Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

My Home Project Studio Project


BoSoxBiker
 Share

Recommended Posts

This is the continuation of an ongoing effort to make a spare bedroom work as a decent sounding music studio. Come to find out, sound waves has it's own physical properties that can get in the way of itself.  Gotta love Physics, right?

So last April I left off with a bunch of studio foam on my walls. I had learned that studio foam can only do so much. In fact, I had actually made some things a little worse. I had reduced the high-end decay without touching the mids or lows. It became uneven.

There are many of use here who don't need a darned thing. Their guitars sound great and their voices don't sound like the Gods in some Greek temple erupting in anger. Mine? Horrible. Always has been. the house construction and location combines for some really bad sound. I think the final insult came when someone here posted a video of himself playing in a basement area that was in mid renovation and had outstanding acoustics to the point of being rightfully complimented. Back to the drawing board for yours truly.

So I made room in the budget and realized I needed far more than what I had made room for. I had a massive amount of low end rumble to deal with just because of proximaty to the 6-lane highway and an international airport's landing routes running alongside neighboring streets. If you fly into Raleigh, look for a triple cul-de-sac street in the shape of a backwards "F" and wave at the driveway with a tan car in the driveway. 

OK, so a couple months of planning and half a year of research, I opted for a massive DIY project. I get 2-3 hours a day where I can move around with limited additional pain, maybe 4-5 days a week. Besides, I wanted a Martin HD-35 to compliment my 'Bird and SJ-200. Winter was coming at that point, and those 3 months are somewhat easier than the rest of the year. I got the Martin, though I went for a D-41. THEN I started my project. But first, I also bought three 7-foot tall, improperly constructed gobo bass-trap panels for very short money. I made a mini, roofless vocal booth and tested out guitar and vocals. My vocals were not nearly as bad as I thought. I mean, it was a night and day difference. Big booming guitar was much better, though still had some cob filtering. Nothing on the ceiling, after all. It was convincing enough a test, though, and I knew I could salvage the traps and use them in my own design. So I did. 

I spent about $2k on lumber, fabric, wood, insulation, dacron and other materials. It was still under 1/2 of what I was looking at to buy traps from the most reasonable place online. As low-end was my major issue, I knew I had to knock that out first and foremost. I decided on the insulation based solution due to other options requiring more targeted solutions. The amount of trapping needed also meant that I had to go big without costing tons of space. Well, it did cost me space, but it was worth it. the room acoustically speaking, measures 125" x 162", which includes the depth of the closet that takes up 2/3 of the back wall.

The design was simple. Roxul safe and sound converting sound wave energy into heat. Typical acoustic panel stuff. Basically I built wooden frames, stuffed them with insulation and covered with a full layer of Dacron and acoustic friendly fabric. They had to be thick enough to soak up a lot of bass. The "Closet" trap went a long way to that end. I also knew I was going to greatly deaden the space. I chose to add reflection and then diffusion as a next phase project. Simple enough, too, in that the reflection boils down to putting plastic and pegboard in key places.

To acoustically measure the room, I used a calibrated microphone and some freeware called Room EQ Wizard. The software measures initial frequency response like what some EQs might show,as well as decay data. Pretty neat in a geeky way, though it took a long time to digest. Well, this whole thing took a long tome to digest.

A short list.

  • 1 Closet Trap: I removed closet doors and filled it with insulation, covered with Dacron and fabric. I left the 4-inch thick door frame in place for future use.
  • 4 Soffit style bass traps 18" by 18" by 47" for the front corners.
  • 7 gobos (acoustic panels) 24" x 72" 7-1/2 inches thick.
  • 2 gobos 30" x 72" by 10 inches thick.
  • 4 triangle shaped traps 12" x 12" x 30"
  • 2 triangle shaped traps 10" x 10" x 20"
  • 2 "mini-chunk" style traps 10" x 15" x 7"
  • 2 "clouds" (ceiling mounted acoustic panels) 15" x 48" and 7" thick
  • 2 clouds 30" x 48" and 7" thick
  • 1 soffit style trap 12" x 12" x 30"
  • 1 soffit style trap 24" x 48" x 13"
  • Patched an painted room
  • Built monitor stand spacers 3" thick to lift monitor plates inches above desk and, more importantly, over towards the center the last few inches needed to take them out of a bad null mode.

