated with that frequency.

That's the problem. A BIG problem.

Of course, you don't want that to happen in a control room, because it implies that you would hear different things at different places in the room, for any give song! At some places in the room, some bass notes would be overwhelming, while at other places the same notes would be muted. As you can imagine, if you happen to have your mix position (your ears) located at such a point in the room, you'd never be able to mix anything well, as you would not be hearing what the music REALLY sounds like: you would be hearing the way the room "colors" that sound instead. As you subconsciously compensate for the room modes while you are mixing, you could end up with a song that sounds great in that room at the mix position: the best ever! But it would sound terrible when you played it at any other location, such as in your car, on your iPhone, in your house, on the radio, at a club, in a church, etc. Your mix would not "translate".

And you also don't want major modal issues in a tracking room, for similar reasons: As an instrument plays up and down the scale, some notes will sound louder than others, and will "ring" longer. The instrument won't sound even and balanced.

OK, so now I have painted the scary-ugly "modes are terrible monsters that eat your mixes" picture. Now lets look at that a bit more in depth, to get the real picture.

So let's go back to thinking about those room modes (also called "eigenmodes" sometimes): remember I said that they occur are very specific frequencies, and they are very narrow? This implies that if you played an E on your bass guitar, it might trigger a massive modal resonance, but then you play either a D or an F and there is no mode, so they sound normal. Clearly, that's a bad situation. But what if there was a room mode at every single frequency? What if there was one mode for E, a different mode for D and yet another one for F? In that case, there would be no problem, since all notes would still sound the same! Each note would trigger its own mode, and things would be happy again. If there were modes for every single frequency on the spectrum, and they all sounded the same, then you could mix in there with no problems!

And that's exactly what happens at higher frequencies. Just not at low frequencies. Because of "wavelength"

It works like this: remember I said that modes are related to the distance between walls? It's a very simple relationship. Remember I said the waves are "standing" because the peaks and nulls occur at the same spot in the room? In simple terms, for every frequency where a wave fits in exactly between two walls, then there will be a standing wave. And also for exactly twice that frequency, since two wavelengths of that note will now fit. And the same for three times that frequency, since three full waves will now fit in between the same walls. Etc. All the way up the scale.

So if you have a room mode at 98 Hz in your room, then you will also have modes at 196 Hz (double), 294 (triple), 392 (x4), 490(x5), 588(x6), 686(x7) etc., all the way up. If the very next mode in your room happened to be at 131 Hz, then there would also be modes at 262 Hz(x2), 393(x3), 524(x4), 655(x5), etc.

That's terrible, right? There must be thousands of modes at higher frequencies!!! That must be awful!

Actually, no. That's a GOOD thing. You WANT lots of modes, for the reasons I gave above: If you have many modes for each note on the scale, then the room sounds the same for ALL notes, which is what you want. It's good, not bad.

But now let's use a bit of math and common sense here, to see what the real problem is.

If your room has a mode at 98Hz, and the next mode is at 131 Hz, that's a difference of 32%! 98 Hz is a "G2". So you have a mode for "G2". but your very next mode is a "C3" at 131Hz. That's five notes higher on the scale: your modes completely skip over G2#, A2, A2#, and B2. No modes for them! So those four notes in the middle sound perfectly normal in your room, but the G2 and C3 are loud and long.

However, move up a couple of octaves: ...

There's a harmonic of your 98Hz mode at 588 Hz, and there's a harmonic of your 131 Hz mode at 524 Hz. 524 Hz is C5 on the musical scale, and 588 Hz is a D5. They are only two notes apart!

Go up a bit more, and we have one mode at 655 and another at 686. 655 is an E5, and 686 is an F5. they are adjacent notes. Nothing in between! We have what we want: a mode for every note.

The further up you go, the closer the spacing is. In fact, as you move up the scale even higher, you find several modes for each note. Wonderful!

So at high frequencies, there is no problem: plenty of modes to go around and keep the music sounding good.

The problem is at low frequencies, where the modes are few and far between.

