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A theoretical query about studio design

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A theoretical query about studio design

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:28 pm
by blinddrew
One of my favourite bits of SOS is the Studio File section. I love seeing these incredible spaces replete with beautiful instruments and esoteric hardware.
But it has got me thinking on a number of occasions about sound treatment and instruments.
What I mean is that these places go to great lengths, with very skilled people, to design rooms that are acoustically 'right' - whether that means 'neutral' for a control room or a bit more reflective for a performance space, or whatever the requirement is.
They then go and stick a load of guitars, drums and pianos in there, all of which resonate at various frequencies and, presumably, nullify the effect of some of that expensive design and treatment.
So is it:
a) that because these instruments tend to be tuned, that the resonances are musically complimentary and therefore we accept them?
or
b) that compared to room nodes and resonances the effect of these instruments is tiny and can therefore be ignored?
or
c) both of the above?
or
d) both of the above plus something else?
or
e) none of the above?

Just asking out of curiousity. :)

Re: A theoretical query about studio design

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:45 pm
by ef37a
I am pretty sure it was the great John Crabbe, long time editor of Hi-Fi News (before they all went silly) that said you do not want a piano in your hi fi listening room.

Dave.

Re: A theoretical query about studio design

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:59 pm
by Hugh Robjohns
I'm going with (b). Most of the studio spaces are large enough that any unused instrument resonances tend to be inaudible. That's not always the case, though, and I've been in more than one control room where sympathetic resonances from guitars on the wall were unwelcome distractions!

Re: A theoretical query about studio design

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:35 pm
by Studio Support Gnome
The truth is,

A) composer/writing rooms are often inherently not perfect, precisely because even if you do everything possible , the damn user will fill it full of resonant crap that messes up the response

B) a serious Mix room does NOT have a load of such things in it

I have repeatedly demonstrated this to users.... several have called me back to sort out issues that must be my fault because they were acoustic.

The last major build I did, I measured his room at listening position, "as he had it" and then i removed all the guitars, drums , and assorted weird things... . and measured again,

the latter measurement show a room as optimal as it was ever going to get

the former showed a whole bunch of time domain issues.

Best compromise is usually to insert damping sheaths in strings when guitars are not in use. since few people also leave space for storage of all instruments outside of their music area....

a piece of heavy dense felt/rubber , about half as long as the strings, and a little wider than they are, inserted through them alternately... a bit like when people store their picks between the unwound strings....


damps the resonance sufficiently to reduce the effect to a much less noticeable level.

even bits of furniture can be issues.... i lost count of the number of times I identified Quik-lok rack stands and studio work stations similar as being ring-ey issues ... solved by filling the empty tubes , or applying dense rubber damping membranes to sheet metal panels....

Re: A theoretical query about studio design

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:50 pm
by CS70
blinddrew wrote:They then go and stick a load of guitars, drums and pianos in there, all of which resonate at various frequencies and, presumably, nullify the effect of some of that expensive design and treatment.

Once I tried recording guitar in a lovely room which however had a drum kit in.. couldn't really move it and had to use a load of heavy jackets to dampen the darn skins down!
Let's say there was no video taken of that session :D

Re: A theoretical query about studio design

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:17 pm
by blinddrew
Thanks folks, that all makes sense and it's something that has been bugging me for a while. :)