 

Ok, so, did it work? Ab-so-lutely. There is a DIY "standard" of sorts where if someone treats a room and there is a 10db variance (+/- 5db from target) from one dip or spike to another that it's doing very well. Especially in a very small room such as mine. My initial measurements before adding reflection back in were very good. A desk reflection giving me a 8-9db dip, and a 12db at 70Hz.  Both have likely improved as.

The room has a very fast decay, which wax expected. I had a 1-2 second or longer standing bass wave at or below 42Hz at 62db that needed to be lopped off. It has greatly decreased, both in time and strength. It dropped 16-22db - say average of 18db drop, and starts the final decent half a second sooner. Needless to say, the clarity was greatly increased. It lacked life, though. 120ms decay time dropped 40db from the low-mids and up.  Not all that pleasing of a listen. Even died too soon to be fully useful to mix in. I had a 360Hz rumble that I heard, but didn't know it rumbled for long until I bounced it an tested on another system. I was actually bummed out about it for a night.

So then to add reflection and diffusion, I started simple and small, bit by bit, and then I hit a golden spot and got an instant MASSIVE improvement. I mean, massive - massive, like my Focal Alpha 80 monitors sounded just as fine as my Focal Eligia headphones kind of good.  Reverb reverbs, thump thumbs and guitars sound oh so glorious. I thought I had an idea of how good it could sound. I was wrong. 

And on to the big reason. Some of you have heard my tracks. Vocals have been horrid thunderous boom and acoustic guitars both thundered and distorted at any recorded level due to all the comb filtering. I can play a decently aggressive strum on my SJ-200 with a Gibson heavy or a Taylor 1.0mm pick and not distort or screech at a tracking level of -20dbfs RMS (meaning I can peak at -8db sans distortion!!!). I do have to put some wheels on the bottom of my gobos to more easily move them, because I need just a teensy bit less life in them, I think. Also have carpet on the floor currently, which is bad according to experts. I found out that have a few spots of pegboard on the carpet when tracking guitar helps to even things out.   I get tone everywhere, not just thump, though I can certainly get a thump at 160Hz or so with a little help from proximity effect. I mean, it's me, on a Gibson SJ-200, strumming hard with a 1mm pick. I can get some proximity effect.

OK, enough rambling on. Some pics. I just started re-doing Pawn Shop guitars in it's entirety - again - so will see how everything tracks and translated over next couple of weeks, and I will post.

Bad photo, but it was so pretty when walking into this after I was done.

SJ%20Entrance.jpg+

Old Foam....

Front%20from%20R-Rear%20small.jpg

 

More old foam....

Rear%20from%20LF%20Corner%20Small.jpg

 

The beginnings of a closet trap.... and door storage. ha!

Closet%20Framing.jpg

 

 

Closet trap almost done...

Closet%20Stuffed.jpg

 

  and the closet trap is done...

Closet%20Trap_1.jpg

 

more in next post

 

Edited by PatriotsBiker
Link to comment
Share on other sites

more pics.....

A frame with half the dacron on...

Frame%20Dacron.jpg

 

 

6 weeks of various bass trap storage during the holidays. Oh how I love my wife!!!!  And she let me get D-41, SJ and bird all in the last couple years. 🙂 

Kitchen%20Storage_1.jpg

 

 

the front wall....

Closer_1.jpg

 

Entrance.....

Right%20Rear%20Finished.jpg

Closet trap and ceiling with clouds....

Clouds%20Rear.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by PatriotsBiker
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, one more pic

oh, and mods, please, pretty please don't move? I would love to engage willing fellow acoustic guitar tracking enthusiasts in conversation on tracking acoustic guitars.

OK - the highlighted line is the "after" in this before and after of the low mids and lows. This is before the big improvement the other day. I'll post an updated. Oh, note that the big dip near 500Hz is the desk.

before%20and%20after.jpg

 

 

Edited by PatriotsBiker
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I only see the first 4 photos and the rest are blank boxes....

Anyway, is The Band with Bob coming to record or just you?

A guitar friend did all the soundproofing with spray foam so he could have really loud band practice/soundproof overdub and tracking recording. It was sure soundproof but he forgot the air! No air! Halfway though the first band song, nobody can breathe. No air! Smelled awful too.