The reason there are few modes at low frequencies is very simple: wavelengths are very long compared to the size of the room. At 20 Hz (the lower limit of the audible spectrum, and also E0 on the organ keyboard), the wavelength is over 56 feet (17m)! So your room would have to be 56 feet long (17 meters long) in order to have a mode for 20 Hz.

Actually, I've been simplifying a bit: it turns out that what matters is not the full wave, but the half wave: the full wave has to exactly fit into the "there and back" distance between the walls, so the distance between the walls needs to be half of that: the half-wavelength. So to get a mode for 20 Hz, your room needs to be 56 / 2 = 28 feet long (8.5M) . Obviously, most home studios do not have modes at 20 Hz, because there's no way you can fit a 28 foot (eight meter) control room into most houses!

So clearly, the longest available distance defines your lowest mode. If we take a hypothetical dimensions as an example (typical of home studio sizes), and say the length of the control room is 13 feet (4m), the width is 10 feet (3m), and the height is 8 feet. (2.5M) So the lowest mode you could possibly have in your room, would be at about 43 Hz (fits into 13 feet or 4M perfectly). That's an "F1" on your bass guitar.

The next highest mode that you room could support is the one related to the next dimension of the room: In this case, that would be width, at 10 feet / 3M. That works out to 56.5 Hz. That's an "A1#" on your bass guitar. Five entire notes up the scale.

And your third major mode would be the one related to the height of the room, which is 8 feet /2.5M, and that works out to 71 Hz, or C2# on the bass guitar. Another four entire notes up the scale.

There are NO other fundamental modes in that room. So as you play every note going up the scale on your bass guitar (or keyboard), you get huge massive ringing at F, A# and C#, while all the other notes sound normal. As you play up the scale, it goes "tink.tink.tink.BOOOOM.tink.tink.tink.tink.BOOOOOM.tink.tink.tink.BOOOOOM.tink.tink...."

Not a happy picture.

There are harmonic modes of all those notes higher up the scale, sure. But in the low end, your modes are very few, and very far between.

So, what some people say is "If modes are bad, then we have to get rid of them". Wrong! What you need is MORE modes, not less. Ideally, you need a couple of modes at every single possible note on the scale, such that all notes sound the same in your room. In other words, the reverberant field would be smooth and even. Modes would be very close together, and evenly spread.

So trying to "get rid of modes" is a bad idea. And even if it were a good idea, it would still be impossible! Because modes are related to walls, the only way to get rid of modes is with a bulldozer! Knock down the walls... :shock:

That's a drastic solution, but obviously the only way to get a control room that has no modes at all, is to have no walls! Go mix in the middle of a big empty field, sitting on top of a 56 foot (17 M) ladder, and you'll have no modes to worry about.... 8) :roll:

:shot:

Since that isn't feasible, we have to learn to live with modes.

Or rather, we have to learn to live with the LACK of modes in the low end. As I said, the problem is not that we have too many modes, but rather that we don't have enough of them in the low frequencies.

Obviously, for any give room there is a point on the spectrum where there are "enough" modes. Above that point, there are several modes per note, but below it there are not.

There's a mathematical method for determining where that point is: a scientist called Schroeder figured it out, years ago, so it is now known as the Schroeder frequency for the room. Above the Schroeder frequency for a room, modes are not a problem, because there are are lots of them spaced very close together. Below the Schroeder frequency, there's a problem: the modes are spaced far apart, and unevenly.

So what can we do about that?

All we can do is to choose a "room ratio" that has the modes spaced out sort of evenly, and NOT choose a ratio where the modes are bunched up together. For example, if your room is 10 feet long and 10 feet wide and 10 feet high (3m x 3m x 3m), then all of the modes will occur at the exact same frequency: 56.5 Hz. So the resonance when you play an A1 on the bass, or cello, or hit an A1 on the keyboard, will by tripled! It will be three times louder. The nulls will be three times deeper. That's a bad situation, so don't ever choose room dimensions that are the same as each other.

You get the same problem for dimensions that are multiples of each other: a room 10 feet high (3m) by 20 feet wide (6m) by 30 feet long (9m) is also terrible. All of the second harmonics of 10 feet will line up with the 20 foot modes, and all of the third harmonics will line up with the 30 foot modes, so you get the same "multiplied" effect. Bad.

