Mark's Studio Build Diary - The Construction Phase

Post and discuss acoustic topics, Studio design, construction, and soundproofing here

Postby Bob » Mon Jun 07, 2004 10:52 pm

I was going to ask you if you were by any chance are you doing ETF5 measurements between mounting new bunches of rockwool (especially the superchunk), but it occurs to me that the most useful measurements are done with a difuse sound field, and my guess is you have no difuse sound field.
Regards
Bob Golds
"The only thing we regret in life is the love we failed to give."
"Be a rapturist -- the backward of a terrorist. Commit random acts of senseless kindness, whenever possible" - Jake Stonebender
Bob
 
Posts: 4358
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 4:37 am
Location: Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Postby Paul Woodlock » Mon Jun 07, 2004 11:20 pm

MarkEdmonds wrote:..... cut and strip tails - about 45 minutes, .......


45 minutes! Crikey, that must have been some hangover!!



[b] Also - Paul, thanks for all your patient help with the wiring - doubt I could have done the tail side of that job without your guidance.

...

Mark


No worries. I'm also happy to have paid off some of my loan to the knowledge bank :)
Paul Woodlock
Strange Being
 
Posts: 2808
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 1:32 am
Location: Peterborough UK

Postby MarkEdmonds » Tue Jun 08, 2004 9:52 am

Paul Woodlock wrote:45 minutes! Crikey, that must have been some hangover!!


No hangover - I'm just really slow! Function of inexperience and wrong tools, especially using a stanley knife to cut the outer insulation layer without cutting the inner layer.

Anyway, briefly the pictures:

The left wall:

Image

Nothing much to add here except I added a lot of extra reinforcing to the framing (most of which I had done a few months ago) because there is no mounting on the floor for this wall so all the weight is taken on the wall.

The front wall left and right:

Image

Image

The large panel at the bottom will be the mains distribution panel - going to be wiring three master switches and 14 two gang sockets on that.

The small plank above the distribution panel and below the RW3 frames is a 10cm deep desk brace. I hate desks that move even if only slightly and with about 55kg of CRT on mine, it moves. I've got some ultra heavy duty brackets to mount on there when I finalise the desk height.

It's ultra hot again today (difficult to get going) so I'm leaving the cable drums out in the sun in the hope it softens them up before tackling the wiring after lunch.

Mark

PS: Lighting has been ordered and hopefully arriving tomorrow.

PPS: BIG cockup on the DAW cable duct. Lesson is to always check design aspects you made in the past to be sure they are still relevant. I selected a diameter that was too small for the d-sub on the Lynx breakout cable so I had to take all the RW3 out and drill a dedicated duct for the Lynx cable. I hate getting jobs wrong like that.
MarkEdmonds
 
Posts: 493
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:15 pm
Location: Peterborough, UK

Postby MarkEdmonds » Tue Jun 08, 2004 10:00 am

Bob wrote:I was going to ask you if you were by any chance are you doing ETF5 measurements between mounting new bunches of rockwool (especially the superchunk), but it occurs to me that the most useful measurements are done with a difuse sound field, and my guess is you have no difuse sound field.


Bob - I'm still confused by the sound of the room. It should be pretty dead but it isn't. I know empty rooms always sound livelier than when they have furniture in them but there isn't much to go in there. I can only assume the current sound is a function of the doors being off and the large surface area of exposed wood.

I've got the EFT demo but when I tried it out a few weeks back, it kept crashing on my W2K DAW - some functions would guarantee a crash and others had to be done in a specific click order or it was back to square one each time. This didn't encourage me to part with the cash for it.

Mark
MarkEdmonds
 
Posts: 493
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:15 pm
Location: Peterborough, UK

Postby Eric.Desart » Tue Jun 08, 2004 10:22 am

Hi Marc,

Waaaauw,
This really is a nice application.

Can Scott use one of your pictures to crop/select the chunks and use it as example in his pages?

Regards
Eric

PS: It should be good that you try to use the trihedral corners too.....
Eric.Desart
Moderator
 
Posts: 2461
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 4:29 am
Location: Antwerp, Belgium

Postby Scott R. Foster » Tue Jun 08, 2004 12:33 pm

Can Scott use one of your pictures to crop/select the chunks and use it as example in his pages?


No worries... I'll just steal em from Bob's site once he gets em up.

