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Dead and bring to life, or live and kill as needed.....


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Which way would YOU build a music room for practice/recording.....


Make it acoustically dead as possible and then bring in reflectors to suit the music/instruments.




Make it as acoustically live as possible and then bring in absorbers to suit the music/instruments.


And that is all considerations - effectiveness, cost, practicality etc.....

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I've always thought it was easier to reflect sound than absorb it. So, along those lines, I would build a dead room. This would also help isolate it from the rest of the building/house, and help with wife/neighbor relations.


My father was an architectural engineer (not an acoustical engineer, but...), and when my musical endeavors started taking me into "professional" recording studios, I was fascinated by their construction. While other people were tracking (or partying), I would be wondering around between walls, and checking out everything I could about the design and construction of the "rooms". Then my dad would explain the theorys and reasons for what I saw. Too bad it WAS the seventies, I don't remember too much of the details.


In the mid seventies I had the opportunity to do some recording at Universal Studios in Chicago. Studio A was one of the largest studio rooms in the industry for recording full orchestras. This was a very "live" room, almost warehouse like, and very similar to the famous studio at Abbey Road that we've all seen pictures of. Studio B was more along the lines of what we normally think of today (or see pictures of) as a R&R studio. A room the size of a large living room, very plush and sound absorbing. This studio was so dead that when someone opened or closed the door, your ear pressure changed dramatically, kind of creepy, but cool. And if you were sitting quietly in the studio waiting for a cue or playback, the lack of sound was deafening. I soon realized what a sensory deprivation chamber must have felt like.


For recording purposes, I think todays gear, recording technologies, and recording techniques are much more forgiving of the "room" than those of yesteryear. But who wouldn't like to have a really nice room to do it in. I started to build double walled floating studio room in the basement of the house I lived in with my first wife. It never got finished, the project lasted longer than the marriage. The last thing I did in that house was to demolish and dismantle my half-finished studio.


Good luck with your project, keep us informed.

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Ahhh - not so much a project as a dream.


But your point about the world outside the room was well made - starting with a dead room will tend to make for a room which would not annoy the neighbours so much, and that has to be a real bonus point.


I have books and papers on the subject, and like you, I wandered fascinated around many studios in the UK (including Abbey Road) from the giants like De-Lane-Lea to tiny studios in the back streets of the 'burbs. Whilst my peers were staring in awe at the musos, I was chatting to the sound guys about porous tiles and slotted baffles. I also spent some time with guys who had a medical-science research anechoic chamber too, even played a guitar in it for them. Horrible, sucked the sound out of your ears, yeuch. And I know what you mean about the door closing.....


But every so often, you find a small hall, or an old disused chapel, and the sound is beautiful..... but I guess that is the one trick they can do. So I am inclined to agree - dead to start, reflectors to suit. Actually - makes sense all round, which I guess is why most do it that way.


Hey L5Larry - nce to know at least one other person checks this particular forum out - its so quiet in here I figured it wasn't so much the Recording Room as the Anechoic Room

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