My Small Cave Acoustic Problem

Discussion in 'Listening Spaces' started by HowlerMonkey, Dec 30, 2017.

?

What should I do first?

  1. Curtains

    3 vote(s)
    33.3%
  2. Bass traps

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
  3. Wall panels

    4 vote(s)
    44.4%
  4. Ceiling panels

    3 vote(s)
    33.3%
  5. Mic and REW

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Find a new room

    2 vote(s)
    22.2%
  7. Other

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. HowlerMonkey

    HowlerMonkey Member

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Seattle
    I am lucky to have a detached garage that I have been slowly converting into a music room.
    The building was permitted and finished when I bought the house....It was used as storage (?!) by the people that lived here.

    ROOM:
    10' wide x 19' long finished foot print.
    14' tall vaulted ceiling, but the usable listening space is a lot shallower, around ~ 6' 10" tall :(
    Room Pros: Detached cave from the house where I have 99% freedom of what I can do here.
    Room Cons: Not ideal dimensions, neighbor's yards on side and back wall
    Me: limited budget, limited time, limited carpentry skills and tools....(I know!)

    PROBLEM:
    No Bass....standing waves...you know the usual for small rooms
    Reflective surfaces...bouncy of side walls...(working on that)
    Some reverb and vibrations specially in the "loft" ceiling that vibrates...it has some pull down stairs see pics

    I would like to use this thread to document my experience with this listening space as I tackle my acoustic problems and hopefully get some AK knowledge.

    Thanks for the tips!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017

     

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  2. HowlerMonkey

    HowlerMonkey Member

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Seattle
  3. nick parkin

    nick parkin AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    337
    A subwoofer could help. Do you know if these speakers normally have strong bass and the room is taking bass away?

    If this is the case bass traps may help the low end. You can buy Roxul Safe n' sound insulation at the home depot and use that as acoustic dampening foam. its like $60 for a huge pack of it. You can have them cut you 2X4's into a bunch of pieces, say 36" and 18" and make square frames out of them and put the roux insulation in them and wrap some fabric over them. Boom you've got some homemade acoustic panels (and bass traps)
     
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  4. nick parkin

    nick parkin AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    337
    also I reckon you could make a hell of a lot of acoustic panels with that one pack of insulation and maybe an extra $150 for a lot of 2X4's and some glue and fabric. Probably more then enough.
     
  5. HowlerMonkey

    HowlerMonkey Member

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Seattle
    I used 5-1/4" monitors with a 10" sub the first year I used this room....The sound was nice and accurate but I had to turn the sub way down..because they would overpower the monitors...those speakers are in my home theater now. These speakers are HPM60 with 10" woofers...they are a bit bright and forward but I have been able to tame them down with an active crossover....they sound great with more room to breathe....I am missing sound in the 100-150HZ range in this room...I hope to get a Mic soon.....I am working on a curtain rod....and looking for fabrics for curtains....I am debating between bass traps or acoustic panels or the umik mic? lol
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
  6. HowlerMonkey

    HowlerMonkey Member

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Seattle
    I should clarify that the yard on the windows is our yard....the neighbors yards are in the opposite wall and the back wall....I can crank up the volume a bit until 9pm or so :)
     

     

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  7. HunterMcD

    HunterMcD Everything louder than everyone else Subscriber

    Messages:
    647
    Location:
    Flint, MI
    3C58F747-830E-414F-A248-2D9E1FC0E1F2.jpeg
    I can say from experience the safe&sound stuff works. 2x4 frames covered in burlap with a staple gun. Made bass traps in all 4 corners. Made a huge difference. Just move them around on the walls and experiment. Was pretty cheap fix for my basement 17x12 room.
     
