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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:59 pm 
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Location: Manenberg, Cape Town, South Africa
Thanks Gareth for the encouragement.

I heard a funny quote from Springbok Willie Le Roux who plays for Wasps now and lives not a million miles from you in Leamington Spa, "The weather is not quite like Cape Town". I can attest that the weather is a BIT better out here than England!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:08 am 
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It's a real bummer about the robbery. Even worse than losing the equipment, is losing all your files.

Quote:
My build has started!
:thu: Wow! That was fast!

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- I see from research of other posts that you do normally recommend a 10cm "air" gap between my brick wall and the drywall of the inside out walls
10cm is the minimum. You don't want to go less that that, or you need major mass on your leaves. But you sure can have a larger gap if you want. And don't forget to fill it with insulation. And supervise the builders, to make sure no "bridges" are left in there!

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What I've understood is that this lowers the resonant frequency of the M-A-M system to an acceptable degree.
Provided that you have enough mass on the leaves, yes. Those are the two major factors in tuning the wall: mass and air gap. If you decrease one, you need to increase the other substantially.

Quote:
What do you think about me giving 10cm at ends and ceiling, but only 5cm on the width
As long as you can double the mass on those walls with the thin air gap.... steel plate or lead sheeting would help...

Quote:
And what about having 5cm of insulation and 5cm of air in the gap?
That's better than no insulation, but complete filling is the best. The insulation is the damper on the air spring. They work together. If you only half-fill the air gap, then the spring is only half-damped. It can cost you in isolation. The difference between a wall that has not insulation at all, and one that is full of it, can be as much as 15 dB of isolation, but at least 5.

Quote:
So if I have a single pane window in the brick wall, and I want a window in the inner wall next to it, do I leave the single pane and also do only a single sheet in the inner wall (in order to be 2 leaf) or do I make both the windows double glazed?
Single pane in each leaf. Thick laminate glass. The thickness should be enough that the surface density is consistent across the entire wall, or at least the glass should have enough mass to keep the MSM resonant frequency low enough.

Quote:
- I read somewhere that a double door system, well sealed, could make a vacuum in between the doors so that you might not be able to get out of your room! Is this ever something you need to plan to avoid?
Not true. That would only be the case if you created a sealed "tunnel" between the doors, but that would be silly. However, the doors will be massively heavy, and you WILL need automatic door closers on each, to close them gently and then apply pressure on the seals.

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- It seems to me that there is a clash between trying to have an ideal room shape to minimize modes and the haas thing of wanting the back wall far enough back to not get reflections <20ms from the back ... and also with just trying to have a decent sized room to host a few people in.
Yep. Studio design is all about making compromises like that. But the shape does not minimize the modes: it just helps to improve the modal spread. You will have modes regardless of how big or small the room is....

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Am I fine to not worry too much about hitting a great ratio, as long as it's not a really bad one?
Yes!

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:25 am 
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It's not too late for me to lower the ceiling height or make it less long if that is important,
No! Don't do that. You are fine...

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I'd rather keep the volume as large as possible to work in.
:thu:

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Is it fine to have these boxes sitting outside the house?
Depends on how much isolation you need! For most studios, I do two silencer boxes on each duct: one where the duct goes through the outer-leaf, and one where it goes through the inner leaf. I normally try to put those inside the ceiling cavity, if possible, or if not then one goes outside the outer leaf, and one goes inside the inner leaf. SO that's two boxes for each duct, two ducts per room (one in, one out), so for boxes per room.

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Only thing I've found mentioned loads of times, but never answered is static pressure so I'll play safe and get a fan rated for a bit higher than 99cfm.
Static pressure is the pressure that the fan has to work against, due to the resistance of the air flow provided by the duct. It is directly proportional to the length and size of each duct, as well as other factors, such as the number of turns, etc.

Quote:
Only have HF +-1.5dB on speaker.
HF adjustment is no use to you. What you need is LF roll-off. What speakers are those?

Quote:
Am hoping I can use the monitoring FX in my DAW and EQ it? Would that be the same as a hardware EQ?
It's sort of the same, but I would never do it like that. I would spring the extra few bucks for a decent, precision parametric EQ.

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is that also a no-no to have inlet and exhaust on the same side of the room?
You can if you have to, but it's not ideal.


Quote:
No Fantech's or the like in South Africa. This fan I think is my best fit so far
That's an in-line fan: will you have some place to put that? It cannot go inside the wall cavity, as you'd never be able to get access to it for maintenance / repairs / replacement.