In other words, you want a room where the dimensions are mathematically different from each other, with no simple relationship to each other.

That brings up the obvious question: What ratio is best?

Answer: there isn't one! :)

Over the years, many scientists have tested many ratios, both mathematically and also in the real world, and come up with some that are really good. The ratios they found are named after them: Sepmeyer, Louden, Boner, Volkmann, etc. Then along came a guy called Bolt, who drew a graph showing all possible ratios, and he highlighted the good ones found by all the other guys, and predicted by mathematical equations, plus a few of his own: If you plot your own room ratio on that graph, and it falls inside the "Bolt area", then likely it is a good one, and if it falls outside the "Bolt area", then likely it is a bad one. Sort of.

So, there are no perfect ratios, only good ratios and bad ratios.

It is impossible to have a "perfect" ratio, simply because that would require enough modes to have one mode for every note on the musical scale, but that's the entire problem with small rooms! There just are not enough modes in the low end. So you can choose a ratio that spreads them a bit more this way or a bit more that way, but all you are doing is re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic, in pleasant-looking patterns. The problem is not the location of the deck chairs; the problem is that your boat is sunk!: Likewise for your studio: the problem is not the locations of the modes: the problem is that your room is sunk. No matter what you do with the dimensions, you cannot put a mode at every note, unless you make the room bigger. It is physically impossible.

But that does not mean that your room will be bad. That's the common perception, and it is dead wrong.

All of this leads to the question you didn't ask yet, but were probably heading for: What can I do about it?

Here's the thing: Modes are only a problem if they "ring". The wave is only a problem if the energy builds up and up and up, with each passing cycle, until it is screaming, and then the "built up" energy carries on singing away, even after the original note stops. That's the problem. If you stop playing the A1 on your guitar, and the room keeps on playing an A1 for a couple of seconds,because it "stored" the resonant energy and is now releasing it, then that's a BIG problem! The room is playing tunes that never were in the original music! :shock:

If a mode doesn't ring like that, then it is no longer a major issue. (It is still an issue for other reasons, just not a major one....)

So how do you stop a mode? You can't stop it from being there. But you CAN stop it from "ringing". You can "damp" the resonance sufficiently that the mode dies away fast, and does not ring. You remove the resonant energy and convert it into heat: no more problem! In other words, it's not good if you own a large angry dog that barks all the time and bights your visitors, but it's fine to own a large angry dog with a muzzle on his mouth, so he cannot bark and cannot bight!

You do that with "bass trapping". A bass trap is like the dog muzzle. It doesn't get rid of the problem, but it does keep it under control. You use strategically placed acoustic treatment devices inside the room that absorb the ringing of the mode, then that it cannot ring. There are several ways to do that, with different strategies, but the good news is that in most rooms it is possible to get significant damping on the modes, so that they don't ring badly, and don't cause problems. Note that the bass trapping does not absorb the mode: it just absorbs the ringing. Some people don't understand this, and think that the bass trapping makes the modes go away: it doesn't. All it does is to damp them. The modes are still there, and still affect the room acoustics in other ways, but with good damping, at least they don't "ring" any more.

And that is the secret to making a control room good in the low end! Choose a good ratio to keep the modes spread around evenly, then damp the hell out of the low end, so modes cannot ring. It's that simple.

The smaller the room, the more treatment you need. And since those waves are huge (many feet long), you need huge bass trapping (many feet long/wide/high/deep). It takes up lots of space, and the best place for it is in the corners of the room, because that's where all modes terminate. If you want to find a mode in your room, go look for it in the corner: it will be there. All modes have a pressure node in two or more corners, so by treating the corners, you are guaranteed of hitting all the modes.

As I said, there is no single "best" ratio, but there are good ones. You can use a "Room Mode Calculator" to help you figure out which "good ones" are within reach of the possible area you have available, then choose the closest good one, and go with that. And stay away from the bad ones.

