room acoustics on a budget

with industry Pro, Nick Batzdorf

Moderators: admin, mdc, TAXIstaff

Post Reply
jude3
Impressive
Impressive
Posts: 363
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:30 pm
Gender: Male
Contact:

room acoustics on a budget

Post by jude3 » Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:31 pm

After building my third recording studio I wanted to post something that may help some people.As mentioned in another post, room acoustics have as much or more to do with what you hear then your monitors. It really makes a difference for people cutting vocals at home. The room can really get in the way especially if you compress later.So I have found something that could make someones day. It is a cheap way to make a room sound good using home made diffusers.Most of the info out there is on trapping, but that can be expensive. It is also more difficult to build traps. traps also cause other problems if you are trying to have a room that you can mix and record in. Diffusers give you the best of both worlds.This idea is for most people who are working in an average small room. Like 8 x 12 or so. But can be used in big or smaller rooms. The bigger your room the more it costs.Here is what you do:Go to Home depot and buy enough 8" and 10" concrete column forms like the ones in this picture:http://www.bracingsystems.com/product_d ... otubePlace them all around the room. Put them behind your speakers and in the rest of the room. You can cut them in half and mount them on the walls also. Just put a bunch of them up all over. This will create a very diffused room that will eliminate standing waves completely. You will be amazed in the difference in sound.Your music will be clearer and louder. You will hear a more balanced clear sound. You will be able to mix your music that will translate better. You can cut tracks in the same room that will be free of slap back echo. The echo will actually sound good! If you need more dead you can hang some thick blankets temporarily. The combination of the blankets and the diffusers will sound awesome!These tubes are about $10 each at Home Depot. For a small 8 x 12 room you should get at least 15 of them. 20 of them would be better but If you can get 12 or 15 of them and cut them in half and mount them on the walls that will really be good.So for about $150 and a days work you can have a great sounding recording and mixing room all in one!You can paint them or cover them in fabric so they are not so ugly.I hope this helps someone.

southpaw
Committed Musician
Committed Musician
Posts: 739
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:24 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Contact:

Re: room acoustics on a budget

Post by southpaw » Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:23 pm

cool idea, thanks for sharing. Thats interesting-because traditionally diffusers aren't recommended or needed in a small studio (tracking + control room) from what i've learned. Generally, diffusers are used often in big tracking/live rooms, although ive seen pictures of wall to wall diffusers used exclusively in some of the top-tier mastering engineers control rooms too... (But i think that it was a specially made room with tons and tons of 10-30 ft. foam strips with uneven ends so it staggered into a pattern, and was basically an "ideal" way of diffusion.) Are you saying mount absorbers and broadband traps, if replaced by wall to wall diffusers will enhance the sound of a small room; or are you saying that in addition to absorbtion and bass traps, add some diffusers for more clarity and less reflection/standing waves etc.Would you mind elaborating a little bit on the benefit of diffusion over absorbtion in a small room, when you dont want much of its room sound in the mix? This is very interesting to me (and im sure a few others), who track and mix in the same room. if you could spare a couple more minutes itd be much appreciated. Got the wheels turning, thanks!~Jamie
Stay Fresh,

Jamie Leger 
The Music Business Architect for Independent Musicians

--> FREE GUIDE: Double New Fan Signups At Your Next Show!

Proudly Helping Hundreds of Modern Musicians liberate the music business-on their own terms.

mojobone
King of the World
King of the World
Posts: 11748
Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 4:20 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Up in Indiana, where the tall corn grows
Contact:

Re: room acoustics on a budget

Post by mojobone » Mon Jun 29, 2009 7:35 pm

I would recommend getting a clear picture of the frequency response of your room before attempting acoustic treatment; maybe that's just me.
The Straight Stuff; Roots, Rock & Soul

http://twangfu.wordpress.com
http://twitter.com/mojo_bone

rld
Committed Musician
Committed Musician
Posts: 735
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2004 7:13 am
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: room acoustics on a budget

Post by rld » Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:56 am

For small project studios, $150 can buy a lot of mineral wool or Owens Corning 703/705 panels and make DIY traps which would give better results.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyYUpkpL0gwFor cheap diffusion put up a book shelf w/books or open a door to a closet filled with clothes.

jude3
Impressive
Impressive
Posts: 363
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:30 pm
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: room acoustics on a budget

Post by jude3 » Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:13 am

Jun 29, 2009, 8:23pm, southpaw wrote:cool idea, thanks for sharing. Thats interesting-because traditionally diffusers aren't recommended or needed in a small studio (tracking + control room) from what i've learned. Generally, diffusers are used often in big tracking/live rooms, although ive seen pictures of wall to wall diffusers used exclusively in some of the top-tier mastering engineers control rooms too... (But i think that it was a specially made room with tons and tons of 10-30 ft. foam strips with uneven ends so it staggered into a pattern, and was basically an "ideal" way of diffusion.) Are you saying mount absorbers and broadband traps, if replaced by wall to wall diffusers will enhance the sound of a small room; or are you saying that in addition to absorbtion and bass traps, add some diffusers for more clarity and less reflection/standing waves etc.Would you mind elaborating a little bit on the benefit of diffusion over absorbtion in a small room, when you dont want much of its room sound in the mix? This is very interesting to me (and im sure a few others), who track and mix in the same room. if you could spare a couple more minutes itd be much appreciated. Got the wheels turning, thanks!~JamieI am saying instead of traps and absorbers. You could use some but I am trying to make it simple for those who know nothing. If you use absorbers, I would get and place them after you defuse the room.It's simple. The idea is to break apart the sound waves in to little particles and disperse them into different directions so that they don't bouce back and forth. They will bounce all around but not back an forth in the same direction.Rather than sucking the sound with a trap you are breaking the sound apart and dispersing it.The benefit is cost and ease. traps are expensive to buy and not as easy to build as going to home depot and buying a tube. Those little 2' x4' auralex things are $25 each! They wont work on as broad a range as diffusers will. I can say more later. Got to go.