:-]
SRF
Scott R. Foster
 
Posts: 3854
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 12:41 pm
Location: Jacksonville, FL USA

Postby MarkEdmonds » Tue Jun 08, 2004 12:46 pm

Scott and Eric - no problem!

I can send you the full size images if you want which would allow much better detail after cropping or if you need a particular shot taken, let me know - digital camera of course so no film to worry about :-)

Mark
MarkEdmonds
 
Posts: 493
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:15 pm
Location: Peterborough, UK

Postby Eric.Desart » Tue Jun 08, 2004 3:02 pm

Hi Marc, and other clever guys.....

It should be nice if someone could make a nice design showing how to handle the trihedral corners too. (even when not a real chunk solution), for those circumstances were 2 and/or 3 edges meet.

The trihedral corners are still the most important ones.
One could use a cube, or just a triangular board filled with wool.
Better or other ideas???

Eric
Eric.Desart
Moderator
 
Posts: 2461
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 4:29 am
Location: Antwerp, Belgium

Postby Paul Woodlock » Tue Jun 08, 2004 3:27 pm

MarkEdmonds wrote:
Paul Woodlock wrote:45 minutes! Crikey, that must have been some hangover!!


No hangover - I'm just really slow! Function of inexperience and wrong tools, especially using a stanley knife to cut the outer insulation layer without cutting the inner layer.
....


hehe - there is a knack.

I apply the same method, as I use to strip the outer sheath of audio multicore....

1] score the circular cut with out going all the way through the sheath, and also score a 'lengthways' cut to the cable end.

2] rip the lengthways cut, like peeling a banana, and then rip the circular cut, scoring deeper if necessary.

....avoids wrecking the inner sheath.


Paul
Paul Woodlock
Strange Being
 
Posts: 2808
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 1:32 am
Location: Peterborough UK

Postby Paul Woodlock » Tue Jun 08, 2004 3:28 pm

Eric.Desart wrote:Hi Marc, and other clever guys.....

It should be nice if someone could make a nice design showing how to handle the trihedral corners too. (even when not a real chunk solution), for those circumstances were 2 and/or 3 edges meet.

The trihedral corners are still the most important ones.
One could use a cube, or just a triangular board filled with wool.
Better or other ideas???

Eric


What about spherical studios?

hee hee

Paul
Paul Woodlock
Strange Being
 
Posts: 2808
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 1:32 am
Location: Peterborough UK

Postby Bob » Tue Jun 08, 2004 3:38 pm

Paul

What about spherical studios?

Geodesic dome cuts.
http://architecture.about.com/library/ucdome.htm
Regards
Bob Golds
"The only thing we regret in life is the love we failed to give."
"Be a rapturist -- the backward of a terrorist. Commit random acts of senseless kindness, whenever possible" - Jake Stonebender
Bob
 
Posts: 4358
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 4:37 am
Location: Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Postby Bob » Tue Jun 08, 2004 3:47 pm

Eric:

It should be nice if someone could make a nice design showing how to handle the trihedral corners too. (even when not a real chunk solution), for those circumstances were 2 and/or 3 edges meet.


To cut a ceiling crown molding to fit an inside corner, first run one piece into the corner with a square cut. Then take the second piece and mitre it on a compound 45-degree angle (two 45 degree angles), so that the bottom is larger than the top, and the front is larger than the back.

hmmm. Is it 45 degrees?
Regards
Bob Golds
"The only thing we regret in life is the love we failed to give."
"Be a rapturist -- the backward of a terrorist. Commit random acts of senseless kindness, whenever possible" - Jake Stonebender
Bob
 
Posts: 4358
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 4:37 am
Location: Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Postby Paul Woodlock » Tue Jun 08, 2004 5:01 pm

Greetings

To place a 45 deg face of absorption across a trihedral corner, simply make an equalateral triangle of absorption with 2', 3' or 4' sides ( or whatever ), and you're sorted.

For right angled triangles = side1^2 + side2^2 = hypotenuse^2

The hypotenuse is the length of the equalateral triangle sides.


i.e for a 2' face..... ((2^2)/2)^0.5 = 1.41421

3' face.... ((3^2)/2)^0.5 = 2.1213
etc

I can work out the volume by building the solid in Autcoad, which will then automatically workout it's volume using the /mass properties function'

Which incidentally is how I worked uot the volume of concrete required for my non-rectangular concrete clabs

The 'by hand' geometry to do so is currently beyond me

Paul
Paul Woodlock
Strange Being
 
Posts: 2808
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 1:32 am
Location: Peterborough UK

Postby Scott R. Foster » Tue Jun 08, 2004 5:09 pm

Pfft!