So even though I can now hear (as I type) the very loud and selfish John Bonham wannabe over the back fence playing the same doom doom doom rat a tat tat, and have screaming screamers all around the street, I haven’t done anything to treat my music room and often play with the door open! My acoustics sound great (to me) in my room because I have a lifetime of my guitar stuff in there as sound deadeners....guitars in cases, amps, mixer, desk, computer, gadgets plus all my music books and dvds are like a soundproof wall! If I sit in my chair, I can spin around to everything.....front is music stand, mic stand, mics, amps with boxes of pickups, leads on top. Floor has preamps, just lean down and plug one or all in! To the left is a row of guitars in cases and a guitar stand for the selected victim and an office /visitor chair with currently a camera in its bag and the guitar bag that the J50 came in folded up, plus my soft leather briefcase to take leads and books and capos etc out.... Spin to my right and I have my mixer, computer, printer, battery supplies, headphones, in ears. And a pile of guitar tab/lyrics/songs that I am working through currently. Under the desk is a box with strings, humidity things etc, and boxes of mics, electronica. Etc. Behind me is a printer, a bunch of tins with with guitar cleaners, polish, inspection mirror, guitar type tools and next to that is a small plank I hammered some nails in evenly to hold my fave slides and bottlenecks.

I have to get up to select a guitar from its case or to select a music book or lead or...but surely I could invent a ‘selector’ ala George Jetson.

BluesKing777.

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I could never have given up that closet space. I would have changed out the closet doors to solid doors,  and insulated on the outside face of the doors. It might also have required a removable soft cover you could put over the doors when  necessary for recording.

This was a challenging project, and I admire your persistence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, BluesKing777 said:

 

I only see the first 4 photos and the rest are blank boxes....

Anyway, is The Band with Bob coming to record or just you?

A guitar friend did all the soundproofing with spray foam so he could have really loud band practice/soundproof overdub and tracking recording. It was sure soundproof but he forgot the air! No air! Halfway though the first band song, nobody can breathe. No air! Smelled awful too.

So even though I can now hear (as I type) the very loud and selfish John Bonham wannabe over the back fence playing the same doom doom doom rat a tat tat, and have screaming screamers all around the street, I haven’t done anything to treat my music room and often play with the door open! My acoustics sound great (to me) in my room because I have a lifetime of my guitar stuff in there as sound deadeners....guitars in cases, amps, mixer, desk, computer, gadgets plus all my music books and dvds are like a soundproof wall! If I sit in my chair, I can spin around to everything.....front is music stand, mic stand, mics, amps with boxes of pickups, leads on top. Floor has preamps, just lean down and plug one or all in! To the left is a row of guitars in cases and a guitar stand for the selected victim and an office /visitor chair with currently a camera in its bag and the guitar bag that the J50 came in folded up, plus my soft leather briefcase to take leads and books and capos etc out.... Spin to my right and I have my mixer, computer, printer, battery supplies, headphones, in ears. And a pile of guitar tab/lyrics/songs that I am working through currently. Under the desk is a box with strings, humidity things etc, and boxes of mics, electronica. Etc. Behind me is a printer, a bunch of tins with with guitar cleaners, polish, inspection mirror, guitar type tools and next to that is a small plank I hammered some nails in evenly to hold my fave slides and bottlenecks.

I have to get up to select a guitar from its case or to select a music book or lead or...but surely I could invent a ‘selector’ ala George Jetson.

BluesKing777.

 

 

Indulge me. What are your room dimensions?

I hear you. I fought this tooth and nail. I even considered the previous round over-kill. It's difficult to explain how jealous I am of people who can record something nice without having to do a thing. The modal ringing was so bad that it effected plugged in guitars' tracked tone. Even those rubber sound-hole plugs failed. Electric guitars not even being plugged in caused this modal ringing.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, j45nick said:

I could never have given up that closet space. I would have changed out the closet doors to solid doors,  and insulated on the outside face of the doors. It might also have required a removable soft cover you could put over the doors when  necessary for recording.

This was a challenging project, and I admire your persistence.

I tried. I scoffed at the notion. I needed lots of depth somewhere, even with membrane-based traps. Back walls are noted low-end monsters(gathering points) and the SPL meter confirmed when sending out low-end sine waves. Putting 7-inch bass traps in front of the closet did nothing for the low end, though it did help starting in the low mids.

