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Room treatment and monitor speakers suggestions.

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Room treatment and monitor speakers suggestions.

Postby Mus » Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:08 pm

Hello peeps,

Happy New Year!

I have a new studio room to play with. Any suggestions for acoustic treatment to record vocals/acoustic & classical guitar and reasonably priced active monitors with stands? I mix on headphones usually.

The room is squarish - 8' high, 9'6" long and 7' wide from double-glazed window on the right and green screen/thin duvet covering a fitted cupboard on the left:

Image

The back of the room currently has a bookcase:

Image

The ceiling feels quite high so I don't know if an acoustic panel would need to be suspended in the middle of it.

The duvet and green screen have deadened the room a little but a bit more is required I think. There is almost no noise from outside but occasional clicking from the radiator (grrr!).

Hopefully my image sharing has worked.

Thanks for any suggestions!

M
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Re: Room treatment and monitor speakers suggestions.

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:38 pm

Your pics haven't loaded for me* but based on your description you need to address the recording and mixing elements separately. Mixing using monitors needs mirror points (including ceiling) treating and, ideally, some bass trapping. Recording needs a fairly, but not completely, dry (the drier the better in a small domestic space) recording position, some liveliness can be necessary for recording acoustic guitar and a hard surfaced floor is often used.

WRT monitors a budget helps but if I change my own monitors I will probably buy a pair of Neumann KH120's (the KH80's are cheaper and may be better, a listen before purchase is always a good idea).

* Good thread on uploading images here :- https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=75253
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Re: Room treatment and monitor speakers suggestions.

Postby zenguitar » Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:07 am

I tried playing with the image tags but didn't help. However, I can right click the placeholder and open in a new tab/window.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Room treatment and monitor speakers suggestions.

Postby Mus » Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:58 pm

zenguitar wrote:I tried playing with the image tags but didn't help. However, I can right click the placeholder and open in a new tab/window.

Andy :beamup:

Thanks Andy - the link I used was shared from my Google Pics account and placed in the IMG BBCode tag. Not sure why it wasn't displayed in the post but good to know that Forumers can right click.

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Re: Room treatment and monitor speakers suggestions.

Postby Mus » Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:10 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Your pics haven't loaded for me* but based on your description you need to address the recording and mixing elements separately. Mixing using monitors needs mirror points (including ceiling) treating and, ideally, some bass trapping. Recording needs a fairly, but not completely, dry (the drier the better in a small domestic space) recording position, some liveliness can be necessary for recording acoustic guitar and a hard surfaced floor is often used.

WRT monitors a budget helps but if I change my own monitors I will probably buy a pair of Neumann KH120's (the KH80's are cheaper and may be better, a listen before purchase is always a good idea).

* Good thread on uploading images here :- https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=75253

Thank you Sam.

Apparently right clicking and opening the link works with the images.

I think recording is the priority, so presumably more soft furnishing damping is in order. Are any pro products appropriate in this situation, dealing with the high ceiling perhaps?

The KH80s look great but potentially above my preferred budget - is there anything decent at about half that price?

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Re: Room treatment and monitor speakers suggestions.

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:19 pm

An 8' ceiling is not particularly high (ours are 10' 6' but, sadly, not in the basement, my studio has only about 6' headroom, good job I'm short). You will benefit from some treatment on the ceiling, probably suspended a few inches down. The add some panels on the walls around the recording position.

WRT monitors Presonus Eris seem to get some love on here but I haven't listened to them.
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Re: Room treatment and monitor speakers suggestions.

Postby Music Wolf » Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:28 pm

Mus wrote:The KH80s look great but potentially above my preferred budget - is there anything decent at about half that price?

I was going to ask about the budget.

I'm afraid that is not a great room to put it mildly, it's getting close to being a cube and the size means that you will be sitting with your head close to the centre. This is pretty much the worst configuration that you can have and then you have the window to consider which may give you problems with symmetry. I had a similar room in my first house about 30 years ago and it was an absolute nightmare (although back then I don’t think that I knew why).

