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Box room problem or benefit?

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Box room problem or benefit?

Postby Gmonics22 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:26 pm

Hi All,

I'm getting back into music making after a long hiatus as I finally have some space in a new home, and am looking for a little advice on choosing the right room for my hobby studio. I have 2 options, neither of which are ideal but I'm trying to come up with a plan...

Room 1 - 10'x11' rectangle
Room 2 - 7'6"x8'9"(into L-shape with an open storage area
Ceilings are around 9'

I want to use monitors as I've tried mixing for years on headphones and just can't get on with it, too upfront and claustrophobic for me, and I find them very fatiguing on the ears. My music is all electronic, produced in-the-box, using Live. Not bass heavy dance floor fillers, more subtle, detailed stuff, and I don't tend to mix too loud. Even so, with such small, untreated rooms I don't think my existing 8" monitors will be a good idea! I'm looking at a few 5" options but not really after speaker recommendations...

I'm more interested in which room people think would be better. Specifically - would the slightly irregular shape of the smaller room be a help or and hinderance acoustically? I thought the bigger room would be better initially, I'm having doubts and think it might need more treatment.

Any thought's greatly appreciated,

Thanks!
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Re: Box room problem or benefit?

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Nov 14, 2019 12:15 am

Gut feeling go for the bigger room, symmetry around the mix position helps stereo imaging, bigger room means more room for effective acoustic treatment and, with the right monitors is likely to be better. But, as I think you are thinking, the L shape part may be something that alters the low frequency nodes that are inevitable in a small room so how big is it?

WRT monitors, I have come very close to buying some Neumann KH120s on several occasions but have pulled back each time 'cos I don't do enough recording/mixing and my present monitors (Kef 104aB's) are actually pretty good.
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Re: Box room problem or benefit?

Postby Gmonics22 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 12:30 am

Floorplan for reference:

https://imgur.com/TRGownY

Thanks for the reply Sam Spoons - yep thinking the same re: symmetry vs room mode problems, this is my dilemma!

I'm not spending big on monitors this time round, as I'm really just a hobbyist so getting perfect translatable mixes isn't essential fortunately - and I accept it ain't gonna happen in these rooms - but want to make the best of what I've got.
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Re: Box room problem or benefit?

Postby Music Wolf » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:23 am

Bedroom 3 on your plan - in addition to being the smallest and least symmetrical there's also the added problem of the off centre window position which could limit your layout options.

I'd go for the bigger, more symmetrical, room. It may be almost a cube (11' x 10' x 9') but it's not the smallest space that we hobbyists have to work in.

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Re: Box room problem or benefit?

Postby blinddrew » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:38 am

A third recommendation for the 10x11 here.
They may still be outside your budget but you can pick up a pair of Neumann KH80s for £700 now...
But you'd probably be better spending less on monitors and allocating a couple of hundred to room treatment.
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Re: Box room problem or benefit?

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:43 am

Yup, deffo Bedroom #2* and decide how much you can afford to spend on acoustic treatment then double it ;) DIY will save you about 40% over Gik Acoustics panels (they can supply the covering fabric for a very reasonable price). Don't just buy a pack of foam tiles, the more reputable manufacturers products are ok but the budget stuff does very little. Rockwool based panels are significantly more effective.

Is the LH wall a party wall (i.e. is the house semi-detached)? That would be he only potential issue I can see with noise to and from the neighbours possibly being a problem.

https://www.gikacoustics.com
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Re: Box room problem or benefit?

Postby Wonks » Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:11 am

Bedroom layouts (without having to use the link).

Image
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Re: Box room problem or benefit?

Postby Music Wolf » Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:34 am

Does the geological fault line running through bedrooms 2 & 3 raise any concerns :bouncy:




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Re: Box room problem or benefit?

Postby Gmonics22 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:08 pm

Music Wolf wrote:Does the geological fault line running through bedrooms 2 & 3 raise any concerns :bouncy:




Oh, is that my coat?

Oh no good point, surely that should've been mentioned on the survey?! :lol:

Thanks for all the input folks, lots of useful info. I hear you on the treatment front and ideally I'd be going whole-hog, but the bigger room may be needed for something else in the nearish future so will have to weigh things up. Moving in this weekend so will try a few setups in the coming weeks and see how it goes. I'll end up with about 4 sets of speakers in the house from floorstanders to a sub/sat system, plus the car and tv, so at least I'll have plenty to check mixes on!

Cheers all :thumbup:
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Re: Box room problem or benefit?

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:51 pm

Acoustic treatment doesn't preclude using the room for another purpose. Half a dozen broadband absorbers and a couple of corner bass traps will go a long way to making the mix environment very usable and, while they might look like an unusual choice of decor, they don't look out of place in an office or even a bedroom.

Image

My room is, obviously, a dedicated music room/studio but it would easily make a good office or workroom with minimal effort.
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Re: Box room problem or benefit?

Postby Gmonics22 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:12 pm

The proposed future use is a for my other half to have a space in the house that is exclusively her domain, for activities and with decor dictated entirely by her. I'll already have the lounge and a seperate office full of my toys, so a little sanctuary for her to read, draw and yoga in peace doesn't seem like an unreasonable request :lol:
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Re: Box room problem or benefit?

Postby blinddrew » Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:43 pm

We've just taken that approach, definitely a wise course of action if you can do it. :)
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