Room Ratios in an Asymmetrical Room

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by quiet, May 21, 2008.

  1. quiet

    quiet Guest

    I'm new, here. And, yes, I've read the post with guidelines so as not to waste your time, which I am all in favor of. Can't seem to find anyone who's had exactly my question.

    I live in Berkeley, Ca.

    I am beginning a design to turn my 2-car garage into a rehearsal space & I am avidly reading Rod Gervais' book. My goal is a rehearsal space for jazz ensembles that will not annoy the neighbors in my residential neighborhood. Amplified music, but not quite rock 'n roll levels. I will start construction this summer.

    I would give you more info on noise levels, proximity to neighbors, but it's not germane to my rather basic and preliminary questions i.e. shape of the room: I am building room-in-a-room, and I have some choices as to shape.

    If I design symmetrically (which I don't believe I should) I have a space to carve up that is 16 feet by 20 feet, with an 8 foot ceiling. This is your classic, problematic small room, it seems to me.

    Rod says (page 21) "Walls should be out of parallel by at least 1 in 10, or 6%." I plan to angle one of the walls at least this much.

    My question is how to figure this in to the room ratios Rod offers on page 29 courtesy of Sepmeyer and Louden. The ratios are for H, W, and length. I will have four numbers if I cant one of walls. My plan is to cant one of the shorter walls by 6 to 10 percent. Should I just average the number for "Width?" They are pretty specific ratios that are being offered.

    A related question: Rod actually says "Facing walls should be out of parallel ..." Is canting one wall - which I am proposing here - advisable? I'd rather not put both walls out of parallel for reasons I won't bore you with. But I could.

    I can simply build for maximum square footage & deal with the outcome later, but I thought I'd try to apply some chapter 2 wisdom (Modes, Nodes, and other Terms of Confusion").

    Just to - possibly - anticipate a response (or question), I don't have too many options within my small budget to tilt, vault, or recess the ceiling. I'm exploring skylights, but recessing them seems to me to complicate things in expensive ways from an engineering perspective if I'm to maintain the integrity of the room-within-a-room design.

    Thanks !

    Clark Suprynowicz
    Berkeley, Ca.
  2. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Sunny & warm NC
    Home Page:

    I'd suggest you pop down a couple of floors to the Acoustics Forum and ask your questions. You'll likely get some good answers from Rod and several others who frequent the forum.

    Just a couple of preliminary things...

    Whatever you do, get your permits. Too many folks fail to, and if you go to sell the house, have an accident, or God forbid; a fire or anything where your insurance company or the city gets involved... you'll likely find yourself in serious piles of poo.

    Next would be to ask how many rooms you are planning on. If it's at least two, e.g. tracking room and control room, then you're design considerations are kinda' misconceived. The control room should be as symmetrical as possible, and the tracking room as asymmetrical as possible. Thankfully, in normal practice this works out as a pretty natural occurrence by following the contours of the control room.

    As far as figuring the ratio into distances... I used a std spreadsheet. Since you are dealing with an existing structure, you are pretty well limited to some maximum height. So, I would start with the ceiling height as a constant and calculate backwards to get the width and length.

    About canting or angling walls. You are correct that you typically use an average when calculating some of these numbers.

    Lastly, realize that to do this "right" (especially on a tight budget), you don't want to rush in and do this without a really thorough plan. I started to do that here, but I'm glad I actually held off and got a proper design and set of prints. However, I would also say that your process should certainly not take as long as mine has. (Oh brother, you just don't know) The one thing I can tell you is... whatever your budget is... unless you can buy all your materials at the same time and have room to store it... you're gonna have cost overruns... and without a good solid set of prints, it's liable to get UGLY in overruns.

    Come on down to the acoustics forum!


    [edit]Corrected asymmetrical reference to tracking room[/edit]
  3. Robak

    Robak Active Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    MadMax, is this correct?
  4. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Sunny & warm NC
    Home Page:
    Yeah... dat be me...

    Oh man... Just noticed a SERIOUS typo error....

    The control room should be as SYMMETRICAL as possible, and the tracking room as ASYMMETRICAL as possible.

    (That's what I get for doing copy and paste with words that I commonly miss-spel)

    Sorry for any confusion...
  5. quiet

    quiet Guest

    Thanks, guys. I've gone to the forum on acoustics, which you recommended. Appreciate the guidance


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