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Blank Studio Canvas - Where do I start

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Blank Studio Canvas - Where do I start

Postby Scouser » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:31 am

Hi Folks,

I finally have a room in the house which I can devote to recording and shooting video.

Problem is, where do I start ?

None of the rooms in my house have decent acoustics, low ceilings, boxy sounding.

I can upload photos if that is necessary. I don't even know the best place to locate static items like my desk etc, I know that sounds crazy, but it's the truth.

Obviously I will be looking to do my recordings and filming here. As for the type of recordings, acoustic guitar and vocals mainly.

So if anyone can get me started, would be very grateful.
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Re: Blank Studio Canvas - Where do I start

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:42 am

Just a few random thoughts :-

A bigger room will sound better than a smaller one (and give you more room to install acoustic treatment).

A room with a party wall is likely to have more problems with noise from the neighbours and your noise disturbing them.

A room at the front of the house is more likely to have issues with street noise.

Video want's a decent looking background (though, depending on the nature of the video footage, that may be your studio desk or WHY).

There are loads of threads on here and articles in the magazine about setting up a project studio so it's well worth doing some googling/reading

When you have decided which room post some details and, maybe, a plan and we can advise where to place different elements like the mixing desk/computer screens and acoustic treatment.
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Re: Blank Studio Canvas - Where do I start

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:21 pm

Good outlines from Sam there.

I'd add that for audio purposes, a rectangular room is better than a square one, and a cube room is worst of all (the typical 8 x 8 x 8 box room is a nightmare!

In a rectangular room, it's best to place your desk and monitors on one of the short walls, firing down the length of the room.

Try and avoid placing the monitors/desk where the side reflection (mirror) points are windows!

At the end of the day, the room has to be practical for your intended purposes, so some compromises are inevitable....
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Re: Blank Studio Canvas - Where do I start

Postby MOF » Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:13 pm

Is the filming of you in your studio environment or are you using a green/blue screen?
If the latter then, especially with green screen, you need to be able to keep some distance between you and the screen to avoid green light spilling on you, making it harder to key out the screen when electronically replacing it with a new background. So you need to be filming along the longest room dimension.
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Re: Blank Studio Canvas - Where do I start

Postby Scouser » Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:18 pm

Thanks so far for the replies.

Is there a way I can upload a sketch/diagram/photo of the room so I can be more appropriately advised ?
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Re: Blank Studio Canvas - Where do I start

Postby zenguitar » Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:22 pm

We don't host images here, but you can upload to an online hosting service like Flikr or Imagr and use the links they provide to embed the image here.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Blank Studio Canvas - Where do I start

Postby Scouser » Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:31 pm

Thanks Andy, I will look into that and post a link here
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Re: Blank Studio Canvas - Where do I start

Postby Scouser » Mon Jun 29, 2020 2:33 pm

Hi Folks,

Thanks for your patience. I have now uploaded a plan of proposed studio, dimensions here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZydUIy ... sp=sharing

Hugh, You answered the first question I was going to ask, placement of the desk. I have taken on board what you said and am hoping it would be ok, to place desk at chimney breast end. As I would like to shoot down away from chimney, would that work ok, or will window be a problem ?

My second question: On page 2 of my document above, is a diagram of a rockwool panel I made. I have two of these and it was my hope to possibly cut each one into 3 new panels and re cover ( with suitable fabric ) for hanging on the walls. Would something like that work or maybe fewer bigger panels, or would Rockwool be the wrong materials for this purpose ?

Thanks
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Re: Blank Studio Canvas - Where do I start

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:24 pm

Scouser wrote:...am hoping it would be ok, to place desk at chimney breast end. As I would like to shoot down away from chimney, would that work ok, or will window be a problem ?

Windows are always a problem! Without knowing how big your desk is it's hard to be precise, but I'm guessing that window will probably end up at or slightly in front of the mirror point. So it would be helpful from a stereo imaging point of view to have a broadband absorbed over it if you can bare to be without the daylight -- or maybe a removable panel that you only put up when you're doing your most critical listening.

...it was my hope to possibly cut each one into 3 new panels and re cover ( with suitable fabric ) for hanging on the walls. Would something like that work or maybe fewer bigger panels, or would Rockwool be the wrong materials for this purpose ?

Rockwool is fine. The depth of the panels will determine the low end of the frequency range over which they are effective, and spacing them away from the wall will extend that lower. I generally try and space the panel about as far as it's own depth where practical. So a two-inch panel two inches from the wall...

Obviously you need to place absorber panels at the side mirror points as a first step. One of your existing panels might make a good ceiling cloud if it can be suspended easily. Add other panels as needed to control the room sound, being careful to maintain an even frequency balance.

It's very easy to over-damp the high and mic frequencies while the LF still bounces around giving you a very uneven bass response in the room. Typically you want something like 25-30% of the walls covered with acoustic treatment as a rough target.

But I'd start with the mirror points (side walls and ceiling cloud), and assess from there. You may then want to put absorbers on the wall behind the speakers, and possibly then on the back wall (if your photography requirements will allow that), and then around the room as necessary to give a good even sound.

And if you're planning on placing your monitor speakers in those alcoves either side of the chimney breast, be aware of the likelihood of bass boost due to the proximity of boundaries. So you might need to experiment with the speaker's low-end EQ options to get things balanced.
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Re: Blank Studio Canvas - Where do I start

Postby Philbo King » Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:06 pm

One thing I found about windows:

The reflections they cause can be mostly mitigated by covering the opposite wall (across from the window) with absorbers, covering the wall with at least 60% of the area of the window.

I have a huge window (136"W x 79"H) on one of my side walls, and a sliding glass double door, both on the same side wall.

I placed absorbers using a series of measurements in REW over the course of 3 days, covering each wall in turn to determine what peaks/valleys/reverb freqs could be attributed to each wall. I was surprised how much covering the side wall across from the windows improved both reverb decay frequency flatness and overall freq response. This is only killing one reflection mode, but that mode seemed to be a predominant source of problems in the acoustics of this room. The windows have no curtains or shades, so basically they are just glass surfaces.

Hopefully you'll find this tip helpful.
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Re: Blank Studio Canvas - Where do I start

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:48 pm

The main issue with that, as far as I can see, would be to unbalance the stereo image. If they are behind the mirror points/mixing position it may not be a significant problem but in front of the mixing seat would be another matter.
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Re: Blank Studio Canvas - Where do I start

Postby Scouser » Sat Jul 04, 2020 9:43 pm

Thanks for all your responses.

I started phase one today, bringing everything into the proposed studio.

I took it for granted that my desk would go chimney breast end, but it’s too close to the door ( see diagram https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZydUIy ... sp=sharing ) so it had to go other end, which may be better if I understand correctly, what you say about window, ie being further away.

Re filming, no green screen, I will have to design some kind of pleasant backdrop, at the chimney breast end.

Given the advice, I think I will start by re sizing existing panels to cover, the suggested coverage around 30% i was going to concentrate on side walls, maybe 2 large panels or would I be better off with more smaller panels ?

Once I have completed the above, I would like to tackle the window, ideally I need to come up with something the can be put up and taken down with too much hassle, as it would be nice to what little natural light I have for filming. So if there are any ideas on this, be good to hear.

I will see what I have then, before embarking on cloud, not sure my skills extend that far !

Also, does my desk have to be at the dead centre of the wall ?

Thanks again
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Re: Blank Studio Canvas - Where do I start

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jul 04, 2020 11:04 pm

For the best stereo image the mixing position should be dead centre with the monitors symmetrical WRT the side walls.

For a mixing room the panels need to be at the primary mirror points, side walls and ceiling first then consider behind the monitors and the back wall (but your video backdrop could be an absorber and, since you are not positioning the desk at the chimney breast end could you put some substantial bass traps in the alcoves?). If you are recording sound with the video you also need to treat the back end of the room where the 'sound source' is going to be positioned. In a small room the flutter echoes between walls and between floor and ceiling are usually troublesome so some treatment either side and above the talent (and a sound absorbing backdrop as mentioned) will give you a better chance of getting decent sounding recordings.

HTH
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Re: Blank Studio Canvas - Where do I start

Postby Scouser » Fri Jul 10, 2020 11:45 am

Just wanted to check a couple of things before I make a start on some of the above mentioned tasks.

I take it heavy curtains to cover the window, is going to be of little use ? Would be interested to know what solutions folks have come up with for windows in general ?

When I modify existing panels for wall, mirror points, do I need to use special fabric or will anything do ? Again if anyone has experience of decent fabric for the job, would be good to know.

Thanks
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Re: Blank Studio Canvas - Where do I start

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jul 10, 2020 12:15 pm

Scouser wrote:I take it heavy curtains to cover the window, is going to be of little use ?

Depends on how heavy they are... but thick heavy curtains will soak up a lot of HF and a fair bit of MF. So not useless at all. They won't tend to do a great deal for the low end unless they are really thick and heavy, but then neither will a standard broadband absorber...

Would be interested to know what solutions folks have come up with for windows in general ?

Solutions vary with the location of the window and how any reflections will affect the monitoring quality at the listening position. Options range from a tightly-fitting broadband panel filling the window recess and blocking the window completely, through heavy curtains, de-amp panels (like wot I used in my room), and wooden venetian blinds...

When I modify existing panels for wall, mirror points, do I need to use special fabric or will anything do ?

The fabric should be 'breathable' to allow sound waves to pass, but with a close-enough weave to keep mineral wool fibres trapped within. For an ultra low-cost option, you could try the kind of weed-proof sheets gardeners use (it's black and slightly stretchy and works surprisingly well).

But the usual recommendation -- and one I'd support -- is Camira Cara or Camira Lucia fabrics -- the former having a coarser weave pattern). Both are slightly stretchy, which makes it easier to get a nice finish, and have good fire-retardant qualities.
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