Quote:
that run quiet - 22dbA@3m - and has two speeds, 190 or 251 m3/h at zero pressure
As you load it more, the noise level will increase, as the motor has to work harder and the blades work at less-than-optimal angles....
Quote:
Looking at the pdf, it is more clear to me now that static pressure is one of the things you need to know or at least estimate, as air flow is directly proportional.
Yep! Very true! :)

Quote:
With this fan if my static pressure is much bigger than I think, I could run it on the higher speed, otherwise the lower speed will be fine.
Is there an option to have an infinitely variable speed controller on it? That would be the best. It allows you to adjust the flow as needed, for different days and different situations. You only need maximum flow when the room is full of people ....

Quote:
I will only have a few meters of duct so I can't imagine the pressure to be that high,
It's not just hte duct: it's everything that the air has to flow through, including the silencer boxes, any turns in the ducts (big increases), and even the room itself.

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Foam sealing tape is for around the glass panes - not sure it's the best thing, but it's all I've found.
No, it's not. Use proper glazing tape, or rubber.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:36 pm 
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Thanks so much Stuart for replying. And thanks for your words about the robbery. I was also quite pleased that I hadn't made any terrible errors so far!

Did you see the sketchup file I posted? I hope I have my listening relationship right now.

Quote:
10cm is the minimum. You don't want to go less that that...complete filling is the best

OK, I'll just do 10cm on all sides and above and fill fully with insulation.

Quote:
Single pane in each leaf. Thick laminate glass.

OK, good, that's what I'm doing now. I got hold of one 10mm laminate and one 8mm laminate piece that were off-castes from a glass place for a good price. I've already fitted the 10mm and it is amazing the difference between that and the original window.

Quote:
I read somewhere that a double door system, well sealed, could make a vacuum in between the doors so that you might not be able to get out of your room... Not true.

OK good. You do read a lot of nonsense on the web. We're lucky to have this site (and you) - just wish I'd found it a few months earlier.

Quote:
Am I fine to not worry too much about hitting a great ratio.
Yes!

Good news.

Quote:
Is it fine to have these boxes sitting outside the house?
Depends on how much isolation you need! For most studios, I do two silencer boxes on each duct

I will try for one silencer for in and one for out first - I think that will be enough for me as I only need around 35 dB isolation. I can build two more if needed, there is space, though they would be very ugly so not ideal.

Quote:
Static pressure is the pressure that the fan has to work against, due to the resistance of the air flow provided by the duct. It is directly proportional to the length and size of each duct, as well as other factors, such as the number of turns, etc.

I did find one calc http://bry-air.com/resources/utilities/static-pressure-calculator/ which gave me a very low friction loss of 0.04"wc when i put in my figures, but i'm not sure if friction loss is the same thing. And as you said it's not just the ducts.

Quote:
Only have HF +-1.5dB on speaker.
HF adjustment is no use to you. What you need is LF roll-off. What speakers are those?

Tannoy 501A's. I had thought that putting the HF to +1.5dB would relatively speaking roll off the bass by 1.5dB no? (Obviously not 6dB but better than nothing)

Quote:
Am hoping I can use the monitoring FX in my DAW and EQ it? Would that be the same as a hardware EQ?
It's sort of the same, but I would never do it like that. I would spring the extra few bucks for a decent, precision parametric EQ.

OK will look into this, but maybe try the fx first with the REW tests. Should be interesting anyway as a study for people with speakers without built in bass roll off. I can also use a phase linear EQ plugin if that helps.

Quote:
No Fantech's or the like in South Africa. This fan I think is my best fit so far
That's an in-line fan: will you have some place to put that?

It will go externally to the outer brick wall shoved straight into the silencer and I'll build a box with access.

Quote:
Is there an option to have an infinitely variable speed controller on it?

No, not on this model it seems. But I will wire a 3-way switch for LOW-OFF-HIGH (so as to never have low and high on at same time during switching), which will give me something.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:46 pm 
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And some pics from yesterday

Silencers: I couldn't find duct liner. I had read that normal fibreglass would do if wrapped. I found this product from Isover which was already 25mm and already wrapped on one side http://www.isover.co.za/products/sonic-liner - the only problem being how well the edges join, particularly when the top of the box goes on (with no access then to make a join, so I think I will wrap it some more as I really don't want to worry about little bits of fibreglass in my vents.