Nerd alert for anyone interested -  a free to use web-based little online calculator that shows one the effectiveness of porous material (insulation, foam) and thicknesses needed and the frequency ranges affected.  Use the default flow resistivity. Porous Absorption Calculator

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, Murph said:

Very ambitious project.

Studio B in Nashville had some dividers about 4 feet tall and some wood. And Chet. 

"Machine Head" was recorded in an old hotel with mattress's for dividers.

There's no magic.

Damn good work my friend.

Thanks Murph! I searched far and wide for the magic. There's a $2,600(and up) contraption most easily described as a backwards sub-woofer.

6 hours ago, Holiday Hoser said:

Photos look good to me but really I just some used old egg cartons and and some stained shag carpet I tore out of the pedophile neighbors van after he got hauled off to jail.

bLBRJ4T.jpg

ewwwww!!!!!! stranger-danger!   LOL

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I forgot to thank BK and j45Nick. Thank!

One other small note on the subject of.......

9 hours ago, BluesKing777 said:

......

A guitar friend did all the soundproofing with spray foam so he could have really loud band practice/soundproof overdub and tracking recording. It was sure soundproof but he forgot the air! No air! Halfway though the first band song, nobody can breathe. No air! Smelled awful too.

.....

BluesKing777.

This was a real concern on many levels. I totally wrapped it all with 1/2" of Dacron and went for something less porous than burlap, though cotton was not a great choice as it sags and some of it needs to be stretched and re-staple already. Those layers were for odor protection and air-born particles. 

As far as the air of the room with regards to sound reverberating around the room, reflection-free area was an option, but still is a partial concern. Part of the build would have had to include many large areas of calculated reflective surfaces and diffusion. My room and budget were both way to small for this. I had to do a reduced version of this, which is what you see. I'm going experiment more with reflective materials and do a song in there in hopes of determining any dead spots, noisy spots, etc. Once I have that down, then I will make more permanent additions facings where the end spots will be. For now, exposed pegboard and plastic.

As part of that last step will be the front of the closet-trap. I will make either a masonite cover that will have 24-48 inch alternating patterns of drill holes, a wooden slat system or a skyline diffuser system. All pictured below from a brief google-search. The slats and the random drill hole versions will both assist with reducing the 70Hz dip.  

post-112425-0-03991100-1454240284_thumb.

BAD panel - or Binary diffusion pattern

20150211221757-128cebc9.jpg

and a skyline style - smaller ones may be incorporated in the "live" half of the room.

617871d1482095161-hanging-180-pound-skyl

 

The masonite or other very thin wood-based product thing with the carefully spaced holes will likely win out unless it's clear that the wood slat design will do more to help me with the 70Hz bass dip. In the end, I might just purchase a couple of skyline style diffusers for added audible air. 

Edited by PatriotsBiker
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is quite impressive - nice job! 😎

I did some basic things to my space - curtains covering the walls at one end of the room, carpet on the walls at the other end. But I prefer the wide-open acoustics of my Little Theatre in the Woods. Not much I can do when plane passes over on the way to AC International though. 🙂

little-theatre.png

Edited by Boyd
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Lars68 said:

One heck of a project! Well done!

Before and after recordings would be cool to share here.

Lars

Thanks, Lars! I did have some thoughts to that end. 

3 hours ago, Boyd said:

That is quite impressive - nice job! 😎

I did some basic things to my space - curtains covering the walls at one end of the room, carpet on the walls at the other end. But I prefer the wide-open acoustics of my Little Theatre in the Woods. Not much I can do when plane passes over on the way to AC International though. 🙂

little-theatre.png

Thanks, Boyd! That is one of the better home studios in the history of home studios. I still remember the video you posted.

45 minutes ago, Red 333 said:

Wow. I admire your ambition, persistence, and craftsmanship. And thanks for documenting it so thoroughly and so vividly. Very well done.

Red 333

Thanks, Red333!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, PatriotsBiker said:

Indulge me. What are your room dimensions?

I hear you. I fought this tooth and nail. I even considered the previous round over-kill. It's difficult to explain how jealous I am of people who can record something nice without having to do a thing. The modal ringing was so bad that it effected plugged in guitars' tracked tone. Even those rubber sound-hole plugs failed. Electric guitars not even being plugged in caused this modal ringing.

