Music Player Network Home Guitar Player Magazine Keyboard Magazine Bass Player Magazine EQ Magazine
Topic Options
#1657523 - 04/29/06 02:56 PM new house: chance for a little studio, can you help me out?
Michiel Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/09/01
Posts: 434
Loc: NETHERLANDS
Hi guys,

Normally I poat at the keyboard corner, but I think it is logical to post this question here.
Thanks very much.

In a few weeks I will move in my new house, and finally have a chance to have my own little studio.

Although it's not a big room, I want to do the job right when it comes to acoustics. The main purpose for the studio is to record high quality demo's of my compositions. (mainly softsynths, guitar and vocals)

I have always been a noob in science class and all the info on the net drives me crazy. I really tried to do my homework but the one thing that bothers me the most, is that a lot of advice found on one site contradicts info found on another site.

Can you help me out? I will present my question as clear as I can.

First the facts:

1. I want to use the studio mostly for playing in parts via synth. The only thing I want to capture with a mic is vocals. So the studio is used a a control room and a room for recoring vocals. I like my vocals with out reverb but I really don't want them to sound dead (is this the rigth woprd for it, I mean I don't want to hear it is a dempened room)

2. I would like to work behind my board facing the front window. I haven't bought (good) monitors yet, so monitor wise I'm flexible.
I dont' mind sitting in the front or in the back of the room.

3. As you can see in the picture, all the walls and even the roof are not symmetrical to each other. That's a good thing isn't it?


The questions:

1. What should I use on the floor. Do I have to use carpet, or can I use wood an lay a few little carpets on it?

2. Do i need absorbers and diffusers. Where should I put them?

3. Where should I place my microphone?

4. Anything else I should think about?


Picture of the room:

http://www.kodakgallery.com/PhotoView.js...avfolderid=2006

Top
#1657524 - 04/29/06 04:09 PM Re: new house: chance for a little studio, can you help me out?
Michiel Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/09/01
Posts: 434
Loc: NETHERLANDS

Top
#1657525 - 04/30/06 01:15 AM Re: new house: chance for a little studio, can you help me out?
JWL Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/11/04
Posts: 269
Loc: Portland, Maine
hi michiel,

Neither link works for me. So I don't know the specifics of your room.

I'd read Ethan's acoustics FAQ.

The things you want to do in this room, is make it sound good to mix in. You want to be inspired by how good it sounds when you are mixing or playing synth. This will most likely require sufficient bass trapping, as well as creating a RFZ in the listening position (see the FAQ).

As far as vocals, don't be afraid of dead. I'd rather record in a dead room than in a "live" room that sounds bad. If you record in a well treated room or booth, the "dead" sound actually makes the voice track (or whatever else) sound more "in focus." You can then add ambience using a variety of techniques.

If you don't want to build a good vocal booth, I'd consider having some moveable gobo panels that you can set up around the singer to control the sound. You can build gobos and make them reversible, one side absorptive and the other reflective.
_________________________
The Acoustic Treatment Experts

Top
#1657526 - 04/30/06 05:25 AM Re: new house: chance for a little studio, can you help me out?
Michiel Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/09/01
Posts: 434
Loc: NETHERLANDS
Thanks Jwl!

I'll email the picture to you.

Thanks for the advice

Top
#1657527 - 04/30/06 08:30 AM Re: new house: chance for a little studio, can you help me out?
JWL Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/11/04
Posts: 269
Loc: Portland, Maine
Hi michiel, I saw your picture. If I'm reading it correctly, your room is a 4.3m square. It also looks like you might be doing some construction to make it that size. If so, I'd reconsider, a square is the worst possible shape for a studio room because the room modes for each dimension are the same, and reinforce one another, making the acoustic problems of a small room even worse.

If you will be adding walls to make it this size, I'd consider angling one of the walls to reduce flutter echo and parallel reflections, and I'd place the wall such that it isn't the same distance from the opposite wall as the other 2 walls.

Don't worry so much about the stairwell. You will have bigger issues.

For virtually any small room, and even more so for one that is a square, you are going to need LOTS of bass trapping to control room modes, which will be particularly bad in a square room.