jude3
Impressive
Impressive
Posts: 363
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:30 pm
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: room acoustics on a budget

Post by jude3 » Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:49 am

Jun 30, 2009, 6:56am, rld wrote:For small project studios, $150 can buy a lot of mineral wool or Owens Corning 703/705 panels and make DIY traps which would give better results.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyYUpkpL0gwFor cheap diffusion put up a book shelf w/books or open a door to a closet filled with clothes.Building those takes time and some know how. I've built three studios. Been there, done that.I am giving the people here who are very much beginners a way to do it easy.Building those traps won't sound near as good as diffusing the room.The problem is that 99% of the information out there is saying to put up traps. Thus, most people think that is the best way. But none of them has ever tried what I recomend. They just follow the heard mentality.The bass trap in your link is not going to do anything for bass waves below 125hz or so. It will also destroy the highs in a small room.My way is easy and effects all the frequencies. Anyone can do it easily.

jude3
Impressive
Impressive
Posts: 363
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:30 pm
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: room acoustics on a budget

Post by jude3 » Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:53 am

Jun 29, 2009, 10:35pm, mojobone wrote:I would recommend getting a clear picture of the frequency response of your room before attempting acoustic treatment; maybe that's just me.hahahaAn actual picture of the waves is not something the average person can do. Also, the calculators out there are not for the average person to understand either.But most people can understand this simple idea:put up tubes... break waves apart in little pieces. You can simply buy them and set them in the room. It is that simple. You don't need any glue, staple guns or any tools at all. You can store them away in the garage when done if you want.It is easy and simple for the beginner. simple as that!

jude3
Impressive
Impressive
Posts: 363
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:30 pm
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: room acoustics on a budget

Post by jude3 » Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:00 am

Want to see a small 8 x 12 control room that took $8000 of material?Go here:http://russellrecording.com/images/THE_ ... 29.jpgThis is my personal control room that I work in. I built is myself. It cost over $8000 in materials alone. I have a superchunk absorber angeld ceiling. A massive super chunk bass trap in the rear along with a super chunk bass trap in the back corner. The side walls a angled slat absorbers. The speaker sofits have concrete boxes hand made by your truely! The idea I pose here will give the average person something near this good without the time and expense of building traps and absorbers. really! I'm not kidding.

rld
Committed Musician
Committed Musician
Posts: 735
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2004 7:13 am
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: room acoustics on a budget

Post by rld » Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:07 am

Jun 30, 2009, 8:49am, jude3 wrote:Building those takes time and some know how. I've built three studios. Been there, done that.I am giving the people here who are very much beginners a way to do it easy.Building those traps won't sound near as good as diffusing the room.The problem is that 99% of the information out there is saying to put up traps. Thus, most people think that is the best way. But none of them has ever tried what I recomend. They just follow the heard mentality.The bass trap in your link is not going to do anything for bass waves below 125hz or so. It will also destroy the highs in a small room.My way is easy and effects all the frequencies. Anyone can do it easily.While those tubes are probably better than nothing, they don't address the problem that most small studios have, and those problems are with low end absorption."Diffusors scatters mid and high frequencies, while low frequencies pass through...Even the best diffusors are ineffective below around 600 Hz, so absorption is still needed for those lower frequencies...In the overall scheme of acoustic treatment, diffusion is more like icing on the cake compared to the staples of absorption and bass trapping"

jude3
Impressive
Impressive
Posts: 363
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:30 pm
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: room acoustics on a budget

Post by jude3 » Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:13 am

Jun 30, 2009, 9:07am, rld wrote:Jun 30, 2009, 8:49am, jude3 wrote:Building those takes time and some know how. I've built three studios. Been there, done that.I am giving the people here who are very much beginners a way to do it easy.Building those traps won't sound near as good as diffusing the room.The problem is that 99% of the information out there is saying to put up traps. Thus, most people think that is the best way. But none of them has ever tried what I recommend. They just follow the heard mentality.The bass trap in your link is not going to do anything for bass waves below 125hz or so. It will also destroy the highs in a small room.My way is easy and effects all the frequencies. Anyone can do it easily.While those tubes are probably better than nothing, they don't address the problem that most small studios have, and those problems are with low end absorption."Diffusors scatters mid and high frequencies, while low frequencies pass through...Even the best diffusors are ineffective below around 600 Hz, so absorption is still needed for those lower frequencies...In the overall scheme of acoustic treatment, diffusion is more like icing on the cake compared to the staples of absorption and bass trapping"It does address it.Do you know what it takes to absorb a 30 foot wave in a 12 foot room?The average person would never go to that trouble. the tubes will break apart the bubbling that those waves produce in a small room.It will scatter the little waves.Yes, the room will be immersed in particles. But it will be better than standing waves or missing waves which occurs when the average person reads a book on building absorbers and then tries it.And no. Those tubes will work like charm on 600Hz. That is the easiest frequency range of them all!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests