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Advice on absorption panels for amateur recording “studio”

Dewittski

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Hi all!

I have recently gotten into digital music recording and would like some advice on what panels or treatments would be best for recording voice. My setup is a converted walk in closet big enough for my midi controller and a few other instruments. I plan on most of my music being digital but obviously can’t do that with voice. I’ve done some preliminary recordings with my mic which is a decent quality mic but not surprisingly it has a very small room acoustic sound to it. I have been looking into purchasing a few gikacoustic “gobos” as another constraint is that I rent and can’t put anything on walls and these are free standing. Can anyone provide me with advice on the best absorption panels or other techniques for recording decent quality voice? Again, I am an amateur and not looking to drop a ton of money as this is mostly a hobby of mine. That said, I would like it to sound halfway decent.

UPDATE: I should have mentioned my space is about 10x7 with standard 8 foot ceilings.

Any help you all can provide is appreciated!

Thanks!
 
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DonH56

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There are instructions for DIY versions all over. Basically buy some Corning OC203 batting and cover it how you like. You might look at the RealTraps site for commercial offerings: www.realtraps.com -- there are a lot of good articles there as well.
 

DRMLFL

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Hello,

If you want a decent sounding room with "professional" results you should expect to invest between 300 and 1000€/$/£. It depends if you buy this stuff new, second hand or even do it yourself. I managed to get a "good" sound in my 4x4.5x2.8 metre room with 12 panels (some are DIY others are from GIK acoustics which I bought 2nd hand) and two self made bass trap towers in the front corners for a total of 400€.
If you plan to build your own panels I recommend you to build them at least 15 cm in depth, better would be 20 cm. You can use standard rock wool and wrap it in plastic, just make sure that the fibres don't come out too easily.
The most important thing (imho) is to get rid of flutter echos and comb filtering. You can identify it more or less by simply clapping in your hands and listening from which direction the reflection is coming, this is the place you want to install the panels. Don't forget the ceiling, I have 4 bigger and 2 smaller panels placed there, the rest is mainly on the side walls and one behind me. After that, you want to manage the bass which can become a bit more tricky as you will need thicker or deeper absorption panels.
I read that you cannot put things on the walls or ceiling which is the most important surface from my experience.

Hope this helps and good luck to you!
 

keenly

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Hello,

If you want a decent sounding room with "professional" results you should expect to invest between 300 and 1000€/$/£. It depends if you buy this stuff new, second hand or even do it yourself. I managed to get a "good" sound in my 4x4.5x2.8 metre room with 12 panels (some are DIY others are from GIK acoustics which I bought 2nd hand) and two self made bass trap towers in the front corners for a total of 400€.
If you plan to build your own panels I recommend you to build them at least 15 cm in depth, better would be 20 cm. You can use standard rock wool and wrap it in plastic, just make sure that the fibres don't come out too easily.
The most important thing (imho) is to get rid of flutter echos and comb filtering. You can identify it more or less by simply clapping in your hands and listening from which direction the reflection is coming, this is the place you want to install the panels. Don't forget the ceiling, I have 4 bigger and 2 smaller panels placed there, the rest is mainly on the side walls and one behind me. After that, you want to manage the bass which can become a bit more tricky as you will need thicker or deeper absorption panels.
I read that you cannot put things on the walls or ceiling which is the most important surface from my experience.

Hope this helps and good luck to you!
£1000 will do nothing, you need to treat all 6 surfaces ideally. I am aiming to treat most of 5(walls and ceiling) and am in £9000 thus far.
 

DRMLFL

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£1000 will do nothing, you need to treat all 6 surfaces ideally. I am aiming to treat most of 5(walls and ceiling) and am in £9000 thus far.
It seems like you stopped reading after the 1000€ I mentioned. Well, I don't know what you are looking for, but like I said I managed to get a decent sound with all surfaces treated for 400€, if you read the whole post you quoted from me. RT60 is showing me under 400ms from 50-80 Hz and under 300 ms from 100Hz and above in REW. Waterfall has a good flatness and my music never sounded as good as my latest mixes and productions. There is always room for improvement, that's for sure. You can definitely go cheaper with 2nd hand stuff. And the OP wants the room for recording, not for tracking, nor mixing nor mastering. May I ask what stuff you interested in?
 

DVDdoug

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Get a measurement mic and measure first... Diagnosis before treatment!!!

Then of course, measure after treatment too.

"Regular" acoustic treatment doesn't help with the bass. For that you need bass traps or EQ. Bass traps can trap the reflected bass smoothing-out the dips and the bumps. EQ can work for bumps (standing wave anti-nodes) but it doesn't do much for dips (standing wave nodes where the waves cancel) because it takes nearly infinite power and infinitely large woofers to overcome the cancelation.
 

kemmler3D

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For vocal recording you probably only need to worry about frequencies down to 100hz. Unfortunately 100hz is where absorption starts to get really difficult. The good news is it's not virtually infeasible like absorbing 40hz is.

IMO comb filtering in vocal recordings is the worst part. Most small vocal recording spaces sound very boxy / nasal for this reason. The advice so far in the thread is mostly good, but if you are recording male vocals with a deep voice (i.e. lots of bass) you might even consider doing a membrane trap or two.
 

DRMLFL

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The good news is if you make music with vocals you don't need the frequencies below 100 or even 150 Hz in many cases.
 

Bjorn

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I assume you live in the States. Acoustimac is bang of the bucks. Get the thickest panels you can live with. While it is necessarily the best to treat only with absorption, it is the cheapest.

RT measurements are completely invalid in such a small space. Deal with flutter echo and comb filtering. And no need to cover all surfaces.
 

kemmler3D

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Acoustimac is pretty good, but if you are DIY-inclined you can build this type of absorber yourself without fancy tools.
 
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