Date: Thu Mar 8, 2001 10:15 pm
Subject: Re: [acoustics] Throatlatch Studio plan
In a message dated 3/8/01 1:56:33 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> HI Scott!
> Thanx a lot for that info. Fianlly I managed to find my way around that
> There's a slight change in my studio floorplan. There was a loft ranging
> x 10' starting at the centre of the shop at 8' height, which I was planning
> to break. But the builder came in between and said breaking it willcause
> structural problem and allowed me to break only 5' of it. Now I'm planning
> keep the control room part below the loft and the tracking part towards the
> entrance. What would you suggest for me in this situation? (Drawing is
I don't understand what breaking the loft means. Is the loft open to the
tracking room ... its floor being the ceiling over the mixing board?
As to control and tracking together, I think you need a room of some sort to
monitor the studio when tracking .. so you can hear what's going to disk
(tape .. whatever) isolated from the signal source .. this is very important,
otherwise you will waste a lot of time tracking stuff that sounds OK while
jumbled up with the direct signal source .. but crappy when heard on its own.
You won't be aware of this until later when the music stops and you have a
chance to listen critically to the results all by themselves.
Call this room the control closet ... cause it'll be to small to do really
good final mixes mix in .... but that's OK ... just muffin the room out
fairly completely (lots of absorption) and do your rough mixes in that dry
environment (little reverb). When you get to the stage of final mix down
(tweaking the reverbs, overall compression, EQ, etc.) I'd move the necessary
equipment to the tracking room and do final mixing there (or at a different
facility) where you are listening in a more natural reverberant field.
If you get the hang of this (come to understand what must be pushed and what
must be toned down to make you rough mix work in a larger more verby space)
you might get it down to just blasting the mix out of a pair of good studio
mains, stepping out to give a listen, and stepping back in to add a few
little tweaks to get your final mix .. not the best way to work, but a
compromise taking into account the simple fact that you don't have enough
space for a proper sized tracking room and a proper sized control room ...
one of them has to suffer.
I say put the load on the control room by turning it into a cockpit (closet)
and accept the fact that the product of the control must be tested in a
bigger more natural sounding room before it can be released .... My reason
for this is I feel a lot can be done later with a good solid track, even in a
poor control room ... but even a great control room in the hands of a master
is hard put to save a crappy track ... you can't polish a turd. My $0.02
I'll sketch out what I'm talking about and email it to you.
> In this case we are getting 32' length for most part of our tracking room
> cum control room, except where the lobby is there. I checked with the
> calculator, and found no matching modes for these figures, which should
> its ok. How do you determine the frequencies which should be absorbed and
> which should be diffused?
The mode calculator tells you generally what zones must be dealt with through
absorption and which zone can be dealt with by diffusion. Below the
diffusion zone (around 140 Hz on your last design) diffusion isn't going to
work well and absorption is the best approach.
A good start to is try and get a layout for the room that spreads the room
modes around rather than stacks them up ... then try and predict what the
reverb field will be like by estimating the Sabin number for the room across
the sound spectrum given the construction materials you plan to use ... after
looking at these numbers, plan on altering / adding to the materials to
flatten any bumps in the field (if you 100 Hz Sabin content is half the level
your 500 Hz content when RT60 equals the target (say .6 seconds) you know you
need to add some LF absorption ... if at the same time your 250 Hz is also a
bit high you might add some 250 Hz diffusion (a couple of large polys could
Use a Sabin calculator spreadsheet like the one at Doug's site to do this ...
jiggle the room contents and finishes to get the estimated RT60 you desire
... then jiggle the footage of materials to get the Sabin numbers across the
band fairly flat ... Don't be afraid to create an estimate for materials you
can't find data on ... let common sense be your guide ... then build it and
measure the results. Tweak till a kick bass, a snare, and a crash cymbal all
sound good together, reverberate and decay together in a pleasing way .. Then
you are done.
> I guess my room will have mostly panel Bass traps
> and polys. Will we need broadband absorbers also?
Maybe ... a couch is a good broadband absorber
> I've read about so many
> options for absorbers and diffusers that I'm totally confused on what to
> for me. And now with all this discussion on natural stuff like stone
> there is no limit. Please enlighten me on this.
There is no limit ????
I think you are enlightened.
Scott R. Foster