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DIY Studio Build Diary

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Re: DIY Studio Build Diary

Postby thefruitfarmer » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:04 pm

That sounds like it would work....

...a screw eye in each corner of the trap attached by strong cord to screw eyes in the joists.

Just make sure it feels sturdy and solid, you can always put a couple more screw eyes in the joist if it feels a bit unsafe.
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Re: DIY Studio Build Diary

Postby Helmutcrab » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:21 am

Cheers, i was hoping you would say that :)

I will be using an extra pair of ceiling hooks for the wall hanging panels just outside of the ones for the wall-ceiling panels.

I will get some photos up as soon as i've got the corner panels in place,

Thanks again for all the help

Peter
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Re: DIY Studio Build Diary

Postby GIK Acoustics » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:49 pm

Not sure how I missed this entire thread! I guess I thought the stickies never changed so I ignored them. Only found it now because of your PM months ago Peter! I've never even seen the blinking PM message since January. I need to double check these things more often.

Anyways,

Good work!
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Re: DIY Studio Build Diary

Postby Helmutcrab » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:10 pm

Very glad to have you aboard captain ! :lol:

Ive just finished the fabric on my third panel - nearly got it right. The next one will be done right. I got 40" hessian and 100cm poly wadding. The hessian has a nice machine sewed edge on both long sides so i just take my time lining it up then double it over at the margin and staple it to the back of the wood frame. Looks good when i get it right and avoids horrible hessian cut edges which keep on fraying. I forgot to leave enough material to go around the back on the short 600mm sides on the last one but other than that i am getting the hang of it.

I will get some more pictures up once i've made my next lot of panels with the final design ( in terms of how and where i attach the fabric ). As already mentioned i am now only using chicken wire on the face of the panel that will face into the room.

I am actually enjoying making these now after finally working out how to make them ( and i normally can't stand D.I.Y ) but it gives me a sense of achievement when i see something i have made myself.

Saying that, if i had the money i would not have hesitated to buy a load of G.I.K acoustics monster bass traps. The amount of time and effort involved in the research, design and making of the panels is considerable - many,many months in fact. Add to this the money involved and the anxiety of getting it wrong ( which is real easy to do ) and it just doesn't make sense at all other than for those that have very little money but plenty of time.

The only one advantage there might be for me personally over using 6" commercial bass traps ( and please correct me if i am wrong here Alexander ) is that they all seem to have a semi reflective face, where as i can choose between this and broadband absorption, broadband being more necessary over all for my purposes. Thanks to you pointing out that 6" panels would be better than 4" , i have used 6" for every panel. This allows me to have 6" broadbands at the RFZ as this has low frequency problems across the width of the room i think. In a small room like mine every panel counts and like you say the deeper they are the better. In fact i think i'm only going to have the corner panels that meet the front wall and two panels centrally on that wall in front of the mixing position with their reflective side into the room, all others will be absorption. I was going to have more on the back wall but when i measured it from speakers to the back wall and back to the mixing position it was pretty close to 20 ft ( 20 ms ?? ) so i thought i would do absorption to be on the safe side.

Cheers,

Peter
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Re: DIY Studio Build Diary

Postby GIK Acoustics » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:51 am

Peter,

I am happy if you're a customer or a DIYer, as long as you're getting the results you need in your room! I agree that for some, its time well spent. You can always feel good when you get to enjoy something you've done from scratch yourself, whether it's cooking a delicious dinner or building a synthesizer. But just as you've noted, some might already not have enough hair in the first place to begin ripping it out while building their own bass traps/pre-amps/synths, etc.

Actually, none of our broadband traps are partially reflective - you're likely thinking of Ethan's company. We do have some that aren't fully broadband like our tuned Scopus line and we also have our Scatter Plates that can be added to get scattering/diffusion as well as absorption in a 2x4 panel, but our standard traps (Monster, 244, etc) are fully broadband.

I do suggest at least 4", if not bigger for most panels in a room (if not all, especially in a small room) as you've said. For reference, our 244 is 5.5" thick and is usually the minimum I suggest in a room unless you only need to treat flutter echo. I think you'll get great results with your panels!
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Re: DIY Studio Build Diary

Postby thefruitfarmer » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:05 am

Helmutcrab wrote:

I am actually enjoying making these now after finally working out how to make them ( and i normally can't stand D.I.Y ) but it gives me a sense of achievement when i see something i have made myself.

Saying that, if i had the money i would not have hesitated to buy a load of G.I.K acoustics monster bass traps. The amount of time and effort involved in the research, design and making of the panels is considerable - many,many months in fact. Add to this the money involved and the anxiety of getting it wrong ( which is real easy to do ) and it just doesn't make sense at all other than for those that have very little money but plenty of time.


That is the dilemma.....

If you have the money burning a hole in your pocket of if it is for a business and can be written off against tax, then you probably would be better off buying commercial traps or paying someone to custom build some for your room...

It was only by the third set of traps I built that I felt I was able to build them in a short period of time and avoiding making mistakes. It is a learning experience, you may have to spend money on tools (corner clamps made a great deal of difference) and it can be a problem sourcing the mineral wool.