What sort of headphones do you have? Your best route, when it comes to mixing, may be to invest is some decent, open backed, headphones and just a budget set of monitors for occasional listening. For recording you could maybe try a few more duvets as required?
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Re: Room treatment and monitor speakers suggestions.

Postby blinddrew » Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:29 pm

On the monitor front, I'd definitely check out the budget range from Adam and the Kali monitors. Given your room size though, don't be tempted by a 'bigger is better approach' to try and maximise bass extension though. If you don't already have them, use some of that budget for a decent set of open back earphones for mixing (this will give you a much more accurate picture of the low end) and a set of closed back ones for recording (isolation is probably a bit more important than fidelity here).

Room treatment:
As Sam says, the mirror points are the first place to look at. So left and right of your chair position, behind the desk, and above your head. One of your problems here will be the window. (Assuming you're going to be mounting your monitors on top of the organ and that will be your 'desk').
For the window you might be best making a kind of 'acoustic' plug that you can fit in and out of the frame when required. Something removable like this might also help provide a bit of brightness when recording guitar.
A matching panel for the opposite site will help to control flutter echos, as will a hanging cloud above your head will help too.
A couple of hooks and eyes could see those back bookshelves become easy hanging points for a duvet.

Are you thinking of buying or DIYing?

Either way, experiment beforehand by lobbing a couple of thick duvets over mic stands (boom type set in a T shape) in likely positions to see what areas yield the best returns.

EDIT - beaten to it by Sam and the Wolf.
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Re: Room treatment and monitor speakers suggestions.

Postby Mus » Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:48 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:An 8' ceiling is not particularly high (ours are 10' 6' but, sadly, not in the basement, my studio has only about 6' headroom, good job I'm short). You will benefit from some treatment on the ceiling, probably suspended a few inches down. The add some panels on the walls around the recording position.

WRT monitors Presonus Eris seem to get some love on here but I haven't listened to them.

Thanks Sam, yes, something suspended from the ceiling is what occurred to me - any suggestions for panel products?

I'll check out the Presonus - do you mean the 3.5, 4.5 or 5s?

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Re: Room treatment and monitor speakers suggestions.

Postby Mus » Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:53 pm

Music Wolf wrote:
Mus wrote:The KH80s look great but potentially above my preferred budget - is there anything decent at about half that price?

I was going to ask about the budget.

I'm afraid that is not a great room to put it mildly, it's getting close to being a cube and the size means that you will be sitting with your head close to the centre. This is pretty much the worst configuration that you can have and then you have the window to consider which may give you problems with symmetry. I had a similar room in my first house about 30 years ago and it was an absolute nightmare (although back then I don’t think that I knew why).

What sort of headphones do you have? Your best route, when it comes to mixing, may be to invest is some decent, open backed, headphones and just a budget set of monitors for occasional listening. For recording you could maybe try a few more duvets as required?

Thanks Music Wolf.

With the current config my head would be about one third along the room, so perhaps not too bad.

I have DT770 Pro headphones. - Yes, more duvets for recording I think and budget monitors would probably be best - any suggestions?

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Re: Room treatment and monitor speakers suggestions.

Postby Mus » Fri Jan 08, 2021 4:01 pm

blinddrew wrote:On the monitor front, I'd definitely check out the budget range from Adam and the Kali monitors. Given your room size though, don't be tempted by a 'bigger is better approach' to try and maximise bass extension though. If you don't already have them, use some of that budget for a decent set of open back earphones for mixing (this will give you a much more accurate picture of the low end) and a set of closed back ones for recording (isolation is probably a bit more important than fidelity here).

Room treatment:
As Sam says, the mirror points are the first place to look at. So left and right of your chair position, behind the desk, and above your head. One of your problems here will be the window. (Assuming you're going to be mounting your monitors on top of the organ and that will be your 'desk').
For the window you might be best making a kind of 'acoustic' plug that you can fit in and out of the frame when required. Something removable like this might also help provide a bit of brightness when recording guitar.
A matching panel for the opposite site will help to control flutter echos, as will a hanging cloud above your head will help too.
A couple of hooks and eyes could see those back bookshelves become easy hanging points for a duvet.

