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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 10:03 am 
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Hello, all.

First time poster here. Man, you guys are incredible! I've learned SO much in the past month, reading through these threads. Thank you SO much! And a special "hats off" to the tireless moderators.

But here's the problem - Did you all notice the phrase, "the past month?" You see, I'm not an acoustical engeneer. I just want to make music. But I have become a victim of a pretty serious case of analysis paralysis. But I think I'm getting close to a solution that fits my budget and my mediocre carpentry skills. So, I'd really appreciate some insight from you experts, before I decide to just wrap myself in muslin and stand in the corner!

So here's the deal:

New house. Below (hopefully) is a crude mock-up of the mix/control room and the vocal booth. The vocal booth is under the stairs, hence the sloped ceiling. The other door opens up to a decent-sized "great room" (25' X 21'), which could easily fit a band... someday... maybe... But, if I try to think about THAT as well, I think my head will explode.

Image

I'm prepared to buy as much 4" Fibrex as needed. I can get 2' X 4", 4 lb. density for $7.20/sheet, and 2' X 4', 8 lb. density for $8.64/sheet. (I THINK that's good, right?)

There's no way I'm capable of building slats and Helmholtzes and whatnot, so I think I'm leaning toward a variation of the Studiotips SuperChunk. It is not my desire to overwhelm anyone, so I will number my questions. Feel free to answer as much or as little as you wish.

(I plan to cut 4 triangles from each 2' X 4' panel)

1. Is there any benefit to spacing out the triangles, other than cost-savings? Wouldn't this provide more surface area? Say, 4 triangles per 4' panel? Or maybe leave 4" gaps between triangles (6 triangles per 4' panel)?

2. I've learned from this forum that denser material absorbs more bass, but may reflect highs, so what if I used 8 lb. for the triangles and 4 lb. for the face?

3. Is it o.k. to glue the face directly to the triangles? I read somewhere that it should not touch the insulation behind it, but that was involving a sealed slat/slot thing.

4. Since I don't wish to glue anything directly to the walls and ceiling, I plan on attaching 1" X 2" firing strips length-wise (perpendicular to the triangles), one strip for each of the equilateral sides, thereby providing one contact point on each side, and placing the triangles 1" away from the wall and ceiling. Is this 1" helpful?

5. And lastly (for now), after all is said and done, is THISbetter than any of the above? (Using just fabric instead of slats, and using 4 lb. on the face and 8 lb. behind that, leaving a 2" or 3" air gap?)

Man, I'm exhausted! And all I did was write the QUESTIONS!!!

Thanks, all!

rich

(I may not be able to return here for 24 hours or so)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 5:42 am 
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1. Is there any benefit to spacing out the triangles, other than cost-savings? Wouldn't this provide more surface area? Say, 4 triangles per 4' panel? Or maybe leave 4" gaps between triangles (6 triangles per 4' panel)?

I don't think anyone's ever done that and reported back; but for LF absorption, it would LESSEN the effect since only half the face would be absorbent to lows.

2. I've learned from this forum that denser material absorbs more bass, but may reflect highs, so what if I used 8 lb. for the triangles and 4 lb. for the face?

4 lbs is already kinda high for any but direct incidence - I'd stick with straight 4 lb if that's your two choices.

3. Is it o.k. to glue the face directly to the triangles? I read somewhere that it should not touch the insulation behind it, but that was involving a sealed slat/slot thing.

Only problem with glue would be if it's a continuous (or even majority) layer when dry; then it would form a membrane and restrict mid/high absorption.

4. Since I don't wish to glue anything directly to the walls and ceiling, I plan on attaching 1" X 2" firing strips length-wise (perpendicular to the triangles), one strip for each of the equilateral sides, thereby providing one contact point on each side, and placing the triangles 1" away from the wall and ceiling. Is this 1" helpful?

Unlikely to be noticeable - consider its magnitude compared to the rest of the absorber.

5. And lastly (for now), after all is said and done, is THIS better than any of the above? (Using just fabric instead of slats, and using 4 lb. on the face and 8 lb. behind that, leaving a 2" or 3" air gap?)

Not that much difference - placement would be the same, you're only using straight absorption instead of some helmholtz and some absorption. The main difference would be that using slats will keep the room brighter. IF that's what you want, try wrapping your 4 lb stuff in light painters plastic dropcloths (about 1/2 mil or so) - this will absorb less highs. Not exactly the SAME result as slats, but similar... Steve

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Soooo, when a Musician dies, do they hear the white noise at the end of the tunnel??!? Hmmmm...


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 8:27 am 
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I'm definitely not the "acoustics" guy around here... But most of the room designs I have seen have had the room rotated 90 degrees.

