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Acoustic Space

Discussion in 'Recording' started by priceguitar, Jan 7, 2003.

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  1. priceguitar

    priceguitar Guest

    Maybe this topic has been beaten like the proverbial dead horse, but I'm a new kid on this particular block...so, I could really use some help.

    I intend to build a small studio in my house, the basement specifically. I have a maximum space of 10' X 15'. My question is this: what is the best shape for a home studio to be? Square? Rectangular? Not plumb? I don't want to build something that will create some weird harmonic resonance because of it's dimensions. I am somewhat familiar with the acoustic treatment I will need to isolate outside noises, but I could use some tips on that as well.

    Any and all responses welcome...and thanks in advance for the help. Oh, and don't worry, I tend to be flame retardent!
     
  2. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Price, I can tell you're as new (to acoustics)as you say you are, since you only gave two of the three dimensions of your space - Not a put-down BTW, just an observation.

    If you're not made of money and still want the best results you can get with the area you have to work with, I'd recommend reading EVERYTHING you can click on at the following links (this will help me keep most of my fingers from being worn away by typing) Then, when you have a basic idea of the scope we're dealing with, we can get down to SPECIFIC questions you haven't found the answers to, or don't understand.

    Just to be totally upfront here, I've personally only built two spaces specifically for music endeavors, and the first one was marginal. Since then, I've studied acoustics/sound proofing off and on for about 15 years, fairly heavily for the last 2 or 3. If I'm not certain of the answer to any of your questions, I'll refer you to people I trust rather than give you an answer that's only a guess.

    There are a few others here who could undoubtedly answer your acoustic questions from more experience, but so far either I've been doing an OK job or few want to tackle it, not sure which...

    Here are some really helpful links for you to study - they'll most likely generate at least 50 more questions, which I'll do my best to answer.

    This is a goldmine - click/read EVERYTHING here and you will be several times smarter than me (and probably older)

    http://www.saecollege.de/reference_material/index.html

    These guys sell stuff, but lots of helpful info here

    http://www.customaudio.freeserve.co.uk/techfrmset.htm

    Some of these links are dead, but still a lot of good info -

    http://www.acoustics.org/faqs.html

    Here is an article on Bass Traps (yes, you WILL need this)

    http://www.ethanwiner.com/basstrap.html

    Here is US Gypsum's Sound Control Manual, another goodie -

    http://www.usg.com/Design_Solutions/2_3_8_tableofcontent.asp

    Here is an idea of one way to set up a small room -

    http://www.locall.aunz.com/~johnsay/HR/index1.htm

    This is a site devoted to just acoustics, they also have a forum with optional email subscription to all new posts, as well as some useful calculation tools -

    link removed

    And, here is a link to the above's links page, even more stuff here (once you destroy all the annoying pop-ups) -

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/acoustics/links

    You didn't mention the ceiling height of your area, but 10 x 15 is kind of problematic. You will probably need to shorten the room slightly, by building bass traps/slot resonators. The idea (tip of iceberg ONLY) is NOT to have any dimension be evenly divisable by any OTHER dimension, including multiples of each dimension. We can discuss this AFTER you've read up on it using the above links.

    This should get you started, looking forward to the FIRST 50 questions... Steve
     
  3. Eric Best

    Eric Best Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2002
    Location:
    Lansing, MI
  4. priceguitar

    priceguitar Guest

    Steve and ERIC...THANK YOU! I will read everything I can get my hands (or eyes) on, before I ask any more of you. I didn't even consider the ceiling height issue. I told you I was a rank novice at this. (The ceiling height is LOW, as you might expect in a basement.)

    Again, thanks!

    Price
     
  5. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2001
    Location:
    New Milford, CT USA
    Home Page:
    Price,

    > what is the best shape for a home studio to be? Square? Rectangular? Not plumb? <

    Here are several ratios of length, width, and height that are commonly accepted as ideal:

    1 : 1.14 : 1.39
    1 : 1.28 : 1.54
    1 : 1.60 : 2.33

    However, very small rooms like yours always need fairly extensive bass trapping, regardless of the ratio. Steve was kind enough to include my bass traps article in his list of recommended reading. Also see my company's site which has further useful information, especially the Acoustics Facts and Fiction page:


    --Ethan
     
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