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Advice on attic space

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Advice on attic space

Postby plodsmeade » Sat May 26, 2018 12:52 pm

Hi all

I'm about to move in to a new flat where the living area is a half attic space (diagram below) of about 137 m^3 or 4838 ft^3, which will also be home to my project studio.


In the past I have largely created and mixed my own or other's projects just for fun, but more recently I have been getting paid work, mixing some music, live recordings, sound for video, art installations, etc. This has been done in my previous home set-up which was treated with temporary, moveable bits and bobs.

In this case, I have complete control over the space and can do what I like, and since it's the largest space I've had so far, and on first clap when empty it seems to sound pretty good already, I'm considering the options, and whether and how to step up the professionalism of the set-up. I will largely be mixing rather than recording in the space, but there may be the odd time where I need to record acoustic instruments and voice.

So to cut to the chase, I suppose the usual advice which I have been reading up on works here too, but the space is a little awkward and I wondered if there were any comments on:

- best mix position (the right hand cuboids are the kitchen fittings and worktop)
- what to do about the skylights, both isolation- and acoustics-wise
- any call for diffusion/absorption suspended at height
- whether adding a sub to my Focal CMS40 (missing bottom octave) is feasible in this space and the minimum bass-trapping requirements if so, or whether continuing to judge the low end with headphones is still the best idea
- any other advice based on the diagram


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Re: Advice on attic space

Postby plodsmeade » Sun May 27, 2018 1:21 am

Above image might not work here's another link
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Re: Advice on attic space

Postby blinddrew » Sun May 27, 2018 10:42 am

I think you're going to have to experiment and see what works. The basic rules will still apply (treatment on mirror points, plenty of bass trapping (with or without a sub), avoid room nodes where possible), but it might be worth borrowing / hiring a measurement mic?
Personally, for reasons of symmetry, i think i'd start with the desk in the middle of the low wall.
I'd also play around with having it on the same wall but further to the right and trying a Live End Dead End approach, which would hopefully give you a nice recording space when you need it.
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Re: Advice on attic space

Postby Yak_Forger » Wed May 30, 2018 8:17 pm


I've had an idea out of the blue : will that angled shape of the roof affect sonorisation? It sure will affect its price and the efforts though. If it is a problem, do you think you can create a small ceiling halfways to the top of the triangle formed by the roof? Plus, you will have an empty space acting as a buffer zone, which will help with insonorisation in the vertical plane.
Now I think that standard procedures will apply no matter what the size or shape of the room is.

And I've got a couple questions as well.
I am planning to buy this house in the near future, and was considering making a small music room in there. There is a room on the second floor, which I think can fit the bill, here it is:




It wouldn't need to be THAT big since only 3 people will be playing there, with a small drum set since we're planning to buy a small set there instead of hauling the whole shebang to Greece every time we go on holidays.

If I were to remove everything in there - bed, cupboard, everyhting, insulate acoustically this room, with the drums put on a free floating pedestal, would it be possible to play and record there? I was worried about the big door that opens on the terrace in terms of insulation as well. Won't it be too much of an issue?
And how thick the insulation layer has to be for reliable bass-catching? I play the bass and often had issues with that earlier...

Of course, it will be my house, and it's detached, but I'm planning to invite my family sometimes as well, and I want to be able to play without preventing the youngest and eldest guests from sleeping when they need to.

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Re: Advice on attic space

Postby plodsmeade » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:12 pm

blinddrew wrote:measurement mic

I have an old Behringer which could do the job perhaps. Is it still Room EQ Wizard that people are mostly using? I might also be able to get hold of a laptop with smaart on it for a day or two.

YakForger wrote:will that angled shape of the roof affect sonorisation

That's part of what I'm asking, but perhaps I can ignore it and forge ahead using the already well-documented DIY approach, although I've not seen anything yet on what someone would do with a ceiling which slopes to this extent - whether I can get away with no treatment above the mix position or not. I will have to test and see as suggested. I am hoping that the lack of parallel surfaces in the upper volume will help - certainly there seems to be no strong flutter echo when I clap in the empty space.

As for your room, I imagine you'd need a lot of work to isolate it from sleeping people. But perhaps you'd get better advice if you start a thread for it?
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Re: Advice on attic space

Postby Funkyflash5 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:42 am

I recently outfitted a rehearsal space of a similar size, and for bass trapping it took 18 2'x4' sheets of 4" rigid rockwool. you're probably going to need a similar amount of trapping to even things out, and I would recommend doing so. It'll help with both mixing and recording.
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