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Thread: (Uncommon room) Is this room suitable as a home studio environment?

  1. #1
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    (Uncommon room) Is this room suitable as a home studio environment?

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    Hello musicians,

    I'm planning to build a home studio soon. However, there are certain restrictions. One room appears to be the perfect place (as every other room should be used for something different).
    I'm just.. really unsure about the room being a good choice.

    Let me explain:
    While the rooms length (3 meter) and width (2,9m) is not that special it has an opened ceiling colliding with the attic. It's height is 2,15m at it's lowest, increasing towards the mid of the attic. Now before I get into more details here is a picture of it:

    img_20190903_013744-2-jpg

    Also I added some real pictures:

    Side view of the room (unfortunately can't give front view for now):
    img_20190905_124220-jpg

    View up to the attic:
    img_20190905_124237-jpg

    Attic 2nd part:
    img_20190905_124302-jpg


    Further explanation:
    L = Length; Br=Width; H = Height.
    The first drawing illustrates the room as well as the connected attic. Beams are displayed poorly in this graphic - the second clears it up.
    In the second picture there is a side see-through view of the middleish wall that divides the attic into two parts. Note that the pencil line leading away is a correction of the red one as the roof changes it's incline.
    I tried to keep the drawings close to the original, but they aren't perfect measurewise.
    This is just to give you guys an idea to get some insights if it's worth it to put any more thoughts in this room.

    I've recorded before, but I've never treated a room to fit my demands so I have no experience. Which makes this one kind of hard to tell by my own as it's a rare form - googling didn't help much.
    Counting on you. Thankful for every suggestion.

    Ideas: If the beams were to disturb the sound I might be able to sorta fill the whole area (to have a smaller room, therefore no upper beams).
    While I can't close down the ceiling as you're supposed to get up to the attic I might be able to implement an "insertion wall" in the middle of the attic so I could still be able to make the studio area smaller. I don't know if this would be helpful, just a thought.

    Kindest regards,
    Zator
    Last edited by Zator; 09-05-2019 at 04:10. Reason: Added Pictures

  2. #2
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    An 'almost square' room is not a good start, but at least it isn't a cube. You'l need a ton of acoustic treatment (broadband panels - rockwool - not foam) and you don't have much room to work with.
    Is this going to be for recording, mixing, or both?
    Mike B My new album on CD Baby: Fact and Fiction
    My Bandcamp site: http://mikebirchmusic.bandcamp.com

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    Thanks for replying. I just realized the disadvantages of cubes, so yeah, luckily it's not.

    I was planning on using it for both.

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    You can make DIY acoustic panels for all the corners. but you will be very limited on positioning due to the small size of the room, the doors and anything else you want to put in there.
    If it is your only option, you will just have to work with it, experiment and see what you can do.(desk, etc.)
    Mike B My new album on CD Baby: Fact and Fiction
    My Bandcamp site: http://mikebirchmusic.bandcamp.com

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    Okay, thanks, I will consider doing that.

    Actually, I might have another option. It's just I'd have to figure out if I can use this room or not.

    Here's a measured drawing, it's easier and relatively self-explaining (h=height):

    img_20190905_112638-jpg

    Some real pictures of the room (it's currently in use for a bedroom - view as good as it gets for now):

    img_20190905_123955-jpgimg_20190905_124035-jpgimg_20190905_124019-jpg
    Last edited by Zator; 09-05-2019 at 04:03. Reason: Added Pictures

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    The space where the ceiling drops to 1.1m is going to be wasted really. The room is quite small really - the part you can walk upright in being 3x2.6m with an extra 1.4x1.2m section.

    I suppose the critical thing is that you haven't said what you need to do in it. Do you want to spend most time mixing, with in the box sound sources, or do you need space to record vocals, or instruments with mics? If you need to record voice overs, then maybe you can treat the 1.4x1.2 section and close it off - or maybe you have a synth collection that could work in the space with the lowered ceiling. Once you work out what the room MUST be able to do, and then what would be nice to be possible, with a picture of the space we could suggest things. Small and square is bad, as a rule, but how bad is tamable. This space is poorly designed as my needs changed - two rooms same sizeish, but one houses my guitar collection and junk! I'm working in the nearly square 2.5x3m space with 2.4 height. I've got it sounding fine but it's very cramped. Next job is a total redesign but I'm too busy at the moment - and where would the junk go?

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    First of all thanks for your input, that's some good advice.

    I edited my previous posts and added real pictures of both room options, have a look.
    I want to choose a room in which I produce my music, including mixing and recording. As it is a one person project (though I'd do some jam sessions with a friend) it doesn't need to be huge.
    My gear: Shure SM7B (use for vocals / acoustic guitar), acoustic guitar, e-guitar, 88-key-piano, Maschine MK3, presonus 26 audio-interface, MacBook Pro, second screen, studio headphones, monitors (I'll get Yamaha HS8).
    As vocals are definitely a good part of my production process, I really consider closing off the 1,4x1,2 section (if I were to choose this room). As the space transitions from 2,4 to 1,1 I really think the wasted space isn't that much. I was thinking about using it for the workplace (desk, monitors, etc.) and to store some gear so the rest of the room is rather free.

    Yeah, your room is not that big either. I get how the wish to expand arises. If they are close to one another it's a good condition for that. I recommend to get rid of some junk - I just recently became organized after, well, storing quiet a lot of stuff I don't really need. Then again, takes time as well.

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    The thing with the 'physics' is that there really isn't a pass/fail for a room, its progressive - so like in yours, I visualised the sloping roof going down to be useless, but clearly it isn't. It's handy space and can be worked in. Parallel surfaces can work badly when the maths conspire against you, but a few degrees tilt, or some absorption and you can tame an unfriendly room to levels where it can work for you. Non-symetry, a few walls parallel to each other are often cited as disasters, but normally you can add features to bring them under control.

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    Thanks, I bought a book called studio acoustic and I'll dig into it more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rob aylestone View Post
    Non-symetry, a few walls parallel to each other are often cited as disasters, but normally you can add features to bring them under control.
    Yes...and as it turns out in most cases, for tracking rooms, non-symmetry is actually preferred...but for control, and especially for mixing/mastering, symmetry is important.

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