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New (imperfect) Garden Studio Build

Customising, building or repairing your own gear? Need help with acoustic treatment or soundproofing? Ask away…

Re: New (imperfect) Garden Studio Build

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Oct 28, 2020 5:28 pm

That does look super cheap, assuming they are using RW3 they are pretty much the same as my DIY panels for about the same money. I'm quite tempted myself at the price if they can match the fabric to my existing panels.
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Re: New (imperfect) Garden Studio Build

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Oct 28, 2020 5:33 pm

Blott wrote:...unless anyone can give me a good reason not to I'm probably going to purchase a couple of sets of these...

Given that I can't find any info on what the panels are made of I can't say how effective they'll be...

Assuming a mineral wool slab or similar, at 50mm thick they will probably soak up a lot of upper-mid and HF reflections. But they won't do much for the lower-mid and nothing at all for the low end... so the risk is you'll end up with a rather boxy sounding room, uncontrolled at the low end and over-damped at the high end.

You might be able to extend the absorbtion downwards slightly if you can mount the panels away from the wall -- the usual guide is to space them about the same as their thickness -- so 40-50mm off the wall (presumably on battens).

Most of the absorbers in my room are 100mm thick, and spaced from the wall by another 45mm, and the corner bass traps are... enormous!

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Re: New (imperfect) Garden Studio Build

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Oct 28, 2020 5:45 pm

The ebay seller suggests spacing the panels 50mm off the walls and ceiling. He also offers different packages including 4 x 'large panels'. The corner traps are a bit narrow but a better option might be to buy more of the large panels and place them across the corners instead with bags of cheap roof insulation behind. They still won't be as effective as Hugh's bass traps but would certainly make a difference if my room is anything to go by.

Just check what RW he is using before committing though. FWIW it looks like he may be a one man band working from his home address so may well be quite flexible if he's building them himself rather than buying them in from China.
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Re: New (imperfect) Garden Studio Build

Postby Blott » Wed Oct 28, 2020 5:55 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Blott wrote:My problem with the room treatment is the cost...

Everyone always says that... But it's not a 'nice extra' -- it's what makes the room usable as a studio. Otherwise all you've done is build a small spare bedroom down the garden with all the same compromises and limitations.

For anyone starting out down this road, acoustic treatment really should be included in the initial project build costs planning, just as much as the windows or the flooring or the mains wiring, or the ventilation!

That's not quite true Hugh.

Unless the spare bedroom you're referring has walls consisting of 15mm acoustic plasterboard, 4" Acoustic Rockwool insulation, 15mm plywood, 4 " Celletex and dense concrete blocks on all 4 sides!!!

Even without further acoustic treatments the room will be significantly better than most standard spare rooms will ever be and that's one of the reasons I'm documenting the build.

I'm not arguing that acoustic treatments don't improve the acoustics...of course they do, but even without them I'm pretty sure this studio at the bottom of the garden would be significantly better for creating music than most spare bedrooms will be.

Anyway, I'm ordering the acoustic treatments tomorrow, so fingers crossed It'll do the trick and sound much better and I can keep the laminate floor! :)
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Re: New (imperfect) Garden Studio Build

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Oct 28, 2020 6:52 pm

I've messaged the guy at 'acoustic-control' to ask about the RW grade and also if custom panels are available. I'll post back when I have a reply.

WRT acoustic treatment, what you refer to here
Unless the spare bedroom you're referring has walls consisting of 15mm acoustic plasterboard, 4" Acoustic Rockwool insulation, 15mm plywood, 4 " Celletex and dense concrete blocks on all 4 sides!!!
is 'soundproofing' (the expensive part of the job) and won't actually make the room sound any better, the panels you are about to buy will, and if your experience is like mine, they will make a huge improvement to the room sound.

edit to correct info in previous post :- the ebay seller does not suggest a 50mm spacing just that WRT his supplied hook and eye fixings "Space is left between the wall and your panel to create an air gap which traps additional, unwanted sound."...
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Re: New (imperfect) Garden Studio Build

Postby Blott » Wed Oct 28, 2020 7:08 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:The ebay seller suggests spacing the panels 50mm off the walls and ceiling. He also offers different packages including 4 x 'large panels'. The corner traps are a bit narrow but a better option might be to buy more of the large panels and place them across the corners instead with bags of cheap roof insulation behind. They still won't be as effective as Hugh's bass traps but would certainly make a difference if my room is anything to go by.

Just check what RW he is using before committing though. FWIW it looks like he may be a one man band working from his home address so may well be quite flexible if he's building them himself rather than buying them in from China.

Thanks, that's a good idea with the larger panels across the corners
From his ad he mentions using 50mm Rockwool insulation.
Ive got a couple of slabs of 100mm Rockwool left over that I can put behind to help bass absorption, but I've noticed he also offers 'custom builds, so I might get a price for some 100mm treatments.

I'll message him and see what he says.
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Re: New (imperfect) Garden Studio Build

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Oct 28, 2020 7:55 pm

Blott wrote: That's not quite true Hugh.
Unless the spare bedroom you're referring has walls consisting of 15mm acoustic plasterboard, 4" Acoustic Rockwool insulation, 15mm plywood, 4 " Celletex and dense concrete blocks on all 4 sides!!!