Arguably, Sepmeyer's first ratio is the "best", since it can have the smoothest distribution of modes... but only if the room is already within a certain size range. Other ratios might be more suitable if your room has a different set of possible dimensions. So there is no "best".

But that's not the entire story: So far, all the modes I have mentioned are only related to two walls across the room, opposite from each other. I mentioned modes that form along the length axis of the room (between the front and back wall), others that form along the width axis (between left and right walls), and others that form on the height axis (between floor and ceiling): Those are the easiest ones to understand, because they "make sense" in your head when you think about them. Those are called "axial modes", because they form along the major axes of the room: length axis, width axis, height axis.

However, there are also other modes that can form between four surfaces, instead of just two. For example, there are modes that can bounce around between all four walls, or between the front and back walls as well as the ceiling and floor: those are called "tangential modes". And there are other modes that can form between all six surfaces at once: they involve all four walls plus the ceiling and the floor. Those are called "oblique modes".

The complete set of modes in your room consists of the axial modes, plus the tangential modes, plus the oblique modes.

That's what a good room mode calculator (a.k.a. "room ratio calculator") will show you. There are bad calculators that only show you the axial modes, which is pretty pointless, and the good ones show you all three types.

Use one of those Room Ratio calculators that I mentioned to figure out the best dimensions for your room. Both of those are very good, and will help you to decide how best to build your room. They give you tons of information that is really useful to help figure out the best dimensions.

However, modes aren't that important, despite all the hype they get: Modes are one aspect of room design, but there are many more. It's wise to choose a ratio that is close to one of the good ones, or inside the Bolt area, but you do NOT need to go nuts about it! There's no need to nudge things around by millimeters or smalls fractions of an inch, hoping to get a "better" ratio. Just stay away from the bad ones, get close to a good one, and you are done. End of story.

----

Quote:
The walls will be angled so none are parallel
Why? For what reason? :) It's actually another myth that your walls must be non-parallel... :) In fact, making them non-parallel takes up space, reducing the volume of the room.... and does nothing to help with modes.... :)
Quote:
and the monitors soffit mounted
:thu: Yes! Excellent! Good choice.

Quote:
so would those general dimensions still apply
Room mode calculators are only accurate if the room is six-sided rectangle, with all surfaces parallel and perpendicular to each other. As soon as you splay one wall, or add a wall, the simple calculators will no longer correctly predict the modal response. You'd then need to resort to much more complicated methods, such as FEM/FEA, if you wanted to know what the modal response would be.

- Stuart -

_________________
I want this studio to amaze people. "That'll do" doesn't amaze people.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:21 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:17 am
Posts: 12
Location: Salisbury England
Thank you Stuart for another excellent and highly detailed reply!

In response:
1. The studio and live room will be two separate rooms within the main ‘building’ on floated floors.
2. I think you gave reference to two room calculators, but included the same link – is there a second link? Also using the link you supplied, I plugged in 16 X 12 X 8 just to test it. Although I don’t fully understand how to interpret the results, it looks pretty awesome! Yellow at 13.8, and 15.5; one pink at 16.35 and the rest is all a delightful green. :D The graph at the bottom looks damn near perfect. Would that be a good choice?
3. I take on board what you say about non-parallel walls, but I got the idea from this site – it seems like most of the builds incorporate this idea for example :-

PS - Just plugged this drawings measurements in and get an even better result - may I steal it please? :lol:


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

_________________
My music is at https://soundcloud.com/trevlyns-1


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:25 am 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:03 pm
Posts: 1464
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Quote:
1. The studio and live room will be two separate rooms within the main ‘building’ on floated floors.

Floated floors are pretty insane to attempt without a huge budget and a lot of planning. Just do a search on the forum to learn more about it. You're probably better off to not float your floors.

Quote:
3. I take on board what you say about non-parallel walls

When I first posted on the forum, I pretty much made the exact assumption you did and got pretty confused with Stuarts answer after seeing all of these designs with non-parallel walls. To clarify the situation, it is recommended (purely for space, easy of build, and the ability to use the room mode calculators) to keep the room's inner leaf rectangular with parallel walls. The inner leaf will be the wall with drywall on it, not the one we see with all the sexy fabric and wood slats. So, basically, you build your room within a room rectangular. Then, you build your treatment walls inside of your now isolated room with whatever angles work for your room.

