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    Default Setting up my room for a studio

    Hey,

    I just got a new place which is dope, because I have a big room which I am gonna turn in to my studio. So my roommate have all this soundproofing material left which I can use. It's some black rubber, 3mm thick. Should I put this all over my walls to deaden the room or is that a bad idea in any way? I am planning to do both recording (no drums) and mixing.

    Also it is connected with a small hallway to the bath, and there is no door. I don't know if this is a problem, should I cover it up?
    It also has a window which kind of sucks, and it's a bottom floor apartment with a pool outside... well well

    I'd appreciate any input on this!

    Thanks,

    Ludvig

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    Default Re: Setting up my room for a studio

    I think it might be this stuff, sure looks like it. How To Soundproof A Room | Soundproof Walls | Sound Insulation
    Should I cover my room with it?

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    Default Re: Setting up my room for a studio

    Originally Posted by luddekudde
    Hey,

    I just got a new place which is dope, because I have a big room which I am gonna turn in to my studio. So my roommate have all this soundproofing material left which I can use. It's some black rubber, 3mm thick. Should I put this all over my walls to deaden the room or is that a bad idea in any way? I am planning to do both recording (no drums) and mixing.

    Also it is connected with a small hallway to the bath, and there is no door. I don't know if this is a problem, should I cover it up?
    It also has a window which kind of sucks, and it's a bottom floor apartment with a pool outside... well well

    I'd appreciate any input on this!

    Thanks,

    Ludvig
    "Just covering" your room with any type of material can lead to problems. No matter how excellent the material might be. You may be correcting problems you dont have and not getting to problems you do have. Generally the idea is to run some analysis on the room, find out what kind of problems you are having, and correct those problems with absorbtion, diffusion, critical placement choices, ect.

    You CAN however tame some of that reflective room sound that is sneaking on to your recordings by just tossing some of that stuff up, but very well may be creating other not so obvious problems that is just derstroying your mix for the listener.

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    Default Re: Setting up my room for a studio

    Soundproofing must involve mass. 3mm thick rubber has no significant mass, it will do little or nothing to soundproof your room.

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    Default Re: Setting up my room for a studio

    Originally Posted by aj113
    Soundproofing must involve mass. 3mm thick rubber has no significant mass, it will do little or nothing to soundproof your room.
    It's density thats the critical factor, not mass?

    Ludvig - is the plan to just soundproof the room to stop you from disturbing your neighbours/housemate, or are you really wanting to treat the acoustics of the room? They are 2 different things....

    I'm guessing that what you really want is to control the reflections in the room, in which case just coating the walls in something isnt the best way to go about it...auralex give a free 'room analysis' and suggestions if you upload a pdf layout to them and they do more in depth ones for a price. Then they suggest what of their products to treat it with...but of course you can find equivalent or better products all over...

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    Default Re: Setting up my room for a studio

    Originally Posted by EnSkorSang
    It's density thats the critical factor, not mass?
    No, it's mass - and isolation. A 3mm sheet of rubber will do nothing. That's why all recording studios have very thick walls - they are stuffed full of sound-absorbing materials that create mass. And he wants to do a lot more than control the reflections, he's going to be recording.

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    Default Re: Setting up my room for a studio

    #1 - What's the motivation for soundproofing if you aren't doing drums? Is it really noisy outside. You need to rationalize the soundproofing as you could have an acoustical mess to deal with afterwards.

    #2 - If soundproofing is important to you, what kind of budget do you have to get the sound of the room back?

    #3 - Soundproofing works in a similar way to keeping all the cold out in the winter time (and a few others). You could cover your walls with that, but are you sure they are the weakest link? What if your floor is the weakest link? If so, sound will just go through the floor and off to where ever it would like.


    Soundproofing must involve mass. 3mm thick rubber has no significant mass, it will do little or nothing to soundproof your room.
    Deadsheet is well know for being a highly effective layer, particularly when sandwiched in between sheets of drywall. It's heavy as hell. I thought I remember hearing somewhere that it has lead in it. This, of course, isn't necessarily the same thing as rubber. If it's REALLY heavy and a massive pain in the ass to work with it probably has decent soundproofing properties.

    I don't know the mass vs density answer. Some material has the ideal resonant frequency of 10Hz this keeps the sound transfer down. There are some materials that are highly dense that resonate at the wrong frequency and cause isolation issues.

    Brandon

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    Default Re: Setting up my room for a studio

    I just got a new place which is dope, because I have a big room which I am gonna turn in to my studio. So my roommate have all this soundproofing material left which I can use. It's some black rubber, 3mm thick. Should I put this all over my walls to deaden the room or is that a bad idea in any way?
    I find it is a common misunderstanding with the differences between soundproofing and acoustic treatment. Soundroofing is the concept of preventing sound from leaving the room (ie to keep your neighbors happy, or the street noise out of your recordings) Acoustic treatment is about making your room sound good. Which one are you referring too.

    It's density thats the critical factor, not mass?
    For soundproofing it is mass that is the most important, then decoupling, and then damping. In most situations a denser material has more mass so you guys are both right. Soundproofing can be a very expensive proposition depending on the level of db reduction you require (a vocal booth needs less than a drum room for example as far as sound getting out) Soundproofing can be done with basic building materials search the forum here and on google. If someone says use egg cartons to soundproof your room, ignore them because they don't know what they are talking about. The mat you have sounds like mass loaded vinyl or something similar, that will add mass to your walls, but it has limitations.

    Acoustics can be expensive too and again it can be treated with common building materials (insulation mostly). No doubt the mass loaded vinyl mat will have some absorption properties but it isn't designed for acoustic treatment. Again search this forum and google for information on it.

    Be specific with your questions and what your goals are so we can help you as much as possible.
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    Default Re: Setting up my room for a studio

    Also luddekudde if you have a scale diagram of the room with dimensions and window door locations it can help with recommending an approach.
    "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans" -John Lennon

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    Default Re: Setting up my room for a studio

    Pretty much everything that can be said has been said. Just to reiterate, soundproofing and acoustic treatment are two different things and have very little to do with each other. You don't want to confuse the two.

    Soundproofing a room without building another room inside or tearing down the wall and rebuilding them would be almost impossible. You can cut down leakage by a very small amount by putting that stuff on your walls, but it would be the difference between pissing your neighbors off in 5 seconds vs 6 seconds.

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    Default Re: Setting up my room for a studio

    The only thing I have to add to the great things upthread is that much of the information you can find about soundproofing is based on averaged frequency transmission. But low frequencies and high frequencies are very different. You can sometimes find sound absorption graphs that plot db reduction vs. frequency.

    In my case, I'm interested primarily in blocking high frequencies, while my bagpipes generate low frequency noise too, that noise is a constant hum. With HF noise you just need mass. Put up some sheetrock and you're done. LF noise is a lot more difficult, because LF will make the sheetrock vibrate, transfer to the building structure, and then transfer out the other side.

    In my case, the weakest link is definitely the windows, so I'm planning on making some interior shutters. My primary goal is to be able to practice in the morning without bothering the widow next door.

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    Default Re: Setting up my room for a studio

    The only thing I have to add to the great things upthread is that much of the information you can find about soundproofing is based on averaged frequency transmission. But low frequencies and high frequencies are very different. You can sometimes find sound absorption graphs that plot db reduction vs. frequency.
    I'm currently reading Home Recording Studio: Build It Like The Pros and the author included some charts on this. They were knocking down over 50dB at 2k or so but at 100Hz it was more like 20dB they were knocking down. I was surprised with the room in question (which I recall being pretty well done) that the low end was that ineffective, actually.
    Last edited by brandondrury; 03-06-2012 at 12:26 PM.

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    Default Re: Setting up my room for a studio

    Originally Posted by brandondrury
    I'm currently reading Amazon.com: Home Recording Studio: Build It Like the Pros (9781435457171): Rod Gervais: Books&tag=recorrevie-20&index=books&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325" target="_blank">Amazon.com: Home Recording Studio: Build It Like the Pros (9781435457171): Rod Gervais: Books and the author included some charts on this. They were knocking down over 50dB at 2k or so but at 100Hz it was more like 20dB they were knocking down. I was surprised with the room in question (which I recall being pretty well done) that the low end was that ineffective, actually.
    I have read that book 3 times now, and the only addition (and it might be in your newer version) is green glue or similar to the mix. That seems to add between 3 and 6 db of extra reduction at the 60 hz to 80 hz range. If memory serves me correctly an air gap of 6" between inner and outer wall seemed to be the most efficient, you get more reduction with larger air gaps but it is a matter of diminishing returns. Its such a nasty beast to tame!!
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    Default Re: Setting up my room for a studio

    If memory serves me correctly an air gap of 6" between inner and outer wall seemed to be the most efficient, you get more reduction with larger air gaps but it is a matter of diminishing returns. Its such a nasty beast to tame!!
    Yeah, and that cuts into your cubic space in terms of acoustics in the room. It's all expensive and all give and take.

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    Default Re: Setting up my room for a studio

    you know, I just thought of something. everybody says that it's a bad idea to cover you're walls in one thing... what about drywall? I'm sure drywall is better than a lot of materials for acoustics, but does anybody here know that the 3mm stuff mentioned is worse? That doesn't seemed to have been mentioned.
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    Default Re: Setting up my room for a studio

    Originally Posted by DLChuckles
    you know, I just thought of something. everybody says that it's a bad idea to cover you're walls in one thing... what about drywall? I'm sure drywall is better than a lot of materials for acoustics, but does anybody here know that the 3mm stuff mentioned is worse? That doesn't seemed to have been mentioned.
    are you talking acoustic treatment or sound proofing?

    In my experience talking into soft rubber, I would guess that it would deaden the high end and not do much at all to the low end. I picture myself standing in a rubber room and what it sounds like. It sounds like a baloon to me, but I'm just making all this up.

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    Default Re: Setting up my room for a studio

    Originally Posted by bozmillar
    are you talking acoustic treatment or sound proofing?

    In my experience talking into soft rubber, I would guess that it would deaden the high end and not do much at all to the low end. I picture myself standing in a rubber room and what it sounds like. It sounds like a baloon to me, but I'm just making all this up.
    Acoustic treatment. Plus, this isn't like the rubber you see in most products. It's mass loaded vinyl, isn't it. I'd think that would be fairly reflective, but I too am making that up.
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    Default Re: Setting up my room for a studio

    Originally Posted by DLChuckles
    you know, I just thought of something. everybody says that it's a bad idea to cover you're walls in one thing... what about drywall? That doesn't seemed to have been mentioned.
    Drywall is not good for acoustics at all. it is a hard reflective surface. What it is good for is adding mass to a wall by adding more layers since it is fairly inexpensive. The mass loaded vinyl and such are quite expensive compared to drywall. Again the first line of defense against propagating low frequencies outside your room is to add mass.


    I'm sure drywall is better than a lot of materials for acoustics, but does anybody here know that the 3mm stuff mentioned is worse?
    It seems like you are confusing acoustics with soundproofing here.
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    Default Re: Setting up my room for a studio

    Originally Posted by bobbybovine
    I have read that book 3 times now, and the only addition (and it might be in your newer version) is green glue or similar to the mix. That seems to add between 3 and 6 db of extra reduction at the 60 hz to 80 hz range.
    But only in solid panels. I wish they would test code compliant wall systems instead. The fact that they don't makes me suspicious that it isn't nearly as effective in the real world as in their lab setting

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    Default Re: Setting up my room for a studio

    Originally Posted by highland-piper
    But only in solid panels. I wish they would test code compliant wall systems instead. The fact that they don't makes me suspicious that it isn't nearly as effective in the real world as in their lab setting
    That is always the gamble on choosing an approach to sound attenuation. You don't "really" know just how effective it will be until it is built. However there is enough information out there to get you in the ballpark. The really confusing part is the STC ratings. A large majority of people looking at soundproofing are musicians, so they want soundproofing in the sub 125hz range but the STC's don't go down that low. Pretty much the only way to go if you are dealing with drums and bass amps is to do double wall construction with as large an air gap between them as you can muster and with as many layers of drywall that you can afford. Anything less will be a let down.
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    Default Re: Setting up my room for a studio

    Originally Posted by bobbybovine
    It seems like you are confusing acoustics with soundproofing here.
    No, I understand the difference. My reasoning was, since nobody ever complains about drywall, specifically, being bad for acoustics, it must not be that bad. Not great, but not bad. I haven't heard anyone say drywall was bad until just now. Apparently, I assumed wrongly that it wasn't.
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    Default Re: Setting up my room for a studio

    Drywall is bad at absorbing sound, but its good at reflecting it. Any material can be good or bad, depending on what you want it to do. But just like anything else, overdoing it is bad, so having 6 walls of the same material, be it drywall, vinyl, or broadband absorption is considered bad. In the case of home recording 95% of people by default have 5/6 of their walls covered in drywall, which makes it bad.