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"Converting a garage into living space requires a city permit . . . homeowners insurance won't cover a structure that's been changed without a building permit . . ." --Sacramento Bee, May 27, 2006


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 3:40 pm 
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I'm new hear but completely agree Sharward on turning the room 90 degrees. How I wanted to face the long wall in my room, I did an extensive search of all studio designs on this forum, and www.johnslayers.com and only found one (I think) that faces the long wall:

http://www.johnlsayers.com/Studio/Mainpage/MP-Funky.htm

The only other was... I can't remember the thread but someone posted a design facing the long wall in a control room and John's comment (I believe 1st comment) was to turn the room 90 degrees... and it got turned.

Marc

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As of Jun 2011, have not finished studio. But working as The One Man Band Marc Dobson which hopefully will continue up my career to a point where I can afford to finish my build.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:37 pm 
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WSDG does lots of CR's facing the long wall; difference is, these rooms are bigger than most of our entire studios (all rooms together) - in these cases, there is enough distance the short way NOT to cause early reflection problems, PLUS the reflection path to side walls becomes long enough NOT to require "mirror" treatments for THOSE early reflections (reflection path more than 20 feet longer than direct sound path)... Steve

Good catch, Keith; can you recommend a good "gator gun"? think I've shot the barrel out of my .44 mag, and the bastards still keep comin... :evil:

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Soooo, when a Musician dies, do they hear the white noise at the end of the tunnel??!? Hmmmm...


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 8:58 am 
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OK, I'm back. Sorry, life got a bit distracting. Thanks for the feedback guys.

Steve- I'm sorry. I guess I still don't get it. Apparently both the Fibrex AND I are too dense. I thought bass trapping was all about mass, mass, mass. I just thought the denser the better. Sure, I have other choices. I can go with the good old 703.

However, I just found out that the Fibrex I had looked at in the store (and mentioned in my post) was NOT the Fibrex I saw on their website. Turns out the store had the industrial board. What I wanted was the Sound Attenuation Fire Batt (SAFB). The figures on the 4" look fantastic. And the density is 2.5 lbs. That's good, right?

125Hz 0.97
250Hz 1.28
500Hz 1.25
1k 1.10
2k 1.10
4k 1.09
NRC 1.20

1. So, does this 4" SAFB sound like a good choice?

2. Are traps only necessary where the back wall meets the ceiling, and the 2 rear vertical corners? Are traps really necessary where the side walls meet the ceiling? And how about where the front wall meets the ceiling, and the 2 front vertical corners?

3. And one last alternate method: What about tightly rolling up a 2 X 4 sheet, wrapping in plastic, and hanging in the corner with straps, then covering with a face made of another 2 X 4 panel?
Image

4. Or is filling the corners with cut triangles (no gaps) the best way to go? OR... is merely mounting a panel across the corner really good enough? Is filling in the corners just overkill?

5. And considering the dimensions of the room, do you guys REALLY think it will make a big difference if I position myself lengthwise? Really??? After all, I'm going to put 4" panels on the rear wall as well. I'll do it if you guys really feel strongly about it. But I'd really rather not.

Thanks again, guys.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 9:30 am 
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1. So, does this 4" SAFB sound like a good choice?

Yup.

2. Are traps only necessary where the back wall meets the ceiling, and the 2 rear vertical corners? Are traps really necessary where the side walls meet the ceiling? And how about where the front wall meets the ceiling, and the 2 front vertical corners?

Smaller the room, the worse your modes will treat you. Yours has two nearly identical dimensions, so will need more treatment to get closer to flat response.

A start for ALL smaller rooms is doing all vertical corners, front behind speakers, first reflection points on side walls and ceiling, and heavy absorption to the rear of the mix position. Wall-ceiling corners are next if this doesn't finish the job of flat response.

3. And one last alternate method: What about tightly rolling up a 2 X 4 sheet, wrapping in plastic, and hanging in the corner with straps, then covering with a face made of another 2 X 4 panel?

Best is a complete fill, ala Superchunks; next best would be a second thickness right behind the diagonal outer layer of absorption. Last would be a single layer of 4" - less than that and you may or may not even hear the difference.

4. Or is filling the corners with cut triangles (no gaps) the best way to go? OR... is merely mounting a panel across the corner really good enough? Is filling in the corners just overkill?

See above.

5. And considering the dimensions of the room, do you guys REALLY think it will make a big difference if I position myself lengthwise? Really??? After all, I'm going to put 4" panels on the rear wall as well. I'll do it if you guys really feel strongly about it. But I'd really rather not.

Yes, I do; for one thing, the narrow dimension is likely to put you exactly centered between walls, in an UNNECESSARY null/peak area. Rotating 90 degrees solves that problem. It also creates another one, that of the window; you will probably need a movable absorber for the window during mixdowns.

The only null/peak zone you have little choice in is the left/right one - anything else and stereo imaging goes funky. Other than that, you should NOT be in either peak or null positions for any harmonic of any room mode.

I can see why you're hesitant, for one thing the window; for another, the couch would need to be forward enough to clear the door. The good news is, this will probably put the couch in a better spot for listening than against the wall anyway - less bass perhaps, but better overall balance of sound... Steve

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Soooo, when a Musician dies, do they hear the white noise at the end of the tunnel??!? Hmmmm...


