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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:31 am 
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Location: New Orleans, Louisiana USA
Hi everybody !!!

I've been meaning to create this thread for a LONG time ! I can't believe it, but it has been 2 YEARS now since I started this project. It was in October of 2016 that I posted a thread here looking for a competent studio designer to assist me in doing a proper flush/soffit mount for my JBL LSR32 passives. Here is the link to that thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=20695

Since that time I have gone on an AMAZING journey into constructing a truly pro level CR that has far exceeded what I ever thought was possible !! Originally my intention was to only employ the skills of a designer to help with the flush mount and nothing else; but shortly after that I realized that 1) my room had the potential to be GREAT and 2) there was no way I was going to "get there" trying to take on the rest of the design work myself.

So, after doing a LOT of research for MONTHS online and consulting with several potential designers, I made the decision to hire yours truly Mr. Stuart Allsop here from the John Sayers forum -- and I am so, so happy that I made this choice !! Stuart has expanded my knowledge about room acoustics 100X from where it was 2 years ago, and he has FAR exceeded my expectations in what I was looking for in a studio designer ! I honestly cannot say enough good things about him, he is a true professional who treats his clients with the utmost respect and who doesn't mind taking the time to EDUCATE them about the VERY complicated topic of room acoustics.

When I first hired him my DIY plan that I had sketched out myself for my CR was pretty much a train wreck in the making ! I still had a grand piano in the back of my CR, a noisy window unit AC, a bathtub, a sink, and yes -- even a TOILET !! I thought I was going to do the speaker flush mount, hang up some DIY 703 traps and some superchunks and call it a day ! My intention was to leave all of that other stuff in the CR (if you could even call that a CR) and get right back to mixing ASAP. Heck, I figured I'd be looking at 2 months tops to get the flush mount done and forget about room acoustics for GOOD !!

Well, here it is 2 YEARS later and we are now in the FINAL STRETCH !!! I took these photos last night to share with you guys. All we have left to do now is to install the CR iso door, build the gear racks, and build and install the side wall/first reflection point traps (which I believe Stuart is working on now !!) ! Beyond that everything else is aesthetic.

I plan on updating this thread with photos from the entire build process so you folks can see the extensive journey I went thru with this room from beginning to end. I still cannot believe it has been 2 YEARS in the making -- but it has been worth EVERY SINGLE SECOND !!

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that we have done EXTENSIVE testing with REW throughout the build ! I'll let Stuart share that stuff with you guys as I am not very good at setting the software correctly to make the graphs.


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Last edited by sage691 on Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:31 am 
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Location: Denmark, Copenhagen
Hi,

Damn, that is a lovely looking fractal diffuser :o Nice job! And the spots in the cloud as well.

Looking forward to following this one! Can't wait to see the graphs AND the console :D 8)

All The Best
Jakob


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:38 am 
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Location: New Orleans, Louisiana USA
Hi Jakob,

YES, the diffuser is definitely the "eye catcher" in the CR !! And it made a VERY noticeable difference when we were listening to ref CDs.

Right now this is pretty much the "hag" phase of the room concerning the aesthetics, It's going to look a LOT better once we start putting in all the final trim, cloth, and paint the MDF on the soffits ! Maybe not quite as lush looking as Stuart's flagship "Studio 3" -- but who knows, I definitely have a talent with antique wood and interior aesthetics so the final outcome may even surprise me !

But concerning the GEAR and the CONSOLE --- sorry guys, I don't mean to be a gear "snob" or elitist but I got most of you BEAT !!! The console is the (drumroll) ORIGINAL Trident SERIES 80. That's right kiddies, NOT the famous 80B that came later as a "cost cutting measure" -- but the even MORE famous (and more RARE) Series 80 !!

Plus, I have a LOT of slutty outboard to patch in to this beast ! Comps, EQs, Verbs, Delays, a plethora of swanky slutty boxes! Stuart almost choked on a french fry (joke) when I told him how many rack spaces I was going to need for this CR !! That's right kiddies, this aint gonna be no fast food drive thru "McPlugin" based CR with a couple of 10 RU space racks for converters, a single outboard compressor, a digital controller for a console, and a LCD the size of a UPS truck -- been there and done that, heard the difference and aint never going back ! :yahoo:

Stay tuned !!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:12 pm 
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Quote:
ORIGINAL Trident SERIES 80
:shock:

Wow !! Just realized we need a drooling smiley on this forum :D

All the best
Jakob


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:55 am 
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Jakob De Wittig wrote:
Quote:
ORIGINAL Trident SERIES 80
:shock:

Wow !! Just realized we need a drooling smiley on this forum :D

All the best
Jakob



Here's an OLD photo of the Trident S80 in my room. I was cleaning the patch bay, so the cover is removed.

