New and bigger studio : one room to rule them all or two room (control + live)?

Discussion in 'Acoustics (Live Room, ISO Booths)' started by Frederic Wellens, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. Frederic Wellens

    Frederic Wellens Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2018
    Location:
    Prévost, Qc, Canada
    Ok!

    I'm currently in my basement to record my own music - solely my own music - for now and the foreseable future.

    My actual room is roughly 10X16 with an 8 feet ceiling. It has a slanted ceiling over the mix area.
    I treated it with OC703 and OC705 a fair amount, but not everywhere. It sounds reasonnably un-alive but not to the point of being creepy. It's good for recording dry and erasing the room but not so much for playing because I find it too dry sounding.

    I am considering building a house expansion of 12X27 (interior 11X25,5) with an inverse slanted V ceiling(not cathedral, but with cissor truss). I would like the room to be more fun to play into (lively) but I would still treat it with my acoustic panels, but perhaps a bit less (maybe some diffusers too?).

    I am wondering if I will only make one 11X25,5 room to record and mix into or if I will split it in two separate rooms : 1-record and 2-mix. So far, I think I'd go for the one room option because with two rooms, I'd be back in small room country...

    Is 11X25,5 (average 11 feet ceiling) enough for a nice natural ambiance?

    I should add that I record mostly acoustic guitars and vocals with microphones. Bass is direct and drums are actually EZdrumer. With the new room I would like to add a real drum to really learn how to play it and eventually record it. The occasionnal piano or synths are also recorded direct or via vst instruments. I have a real upright piano but I don't like how it records in my actual room.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    Home Page:
    10 feet large will be a bit tight for drum recording. I feel you may not like the side reflections and will endup deaden the room more than you expect.
    If you have a room simulator as plugins (like altiverb or similar), try to put a drum track in similar room measurements, you'll get an idea of how it will sound.
    I'm in a very tight space and had to deaden it drasticly. Adding verbs in post became my salvation ;)
     
    kmetal likes this.
  3. Frederic Wellens

    Frederic Wellens Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2018
    Location:
    Prévost, Qc, Canada
    Well, deadening the room seems like rendering the whole bigger room somewhat useless. In that case, then, wouldn't the two rooms becoming sort of better?
    I wish I could make it larger but that's impossible unless I make a separate building in the backyard...
     
  4. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    Home Page:
    Let's wait for our friends here at RO. Many are more knowledgeable then me on that subject ;)
     
  5. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    I agree w PC that the 10ft wide dimension will need some absorbative materials.

    I picture a something like a live end dead end type room. Dead on one side for an upfront, phase coherent sound, with the option of getting a good ambience, from the ceiling height and length of the room.

    Where you get the ambeince is from the room mics.

    You can set fixed absorbative materials on the wall, moveable wall panels, use baffles on wheels, or a combo of all.

    You can use some semi reflective slot resonators, in sections, stone in another, and a completely dead section.

    If you divided your lenght into 3x 8ft sections youve got reasonable room for each zone.

    Id look to treat the ceiling with some fairly evenly distributed absorbsion, with perhaps some concentrated areas over drums and mix position, and perhaps some less in the middle.

    I would also consider strongly, using angled mounting for the treatment, and or, convex shaped treatment, especially for the walls to break up parelell reflections.

    I would most certainly opt for a cathedral ceiling, as an inverse V puts the most useful height in the least useful place. If you can make the cathedral ceiling asymmetrical even better, having different angles on either side, and/or with the truss off center.

    I'd rather a flat high ceiling, than the inverse V type. A flat ceiling is easier to build, easier to predict, an maximizes cubic footage.

    To me it's flat, or cathedral.
     
    pcrecord likes this.
  6. Frederic Wellens

    Frederic Wellens Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2018
    Location:
    Prévost, Qc, Canada
    thanks for your inputs kmetal.

    I guess I could have the cathedral ceiling although I don't know if it would be ok to have 27 feet long cathedral truss?

    I was also thinking about deadening the end of the room where the mixing area would be. I assume I'd have to leave the other end with, at least, the side walls treated with absorption and that would be the place for the drum set. That leaves the center of the room for the guitars and the ambiance mic if desired.