To determine the angle of your treatment walls, you need to draw it all up in SketchUp and do ray tracing. I believe that the soffit walls are recommended to be ~30 degrees. The partial walls, I've also seen them referred to as "soffit wings" are angled entirely upon what your ray tracing determines in order to avoid any first reflections from hitting your head. Your head will be 1.2 meters off the ground. The acoustic axis (available from your speaker manufacturer) of your speaker should also be at 1.2 meters high. Your speaker should be offset from the center line on your soffit slightly. Try to not tilt your soffit wall. If you need to for aesthetics or functionality, try to avoid tilting it more than 7 degrees. Less is always better. Your rear will should be at least 20cm thick with hangers or fluffy pink insulation to absorb all of these first reflections so that they are damped. Like Stuart said above, bass trapping is so important, so plan for big chunks taken out of your rear corners. You can use wood slats or perforated board in front of the super chunks/wall hangers in these corners to help keep higher frequency content in your room.

So, with all of these angled treatment walls and corners being super thick, that's why it's always recommended to keep as much space in your room as possible, and of course, keep it rectangular.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned on this thread is HVAC. In my design process thus far (I'm chest deep into it right now), HVAC has been the biggest, literally, pain in my butt so far. I got so much wrong information from threads and "professional" HVAC friends of mine. You NEED to take the time to design this part of your studio properly. Without proper ventilation, your room will be stuffy, uncomfortable, and potentially unsafe. That's the easy part though. Maintaining the integrity of your isolation means building massive duct silencer boxes. Not only do they need to be twice the cross sectional area of your regular ducts, they must maintain at least that cross sectional area all the way until the register itself. Sadly, twice the cross sectional area of your regular duct size (determined by the CFM needs of your space), doesn't necessarily meet the air velocity requirements of a "quiet" system. You need to have your air velocity at least 300 FPM or less. That means even bigger duct/registers. You need silencers for EACH leaf (inner and outer) for BOTH the supply and the return of your system. So, that means four of these per room. Again, SketchUp your space and make sure you have room for both HVAC and your treatment walls.... all while maintaining that awesome room ratio ;-) It'll make you wish you had a bigger building haha

It's exciting seeing people plan their projects. Awesome of your to reach out and do your planning before starting to build. Everyone on the forum will help you out in any way we can. Keep us posted on your progress!

Greg

_________________
It appears that you've made the mistake most people do. You started building without consulting this forum.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:57 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:17 am
Posts: 12
Location: Salisbury England
Great info Greg - thank you! Yep, I certainly have quite a bit of learning to do..

_________________
My music is at https://soundcloud.com/trevlyns-1


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:09 am 
Offline
Senior Member
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:17 am
Posts: 11940
Location: Santiago, Chile
Quote:
I think you gave reference to two room calculators, but included the same link – is there a second link?
:oops: Ooops! That wasn't very smart, was it? Here's the other link: https://amcoustics.com/tools/amroc

Quote:
on floated floors.
Not such a good idea.... here's why: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8173

Since yours is going to be a "ground up" build, you'll have a beautiful, wonderful, perfect concrete slab to work with as your floor.... so you are done! That's all you need for the floor: plain old concrete is as good as it gets for an acoustically excellent floor in a studio. If you don't like the look of bare concrete, then you could consider polishing it, or staining it, or you hate the idea of that too, then just lay laminate flooring on it, over a suitable underlay. That's also a great floor for a studio. It has to be hard, solid, rigid, massive, and non-resonant, so anything like concrete, laminate, ceramic tiles, linoleum, and suchlike will work fine. But NOT a floated floor! You don't need one, it is hard to do right (and easy to do wrong), if you do it wrong it will make matter worse, not better, it is very expensive, it eats into your headroom, etc, etc, etc.... That's yet another one of those popular myths: People just "know" that all studios must have floating floors! But in reality, very, very few of the pro studios do. (Yes, you see floating floors in a lot of the junk studios you see on YouTube, with titles like "How I Built My Incredible Amazing Fantastic Super Top Studio For Seventeen Dollars And Twenty Three Cents", but you can ignore those: the vast majority are sorely mislead, and their studios end up sounding like garbage...).

