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Angle of Studio Walls

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Mudman, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. Mudman

    Mudman Active Member

    Hello All!

    I have a 16 x 20 building (15' 4" x 19' 4" interior) that I intend to create a studio in. My plan is to build two walls in a V shape at one end. The V would point to the back of the studio. Another wall would extend between the V point and the back wall of the studio, thus creating a control room on one side and a vocal/drum booth on the other.

    First of all, is angling the walls really necessary in a studio of this size, and if so, at what degree should they be angled?

    Much appreciation and advance thank yous for your help!
  2. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    Hello Mudman..
    Welcome to Recording.org.

    I have my difficulties to visualize what you plan ( language barrier, probably...)
    From what I guess what it might look like, .. aren't you wasting any space in corners?..
    Unless you are going to use them as absorbers or traps...
    I'd appreciate a little sketch...
  3. Mudman

    Mudman Active Member

    Hi Big K! Vielen dank for the reply! You might be right, I may be wasting space. I'm not sure if angling the walls is all that necessary.

    Here's a sketch of what I have in mind. http://www.pizola.com/Studio.pdf Sorry I wrote the wall measurements upside down. The wall on the left is 6 feet long and the one on the right is 9 feet.

    Thanks again!
  4. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    "First of all, is angling the walls really necessary in a studio of this size"

    Who said it was a requirement? Where did you get this information to "design" your room with a "V" shape? Space is three dimensional...you gave width and length but height is unlimited?

    Please fill in your location in your profile...
  5. Mudman

    Mudman Active Member

    Thanks for the reply Space! Nobody said it was a requirement. It's my understanding that square and/or rectangular rooms are no nos in a studio so I reasoned that this was a way to avoid those while using the space I have. The ceiling is 8' 1" high.

    I'm in Florida. Will go change my profile...didn't know it was required, sorry! :)

    Thanks again!
  6. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    I don't think it is a requirement, but it is nice to know to which corner of the planet we are talking to. Same with age...at least for some of us old farts.
    Rectangular rooms are no problem, if you have enough squaremeter and hight for thick insulation and absorbers. It is especially the hard surfaces like windowpanes that cause the most annoying reflections.
    Those hard surfaces must be mounted in an angle, mostly tilted to the bottom. They musn't face another hs in an right angle. That gets you nasty refelctions.
    Walls can be fixed up with a combi of acoustic tiles, reflectors, absorbers and resonators... This is science with a lot variables. Check out how much a room layout costs if it is made by a acoustic company.
    That would be worth a few hundred. This layout gives you a good plan and safes money you might have spent on wrong materials.
  7. Mudman

    Mudman Active Member

    Thanks Big K! So there's no real advantage to angling those walls? As you can see from the sketch, there will be two interior windows facing the main recording area and one interior window in the drum booth. These walls will be 6" thick and the glass will be angled in at the bottom. There are two exterior windows on the left wall though. One in the drum booth and one in the main room. These are pre-existing so I can't angle them.
  8. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    This might be going too far, but you could put an angled thin and clear plexi glass pane infront of them. Those can be removable, too,..why not?
    A thick curtain will help for some frequencies, too, but not ideal. Basically you try to avoid parallel walls, yes, but you can treat them with a layer of 20 cm isolation stuffing and cover that with a wooden paneling, room hight, in the color of your choice. Leave about 2 cm inbetween the boards. The isolation material underneath will serve you better as...absorber (?) Well, we call it Schlitzplattenschwinger.. there is no translation available for me, atm..lol..
    You can give the wall a slight wave form, as well. I did that in one of my studio rooms and it looks and sounds great.
  9. Mudman

    Mudman Active Member

    That's a good idea to put up another pane on those exterior windows. Then I could angle them too. Plus even put some curtains in front I guess. For that matter I don't suppose I really need light from those windows...I could just insulate and cover them...

    It sounds like angling the walls is worth the loss of space in return for not having at least two of them be parallel. I can just put Schlitzplattenschwinger on the other two like you say! :) Is it advisable to entirely cover the walls and ceiling with egg crate? I had intended to put up 2 or 3 sound absorbing panels and baffles in the corners. Also, when angling the walls, is there a rule of thumb as to what the degree of angle should be?
  10. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    Nope, this depends on the room shape and size, but I guess any angle is better than none.
    Egg crates is nonsense. It is a myth that is around for ages...Just like using styrofoam for acoustic isolation..
    The material is too thin and it is, at best, absorbing some of the higher frequencies, but not worth the effort.
    The main portion of sound will be reflected, anyhow, from the wall or ceiling underneath.
    To absorb sound preassure waves you need material that converts those waves into heat ( or rather warmth..lol).
    This is not really noticeable, of course. The power of the sound waves is too small for that.
    To reasonably absorb low frequencies you need a thickness of material from lambda/4 onwards. ...LOL
    That is ,at 60 Hz, about 125 cm. So, there are always some trade-offs to make. Absorbers and baffles will do fine.
    Reflectors and resonators, too. It is google time..... It is not complicated to build some of the boxes yourself..
  11. Mudman

    Mudman Active Member

    Cool, I'll get to Googling! I'd heard that too about egg crate. That's why I was going with the baffles etc. Thanks very much for the help Big K! Next, I'm off to compare software and make a list of the equipment I'll need! lol!
  12. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    You're welcome...