    My main concern is that I wonder if it's worth it to build the newer studio space, considering the 11 feet wide issue. Or should I just stay where I am, in the basement (10X16) and if I really want a drumkit, put it in the room next door : low 8 foot ceiling but roughly 14X16 floor area. I could treat that space as well and stay where I am. I'd still have to build something to transfer that living area that is currently occupied by my kids though!
     
  7. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    Home Page:
    14x16 seems like an honest option even if the ceilling isn't that high.
    I look foward to read what others have to say about it.
    11 x 27 with high ceilling vs 14 x 16 with 8 feet ??
     
  8. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Home Page:
    An 8ft high flat untreated ceiling can be horrible for recording drums.
     
    kmetal and pcrecord like this.
  9. Frederic Wellens

    Frederic Wellens Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2018
    Location:
    Prévost, Qc, Canada
    Well, regardless of what I decide to do, the ceiling would be treated in either situation. If I go for the new room with high ceiling the amount of treatment would be less and more localised to try and retain some liveliness.
     
    kmetal likes this.
  10. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
    Home Page:
    If you're playing and engineering then one room is probably preferable. A control room lets the engineer hear what the mics are doing without being distracted by the acoustic sound of the source, but if the engineer is also the musician that isn't going to happen. In that case the advantage goes to having a larger recording space that's not a square. The ceiling height is a problem but 10:16 is a good ratio.
     
  11. Frederic Wellens

    Frederic Wellens Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2018
    Location:
    Prévost, Qc, Canada
    My actual room is «fine» to record guitars and vocals with the treatment but there are some problematic low frequencies around 200hz for instance where some resonances are present and the G and B strings of hanging guitars are resonating sometimes. +\- 3300Khz is also hard to tame in the mix sometimes and deep narow cuts are required. This only gets worse when mixing as the room increases the already amplified frequencies recorded. I'd like for that to improve in the new room...

    And yeah, one room is a lot simpler to record for a perfoming engineer! But I really miss being able to monitor mic placement in «real» time.
     
  12. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    Home Page:
    kmetal likes this.
  13. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    I'd take 11x27 w/ cathedral ceiling over just about any basement.

    Triad wave cave's main room is 28x16 interior, w a flat 10' ceiling. This room sounds great for drums, amps and pretty much anything. It also contains 2 iso booths (8x10). It's adjacent Hall is the echo chamber and has plastered walls, ceiling, and cobcretc floor, and is roughly 8x14, 10' flat ceiling.

    Traid Normandy (which had had numerous top ten hits mixed an tracked there since 78') has a main room 17'x32', and control room, 17x25', both 10' ceiling height, control room has splayed ceiling, main room flat. Main room also has an echo chamber made from the adjacent hallway.

    These rooms are versatile, and generally artifact free. I built and designed the cave ground up, re-buolt Normandy from the studs out.

    If the 27' run is a code/load bearing issue, you can run the truss the 11' dimension, and have the joists run 13.5' to either side. A standard 2x8, Spaced 24" on center, can handle a 16' span here while adhering to code in Boston. This would be a typical span involved in typical house.

    As far as exactly what dimensions you require for lumber for a cathedral ceiling I can't say for sure as codes, location, load, and design are all variables at this point. And Im not a structural engineer.

    This site has great info on all things lumber, and free apps / calculators useful in wood based construction and design, and engineering.

    https://www.awc.org/codes-standards/calculators-software/spancalc

    In tracking rooms it's about volume (cubic footage) more than strict dimensional proportion. Control rooms are about both, as your trying to distribute the sound so it's got an even response and decay at the listening position.

    Assuming budget, headaches, and time are available, your room is close to being national class studio sized, and certainly professional.

    I'd strongly recommend rods book, and trying to incorporate a hall, or bathroom, to have use of an echo chamber.

    While the natural abeince and footprint of your room may not be appropriate at the fore-front of every mix, it is likely to be rewarding, useful quite often, and a selling point to drummers.

    During my 8 years at the Triad Studios, I never once used an artificial drum reverb. I often (re-) amped keys, and guitars, to make use of the lively main room/chamber. There is a certain life amps and room mics introduce to a sample based sources, that transforms it from sound to instrument.