 

 

My music room is approx 10ft x 10ft, but a 'built-in wardrobe' takes up almost 2 feet along one wall, complete with fake wood sliding doors! I have contemplated digging out to the property line but it would probably easier to ........eek....sell some guitars........👹

On the other side of that closet wall is a bathroom, sep toilet, laundry...... each would be the same size as my music room except for the hallway that runs to my music room.....(which has a row of guitars in cases on stands). There is a door to my room and also a sliding door at the end of the hallway. On the other side of the hallway is a living space type of thing.

There was an ad I saw for a guitar - computer interface, and the acoustic guitarist was sitting in the middle of fully minimalist totally empty music room  and plugged to his laptop. I looked for the ad to show you but can't find it. It left me a little hysterical when I first saw the photo......

Sounds....... to me, my guitars sound 'correct' when playing in this room. The four or five other places in the house that I can play sometimes, probably while next door beasts have gone on holiday, include my TV room  (carpet, semi dead room) where I play with on my chair with a window to my left - sounds depends on curtains open or closed. I often grab a guitar while working in my computer area if I am waiting for a call or software fix etc - I get the fully reflected sound of the guitar from the screen and a closet to my right, interesting but a bit deafening with a big guitar....

Before I set up the music room, I would sit on the end of my bed or the chair - this is a great way to kill your neck or back, but now again I do it for 'old time sake'...stare out a window while playing!!!!! ( I sort of miss a house I rented for a while where I sat by these windows in a sunroom on the side of a slight rise - I could watch all the goings on while picking! Of course, I could park by my front window and play if I wanted to but all the local neanderthals can see me and probably want to break guitar, eat the guitar or get me to attempt to teach their little Johnny or Jilly. Being a vampire muso guitarist ex rock and roll and shift worker, back to my music room/cave I retreat!

If the Boss is at work, I can play in the living/reading area facing a back garden. A totally different sound with a big glass window and slider door and fully different with the glass door open. A lot 'smaller' sound. It is nice to sit and play there, but there are a list of garden jobs needing to be done that I can see. I have also seen small faces hiding behind a tree branch watching from over the back fence. They could be interested in learning a bit of guitar but the blood curdling screams and massive amount of noise I hear as they play on their fort or in their pool leads me to believe they would rather break my guitar, eat my guitar or even see if it floats in their pool. More suited to being drummers, possibly. On the next house over is the enemy of recording, drummer, plays in garage with all doors  and windows open. Can't play to save himself,  lasts only 10 mins  before doing a hamstring injury, normally. But if he has been drinking....well.

I use to like playing on/under my back veranda/pergola, totally different sound outside but there are swimming pools in 3 adjacent houses now and the constant ring of pool filters and pumps. Thanks, arsenstikens! There is no peaceful guitar playing out there, unless they are all on holiday!!!! But back to my cave....

Over the years in bands, I did all kinds of thing in studios from demo tapes to projects and a few unpaid sessions. At the beginning, I went from a small Sanyo recorder to a reel to reel to a Tascam with cassette!!! My piano player friend (RIP) caught the 'record bug' from me and bought all kinds of contraptions including Protools and a Mac tower and mics. I was his guinea pig - his gear was in his piano room and I sat in his lounge room in front of a wall of mics and leads...I have played in all kinds of situations but that one made me break out in a sweat. I am telling you this because he would sit there for months editing his recordings , down to microscopic level. For example, he would zoom in on any chair, clothes noise, mouth clicks, hair flicks, rustles and do little fades to hide them. A car backfiring out the front of his house while I was playing/recorded nearly broke his heart!

So I have not the patience for that. I leave the mics on their stand in the SAME place, ready to roll! My mouth noises stay and every recording I have made recently has my chair squeaking at the end! I have enjoyed recording with the mic boom fully extended straight up and the mic pointing down at me....one take, vocal and guitar together. Organic!

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, BluesKing777 said:

 

My music room is approx 10ft x 10ft, but a 'built-in wardrobe' takes up almost 2 feet along one wall, complete with fake wood sliding doors! I have contemplated digging out to the property line but it would probably easier to ........eek....sell some guitars........👹

On the other side of that closet wall is a bathroom, sep toilet, laundry...... each would be the same size as my music room except for the hallway that runs to my music room.....(which has a row of guitars in cases on stands). There is a door to my room and also a sliding door at the end of the hallway. On the other side of the hallway is a living space type of thing.

