Music Studio in my Studio apartment!

All about acoustics. This is your new home if you already have a studio or other acoustic space, but it isn't working out for you, sounds bad, and you need to fix it...
recaro19
New Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed, 2019-Oct-09, 11:20
Location: Toronto

Music Studio in my Studio apartment!

#1

Postby recaro19 » Wed, 2019-Oct-09, 18:08

Hey everyone,

New to the forum and very excited to be here as I embark on this journey in professional music production. A little bit about me. I'm a DJ and Producer out of Toronto, ON. Been putting my career on hold for quite some time and up until a few months ago, I recently moved into a much better space that will (hopefully) allow me to get creative again.

The purpose of my studio is mainly for working in the box with some outboard pieces of gear. It will be primarily used for production and mixing. I do plan on recording but nothing major. Some hand instruments and such just to add some unique sounds textures to the genre I'm making. I predominately produce techno and progressive styles of electronic music.

Here is the current gear I have:

- Komplete Audio 6 (what was used for REW measurements)
- RME Fireface UFX
- Dangerous D-Box
- Neuman KH120's
- Sonarworks Measurement microphone

I also have a second set of monitors which are KRK Rokit 8 RPG 2 and a KRK 10s subwoofer. I am not planning on setting these up just yet as I want to make sure I have position and measuring of the KH120's first since they will be my main near field monitors. I'm also not setting up the RME and D-box at this time so I'm using the Komplete Audio 6 for now as I'm not sure how to take measurements with the RME and D-Box set up. I'm assuming it won't matter which soundcard I take my measurements in but any insight on this would be greatly appreciated.

From what I've learned so far, I will most likely require two large Superchunk bass traps in the front two corners and bass trap panels at 6" thick all around using Roxul Safe n Sound. I'm planning on cutting some wood at 24"x24" to cut into triangles which will give me two pieces with an approximate 34" face for both the top and bottom of the Superchunk. This was what was recommended by Mike at GIK after speaking with him about DIY options. I'm going to be making them 72" high since I need to leave about 24" from the floor to make room for two outlets on either side. Of course, I'm here to learn and since I haven't started building any sort of traps I'm still open to recommendations best for my room.

In terms of REW measurements, I had some trouble getting initial measurements when I first started out. Stuart knows of my multiple attempts but after carefully revisiting his instructions, I think I've figured things out. Here is the latest measurement file:

Oct 7 2019 - Baseline Measurements.mdat
Oct 7 2019 - Baseline Measurements
(7.11 MiB) Downloaded 24 times
Oct 7 2019 - Baseline Measurements.mdat
Oct 7 2019 - Baseline Measurements
(7.11 MiB) Downloaded 24 times


If things are still off please do let me know and I will circle back and re-measure. Please note that I am a total beginner when it comes to measuring a room and reading these graphs. I have limited knowledge in terms of what each graph is showing me, but I do have a slight understand from my knowledge in the pro audio world. What I have trouble with is understanding how to identify problems based on the information the graphs are giving me and how to interpret them to make the correct treatment decisions.

Here are the dimensions of my room as well as a 3D layout:

Floor Plan 1.jpg


Floor Plan 2.jpg


Floor Plan 3.jpg


These are photos of when I first moved in to give you a better idea for the space:

IMG_5024.jpg


IMG_5025.jpg


IMG_5026.jpg


IMG_5028.jpg


And here is the current set up of my room. I've built a monitor shelf to allow for my sweet spot to be a bit smaller and got rid of the TV on the keyboard stand so my desk can be pushed right up against the wall. I already noticed a better sound from the below set up compared to the above.

DSC_0528.jpg


DSC_0529.jpg


DSC_0530.jpg


DSC_0531.jpg


DSC_0532.jpg


DSC_0533.jpg


DSC_0534.jpg


DSC_0535.jpg


DSC_0536.jpg


DSC_0537.jpg


I am very excited to be here and already have noticed some great improvements from my new setup. Just looking to take it to the next level and really open up my stereo imaging and sound quality. I look forward to working with each of you and if there is something I missed in terms of information, please let me know. I will be watching this thread actively while at work as I'm hoping to get to work on this project soon.

Best



User avatar
Soundman2020
Site Admin
Posts: 232
Joined: Thu, 2019-Sep-19, 22:58
Location: Santiago, Chile
Contact:

Re: Music Studio in my Studio apartment!

#2

Postby Soundman2020 » Sat, 2019-Oct-12, 00:28

Hi there, and Welcome! :thu: :) So glad you made it over here, to the new forum.

- Neuman KH120's
I think I said this to you before, elsewhere, but I'll say it again: Those are nice! They should work well in that room.

I'm assuming it won't matter which soundcard I take my measurements in but any insight on this would be greatly appreciated
There's probably very, very little difference at all. Most audio interfaces these days are pretty darn good, with only very minor differences. If you really wanted to, you could do calibration and testing with both of them, to see if you can find any difference, but I'm betting that they will be the same.

From what I've learned so far, I will most likely require two large Superchunk bass traps in the front two corners and bass trap panels at 6" thick all around using Roxul Safe n Sound.
Something like that, yes. I would also consider doing another superchunk horizontally in the wall/ceiling corner directly behind you (above the bed), and something very think on the rest of that wall.

You have a strange shaped room, which isn't symmetrical behind you. Normally, that's not to much of a problem, but in your case, you have a large reflective surface back there: the wall and door to the bathroom. That's going to need some serious attention too.

I'm planning on cutting some wood at 24"x24" to cut into triangles which will give me two pieces with an approximate 34" face for both the top and bottom of the Superchunk.
There's not really any need to build "shelving" for your superchunks; you can just cut out the triangles of OC703 directly and stack them on top of each other, like this:

superchunks-01.jpg


superchunks-04.jpg


superchunks-02.jpg


superchunks-05.jpg


Superchunk-8_737.jpg
Superchunk-8_737.jpg (79.23 KiB) Viewed 567 times
Superchunk-8_737.jpg
Superchunk-8_737.jpg (79.23 KiB) Viewed 567 times


Just a few photos of how they are done, typically. You'll probably want to build a light wooden frame and stretch some attractive fabric over it, to hide those ugly monsters behind.

I'm going to be making them 72" high since I need to leave about 24" from the floor to make room for two outlets on either side.
To be fully effective, superchunks should run from floor to ceiling. If that would cover over an outlet, then consider extending the outlet with a surface-mount raceway, that can cover over the existing outlet and be used to extend the wiring to a more convenient place. Legrand makes good systems for that.

surface-mount-electrics-01.jpg
surface-mount-electrics-01.jpg (22.56 KiB) Viewed 567 times
surface-mount-electrics-01.jpg
surface-mount-electrics-01.jpg (22.56 KiB) Viewed 567 times


Then you would just cut out a some parts of the OC703 to fit around that.

In terms of REW measurements, I had some trouble getting initial measurements when I first started out. Stuart knows of my multiple attempts
:thu: I remember! :)

but after carefully revisiting his instructions, I think I've figured things out. Here is the latest measurement file:
Yes! It looks like you got it right! The data is valid, and in fact your results are not too bad at all. One surprising thing that caught my attention, is just how closely matched your left and right channels are: there's not a lot of difference between them at all, which is a very good thing: It means you have your room set up symmetrically, with your speakers placed and aligned accurately. And it also means you have good speakers, of course... :)

Your overall frequency response is reasonably good, with the expected modal stuff going on, and your decay times are all fairly close to each other, across the spectrum.... just too high. Around 600ms right now, and you'll probably want to get that down to around 250ms or so.

The good response is partly due to having a nice sized room, in addition to the other things I mentioned.

I would say that your room should be able to turn out rather well, if you treat it suitably.

If things are still off please do let me know and I will circle back and re-measure. Please note that I am a total beginner when it comes to measuring a room and reading these graphs.
You are doing fine! You have it all figured out now: your measurements are good, the data is valid, and your room is looking very promising.

I have limited knowledge in terms of what each graph is showing me, but I do have a slight understand from my knowledge in the pro audio world. What I have trouble with is understanding how to identify problems based on the information the graphs are giving me and how to interpret them to make the correct treatment decisions.
I'll try to respond to that a little better tomorrow, with some examples from your own data, but interpreting REW graphs is both easy and not so easy! :) Easy to get an overall idea of what's going on, with a bit of insight about what they are really showing, but also "not so easy", in the sense that there's a lot more stuff hidden in there, if you just know what to look for...

And here is the current set up of my room. I've built a monitor shelf to allow for my sweet spot to be a bit smaller and got rid of the TV on the keyboard stand so my desk can be pushed right up against the wall. I already noticed a better sound from the below set up compared to the above.
I would suggest that you get your speakers completely off the desk, onto stands behind the desk, up against the wall. Then you can use the "walking mic" test to find the optimal location for your mix position. The procedure is here: Soundman "Walking Mic" test procedure, for finding optimum mix position location (and other things)

Once you find that initial "best" location, move the desk up to the mix position and locate it so it is comfortable for you to work at with your head at the spot where the mic was.

Next, you can do something similar with the speakers: sliding them further apart in small incremental steps, with REW measurements at each step, while also changing the angle to keep them aimed at a spot about 18" behind that "best" mix position, then looking at the data to find the best spot for the speakers... and finally repeating the "walking mic" test, but just over a small range of distance this time, to see if there's a final "even better" spot. There's no need to do the entire room this time: just a small range around where the initial best position was.

I would also suggest replacing that desk with something that is lower profile (no shelves or other things sticking up above the work surface), and as small as possible. Desks can have an effect on the acosutic response of the room, and in general it's not good to have the speakers on the desk either.

With that setup (everything in the "optimal" location), you can then start treating the room. And once it is treated: repeat! Try optimizing the mix position and speaker locations one more time, with the treatment in place.

I have a hunch that your room can be really good...


- Stuart -



recaro19
New Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed, 2019-Oct-09, 11:20
Location: Toronto

Re: Music Studio in my Studio apartment!

#3

Postby recaro19 » Fri, 2019-Oct-18, 14:12

Soundman2020 wrote:Hi there, and Welcome! :thu: :) So glad you made it over here, to the new forum.


Thanks Stuart! My apologies for my delay in responding. It was Thanksgiving weekend for us over here in Canada which mean a long weekend. Also meant that work was quite busy when i came back and have also been battling a cold! Anyways, glad to be here and look forward to documenting this journey.

Soundman2020 wrote:
- Neuman KH120's


I think I said this to you before, elsewhere, but I'll say it again: Those are nice! They should work well in that room.


You did say this before. I'm really quite happy with them but obviously i'm still not getting the full benefit without treatment. So far, I'm noticing much more clarity in my mixes. Things just sound right now rather than the KRK's which were really bottom heavy. I haven't heard my KRK's in a good room though so i'm not sure how they compare. Eitherway, really happy witht he Neuman's and look forward to using them as my main speakers.

Soundman2020 wrote:
I'm assuming it won't matter which soundcard I take my measurements in but any insight on this would be greatly appreciated


There's probably very, very little difference at all. Most audio interfaces these days are pretty darn good, with only very minor differences. If you really wanted to, you could do calibration and testing with both of them, to see if you can find any difference, but I'm betting that they will be the same.


This is good to know. I tend to over complicate things and think of all of this which gets me stuck and left in an uncertain state. Especially since I'm still a beginner at this. The reason I brought this up is that the RME is running through the D-Box so I wasn't sure if the D-Box would mean I'd have to redo measurements. I'll stick with the Audio 6 for now until I get the outboard gear running and figure out the routing. Right now, my main concern is treating the room.

Soundman2020 wrote:
From what I've learned so far, I will most likely require two large Superchunk bass traps in the front two corners and bass trap panels at 6" thick all around using Roxul Safe n Sound.


Something like that, yes. I would also consider doing another superchunk horizontally in the wall/ceiling corner directly behind you (above the bed), and something very think on the rest of that wall.

You have a strange shaped room, which isn't symmetrical behind you. Normally, that's not to much of a problem, but in your case, you have a large reflective surface back there: the wall and door to the bathroom. That's going to need some serious attention too.


Good to know. A few things here... Would a large panel on the back wall be ok instead of a Superchunk on the ceiling? I don't know how I would be able to accomplish that so I was thinking of just making a few panels at 6" thick to cover that back wall. Is the superchunk necessary or will i be ok with jus the panels?

Soundman2020 wrote:
I'm planning on cutting some wood at 24"x24" to cut into triangles which will give me two pieces with an approximate 34" face for both the top and bottom of the Superchunk.


There's not really any need to build "shelving" for your superchunks; you can just cut out the triangles of OC703 directly and stack them on top of each other, like this:

superchunks-01.jpg

superchunks-04.jpg

superchunks-02.jpg

superchunks-05.jpg

Superchunk-8_737.jpg

Just a few photos of how they are done, typically. You'll probably want to build a light wooden frame and stretch some attractive fabric over it, to hide those ugly monsters behind.


The problem is that I rent the apartment so if I ever move, I'd like to have some sort of casing so I can pick them up and move them. May require a bit more work upfront but in the long run, it will be less of a hassle when I move.

Soundman2020 wrote:
I'm going to be making them 72" high since I need to leave about 24" from the floor to make room for two outlets on either side.


To be fully effective, superchunks should run from floor to ceiling. If that would cover over an outlet, then consider extending the outlet with a surface-mount raceway, that can cover over the existing outlet and be used to extend the wiring to a more convenient place. Legrand makes good systems for that.

surface-mount-electrics-01.jpg

Then you would just cut out some parts of the OC703 to fit around that.


Again, I rent so I can't really change anything to the Unit so I need to be mindful of this. Will 24" of space underneath really matter? I could build two smaller traps to fill in space. Maybe two of those concrete post form tubes filled with insulation to place underneath?

Also, is safe and sound okay to use? I don't really have access to OC703 and the only place that has it is quite expensive. $3.00 a square foot where I can get 8 bats for about $59.00. If the OC703 really is that much better then maybe I can build them gradually but for a 2x4 piece it's going to be $24 apiece

Soundman2020 wrote:
In terms of REW measurements, I had some trouble getting initial measurements when I first started out. Stuart knows of my multiple attempts


:thu: I remember! :)

but after carefully revisiting his instructions, I think I've figured things out. Here is the latest measurement file:
Yes! It looks like you got it right! The data is valid, and in fact your results are not too bad at all. One surprising thing that caught my attention, is just how closely matched your left and right channels are: there's not a lot of difference between them at all, which is a very good thing: It means you have your room set up symmetrically, with your speakers placed and aligned accurately. And it also means you have good speakers, of course... :)

Your overall frequency response is reasonably good, with the expected modal stuff going on, and your decay times are all fairly close to each other, across the spectrum.... just too high. Around 600ms right now, and you'll probably want to get that down to around 250ms or so.

The good response is partly due to having a nice sized room, in addition to the other things I mentioned.

I would say that your room should be able to turn out rather well, if you treat it suitably.

If things are still off please do let me know and I will circle back and re-measure. Please note that I am a total beginner when it comes to measuring a room and reading these graphs.


You are doing fine! You have it all figured out now: your measurements are good, the data is valid, and your room is looking very promising.


Awesome! So happy to hear this. I did notice a massive difference when i placed my speakers closer together on the shelf i built. Can't wait to see what happens once I start to treat.

Soundman2020 wrote:
I have limited knowledge in terms of what each graph is showing me, but I do have a slight understand from my knowledge in the pro audio world. What I have trouble with is understanding how to identify problems based on the information the graphs are giving me and how to interpret them to make the correct treatment decisions.


I'll try to respond to that a little better tomorrow, with some examples from your own data, but interpreting REW graphs is both easy and not so easy! :) Easy to get an overall idea of what's going on, with a bit of insight about what they are really showing, but also "not so easy", in the sense that there's a lot more stuff hidden in there, if you just know what to look for...


That would be fantastic! I'd love to better understand and know what I'm looking at. It will help me tremendously as I'll understand further what is going on and why I'm doing things.

Soundman2020 wrote:
And here is the current set up of my room. I've built a monitor shelf to allow for my sweet spot to be a bit smaller and got rid of the TV on the keyboard stand so my desk can be pushed right up against the wall. I already noticed a better sound from the below set up compared to the above.


I would suggest that you get your speakers completely off the desk, onto stands behind the desk, up against the wall. Then you can use the "walking mic" test to find the optimal location for your mix position. The procedure is here: Soundman "Walking Mic" test procedure, for finding optimum mix position location (and other things)

Once you find that initial "best" location, move the desk up to the mix position and locate it so it is comfortable for you to work at with your head at the spot where the mic was.

Next, you can do something similar with the speakers: sliding them further apart in small incremental steps, with REW measurements at each step, while also changing the angle to keep them aimed at a spot about 18" behind that "best" mix position, then looking at the data to find the best spot for the speakers... and finally repeating the "walking mic" test, but just over a small range of distance this time, to see if there's a final "even better" spot. There's no need to do the entire room this time: just a small range around where the initial best position was.


The stands I have will be used for the second set of monitors I have (KRK Rokit 8 G2) so I build the shelf since I have iso acoustic stands. It also allows me to get the Neumans much closer to the front wall as you suggested. Isn't this still correct considering i see many studios with their monitors on the bridge meter or on a desk with a similar shelf?

Soundman2020 wrote:I would also suggest replacing that desk with something that is lower profile (no shelves or other things sticking up above the work surface), and as small as possible. Desks can have an effect on the acosutic response of the room, and in general it's not good to have the speakers on the desk either.


I have a 61 key midi controller that is not yet set up but will be going on the desk to occupy that space. I don't think i'd be able to manage with a smaller surface

Soundman2020 wrote:With that setup (everything in the "optimal" location), you can then start treating the room. And once it is treated: repeat! Try optimizing the mix position and speaker locations one more time, with the treatment in place.

I have a hunch that your room can be really good...


- Stuart -


In regards to treatment, I have access to a discounted rate for Primacoustics products so I am still considering using them since DIY will be difficult for me to do. Not impossible, but if I can get great results with a pre made product then I may consider. As it stands, I can get the London 12 kit for almost cost so was thinking of buying these panels and building some frames to hold them so there is a gap behind them and then adding the MaxTraps in the corners? Would you still suggest i go diy?

Thanks again Stuart. Look forward to hearing back from you!



recaro19
New Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed, 2019-Oct-09, 11:20
Location: Toronto

Re: Music Studio in my Studio apartment!

#4

Postby recaro19 » Sun, 2020-Jan-19, 21:04

Hey Stuart!

So revisiting this and finally invest in some sound acoustic treatment. I went with Primacoustics and also picked up a new studio desk. I'll post pics and a new baseline measurement soon!



User avatar
Soundman2020
Site Admin
Posts: 232
Joined: Thu, 2019-Sep-19, 22:58
Location: Santiago, Chile
Contact:

Re: Music Studio in my Studio apartment!

#5

Postby Soundman2020 » Sun, 2020-Jan-19, 21:53

Great! That sounds insteresting, and it would be fantastic to have an update the room response, after you have the treatment in place.
Cool!

:thu:


- Stuart -



recaro19
New Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed, 2019-Oct-09, 11:20
Location: Toronto

Re: Music Studio in my Studio apartment!

#6

Postby recaro19 » Mon, 2020-Jan-20, 11:55

Soundman2020 wrote:Great! That sounds insteresting, and it would be fantastic to have an update the room response, after you have the treatment in place.
Cool!

:thu:


- Stuart -


Agreed! I'm going to take my first measurement as the room is without treatement once again. Then put up some treatment and take a few measurements as I put panels up.

Would you recommend i put the base traps in first and measure from there or leave the bass traps last?



User avatar
Soundman2020
Site Admin
Posts: 232
Joined: Thu, 2019-Sep-19, 22:58
Location: Santiago, Chile
Contact:

Re: Music Studio in my Studio apartment!

#7

Postby Soundman2020 » Tue, 2020-Jan-21, 11:42

Do the first tests with the room completely empty, then another set of tests once the bass traps are in. That way, you can see how well they are working...

I think you have seen this before, but just in case, here's a brief tutorial on how to calibrate and use REW to test and tune your room acoustics

- Stuart -



recaro19
New Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed, 2019-Oct-09, 11:20
Location: Toronto

Re: Music Studio in my Studio apartment!

#8

Postby recaro19 » Tue, 2020-Jan-21, 21:04

Soundman2020 wrote:Do the first tests with the room completely empty, then another set of tests once the bass traps are in. That way, you can see how well they are working...

I think you have seen this before, but just in case, here's a brief tutorial on how to calibrate and use REW to test and tune your room acoustics

- Stuart -


Yes, of course i've seen that guide. I used it to make the below measurements :) . Hoping it came out ok.

Awesome. Will start with installing the bass traps. I just uploaded my first initial measurements after installing my new desk and a slightly different room set up. See attached. Once I install the bass traps I will do another set of measurements. What should I set the limits too for viewing the waterfall and SPL graphs?

Look forward to sending the next set of measurements
Attachments
Jan 20 2020 - 1A Measurements.mdat
(7.12 MiB) Downloaded 10 times
Jan 20 2020 - 1A Measurements.mdat
(7.12 MiB) Downloaded 10 times



recaro19
New Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed, 2019-Oct-09, 11:20
Location: Toronto

Re: Music Studio in my Studio apartment!

#9

Postby recaro19 » Sat, 2020-Jan-25, 22:14

Hey Stuart,

Here is the second measurement with the Primacoustic Bass traps. I'll be adding the rest of the panels tomorrow and will take a final measurement.

I did make any adjustments on the levels. I just did a check levels test and then did the next three measurements.

Let me know!

UPDATE: Took 3rd Set of Measurements (3A) with Bass Traps and Broadband Panels. I noticed the 2A measurements were a little lover on the SPL level. Not sure how to interpret these but please let me know. Still have some panels to put up but for now, i'm noticing a much more better stereo field. Things sound clearer.

Jan 25 2020 - 2A Measurements.mdat
Bass Traps Only
(1.59 MiB) Downloaded 12 times
Jan 25 2020 - 2A Measurements.mdat
Bass Traps Only
(1.59 MiB) Downloaded 12 times
Attachments
Jan 26 2020 - 3A Measurements.mdat
Bass Traps and 2" Broadband Panels on Front / Left / Right Walls and remaining three control columns on wall between two windows. No scatter blocks.
(24.62 MiB) Downloaded 7 times
Jan 26 2020 - 3A Measurements.mdat
Bass Traps and 2" Broadband Panels on Front / Left / Right Walls and remaining three control columns on wall between two windows. No scatter blocks.
(24.62 MiB) Downloaded 7 times



recaro19
New Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed, 2019-Oct-09, 11:20
Location: Toronto

Re: Music Studio in my Studio apartment!

#10

Postby recaro19 » Sun, 2020-Jan-26, 20:30

So I just realized that the outputs were flipped when taking measurements :horse:

I was measuring the left speaker but it was plugged into the R output. Not sure if that matters but 1A-3A measurements were all taken like that.

Updated the 3A measurements after switching the L&R outputs to their correct speakers. Anyways, "3A UPDT" are the latest measurements... can't believe i wasted all that time with he wrong outputs for L&R but i don't see any drastic changes really...
Attachments
Jan 26 2020 - 3A Measurements.mdat
3A UPDT - Correct outputs for measurement
(31.63 MiB) Downloaded 10 times
Jan 26 2020 - 3A Measurements.mdat
3A UPDT - Correct outputs for measurement
(31.63 MiB) Downloaded 10 times




Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest