Home Studio Pics, Sub recommendations? And random q's

Discussion in 'Acoustics (Live Room, ISO Booths)' started by Brother Junk, Sep 30, 2016.

  1. Brother Junk

    Brother Junk Active Member

    I've mentioned it here and there, but I finished my home studio. Even at a discount, fees were killing me, and I have the space, PT, Logic, monitors etc...

    Any questions, advice, I'm open to it. I still have to get the window shades etc, but it's like 90% of the way there. I've built rooms (and cars before) so I've experimented with live to dead ratio (you guys may call it something different). And I have it how I like it. The left side of the room (which you won't really see) is the "live-est" part of the room, it's also where my test speakers will be set up. I have a pair of B&W's I like for guitar material. I have a pair of inexpensive Polk's a friend won at a show, and a pair of Magnepans.

    The room has a weird shape, which is why it's treated this way. It measures flat enough on an RTA except for the bottom end, from about 35hz down. Any suggestions on a "budget-ish" sub? So many people have told me just to get the HS8 sub. I've never heard it, so I can't comment on it, it just seems like a lot to pay for a single 8", but everyone seems to really like it. Anything larger that sounds good but won't break the bank? I've read all the reviews I can find, but I honestly find discussions like this to be more revealing.

    Anyway, pics.

    The 50" screen I had. I did a window cleaning job and the woman gave me a TV. So, that is my old living room TV. I thought it would be cool for the editing phase bc you could see so much on the screen. However, the mouse doesn't track fluidly. Anyone know how to fix that?

    The panels are Owen's Corning 703 2". The ones on the ceiling have a gap intentionally. I think it does a better job this way...but it's just been testing with an RTA and my ear. But over the years, I like this way better. The HS8's (maybe not in the pic) are at an angle that the TV glass doesn't seem to make a difference. I've listened with the 50" there, and not there, and don't hear a difference.

    I know the HS8's are oriented upside down. It's so the tweeters are at the right height. It doesn't sound or measure any differently in the listening position. But this way, I can get the monitors up high enough that first reflections are less of an issue.
    File Sep 30, 9 20 49 AM.jpeg

    This is how I prefer to do the ceiling panels. I still need a mixer with a good x-fade for that deck.

    File Sep 30, 9 20 17 AM.jpeg

    Roll-a-way keyboard. I thought this would be more fancy than practical, but it's awesome in every way.
    File Sep 30, 9 21 46 AM.jpeg

    File Sep 30, 9 21 19 AM.jpeg

    27" second monitor to use when recording drums or...whatever I want lol. I find myself using this most of the time bc of the mouse tracking problem. Magic mouse (I prefer the track pad actually, but it may just be what I'm used to) and wireless, short-cutted, keyboard. So, when I do drums, I have that thing with me to hit "3." I have that monitor right behind me...

    File Sep 30, 9 22 10 AM.jpeg

    A couple more pics to follow
  2. Brother Junk

    Brother Junk Active Member

    Pics of the other side of the room. It's more finished now (Can light trim is installed, smoke/monoxide detector back on the wall etc) In this pic, if you look at the door in the center...the wall immediately to the right of it, will have a large panel. My wife was just not crazy about the pattern I picked, and her parents are coming to visit, so it's down atm.

    Side note, I installed radiant floor heating in this house, so there is a lot of wood/structure under the floor, also completely insulated. The ceiling is as well. Without any treatment, the room sounded solid, just a ton of reverb cuz of the floors/drywall.

    File Sep 21, 9 37 28 AM.jpeg

    File Sep 30, 9 19 40 AM.jpeg

    This is the wall and panel I referenced above. Wife isn't crazy about it so it's in the garage till I can reupholster it. I'm not crazy about it either. Some of the panels, at some point, I will change the fabric to make it more cohesive. I kind of agree with the wife about this pattern. At the top of the stairs, it's just a little too much. There is rubber under the drums, and a large carpet . It sounds really good.
    2016-08-04 08.45.21.jpg

    So, as I get things going more for myself, I need to update quite a few things. Any preferences on between these logos?