    That said, drums and mixing in samples have come a long way, and your rooms are decent sized. You could get good, even very good results, but likely not great, or magical. You can possibly even find an area in the basement to let sound leak into, or place a speaker in, and gain some natural ambeince that way. Results will vary. But a pair of mics facing the concrete wall, can go a long way.


    Where your basement cant compete is with modal response. 10'+ ceiling height is pro standard, and 27' is talking a fundamental that's below 60hz if I recall correctly. This means accurate bass translation in your mix, and a nice, deep, blooming kick drum, without ecxess buildups, like your experiencing now in the basement.

    Unless you have an assistant a multiroom studio isn't the most practical, and with the foot print you have available, acoustically undesireable.

    It's important to account for the physical space the acoustical treatments, and isolation assemblies will use up, when considering what your final useable interior dimenions will be.

    An iso wall is generally a foot thick, with two walls spaced with an inch between them so your looking at knocking off 6"-1', from your from all dimenions. So your more like 8-9'x25-26', as far as interior finished dims. Then anywhere from a moving blanket, to a nice 6-8" deep absorber/resonator for brosfband treatment, and corner traps with stradled pannels, a foot or more deep in from the corner junction, to the front face of the trap.

    So this will will not get small when gear is added, but will get cozy. I think a nice modern small to medium sized, fairly tight, short to medium decay would be expected from the room itself, with chamber adding the levy breaking drum verb that's just so fun.
     
    pcrecord likes this.
  14. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    I respect that, and enjoy that privalige when I have it. Tho it requires an assistant or remote control mic stand, as well as a player, and separate rooms large and well treated enough, to actually make sense. Imho.
     
  15. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    Ill also add tbat as fun as large room drums are, my favorite sound I got at the cave was in the booth, which is pretty small, pretty dead, and had no parelell surfaces. This with just 5 mics, the door open a quarter, and a well tuned kit, with an open / un- muffled snare. It yeilded a punchy, clear drum sound.

    I think small / dead rooms get a bad rep for drums, because they recall the sound of the 70's where the kits were deadened too, and/or, many rooms have parelell surfaces, wich cause frequency buildup and cancelling.
     
  16. Frederic Wellens

    Frederic Wellens Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2018
    Location:
    Prévost, Qc, Canada
    Thanks Kmetal. Very nice info and that's reassuring to hear for sure.

    As far as the room itself, it would be a side addition to the house, thus already quite insulated (6inches studs filled with R?? fiberglass for the cold winters and one of the wall being already an outside insulated wall of the house). I'd add some roughly 2-3 inches of interior soundproofing making the walls around 8-10 inches thick. Anyhow, I should have around 11 X 25 feet of interior dimensions with all taken into account (aside for interior sound treatment).

    The truss will have to run the longer wall for architectural reasons. I don't know if 27 feet truss cathedral (or cissor) is feasable as of yet. Maybe some post and beams would be required inside the room. I'll see about that along the way.

    I'm still undecided about the floor too. I will have to have a concrete slab underneath. So either engineering flooring on the concrete or a subfloor + a hardwood flooring solution. Although the subfloor could act as a resonating medium so... I don't know. Budget will become an issue down the road so choices will have to be made.

    As far as using adjacent areas for ambiance and re-amping : the immediate area next to the new room would be an enclosed stair case. I think it has this nice intimate ambiance - I sometime sit there to play cause it sounds nice. So I could simply open the door and put an omni mic on the stair landing wich is right in the middle of the staircase.

    The more I think about it, the more confident I feel this would work nicely!
     
  17. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    I'm not sure what you are referring to as, "sound proofing", drywall and isolation mounts are for reducing sound transmissions, ie making things quiet. That's ISOLATION. Foams, insulation, resonators, ect are used for taming and tuning the rooms sound. Ie making things sound good or balanced. This is ACOUSTIC TREATMENT.

    Mass - ie drywall, is how to stop sound, soft fuffly stuff - ie insulation, is how to tune sound.

