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#2287043 - 03/28/11 07:39 PM Ideal recording studio floor plans and acoustics...
Red1 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/28/11
Posts: 5
Hello. This is my first time at this forum and this will be my first post.

Now, I have been thinking about building a house in the countryside a few years from now and putting an attachable recording studio alongside it. In the meantime, I have been amateurishly designing the floor plans. It will have a main studio room, a control room and a separate mastering suite. I have been told that in designing the studio room, it is the best idea to have non-parallel walls and/or angled ceilings, so as to keep the sound from reflecting off of one another. I also know, of course, that it is absolutely necessary to acoustically treat a recording studio as well. So with all of this in mind, I had an idea of designing a pentagon-shaped studio room, with the control room and mastering suite more or less of a rectangle shape, with one set of parallel walls about 6 feet longer than the other set.

I don't know how to attach my floor plan designs on here, but I'm gonna try my best to describe the way the pentagon-shaped studio room will look like. The entire room will be 20'x25'. The front wall will have a window separating the studio room with the control room. The 12-feet wide side walls will each be angled 4.5 feet from where they would normally be, and the 12.5-feet wide back walls angled about 7.5 feet from where they would normally be. That would leave space behind each wall to put triangular shaped isolation booths. I have also been contemplating on having the walls 8 feet tall and then having the ceilings angled. Another option that I have been pondering on is having the wall between 12 feet and 16 feet with the bottom half acoustically treated and the top half left alone, so it would have a live room effect. I have also been deciding whether or not to put down hardwood floor or plush carpet.

A couple of questions I have are...

1) Is it really a good idea having a pentagon-shaped studio with a design like I described?

2)If so, what would be the best and proper ways to acoustically treat such a room, i.e. the best places to put absorbers, diffusors, bass traps, vice versa?

Thanks! smile

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#2287187 - 03/29/11 09:17 AM Re: Ideal recording studio floor plans and acoustics... [Re: Red1]
Ethan Winer Moderator Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/12/00
Posts: 8384
Loc: New Milford, CT, USA
I probably wouldn't bother making a room that shape. A pentagon is close to round, and round shapes tend to focus sound toward a point in the center (which is not good). That shape could work with a lot of treatment, but I don't see any good reason to do that when a normal rectangle is easier to design and build. Others may have different opinions, which you should seek out. In particular, the Studio Design section of the John Sayers forum talks about non-rectangle designs:

http://www.johnlsayers.com/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=1

--Ethan

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#2287273 - 03/29/11 01:39 PM Re: Ideal recording studio floor plans and acoustics... [Re: Ethan Winer]
Rod Gervais Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 10/08/03
Posts: 514
Loc: Central Village, CT
Red,

Ethan is "spot on" with this (no big surprises there cool)

That is not the shape you want for your room - it will cause you no end of acoustical problems.

John's site is an excellent resource for guidance in this regard.

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#2287286 - 03/29/11 02:24 PM Re: Ideal recording studio floor plans and acoustics... [Re: Rod Gervais]
Red1 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/28/11
Posts: 5
Thanks for your thoughts, guys!!! smile Looks like I'll have to check out John's site and redesign my studio room.

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#2287781 - 03/31/11 09:45 AM Re: Ideal recording studio floor plans and acoustics... [Re: Red1]
Andrew Kiel Offline
Member

Registered: 03/31/11
Posts: 15
Loc: Chicago, IL
You are absolutely correct that parallel geometries can be problematic. I tend to design spaces where the side walls are splayed in a symmetrical manner. The rear and front walls are often parallel, but through appropriate treatment flutter become a non-issue. I would not go the route of a pentagon.

With this being new construction, you are going to want to be very considerate in design of isolation and mechanical systems. "Box-in-Box" construction with a floated floor, resiliently suspended ceiling, and resilient conduit is probably the way you want to go. Mechanical systems will need to handle the load from the audio equipment, but be designed to have low airflow, so they are quite. Duct lining or mechanical noise attenuation techniques may need to be considered.
_________________________
Andrew Kiel

Room Acoustics
Kirkegaard Associates
www.Kirkegaard.com

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#2288611 - 04/02/11 01:06 PM Re: Ideal recording studio floor plans and acoustics... [Re: Andrew Kiel]
Red1 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/28/11
Posts: 5
Thanks for the tips, Andrew. I did some re-designing in the main studio room, where I made the front and rear walls parallel, but with one wall wider than the other (the rear wall would be 26' long and the front wall would be only 20' long). I also had the idea of attaching two isolation booths to both corners of the rear walls. Both booths will have four 5' long walls with an angled 3' wide doorway at the corner of each booth. For the side walls (which would both be 17' long), I had an idea of building them at an angle from the isolation booths to both ends of the front walls. Would that be a good idea of what you were talking about? If so, what would be the best way to acoustically treat this design?