In other words: don't waste your time, space and money trying to float your floor. Absolutely not necessary.

Quote:
I plugged in 16 X 12 X 8 just to test it. Although I don’t fully understand how to interpret the results, it looks pretty awesome!
Welll.... I wouldn't agree. Did you notice this part?

Quote:
R. Walker BBC 1996:
- 1.1w / h < l / h < ((4.5w / h) - 4): Pass
- l < 3h & w < 3h: Pass
- no integer multiple within 5%: Fail (ratio3 = ratio1 * 2)


It's warning you that your "ratio 3" (ie, the length) is twice your "ratio 1" (ie, the height). Big bad red flag!

And in the actual list of modes, it says:

    70.6 hz 16.5% 16'0", 8'0", 4'0" (0,0,1 Axial)
    70.6 hz 0% 16'0", 8'0", 4'0" (2,0,0 Axial)
    79.0 hz 10.6% 14'4", 7'2", 3'7" (1,0,1 Tangential)
    84.9 hz 6.9% 13'4", 6'8", 3'4" (0,1,1 Tangential)
    84.9 hz 0% 13'4", 6'8", 3'4" (2,1,0 Tangential)

Note that your 0,0,1 axial mode and the 2,0,0 axial mode are at the exact same frequency: 70.6 Hz. In other words, that mode will ring out twice as loud! And decay very slowly.

Also note that the the same thing happens just a few Hz higher, at 84.9 Hz: You have two tangential modes that line up perfectly (one related to width and length, the other to width and height). Since all of those are in the region of typical kick drum tuning, and well within the typical playing range of a bass guitar, and the low end of the keyboard, you'd have a rip roaring, yellow howling bellowing time with those!

If you want an even scarier one, try this:

    141.3 hz 2.8% 7'12", 3'12", 1'12" (0,0,2 Axial)
    141.3 hz 0% 7'12", 3'12", 1'12" (0,3,0 Axial)
    141.3 hz 0% 7'12", 3'12", 1'12" (4,0,0 Axial)


There you have ALL THREE axial modes lining up perfectly. That's going to be fun!!! :) In fact, it's hard to imagine a worse scenario than that....

Except maybe for this one;

    157.9 hz 3.1% 7'2", 3'7", 1'9" (0,3,1 Tangential)
    157.9 hz 0% 7'2", 3'7", 1'9" (2,0,2 Tangential)
    157.9 hz 0% 7'2", 3'7", 1'9" (2,3,0 Tangential)
    157.9 hz 0% 7'2", 3'7", 1'9" (4,0,1 Tangential)
    158.4 hz 0.3% 7'2", 3'7", 1'9" (3,2,1 Oblique

FOUR modes that line up spot on, and a fifth that is only half of one Hertz away! OK, so that's a little higher up the scale, but still well within the "Dragons Be Here" territory, which is everything below around 200 Hz.

In other words: not a good set of dimensions!

As I said before: Avoid dimensions that are direct multiples of each other, and avoid dimensions that are with 5% of being direct multiples of each other....

Quote:
Would that be a good choice?
:) Nope! :) For the reasons above. You need to delve a little more deeply into what the calculator is telling you. Look closely at the numbers, and see what they are saying.

Quote:
I take on board what you say about non-parallel walls, but I got the idea from this site – it seems like most of the builds incorporate this idea for example :
Actually, take a close look! The room is still a rectangle! The real boundaries of that room are the outer thick black lines, which represent the actual walls. The stuff within the room is treatment. Some of it is marked, such as for example the "Slot Resonator Walls" which obviously are not walls at all, despite the name! A slot wall is a "wall" that is made up of nothing more than a bunch of wooden slats nailed across some framing, with air gaps in between. So from the acoustic point of view, the way modes see it, it isn't even there. It's not a wall.