  3. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    You could turn that closet into a nice bass trap! Also have you experimented w having the speakers fire the long way of the room? This could help both with bass response and left to right imaging.

    Judging by the photos it seems like it's fairly live in there. Perhaps you'll want to make a couple portable baffles?

    Also as far as the sub goes the hs sub is pretty good, and I know a member here who's vey happy w his focal cms sub, which is an 11" driver.

    Color scheme is cool up there's looks like a fun little place to create.! Congrats.
  4. Brother Junk

    Brother Junk Active Member

    All the closets are small, the doors on the left. The door directly in front of you is another room. If you are talking about this pic anyway
    File Sep 21, 9 37 28 AM.jpeg

    Behind that door, is this (and the bathroom) off of that room.
    File Oct 04, 8 41 06 AM.jpeg File Oct 04, 8 41 26 AM.jpeg File Sep 21, 9 38 06 AM.jpeg File Sep 21, 9 38 47 AM.jpeg

    So in that second to last pic, is the closets along the short wall. It's a cape and I can't stand walls that you can smash your head in to. That wall was already framed like that. But I copied that over to the studio side of the upper floor. I framed some closets into that utterly useless space (I hate capes in general) I then took the old closets and used it for the bathroom and put a 17" or 20" soaker tub.

    I don't know if you can see it in the second to last pic, but I would have a good chance in the "Roundest Wall Contest." That wall was there, and I didn't feel like messing with it. I did 90% of the work myself, then I had another seizure and was out of commission for a while. Painters came to finish it up.

    So, anyway, if you are talking about the closets along the small wall, yes, I tried it. It works, but it doesn't sound right. I don't know of a better way to explain it, it just isn't right.

    I've tried it every way I can possibly make it work. I've tried along the long wall in both directions. I tried putting a desk where the drums currently are.
    I plan on trying it along the long wall again when I get a better desk.

    I have a bunch of test discs (do you guys have a setup disc you use?) so L/R/C and the in betweens are all correct. It could be wider, but that will have to wait for a new desk.

    It isn't bad, but it is...a little on the live side. I'm hoping the shades will take care of it. The ceiling in the other half of the room is nothing on it at all. In reading about "ideal" room setup everyone says a square room or rectangle is the way to go. I don't really have that option here. Anyone ever put up a fabric curtain to create a rectangular space?

    In car audio applications the three best subs I've ever heard are the Phase Linear Aliante, the JL Audio 12IB4 (no joke) and the Focal 13WS. This


    I have 800 watts of power on tap, so if I'm going to pay $500, I think I'll just find that 13" and build my own box. I have no doubt the HS8 sounds great, but it's a lot of space for an 8" to fill. And I don't necessarily need a powered sub.

    You mean like some egg crate foam on the closet wall?
  5. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Akron/Cleveland, OH
    Home Page:
    Hmmm... well ...not quite everyone, Brother J. ;)

    Besides, there are a lot of variables/parameters involved other than just the shape of a room ... just to name a few of the determining factors, there's ceiling height, cubic feet, the materials used to build the room...

    Brien ( @Brien Holcombe ) is our resident acoustics guru. You should read through some of his posts. ;)
    Brien Holcombe likes this.
  6. Brother Junk

    Brother Junk Active Member

    I will.

    Technically I'm not part of "everyone" either. I am occupying the left side of a room, which is has a lot of treatment. The right side of the room (if you are sitting at the desk) has treatment on the walls, a carpet, and an eased corner. And it's pretty good. It could always be better, but that's just how my mind works. Treating the rest of the ceiling is not an option. I'm doing it that way because, rules be damned, it's what sounded best/is the only practical orientation. Right now, it sounds about 95% of what I consider perfect. But that last 5% will be covered by the shades. And the rest of it is just the revelatory nature of monitors. The cost to gain ratio to do the rest of the ceiling is just not enough. The bottom end is a little light, and the 1k area is a little high for recreational listening, but that's just the monitors.

    It may not look like much, but it's pretty good. 8" of insulation below...and, wow, 12" of insulation above, plus the walls. It's a very low resonance room. The only problem is all the hard surfaces - that I installed, so I know they are battened down tight. It's just the reflectivity to deal with.

