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A good book on building a studio - recommendations please!

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A good book on building a studio - recommendations please!

Postby blinddrew » Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:39 pm

Evening folks,
Hopefully the title is fairly clear, I'm looking for a recommendations for a good book on small studio building. Not a studio SOS as it were, but if starting from scratch. There are a bunch available on Amazon but they're not cheap (even on kindle!) so if anyone has any personal recommendations that would be grand.
Cheers
Drew
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Re: A good book on building a studio - recommendations please!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:09 am

Rod's Gervais' book Home Recording Studio; Build it like the Pros is excellent and I highly recommend it for home studio builds. It's written with an American slant on the materials, but it's not hard to find local equivalents.

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The other one I like a lot is Recording Studio Design by Philip Newell -- although it leans more in the direction of big-budget pro studios there are still plenty of good ideas and advice.

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If you want more of the acoustics theory, terminology and number-crunching, then the Master Handbook of Acoustics by F Alton Everest is the way to go!

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Hope that helps

H
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Re: A good book on building a studio - recommendations please!

Postby blinddrew » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:34 am

Excellent, thanks Hugh! I have a long-term plan gestating but before i do anymore thinking on it I need to do my homework. Will have a shufti. :)
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Re: A good book on building a studio - recommendations please!

Postby Wonks » Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:43 am

Just put in an offer for Abbey Road, then all the acoustic design will have been done for you. And it won't be much dearer than buying all those three books. ;)
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Re: A good book on building a studio - recommendations please!

Postby ore_terra » Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:54 am

the 1st one is 22€ in iTunes... downloading :mrgreen:

thanks Hugh
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Re: A good book on building a studio - recommendations please!

Postby blinddrew » Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:49 pm

Going to have a word with the better half and see if the university library might be worth a look.
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Re: A good book on building a studio - recommendations please!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:53 pm

The first one (Rod Gervais) is by far the most practical and useful for a DIY approach. It's a very good book indeed...

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Re: A good book on building a studio - recommendations please!

Postby blinddrew » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:07 pm

I shall start there. The way my brain works is that I tend to take in high-level concepts fairly easily but I need to revisit the detail fairly regularly. My copies of Mike Senior's books are full of those post-it style page markers. :)
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Re: A good book on building a studio - recommendations please!

Postby jaminem » Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:29 pm

Just built my loud room based almost 100% on the Rod Gervais book.

Its good!!
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Re: A good book on building a studio - recommendations please!

Postby blinddrew » Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:56 pm

Excellent, a double-endorsement. That's good enough for me. :)
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Re: A good book on building a studio - recommendations please!

Postby blinddrew » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:58 pm

Thanks to your recommendations and the magic of amazon prime (plus a student discount) I now have a copy of Mr Gervais book on the table.
Should keep me busy for a while... :)
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Re: A good book on building a studio - recommendations please!

Postby Wonks » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:12 pm

And my master handbook of acoustics arrived today. I'm a bit surprised it isn't a bit more resonant when I tap it through.

I've managed the introduction so far.
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Re: A good book on building a studio - recommendations please!

Postby jaminem » Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:17 pm

Wonks wrote:And my master handbook of acoustics arrived today. I'm a bit surprised it isn't a bit more resonant when I tap it through.

I've managed the introduction so far.

blew my mind that book.

They say in the foreward it should be come a well thumbed reference guide. The diapragmatic bass trap section is.

still don't get it....
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Re: A good book on building a studio - recommendations please!

Postby blinddrew » Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:00 pm

Wonks wrote:And my master handbook of acoustics arrived today. I'm a bit surprised it isn't a bit more resonant when I tap it through.

I've managed the introduction so far.

That might be going on the christmas list... :)
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Re: A good book on building a studio - recommendations please!

Postby Luke W » Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:14 pm

blinddrew wrote:
Wonks wrote:And my master handbook of acoustics arrived today. I'm a bit surprised it isn't a bit more resonant when I tap it through.

I've managed the introduction so far.