BTW, that is about 30% of my outboard gear you see in 3 rows underneath the console !! LOTS more where that came from -- slutty, swanky, and JUICY outboard hardware kiddies !! :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:26 pm 
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Hi Stuart,

I hope you have actually seen this thread, though you haven't commented here yet !

I decided to go ahead and install a 3.5 mil black tarp over your rear faux wall design (pic attached). I wanted to do this for 2 reasons: 1) to seal off the fiberglass particles from the layer of 2" 703 and 2) to block the yellowish color of the 703 from bleeding thru once we install the black cloth across the faux wall.

I figured this would be OK for me to do, because you had me do this over the ceiling insulation and also the superchunk traps to retain the highs since my RT60 was looking sucked out in that range. I am posting this here because I am hoping that you will see it and tell me whether the 3.5 mil tarp is a good idea or not ??

Also, we are about to go ahead and cut and install the slats that you had in the latest model you sent me for the rear faux wall. Attached here is a snapshot of that, with all of the slat dimensions listed. Do you see any problems with this slat design since you looked at the latest REW information I sent you ? Do you want to maybe change it some, or should I just go ahead with the slat dimensions listed here ?

Paging Stuart ! Paging Stuart !

:poke: :asth: :horse:


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:40 am 
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Not so sure about that! Tarp is usually heavy, not breathable, and quite reflective for mids and highs. That's a very large area back there, not like the other things you did with it. Probably not the right stuff for there... It is supposed to be just thin black fabric. The real purpose is visual, not acoustic: It is there to hide the "ugly stuff" behind it, and is supposed to be acoustically transparent.

But let's see how it is behaving first: please do a REW test exactly as you have the room right now (set of three: L, R, and LR) and send me that, so I can see what effect it is having.

- Stuart -

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:52 am 
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By the way, thanks for starting up your build thread, and thanks for the kind words in your first posts!

Quote:
So, after doing a LOT of research for MONTHS online and consulting with several potential designers, I made the decision to hire yours truly Mr. Stuart Allsop here from the John Sayers forum -- and I am so, so happy that I made this choice !! Stuart has expanded my knowledge about room acoustics 100X from where it was 2 years ago, and he has FAR exceeded my expectations in what I was looking for in a studio designer ! I honestly cannot say enough good things about him, he is a true professional who treats his clients with the utmost respect and who doesn't mind taking the time to EDUCATE them about the VERY complicated topic of room acoustics.
:oops: :oops: :oops: Wow. Undeserved praise, but thanks!

I do try to explain the "why" for the things I design, not just the "what". I firmly believe that if you understand why you are doing something, you'll do a superior job of it, and it will turn out better than if you just made it with no understanding at all.

Quote:
When I first hired him my DIY plan that I had sketched out myself for my CR was pretty much a train wreck in the making !
Well, maybe not quite that bad, but it wasn't exactly going to be world-class... :) I did find a link to your original thread, for comparison... viewtopic.php?f=1&t=20679 .. Interesting!

Quote:
I still had a grand piano in the back of my CR, a noisy window unit AC, a bathtub, a sink, and yes -- even a TOILET !!
You have no idea how pleased I was when you decided to ditch the bath, sink, and toilet! That was a "curve ball" that I wasn't too happy with, originally.

Quote:
I thought I was going to do the speaker flush mount, hang up some DIY 703 traps and some superchunks and call it a day !
It turned out to be a little more complicated than that. While you could have gotten reasonable acoustics like that, it would not have been anywhere near as good as it is now.

Quote:
build the gear racks, and build and install the side wall/first reflection point traps (which I believe Stuart is working on now !!)
Yep! We just need to figure out what to do about the extra rack units, under the desk, then you can build those. The side wall treatment is in progress too. With the set of tests that you did, I have a pretty good plan for that, I think.

Quote:
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that we have done EXTENSIVE testing with REW throughout the build ! I'll let Stuart share that stuff with you guys as I am not very good at setting the software correctly to make the graphs
I'm working on putting something together for you! Stay tuned... I'll post a few graphs later this evening (my time), to show where you have come from, and where you are right now.


- Stuart -

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:56 pm 
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OK, some rough graphs to show were we came from, and where we are right now.