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  8. nick parkin

    nick parkin AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    337
    wow you got a nice rack :)
    What kind of guitars are on your rack?
    Im building a guitar from scratch myself, however I will be gone for awhile for the army and have to put it on hold
     
  9. HunterMcD

    HunterMcD Everything louder than everyone else Subscriber

    Messages:
    647
    Location:
    Flint, MI
    Actuality 2 are home built, a les Paul clone and an SG clone. Then there’s my epiphone er-270 (same as cobain used during ‘bleach’ years). There’s a sound gear Ibanez bass. All very cool, all very underplayed. Lol
     
  10. HowlerMonkey

    HowlerMonkey Member

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Seattle
    So I have been testing the sound system with CD's instead of vinyl and I noticed that the bass response is better...I also played with speaker placement a bit, I think shorter speaker stands will help....That said I decided to hold of on any electronics or furniture and put some time and money on acoustic treatments these next 2 months..(except an REW MIC,,,,might still need a mic lol)
     
    Archguy likes this.
  11. HowlerMonkey

    HowlerMonkey Member

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Seattle
    I ordered fabric samples for the curtains from Rose Brand.....the colors are limited but the fabrics are very thick and have some documented acoustic performance properties. I also researched acoustic panels....I am leaning towards DIY panels using Roxul 80, this material seemed to perform better than the Owens 703 in the frequencies that I am interested in. R&D this week and next...might be able to build something by the end of the month lol
     
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  12. When it comes to things like standing waves, your seating position can really affect what you hear.
    As much as speaker position is important ( distance from side & back wall ) where your head is positioned relative to the wall behind you can make an unbelievable difference.
    B. D. " before divorce", I had a music garage and experimented lots. Simply moving your seat towards the speakers is always worth a try, and it's free.
    Also, it's not perfect, but using old blankets on walls / floors can also give you temporary relief from the terror of too many hard surfaces.
     
  13. Mellotronix

    Mellotronix Active Member

    Messages:
    326
    Your layout with the loft reminds me of Ocean Way Studio B in LA. You have the makings of a cool recording studio, so you should forget about the listening space and put it to work for you! I suppose Seattle is rife with studios, so back to your original idea.

    I used Auralex Pro Panels and bass traps but they were expensive. So you might want to copy their design if you can find a panel to examine. They are very light, have a fiberglass outer shell and a microfibre fabric covering. Effective size seems to be 2' x 4'. Bass traps are basically the same panels installed at a 45 degree angle in the corners. A clever person could make them for cheap. I am not clever. This is a good configuration:

    studio.jpg
     
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  14. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,830
    Location:
    Richmond VA
    For a converted garage, that is a really nice space. You may well find that the additional ceiling volume helps you acoustically.

    I'd definitely agree that some acoustic panels on the walls would be a good investment, and (as mentioned upthread) they're not hard to make. If possible, hinge them on one side so you can swing them slightly out from the wall, or make them prism-shaped, or just mount them on bevels so they're not exactly parallel with the walls. The principle being to break up the long walls (acoustically) even better.

    This sort of thing being the concept; I'm sure you've seen it many times:

    [​IMG]

    A lot of people also make up these types of panels out of lumber. They are effective.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. HowlerMonkey

    HowlerMonkey Member

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Seattle
    Yes I will play with the seating position when I have the panels on hand but if I move my seating position closer to the speakers I am crouching underneath the loft that is only 6' 10" tall and where the standing waves ( and vibrations of the stairs) are the worst....
    If you look at the drawing below...the circle is drawn at roughly 2/3 of the length of the room....
    My gut tells me that I should try to tune the listening position somewhere past the loft...and take advantage of the volume above my head.
    I could be wrong so I am keeping all options open.

    Listening Position 0 deg.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
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  16. HowlerMonkey

    HowlerMonkey Member

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Seattle
    Thanks good tips! I always though the extra volume could help also...I like the idea of the hinges.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018

     

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  17. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,830
    Location:
    Richmond VA
    Good analysis, both verbal and graphic. Rather than move your seat toward the speakers, I'd suggest moving the speakers toward the seat. Gets them further from the corners (where you may wish to install bass traps) and keeps you from being situated in that low-ceiling zone yourself. In fact, I'd consider moving the entire setup a bit away from that end--something like what your gut is telling you [​IMG]

    My guess is that--along with the wall panels--you'll want some absorptive material on the low ceiling in that end zone, and ultimately perhaps some hanging panels in the attic zone over your head. But you have all the time in the world to get that right, so don't rush too much -- enjoy the process!
     
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