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    Default Re: Setting up my room for a studio

    There is far more that affect your room acoustics than your drywall. Drywall is just a product that is put on walls because it is cheap and easy to install. Once on your wall it becomes a room boundary. 1 layer of drywall on a wall will actually let a lot of bass sound energy pass through it and not reflect back into the room. One the other hand mid range and high frequencies will be reflected by the drywall (or any hard reflective surface like wood, concrete etc.) The more layers (and thus mass) you add to your wall the lower the frequency that is reflected into your room. (a damping material, like the mat mentioned above, will convert that energy to heat instead). Truth be told the dimensions of your room will effect modal resonances (low frequencies adding and cancelling out at different spots, usually your mix position ) And parallel walls will create flutter echo and the frequency of that flutter is dependent on the distance between the walls. None of this is caused by drywall per se, but by having hard reflective surfaces no matter what they are made of. So in soundproofing your room you cause more acoustical issues that can't be treated by drywall but by room construction (in the matter of modes with room ratios) or by absorption with the use of foam or wrapped insulation in strategic locations in the room, and even with diffusion. It is a very complicated subject that has taken me years and years of reading and discussion to get my head around.

    Originally Posted by DLChuckles
    My reasoning was, since nobody ever complains about drywall, specifically, being bad for acoustics, it must not be that bad. Not great, but not bad. I haven't heard anyone say drywall was bad until just now.
    I think quite the contrary. Everyone complains about their bedroom/den/any room in your house sounding like crap when they mix if it is untreated. I am pretty sure 99% of these rooms have drywall on the walls.
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    Default Re: Setting up my room for a studio

    Thanks for all the replies! I really appreciate it, you guys are great!

    Somehow I thought that putting the vinyl on the walls could be soundproofing as well as fix some acoustics. I guess I was wrong. The main thing I want to have is a good sounding room, not a super quiet one. So to be clear, no soundproofing is as necessary as I made it seem.

    So here is a sketch of my room (yes, I neatly color-coded those corners for simplicity) Name:  Dimensioner.png
Views: 55
Size:  37.2 KB

    I think the bed is at the best location right now, the least in the way. My plan was to have the desktop facing the wall with the window, as much in the middle of the room as I can back it up before touching the bed.
    What do you guys think, do I need to cover up the door? Could that be a big issue?

    I was thinking of putting the vinyl up all over the "hall room" and kind of kill that room. Most of the sound leaks in from there.
    I was hoping to be able to record in my room and in the "hall", so I can have 2 different sounding rooms.

    So I guess I need to get some stuff and just start putting it up. Can anybody recommend some good cheap stuff I can use? Both for diffusers and bass traps.
    And does anybody have any good tips on how to test the acoustics in a room, for somebody without any gear to test with or great ears (but decent). I was thinking I could play sine tones and just listen for imbalances in frequencies... smart or dumb?

    Thanks!

    Ludvig

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    Default Re: Setting up my room for a studio

    Originally Posted by luddekudde
    Somehow I thought that putting the vinyl on the walls could be soundproofing as well as fix some acoustics. I guess I was wrong. The main thing I want to have is a good sounding room, not a super quiet one. So to be clear, no soundproofing is as necessary as I made it seem.
    There is nothing worse than spend time and/or money to do something that doesn't turn out the way you thought. Better to ask first if you are at all unsure about something.

    I think the bed is at the best location right now, the least in the way. My plan was to have the desktop facing the wall with the window, as much in the middle of the room as I can back it up before touching the bed.
    What do you guys think, do I need to cover up the door? Could that be a big issue?
    Ok, so now that we narrowed down soundproofing is out and good acoustics is in we have something we can work with. I will add some links for you to read later in this reply by reputable professionals (namely Ethan Winer) who has extensive knowledge and lots of vids/article to research.

