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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:29 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 10:40 am
Posts: 81
Location: Hamilton, Canada
Hi there!

I'm in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada (near Toronto). Currently, I have a control room that is very small and treated as much as physically possible. (haha) I also have a rec room at the other side of my basement that I use as a "live" room, particularly because my control room is so small. It is my hope to make my "live" room a better acoustic space where I could get away with recording acoustic guitar and vocals, as getting two people, two mic stands, two chairs and an acoustic guitar in the control room gets a little cozy.

I have attached a sketchup file showing the existing layout. You can see the one end is where the drum set is set up, and the other end serves as a family rec room space. I have some flexibility in moving things around, but not that much, as you can see. I have also laid out where the electrical outlets are and the cold air returns.

Volume isn't really an issue, as I'm not looking to soundproof it... just to make it a better space for recording, but it can get fairly loud in there with the drums.

The room itself is in a basement, meaning the floor is concrete. I have vinyl roll flooring on the floor. The walls around the perimeter of the room (minus the wall with the door and the TV stand) are exterior walls, meaning that there is concrete foundation going from the floor to about five feet. The walls are 2x4 wood studs with either painted wood paneling (on the foundation walls) or drywall (the closet, and the build-out that goes around the block support pillar that contains the built-in bookcase.)

The ceiling is drywall, and being a basement, has odd shapes and stuff to allow for duct-work, plumbing, etc. I have included the shaping of the ceiling in the sketchup. One tricky consideration is that it is a low ceiling - less than 7ft high at the best of times, down to just barely over 6ft high through a slab across the middle that contains the ductwork.

In general terms, the room is 20ft x 11.5ft.

There is a doorway, but no physical door. The closet does have a bifold door.

I have built corner traps in my control room using wedges of Roxul Safe and Sound, and broadband absorbers (4" thick using 703 equivalent semi-rigid fiberglass), so I am prepared to spend the money and have the skills to build these things. It is also within my budget to buy a rug to cover part of the floor.

There are a few obvious places for corner traps (the corners on either side of the window by the futon, and the TV stand), and I figure I'll probably have to suck it up and put one in the corner beside the drums and the book-case (though I currently have a PA wedge and a small PA amp there that I'm not sure where else I'd put...). The other vertical corners are otherwise out of the question as they either have electrical outlets (shown in the sketchup), or cold air returns.

Given the height of the room, the configuration of the ceiling, placement of windows, the door, the one large (can't really be moved) book-case, etc., trapping in the horizontal plane will be difficult at best.

I do have a reasonable amount of wall space where I can put up broadband absorbers.

So, to my questions, then....

What is my best bet for making this a usable space for recording acoustic guitar and vocals (and drums) without it sounding boxy? (drums aren't really an issue, since everything except the overheads are close-miked, and my overheads actually come off sounding reasonably okay).

How much treatment do I need in a room this size?

Could I get away with two corner traps at the far end from the drums, and maybe a portable solution like moving blankets (the 7lb ones) that could be hung in the "drum end" of the room and taken down? (or is there even much point in putting corner traps all the way down there?)

Or should I skip the moving blankets altogether and make a few (how many, how big) broadband traps placed strategically throughout the room? (where?)

Thanks!
Chris

PS. I tried to attach the sketchup file, but it is too big, so I am linking it to my google drive.
http://bit.ly/2oE9bYR


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 10:40 am
Posts: 81
Location: Hamilton, Canada
Just a quick add here....

Each of the four perimeter walls are filled with Roxul mineral wool.

Clarification: None of the walls are currently concrete foundation. The three foundation walls are covered with wood panelling attached to 2x4 framing, filled with Roxul mineral wool. (Safe'n'Sound, if I recall correctly)

I've been doing a lot of reading on the forum here and the overwhelming majority of the opinions here are favouring putting absorption on the ceiling over placing an area rug. The cloud in my control room is 4" of OC703 (similar, not the actual product) glued to a half-inch sheet of plywood, wrapped in 6mil vapour barrier, and then wrapped again in porous black cloth.

The recommendations for absorption on the ceiling in a tracking room seems to be mineral wool. Is that correct? Would I just get some plywood or mdf to make a frame, load it with mineral wool, wrap it in vapour barrier to keep it together, and then wrap in porous fabric to make it look nice? And mount it flush with the ceiling as opposed to suspending it a few inches like I did with the control room cloud?

I can get away with 4" of absorption in the area over the drums, up until the lowered section of the ceiling that contains the duct-work. (Already barely over 6" high). Would adding absorption on the other side of the ceiling (the other side of the ductwork, over the futon and the TV stand) be of much purpose if I intend to record vocals and acoustic guitar on the "drum" side of the room?

Thanks!
Chris


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