That might be going on the christmas list... :)

It's a really good book, detailed, to say the least!
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Re: A good book on building a studio - recommendations please!

Postby blinddrew » Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:45 pm

Makes it better value for money if you have to read it 5 times! :D
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Re: A good book on building a studio - recommendations please!

Postby Dr R » Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:37 pm

blinddrew wrote:Going to have a word with the better half and see if the university library might be worth a look.

Just laughed out loud at the chaos of using the university library as your recording space. Got funny looks as I'm in the barbers waiting for a hair cut. :bouncy:
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Re: A good book on building a studio - recommendations please!

Postby Wonks » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:07 pm

I must say that I'm finding the Master Handbook of Acoustics very enjoyable reading. Lots of useful information, especially so in Chapter 4, the perception of sound, such as the way we can detect smaller changes in EQ as the sound gets louder (so it's not a great idea to mix at very low listening levels). Some of it is ear opening stuff (obviously should be eye opening, but it is a book on acoustics).

Highly recommended indeed.
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Re: A good book on building a studio - recommendations please!

Postby blinddrew » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:38 pm

Dr R wrote:
blinddrew wrote:Going to have a word with the better half and see if the university library might be worth a look.

Just laughed out loud at the chaos of using the university library as your recording space. Got funny looks as I'm in the barbers waiting for a hair cut. :bouncy:
Did I mention that I have a very loud drummer? ;)

Wonks wrote: the perception of sound, such as the way we can detect smaller changes in EQ as the sound gets louder (so it's not a great idea to mix at very low listening levels).
Interesting. Was thinking about this the other day following one of the threads about various headphones being hard to drive from budget interfaces.
I have a Scarlett 8i6 (reasonably budget) and my most-used headphones are a set of 250 Ohm DT990s. When listening to commercial music I never have it higher than 2/10. When mixing it's generally around 3/10, and when I need to listen carefully to a single track it sometimes gets up to 5/10. I'm wondering if I have got a freak model interface with a particularly powerful headphone amp (unlikely!) or I'm just intolerant of loud volumes.
I have a sound meter app on my phone (uncalibrated and therefore a bit suspect!) and the level I'd have it for normal mixing duties is showing peaks of just over 60dB.
Am I mixing too quietly I wonder?
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Re: A good book on building a studio - recommendations please!

Postby Wonks » Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:33 pm

The K-meter standard for monitor mixing is 83dB SPL, C weighted, at the mixing position for one speaker (85dB for both speakers but it's better to do one at a time), with a pink noise source which is film industry standard mixing level as it should be similar to playback levels in movie theatres.

So with pink noise outputting at '0dBFS' at your chosen metering point for a working 0dB below true 0dBFS (K meter or LU/LUFS) find the monitoring volume control point (and mark it) that gives you 83dB from one speaker. If your monitors have trim pots you can then balance one against the other for equal output so they both give 83dB on the meter when used singly.

So this is generally the loudest your recordings will play back at (unless you deliberately go above the nominal 0dB point).

Constant 85dB (A) noise has a permissible exposure time of around 8 hours (US recommended 8 hour exposure is 5dB higher). (C) weighting has much less bass roll off on the filter for the meter, so when setting up on pink noise (which has a lot more low frequency energy than white noise), the equivalent (A) weighted reading will be less, so unless you push the volume to the limit for 20 hour sessions, your hearing will be safe (unless you're listening to a recording of me trying to sing).

Using a standard monitor level ensures that you are hearing the same mix each time you go back to a session, as different volume levels can result in different perception of EQ and even perceived pitch.

Yes, you might want to see how a mix sounds at quiet levels and even louder levels, but return the volume knob to its calibrated position before making more adjustments.

Of course 83/85dB might still be too loud in a domestic studio environment, so you may have to mix on monitors at a lower level, but it's still a good idea to use the same level each time.

Calibrating headphones is a lot harder a sit all depends on their impedance and their efficiency. You can only really swap between monitors and headphones playing pink noise and set the headphones to what you feel is the same perceived volume level.
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