Now I have got the hang of it though I can make them pretty quickly in my garage and I have a few spare slabs of RW3, which will go to make some absorbtion panels for a mate, when it gets a bit warmer though. I will try and photograph the process and make a thread.

I expect it would be very difficult for some home made traps to end up looking as good as commercial traps and I suspect they would not be quite as efficient either.....

HOwever, I always figured that you can get them looking good enough and you can always use one or two more traps in a room if they are not as efficient to get the same overall result.

With the money I saved I was able to buy something else useful for the studio and, once I got into it, I did enjoy the DIY, once the penny drops it is not difficult at all. I felt it was just a matter of having the confidence to make a few mistakes when doing something new.

What I will say is that when you install your trapping the difference you will hear makes it all worth while. The bass becomes tighter, you can hear the reverb as you add it and it becomes that much easier to get a mix that will sound good anywhere. It is probably the one thing that, if you are able to do it that you should do. Make it a priority above buying a new mic, new synth etc as it will actually allow you to hear what you are doing....
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Re: DIY Studio Build Diary

Postby Helmutcrab » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:21 am

Thanks for explaining that Alexander. My only advantage just went up in a puff of smoke ! :shock:.

Whilst doing my research i did read about the Real Traps membrane but i also read this over on gearslutz by Glen in a thread regarding 2" panels - "we use a special fabric to the front which helps to act as a membrane to help pick up more of the low end but keeping more of the highs in the room".

I think this was the source of my confusion but i suppose its a case of me taking one bit of old info ( 2007 ) on a different product and running with it.

Cheers,

Thefruitfarmer - i can't wait to hear the difference.
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Re: DIY Studio Build Diary

Postby Helmutcrab » Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:32 pm

Alexander,

When i looked at your site it does say the traps don't over absorb the high end and when asked over on gearslutz for their suitability at RFZ's Glen did mention the monster bass traps are semi-reflective and suggested the 242 instead. I appreciate they will still absorb mids and highs and will make a room sound great, but i thought panels which are in view of the speakers cones and will reflect within 20 ms ( round trip ) to the mixing position, and for recording, panels that are near musical instruments and microphones ( as most will be in a small room like mine ) should have full absorption of highs ? ( again i could be wrong )

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Re: DIY Studio Build Diary

Postby Helmutcrab » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:18 am

Apologies Alexander,

Again it seems there is some confusion ( by me :crazy: ) regarding nomenclature. After looking into this i now see that semi reflective can mean different things and that there is a difference between a semi-reflective surface like the paper i am using ( which will reflect a lot more and will fully reflect at some frequencies ) and the type of traps you make where absorption is over the whole spectrum and only a small amount of upper frequencies come back to avoid the room sounding too dead. I can see that this would be of benefit to most situations ( outside the RFZ ) and that even when not beneficial the improvement in bass response from the traps would far out way it. I imagine it would easily absorb enough to stop flutter etc.

Ignorance isn't always bliss !

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Re: DIY Studio Build Diary

Postby thefruitfarmer » Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:50 pm

Peter

You may be surprised how much your ears will tell you once you get the traps up and fitted....

IF the room sounds too dead you can always add something reflective in the room and if there is a flutter echo then you can put acoustic foam on the Rockwool panels.

Don't panic dude, I was surprised how easy it was to hear what was going on, it can be quite easy to get confused with all the physics....

Cheers

Tim.
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Re: DIY Studio Build Diary

Postby Helmutcrab » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:45 pm

Cheers Tim,

Yep, i've been getting bogged down with it alright !

I was going to have most panels with the full absorption side face into the room but after looking into it i will get better low end performance with the paper side facing into the room. I am going to cover the paper face with the 10 oz hessian i've got in the hope that it will absorb some of the higher frequencies.

Cheers

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Re: DIY Studio Build Diary

Postby Helmutcrab » Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:59 pm

A brief update.

I tried a close spoken number test for reflections against the paper facing of one panel with and without fabric. I tried the cara sample of fabric i have and the hessian. The 10 oz hessian is more open weave and correspondingly allowed a little more reflections through. They both still reflect a fair bit of upper frequencies.

I want the drum area to have as little ambiance as possible ( there is no room symmetry at all there and plan on using convolution ). I know i could just put the paper to the rear of the corner panels and with an air gap it will still help, but facing the paper into the room gives the best low end response. However i am aware from Ethan Winer's tests that paper facing sandwiched between two layers of absorbing material ( ie thicker than absorbing fabric ) is not advisable, so I asked the ever helpful Ethan if i could put thin 4 oz polyester wadding in front of the paper but behind the hessian without it affecting performance. He said that should be fine so i will try that out next week to see if it soaks up enough upper frequencies.

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Re: DIY Studio Build Diary

Postby thefruitfarmer » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:55 am

The process of putting up the traps and listening (or measuring) to establish the effect did take me a while...

It took a few days to hear any remaining problems and to actually hear exactly what the traps were doing, and how well they were doing it. Initially I found my traps absorbed bass up to a certain volume level only so I had to add some more.