Ditto for the bass traps at the rear of that room: Very much NOT solid! Just insulation covered with pretty fabric.

The only part that is more "wall-like" in that room, is the soffits. Those are, indeed, hard solid massive rigid surfaces at an angle... but they don't cover the entire height, floor to ceiling: there's a gap of at least 12" at the bottom, and another similar one at the top, which are used for bass trapping. So there are still some parts of that front section where the original rectangular shape of the room is there, and that's what the sound waves "see". For a sound wave, the front surface of the speaker soffit is pretty small, and practically invisible: It's only about 4 or 5 feet high, and considering that a tone at 36 Hz (lowest on the bass guitar) has a wavelength of nearly 32 feet, those 4 foot soffits just are not there at all! An object needs to be similar in size to the wavelength (or larger) before the wave will actually react to i. a 32 foot wave won't even notice something as small as a 4 foot soffit. You need to get all the way up to about 280 Hz before the wavelength is comparable in size to the soffit, and that's far beyond the region of modal issues.

In reality, there will be some effect from the soffits down to lower frequencies, since there are also things happening at quarter wavelengths and half wavelengths, but even so, as far as modal response is concerned, the room is nearly rectangular.

Also, that diagram you show is a special case of room design: That's an RFZ style room, (for "Reflection Free Zone"), which is arguably the best possible design for a room, but it requires having surfaces at the front that are carefully angled very specifically. It's a very specific case, with a fairly rigid set of rules on hoe to design it. If you want the best room possible, that's the way to do it (in my opinion), but it takes careful design.

Quote:
PS - Just plugged this drawings measurements in and get an even better result - may I steal it please?
Since John posted that, and it's his forum, I reckon you'd be OK with taking that as the basis for your room. But it's just the bare-bones outline! You'll need to do a lot of work to adapt it, and fill in all the missing details. For example, there's no doors or windows on that diagram, so unless you plan to build the room around you and stay inside forever, you'd probably want to consider those!! :)

Since you clearly want to get into all the details and do this right, you might want to catch up on the underlying stuff that you'll need to know. I'd suggest two books: "Master Handbook of Acoustics" by F. Alton Everest (that's sort of the Bible for acoustics), and "Home Recording Studio: Build it Like the Pros", by Rod Gervais. The first one will give you the background in acoustics that you need to be able to design a studio, and the second one will give you the basics for actually designing it and building it.


- Stuart -

_________________
I want this studio to amaze people. "That'll do" doesn't amaze people.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:05 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:17 am
Posts: 12
Location: Salisbury England
Oh dear! :mrgreen:

I don't intend to have that 'beautiful, wonderful, perfect concrete slab to work with as your floor'. As the land I'm going to be building on has a fair slope, I'm looking at 6 X 4 joists mounted on 'pillars' of gravel set in 1 ft cubed holes with concrete blocks on top to make up level height adjustment. This will be waterproofed with membrane and insulated with rockwool. Then I'm thinking a 3/4 inch OSB floor over that.

Seperate floors would then be made of 2 X 4 frames and joists mounted on neoprene rubber strips on top of that for the inner rooms.

_________________
My music is at https://soundcloud.com/trevlyns-1


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:33 am 
Offline
Senior Member
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:17 am
Posts: 11940
Location: Santiago, Chile
Quote:
Seperate floors would then be made of 2 X 4 frames and joists mounted on neoprene rubber strips on top of that for the inner rooms.
That's still a badly floated floor, and still suffers from the same disease as all other badly floated studio floors... :)

In acoustics, air is your best friend, and air is your worst enemy. You can use it to your benefit, or it can attack you violently when you are not being careful. Any time you trap air inside a cavity, you are giving it teeth to bight you with. And it will bight you. Air trapped inside a cavity is a resonant system. Unless you specifically designed it to resonate in a way that is advantageous for you, it will resonate in some way that is NOT advantageous in the least! It will be detrimental. Either it will trash your isolation, or it will trash the acoustic response of the room. Or both. Resonance is a powerful beast, so you have to work hard to tame it and keep it under control. If not, it will go wild and trample your studio....