Try calculating the re-compacted fill yield from a pond excavation... now that's some fancy BS.
SRF
Scott R. Foster
 
Posts: 3854
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 12:41 pm
Location: Jacksonville, FL USA

Postby MarkEdmonds » Tue Jun 08, 2004 5:27 pm

The heat really got to me today and I couldn't face any physical work so I set up the basic listening kit and gave the room a try-out. Might as well find out now if I have a major problem before I get on with laying the laminate flooring.

I'm not going to bullshit about the results - there is no point in kidding myself or even worse, giving the wrong impression so other people go ahead and copy my work, good or bad.

First off, holy smoke, it is focused! I use a lot of orchestral recordings for testing and the placement is now really fine tuned. There is no messing about here - you can point to the individual instruments. The bass is alot tighter so you can really hear the sound of a bass drum rather than just a dull thud and the upper end, for example rasp in brass instruments sings out nice and smooth.

I kept a downloaded track by Carlos Arellano called Scarlatin when he posted it on Cubase.net and this has become a test track because it is really "up-front" and has a fantastic bass solo which used to play havok in the room prior to treatment. Magically, the bass solo is about 90% cured and I'm leaving that 10% because I don't know how the bass really sounded. His guitar work is really forward and you can really imagine someone actually there playing. Finally, I've always found the balance of the mix to be a bit edgy and difficult to listen to at high levels. It still has those characteristics but it is much smoother now.

OK, onto a deep bass track - Angel Voices (I think) by Jeff Beck. This used to be a great track for playing loud and walking round the house where all you can hear is that dull illdefined thuding sound. Now...... there is no dull thudding and you hear the rest of the mix at the same level as the bass! Proves all that trapping is doing so good.

I messed around with some sine sweeps but the results from this can't be taken too literally because I have three doors propped up in the door frames which are acting as nice resonators. Consequently, at the bottom end of the sweep when the doors get hit the room gets taken over for a second or two. I'm not good at guessing freq by ear but I think there is a peak at tuning fork A -ish 440Hz or so and in as much as you can tell from the bass, there is a big but narrow hole low down but I don't know if that is the loose doors. Other than that, it seems pretty smooth but I will have to dig out the Behringer 8000 and do some proper measurements before anything is really known.

As for can I live with the sound - I think so but I've only listened for a hour so far and I will have to learn the room as well. Yes, the sound is very directional when you sit in front of the monitors but walking round the room, it doesn't change very much except when you listen right against an edge. The only major variation onroom position I have noticed is that with a sub-bass sound, it seems to null in the middle of the room but I need to really check this again.

Overall, I'm encouraged. It is a new sound. The top end is definitely a major step forward and the bass judgement will have to wait until the doors are done. As for the dead sound? It isn't as dead I was expecting - in fact, I don't really notice it when going into the room.

Right, back to listening...

Mark
MarkEdmonds
 
Posts: 493
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:15 pm
Location: Peterborough, UK

Postby MarkEdmonds » Thu Jun 10, 2004 10:33 pm

Days 17 - 19

No construction reports for a few days but things have been happening.

Been spending time listening to the room - very interesting clean sound and very revealing.

Also been pulling my hair out trying to use EFT (but enough of that).

One the real work side, have completed the mains system.

Here is a picture of the distribution board during construction. Note the star earth with each earth lead equal length. Also note the illegal exposed earthing!

Image

And here it is in place and live on its dedicated spur from my new and internationally famous consumer unit! It is screwed hard and deep into the wall with RW3 off cuts padding to prevent any nasty artifcats.

Image

Important advice - don't skimp on surface boxes - buy good ones. I bought the cheapest I could find and they have weak screw sockets. I broke two of them during tightening and as luck would have it, one was the master switch box.

Notice the plank section along the bottom. This acts as a cable trough and kick guard. As the distribution panel sits under and behind the desk, if I stretch out fully, I can just kick it so this is an early warning system.

This evening I started on the laminate floor which is a new skill for me.

Image

I had done about three planks in this photo and was already seething. By constructing the rockwool framing direct to the floor, I have given myself a highly irregular floor surface so lots of cuts and notches needed for each edge plank. Slow work.

A friend had told me to use CD cases as spacers. BAD MOVE. They shatter really easily.

Also, being a tight bastard, I thought I could get away without buying a pull bar. Another dumb move as I really had no idea how tight the T&G on this flooring is. Being 10 o'clock at night, I couldn't go out and buy one so I knocked this concoction up:

Image

A bit Heath Robinson'ish but it works! Just wrap some cloth over the metal bracket to protect the laminate surface.

Anyway, tomorrow I hope to pick up speed and finish this job nice and smoothly.

Famous last words!

Mark
MarkEdmonds
 
Posts: 493
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:15 pm
Location: Peterborough, UK

Postby uk03878 » Fri Jun 11, 2004 9:28 am

Bloody hell - those power distribution boxes....
Just out of interest - why didn't you buy a power distribution thingie and stick it in the rack - or even make one?
I use three of the rack mounted Samson powerstrips
uk03878
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 6:46 pm
Location: Peterborough, UK

Postby MarkEdmonds » Fri Jun 11, 2004 9:35 pm

uk03878 wrote:Bloody hell - those power distribution boxes....
Just out of interest - why didn't you buy a power distribution thingie and stick it in the rack - or even make one?
I use three of the rack mounted Samson powerstrips


Lots of reasons:

1. A lot cheaper

2. Only way to get control over spacing

3. Only way to get semi-star earthing

4. Only way to get control over cable type

5. Each socket is switched

6. Compatibility with wall warts

I agree the powerstrips are a neat solution but I've got 24 sockets as I want them for about 45 quid which I think is about half the price of one Powerbrite unit. Yes, it was tedious to build but it's done now!

Mark
MarkEdmonds
 
Posts: 493
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:15 pm
Location: Peterborough, UK

Postby MarkEdmonds » Fri Jun 11, 2004 9:50 pm

Day 20

Main achievement of the day is the laminate flooring. It is 99.5% complete - just one plank to do which is going to be a bitch to cut but I ran out of light doing the sawing outside.

For laminate flooring geeks, I've used Wickes "Fast Fix 12" Maple finish and it looks a lot better than in this photo:

Image

I'm actually really pissed off with myself over one thing. I meant to leave a sort of easter egg in the room. I was going to write in a big felt pen on the plywood floor before the laminate went down saying something like "This studio was constructed by Mark Edmonds, Summer 2004" and sign it. Yeah well I forgot so now I have to think of something else. :((

Tomorrow is my last full-time construction day. I've got the one laminate slab to do, trim and re-hang the doors and all being well, the lighting should be delivered so that will be installed. This will then enable me to finish lining the ceiling. Realistically, I should be bringing the kit back into the room during the evening so for the first time, I will get to hear what it really sounds like! (Big grin at that thought!)

Mark
MarkEdmonds
 
Posts: 493
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:15 pm
Location: Peterborough, UK

Postby MarkEdmonds » Sun Jun 13, 2004 12:06 pm

Day 21

Christ! What a day! General rule for all projects: even the simplest of job can go wrong.

09:00

Started work on finishing the floor. Shouldn't take too long just one main plank to cut and a short section to fill.

09:30

Laminate floor complete. Sit and have coffee and smoke admiring the appearance of the new floor.

09:50

Door bell goes and lighting has arrived. Excellent! Spend the next hour checking how I will mount them and built a quick fix mounting so I can see how they look in different positions. Finally settle on this:

Image

11:00

OK, ought to do the lights now whilst I have daylight to assist. First job is to replace the normal switches with the remote dimmers. The room is already wired for two way switching so this will take about 15 minutes which leaves ~2 hours to mount and wire the lights before lunch.