Also, what would be some good DIY ideas to attenuate the mechanical noise coming from my outboard gear and mixing console and the computer I plan to use for multi-track recording (I plan on using a laptop workstation)?

Thanks! smile

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#2288766 - 04/03/11 12:36 AM Re: Ideal recording studio floor plans and acoustics... [Re: Red1]
audiofreek Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 05/09/01
Posts: 782
Loc: Prince George,CANADA
You have a unique oportunity,I recommend that you do a lot of research before you design and build.Here are some rules of thumb that will make a good sounding room with least amount of treatment.
It is said that a room must hold at least 2500 cubic feet of air to sound good.It is also said that in order for a person to be able to distinguish a direct sound from a reflected sound,you must have at least 25ms of time arrival differance(some say less these days).If you use the 25ms factor,this means that sound traveling at 1136fps,from sound source,to a wall or celing,and bouncing back to your ear would have to travel aprox. 25 feet in order for the direct sound to be distinguishable from the room sound(Haas effect).Meaning that the nearest reflective surface(excluding the floor,which is not considered because it is more or less a constant) should be at least 12.5 feet away from the mix position.
That puts the ideal cieling height of at least 15 feet,and the room width and length,must be at least 25 feet.
Sounds simple but then you have to consider room modes,and 15 by 25 will give you a common demominator of 5,and a square room.That`s no good.
All lines should be indevisible by at by a maxim degree(2 inches difference will not cut it)to prevent stacked modes.
You can also employ Phi,or the Golden Ratio to design`your spaces.I would recomend using a room mode calculator,to come up with the ideal ratio.
http://goldennumber.net/acoustics.htm
http://www.alexandermagazine.com/recordingeq/weeklytip/06tip12-1b.asp
This is where the 38% rule comes from,it a law of nature.So for that matter one could argue that the ear should be at 3.8ft. in a 10 foot high room that is 16 feet wide and 32 feet long.The choice is yours,just use it where you can apply it.
The ratios are 1=H 1.6=W 3.2=L.Or A= base dimention B=the second,and C=2 times the second dimention.


Edited by audiofreek (04/03/11 01:36 PM)

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#2289246 - 04/04/11 05:39 PM Re: Ideal recording studio floor plans and acoustics... [Re: audiofreek]
Red1 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/28/11
Posts: 5
Thanks for the feedback, audiofreek! smile

I did look up the two links you sent me. However, I should've said before that I'm going to keep the tracking room (with the two isolation booths within) and the control room separate. Would I still have to apply the rest of the info you were talking about to the tracking room or what should happen?

Thanks! smile

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#2289280 - 04/04/11 08:13 PM Re: Ideal recording studio floor plans and acoustics... [Re: Red1]
audiofreek Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 05/09/01
Posts: 782
Loc: Prince George,CANADA
If you want an ideal recoding studio you should have ideal room dimentions.The Golden ratio may not be possible for you,but if you have enough realestate,and enough cash,why not?
You should at least use a room mode calculator,or use a plan that has considered the room modes.Most people don't have that choice because they are working within a room constructed with building material costs/wastes as the prime consideration.
If you splay the walls,it becomes very difficult to accurately calculate the room modes,but you can average the room dimentions.
1' splay for every 15' is said to be adequate to reduce flutter echo,but using absorption works as well.

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#2289373 - 04/05/11 08:54 AM Re: Ideal recording studio floor plans and acoustics... [Re: audiofreek]
Andrew Kiel Offline
Member

Registered: 03/31/11
Posts: 15
Loc: Chicago, IL
Audiofreek is right that early, first order reflections can be problematic. However, through proper treatment (absorption/diffusion) of surfaces which would provide these reflections to the mix position, it essentially becomes a non-issue. By the way, be careful with selection of diffusors. A fair amount of my time consulting is spent fixing rooms and concert halls which were created under the principal that all diffusion is good.

The only way to really quiet the noise from your equipment is to isolate it in a separate room or an iso box.

If you want me to take a quick look at your drawings to provide thoughts on the iso booths feel free to send them to me: akiel [at] kirkegaard [dot] com
_________________________
Andrew Kiel

Room Acoustics
Kirkegaard Associates
www.Kirkegaard.com

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#2289473 - 04/05/11 03:01 PM Re: Ideal recording studio floor plans and acoustics... [Re: Andrew Kiel]
Red1 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/28/11
Posts: 5
Thanks, Andrew! I'll do just that. smile

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