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Thread: Should I completely remove all carpet or leave some in?

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    Should I completely remove all carpet or leave some in?

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    My recording room is 35.5 feet x 15.5 feet (550.25 sq ft) with 9 foot ceilings. Right now it has 1/2 inch burbur carpet with a very thick pad underneath throughout the room. My recording desk is at one end long-wise spaced about two and a half feet from the wall. I record a live band in there and sometimes not live but individual tracks - keys, 3 guitars, bass, vocals, and a full drum set.

    I am planning on removing the carpet and just going with the concrete floor. The question is, how much carpet should I remove? I was thinking about removing some and seeing if I like it and then removing some more. I was also considering leaving the carpet under the recording desk and perhaps at the entrance as well - which is the far side of the rectangle. So at each end there would be approximately 5 feet of carpet and in the middle there would be a 25.5 x 15.5 stretch of concrete. This would amount to 403 sq ft of concrete and 147.25 sq ft of carpet.

    Or I should just say screw it and go 100% concrete.

    I already have "super chunk" bass traps (4x2 pieces of OC703 cut into 4 triangles) from floor to ceiling in three of the corners (the 4th corner is the doorway). Additionally I have 4 bass traps from real traps and two mid range traps (also roughly 4x2). Plus I still have a box of OC703 with 5 or 6 2x4s - 2 inches thick - that I am not using - could utilize that whenever. I also have a few foam 2x4s strategically placed where they eliminated flutter echo (to my ear anyway). It's kind of a decent/mid size room so probably could use a lot of trapping.

    Additionally, what should I expect in terms of the changes in sound? I am thinking it will be brighter and hopefully the drums are a little more crisp on recordings. Is this a reasonable expectation?

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    You may want to just roll it up and see how it sounds before you toss out the carpet.
    Live/hard surfaces can be OK and actually work nicely...but I think that mostly applies to really large spaces with very high ceilings.
    Your room is a nice size, but still small by live-room standards....so, a bare concrete wall may be more trouble than benefit, unless you really trap up the walls/ceiling to compensate....IMO.

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    I agree with Miroslav above. It could be beneficial, but I'd really look to using that OC703 on the ceiling above wherever you remove any carpet. Perhaps you can remove it in half of the room (keep the half over the mixing desk) and have the half in the back without it, so you can record at different positions depending on how live or dry you need the recording)
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    Thanks Dudes. That's what I'll do.

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    You could put some MDF / Chipboard / particle board on top of the carpet and just leave the carpet underneath. That way you can keep adding the board until you get the right mix of sound.

    In my old studio I had carpet, I used chipboard under the drum kit and it worked well, I also had some masonite sheets that I used on the floor when recording acoustic guitars etc to liven it up a bit.

    Alan.

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    To my ear the room sounded OK to begin with, but I always thought there was a lack of crisp high frequencies. I sliced out a 12 x 15.5 ft rectangle from one side of the room and tracked some guitars yesterday on the concrete. Sounded good to me, perhaps better than before. Hard to say because it wasn't a direct A/B from before. I will take the advice to put traps on the ceiling above the concrete. That will be a fun weekend project.

    I'll post pics when it's done.

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    I see this as more of a 'try and see' kind of thing. I have carpet in my control room (15X32X8' high). Mostly, because it is in my basement, and I don't like my feet on cold concrete so much.

    I used to record drums in the same room, but when I finally got around to using another basement room for tracking (15X25X9' open ceiling joists), I left the concrete floor (walls as well in this room), and filled the entire open joist ceiling with Roxul 80, then covered it with cloth. 5 2'X4' 4" thick panels hanging from the ceiling on the walls. The results were staggeringly great, as opposed to the control room setup. I also use this room for placing speaker cabinets, when tracking. Usually place the cabs on a milk crate, off the floor, with a thin outdoor carpet underneath. I keep the players/amps in the control room. For scratch tracks, while tracking drums, I have a third room that is minimally treated with stacks of plastic wrapped fluffy pink stuff in the corners. Who cares, it is for scratch tracks, and cable storage. Snakes wired into the other two rooms, and fire doors between.

    Btw, in control room, I have two 2'X8'X4" bass traps in corners behind monitors. 10 2'X4'X4" panels. 8 on walls at reflection points, and then 1.5 feet apart down the room. Two of them are suspended from ceiling, above my mix position. I record vocals in the control room. Depending on who I am recording, I will either let a singer hold a SM7b (foam attached), if he is more comfortable rolling around on the floor, or hang two of the panels, in a 'V' formation, right behind my mix position, for a singer with less mic control experience. I mostly do heavy rock stuff, so have not had much experience with condenser mics in this setup. Well, not for vocals anyway.

    Blah blah.. I'm rambling...
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    You should leave in just a brazili... wait, this isn't the right forum.

    More seriously, I just got some laminate wood flooring in, and just keep a rug under my desk and other heavy stuff to keep them from scratching the place. Other than that, it would seem pointless to hide the gorgeous floor.
    But as yours is just concrete underneath, I feel it's be the opposite way. Pointless in having bare concrete. Ugly stuff, and cold. =P
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