Small room design/treatment

Discussion in 'Pro Audio' started by miner49er, Jun 10, 2005.

  1. miner49er

    miner49er Guest

    Hi all,

    I've been lurking here a good long while now, and want to thank the
    many who have posted sensible information and good web links; lots of
    interesting sites to surf! I've also picked up some good books: one of
    Alton Everest's, and Cooper's book on small recording studio design, and
    a couple of Philip Newell's books.

    Music has been a life-long love affair for me. In my teens i always
    thought i'd wind up working in a studio, then in my early 20s that i'd
    make a career as a violinist, but wound up doing software development
    for economic and marital reasons :) I've played in one ensemble or
    another most of my life, and have sporadically done recording, always in
    some borrowed space. My home studio is housed in a small bedroom and
    consists of a DAW put together with parts from NewEgg running Adobe
    Audition, and a MOTU 828mkII.

    I'm now in a position to build a proper small project / tracking /
    recording studio to support what i really love to do, and plan to
    eventually retire into performing and recording. I play a variety of
    bowed and plucked stringed instruments, and want to be able to track
    them as well as rehearse and record small ensembles. Genres range from
    classical to bluegrass to alt country to progressive rock.

    I'm particularly intrigued by a room Philip Newell describes in
    chapter 8 of Recording Spaces. This is a real room in a studio in
    Lisbon, Portugal (Tcha Tcha Tcha Studios). From the scale given in the
    diagrams, the room appears to be approximately 8'-6" x 11'-0", and it
    has been designed with a compound sloped wall (it is Studio 2 in Figure
    8.4, with subsequent discussions and details of the construction, for
    those of you who may happen to own a copy of this book). Mr. Newell
    calls this the "Geddes approach" after work done some years ago by a Dr.
    Earl Geddes (who seems to specialize in loudspeaker design these days),
    and suggests that it has many advantages for a small room.

    Basically, the room has a live floor and a live wall that is sloped
    both vertically and horizontally (appears to be 10 degrees +/- though
    the slope angles are not specified in the text). The floor and sloped
    wall are panelled with wood, and the remaining walls and ceiling are
    quite absorbant. The sloped wall itself is constructed to serve as a
    bass trap, and due to the small room size, low bass is below the room
    cutoff frequency. The live wall and floor give early reflections,
    imparting a measure of "liveness" to the apparent sound of the room, but
    the compound sloping of the non-parallel wall, together with the
    aborbant side walls and trap, rapidly absorb secondary reflections.

    This seems like a good option for inclusion in a small studio, as the
    room appears to be useful both as a drum booth and as a tracking and
    vocal room (mic placements for both are suggested). From Mr. Newell's
    anecdotal comments, the owners of the studio like the room and have
    gotten much use from it. I have about 900 square feet altogether to
    work with (with 11' feet of vertical space), hence the appeal of a small
    room like this that could be used as a tracking/drum booth.

    Has anyone here seen or used such a room? Anyone familiar with this
    approach from a technical/acoustics perspective?
    miner49er, Jun 10, 2005
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  2. miner49er

    Don Nafe Guest

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  3. miner49er

    miner49er Guest

    Hi Ethan,

    Thank you very much for responding! I've enjoyed your website and
    found a lot of interesting things there to read.

    I neglected to mention that this would be one of 3 rooms. My current
    plans also call for a 13 x 19 main studio A, and a control room that is
    actually quite similar to the one in the article you cited, though a
    little smaller (around 1650 cubic feet). I plan to float the rooms
    using techniques described in several of the books on studio design i've

    The particular room i was describing would be used for vocal or
    instrumental tracking, and as a drum isolation room. I do understand
    the need for a great deal of absorption and bass trapping; the double-
    sloped wall should hopefully serve well in the latter capacity.


    "Ethan Winer" <ethanw at ethanwiner dot com> wrote in :

    I have to tell you, that's awfully small for either recording or mixing.
    Yes, you could probably get good results in a room that size with a huge
    amount of absorption and especially bass trapping. But if you have more
    floor space than that available (you said 900 square feet), you'll do
    to use as much of that as possible. What are your outer dimensions? If
    have 21 by 15 feet at your disposal, see this article from EQ magazine,
    miner49er, Jun 11, 2005
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