First, frequency response in the empty room:
Attachment:
Steve-REW--FR--20-400--1..24--Empty-Room-L.png


And now:
Attachment:
Steve-REW--FR--20-400--1..24--Diffuser-L.png


Next, waterfall for the empty room:
Attachment:
Steve-REW--WF--20-400---Empty-Room-L.png


And now:
Attachment:
Steve-REW--WF--20-400---Diffuser-L.png


Spectrogram for the empty room:
Attachment:
Steve-REW--SP--20-400---Empty-Room-L.png


Spectrogram now:
Attachment:
Steve-REW--SP--20-400---Diffuser-L.png


And finally decay times for the empty room:
Attachment:
Steve-REW--RT---Empty-Room-L.png


And now:
Attachment:
Steve-REW--RT---Diffuser-L.png



The room is fairly large (area 30m2, volume 110 m3), so I'm trying to keep the decay time decent: it's a little too high right now (around 320ms), and the target is around 265 ms, so there's a little way to go still. And there's still plenty of wall space on the side walls for treatment: There's nothing there at all right now! The above graphs are from treatment only on the front and rear walls, and the ceiling (plus half the floor: there's a sofa riser at the back, which is acoustically tuned as well), but the side walls are bare at present.

So that's where we are right now. The room has come a long way, and is nearing completion.

Maybe Steve wants to add his subjective impressions about where the room is right now: He did some listening tests not to long ago, and he didn't even use his main speakers for those! Just an old pair of "boom-box" speakers...

- Stuart -


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:40 am 
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I got the REW data you sent, Steve, and unfortunately, as I suspected, that tarp is not doing what needs to be done. It's reflecting the highs and mids too much, so your decay times increased to over 400 ms in the high end, and that's too much for that room. So, unfortunately, it will have to come off. Replace it with thin black "breathable" cloth of some type. It might need two layers of that, and if so you can use cheap stuff at the back, and better quality at the front, since it will be visible. The purpose of the cloth is to block light, so you can't see the ugly stuff behind it, but it does have to be breathable, and not block sound. "Breathable" means that if you hold a piece over your mouth and nose, you can still breath through it very easily, without really noticing much resistance. If it is breathable, the it is basically transparent to sound, which is what we want.

So do that, do another REW test, and we'll take a look at where we are at that point.


- Stuart -

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:14 am 
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Thanks Stuart !

Wow, I TOTALLY forgot about that old thread of mine -- thanks for digging that up ! I must say that reading my old rant and looking at those old photos of my CR brings back some unpleasant memories of how utterly lost and confused I was concerning the acoustics issue. To think of where I was then compared to now is nothing short of shocking to me ! Is there a way we can possibly merge that old thread into this new one somehow ? I would think that could be VERY educational for newcomers to see where I ultimately started, as opposed to where I am ending up now !!

Soundman2020 wrote:
Maybe Steve wants to add his subjective impressions about where the room is right now: He did some listening tests not to long ago, and he didn't even use his main speakers for those! Just an old pair of "boom-box" speakers...

- Stuart -


YES -- the good ol Boom Box test !! Well, let me say first that I indeed have also done some brief listening tests on my flush mounted mains. Problem is, there is still a LOT of work going on in the room and so 99.9% of the time my mains are covered in a layer of plastic with some thick cardboard. I have only removed this to run the REW tests, then it goes right back on. HOWEVER, I did do some proper reffing on 2 occasions with the mains and all I can say is that (with WELL MIXED material) it is a RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE !! A ref like DSOTM will literally blow you out of your chair, and you realize that you have essentially heard that record (truthfully) for the first time, although you may have listened to it 10,000X throughout your life. But the other (and somewhat surprising) side of the coin is that poorly mixed or "average" material sounds EXACTLY like what it is -- poorly mixed, or average.

So what about my "boom box". Well, it's an old early 2000s era Panasonic -- nothing special really. You could probably find somebody on craigslist giving one away, or pick one up for $10 at a garage sale. But the speakers separate from the receiver, so we were able to place them on stands right in front of the mains (a mere 1" from the MDF baffle of the soffits), and match the tweeter heights to the mains in the soffits. Boy oh boy, was I in for a surprise the first time I heard a well mixed commercial ref (U2 - The Joshua Tree) on this little boom box !!! :yahoo: I mean seriously folks, it's hard to even put it into words. The boom box sounds absolutely HUGE, 3D with a WIDE stereo image, and also (and more importantly) a front-to-back dimensionality that you would only expect from "expensive" hi end speakers. The few people who have listened to refs in there besides myself could NOT believe that the sound was coming from that boom box -- one of them literally accused me of lying to him until he got a couple of feet from one of the speakers and confirmed where the sound was coming from !