There was an ad I saw for a guitar - computer interface, and the acoustic guitarist was sitting in the middle of fully minimalist totally empty music room  and plugged to his laptop. I looked for the ad to show you but can't find it. It left me a little hysterical when I first saw the photo......

Sounds....... to me, my guitars sound 'correct' when playing in this room. The four or five other places in the house that I can play sometimes, probably while next door beasts have gone on holiday, include my TV room  (carpet, semi dead room) where I play with on my chair with a window to my left - sounds depends on curtains open or closed. I often grab a guitar while working in my computer area if I am waiting for a call or software fix etc - I get the fully reflected sound of the guitar from the screen and a closet to my right, interesting but a bit deafening with a big guitar....

Before I set up the music room, I would sit on the end of my bed or the chair - this is a great way to kill your neck or back, but now again I do it for 'old time sake'...stare out a window while playing!!!!! ( I sort of miss a house I rented for a while where I sat by these windows in a sunroom on the side of a slight rise - I could watch all the goings on while picking! Of course, I could park by my front window and play if I wanted to but all the local neanderthals can see me and probably want to break guitar, eat the guitar or get me to attempt to teach their little Johnny or Jilly. Being a vampire muso guitarist ex rock and roll and shift worker, back to my music room/cave I retreat!

If the Boss is at work, I can play in the living/reading area facing a back garden. A totally different sound with a big glass window and slider door and fully different with the glass door open. A lot 'smaller' sound. It is nice to sit and play there, but there are a list of garden jobs needing to be done that I can see. I have also seen small faces hiding behind a tree branch watching from over the back fence. They could be interested in learning a bit of guitar but the blood curdling screams and massive amount of noise I hear as they play on their fort or in their pool leads me to believe they would rather break my guitar, eat my guitar or even see if it floats in their pool. More suited to being drummers, possibly. On the next house over is the enemy of recording, drummer, plays in garage with all doors  and windows open. Can't play to save himself,  lasts only 10 mins  before doing a hamstring injury, normally. But if he has been drinking....well.

I use to like playing on/under my back veranda/pergola, totally different sound outside but there are swimming pools in 3 adjacent houses now and the constant ring of pool filters and pumps. Thanks, arsenstikens! There is no peaceful guitar playing out there, unless they are all on holiday!!!! But back to my cave....

Over the years in bands, I did all kinds of thing in studios from demo tapes to projects and a few unpaid sessions. At the beginning, I went from a small Sanyo recorder to a reel to reel to a Tascam with cassette!!! My piano player friend (RIP) caught the 'record bug' from me and bought all kinds of contraptions including Protools and a Mac tower and mics. I was his guinea pig - his gear was in his piano room and I sat in his lounge room in front of a wall of mics and leads...I have played in all kinds of situations but that one made me break out in a sweat. I am telling you this because he would sit there for months editing his recordings , down to microscopic level. For example, he would zoom in on any chair, clothes noise, mouth clicks, hair flicks, rustles and do little fades to hide them. A car backfiring out the front of his house while I was playing/recorded nearly broke his heart!

So I have not the patience for that. I leave the mics on their stand in the SAME place, ready to roll! My mouth noises stay and every recording I have made recently has my chair squeaking at the end! I have enjoyed recording with the mic boom fully extended straight up and the mic pointing down at me....one take, vocal and guitar together. Organic!

 

BluesKing777.

Oh, wow! I always imagined your music room was somewhat bigger due to your recordings. Interesting, too, is that small, square rooms are supposed to be tough rooms to control, acoustically speaking. You're the second person I've had mention to me a room of that type that does well recording. Far better than my room.Perhaps some day I will learn what it is about this house that sounds so boomy. Everything. Dogs barking, talking, TV, speakers, etc, etc. It's like a giant reverb chamber. As a Migraineuer, it can be murder.