    So I am assuming this is a mix room primarily. So with your room being irregularly shaped we can work with that. You are correct in having your computer against the window wall with your monitors facing the bed. You always want to have the sound going in the direction of the longest dimension, and the fact that you have irregular back wall it will actually break up the bass and act like a built in bass trap (sort of) to help tame that. Your main considerations here are bass trapping and eliminating fluter echos (reflections of your walls) The cheapest and easiest way is to fill the corners of your room (every one you can manage) with insulation. If you can put 12 inches thinck of insulation in the corner leaving an air space that will help a lot. If you can't do that much use what ever makes sense. Now you do have to cover the insualtion with a fabric as you don't want loose fibreglass particles floating around. You can make panel out of 1" x 4" strapping assembled so that a batt of insulation will fit in it and wrap that with fabric. You can hang those on the walls at our first reflection points (get a mirror, sit in your mix position and get someone to put a mirror on the wall to your left, right, and ceiling, once you can see the tweeter of your speaker in the mirror that would indicate a first reflection point) At those points hang a panel and keep it spaced from the wall at least 3". Do this for left, right and ceiling like I said. and remember that corners aren't only wall to wall, they are wall to floor, ceiling to wall and then you have tri corners in a room (wall meets wall meets ceiling etc.) Fill them or straddle all of those with insulation and your room will start to sound better immediately. If you have a subwoofer then you don't have to worry about your desk position so much (I wouldn't worry about it much without a sub anyway) just move the sub around until the room until it sounds the best. In a perfect world you would use a measurment microphone and some software to analyze your room to get the flattest response possible but I doubt that is practical in your situation. A decibel meter is helpful if you have access to one of those. If you do I can give you some guidlines to usinig it to set up your monitor placement.

    Here are some links to explain some stuff about acoustic and how to treat common problems:
    Real Traps is the acoustics company Ethan Winer owns. I don't expect you to buy his products but the acoustic info is great. Start there.
    RealTraps - Acoustics Articles

    This is a very short but good article on the principle of addressing room acoustics
    Fixing Small Studio Acoustics Problems | Audio Geek Zine

    This is a comprehensive article by Ethan on his personal website. Its long but is the defacto standard that most of us stumbled upon once our quest for good acoustics started.
    Acoustic Treatment and Design for Recording Studios and Listening Rooms

    An article on Bass Traps from GIK Acoustics. Bass trapping will be your #1 hardest thing to accomplish but it is essential to a balanced sounding room.
    How Bass Traps Work. Acoustic Panels and Bass Traps.

    I was thinking of putting the vinyl up all over the "hall room" and kind of kill that room. Most of the sound leaks in from there.
    I was hoping to be able to record in my room and in the "hall", so I can have 2 different sounding rooms.
    The vinyl will help but it won't do as much as you may think it will. It may just give that area a really weird frequency response and make your recordings boxy, dull then again it may be kick ass. It won't really prevent any sound leakage unless all the walls are air tight. It will make a dent but thats about it.

    So I guess I need to get some stuff and just start putting it up. Can anybody recommend some good cheap stuff I can use?
    Owens Corning 703 is the standard in the acoustic industry and for DIY projects because it is easy to work with, it isn't that expensive and is easy to get (depending on where you live) regular batt isulation is good too, mineral fibre insulation (roxul) is just as good acoustically. Just buy what is on sale somewhere, or go on craigs list and see if someone is doing renos and needs to get rid of it.

    Both for diffusers and bass traps.
    You will not need diffusors in your room, you have bigger fish to fry other than worrying about diffusion. Spend your money on more bass traps. I would build my own out of insulation like i said, but if you want to buy some premade ones they are expensive but they do work.

    And does anybody have any good tips on how to test the acoustics in a room, for somebody without any gear to test with or great ears (but decent). I was thinking I could play sine tones and just listen for imbalances in frequencies... smart or dumb?
    Sine waves are good for testing bass and you can definitely hear when you walk into a null(where bass cancels) and peaks(where bass is doubled). Not so good for high frequencies, you are better off clapping your hands to hear flutter echo, that ringing when you clap. It is unlikely thta you will really know what the imbalances are when you just listen, you may know something doesn't sound right but you can't be accurate enough to be able to make acoustic placement decisions. Read those articles and ask more questions once you do. Remember acoustics is physics, how far down the rabbit hole do you want to go??

    Thanks!

    Ludvig[/QUOTE]
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    Replies: 6
    Latest Jive: 12-30-2009, 06:28 PM
  4. Need help setting up a studio
    By ArcticMan in forum Recording Toys And Tactics
    Replies: 11
    Latest Jive: 09-16-2009, 08:37 AM
  5. Replies: 0
    Latest Jive: 05-11-2009, 04:32 AM

Thread Info

Recording Toys And Tactics Thread, Setting up my room for a studio in Recording Engineers / Producers; Hey, I just got a new place which is dope, because I have a big room which I am gonna ...

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