Room treatment

Discussion in 'Studio Construction & Acoustics Forum' started by sproll, Oct 29, 2004.

  1. sproll

    sproll Guest

    Hello all,

    First off I'd like to say wow... what a great site. There is so much information here and so many knowlegable people that you can get answers to just about anything. It's really nice to see a community like this that is interested in helping out the newcomers even though I'm sure we tend to ask the same things over and over. Thanks to all of you who put up with us newbies. :D

    We went out and bought some half decent budget gear, and now we want to record an album with it. Here's what we have:

    Mackie 1604 VLZ Pro
    M Audio Delta 1010
    Yamaha MSP5's
    Sennheiser HD-280 Headphones
    Pentium 4 2.4 gHz with 1 Gb Ram
    Studio Projects C1 with Stedman PS101
    2 SM57's
    1 Shure Beta87a (only used for live shows so far)
    Audix D Series drum mics (1 D1, 3 D2's, 1 D4)
    Cubase Sx, Various plugins (Waves, PSP, antares, Izotope, etc)
    Vintage gear including a Ludwig kit from 1964, Fender Princeton from 1965, Fender twin from 1976, etc.
    And most importantly of all, we all know how to get great tones out of our instruments.

    We are recording in a basement that has been finished... the "control room" is rectangular shaped (not sure of dimensions, but if i had to guess it would probably be around 12 to 15 by 30 to 40 and about 10-12 foot ceilings) and has two french style doors that open outwards. It has little to no furniture in it now, carpeted floors, a window, computer desk and that's about it. The "recording room" is around 15 to 20 by 40 to 50, and about 10-12 foot ceilings but you can see the trusses (ceilings arent finished), there is some carpet laid on about half the room, the rest is concrete. The shape of the wall on one side is not the same as the opposite (it has a ledge, the other does not) and there is some furniture and stuff piled around in the back. Instruments I THINK sound pretty good in that room.

    After that extremely long winded intro... here's the question. Is it worth it (to a very poor group of individuals) to sonically treat both rooms seeing as this is not a dedicated studio, and the guy would eventually like his space back? Is it really important to do this, or can you get by with not doing it? I know most of the replies will likely be yes, you have to do it, but realize we don't have a lot of money and/or knowledge to do this the right way. The topics covered in this forum seem to be quite a lot to swallow and judging by how complicated it can get, you could probably make things a lot worse by not doing it right rather than not doing it at all. Are there general things we can do to make things better without getting to complex? Furniture or blankets in corners, etc?

    I'd really appreciate some light on the subject. We don't want to make a crappy sounding album obviously, but we are not expecting a pro level million dollar sound either. Any general tips would be good. I was looking at ETF with the ECM8000, but that looks pretty complex as well... and once you get your results how do you know what to add and where to get it where it should be? Crazy stuff I'm tellin ya. :)

    Thanks!

    Tom
     
  2. knightfly

    knightfly

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
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    Location:
    West Coast USA
    Furniture and blankets won't make much difference - if any of you have DIY talents and access to woodworking tools, you can make some portable treatments that will help your room and go with you when you leave - here's an idea of a few -

    http://www.johnlsayers.com/HR/index1.htm

    Hope this helps... Steve
     
  3. sproll

    sproll Guest

    That does help... thank you very much.

    One more question, how do I know how many of these that I need or where to put them? Do I have to get my room analyzed for that?

    Tom
     
  4. z60611

    z60611

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
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    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    sproll:

    My rule of thumb is to treat all the first reflection points and SBIR points first (walls, floor, ceiling, between speakers), and then the rest of the room as needed to give an even RT60 (subject to room volume and use) or even ETF5 measurement.
    The goal is +-3db from 40hz to 20khz, with sharp imaging. If you pull that off you've done very well.

    You can use the gate times of ETF5 to determine the effects of walls. Sound takes time to move from place to place, so you start with a gate time that is about the shortest path between the speaker and the microphone, and then increase the gate time for the SBIR reflections, and then increase the gate time even more for rear wall reflections.

    (and no, I haven't done either of these yet, but rumor has it ...)