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Newbie Control Room Acoustic Treatment help

Discussion in 'Room Acoustics / Isolation / Treatment' started by perry73, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. perry73

    perry73 Active Member

    Hello everyone, my name is Gianluca and I'm writing from Italy.
    I turned a basement into a recording studio, but I need a hand to the acoustic treatment.
    Floor, ceiling and walls are covered with wood. Under the wood there is a layer of lead, polystyrene and moisture resistant material.
    The dimensions are:
    Length: 4m
    Width: 2.56mt
    Height: 2.7 meters
    I would like to build all by myself (DIY) with a budget of EUR 800

    I hope I have said it all.
    Attached is the floor plan of the study and a photo of the current positioning of monitors

    I have totally no experience in the field of acoustic treatment, can you help me??

    Attached Files:

  2. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    simple treatment for control rooms

    This is the basic areas you should be concerned with. Granted with a room full of hard surfaces this will get you started but may not be the end of what it is you have to do to take those hard parallel surfaces out of your ears.

    First you want to make certain that you have your listening position set up as an equilateral triangle to produce the best possible starting position. Your speakers/monitors should be placed at a position 38% from the front wall.

    38% of 4 meters is approx 1.52 meters.
    empty control room.jpg

    Second you want to get your front corners treated to control low frequency which is the biggest issue in smaller rooms. Super Chunks are a tested and highly recommended method to treat the corners of a home control room.
    control room with superchunks.jpg

    Next you want to make heavy speaker stands. You do not want lightweight stands or flimsy stands. You want to control the low frequency that the speakers produce as best as possible, to make certain your mixes translate better. I made mine out of concrete blocks, glued together and wrapped with sheetrock ,trimmed and painted.
    control room with superchunks and speaker stands.jpg

    Then you need to control the sidewall reflections of the mixing position, where your ears are.
    control room with sidewall absorption.jpg

    An overhead cloud will do you wonders. There are many options when designing an overhead cloud. You may use a hard back soft face or an open design that has both a soft back and face. You can install track lighting on the cloud or embed can lights. Whatever is safe is what you do.
    control room overhead cloud.jpg

    These are the basic things suggested. Obviously every room is different. So after doing these simple things you may find that you require more absorption in the back of the room, more at specific problem frequency areas according to the rooms modes and/or the hard surfaces
  3. perry73

    perry73 Active Member

    hello space, many many thanks for the quick response. it's all clear!...can i ask you a couple of questions???
    what density/type of rock wool / glass fiber use for the superchunk, the sidewall ad for the overhead cloud...are all three basstraps???
    can you explain better the overhead cloud?
    thank you very much
    and sorry for my english, i'm using google translator :)
  4. Surdo

    Surdo Active Member

    Space, are these images that you posted from any particular book? I'm in a similar position to perry73 and i'd like to do some reading on treatments (rather than construction) of a smallish room with hardwood floor and ceiling.
  5. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Before you start to buy stuff. You need to know what problems your room have. This will change what you need greatly.
    Some will use a spectrum analyser but a DB meter and good monitors maybe all you need to start.
    With a db meter at the listening position, play a slow frequency sweep and see if there is db peaks. Note the frequency of the peaks : Those are your problems. Only adress those and avoid creating other problems by improvising cute gobo or wall panels that may not be what you need.

    Fabrics, foam and rock wool, all have different effect on sound depending on the size and thickness. You need to be carefull what to choose to fit what the room needs.
  6. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    A super chunk corner bass trap is made specifically of Owens Corning 703 rigid insulation. The side wall and back wall panels can be made of standard "pink fluffy" insulation or Rockwool or even 1/4 inch cork panels.

    Insulation should be covered with flame retardant cloth to contain the fibers and also make the panels look nice :).

    I used standard pink fluffy insulation on my overhead cloud with 1/4 inch cork as the facing. You have options.

    All I suggest are things to get a handle on your mixing position as that is what the picture shows. You do not have to test but are free to do so if you would like. Problem with testing is it can take as long to learn how to test right as it takes to learn what it is you need to do to a room to control the issues it may have.

    You do the things I out lined and I promise you the benefits will be immediate.
    MadMax likes this.
  7. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    None of what you say matters at this point Sir. We are not trying to "tame" the room only trying to get a sonically pleasing area to mix in. And all the things I posted are the drop dead bottom line things that need to be addressed in a hard surfaced room to enable the listener to make better judgements in the mix.

    In the future Sir, I suggest you either study up and get with the program or take your business else were. You are more often than not a distraction, a deterant to those trying to better a simple room in their home in the name of Acoustics and downright misleading and ill informed.
  8. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    To Space :
    omg ! If You think playing with acoustics can't change the frequency response of a room and get worst results than before You started if you don't address it correctly, i'm glad for you !

    I'm aware, I'm not a acoustic expert and you possibly know a lot more than me..
    But the OP is a newbie, and I've done mistakes many times setting up room treatment without calculation or testing what the room defects are..

    To me a room to mix in is a neutral room with no emphasis on any frequency that can trick my ears to make wrong decisions. so checking the frequency response is the first step I'd do..

    If I'm wrong, it's ok.. just tell me, no need for insults..

    To all the members of the forum here : if you think my posts are irrelevent and I'm in no help to anybody.. Just say so, I won't come back to bother you

    Have Nice day !

