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 Post subject: Detached listening room
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:33 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:00 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Los Angeles, USA
I am researching a project. I'd like to have an excellent room for listening to two channel music. There's no good space in my house for this so I am considering building a detached room on my property. This would be a single room with a stereo and a chair. No kitchen, no bathroom. I'm not familiar with recording studios, but my research is suggesting that a good solution for this project is a studio control room without a desk.

I live in a quiet residential neighborhood. I measured ~50db (C weight / slow) on my property in the evening. I'd like to listen to music up to 110 db. My nearest neighbor is ~150 feet from the build location.

I'd like the room to be 500 - 700 square feet with a 14 foot ceiling, no windows, and a single door.

My budget for the completed building, excluding audio equipment and acoustic treatments, is $75,000 US.

Q1: Is the studio control room design a good solution for my project?

Q2: How do I select the interior dimensions? I see 1 : 1.4 : 1.9 suggested which would yield 14 foot : 19.6 foot : 26.6 foot. But how do I choose the ratio?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:17 am
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Location: Santiago, Chile
Hi Brayden, and welcome to the forum! :)

Quote:
This would be a single room with a stereo and a chair. No kitchen, no bathroom. I'm not familiar with recording studios, but my research is suggesting that a good solution for this project is a studio control room without a desk.
So this is really an audiophile listening room? Just for you to enjoy your music, but not to actual make music, or mix music. Is that correct? If so, then yes: your basic assumption is correct. A control room and an audiophile listening room have a lot in common, and are very similar in concept. The goals are roughly the same.

Quote:
I live in a quiet residential neighborhood. I measured ~50db (C weight / slow) on my property in the evening. I'd like to listen to music up to 110 db
110 dBC is pretty loud! It's not recommended to listen to music that loud, as it can cause irreversible hearing damage. It's OK for short bursts, of course, but for long term listening, the recommendation is to not exceed 85 dBA. With typical contemporary music, that could be up to about 95 dBC.

But anyway, let's assume your peak level is 110 dBC, and your ambient level is 50 dBC: So you'd need at least 60 dB of isolation. That is achievable for a home studio (or home listening room, in your case: same basic concept).

Quote:
I'd like the room to be 500 - 700 square feet with a 14 foot ceiling, no windows, and a single door.
That's pretty large for just a single listening room. The specifications for a critical listening room state that the floor area should be between 220 ft2 and 650 ft2, with the optimum being around 400-450. Unless you really need that extra space for some other purpose, I would suggest not making it larger tan 500 ft2, tops.

(If you are interested, you can find those specs by googling the document ITU BS.1116-3. You only need to refer to chapters 7 and 8 of that, as the others are not relevant to what you are doing. If your room ends up meeting those specs, then it is as good as it possibly can be. Here's an example of such a room, but in this case it is a control room, not a listening room: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=20471 )

Quote:
My budget for the completed building, excluding audio equipment and acoustic treatments, is $75,000 US.
That's probably about right, for a ground-up build in LA, for a 500 ft2 building. That's US$ 150 per square foot, which is in the ball park. You want a higher-the-normal ceiling, so the cost might be a little higher than that, but not too far off.

Quote:
Q1: Is the studio control room design a good solution for my project?
It's basically the same, yes. Technically, this type of room is referred to as a "critical listening room", and both studio control rooms as well as high-end audiophile listening rooms fit into that category. There will be some differences, especially if you are planning to use high-end audiophile speakers, rather than studio reference monitor, as those speakers can have different needs. But the basic concepts are similar.

Quote:
Q2: How do I select the interior dimensions? I see 1 : 1.4 : 1.9 suggested which would yield 14 foot : 19.6 foot : 26.6 foot. But how do I choose the ratio?
There are several different ratios. The one you mention is just one of many good ones. You can use one of these Room Ratio calculators to figure out the best dimensions for your room:

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

http://amroc.andymel.eu/

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.

The basic concept is to find a ratio that makes sense physically and aesthetically, and also performs well acoustically. Room ratios are related to modal response, and the idea is to get the modes spread out as evenly as possible across the low end of the spectrum. With 500 ft2 of floor area to play with and high ceilings, you should have several good options.

However, designing a critical listening room is not just about ratios: that's just one of many aspects that you need to take into account when designing your room. Sometimes people get way too hooked up on trying to find the "perfect" ratio for their room, and get "perfect" modal response, but that simply is not possible: there is no such thing as a perfect ratio: just good ones, and not-so-good ones. So try to choose a set of dimensions that is close to one of the good ones, far away form the not-so-good ones, and that's all you really need to worry about, in relation to ratios. There are many other things you'll need to worry about, in addition to that! Building an audiophile room is no easy task...

- Stuart -

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