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Acoustically treating my recording area...

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Acoustically treating my recording area...

Postby Prime Mover » Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:16 pm

Now that I've located a place that sells OC703 and built a few gobos, I'd like to get some more, and really treat my cabin, which is where I do the majority of my recording. It's an A-Frame, ~1800 cubic feet, so I already have the advantage of less parallel walls, but I'd like to take a look at what I could do. As an addition to conventional traps, of all things, I have a need of new cotton futon mattress, and was thinking of hanging the old one (cleaned, of course) as a trap in the rafters, as I hear compressed cotton works really well for bass trapping.

I've created an architectural model using google Sketchup (really neat free program that someone else on a recording forum was using), since a picture is much better than a description. And yes, that is DP7 on the computer screen :)

What kind of acoustic treatments do you think would be most effective, and where?

Image
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Re: Acoustically treating my recording area...

Postby davedempsey » Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:05 pm

The first point I'd make is about the asymmetry of the mix position placement. You have a wall/corner close to the left monitor and a more open space on the right - this will be causing problems. You need side panels to help overcome this but perhaps should consider rotating the mix position 90degrees to the left and placing it central to the triangle wall? The more symmetrical placement will make it easier to treat the room.
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Re: Acoustically treating my recording area...

Postby davedempsey » Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:33 pm

The first priority in my opinion is to treat the wall behind your monitors so you aren't hearing any immediate reflections at the mix position from the rear of your monitors - like this:

Image
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Re: Acoustically treating my recording area...

Postby Michael Canavan » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:10 pm

davedempsey wrote:The first point I'd make is about the asymmetry of the mix position placement. You have a wall/corner close to the left monitor and a more open space on the right - this will be causing problems. You need side panels to help overcome this but perhaps should consider rotating the mix position 90degrees to the left and placing it central to the triangle wall? The more symmetrical placement will make it easier to treat the room.

Bingo, first thing put the mix position on the triangle wall, you want the speakers facing the longest most open side of the room and the further away from the wall itself the better.

I think I pointed this out before, so again Room EQ Wizard is free and with more features than you will use. Due to OSX's poor Java support it requires a simple two in two out USB audio interface. The only other thing you need is a reference mic, the cheap $50 ones work just fine. If you know any studio people in the area you could probably borrow those. :)
The main thing you're trying to tame is the low end, in doing so the high end will be vastly improved as well.

Also, you'll be wanting to hang bass traps from the point in your ceiling I would bet, that's going to be a little sound capturing area.
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Re: Acoustically treating my recording area...

Postby Prime Mover » Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:59 pm

Unfortunately, the Toyo stove is bolted to the floor, and right in the middle of the triangle wall. If I shifted my mixing console 90 degrees from where it is now, it would be in front of window. Not much I can do about it. However, I could probably slide the whole thing over to the right a foot, getting it a bit away from the corner, but it still will be fairly close. I was thinking of creating a super trap up in the top of the A, at least as far as the attic. As far as treating the wall behind the mixing console, maybe so, but because of space reasons, it can't be very thick. What are you using, that looks like a thick carpet? Doesn't look like bass trap material, or is that not so much an issue for right behind the console?

Also, most of the acoustic treatment I see online refers to mixing area, I'm just as much concerned about this being a good recording environment.
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Re: Acoustically treating my recording area...

Postby zaratero » Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:11 am

You might already know it, but this place is a great source of info on acoustic building in the manuals and the forum:
http://www.johnlsayers.com/
http://www.cueaudio.org
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Re: Acoustically treating my recording area...

Postby davedempsey » Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:07 am

Prime Mover wrote:Unfortunately, the Toyo stove is bolted to the floor, and right in the middle of the triangle wall. If I shifted my mixing console 90 degrees from where it is now, it would be in front of window. Not much I can do about it. However, I could probably slide the whole thing over to the right a foot, getting it a bit away from the corner, but it still will be fairly close. I was thinking of creating a super trap up in the top of the A, at least as far as the attic. As far as treating the wall behind the mixing console, maybe so, but because of space reasons, it can't be very thick. What are you using, that looks like a thick carpet? Doesn't look like bass trap material, or is that not so much an issue for right behind the console?

Also, most of the acoustic treatment I see online refers to mixing area, I'm just as much concerned about this being a good recording environment.


