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Author Topic: Perfect stereo mastering room size?  (Read 8458 times)

New Room

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Perfect stereo mastering room size?
« on: August 26, 2007, 02:14:55 am »

Imagine you had a large space to build a mastering room in (so, a room within a room).

What size would you (Fran, anybody?) consider the "perfect" size for a mastering room?

A couple of pro's over at Gearslutz have quoted these dimensions as being the very good:

28 feet x 19 feet x 12 (8.5m x 5.8 x 3.6)

To me that seems quite small. For example, Bob Ludwigs room is a lot bigger then this i believe. I think there also quite a few bigger rooms then this.

How big are the rooms at Sterling Sound?

So imagine you had a client that gave you carte blanche to build a room within a larger space - what dimensions would you suggest? - i need this information so i know what size of business unit i'll need to buy.

(BTW, my present employment situation requires that i post this anon.)
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Wes Lachot

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Re: Perfect stereo mastering room size?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2007, 04:32:20 pm »

New Room wrote on Sat, 25 August 2007 23:14


...So imagine you had a client that gave you carte blanche to build a room within a larger space - what dimensions would you suggest? - i need this information so i know what size of business unit i'll need to buy...



There's really no such thing as a "perfect" scenario; I mean, every situation is different - different monitor speakers, different budget, etc. So it's really hard to just cough up a set of dimensions and say "these are the ideal dimensions, period".

Having said that, I will say that 28 ft. in the depth dimension should be adequate, although a 19 : 28 ratio would not be a good thing, being a perfect octave (that's one thing we can say for sure that is perfect). And the 12 ft. height dimension may or may not be adequate depending upon the other dimensional ratios.

Your studio designer will be looking at the overall situation, including lobby and office areas, etc., to help you choose the right sized space. The way it all fits together in an economical way is really the designer's job. You should work with a designer before you actually go out and purchase a building. I've helped quite a few clients to make a decision to reject a particular building that would not have been suitable for their purposes. And I've also been called in after it was too late, and the wrong building had already been purchased.

I usually recommend that my clients search for buildings with around 14 ft. of clearance from the slab to the bottom of the trusses or bar joists. There are many such buildings for sale or lease here in the states, and I reckon there probably are similar type buildings to be had in Europe as well.

--Wes
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Wes Lachot Design
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bblackwood

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Re: Perfect stereo mastering room size?
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2007, 06:38:42 pm »

weslachot wrote on Sun, 26 August 2007 15:32

Having said that, I will say that 28 ft. in the depth dimension should be adequate, although a 19 : 28 ratio would not be a good thing, being a perfect octave (that's one thing we can say for sure that is perfect).

Huh? Wouldn't a perfect octave be 19'x38'?
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Brad Blackwood
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Wes Lachot

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Re: Perfect stereo mastering room size?
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2007, 06:48:55 pm »

bblackwood wrote on Sun, 26 August 2007 15:38

weslachot wrote on Sun, 26 August 2007 15:32

Having said that, I will say that 28 ft. in the depth dimension should be adequate, although a 19 : 28 ratio would not be a good thing, being a perfect octave (that's one thing we can say for sure that is perfect).

Huh? Wouldn't a perfect octave be 19'x38'?

How careless of me. Of course, 19 : 28 would be 1 : 1.47, which isn't much better, being precariously close to a perfect 5th, or 1 : 1.5.

--Wes
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Wes Lachot Design
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New Room

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Re: Perfect stereo mastering room size?
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2007, 12:47:43 am »

Hi Wes,

Yes, i know "perfect" is actually is silly word to use.

But i used it anyway!  Rolling Eyes

What i need to know is the ballpark size of the space i should be looking for. At the moment i'm in the early financial planning stage. I need an rough idea so i can access the price of a building of the right size.

So, imagine a mastering room, a small machine room, a small client waiting area with kitchen (basic), a toilet, and that's it.

Budget would be "medium"

Speakers = large audiophile floor-standers.

I really just need a "ballpark" figure, so i can save time by not looking at too small buildings!

Thanks!

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jfrigo

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Re: Perfect stereo mastering room size?
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2007, 01:54:17 am »

Bob Ludwig's room is about 32 ft. deep, which makes it one of the larger mastering rooms you''ll see. 28' deep is plenty to make a great room. Anything more than the mid 30's gets a bit unwieldy and will likely require some adjustments to the typical expectations for a control room treatment model (still using absorbtion, reflection, and diffusion, including plenty of bass trapping, but may need more control in some areas).

You would have to run some numbers to find the best ratio using your available space. You can either get a mode calculator online and do some trial and error, or do a search for suggested ratios by Bolt, Beranek, Louden etc. There are limits to the usefulness of some of these ratios; for example some are intended for larger rooms for performance. For a refinement on these earlier ratios, Bonello is also worth searching.

Height is most often the limiting factor as room dimensions go, so you may need to use your maximum available ceiling height (considering space lost to isolation) as your starting point for calculating a desireable ratio.
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Wes Lachot

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Re: Perfect stereo mastering room size?
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2007, 11:08:34 am »

New Room wrote on Sun, 26 August 2007 21:47

What i need to know is the ballpark size of the space i should be looking for. At the moment i'm in the early financial planning stage. I need an rough idea so i can access the price of a building of the right size.

So, imagine a mastering room, a small machine room, a small client waiting area with kitchen (basic), a toilet, and that's it.

Budget would be "medium"

Speakers = large audiophile floor-standers.

I really just need a "ballpark" figure, so i can save time by not looking at too small buildings!


The ideal space for you would be around 1200 sq. ft., or 24 ft. x 50 ft. x 14 ft. (7.315m x 15.24m x 4.267m). A building this size will allow for a good layout of the rooms you mentioned, and will provide ample space for good ratios for the mastering room.

--Wes

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Wes Lachot Design
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New Room

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Re: Perfect stereo mastering room size?
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2007, 12:07:15 pm »

Wes, thank you very much for that information. That gives me a rough idea of the sort of unit i should be looking for.

Jay, thanks also.
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franman

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Re: Perfect stereo mastering room size?
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2007, 10:35:56 pm »

I have to agree with most of the comments already posted. The rooms for Sterling or any other facility are really based on:
1. Available space
2. Number of studios required
3. Amount of support space require
4. Client wish list for equipment accomodations, client seating, loudspeaker layout, etc.

I don't belive there is any perfect ratio or dimensions. We have designed mastering installation from 175 SF to over 1000 SF!! This large room is certainly unique but it will be a pure mastering room. The clients ideas and wish list were unique and we jumped at challenge. Typically I would agree that a 28ft depth would be plenty for either 'front loaded' or '1/3 loaded' loudspeaker setup. Height is almost always the limiting factor in listening rooms proportional design.

I avoid running specific proportions or solutions on this forum (this is how we make a living) but is seems like you're getting good advice from everyone else.

Each project is unique not only in available space, but program requirements, equipment layouts, client wishes and everything else. This is why no typical solution would work for everyone!! Best of luck! If you get into a situation where you would like to discuss the design of mastering suite just let me know and I'd be happy to discuss the specifics! Best of luck Anon!!
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