Frames: we debated whether to do 60cm (24") o.c. or 64cm which would leave a neat gap for the 60cm wide batts. I decided 64cm oc and then my builder did 60cm oc anyway! He's probably right - it's much easier to attach the 1.2m drywall that way and either the 60cm batts will squeeze down to 56cm or they can shave off the edges. NB the timber is 114x38 (~2x5) which is the standard here - they don't have 2x4's around here.

Fan: http://www.xpelair.co.za/pdf/Xpelair%20Range%20XIM%20Mixed%20Flow.pdf (see more thoughts in previous post)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:29 am 
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Quote:
Tannoy 501A's. I had thought that putting the HF to +1.5dB would relatively speaking roll off the bass by 1.5dB no? (Obviously not 6dB but better than nothing)
Nope! Not the same. HF roll-off normally starts way in the, ... (drum-rolllll....) High Frequencies!! :) Maybe around 2k, 3k, 4k and up. But the baffle step response problem is something way down in the low-mids and lows. Maybe around 500 Hz, 400 Hz, 300 Hz, or so (depends on the size of the speaker cabinet. So if you roll up your highs, and the soffit is rolling up your lows, then you end with the exact same problem as setting a "smiley face" on a graphic equalizer! :) You don't fix the lows, and you don't fix the mids, and you make the highs shrill and strident... What you ACTUALLY need to do, is to roll of the lows with a gentle notch-filter, starting at the original baffle-step response frequency, and ending at the new baffle-step response frequency. It's a gentle curve, but you'll need a parametric EQ box to get it right, as you need to set the center frequency the Q, and the gain. You MIGHT be able to do it with a low shelving filter, carefully applied, but parametric makes it easier.

Quote:
Should be interesting anyway as a study for people with speakers without built in bass roll off.
Depending on about 14 kazillion and twenty three other factors, you might not need much roll-off at all... or you might need a massive roll-off!

Quote:
I can also use a phase linear EQ plugin if that helps.
Sort of, but not really. That only works for your DAW, not for anything else that you might have connected to your speakers, and it only works when your DAW software is running. It's no use if you are playing something form the operating system, for example, such as a YouTube video, or a DVD.... I would recommend getting a precision parametric EQ box.
Quote:
Frames: we debated whether to do 60cm (24") o.c. or 64cm which
Ahh yess! The joys of coutnries that have mixed metric and imperial products! What fun! I share your "joy". Here, drywall is metric, in sheets of 1.2m x 2.4m, mm thickness, but plywwod is imperial, in sheets of 1.22 x 2.44 in fractions of an inch... framing is 2x4, but they come in 3m lengths... I buy paint buy the gallon, but the coverage is given in square meters, and I use a 6" brush... or a 15cm roller! I get 4 inch nails, but screws are metric... ARRGHH!!!

[ RANTT MODE = OFF ]


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:48 am 
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Soundman2020 wrote:
... the baffle step response problem is something way down in the low-mids and lows. Maybe around 500 Hz, 400 Hz, 300 Hz... you'll need a parametric EQ box to get it right...you might not need much roll-off at all... or you might need a massive roll-off!

OK good to know - I know nothing about speakers.

Quote:
That only works for your DAW, not for anything else

Ah yes, good point, hadn't thought about that. Will depend on my budget though which is odd, in that I have access to a fund for the build but not for gear. I'd only need precision in my DAW, but I can see a hardware param. EQ is better. Let's cross that bridge when we come to it. Even if I saved up for an EQ, at least I could have the curve right in the DAW (Reaper).

I had an omni come out from the UK and a decibel meter - and guess what, I didn't read the fine print, it is A mode only. Not sure if that's any use at all. At least I can use a phone for a rough idea of the sound isolation achieved, if not calibration.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:03 am 
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- FWIW following the sound isolation with phone app - 47.8dbZ average at the moment (Z weighting is much like C and free on this app)
- air con is one of the most challenging stages with an inside out wall - my guy here is welding some extra copper so I could have a loop inside. Then we put the whole thing in on the empty frames to check it all fits, then took it out again. Oh and there's a big hole in the outer wall to deal with!
-silencers: covered them with more cloth so no fibreglass is touching the air. Exhaust silencer in place waiting for its top. Also bought a staple gun today to help do this and think I'll need it for the cloth stages in general.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:17 am 
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And the first inside out wall!

First pic is timber frame put into place to check it's all correct (it was! I got the measurements right!)

