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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:23 am 
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Location: Salisbury England
Newby here - Please be gentle! :D

First a bit of background: I'm an old musso (been at it since 1959) and when I retired in 2011, I set up a home recording studio in a spare bedroom. Been honing my skills and improving my gear since then. I've recently moved to a quiet country location and want to set up a 'shed' type studio in the garden with the main aim of recording mainly myself (but also other artists and bands); and mixing/mastering my own and other peoples projects.

I'm thinking of going with a 16 X 20 X 8 design incorporating a control room and a live studio area - no specific plan as yet.

Which brings me to 2 questions, first monitor speakers. I have a pair of Yamaha HS7's and would like to know if it would be worth the effort in my scenario to soffit mount them or just have them on stands. An area of concern is that they are rear ported - would this make a difference? My overall goal would be truest audio response. Then a quick question on design - would it be advantageous to have the control and live rooms as separate 'rooms within a room'? Isolation is not really a problem; if anything, not disturbing others in my house would be my only concern. The shed would be at least 20 ft from it though.

Just wanted to mention that I've spent several hours perusing these excellent forms and the studio design section of the Recording Manual. I'm well versed with the requirements of room treatment and will be following the advice given here.

Any comments much appreciated, thank you!

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:05 am 
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Hi there "trevlyns", and Welcome to the forum! :)

Quote:
I'm thinking of going with a 16 X 20 X 8 design incorporating a control room and a live studio area - no specific plan as yet.
So this is going to be a "ground up" build? Starting with an empty patch of land, and ending up with a brand new purpose-designed studio building? That's the best way to do it, for sure! 320 square feet is a reasonable size for a small studio. A little small, but certainly doable!

Quote:
first monitor speakers. I have a pair of Yamaha HS7's and would like to know if it would be worth the effort in my scenario to soffit mount
Absolutely and unreservedly YES! In my opinion, at least...

Soffit-mounting (for the linguistic purest; "flush mounting"...) is arguably the single most important, best, greatest thing you can do for pretty much any speaker (not all, but most), because it absolutely eliminates all of the artifacts associated with having the speaker sitting inside the room on a stand. The reason is simple: the speaker is NOT in the room! Since it is not in the room, it cannot possibly generate any artifacts that would otherwise be caused. So there is no more SBIR from the front wall, no more edge diffraction from the speaker cabinet itself, no more phase cancellation and comb filtering from the front wall, no more power imbalance, and several other bits of good news. It just plain makes sense. Speakers in a properly designed soffit will almost always outperform the same speaker sitting in a stand in the room.

Quote:
An area of concern is that they are rear ported - would this make a difference?
No. Provided that the soffit is designed with that issue in mind, there's no problem at at all with soffit-mounting rear-ported speakers. Take a look at this studio, for example: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=20471 Those are Eve Audio SC-407s in the soffits, and those things have huge reflex ports on the rear. When I originally designed that studio, it was for front-ported speakers, but I did also include the possibility of replacing those easily with any other speaker, since the owner wanted that flexibility. And before the studio was even fully complete, he decided to upgrade to SC-407s. I spoke to the chief engineer at Eve Audio to double-check that they were OK with the way I wanted to mount them, and he gave it his blessing, along with some very useful tips (great folks at Eve, by the way! Extremely helpful). So I mounted them vertically (despite them being designed for horizontal), and I soffit mounted them, despite them having that large rear reflex port. And as you can see, that worked out pretty well! You'd be hard pressed to fine a room that has better response than that. Take a look at the website for that studio: there's more info on the entire build process.
Quote:
My overall goal would be truest audio response.
:thu: Take a look at the actual measured acoustic response graphs for that room. As I mentioned above, you would find it pretty hard to get "truer response" than that! It would NOT have been possible to get the same result from just mounting those SC-407s on stands inside the room. No way. Even though they are great speakers, the simple fact of putting them in the room will cause them to generate all of the artifacts associated with that. It is possible to treat some of that with acoustic devices, but not all of it: it's far better to just do the soffits.

Quote:
Then a quick question on design - would it be advantageous to have the control and live rooms as separate 'rooms within a room'? Isolation is not really a problem; if anything, not disturbing others in my house would be my only concern. The shed would be at least 20 ft from it though.
To answer that, let me ask you this: Does it rain in Salisbury? Does the wind blow? Hail? Thunder? Do aircraft ever fly close by? Or helicopters? Do you ever have emergency vehicles in the area, such as ambulances, police, fire, etc. with their sirens on? Do you have barking dogs in the neighborhood? Do your neighbors ever arrive and leave in cars, or turn their radio on, or the TV, or mow the lawn, or just talk loudly? Any railway lines or highways nearby? Etc. I could continue asking many more such questions, but I think you get the idea: there are lots of loud things out there in the world close to your future studio, that could trash your best-ever recording, if the sounds get picked up by the mics in your live room. Or distract you, annoy you, or mislead you as you try to mix your once-in-a-lifetime, best-song-you-ever-did, causing it turn out merely mediocre. Or push the musicians of their "flow" and "vibe" in a session, trying to play while also trying to ignore the distracting noises from outside.

Isolation is a two-way street: it isn't just there to stop your sounds getting out: it is also there to stop other sounds from getting in!

I'd suggest that you re-evaluate your isolation plans! :)

Quote:
would it be advantageous to have the control and live rooms as separate 'rooms within a room'?
I think so, yes. It's hard to get even modest isolation from just single-leaf construction. And to get good isolation with single-leaf, you'd need so much mass that it's just not funny! It's far more effective to do two-leaf "room-in-a-room" construction. Lower cost and higher isolation is what you get this way. So the outer shell of the building itself is the "outer leaf", then each room is built as a single leaf within that shell. Simple, effective, good isolation, lowest cost.

I'm looking forward to seeing your studio design evolve, and flowing your thread: This sounds like it's been a big dream of yours for a while, to have your very own place specifically built to be YOUR studio!


- Stuart -

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:00 pm 
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Thanks so much Stuart for such a detailed answer!

That last point about isolation.. the moment I posted, I realised that although I'm out in the country, surrounded by a forest with the nearest neighbour about a mile away; I'm also right next to a road. Sure, it's not that busy, but when a car or truck passes it makes quite a noise.. and as you rightly say, when the wind pipes up, those tall surrounding trees let you know it. :D I'll certainly take everything on board and now that I have my question answered - LET THE WORK BEGIN!

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:10 pm 
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:thu: Please do post regular updates of he actual design as it proceeds! There might be more stuff that we can help you with... perhaps things you didn't notice yourself in the design. It's always good to have an extra few pairs of eyes looking oer your shoulder as you design your place.

- Stuart -

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:05 am 
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Thanks! Will do 8)

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