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Home Studio - Bedroom Conversion

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Home Studio - Bedroom Conversion

Postby ljac133 » Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:33 pm

I'm looking to use a spare bedroom as a studio space - it will have to serve double duty as a home office, both for me and my wife, as well as sounding reasonable enough to record vocals and acoustic guitars.

I know I'm not going to get great monitoring, and I'm not too fussed - I'm only going to be mixing roughly - it's the quality of recorded sound that matters. Everything else will be superior drummer/soft synth/amp modelled/sampled/otherwise in the box. No real worries with noisy neighbours (or about being a noisy neighbour) and the road is pretty quiet. Set out of furniture will have to be so the room functions best for both me and my wife.

The ceiling is currently in a bit of a state - I ripped out some built in furniture, so there's bits that are artexed and bits that are smooth - so putting up a false ceiling actually is probably easier than re-plastering. I'm thinking a good 100mm of RWA45 slabs on some kind of timber frame with speaker cloth covering and maybe a bit of an air gap. I can replace the current light fitting with spots too in this way.

The floor is exposed floorboards nailed onto joists - is it worth ripping up the floorboards and stuffing the cavity? Replacing with chipboard and maybe neoprene on the joists? I have oak engineered flooring ready to finish it, but is there a recommended underlay for sound?

The walls above desk height can be pretty much covered with DIY rockwool absorbers (possibly integrated into some kind of bookshelf) - is there a recommended minimum thickness? Is going too thin running the risk of making the room sound worse rather than better? Would it be worth adding vinyl sheet behind?

The window is probably going to have to just have curtains and maybe a blind. Is there a recommended curtain construction? Blinds (I'm thinking if I can get a heavy enough one, it might add something)?

Should I look at introducing diffusers? QRD? There's going to be quite a lot of furniture in there as it is - two desks and chairs, a full height bookshelf and two smaller ones, a filing cabinet, as well as a little chest of drawers on castors with my rackmount DAW PC and audio interface on top. 7 Guitars too, on wall hangers - It'll be quite a busy little space.

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Re: Home Studio - Bedroom Conversion

Postby MOF » Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:08 pm

No point changing the floor, just put down a carpet, fitted or loose. Likewise with the ceiling. You could glue on some acoustic tiles to cover the mess or glue them onto backing boards (same dimensions) and screw them into the ceiling joists temporarily, should you decide to move them later. Use screws just on the edge of the board but concealed by the acoustic tile, so don’t glue them right to the edge.
I’d see how it sounds then before putting up more acoustic tiles/duvets.
Blinds can act as high frequency diffusers when angled slightly but if the room is still too lively then curtains (the thicker the better) will be needed.
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Re: Home Studio - Bedroom Conversion

Postby ef37a » Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:42 pm

MOF. Do you have pictures because I don't just a sort of 'no entry' sign.

I am using Firefox.

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Re: Home Studio - Bedroom Conversion

Postby blinddrew » Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:51 pm

Yep, I can't see the pictures either.
There's a real danger of going to far here, if you're after a recording space rather than a monitoring one, then too much acoustic treatment can just make the space sound dull, boxy and lifeless.
If you can find an alternative way to host the pictures (lots of us use imgur) then that would help. :thumbup:
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Re: Home Studio - Bedroom Conversion

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:57 pm

The pictures are not publically viewable from the OP's picture host.
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Re: Home Studio - Bedroom Conversion

Postby MOF » Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:27 pm

MOF. Do you have pictures because I don't just a sort of 'no entry' sign.

No I can’t see them either, I just based my reply on the text.
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Re: Home Studio - Bedroom Conversion

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Sat Mar 21, 2020 7:08 pm

too much acoustic treatment can just make the space sound dull, boxy and lifeless.

Steady on, BD. Too much inappropriate treatment can do this, ie too much high frequency damping and nothing controlling the bass end etc, for example, but, taken on face value, your statement might confuse the OP. Generally most people are using nowhere near enough treatment in their home spaces.
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Re: Home Studio - Bedroom Conversion

Postby blinddrew » Sat Mar 21, 2020 7:21 pm

True, good correction.
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Re: Home Studio - Bedroom Conversion

Postby ef37a » Sat Mar 21, 2020 7:46 pm

Well, based on my very limited experience and larnin' (mainly here!) OP could use a temporary 'duvet rig' which could be put away when not needed. Good anyway since the room is multi-purpose?

Treatment for the monitors can go hang but he said he is more bothered about making good vocals?

I am sure someone can give a link for said rig?

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Re: Home Studio - Bedroom Conversion

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Mar 21, 2020 11:46 pm

How high is the ceiling? If it's the 10'+ of my living rooms you could accommodate substantial bass trapping up there (600mm maybe)? Then treating the walls to about ⅓ broadband absorbers and ⅓ diffusers (bookcases) is the usually quoted rule of thumb. I'd keep the floor as is but add some which rugs which will both make the room look better and be easily 'adjusted' to tailor the overall sound to the job in hand.

As you surmise, too much HF absorption without a corresponding amount of low and mid absorption makes for a 'boxy' sounding space

Please note I have a modest amount of empirical, first hand, experience but am most definitely not an acoustician.
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