Front and Rear of Control Room

Max Rays Music

Registered
Joined
Dec 27, 2020
Location
Williamsburg, VA
In 1978, when I was a grad student at North Texas, we were installing a new master control room for the College of Music. Back then, the discussion had to do with contrasting front and rear wall treatments. Our room was designed with a live front, monitors mounted on a wooden wall, with the rear wall deadened by at least three feet of soft insulation. Some designers, back then, thought you should have the opposite, speakers on a dead, no reflection, wall with a live, reflexive wall behind you.
While reading the 2nd edition of the Gervais Home Recording Studio book, I couldn’t find any description of the topic. Since I’m building a new studio in my basement, should contrasting front and rear reflection even be a consideration?
Thanks!
 

kmetal

Kyle P. Gushue
Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2009
Location
Boston, Massachusetts
Whats suitable/attainable for your room largely depends on the size and budget, and personal taste.

The design you describe at the college of music sounds like a Non-Enviornment room which Phillip Newell is known for. He has a book "recording studio design". Northward Acoustics has a modified version of this room called FTB, Front To Back. Their website has some info.

Rod's book describes an RFZ design, reflection free zone. This is a modified version of chip davis' LEDE live end-dead end room. The LEDE room has a reflective rear side. The reflections are semi-diffuse, and two key factors is they arrive back to the listening position 12-15db below the direct sound from your speakers, and no reflection arrives to the LP before 12-15ms or so.

There are papers about the lede design. I like working in the LEDE room (triadrecording.com) which i rebuilt for the new owner in 2013. Triadd/Normandy had great stereo imaging, and mixes translated well without any mental compensation. Just mix to the speakers.

RFZ uses some those principles. The idea of all the studio designs mentioned is a window of time, where the listening position receives nothing but the direct signal from the speakers. No reflections before a certain time window.


This has to do with "comb filtering" and the "HAAS effect" which google can explain.

Some reading you may like:

Free PDF by Chip Davis on LEDE

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sou...FjACegQIChAB&usg=AOvVaw1BNVjoCT4lhwhE5uYfliBb

Official AES LEDE paper

https://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=11805

Official RFZ paper AES.

https://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=1159

8

links for IRC papers (test data for isolation assemblies)

https://recording.org/threads/new-and-building-a-studio-requesting-advice.65029/

A presentation about several studio designs P. D'Antonio (pdf)

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://pearl-hifi.com/06_Lit_Archive/15_Mfrs_Publications/RPG_Diffusers/Presentations/Studio%20Design%20From%20Mono2Surround.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwizwvOo9e7tAhVymuAKHdyOAtQQFjAGegQIBhAB&usg=AOvVaw16poY_RDFYMf9bw94si1mE

SOS describes room design criteria

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/sos-guide-control-room-design?amp&ved=2ahUKEwizwvOo9e7tAhVymuAKHdyOAtQQFjAAegQIARAB&usg=AOvVaw1kWMSUiwkAKA-3Bopfu1PQ&ampcf=1

For more info you can search EBU, ITU, AES, and BBC room design critera for listening rooms.

They will all have free PDFs available. If you need me to link them i will.
 

Link555

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2007
Location
North Vancouver
In the 90's in Vancouver it was quite often you would see a small studio with the end behind the monitors completely dead. This was usually done with black acoustical foam. The live end of the room often had diffusers on the rear wall. In the recording room, the same approach was taken. Drums were set up to in the dead end to project into the live end. Having used these rooms, I much prefer the results achieved with rigid fiberglass in the corners and at the reflection points. Couple that with a cloud above the mixing position, and rear wall diffusion and I am happy.
 

Myobius

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Location
Gdansk
In the 90's in Vancouver it was quite often you would see a small studio with the end behind the monitors completely dead. This was usually done with black acoustical foam. The live end of the room often had diffusers on the rear wall. In the recording room, the same approach was taken. Drums were set up to in the dead end to project into the live end. Having used these rooms, I much prefer the results achieved with rigid fiberglass in the corners and at the reflection points. Couple that with a cloud above the mixing position, and rear wall diffusion and I am happy.

As for the drums at the live end, I read that the disadvantage of LEDE is that the sound is perceived differently in different angles, I wonder how this affects the quality of the recording?
 

Link555

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2007
Location
North Vancouver
As for the drums at the live end, I read that the disadvantage of LEDE is that the sound is perceived differently in different angles, I wonder how this affects the quality of the recording?
The idea of the room was that you go from totally dead drums with close mics to more lively drums by move the mics out a few feet. In practice I was never really a fan.
 

paulears

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Location
Lowestoft - UK
The best and oddest thing I did in my studio 're-build' was reverse things. It's not very wide - 9ft and 30ft long. As an experiment I decided to treat one end to make it a little over-dead, and the other end of the room is quite live, as I green screened quite a bit of it. I set up as usual, but while trying things out, I ended up with the speakers on stands aiming at the dead end FROM the middle. I now have the computer keys and music keyboard and screens between the speakers and I face the live end, and mixing is better - stereo image is better, and it really works. I can swivel my chair and record things in the dead end, or I can put the mics in the livelier end. I wish I'd done it years ago. It sounds better than the conventional way around.
 

Myobius

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Location
Gdansk
The best and oddest thing I did in my studio 're-build' was reverse things. It's not very wide - 9ft and 30ft long. As an experiment I decided to treat one end to make it a little over-dead, and the other end of the room is quite live, as I green screened quite a bit of it. I set up as usual, but while trying things out, I ended up with the speakers on stands aiming at the dead end FROM the middle. I now have the computer keys and music keyboard and screens between the speakers and I face the live end, and mixing is better - stereo image is better, and it really works. I can swivel my chair and record things in the dead end, or I can put the mics in the livelier end. I wish I'd done it years ago. It sounds better than the conventional way around.
That's interesting!
 

paulears

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Location
Lowestoft - UK
I was quite shocked at how tighter it feels, and the live end which even worse, has a curve for the green screen to get rid of one 90 degree corner, so it's a bit lopsided - seems to sound great. I've deliberately used thinner foam tiles to keep the bass tighter, but it's really nice to work in. I've been more productive than ever. Originally, it was two rooms, and I just made it one longer thin space and so glad I did. I would absolutely do the middle speaker position again. Plenty of people ridiculed it, but I'd never seen anyone do it before, so figured it was worth trying and it was a real win. My monitors are old and I have grown old with them, and know their foibles, so it's a win for me.
 

Myobius

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Location
Gdansk
I was quite shocked at how tighter it feels, and the live end which even worse, has a curve for the green screen to get rid of one 90 degree corner, so it's a bit lopsided - seems to sound great. I've deliberately used thinner foam tiles to keep the bass tighter, but it's really nice to work in. I've been more productive than ever. Originally, it was two rooms, and I just made it one longer thin space and so glad I did. I would absolutely do the middle speaker position again. Plenty of people ridiculed it, but I'd never seen anyone do it before, so figured it was worth trying and it was a real win. My monitors are old and I have grown old with them, and know their foibles, so it's a win for me.
Does the fact that no one has done it mean that there is something unexplored out there)
Acoustics as a science is not so long ago started to gain momentum, so there is a lot of unexplored things in it.
I have always had a positive attitude towards experimentation, and you have my respect for that!
 
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