Then I noticed a problem with flutter echo so I used some foam to plug the gaps.

It would be great to get it right first time but, without experience, it will most probably need some tinkering.

What I found is that once I could hear a problem, for example with the bass being uneven throughout the room or the flutter echo, that it became more and more obvious to me. Consequently, it was relatively easy to try things out and hear when the problem was corrected.

Be prepared to spend a little time fitting the traps and then listening to hear whether you have the desired acoustic environment...

:)
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Re: DIY Studio Build Diary

Postby Helmutcrab » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:20 am

Cheers Tim,

Yes, i recon its going to take a fair old bit of work getting them on the walls so i've tried my best to get it right with regards to absorption and reflections but like you say its impossible to know until you do it. Ethan's site has some great info on this subject by the way.

For anyone interested here are the links:

http://www.realtraps.com/placing_mt.htm ( Good diagrams and photos showing optimal placement )

http://www.realtraps.com/rfz.htm ( great info on RFZ and rear wall reflections )

This really helped me to plan which panels will be semi reflective as it has to be built into the design. Can't just turn them around if it doesn't work out without changing the side the chicken wire is on.

Making loads of frames next week so will get some photos of them on walls in a few weeks.

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Re: DIY Studio Build Diary

Postby daniel6 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:05 pm

Great work so far...keep it up!
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Re: DIY Studio Build Diary

Postby Helmutcrab » Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:49 pm

Hi,

Just come back to building the panels. Finished 9 panels and will get them on the walls next week with photo's. When i came back to this i realised i could have gotten away with far less panels than i planned and that it wouldn't have been as expensive as i initially thought to go the commercial panel route. The amount of time and money it is taking to d.i.y is just not worth it at all unless you like to d.i.y as a hobby. Making these panels as opposed to buying them has taken many months off getting music actually done.
You live and learn but this has been a very poor investment in time for me. I would strongly suggest anyone thinking about making d.i.y panels to consider at least getting free professional advice and finding out how much it would cost to buy enough commercial panels to make a difference before you do as i did.
Well i did say at the start it might be a disaster ! The panels seem to be working out ok but it doesn't make any sense to me now financially/time wise if trying to do music as a job/profession.
Also, rock mineral wool ( as is widely available in UK ) is really not best suited to this task. Having to use chicken wire to prevent sagging is very time consuming and the rockwool breaks up very easily ( PVA solution only secures surface fibres but doesn't prevent damage from fitting chicken wire, wadding, inevitable damage from knocking panels etc ). Rigid fiberglass was not readily available in UK when i looked into it ( and probably still isn't ? ) but that would be far more suitable for the task.

Cheers,

Peter
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Re: DIY Studio Build Diary

Postby thefruitfarmer » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:48 am

Helmutcrab wrote:

The amount of time and money it is taking to d.i.y is just not worth it at all unless you like to d.i.y as a hobby. Making these panels as opposed to buying them has taken many months off getting music actually done.


That can be a problem sure enough.

What I have found is that I can manufacture a bass trap in a fairly short time. But, that is with my assembly method practiced and understood, and with all the right tools; I have corner clamps, two drills, a work bench, staple gun.

It is just a frame around a Rockwool slab, with chicken wire on the face, sprayed with a PVA solution and then covered with fabric. It sounds easy when you put it like that but like many things experience counts for a lot.....

...it is worth costing up all the materials of the traps and then factoring in your time as well it may well be worth buying ready made traps.

That said, I have 4 slabs of 25mm RW3 to turn into bass traps today so I will start a thread and see how long it actually takes me to do.
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Re: DIY Studio Build Diary

Postby Scramble » Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:06 am

>sprayed with a PVA solution

Does that not reduce the effectiveness of absorbing higher-end frequencies though? (Not an issue if you're just after bass-trapping, of course).
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Re: DIY Studio Build Diary

Postby thefruitfarmer » Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:27 am

Scramble wrote:>sprayed with a PVA solution

Does that not reduce the effectiveness of absorbing higher-end frequencies though? (Not an issue if you're just after bass-trapping, of course).

It does, yes. A bass trap works by converting the sound energy into heat energy. The sound wave agitates the fibres which then warm up (only by a very small amount as the amount of energy involved is only small) and the spray coating of PVA solution will form a slightly reflective crust which will reduce the effectiveness of the trap, especially in the higher frequencies.

However, the reason for spraying the slab with a PVA solution is to seal the fibres in place so they don't start drifting around the room. Rockwool is inert and non-toxic but the fibres can sometimes irritate people with breathing problems, like Asthma for example.

In practice I have never found the slightly reduced effectiveness to be a problem. You can always add a couple of extra panels to the room or fit some foam on the front of the panels to compensate.
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Re: DIY Studio Build Diary

Postby Helmutcrab » Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:14 pm

As Fruitfarmer has said but i will also add that is one of the reasons i use 4 oz polyester wadding. This will help to increase the absorption of higher frequencies which would be lost from pva spraying. It also prevents fabric from catching on chicken wire and wooden frame making fitting easier.
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