    With a sub, I would demonstrate it proudly to any engineer as a "home studio." It's sounds that decent lol.
  7. Brien Holcombe

    Brien Holcombe Distinguished Member

    Exit 4
    Home Page:
    "The ones on the ceiling have a gap intentionally. I think it does a better job this way...but it's just been testing with an RTA and my ear"

    You think it does a better job. ..lol...you guys kill me.

    There is a reason why an airspace behind treatment helps the panel to reduce beyond the anticipated frequency response of just the treatment. It is simple physics...well not simple but easily mathematically figured out.

    It is common knowledge that an airspace at least the equivilent of the thickness of a panel will help the panel to absorb at a lower frequency.

    It has been tested by a certified acoustics wizard( Eric Desart of studiotips.com ) some years ago that you may actually use a 3 to 1 ratio and still get results.

    Far be it from me at this late stage in the game to come in and suggest anything to someone who needed no help from the start.

    As long as it works for you....that is all that matters. But I wouldnt start writing a book on acoustics if ya know what I mean my friend.
  8. Brother Junk

    Brother Junk Active Member

    I don't get the joke...

    I've made them 2" thick, and I've tried 4" (2 stacked). I've drilled them into the ceiling, and I've let them hang. Hanging seems to work better, and the 4" just seems to be overkill. But back to the point of hanging, you seem to agree...so, I don't get it. Maybe you think I'm taking credit as it's something that only I myself have learned/observed, I'm definitely not. I'm sure that I read it somewhere and started trying it, and it seems to work. On an RTA (I know the pitfalls of RTA's, it's just what I'm used to) there is just a lot less flutter in the graphing. No one has ever let me try it on the walls, and I'm not going to be the first lol.

    It is however, the reason the corner traps are not "coped." Normally, I would have that tight to the wall for aesthetic (I'm a perfectionist) reasons, but every day I tell myself, "It's better this way. It's better this way. Don't look at it."
    You seem a little insulted. I didn't know who you were, or that there were acoustic engineers I could consult for free at the time I did all that. I wish I had known. If you see something in the room that shouldn't be, even in theory, I'm happy to attain the knowledge. Even if you don't have time, and you just said, "That bass trap in the back corner is probably a waste of time." I would love for you to impart some of your experience. (Note: after about the 5th? seizure, I've been told that often times when I'm being sincere, I sound sarcastic. I'm being sincere).

    The room has to stay constructed the way it is, but I can move stuff around. I would be the first to tell you it could be better (I think I was lol). But I also have a wife to contend with; home resale value to think about, etc. So it'a a balancing act. Even the way it is, she is just north of unhappy. But for the sake of learning, mine or all, feel free to point out judgement errors.

    I bet it would depend highly on ceiling height/monitor position/monitor dispersion (the ratio). Just my hack guess. But do you mean that if the material is 2" I could possibly hang it 6" and it would still gain efficacy? I don't have that amount of room anyway, I just want to be sure that's what you mean.

    Like I said, I'm sure I read it somewhere, probably in a home theatre mags of the 90's. If I made it sound like I discovered it, that was unintentional. My thinking since doing it has been that you double the surface area of dampening material. But because of the relative angle to the speakers, you don't double the amount of reflective surface, and until you hit that point, you would (in my theory) gain efficacy. That's just my guess. Kind of the same idea behind heat sinks, only instead of heat radiating out, you have errant sound waves radiating in, and more surface to absorb it. That analogy could be totally flawed, it's just how I've thought about it.

    Lol, no worries. I wish I had that depth of understanding. With the understanding I have, and a lot of trial and error in previous events, you see what I designed above. If you see major flaws, you aren't dong me any favors by keeping them from me.

    I wish I consulted you a year ago.
  9. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    Yes that closet is what I was talking about. rooms of that size and listening rooms in general almost always benefit from bass trapping. The design of the trap makes a differnce. It's also possible that by tightening up the bass you revealed an issue that was otherwise masked, making it sound 'wrong'.