  13. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    "Also, when angling the walls, is there a rule of thumb as to what the degree of angle should be?"

    In the book "Master handbook of Acoustics", F. Alton Everest states that 1 foot in 10 feet was an acceptable amount to use when constructing walls out of square. John Sayers (John Sayers Productions) states that 12 degrees total is ideal, meaning either one wall gets knocked out of square 12 degrees or a total of two opposing walls are knocked out of square 6 degrees individually.

    The advantages to knocking your walls out of square in a symmetrical room is you eliminate at least one pair of parallel walls, so you reduce the ability for flutter. It will also make the sound room some what diffuse. The disadvantage is the rooms modal response is more difficult to predict.

    Rectangular rooms are highly sought after for sound uses...the holy grail being one already built that was designed using Loudan or Sepmeyers' preferred ratio's.

    If you do not at the least own Master handbook of Acoustics, F. Alton Everest you will always be asking the same kinds of questions with no valid answers in your head. Rod's book for the construction side, Home Recording Studio: Build it like the pro's, is highly recommended.
  14. Mudman

    Mudman Active Member

    Thank you Space, I'll see about getting those books.

    Thanks also for pointing me to Sepmeyer's ratios! As luck would have it, right now my building is pretty darn close to the Type C ratio (H=C W=1.60C L=2.33C) and if I build the control room and vocal booth as planned it'll be darn close to Type A (H=C W=1.14C L=1.39C)! This of course raises the question again of whether I should angle any walls or not if a rectangular room with the above ratios is preferred...

    Space, I also appreciated the video on your website about plugging windows. Very helpful!
  15. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    It does not raise the question but puts it to bed. A typical rectangle can have the modal response figured with simple math. When the walls are splayed then the equation (speed of sound=1130/2= one half wave length) / room measurement=problem frequency...is modified and no longer is available with simple math.

    What you should do is quit trying to re-invent the wheel and show us some kind of floor plan as to what you are thinking of doing...this is only the start of a long, long walk.
  16. Mudman

    Mudman Active Member

    If a rectangular room is ideal, and I've now read where some say it is, why do so many studios have non parallel walls? Why do so many engineers recommend non parallel walls?

    Well, I'm not so much trying to reinvent the wheel as I'm trying to learn what size and type the wheel should be. I supplied a floor plan in post #3 above. It is to scale and the edges of the paper represent the inside of the outer walls.
  17. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    "Why do so many engineers recommend non parallel walls?"

    You name them first (so many engineers) and I will give the answer in the next few days as to which room they were referring. A control room is one thing and a tracking room is another, they are each treated differently as to what floor plan they might require.

    And we already covered non-parallel walls to reduce flutter and add some diffusion...but that requires a good design...not something you can google:)

    Again...you need books...you need to stand on the shoulders of giants...
  18. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    btw...that is hardly a floor plan. I live in the construction trade and detail is the word of the day. I can say this...vibration accumulates in the corners, at the panel ends, so corners in rooms, especially small rooms and we have to assume you are in one of those, are always a point of focus.

    I have to think that you are getting information from another source and plugging it into our conversation. But you can trust me in that what I am saying...is above reproach and is supported by a multitude of acoustically technical experts.

    If you want to move farther then the books are in your future, if you want to test what is real in the world of acoustical design, then there are people here that can help you, but I would refrain from borrowing myths and supporting them as though they might have legs to stand on:)
  19. Mudman

    Mudman Active Member

    First of all, I think I see where the misunderstanding has been. I've been referring to the live room, not the control room. I guess we're all on the same page that the live room should indeed have angled walls?

    Further, my apologies for loosely using the term "floor plan". "Sketch" (hastily drawn after requested by Big K) would be a more appropriate term. As you said above, "this is only the start of a long, long walk".

    You are correct in assuming that I'm in a small room, the dimensions of which are in my first post. I hope to treat the corners with baffles.

    I come to the conversation with notions I've both observed and heard in years as a musician, never as an engineer. I am a complete novice in this field. Thus I also come with big ears and an open mind. My confidence in your superior knowledge has never once wavered.

    I've neither intentionally borrowed or supported any myths. If what I've heard/read/observed is inaccurate I naturally expect it to be debunked. When I say I've heard or read this or that, that is exactly what it means. It does NOT mean that I necessarily support the information. As mentioned, I'm here to learn. Not to teach. Propagating myths is not on my agenda. Building a studio is.
  20. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    " I guess we're all on the same page that the live room should indeed have angled walls?"

    Your good...it's just a conversation looking towards a goal.

    So I have to go back to what is happening with canted walls and in what room this is happening. In a control room environment you eliminate flutter but you have to do some heavier looking into the footprint to determine what, if you can determine without ray tracing, where your modal issues will be.

    In a tracking room it's still the same thing, eliminate the flutter of parallel walls.

    The control room you satisfy the human ear and in the tracking room you satisfy a microphone.

    But there is no one thing that is better than the other. Slanted walls, parallel walls that produce any un-wanted sonic anomalies, all of these can be treated with acoustical treatments.

    But to be honest, you did bring up egg crates...so that is your undoing so to speak.

    Eggcrates, if you can fill them with sand and attache them to the walls, they provide some diffusion, little isolation and look weird so there are better ways to achieve this.

    "My confidence in your superior knowledge has never once wavered."

    Well...I have a lot of books....it's really that simple so I ride on the shoulders of giants...it's a pretty grand view...

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