    Assuming you don't want the eorkd go gear your drummers, your studio will require isolation. This is generally achieved with a room- in - room construction method. Which is a room, with another room inside it, but not touching it.

    So you build a standard addition to the house, beefed up with extra layers of exterior sheathing. Thats your outer shell. Then inside this structure, you build a room which is beefed up with extra layers of drywall on the interior. This is your inner shell. You leave an airgap if at least 1" between the two shells. You only add mass- (sheathing) to the outside of the outer shell, and inside of the inner shell. So you have bare studs/insulation along with an air gap on the inside of your double wall assembly.

    I highly recommend you order rods book asap.


    If you go flat, you can span 27'+ without supports, using engineered i-joists. These are standard fare in construction, support alot of weight, and are relatively affordable.

    Going flat allows faster, simpler, cheaper, construction. It also allows for much more predictable acoustical response in your room. Slantef surfaces are not entirely predictable, and require both a large room, like a theater, and the use of complex software.

    If you really want to go with a slanted ceiling, you can build flat, and hang your acoustical treatments at an angle from your inner shell.

    Almost all studios are rectangular structures, with the finish surfaces employing the angles.

    Bare concrete, or floor covering layed directly bare concrete are the most common flooring methods for studios. The concrete on Earth is a great isolation medium, and you can simply stain or paint it, or apply wood, pergo, vynal, or carpet directly on it.

    If you need a subfloor you need to fill it with sand to dampen the resonance. Subfloors are generally a waste of cash in studio construction.

    You may want to install radiant heating in the slab.

    Did I mention you should get rods book? It is the single best investment you can make for this project. It changed the course of my life for a decade.

    You will need an expert to design your slab to accommodate your heavy duty walls, ect. Slab design is beyond my realm of expertise. All 5 builds I've done have been on existing slabs, except Normandy, which had 4' of sand put under the control room to dampen resonance.

    Beautiful. Thats how they do it at the powerstation/avatar, and many many other studios.
     
  18. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    The alternative to the room in room method, would be a room employing isolation clips, or resilient channel attached to your outer shell, and then drywall atached to tbe chsnnel, ryw w acts as spring (like a car shock/suspension) between your two physically decoupled mass layers. Either way you you've got a mass layer sandwich, with space between.

    Room in room has the advantage of being able to carry more weight, making it capable of blocking more sound. Isolation clips and channels, are most useful in very tight spaces like basements where every inch matters. All other things equal, room in room is generally a little cheaper, and uses materials more familiar to the builders - framing, insulation and drywall. Chsnnels require great care during construction as it is easier to short circuit the system.

    Since your building from scratch, and doing drums, I'd lean towards room in a room. If your dead set on a vaulted ceiling for your outer shell, and inner shell, channels/clips might be easier for the ceiling, depending on your height restrictions. Double walls can still be used in this case to keep things simple as possible.
     
  19. Frederic Wellens

    Frederic Wellens Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2018
    Location:
    Prévost, Qc, Canada
    I really meant isolation (as in sonopans, resilient bars, ans so forth) when I mentionned the «2-3 inches of interior soundproofing» and not acoustic treatment like my actual OC703 or 705 that hang on my walls and ceiling. I know the concept of room in a room but I don't think i'll go that route. This would make the room even narrower. +/- One foot made of insolated exterior walls plus some extra drywall and or sonopan layers and resilient bars will have to be the compromise. It's to prevent sound going out too much mostly doesn't need perfection - it's pretty calm in my area so sound coming in is less an issue.

    If flat, ceiling height would have to be 11 feet if I want that 3000 cubic feet. I'll have to see if I'm allowed cause it would impact on the exterior look of the addtition.

    Maybe a polished ciment floor would be nice then... Basically it will be the same as a garage floor as far as strutural proprieties
     
  20. Frederic Wellens

    Frederic Wellens Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2018
    Location:
    Prévost, Qc, Canada
    My current room is built like you just said : «The alternative to the room in room method, would be a room employing isolation clips, or resilient channel attached to your outer shell, and then drywall atached to tbe chsnnel, ryw w acts as spring (like a car shock/suspension) between your two physically decoupled mass layers.»
     
    kmetal likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice