Board rules

These rules are disclosed to clarify the various responsibilities of all community members here on Soundman2020 - Studio Design Forum. They shall be adhered to by everyone to ensure that our board runs smoothly and provides a fun and productive experience for all of our community members and visitors.

  1. Welcome to the Soundman Acoustic and Studio Design Forum!

    If you are in the process of designing or building a recording studio, or any other space with acoustic needs, this forum is for you! It contains abundant information that can help you, plus there are many knowledgeable members who can offer advice about your project.

    Before you post any questions or comments, please take a few moments to follow these steps - keep in mind that any print in bold type means we need you to pay attention - I didn't just randomly bold things unless I considered them important. If you are not willing to follow these simple rules, please do not post at all, but you are still welcome to read all you want.

    (By the way, as an anti-spam measure, after you register your first few posts will need to be approved by a moderator. So if your first post doesn't show up immediately, that's why. We do try to approve all legitimate posts as fast as we can, but we do need to sleep and eat occasionally, so it might happen that the approval will take a few hours. Ater your first few posts, they won't need approval any more, and your posts will appear right away.)

    (The forum is free to use, but there are costs involved in running it, so if you find it useful then please consider donating something to help with that. There's a small "Donate" button at the top of every page, at the bottom edge of the forum title picture.)

    Continue reading below, for everything you should know and do BEFORE POSTING:
    (Last update: Spring 2019 by Soundman2020)

    Some new members neglect to supply the basic details that we need to help them. They probably won't get a reply if they do that! This is not arrogance: it's based on TIME - it takes much longer to help someone who doesn't even bother to read and study the links mentioned here, or who doesn't want to follow these simple instructions. The folks here simply do not HAVE that much time. We are all unpaid volunteers, doing this because we want to help. So we have no choice but to only help those people who pay attention and show that they really do want help.

    This means:
    No location in your profile = no answer.
    No attempt at providing room details = no answer.
    (If you try, and we need more, we'll ask.)

    The effort you put into your question(s), we will put into our answers. You can see that by looking at the posts of current members: Those who put a lot of effort, time and thought into their posts, get very detailed replies.

    We are sorry it has to be like this, but that's the way it is. Bottom line is this - if you are willing to put in the effort, then so are we. For members who follow these simple rules, we really do put in great effort to replying as completely as we can. Members who don't even bother to fill in their profile and select their country flag, normally get no response at all! If you get no replies to your first post, then this is the most likely reason. And if you DID get a response when you had not filled in your profile location, you better go buy a lottery ticket immediately, because that type of luck does not last...

    Some spammers attempt to disguise their posts quite cleverly: But they don't last more than a few minutes here, so if that's why you are here, you are out of luck.

    Things that will get you banned instantly: profanity, abuse, personal attacks, and posting any type of spam at all. That includes if you made something and want to sell it to forum members. If you think you have something that would benefit forum members, and want to offer it for sale, FIRST CONTACT US BY PM AND ASK IF IT IS OK! This does not apply to things like: you have a few tubes of Green Glue left over that you want to sell, or a few sheets of drywall, 703, door seals, backer rod, a pane of glass, door hinges, or other materials that you bought too many of for your project, and want to get rid of. It is OK to put a brief post on the forum mentioning that you have those available.

    Also, if all you post is a rough, hand-drawn diagram of your room and say "Design my studio for me".... well, that's not going to happen. That's not what this forum is about. This is a self-help forum, where you can learn how to do that yourself, and we will help you learn. We will do our best to help people who spend the time to get as far as they can by themselves, but if you expect someone here to design your entire studio for free, then you are in the wrong place. If you really do need a complete design and cannot do it yourself at all, for whatever reason, then some of the moderators and administrators do offer studio design services outside of the forum, for a fee. If that's what you want, then please contact one of us by PM for a private quote.

    There are only a dozen simple rules: (OK, maybe a few more than a dozen...)

    01) First, before you do anything else, Review the DOWNLOAD area -

    This is the closest thing we have to a FAQ ("Frequently Asked Questions") resource on the forum at the moment. Many common questions are covered there, and there's a lot of very useful information there, along with links to other information, and even a few freebies for you to dowload.

    02) Use the search feature to look for threads that may contain the answer to your question. The answer you need might already be here somewhere.

    If those efforts do not lead you to the answers you need, you are welcome to post your questions on the forum.

    03) Edit your profile to include your location. This is very important, because this forum is a worldwide resource, so there are large differences between material costs and availability in different countries, states, and cities... as well as differences in building code regulations and laws. For example, masonry is cheaper than gypsum in some parts of the globe, whereas it's the exact opposite in other regions. We're not asking for your address or credit card number: just a country and city will do. If you do not include your location in your profile, then you are saying: "I didn't bother to read or follow these instructions" :x This does NOT mean that you should just mention your location in a post at some point, or in the title of your thread, or put it in your signature: It means that you need to fill it in in your PROFILE. If you don't get any replies to your posts, then check to make sure that your location is filled in properly IN YOUR USER PROFILE.

    04) Start your first post with an overview of your goals and where you are in the process... Research? Planning? Construction already underway? Finished, and wanna know why it doesn't work? :cry:

    05) HOW LOUD are you, and how quiet do you need to be? How picky/loud are your neighbors? How close? This cannot be subjective, and must be objective, in terms of real decibels, measured with a proper sound level meter. Saying "I wanna play rock music loud and my neighbors are close" is no use at all. So you need to buy something like this:


    ... or any other good sound level meter. They are not expensive. For about US$ 100 you can get a good one on eBay or But be warned: Stay away from the cheap US$ 25 Chinese meters... Most of those are garbage.

    If you're recording/mixing music you should be using a sound level meter ALWAYS, so it's not a waste of money. For music at typical mix levels, set your meter to use "C" weighting, and "slow" response. The human ear has no way of "measuring" ABSOLUTE sound levels; it just adapts to what's there, and calls that "normal" - so if you keep raising the volume, pretty soon you're mixing at 110 dB, ruining your hearing and neighbor "atta-boy" points, etc - the SPL meter helps you keep levels constant and safe.

    For all other tests, the authorities virtually ALWAYS use A weighting, and (I think) slow response. So for compliance wit regulations, use "A" weighting measurements.

    06) Include as much detail as possible about the existing construction. It's very important that you provide details about your existing floor, walls, doors, windows, ceiling, stairways, halls, etc.: what are they made of? How thick? What's on the other side?. By "details", I mean enough information that I could to go buy materials and actually BUILD a nearly identical version of your construction; Things like: type of material, size of framing, if it's visible, style of construction, thickness of the window glass, is the door hollow or solid, which way do the doors open, etc. - without that level of detail we can't recommend much of anything. We need to understand what you have in order to help you.

    07) Please don't say that you want to float your floor. This is almost always impractical, and WILL require a QUALIFIED LOCAL STRUCTURAL ENGINEER to verify that it will be safe. Apart from anything else, you very likely do not need to do it anyway.... for all the reasons why not, take a look at the downloads area The only exception is if you are building on an upper level of a building, are very loud, and have a lot of money to spend on doing it right.

    08) Remember that acoustics is THREE DIMENSIONAL, not two - when you give dimensions, we need Length, Width, and Height. We also need to know about any non-parallel features of the room.

    09) Include drawings of what you're describing if at all possible. They do not need to be professional or perfectly to scale, but they do need to account for the necessary details. Include the locations and dimensions of things like windows, doors, stairways, support pillars, beams, fireplaces, chimneys, radiators, and every other large or unmovable feature in the room. Cropping your drawing will allow you to make the important parts larger and more legible without increasing the overall size. See next...

    10) Re-size all photos, drawings, pictures, graphs, and other images as necessary to keep the size BETWEEN 700 and 900 pixels wide - otherwise it will either be too small to see the details, or it will force people to scroll sideways to read every line of text above and below it. :x

    11) Please post ALL pictures directly to this forum instead of linking to them; In older threads pictures can end up disappearing because the off-site linked image has moved, closed down, gone out of business, or just vanished for unknown reasons. When new members want to read and learn from those old threads, they can't follow things because the pictures are no longer there. Posting your pictures HERE ensures that others get the help YOU got.

    12) Group your actual questions last, at the end of your post, and put each question in its own paragraph. This makes it easier to respond to each of your questions.

    13) What is your Budget? Without knowing this, we have no idea if we are wasting our breath suggesting things that you cannot afford, or just as bad, not suggesting useful things that you can afford. Saying that your budget is "small", "REALLY tight", "reasonable", etc, is no use whatever. Comments like "under $500", "prefer to keep it under $2,000 but can go more if necessary", "$5,000-$10,000 MAXIMUM", will give us a clue for realistic suggestions.

    ...and finally...

    14) Please be patient. Questions are answered in the order received (oldest first), so "bumping" your post might actually delay a reply. Sometimes it might take a few days, or even a week for a response. But you won't be forgotten! If you care to ask an additional question, or provide more information before you receive a response, we recommend editing your post instead of bumping, as that will allow you to retain your position in the queue. However, if you don't get a response after a week, then feel free to "bump" your thread, or contact one of the moderators by PM to ask if there is something wrong.

    Once again, welcome to the forum! And good luck with your acoustic project