Geffen, Interscope, Universal, recording studios diffuser formula

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  • Bob
    Senior Member
    • Jul 2000
    • 802

    Geffen, Interscope, Universal, recording studios diffuser formula

    I spent last weekend at the recording studios mentioned in the subject line with Jurassic 5. While there I examined the recording rooms for vocals and intruments to see what they did for acoustic control. While we wouldn't want the overdamped sound of a recording booth for our listening rooms, most of our spaces do need some help acoustically to improve our listening pleasure.
    Here is what they use, over all the wall surfaces are covered with loose fitting pleated (5" wide) material, nothing special other than it was a fairly loose weave. Most of the walls are simple drywall with a few spots of rigid insulation material. Nothing that we don't already know works for our home theaters/music rooms. What did surprise me was that the walls were receased 4" anywhere there was a diffuser. Several DIY sites for acoustic panels have mentioned that they should be a few inches away from the wall to be effective.

    Making a copy of the wood diffusers they use would be pretty simple and probably no more than a afternoons worth of work. Considering the cost of wood diffusers from most companies these would be worth considering.

    Here is the formula:
    The wood strips are screwed onto 3 horizontal 1"x3" pieces of MDF, evenly spaced, about 13" apart.
    There is a 3/4" gap between each wood strip.
    Each wood strip is 54" long.
    Unfortunatly you will need a table saw to make the strips because for the most part they are unconventional widths.
    The strips are the following widths, to be laid out in the order given.

    1 1/2", 3 1/2", 2", 1 1/2", 2 3/4", 3 3/4", 2", 4", 2", 2", 1 1/2", 2 3/4"
    2 3/4", 4", 2", 1 1/4", 2 1/2", 1 1/4", 2", 2 3/4", 3 1/2", 1 1/4", 2 1/2", 2"

    This was the size of the widest diffuser I ran across. There were many that weren't as wide that followed the same formula, in that they started with the first measurement I gave and then only continued to whatever width was needed.

    Seems like a worthwhile project for anybody that wants the effect of wood diffusers. My guess would be that you could paint or stain the strips any color you needed to make them fit into your living situation. I suppose you could even stretch a loose weave fabric over them.
  • JonMarsh
    Mad Max Moderator
    • Aug 2000
    • 15214

    #2
    Thanks for taking the time to pass this information on, Bob. Using a difusion approach to listening room treatment isn't a common idea, though it should be more so. There's also a lot of good information about architectural acoustics at RPG Acoustics

    http://www.rpginc.com/,

    as well as some useful software for room design and speaker/room setup.

    Best regards,

    Jon




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    • Bob
      Senior Member
      • Jul 2000
      • 802

      #3
      Thanks Jon. The reason I am intrigued with diffusion products is the best music room I have heard is at Brooks Berdans place in Monrovia , CA. And he uses wood diffusers from RPG rather than any absorbtion panels.
      In the past I speant a lot of time pouring over the RPG site and several other acoustic websites trying to glean as much free info as possible. In the past I have also called ASC, and RPG, and Micheal Green to get info on prices. Although there is no RPG product that is excactly the same as the ones used at the above mentioned recording studios, their wood 2x4 diffusers are pretty close. For what you can build yourself for pocket change they want not hundreds but, thousands of dollars.

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      • David Meek
        Moderator Emeritus
        • Aug 2000
        • 8938

        #4
        Poobahs, a couple of questions for you:

        1) Looking at my room layout, where would you start placing diffusers?

        2) If I place one at the first reflection point on the right wall (looking at the screen), how would I get the same effect on the left where the door is? Leave the door open?