Regardless, you are going to want to load up on rockwool, rigid fiberglass, or acoustic cotton. It is my understanding that rockwool is easiest to get in Europe.

You are going to want to line each corner with rockwool, either with 2'x4' panels at least 4" thick, or even better by using something like the Studiotips Superchunks method to increase the low-end absorption. Either with panels straddling the corners, or with the superchunks, you will want to line EVERY corner, both wall-wall corner and wall-ceiling corner. Maybe even wall-floor corners too, if you can get away with it. Note that using superchunks implies that you'll need much more rockwool; you don't want to go superchunks for some of the corners at the expense of coverage area.

Finally, use some leftover panels to create your RFZ.
_________________________
The Acoustic Treatment Experts

Top
#1657528 - 04/30/06 08:32 AM Re: new house: chance for a little studio, can you help me out?
JWL Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/11/04
Posts: 269
Loc: Portland, Maine
I just looked at your room more closely, and I now see that it isn't exactly square, one of the walls is already angled, and the room is 4.3m x 4.3m x 4.3m x 4m. That's better than a perfect square, but it's close enough to a square that you are still gonna have problems. If at all possible, I'd place the wall in a different spot. If the wall is already installed, then just live with it, and buy LOTS of rockwool.
_________________________
The Acoustic Treatment Experts

Top
#1657529 - 04/30/06 08:44 AM Re: new house: chance for a little studio, can you help me out?
Michiel Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/09/01
Posts: 434
Loc: NETHERLANDS
Jwl,

Have you noticed that the back of the room is 4 metres and the front 4.3?
The house is buils with a-symmetrical walls. Does that change anithing regarding you advice.

The closet is already build in by the previous owner. He made an closet to hide the centreal heating system. (yes I know that, makes some noise to, but I have to liver with that. During recordings, I'll shut down the heating).

The heating system are 2small boxes in the closet in the picture.

Can I say It's better to make a smaller closet around the central heating?

thanks for your advice, appreciate it!

Top
#1657530 - 04/30/06 08:49 AM Re: new house: chance for a little studio, can you help me out?
Michiel Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/09/01
Posts: 434
Loc: NETHERLANDS
Posted at the same time :-)

Top
#1657531 - 04/30/06 08:51 AM Re: new house: chance for a little studio, can you help me out?
JWL Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/11/04
Posts: 269
Loc: Portland, Maine
I don't think the closet will be much of a problem. I'd worry about the wall opposite the closet, and its dimension. Like I said, if you are going to be installing the wall, you may as well install it in the most beneficial place.

The angles you show are good, if a bit slight; they will tend to reduce flutter echo.

And just to belabor the point, all this is just nitpicking, really. No matter what you do, in a room that size you will need LOTS of bass trapping in the corners. Period.
_________________________
The Acoustic Treatment Experts

Top
#1657532 - 04/30/06 08:57 AM Re: new house: chance for a little studio, can you help me out?
Michiel Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/09/01
Posts: 434
Loc: NETHERLANDS
Jwl

The wall's you see are the outer walls of the house. (It's a room on top of the house) SO I can't really change anthing.

A good thing to mention is that the ceiling also is slightly asymmetrical to the floor.

When do you recon I can best place a mic for vocals?

Top
#1657533 - 04/30/06 11:59 AM Re: new house: chance for a little studio, can you help me out?
Michiel Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/09/01
Posts: 434
Loc: NETHERLANDS
Just read the eq-magazine article from Ethan.

I was amazed about the very clear and understandable explanation. Being a teacher I appreciate this a lot.

Thanks Ethan

Top
#1657534 - 04/30/06 01:52 PM Re: new house: chance for a little studio, can you help me out?
JWL Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/11/04
Posts: 269
Loc: Portland, Maine
I agree, Ethan's articles are extremely helpful.

To find the best spot in the room to record vocals, I recommend having the singer walk around the room, singing as loudly as possible. There will be a spot in the room where it just sounds better, the voice will be fuller, and the room will seem to come alive.

Find that spot, place the singer there, and mic him up.

I'd also consider building some gobos that you can place around the singer to help control the sound a bit more.
_________________________
The Acoustic Treatment Experts

Top


Moderator:  Ethan Winer