My builder went for the approach of putting the drywall on vertically (two layers of 12mm, caulked, staggered), having initially said he'd do it on the ground and then raise the wall up. Seemed to work ok.

I try not to interfere more than I already am (which is a lot). In fact the biggest challenge I have with all of this, is that every single tradesman I deal with thinks I'm nuts. The window man, the air con man, the electrician, my builder, the hardware store. I must say they have all come round in the end.

Hopefully there's no glaring errors here - it's tempting to not post photos in case there are, but I think if I do make mistakes, people can learn from them.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:43 am 
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every single tradesman I deal with thinks I'm nuts. The window man, the air con man, the electrician, my builder, the hardware store.
Congratulations! That makes you a 100% bona-fide, fully qualified, credentialed, official studio builder! :) (If they all though you were sane, then you'd be be doing something badly wrong! )

Quote:
My builder went for the approach of putting the drywall on vertically (two layers of 12mm, caulked, staggered)
... and then "walking" and "nudging" the wall into place? It works. That's another option, if you happen to have half a dozen strong guys around.... But I'm worried about the guy at the far end, in the red shirt: it looks like he just fell on his butt on the floor.... Did he survive? Do the doctors think he'll live? :)

Quote:
Hopefully there's no glaring errors here -
Oh no!!!! :shock: This is terrible! The othre three guys are not wearing baseball caps! Major mistake... Take it down and start again, with baseball caps.... :)

Naah, it looks fine from what I can see in the photos.

Did you caulk under the sole plate?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:58 am 
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but I can see a hardware param. EQ is better. Let's cross that bridge when we come to it.
When you are ready for that, PM me and I'll give you some pointers. I don't like doing that on-line, as too many people try to do this without understand what they are doing, and make things worse. There's a set of criteria that your room needs to meet first. I'll be happy to walk you through that, including getting the right box, and setting it up right, and tweaking it right... then you can show your results here!

Quote:
I had an omni come out from the UK and a decibel meter - and guess what, I didn't read the fine print, it is A mode only. Not sure if that's any use at all. At least I can use a phone for a rough idea of the sound isolation achieved, if not calibration
This might be worth trying: We'll assume that your "A-only" meter is calibrated, so you can use that to roughly calibrate your phone app. Play pink noise on one full-range speaker, measuring exactly 1m away, on axis, and carefully adjusting the level until you get 75 dBA on your hand-held meter, then use the calibration function of your Phone app to adjust the sensitivity such that it matches the handheld. Try a couple of different levels on the speaker (Eg, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85), and check that they all match on both meters. It won't be perfect by any means, but it should be sort of close.

Quote:
- FWIW following the sound isolation with phone app - 47.8dbZ average at the moment (Z weighting is much like C and free on this app)
"Z" is flat. It's not quite the same as C, but still useful.

So what are we seeing in that photo? Is that a reading taken inside the room? What was the level outside at the same moment?
Quote:
my guy here is welding some extra copper so I could have a loop inside
Hopefully he used the correct type of pipe and fittings? That's pretty high pressure refrigerant gas flowing inside there... normal water pipe fittings are not the right choice.... I'm sure you know that, but just checking that he is using ONLY stuff that is meant for HVAC piping?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:01 am 
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Putting the ceiling up. It was fine to slot this over the top because I have the extra space at the back of the room. If I was doing an inside-out ceiling that filled the room, I'd consider the panel approach that John mentions somewhere which is to put the frame up and then slot little panels with a thinner timber frame into place from below. Having said that, you could probably get most of a ceiling up using this method without extra space by lifting at an angle and rotating.

Attachment:
ceiling up.jpg


Putting in the OC703 equivalent everywhere bar the corners - it is staying in place just by its own rigidity. They did have to shave some bits off to fit between the 60cm o.c. studs. I'm sorry I haven't done a REW before putting in fibreglass - my audio interface was stolen and my new one hasn't come yet.

Attachment:
ceilings.jpg


The builders left a hobbit hole in the rear two walls. Now I know this probably not ideal, in terms of staggering the two layers of drywall.

Attachment:
hobbit hole.jpg


Now I see vents where I never noticed them before! This is in Cape Town airport.

Attachment:
airport vents.jpg


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:18 am 
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Quote:
Congratulations! That makes you a 100% bona-fide, fully qualified, credentialed, official studio builder!

Thanks!

Quote:
Did you caulk under the sole plate?

Today they caulked everywhere and I kept finding hidden joins hiding behind studs to add to the list

Quote:
(Re parametric EQ) When you are ready for that, PM me and I'll give you some pointers.

