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Author Topic: New Mix Room Questions  (Read 3698 times)

yoink

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New Mix Room Questions
« on: June 05, 2007, 07:17:32 pm »

So here I stand, on the cusp of finally having a room to really work on media in. I've been working out of small offices for much my still young career and it's time to do things that lean a little more towards doing it right and than simply getting by.

So here's my current dilemma. I have a blank slate of a space with roughly 20'x14' with 8 foot ceilings to work with. I can do whatever I want with this room. I'm not looking for a room to record in. There are plenty of great studio spaces around that can be rented on the cheap and my rig is fairly portable.

All this yapping is only to say that my current question is:

Would it be better to build a rectangular room that follows one of those acoustic ratios as closely as possible and then trap/diffuse/absorb/reflect as needed, or would it be to my advantage to build a room that's not rectangular, say a little wider and taller at the back, or would the later design be much more expensive to do properly in the end.

I don't have money for floating floors (and I don't know if I really need it), and I don't need a ton of isolation since no recording is going on, but I'm open to all options. I just want a space that will, within reason, allow me to make fairly accurate decisions about the material I'm hearing.

I was also thinking about hiring a consulting service, but have no idea what kind of ball park figure I was looking at for the cost involved.

In addition I was going to use bass traps (and broadband absorption) from RealTraps (primarily) and Modular Acoustics (for cheaper filler as I build up my Real Traps collection), and then some diffusion from Auralex among others (always open to other options).

But that's all I have so far. I'm not at all against being pointed in the direction of more reading. I've read Ethan Winer's FAQs several times but think I could use another dozen or so reads to really get everything that's contained therein, so pardon me for asking obvious questions if that's the case.

Thanks again!
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franman

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Re: New Mix Room Questions
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2007, 07:49:16 pm »

1. Go with the rectangle with proper proportions.. Remember the modes have to actually calculated for your dimensions. There is no golden ratio... it is size dependant. It will be easier to build correctly and symmetrically and most likely cheaper. Hey, the room you have might even work!! (run the numbers!)

2. Hire FM Design (of course)

3. All the products you listed a reasonable starting points. It's budget vs: performance and appearance (as with most things you want to buy!!).

4. Seems like you've been doing some reading and research.. Keep it up, and ask specific questions as they come up.. Everyone here will be glad to help I'm sure!!

have fun!!
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Wes Lachot

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Re: New Mix Room Questions
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2007, 09:56:56 pm »

Yoink,

Your current ratios aren't that bad, really.  The ceiling is a bit low, of course, so the modal spacing between the 8' height and the 14' width is 1 : 1.75, which is a just minor 7th -- a little wide, but not a bad interval.  But the ratio 14 : 20 is very close to the square root of 2 which is a fabulously good ratio.  So the modal spacing between the depth and height dimensions will be about as even as any two dimensions can be, but the height dimension, being so spread out, won't add as much to the modal density as if it were a bit higher, say 8.75', which would create a minor 6th between height and width.

But, all things considered, those are pretty good dimensions.

- Wes
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Ethan Winer

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Re: New Mix Room Questions
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2007, 01:04:48 pm »

You already got great advice from the masters, so if nobody objects to a little blatant self-promo I'll address this:

yoink wrote on Tue, 05 June 2007 19:17

and then some diffusion from Auralex among others (always open to other options).


Have a look at the RealTraps diffusors:

http://www.realtraps.com/diffusor.htm

Besides being genuine QRD style diffusors, they are also excellent bass traps. Which is exactly what you want on the rear wall behind you.

--Ethan

yoink

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Re: New Mix Room Questions
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2007, 09:41:32 am »

Thanks all! I can't believe I got replies from the three people who's work and writing I've been following to get to know what this project entails.

So that being said there are only a couple of question I have right now.

@Wes (or anyone who can answer): the one thing that stands out in my current(lacking) grasp of the theory involved, is your comment about modal densities. I'm not sure if I follow that the minor 7th is better than the minor 6th (8ft versus 8.75 feet) and what the ideal height of the ceiling should be. And perhaps I even got that backwards.

I realise you need to make a living so I'm going to actually try to answer this myself; although I'm still very foggy on which modal densities are better etc.


@FM: Thanks. The temptation to make a fancy "looking" room is a strong one, but over the last couple of weeks I started to realise that a standard rectangle would probably be more realistic. Thanks for turning that "probably" into a "definitely."

@Ethan: Hi there. It's actually the fellow from Montreal who caused all that trouble with FedEx Ground for you. As for the reason I wasn't (and still aren't) considering the RT Diffusers is because for a similar outlay (let's say I got 2 @ $500US / each) I could get more coverage on the back wall with a combination of cheaper diffusers and some simple traps, leaving money to put the best traps I can afford at first reflection points as well as get floor to ceiling traps in the four corners.

I am continuing to read as much as I can and will definitely be back with more questions.