    I use test tones from the free ones real traps site, or whatever frequency gen I have available, and a db meter for Roughs. I use REQ which is a free, and widely accepted room tuning program. It's not super difficult to setup and is excellent at reveling your room, provided the measurements are done properly.

    RTA measurements i use for quick and dirty measurements, and also they're useful for finding rough positions for speakers quickly and/or observing trends.

    Car audio and studio subs are 2 different animals. Car audio is meant to be loud and/or entertaining. Studio is meant to be revealing.

    The hs sub isn't gonna blow your windows out, it's gonna give you an idea of what's going on in the bottom octave that your speakers taper off in. The focal studio sub is an 11" driver and higher wattage. The hs is cool becuase it matches your speakers so should pair well.

    A smaller soeaker in a room that size is likely gonna be more revealing than a larger one.

    It's a painstaking process to design a proper box, that plays nice with the driver and crossover. Tons of R and D and computer modeling, goes into it. That's part of what you pay for with a pre built sub.

    I have no doubts building a box can yeild something fun. If your looking for accurate, then a purpose bully studio sub is without a doubt the way to go.

    No I meant like a wood frame stuffed with rigid fiberglass that's on wheels so you can move it out of the way when your not doing critical mixing.

    There's a lot of pictures and information on acoustic baffles out there. But what I described above os the basic idea.
  10. Brother Junk

    Brother Junk Active Member

    p.s. @Brien Holcombe, The above still sounds sarcastic, I'm sorry. But I really would like to know, as concisely as you can word it, what you may have done differently with that room.

    But I wanted to ask what you thought about my sub question....

    I can't find it now (was gonna quote it) but the room needs a sub. I don't have 3' from the walls with those HS8's. (For the sake of time, let's just assume that I do need a sub.)

    My dilemma is this: most of this studio stuff comes already designed and made. However, for a sub that will be playing from 20-40hz, I don't think, I need it designed, or made? I can buy a driver that I respect and do the rest. The materials will be better, the construction better...I can try diff designs for the room (firing direction).

    But, the fact that I don't see more people doing it makes me hesitant. Why aren't more people just doing it themselves? I'm not talking about the main monitors, those would be a measurement nightmare for diy...I just mean the sub, which will be cut off at 40hz, probably lower depending on the slope.

    So, is diy-ing the sub something that people do do? And I just haven't been in enough studios to see it? Or, is it strictly bc it's pre-made, pre-measured, and easy? I guess I'm worried that in this regard, you guys know something that I don't...and I don't want to learn it after I spend the dough. I can find a sub that is brutally accurate. I guess what I mean by that is that the driver's in these studio subs are not inherently different than other drivers. There isn't anything special about them. It's just been designed, packaged and labeled for "Studio Use." I'm not saying the end product isn't awesome. I'm saying that if you deconstruct it, it's a driver, and an enclosure designed for that driver. I can do that here. The mfr's could even give me different plots for diff enclosures.

    Everyone I've talked to who owns one says the HS8 sub is nice, but for a single 8? Imo, it's a lot of cash. I can get drivers (sponsored, so about 1/2 off) from Focal and Dynaudio. Getting the driver, the box, even designing a passive if necessary is not difficult for me. And I have 800 watts just sitting here, so I don't need an active sub. And I think in the Mbox Pro, I can set an LPF for it. If not, I can just make one.

    A link to the driver for the HS8's is at the bottom. It's just to show that it's $55. The sub driver is probably spec'd a lil different, but, it's a $50-$60 driver max. So, it's @ $450 for wood, amp, wiring, construction, packaging, shipping, and all the measuring that went into the design. Everyone loves it, and I have no doubt it sounds great. I have a hard time swallowing that price for a very simple 8" driver. And I know I can build a better sub. But is integration that hard? Is that why everyone loves the HS8 sub so much? Is that where I would run into a noob situation and think, "Damn, should have gotten the HS8 sub."

    Do you think there is a large advantage to going pre-designed? Because for me, just needing a sub, it seems like there is a big advantage to doing it myself...but I don't want to make a newbie assumption. Most of the above q's are rhetorical, just to flesh out my main concern.