(Excuse the poetic interlude! But I'm sure you get the idea...)

You haven't mentioned how much isolation you need yet: That should be the very first thing you define for your studio design. Everything else flows into place smoothly if you start with a clear goal for isolation. You absolutely must come up with a number for that goal, as in XX decibels, or YY decibels. You'll need a proper hand-held sound level meter to make the measurements and come up with that number, and you'll need that same meter at several other points in the studio construction, treatment, testing, and tuning, so you need to make that your first purchase, if you don't already have one. You need a decent one (not the cheap Chinese junk toys that you can find on-line for US$ 30 or so) A good one, such as an Extech or a Galaxy, will cost you around US$ 100. And no, you CAN'T use a free app on your iPhone for this! :)

You absolutely, totally, unequivocally need that number BEFORE you start deciding on building materials and methods: The amount of isolation you NEED is what dictates the building materials and methods, not the other way around!

I have a feeling that what you are planning so far, in terms of materials and techniques, is not going to get you the isolation you are expecting. It would be very said to invest all this time, money, effort, blood, sweat, and tears, then end up with a studio that's no use, because it does not isolate.

In the meantime (while you get your meter and do your tests...) please post some photos of the place where you plan to build the studio, so we can take a look at the landscape, slope, surroundings, etc.


- Stuart -

_________________
I want this studio to amaze people. "That'll do" doesn't amaze people.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:42 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:17 am
Posts: 12
Location: Salisbury England
Thanks again Stuart – I do have a decent SPL meter with both C and A weighted measuring capabilities. I’ve also bought this course on the basics and it explains taking measurements at various stages - https://www.groove3.com/tutorials/Home- ... -Acoustics

As can be seen from the aerial view, the house (a converted farm building) is very isolated and surrounded by a forest. The second pic gives an indication of the slope and where I’d likely place the ‘cabin’. The property is rented and although I have permission to build, I don’t want to use a concrete slab – not that I intend moving anytime soon. Neighbors are not really a problem with a house to the left and a granary to the right. My only concern is for the road that passes by, the proximity of my own house (don’t want to disturb the missus) and of course the elements.

EDIT: Took C weighted measurements this morning Ambient level 52db; a passing car 68db
EDIT 2: Mmmm - now toying with the idea of having just one longish room - desk at one end and enough 'left over' space to accommodate musicians or a small band. I reckon 80 percent of the time it will be just me in the studio. When I do record instruments, it's always direct but would be nice to have a drum kit set up as well.


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

_________________
My music is at https://soundcloud.com/trevlyns-1


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:17 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:17 am
Posts: 12
Location: Salisbury England
Soundman2020 wrote:
Quote:
In the meantime (while you get your meter and do your tests...) please post some photos of the place where you plan to build the studio, so we can take a look at the landscape, slope, surroundings, etc.


- Stuart -

Any further thoughts on this?

_________________
My music is at https://soundcloud.com/trevlyns-1


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:00 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:17 am
Posts: 12
Location: Salisbury England
No?

_________________
My music is at https://soundcloud.com/trevlyns-1


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:39 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:17 am
Posts: 12
Location: Salisbury England
Bump

_________________
My music is at https://soundcloud.com/trevlyns-1


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:52 am 
Offline
Senior Member
User avatar

Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2005 2:30 am
Posts: 402
Location: Gresham OR
My suggestion would be, back hoe to get a level surface and pour a slab on grade with either independent footings or a mono pour with footings.
And that way you have level surface and an already usable floor at the same time.
Best
T

_________________
_____________________________
http://www.lost-studios.com
facebook.com/loststudiospdx


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 3:12 pm 
Offline
Senior Member
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:17 am
Posts: 11940
Location: Santiago, Chile
Quote:
my suggestion would be, back hoe to get a level surface and pour a slab on grade with either independent footings or a mono pour with footings.
:thu:


- Stuart -

_________________
I want this studio to amaze people. "That'll do" doesn't amaze people.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 

All times are UTC + 10 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Paulus87 and 12 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group