I have two main spots I play guitar, but it doesn't really matter. It's going to be heard in the house. My normal spot to play guitar is in a sort of a formal living room. It's right behind the Hummingbird in the pic below. The storage pic shows the semi-open floor plan. Sound travels. If she's not at work, she is almost certainly sitting directly across the room from me on a loveseat with her back to loud 2-story foyer. It's a flutter chamber. Sometimes she'll hang in the studio with me and a little portable beading station to make jewelry. I almost never play acoustic in the studio with her in there, though. It's too much. she's polite about it, but I don't want to run her off either, so I'll play electric at lower, more reasonable volumes. Mostly, it's right here on the couch without the opposite wall to bounce a massive reflection back at me.

Your friend's (RIP) obsession with the smallest of noises is quite common, from what I understand. While I've seen professional tutorials over the years where the presenter will make sure everything is as clean as can be, I've seen far more presenters simply reduce the offending bit. Personally, I like that approach and use it as first choice if the track is a keeper.

Where I lose lost time is taming unwanted distorted resonances turned into sibilances. The short version is that all that resonance that bounced around the walls without dieing became comb filtering (or various levels of phase cancellation) which replaced of the tone I spent vast amount of money on. (SJ, HB, 614,D41) I tried to turn that crud into music. Now I have glorious tone, and after the most recent reflections, I have depth and tone coming out of my monitors. All that becomes an expensive guessing game when tone is replaced by pitched noises.

Here's the common playing spot. I will play outside sometimes, but no comfortable place out front and the back deck is highway noise. I'll play out there to enjoy the air, though. The top step of my front porch might work better if i brought a cushion out. Half the year is too cold or too humid, so it's limited. Lots of kids running around connects me to my younger years when my kid was a kid and not a Medic. I find it relaxing. Been here 23 years next month.

Bird%20in%20LR.jpg

a bit of the open-flow of the house beyond my nice guitar storage cabinet.

IMG_8669_edited.jpg

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, billroy fineman said:

Nice PB!  Hoping you can redo a couple clips you did with the old set up and put up an A/B at some point...  if you're sitting around wondering what to do now that your home project is done 🙂

Thanks, Billroy. It'll take some time to find a good "before" track that wasn't shaped on the way in, and that has decent notes on mic type and placement, pic, guitar used, etc, etc. I do have a before and after vocal take using the test gobos that told me to go forward with this project.

I'll post a couple things later today or tomorrow, though. One is a semi-subtle variances on different reflective material in various places for using the room to track acoustic guitar. Another showing something I missed when bouncing a test track due to flat center image. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Frame houses where they haven't paid much attention to sound isolation and insulation can be like a big drum, especially multi-story building with open stairwells. The walls pretty effectively "breathe" when they reflect sound waves, just like your guitar body. Studded walls are just  framed with two-pin-end columns that vibrate in the middle in most cases.

There's a reason we used to take our guitars into the dorm stairwells to play in college. Lots of hard surfaces to yield natural reverb.

In high-end yachts that always have vibrating machinery running--such as pumps and generators--you start by isolating that vibration from the main structure with  the type of mounts you use, and work out from there, including de-coupling other sources of vibration and sound from structures that enable transmission. We use a lot of high-density foam with de-coupling layers of very dense material--lead in the past, high-density composites more commonly now. There's a whole segment of the marine industry dedicated to this stuff.

In conventional structures where sound attenuation is a concern, you often use a similar de-coupling process, but you rarely see that in home construction except at the very high end. If you're lucky, you get fiberglass insulation in the bathroom walls, but rarely in the spaces between floors.

This is all both art and science.

Long ago in a galaxy far, far away, the group I worked with had a short-lived contract with Mercury Records. I was pretty awestruck the first time I went into their midtown Manhattan studios.  For all the sophistication of the studio's isolation components--including a lot of movable screens and booths, since they had to accommodate everything from solo artists to groups with big brass sections (these were the days of Chicago Transit Authority and Blood, Sweat, and Tears)--they also had a huge pile of what were for all practical purposes just moving blankets, which could be draped over anything and everything.

It was a fascinating experience for a guy who never did anything more sophisticated than engineering live concerts with a primitive home-made board in venues ranging from small rooms to noisy brick-walled clubs in the Village, with the occasional college gym or auditorium thrown in.

It wasn't always an easy job. I used to get a lot of nasty glares from the chick lead singer/piano player, who was a classically-trained opera singer and pianist who was, shall we say, picky about how she sounded.  She was good, though.

I really admire PB for taking on this project. Don't forget to play your guitars, however.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...