15 minutes later, the dimmers are in, plug the fuse back and switch on. Nothing. WTF? Check wiring. Looks OK. How can I have got this wrong? Re-read the instructions. OK. Re-check the actual circuit. Looks good. OK, put the original switches back. ..... Yes, they work. Re-read instructions. Set the circuit to one-way and put the master dimmer in. It works! OK, so that isn't dead. Now try the slave. Whole circuit dead. Crap. Maybe the electrician put a nasty surprise in for me so check the entire circuit again. Draw out all variations I can think of of how the circuit could be wired. All comes down to what I am doing is right. Maybe the slave is dead? Set the circuit for one-way and test master on the other position. Works. Try the slave. Dead. Put the master back in and test both positions of two-way circuit as one-way. Only one works. Rats. Re-read the instructions and draw out yet more circuits. Double check the junctions in the ceiling rose. Nearly fry myself by touching a pin on the fuse holder as I pull it out the CU. Time is ticking on. Go through the instructions again and again and check my wiring diagrams again and again. Check the original switches really work as I expect. They do. OK, something is majorly wrong here.

12.55

Resort to calling the dealer who closes at 13:00 on Saturday. No reply. Fantastic. Decided not to stop for lunch until I have this bloody job fixed.
Coffee and smoke. Try to evaluate what the hell is going on. I've got a two way circuit that I know works and I know exactly how it is wired but only one half of it works with the master dimmer and the slave is completely dead. Check the packaging of the slave for a QC sticker or a tested sticker. Find it. I don't believe this can be DOA. Right, start on some non-standard wiring combinations. Maybe I need to swap a lead over? Maybe the dimmers are sensitive to load position (I was getting desperate!)?

Nothing works and the fuse holder on the CU is getting really stiff for some reason so each test cycle is unwanted operation.

13:45

I've read the instructions so many times that I could recite them by heart but it wont hurt to do it again. All makes sense. Can't see what I am doing wrong.... hang on.... what was that sentence? "...if your 2-way or intermediate circuit does not have three direct connections between the switches...". I've got three haven't I? No, wait I haven't. SHIT! I've only got 2. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo! How am I going to wire in a third lead without channeling out plaster, removing two ceiling corner traps and half the ceiling RW3 with all that shit coming down on the nice new floor? I am about to explode. This cannot be happening.

I looked at the cable used in the wiring and then.... miracle of miracles, the electrician had used T&E but he hadn't trimmed the earth so there was a redudant earth cable I could use. (Note: not directly connected to anything so perfectly safe)

In a frenzied 15 minutes, I unwound the earth from the tag, sheathed it and taped it, wired in the two dimmers, put the fuse back in and ..... bingo..... it works!!! I let out an extremely loud SPAMMER. This 15 minute job had taken 3 hours.

Motto: Always read the instructions but make sure you understand them and don't assume you know how something works.

BTW, if that little saga was painful to read, imagine what it felt like whilst it happened!

14:00

I'm three hours behind schedule on my last day but I can now finally stop for lunch.

14:50

Back to work on mounting and wiring the lights. No major incident except I wish I hadn't decided to use 2.5mm cable as the stuff I've got is ultra-rigid.

17:30

Ready to test the lights ... and ... yes, very nice, all working but it isn't exactly bright for 400W. Anyway, no time to dwell. I've three doors to trim and re-hang.

19.45

The doors are back and I'm bloody pleased with the job I did on them. It isn't a simple job trying to calculate how much to take off and getting them back on the hinges cleanly when you've only got two hands but it came out tops. Now the room is starting to feel like a room again.

Break for supper.

20:30

Time to anchor the desk on the new support and get some kit into the room. Amazing how everything has got calked in dust and mess over the last few weeks.

22:20

Finally, basic kit loaded up and ready to go. The big switch on.

Image

Quick low volume check to make sure everything is working and then nervously, turn it up and go for some serious listening.

Initial impressions cautious.

Ten minutes later and conclusion drawn: something has gone wrong. The sound had changed since I last listened in the empty room. It isn't the acoustic as that still doesn't sound very dead. Something has shifted. It sounds confused, the definition is gone, edgy and vocals are distant.

I mess around with monitor positions and listening position. No real change.

OK, what has changed? The laminate floor, the doors are in their correct position and a little bit of furniture has gone in. Surely that can't disturb the sound in the way I am hearing it now can it?

Midnight

Decide to call it a day. Maybe I am tired. Maybe it will sound better in the morning.

Day 22

Spent about an hour listening so far and the basic characteristics I heard last night are still there. I have some major investigation and remedial work to do. Not good to say the least. Quite disappointed actually.

Anyway, have a lot of tidying up to do and hope to get on with some EFT tests later.

Mark
MarkEdmonds
 
Posts: 493
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:15 pm
Location: Peterborough, UK

PreviousNext

Return to Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 3 guests

cron