    If I hold $500 in my hand, and look at the HS8 sub, and then think of my other diy options, I'm strongly inclined to do it myself. Am I missing something before I do that lol?

    http://www.fullcompass.com/prod/278...00201936817&utm_content=Ad group All Products
  11. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    Like I said the driver is just one part of the system. The cabinet and crossover are two very important parts. Designed to work together, for a specific result. In this case enteded frequency response.

    It's not a car or theater, what you want is a seemless extension of your speakers.

    The reason people don't DIY studio subs or speakers is becuase it's not a DIY thing. It's in general a highly specialized segment of audio, requiring tons of knowledge experience, and test gear. In short, I can't be done, in a practical situation.

    Design would require at minimum a flat room to test in. That alone is super expensive. That or an a school chamber, which isn't be any means cheap. Money or space wise.

    Why don't you just have two subs? One for studio accuracy, and one you make to add some bang.
  12. Brother Junk

    Brother Junk Active Member

    In this room, it makes a massive difference. The effect that seems to happen is that bass lingers. The decay is just weird. It's almost like there is a 38hz tone being played at low volume at all times. I will play more with it.
    I'm on it!
    I put it to a lil more use than that, but it's just because I'm so familiar with it. If I can't dig up that windows machine, I may have to get something different for measuring anyway. If you guys think the RTA is not the right device (seems unanimous), I'll use it in the interim, and transition into something new.
    That's what I'm worried about, precisely that. But the driver's that I could get don't have to be car audio. We cross-posted. But your friend who has the Focal sub (someone in this thread), I can buy that exact driver and put it in my own box. Unless Focal won't do that driver, but I doubt it. I'm very tempted to try that. Or something along those lines. But my mixes my regret it.
    That is definitely worthy of pondering. I just keep thinking about displacement bc of the spectrum it's playing.
    I like anything with wheels! Fwiw, I looked at all the pics I could, and applied what I thought would work best, given my situation.

    Thanks for the help and input.
  13. Brother Junk

    Brother Junk Active Member


    I think you helped me figure out the solution. Do the HS8 sub now. Later on, I can design/build my own...this way, I will have something to compare it to, as opposed to investing in an anechoic chamber lol.

    I think the main thing I'm gonna be paying for with the HS8 sub, is having the measuring/pairing already done. I don't necessarily care about bang, I would be doing the second sub just to see how it compares. Basically, I can go the safe route first, so I know it's good. Later on, I can play with my own designs to see if I can do it anywhere near as well. I'll already have a "standard" with the HS*

    I like it.
  14. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    The best money you can spend is $30 on "home studio, build it like the pros" by Rod Gervais, he is a world class studio builder/designer, and has serious cred in the Acoustics world. Well respected by peers and the masses as well.

    There's some designs and concepts that will make that closet a serious bass trap, as opposed to the resonant chamber it seems to be/have been.

    Again the box design has to complement the driver and crossover and amplifier, which is what focal did. But it could be fun to make your own sub.

    This sounds like the best of both worlds to me. I had fun mixing sessions w the Yamaha sub.
  15. Brother Junk

    Brother Junk Active Member

    YES! That's exactly what's happening.
    Will do
    I'm aware. I've built a lot of them, for different purposes. 4-way speakers (won't do that again) 3-way, 2-way, line array, ported, sealed, wood, fiberglass, plexiglass. I'm not really afraid of getting any of that part of it wrong. I probably have most of the passive parts I would need here already. I don't want to seem like I'm dismissing the importance of the design. I understand the importance first hand.

    But I have no objective way of measuring it's accuracy in a studio setting. So, while I'm confident I could make one as good or better with a different sub, I'm pretty sure (at this point, & thank you all) that I'm not going to be able to tell if it's "monitor" quality. I've heard a lot of subs I really like, but this is for a different purpose. And people say the HS8 monitor/sub pairing is perfect. So, I think I'll do like you said and do the HS8 sub first. Then I will have a standard by which I can mess around with other designs. Then I can compare. Given my situation, I think you're right, that's the most efficient, and safest (for mixing) choice.

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