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 11:29 am 
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Thanks, Steve. You've convinced me. 90 degrees it is.

So, regarding the window, do you think it is ok to place 4" panels starting on the 3'-4" high sill, and going as high as 7'? That would allow for the top window pane to be uncovered, letting in some light.

(My speaker stands are 43", and I use Mackie HR824s. Also, I may set the speakers on a 4" piece of SAFB. Of course, I'll have to angle them downward a bit.)

And speaking of windows, have you ever heard of soundproofwindows.com? You keep your old window. These mount flush with the wall, using the window cavity as air space. Any opinions? The one window will run me just under $700.

Oh, and the new rear wall seems to have its challenges, also. I'll have to mount a 4" panel on the back side of the door, and it looks like I'll have to have the door closed whenever I'm mixing. Also, maybe I shouldn't install a window there. That would sacrifice the space for a much needed panel, right?

And I guess I'll need to use a moveable trap for the one rear corner, since it will block the entrance to the vocal booth.

Man, it's always something...


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 8:56 pm 
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So, regarding the window, do you think it is ok to place 4" panels starting on the 3'-4" high sill, and going as high as 7'? That would allow for the top window pane to be uncovered, letting in some light.

Should work fine.

(My speaker stands are 43", and I use Mackie HR824s. Also, I may set the speakers on a 4" piece of SAFB. Of course, I'll have to angle them downward a bit.)

Keep center of woofers away from half your ceiling height;

And speaking of windows, have you ever heard of soundproofwindows.com? You keep your old window. These mount flush with the wall, using the window cavity as air space. Any opinions? The one window will run me just under $700.

Heard of 'em, checked out their site, not totally impressed with their suggestions or prices. You should be able to put another, identical window to the one that's there in the same location (maximum air gap) and get similar results for a LOT less $$$.

Oh, and the new rear wall seems to have its challenges, also. I'll have to mount a 4" panel on the back side of the door, and it looks like I'll have to have the door closed whenever I'm mixing. Also, maybe I shouldn't install a window there. That would sacrifice the space for a much needed panel, right?

Unless you want to build a PORTABLE panel, just move it into place while mixing; advantage there is if you don't put a solid back on the panel, you can "tune" the amount of low end trapping by how far way from the wall you place the panel... Steve

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Soooo, when a Musician dies, do they hear the white noise at the end of the tunnel??!? Hmmmm...


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 7:33 pm 
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Thanks so much, Steve. I think I finally have a plan. Can't wait to get started.

And yet another question. I'll be hanging clouds (4" SAFB), covering the majority of the ceiling. Should I angle the cloud, or is that concept just for a reflective surface? I would think it's not necessary, since it's an absorptive surface anyway.

Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:36 pm 
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Steve, I'm sorry, but I'll have to ask again. Should I angle the cloud? Or is that unnecessary, since it is an absorptive surface anyway?

As I get started, I'd love to give back to this forum since I've taken so much. So, I would like to post photos as I progress. I think I'm coming at this at an angle that may ring true with folks who are musicians more than they are acoustics experts.

Funny, I spoke with an engineer here in Nashville, and he mentioned a handful of very prominent studios here, and said they all sounded "bad." He said, "Just play a few of your favorite CDs, and adapt." He also advised that I stop obsessing, put some insulation up, and start making music.

Wise words, indeed.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:09 pm 
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Yes they are wise words; and no, you don't need to angle your cloud. Just make it thick (2" is absolute minimum, 4" if you can) and space it away from the ceiing by a few inches. Center it between a line from speaker to speaker and your head. Play some CD's and listen 8)

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Soooo, when a Musician dies, do they hear the white noise at the end of the tunnel??!? Hmmmm...


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:58 pm 
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Well, for the past few months, I've done nothing but sit and stare and think and scribble and sit and stare and think some more. I had absolutely no idea where to begin. I knew absolutely nothing about room acoustics.

I'm so glad I stumbled onto this forum. (I must have googled something or other...) Steve, thanks to you and this forum, today's the day that I take "that thar screw gun" and start makin' a mess!

Cover me boys, I'm goin' in. Yee...Ha!!!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 5:55 am 
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Take no prisoners... :twisted:

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Soooo, when a Musician dies, do they hear the white noise at the end of the tunnel??!? Hmmmm...


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 5:19 am 
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OK, so no screw gun yet. But I'm glad I thought about things a bit more. Saves me from ripping stuff out later.

Steve, in your first reply to me, you mentioned about wrapping plastic around the traps. But back then, we were talking about the 4lb density stuff. Does this still apply to the 2.5lb stuff also?

And if so, do I need to completely WRAP the traps with the plastic, or can I just stretch plastic over the face of it? That won't have any adverse affects like a drum head, will it?

Also, now I'm thinking about framing the traps with, say, 1' X 3" pine, with the 3" sides facing the room. The 3" won't cause any reflection problems, will it?

(This frame is what I was thinking of stapling the plastic to, by the way)

Thanks.


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