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        • ThomasW
          Moderator Emeritus
          • Aug 2000
          • 10934

          #5
          David

          The only space you have available is the wall behind the mains




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          • Bob
            Senior Member
            • Jul 2000
            • 802

            #6
            How big is the room? Are the drawings to scale, so that you can't pull your chairs out from the wall?
            From the looks of your drawing you probably have a overly lively room. I would make 5 DIY sound absorbers, (I just helped a friend make some small ones that are covered with material that blends in perfectly with his walls and decor). Place one absorber behind each front speaker and your center speaker. Place one absorber on the side walls just slightly forward of your main speakers. Make three diffusers and put two of them on the side walls at the first reflection points. The one on the door side you could make in 3 peices so that it was on the door and on the wall on either side of the door. Place the third one on the ceiling where, if there was a mirror, you would see the speakers from your sitting position. If your room is as lively as a bathroom, put an additional absorber on either side of the diffuser.
            Lastly, take my advice with a grain of salt and experiment on your own with the placement. Every room is different and my thoughts are at best a starting point.
            You can make absorbers that aren't as big and thick as the ones I made for my room. Take a peice of peg board 30" wide and as tall as you need to go from your floor to just above your head height. Make a 2"x2" frame and screw, staple, or nail the peg board to the frame. Get some thick 15" wide fiber glass insulation from the hardware store and put two rows in the frame. Don't worry that it is thicker than the frame. Cut out some hardware cloth (looks like chicken wire) the size of the frame and staple that over the insulation, flattening it down. Cover that with a few layers of dacron batting. Now put your material over that.
            If the absorbers work for you, a more elegant method is to follow the directions given in the audio perfectionist on how to improve any room acoustically without making it ugly.

            Comment

            • David Meek
              Moderator Emeritus
              • Aug 2000
              • 8938

              #7
              Originally posted by Thomas
              The only space you have available is the wall behind the mains
              Will diffusers behind the mains have a major effect on the sound or would it be more subtle?

              Originally posted by Bob
              How big is the room? Are the drawings to scale, so that you can't pull your chairs out from the wall?
              Yes the drawing is to scale, and the long dimension is 13'-3" or so and the short is 11'-3". Ceiling height is 9'-0". The chairs are actually out from the wall a foot or so.

              Originally posted by Bob
              The one on the door side you could make in 3 peices so that it was on the door and on the wall on either side of the door.
              The door is a mahogany French door with sidelights, so I can't attach anything to it other than curtains. SAF you know (the door and sidelights are the ONLY thing Jen's said she had any opinion on).

              Originally posted by Bob
              put an additional absorber on either side of the diffuser.
              Why would I want to pub an absorber right by the diffuser? Is it a function of distance due to my smallish room? Now I'm confused. :banghead:

              Way Off Topic:
              Originally posted by Bob
              I spent last weekend at the recording studios mentioned in the subject line with Jurassic 5.
              Wait a minute! Jurassic Park 5 ?!?!?! Did I miss JP4?




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              • David Meek
                Moderator Emeritus
                • Aug 2000
                • 8938

                #8
                Bob, apologies for hi-jacking your thread. ops:




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                • Dennis H
                  Ultra Senior Member
                  • Aug 2002
                  • 3791

                  #9
                  Thanks, Bob! Interesting diffusor design.

                  David, you might also want to consider some damping behind your head, as you're so close to the wall. Prop a pillow back there temorarily to see if it does anything good for the sound. As an easy demonstration of what being so close does, start talking and move closer to the wall. The effect is very obvious when you get too close.

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                  • Bob
                    Senior Member
                    • Jul 2000
                    • 802

                    #10
                    David,
                    Plantation shutters make great diffusers, you could put them on the door and a matching one on the wall opposite.
                    Why an absorber on either side of the diffuser, they both do different things, in playing around in my room this combo worked well as an overhead treatment, no idea why it works.
                    Will diffusers or absorbers make a substantial difference in your room, depends on how lively and how much echo there is. Both work differently, so may want to try one and then the other.
                    I have speant a lot of time playing with making them but, won't pretend that I know much about proper placement. Just my own experience in my room and one friends room. The absorbers are so cheap and easy to make you can make 4 or five in a couple of hours and then experiment.
                    Again, there is a very good explanation on how to treat any room in the Audioperfectionist.

                    Comment

                    • David Meek
                      Moderator Emeritus
                      • Aug 2000
                      • 8938

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Dennis
                      you might also want to consider some damping behind your head, as you're so close to the wall.
                      The wall behind the chairs will have full length, lined curtains matching the fabric wall treatment so that should take care of the damping (I'd think).




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