OK

Quote:
assume that your "A-only" meter is calibrated, so you can use that to roughly calibrate your phone app. Play pink noise on one full-range speaker, measuring exactly 1m away, on axis, and carefully adjusting the level until you get 75 dBA on your hand-held meter, then use the calibration function of your Phone app to adjust the sensitivity such that it matches the handheld.

Great idea. I'm interested in how pink noise affects the readings of A vs C weightings? I think I can understand (from e.g. here http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-dba-spl.htm) that a 1 kHz tone would be equal on A and C readings, but a 100 Hz tone would be much lower on A than C - so in that sense the main problem with an A meter is that it somewhat disregards the lower frequencies. But how does it work when you've got pink noise with equal energy per octave? Would it not maybe be better to calibrate with a 1kHz tone?

Quote:
So what are we seeing in that photo? Is that a reading taken inside the room? What was the level outside at the same moment?

Yes - I hadn't thought of this. Doing a relative reading - i.e. reduction from outside to inside on any particular device - also bypasses some of the problems of not having perfect measuring equipment.

Quote:
just checking that he is using ONLY stuff that is meant for HVAC piping?

Yes

The main question I have now is around plastic sheeting and slats. I think I should cover everything with plastic, bar the first reflection points and bar the areas that will be slat resonators. Does that sound right? I've seen photos where it seems like John covers everything with plastic, particularly the ceiling, but maybe that is in rooms where the shape is designed to have no first reflections at all. I would prefer to cover the whole ceiling if I could.

And then how to know how many slats resonators to use? Does it depend on the REW tests to be done first? I will run REW as soon as I can.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:14 am 
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Great idea. I'm interested in how pink noise affects the readings of A vs C weightings?
I neglected to explain clearly! What I meant to say was that set your phone app to "A" weighting, just like your meter is, then calibrate like that. After it is calibrated, switch to back to "C" for the actual readings. I forgot to mention that step! If you don't do that, then you are correct: you would not be able to calibrate using the same sound but different weighting scales. Both meters must be on the same weighting to do this.

Quote:
The main question I have now is around plastic sheeting and slats. I think I should cover everything with plastic,
Inside-out is your friend, and plastic is your friend, but you need to use both of them intelligently!

With inside-out construction, the room will sound very dead, dull, lifeless, and you will slowly correct that with your treatment plan, as you progress. Plastic reflects back highs without touching lows, so if you covered most of the room in plastic, you'd have a very bright, shrill, hissy, room. Not what you want. You want it balanced. In addition, different types of plastic reflect different frequency ranges: the thicker it is, the lower it goes. Very thick plastic reflects well down into the lower end of the mid range, while very thin plastic only touches the higher end of the highs. So you have a tool that you can use to tune the mids and highs nicely, by varying the coverage, and the thickness of the plastic. The more area you cover, the more reflections you get, and the thicker it is, the lower it goes....

Quote:
And then how to know how many slats resonators to use? Does it depend on the REW tests to be done first? I will run REW as soon as I can.
It depends on LOTS of things! But yes, REW will help.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:54 am 
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set your phone app to "A" weighting, just like your meter is, then calibrate like that.

Ah yes, got you.

Quote:
Inside-out is your friend, and plastic is your friend, but you need to use both of them intelligently!

If I did cover the whole ceiling, would that already be too much? And should I avoid covering the first reflection point between head and speaker position? Because I'd like to cover the whole ceiling in a thin plastic - would make me feel good about the impossibility of glass fibers coming down through the cloth.

Quote:
the room will sound very dead

Yes! I was just in there doing some tests on the noise floors of my video gear (Canon DSLR vs Zoom H1), and bearing in mind one silencer is not yet in place and there's still a hole in the back wall, even so when no car was going past it was quite freaky and I could hear a loud buzzing inside my head at times that I knew was not in the room. Having read that too dead is fatiguing and anechoic can make you mad, I was actually freaking out a bit! So yes, I definitely want to liven it up a bit in there.

Quote:
You want it balanced. In addition, different types of plastic reflect different frequency ranges: the thicker it is, the lower it goes.


I have found it hard to find things here and I doubt I will have much choice of thickness, but I will look around. I think it may be just a case of not covering everything, or possibly using two thicknesses if needed.

Quote:
It depends on LOTS of things! But yes, REW will help.

Will definitely get REW going as soon as my interface gets here.


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