So now it makes perfect sense when you hear comments from famous mix engineers like Michael Brauer or Chris Lord Alge that they spend a LOT of time mixing on a $10 boom box. Of COURSE they do -- their $10 boom box is well positioned in a $1,000,000 impeccably designed/treated/tuned Control Room. Heck, I have been a producer/mix engineer for nearly 20 years now so I am WELL qualified to say this: I could EASILY make many of my most important mix decisions on this $10 boom box with the way it is positioned in this CR !! And that is not an exaggeration folks. In my view this is a testament to just how CRUCIAL of a factor a well designed, treated, and tuned CR is, especially when it comes to the task of producing and mixing. A $10 boom box (positioned correctly) in a room like this is literally a superior tool next to a $15,000 high end set of professional studio monitors placed in a sub-par room. :cop:


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:27 am 
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Soundman2020 wrote:
I got the REW data you sent, Steve, and unfortunately, as I suspected, that tarp is not doing what needs to be done. It's reflecting the highs and mids too much, so your decay times increased to over 400 ms in the high end, and that's too much for that room. So, unfortunately, it will have to come off. Replace it with thin black "breathable" cloth of some type. It might need two layers of that, and if so you csn use cheap stuff at the back, and better quality at the front, since it will be visible. The purpose of the cloth is to block light, so you can't see the ugly stuff behind it, but it does have to be breathable, and not block sound. "Breathable" means that if you hold a piece over your mouth and nose, you can still breath through it very easily, without really noticing much resistance. If it is breathable, the it is basically transparent to sound, which is what we want.

So do that, do another REW test, and we'll take a look at where we are at that point.


- Stuart -


Thanks Stuart and will do !

But one quick question: What about the sizes and positioning of the SLATS ? I sort of need to know that, because we want to place the SEAMS of the cloth in areas where the slats will cover them. I am going to likely use some good quality burlap/jute -- the same stuff we used on the cloud which looks GREAT !! That stuff comes in rolls 40 ft. long and a mere 40" wide.

So can I just go ahead with the slat design you have in the last model (and pictured HERE above) ???

We'll likely do the cloth in the next couple of days, so it would be good to know WHERE to place those seams.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:27 am 
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Hold off on the slats for now. One thing at a time.... Lets get the cloth up, then the rack modules, then the side wall treatment,... then we'll see about the slats.

For the cloth, do one strip vertically up each of the "wings", as those are only about 25" wide, no seams necessary. Do one strip across the center section horizontally starting just above the diffuser: 40" will get you up to the framing at the top. Then work your way down from there, with 40" horizontal strips. That should place the seams at locations where we can hide them with slats, without too much trouble. I can move the slats around as necessary to do that. No big deal.

- Stuart -

PS. Check your directory on my server.... :)

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:32 am 
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Update: Steve has sent me a comprehensive set of REW tests take at various points around the room, and I'm in the process of designing the final treatment devices that will go on the side walls, to deal with most of the remaining issues in the room.

In the meantime, I sent him the design for his monstrous array of racks that go around and under the mix position, to fit in his gigantic set of outboard gear within easy reach:

Attachment:
Steve--Rack-and-desk-View-S253-a-SML.jpg


Attachment:
Steve--Rack-and-desk-View-S253-b-SML.jpg


Attachment:
Steve--Rack-and-desk-View-S253-c-SML.jpg


There's basically 86 RU of rack mount space facing the mix position, and another 62 RU around the back, for a total of nearly four full-size racks worth of space, potentially (assuming Steve plans carefully, to avoid internal conflicts between front-facing and rear-facing gear). I had to use every last fraction of an inch to fit all that in, and still allow some space to wall around the sides and get to the couch and mix position.

So the ball is in Steve's court right now, as he starts building those rack units! Fortunately he has a buddy who owns a carpentry shop that makes furniture, so I imagine that he'll be talking to his buddy about helping to build these...

- Stuart -


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:56 pm 
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Thanks so much Stuart, the rack design you sent me is AMAZING !

I'll be sure to update this thread with photos as we build these babies, and also some photos will soon be forthcoming of the 3 leaf CR door -- another one of your brilliant designs ! This thing is a BEAST, weighing over 300lbs with two 1" leafs of MDF attached to a solid core oak door !! I call it the "submarine hatch".

Attached are a couple of photos.


Soundman2020 wrote:
Update:


So the ball is in Steve's court right now, as he starts building those rack units! Fortunately he has a buddy who owns a carpentry shop that makes furniture, so I imagine that he'll be talking to his buddy about helping to build these...

- Stuart -


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