    Envoyé de mon iPhone à l'aide de Tapatalk
  9. Surdo

    Surdo Active Member

    I think it's an interesting discussion: where do you start when trying to build a mixing/control room in a non-acoustically designed space (bedroom or basement) - with metres or with mattresses? I wonder too if a mixing room should give a flat frequency response to an impulse (an anechoic chamber should do that) or just be good to the ear with out too many colourations of the sound? How dead is too dead and how live is too live? Is there any consensus on that?
  10. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    don't get your panties in a bunch. after all Space is the mod here.

    what he has suggested is a common sense no frills approach that is applicable in most situations. almost any c/r can be treated in this manner and will show improvement. these are first steps that should be incorporated into any "plan". of course you can take things many steps further but the returns will taper off quickly. his suggestions are the real meat. i would add diffusion to the rear walls but that's just me.

    not everyone wants to make treating their c/r into a space science project and this is an excellent start for those interested in a self abuse set up. in fact in most cases it should be all anyone needs when using near fields.
    Space likes this.
  11. perry73

    perry73 Active Member

    hi All, following the directions of space I will proceed in the following way:
    2 - Superchunks with Rockwool 40kg/m3
    1 x 2" of rigid fiberglass 48kg/m3 on the left sidewall (with the mirror trick) spaced 2" from the wall
    1 x 2" of rigid fiberglass 48kg/m3 on the right side wall (with the mirror trick) spaced 2" from the wall
    2 x 2" of rigid fiberglass 48kg/m3 on the overhead cloud spaced 4" from the ceilin
    all correct??
    At the end of the work, I will make a measurement and I will go to correct any sonic imperfections. The Space's indications are valuable and an excellent starting point.
    Many Many thanx
  12. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    It all looks about right...

    One thing I would encourage you to do is really consider how you're going to hang things... especially the cloud.

    While you can measure distances and calculate how the room is going to react, the physical realm takes over, and you may need to move 1/4" up/down on one corner or end. If you use a fairly large link chain, you may not get a small enough adjustment.

    Wall cleats are really nice, efficient hanging systems... and cheap too!

    Just my humble $.02 worth...
  13. perry73

    perry73 Active Member

    Hi MadMax thank you for the reply, but I don't understand what you mean above, can you re-explain?? Thank you,excuse me but my English is not good....
  14. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I used braided steel cable on one of the studio s clouds, and eye bolts, but they are a serious PITA to adjust. I went this route because the cloud has heavy backing 2 layers of 5/8 drywall, and 3/4" OSB, and was 4x8 ft big. It took six dudes to hang.

    if I'm not mistaken, which I often am, I think max is referring to cleats, being small, palm sized, steel plates that mount to the wall, and have spikes that stick out. Those spikes hold up simple fabric wrapped rigid fiberglass panels. I've done a bootleg version of this by just using finish nails as pseudo spikes, but I wouldn't really recommend this unless it was the only way to get it done under a high pressure situation.

    your only gonna get a non purpose built room as good as it can be, so if you cover the basics like you are, then address the worst remaining problem or two, you should be pretty good, and not blown excessive money, for diminishing returns. There's no perfect rooms, so if u cover the basics like your planning, and figure out what compromises u have to make while mixing, you should be fine. My old bedroom setup, I knew I had to put the low end where I liked it, and then turn it down a couple notches so it sounded how I wanted elsewhere.
  15. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    The super chunks should be made using rigid fiberglass as that was the material Eric Desart used in the development and testing to get the best absorption.

    Also the mirror trick is not part of this setup. The left and right sidewall absorption are directly in line with the mixing position where your head is.
  16. perry73

    perry73 Active Member

    Thanx Space for the reply. What kind of fiberglass should i use for superchunks (thikness and density)...
    i've got 3 pack of rockwoll for free, this is why i use it..do you think it doesn't work???
    thank you
  17. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    The rockwool would be better placed at side panels and back wall treatments. Owens Corning 703 2 inch thick is what was tested for the Super Chunk Treatment.

    As to will Rockwool perform in the same areas as OC703, the answer is no. Bob Golds Absorption Coefficients page you can compare what you have versus OC703 2 inch panels and what ever else might be lying around.

    Material density matters, higher absorption coefficient makes for a better overall product which only means an NRC of 1.0 will absorb better at the given frequencies than an NRC of .56, as I understand it.
  18. perry73

    perry73 Active Member

    Thank you once again for your reply Space, last couple questions and then I have everything.
    Ok for the rigid fibreglass, which is the best way to create a superchunks, do you have an example image???
    I have to fill all the full corner with rigid fiberglass placed in horizontal or I have to place the panels in vertical? I'm a bit confused,have patience
    The example belove is correct for superchunks and first reflection absorber, is that you means??
    For the side wall and cloud the indication belows are correct?
    1 x 2" of rigid fiberglass 48kg/m3 on the left sidewall spaced 2" from the wall
    1 x 2" of rigid fiberglass 48kg/m3 on the right side wall spaced 2" from the wall
    2 x 2" of rigid fiberglass 48kg/m3 on the overhead cloud spaced 4" from the ceilin

    Thanx for the patience
  19. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    You want to place the triangles on top of each other so that the skinny, 2" side lays flat on the floor, so you stack them 2" at a time. Ideally you want them floor to ceiling. W the corners where the floor, and ceiling meet, being the areas of highest bass buildup (energy). But as I understand it, the superchunks were designed floor to ceiling w no gaps, just one triangle on top of the other. Although I am not sure of the dimensions of the tested product.

    i wasn't able to find the link is was looking for, or able to paste a pic cuz I'm on iPad. But that is my understanding of the design.
  20. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    " W the corners where the floor, and ceiling meet, being the areas of highest bass buildup (energy)."

    The floor and ceiling corners never meet. Wall to wall corners, ceiling to wall corners and floor to wall corners and the energy is the same in a corner.

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