Thanks again everyone! If I am out of line in anyway, feel free to slap me over the head with a unix manual or something.

All the best,
PK
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Wes Lachot

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Re: New Mix Room Questions
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2007, 12:39:19 pm »

yoink wrote on Thu, 07 June 2007 06:41


@Wes (or anyone who can answer): the one thing that stands out in my current(lacking) grasp of the theory involved, is your comment about modal densities. I'm not sure if I follow that the minor 7th is better than the minor 6th (8ft versus 8.75 feet) and what the ideal height of the ceiling should be. And perhaps I even got that backwards.


Yoink,

Modal density is an important concept, especially in the bottom two octaves where room resonances are hardest to absorb effectively. The idea is that if you must have resonances (every room has them), let's at least have them evenly spread across the frequency spectrum, rather than have them all bunched up together. So if the room's longest dimension is 19', the corresponding resonance is around 30Hz, and whole number multiples of 30Hz. Two octaves above 30Hz is 120 Hz (two doublings), so if you play around with various room ratios, you will find that the toughest problem is how to get a reasonably even modal progression from 30 to 120, where it really counts. This is roughly from the lowest note on a five-string bass to the 3rd fret on the bass G string.

Ratio sets that have all three dimension falling within the same octave are naturally denser, since you get nine resonances to play with in the first two octaves as opposed to six. An example would be 1 : 1.26 : 1.59. Using 30Hz as the lowest resonance, your spread would be 30, 37.8, 47.7, 60, 75.6, 90, 95.4, 113.4, 120. This is as even and dense as is mathematically possible for three dimensions, in the lowest octaves.

On the other hand, where the long dimension is outside one octave from the shortest dimension, like say 1 : 1.59 : 2.53, you'd get 30, 47.7, 60, 75.9, 95.4, 120. See how the results are less dense than in the first example?

In musical terms*, the denser set is, starting with the lowest B-flat on the piano: Bb, D, F#, Bb, D, F, F#, B, Bb. The less dense example goes Bb, F#, Bb, D, F#, Bb.

Modal density is a good thing, but with small rooms, you have to consider the trade-offs involved, or we'd just make all small room ratios fall within the first octave. The trade off is that if the smallest dimension is around 8' or so, the longest good long dimension would be around 15.2' (1 : 1.9), and the room would start to roll off steeply at 37Hz, and you really want your room to easily go down to 30Hz in this day and age. So a ratio set like the aformentioned 1 : 1.59 : 2.52 gives you that 19' dimension and extends the natural bass response of the room. But there is no free lunch, as we have traded modal density (bass smoothness) for longer dimensions (bass extension). The only free lunch is for those who sit in the first class cabin, where the wine is flowing and the headroom is somewhere around 11'. But the ticket price is steep...

--Wes

*There has been some rounding for the sake of clarity. Think of it as "tuning".

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franman

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Re: New Mix Room Questions
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2007, 09:59:23 pm »

Good explanation Wes.. BTW, it was really nice to meet you at TOC and spend some time... great dinner on Sunday!!
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Wes Lachot

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Re: New Mix Room Questions
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2007, 01:24:06 pm »

Fran,

Yeah, I had a good time hanging out with you and Lars. I'll be in touch about coming up to hear the Griffin wall-mount monitors.

--Wes
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Ethan Winer

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Re: New Mix Room Questions
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2007, 12:39:11 pm »

weslachot wrote on Wed, 13 June 2007 13:24

I'll be in touch about coming up to hear the Griffin wall-mount monitors.


If you come up let me know because I'd love to hang with both you guys. I'd also like to hear those speakers too. Very Happy

--Ethan

Wes Lachot

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Re: New Mix Room Questions
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2007, 07:15:29 pm »

It'll have to be some time after mid-July, as my travel schedule is a bit crazy right now. I am very interested in hearing the Griffins, after talking with Fran and Lars about them.

--Wes
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franman

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Re: New Mix Room Questions
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2007, 08:00:47 pm »

We'll make it a party!! Let me know when you can be in the area Wes and I'll make the plans with Ethan... It will be an acoustic nerd, speaker listening, beer drinking festival!!
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Ethan Winer

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Re: New Mix Room Questions
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2007, 01:42:16 pm »

franman wrote on Fri, 22 June 2007 20:00

We'll make it a party!! Let me know when you can be in the area Wes and I'll make the plans with Ethan... It will be an acoustic nerd, speaker listening, beer drinking festival!!


LOL. Fran, do you play an instrument? If so, maybe add "jam" to the list of activities. After the beer drinking of course! Very Happy

--Ethan

franman

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Re: New Mix Room Questions
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2007, 03:53:24 pm »

I 'used' to play keyboards (in college) but that was a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away... I can't remember a lick these days.. damn shame I'm affraid to say, but the musical ear sure comes in helpful on a daily basis!!
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