Are you thinking of buying or DIYing?

Either way, experiment beforehand by lobbing a couple of thick duvets over mic stands (boom type set in a T shape) in likely positions to see what areas yield the best returns.

EDIT - beaten to it by Sam and the Wolf.

Many thanks blinddrew,

The DT770 Pros should be fine for mixing and budget monitors could be mounted on stands either side of the organ rather than on top I think.

Where would I get the materials for the window plug or is there something off the shelf to compare? And yes I'll rig up some duvets to test it out a little more.

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Re: Room treatment and monitor speakers suggestions.

Postby Luke W » Fri Jan 08, 2021 4:45 pm

Mus wrote:Where would I get the materials for the window plug or is there something off the shelf to compare? And yes I'll rig up some duvets to test it out a little more.

Any of the usual DIY places are the a good start to look for most of your materials. Builders merchants are always worth a try as well, some may want you to have trade accounts but some are happy to sell to the general public. They can often be cheaper depending on what you need as well.

When you're carrying out your experiments you could get a rough idea of the benefits by stuffing a sofa cushion or two into the window.
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Re: Room treatment and monitor speakers suggestions.

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Jan 08, 2021 5:19 pm

Standard builders merchants don't usually carry Rockwool i the right density, RW3/60kg/m3 is the stuff, Studiospares sell it, one pack of 50mm should be enough, make up a frame that is a closish fit in the window opening cut a piece (or two, they are 1200mm x 600mm) to fill the inside of the fram with a snug fit. Cover with fabric and use foam rubber offcuts or WHY to wedge it gently into the opening. The rest of the panels make the frames so that a full sheet of RW3 is a snug fit then suspend 6-12" below the ceiling and on the walls at speaker/microphone hight (spaced 50mm out if there is room).

WRT monitors, in your room something small would work best to minimise exciting LF room modes so the 3.5" would probably be good. Acoustic guitar and vocals don't generate too much LF so you wont miss out (in fact, live, I usually HPF vox and guitars at 120Hz or higher).
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Re: Room treatment and monitor speakers suggestions.

Postby Mus » Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:07 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Standard builders merchants don't usually carry Rockwool i the right density, RW3/60kg/m3 is the stuff, Studiospares sell it, one pack of 50mm should be enough, make up a frame that is a closish fit in the window opening cut a piece (or two, they are 1200mm x 600mm) to fill the inside of the fram with a snug fit. Cover with fabric and use foam rubber offcuts or WHY to wedge it gently into the opening. The rest of the panels make the frames so that a full sheet of RW3 is a snug fit then suspend 6-12" below the ceiling and on the walls at speaker/microphone hight (spaced 50mm out if there is room).

WRT monitors, in your room something small would work best to minimise exciting LF room modes so the 3.5" would probably be good. Acoustic guitar and vocals don't generate too much LF so you wont miss out (in fact, live, I usually HPF vox and guitars at 120Hz or higher).

Thanks Sam, I'll check out the Rockwool.

The Presonus 3.5s with Bluetooth look like they might be perfectly adequate and quite portable too - been looking for something like those for a while :)

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Re: Room treatment and monitor speakers suggestions.

Postby Mus » Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:14 pm

Luke W wrote:
Mus wrote:Where would I get the materials for the window plug or is there something off the shelf to compare? And yes I'll rig up some duvets to test it out a little more.

Any of the usual DIY places are the a good start to look for most of your materials. Builders merchants are always worth a try as well, some may want you to have trade accounts but some are happy to sell to the general public. They can often be cheaper depending on what you need as well.

When you're carrying out your experiments you could get a rough idea of the benefits by stuffing a sofa cushion or two into the window.

Thanks Luke, here's a photo of a perfectly sized duvet looped over the roller blind which has definitely made a difference :)

Image (right click)

How about the ceiling suspension - how would I construct something that might work there?

Cheers
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