That might all help in reducing external sound getting in, and internal sound getting out. And that may indeed bring an improvement over a spare bedroom, depending on your local circumstances. But the point is that none of it does anything for the monitoring/performing acoustics within the room itself -- as you've already discovered. Your requirements might differ, of course, but for me a studio stands or falls on the quality of its internal acoustics!

I'm not arguing that acoustic treatments don't improve the acoustics...of course they do, but even without them I'm pretty sure this studio at the bottom of the garden would be significantly better for creating music than most spare bedrooms will be.

My experience leads me to think otherwise... But it's your money and your expectations of 'better'. I'll follow your progress with interest.

... fingers crossed It'll do the trick and sound much better

I have no doubt it will make it sound better than the echo chamber you currently have. The challenge is in making it sound balanced with a well controlled low end!
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Re: New (imperfect) Garden Studio Build

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:19 pm

TBF Hugh, we all make compromises with our recording space, you have been in the position to make fewer than most.

My compromises are greater as I wanted to have the ability to use the room as a rehearsal space for my various bands (up to 5 piece) so, combined with the low ceiling I have settled in 50mm thick panels and smaller corner bass traps. Balanced, I think it is pretty good from the low mid up, controlled in the bass? less so (it's a 4 x 4 metre basement with solid brick walls) but the result is still much more like a 'studio' than a bedroom and suits my needs.

Just to add that without the help of the contributors on this forum I would probably be recording in an echoey box thinking it was ok so thanks Hugh and everybody else who gives their time and expertise. :thumbup:
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Re: New (imperfect) Garden Studio Build

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:24 pm

Blott wrote:unless anyone can give me a good reason not to I'm probably going to purchase a couple of sets of these...
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/6x-Mafia-Panels-Acoustic-Sound-Proofing-Panels-Complete-Studio-Set-160-00/283962137960?hash=item421d765d68:g:SYwAAOSwmlZfIL27
Which at £320 fits the budget perfectly.

Those will certainly be good for controlling side reflections, but at 50mm thick are not going to deal with any frequencies below a couple of hundred Hz, even when spaced away from the walls.

The biggest problems in most rooms are at the bass end, particularly in smaller rooms, so you really need bass traps that are 100mm thick placed across the vertical corners to improve things down to 100Hz or so.

Sorry!


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Re: New (imperfect) Garden Studio Build

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Oct 28, 2020 9:59 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:TBF Hugh, we all make compromises with our recording space, you have been in the position to make fewer than most.

Absolutely -- and I've had to make the same kinds of compromises as everyone else over the years. I'm lucky in that I've recently been able to build a very good-sounding home studio -- with the considerable help of Max -- but that's just reinforced for me what an important difference it makes to invest in appropriate treatment.

Maybe I've misinterpreted Blotts comments, and apologies if that's the case, but it's not the first time I've come across misunderstanding and confusion between the roles of acoustic insulation and acoustic treatment, and their respective relevance and importance in a practical studio space.
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Re: New (imperfect) Garden Studio Build

Postby blinddrew » Wed Oct 28, 2020 10:49 pm

I think, based on a couple of previous comments, that part of Blott's point about the difference between what he's built and a standard, converted bedroom, is the additional freedom you get from a dedicated, isolated space.
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Re: New (imperfect) Garden Studio Build

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:08 pm

Yes, fair point.

Mine was that without appropiate acoustic treatment it would sound no better than a spare bedroom -- other than possibly being a little quieter and/or annoying the family and neighbours less! ;-)
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Re: New (imperfect) Garden Studio Build

Postby blinddrew » Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:26 pm

Of course sometimes that can be the objective! :D
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Re: New (imperfect) Garden Studio Build

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:47 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:TBF Hugh, we all make compromises with our recording space, you have been in the position to make fewer than most.

Absolutely -- and I've had to make the same kinds of compromises as everyone else over the years. I'm lucky in that I've recently been able to build a very good-sounding home studio -- with the considerable help of Max -- but that's just reinforced for me what an important difference it makes to invest in appropriate treatment.

Maybe I've misinterpreted Blotts comments, and apologies if that's the case, but it's not the first time I've come across misunderstanding and confusion between the roles of acoustic insulation and acoustic treatment, and their respective relevance and importance in a practical studio space.

Yes, I made that point up-thread too. The beauty, IME, of acoustic treatment is that even a modest, and often domestically acceptable, installation can make a huge difference to the sound of a room*. Or, to put it a different way, the less you have to start with the more difference a few panels will make. One of the things my refurb brought home to me is how much having a nice environment, with everything clean and tidy and nicely finished acoustic treatment makes me want to spend time there. It was a proper sanctuary during the early weeks of C19 and helped make the lockdown experience far pleasanter than it could have turned out :)

* For those needing some help convincing the family I'm reminded of Tony355's fantastic studio build thread where his live room doubled as the family's home theatre :clap:
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Re: New (imperfect) Garden Studio Build

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:43 pm

Blott wrote:From his ad he mentions using 50mm Rockwool insulation.
Ive got a couple of slabs of 100mm Rockwool left over that I can put behind to help bass absorption, but I've noticed he also offers 'custom builds, so I might get a price for some 100mm treatments.

I'll message him and see what he says.

Did you get a reply? I also messaged him, over a fortnight ago now, but have not had a reply yet.

edit :- Have tried again with a new message.
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