No not carpet - it's flock coating on Prime Acoustic wall panels: http://www.nepeanflock.com.au/index.htm

I had these guys do the process on the panels years ago - they now market their own flock coated panels, gobos and diffusors. I also had them flock coat the corner bass traps: http://www.primacoustic.com/australis.htm

If you can't change the mix position you'll need some of these (or something like them):
Image

They'll be very useful when mixing - place either side of your mix position to compensate for the different space on left and right. When recording you can move them elsewhere to help control the room sound. Because you are close to the walls you need to kill off the wall behind the monitors and reshape the left and right either side of your mix position with mobile panels. You'll also need to look after all the corners, including the roof apex. After that it's a matter of placing some panels here and there to help control what's left - a balance of live and dead surfaces is what you need.... end of the day you need to understand the room problems and then apply the right solution.
As zaratero said there's a lot of good info on: http://www.johnlsayers.com/ and if you have a look around the Prime Acoustics site there's a lot of useful info there too.
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Re: Acoustically treating my recording area...

Postby Prime Mover » Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:57 am

How do I go about ordering some of them? Their site doesn't point to any retailers or information about pricing.
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Re: Acoustically treating my recording area...

Postby davedempsey » Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:54 pm

Prime Mover wrote:How do I go about ordering some of them? Their site doesn't point to any retailers or information about pricing.



Sydney's a long way from you so you'd pay a lot in freight. You could always send an email and ask: info@nepeanflock.com.au

There's other options that'd be available a lot closer to home, such as:
http://www.auralex.com/category_max-wal ... x-wall.asp
Last edited by davedempsey on Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Acoustically treating my recording area...

Postby Prime Mover » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:34 pm

*sigh* Nothing's close to home. Anywhere I buy, I'll have to pay international shipping. I once ordered something from the UK that was cheaper than shipping from the contiguous states. I might as well look into the Australian stuff, I doubt shipping will be that much more.
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Re: Acoustically treating my recording area...

Postby Prime Mover » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:18 pm

Actually, in looking into this, I realized, would Auralex pannels be any better than homemade OC703 pannelling? I can nab 2" 703 for $20 a sheet, and I've already used it to make a few gobos. I could treat the same surface area as a MAX Wall for about $100.

And for back panneling do I need full 4" bass trapping, since I'm seeing so much foam, I'm wondering if slap-back issues are mostly midrange, and would only need 2"?
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Re: Acoustically treating my recording area...

Postby SixStringGeek » Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:43 pm

FWIW, I'm about to embark on similar project.

I have a pile of 703 48x24x2 panels I picked up at a building supply outlet awhile ago and just need to dress em up and hang em. This is the part that has me stuck though. A weekend experiment with some fabric I picked up locally and 3m spray adhesive leaves me thinking a different approach is called for. I made kind of a mess of my one test panel.

I found http://www.acoustimac.com/ and have ordered the fabric sample sets. They also have wood frames for less than I can build them for at the local Home Depot. 48x24x2 (size of a 703 panel) frames are $13.46 or $134.60 for ten. Just about a wash if I were to build my own.

The have some really pretty pre-built panels sets with murals on them too if you like that kind of thing and have money to burn.
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Re: Acoustically treating my recording area...

Postby Michael Canavan » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:38 am

DIY is the way to go IMO. Here's the method I used.
http://www.basstraps.net/DIY-BASS-TRAPS-MADE-EASY.pdf

A couple things:
You can use super cheap 1x2" course cut wood for the frame.

I bargain hunted a little too much for the cloth and go super thin stretchy cloth, which means basically my traps are a little 'loose'. get semi thick cloth for support.

I found a place that sold cheaper more ecologically sound rockwool that matches 703 in acoustic properties, it's also less stiff, some of my edges got a bit crunchy, nothing too bad, but you know who it is when you build your own, even a slight bend in a corner drives you batty!

1/2' staples are a bit too big, the smaller sizes punch into the wood better. I started with 3/4" and that was a joke, little arches in the wood.

Overall though I ended up spending roughly $200 on four 2x4' 4" traps and two 2x4 2" traps for the ceiling (low ceiling), and am very happy with the results.
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Re: Acoustically treating my recording area...

Postby Prime Mover » Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:30 am

So, question. Behind the console, would you recommend using 4" of 703, or just 2"? The gobos I made were 4", but is that necessary behind the console?
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Re: Acoustically treating my recording area...

Postby SixStringGeek » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:27 am

Prime Mover wrote:So, question. Behind the console, would you recommend using 4" of 703, or just 2"? The gobos I made were 4", but is that necessary behind the console?


If you make them 2" and backless and mount them 2" off the wall, I'm told you achieve about the same thing as having 4" of 703.

Shouldn't this be in the recording forum?
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