Setting up an APT studio

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drawtippy
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Setting up an APT studio

Post by drawtippy » Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:54 pm

So, I'm moving to a new apartment and although that is a total pain, it does give me an opportunity to make my new space better than the old one. This is a rental however, so I can't do anything too destructive, permanent or expensive for that matter.

The room is about 10X11 with a pretty decent closet in the corner that could be a vocal booth.

Good news: None of the 4 walls are shared with the neighbors, the ceiling and floors are however.

Here is my plan so far:

Interlocking rug squares with foam backing on the floor. I read rug is bad for mixing anybody have other options?

2 inch Rockwool or 705 panels covered in fabric in strategic places including door and ceiling. Should these be mounted off the walls if possible? This might not be enough for the ceiling. Any other solutions (besides headphones?)

Foam bass traps in all four corners.

Another question: So the walls have 705 on them, but my A-frames holding synths are in front. Will the synths diffuse the sound or actually bounce it and make it worse. I mean where do you put synths in a semi-treated room?

Anybody else have some helpful suggestions/tips?

Thanks,
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Re: Setting up an APT studio

Post by divineaudio » Sun Mar 15, 2009 2:56 am

are you planning to record live instruments in the room or just use it for mixing/monitoring synths?

if you're micing up instruments i'd say skip the rug and dampen the ceiling instead, especially if you have hardwood floors. if not, a rug/carpet might be ok. if your doing vocals in the room (and not the closet) you might be able to get away with one of those reflection filters or something similar.

i'm not exactly sure what you are saying about your synths being in front - in front of your monitors? in front of the acoustic treatment? in any regard, i'm betting any diffusion/diffraction from sound hitting your synths would be so minimal that you wouldn't even notice. any problems that may occur could easily be solved by a slight monitor/synth placement adjustments.

also go to realtraps.com and get their mode calculator. once you punch in the dimensions of your room you will see where bass problem frequencies are likely to occur and you can treat your room (or mix!) accordingly.

and of course - spend as much time as possible doing some critical listening in the room. play your favorite music, play your own music, play some live instruments whatever. move around the room and pay attention to how the sound changes. this above all else helped me to realize what the actual problems in my room are and where they are located.

good luck. :thumbright:

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Re: Setting up an APT studio

Post by drawtippy » Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:25 pm

I see this section of the forum doesn't get too much action, but thanks, divine. I will be recording live instruments in there, but just guitars and voice. It has to be a combo of sound absorption and sound proofing...So I need to put something on the floor. Those foam-backed rug squares or cork squares should do the trick.

It's the ceiling the door and the window I'm most worried about. I think a panel of 705 on the door should work. I have acoustic blankets I can have sewn into curtains for the windows, it's just the ceiling. Any thoughts?

As far as where my synths are. In a room that tight, the synths might have to go where the first reflection points are. I was just concerned that a wall of poly synths sitting in front of the acoustic treatment, would cancel it out.

I guess I won't really know until I hear the room, thanks!

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Re: Setting up an APT studio

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:58 am

Room nodes from parallel surfaces are the real problem IMO, a bank of synths will act to diffuse the sound rather than reflect it straight back so they should be OK.

You know sound proofing and sound absorbing are almost polar opposites right? The perfect absorber is an open window, 0% of the sound is reflected back. The perfect soundproof material will block transmission 100%, often by reflecting it back. The best thing for stopping sound transmission is something with a lot of mass which is airtight and mechanically decoupled from where you don't want the sound to go. 705 will dampen reflections but will do next to nothing to prevent transmission through a door or ceiling.

To help stop sound getting through the door your best option would be to replace the (probably) ply door with a solid core one and installing a rubber pressure seal that goes all the way around, including the bottom of the door. To stop sound going through the ceiling your only real option is to add a mechanically decoupled second ceiling which isn't really something you can do in a rented apartment. It's much easier to just turn your monitors down a bit and sit closer to them. :thumbright:

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Re: Setting up an APT studio

Post by drawtippy » Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:06 pm

Thanks stab.

Yeah I've been reading a lot about the differences between making a room sound good and making a room soundproof. The later is a zillion times harder in a rental. Things like MLV, drop ceilings etc. are just not going to happen. Fortunately, like I said, none of my walls adjoin a neighbor's. Soundproofing the door was more for my girlfriend than anything. Still the ceiling and my neighbors upstairs are a worry.

I guess the good news in all of this is that I've been recording/producing music in a totally weird shaped and untreated room for 6 years. I hope my rug/705/bass traps plan will be a big improvement in this new space. And hopefully my neighbors are cool!
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