Quantcast
Improving acoustics in office for audio video - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Improving acoustics in office for audio video
Old 26th February 2021
  #1
Gear Nut
 
Improving acoustics in office for audio video

I am doing some audio video in my small office which measures 9ft x 10ft x 9ft (high ceiling). The space is kind of awkward with a window behind my desk, closet door opposite of that, and the entry door in the back corner. The room is very reverberant (when I clap or talk loud there is an audible echo).

Below are some images of the floorplan of my office. The acoustic panels shown in the images are what I thought of trying. I don't have any treatment at all right now.





(I have sent this to GIK, but looking for community feedback as well)

Up until now I've been using a dynamic mic which has worked very well for me. I just got a indoor dialog boom (supercardioid) to use "out of frame" of my camera. It's 14" away above me and my main screen (not in images, wasn't sure how to add that). The mic works decent, but the echo is more problematic vs the dynamic.

I'm not looking for anything perfect, just a noticeable improvement that significantly reduces or removes the echo. Possibly even reduce / absorb some of the background computer fan noise.

I don't have any plans to have studio monitors or do any mixing. My High/Low pass filters are set at 60hz and 18,000hz.

Currently looking at GIK Acoustics. Seen a few posts here mentioning them. Their 242 panels cost around $50, which is a good price. I'm looking to spend between $200-$300. Could be convinced to spend a little more if needed.

It looks like their 242 panels use fiberglass. I've seen some other companies simply wrap panels in fabric with an exposed back. Does GIK do anything on the back or otherwise to ensure it is sealed and nothing gets out? I'm slightly concerned with being in the room 24/7, but I get that sound engineers are around this stuff all the time anyway.

Also looking at their Alpha foam panels, although those seen to be more expensive. I thought foam was bad, with Auralex being better than stuff you buy on Amazon, but still not good for lower frequencies. Are their Alpha panels different somehow, or is it pretty much the same stuff? Are there any other vendors besides Auralex and GIK that make decent foam panels? Would I want to use them, or is 703 the best way to go? Would a mix of both help? Or just 703?
Old 26th February 2021
  #2
Lives for gear
 
avare's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Can/do you have resources to DIY? I assume with measures you are in the USA. If you can, make absorbers with 9" or at a minum 6" thick Roxul Safe n Sound. Distribute then evenly on the walls staggering them to not face each other and put twice the density on the ceiling.

Foam works but is incedibly expensive for good performance. GIK products are good. Mineral wools do not emit particles when not physically moved.

Enjoy!

edit: I originally mistakenly wrote Rockboard.

Last edited by avare; 26th February 2021 at 08:41 PM.. Reason: Contextual error
Old 26th February 2021
  #3
Lives for gear
 
rosewood123's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Hi @ avare , I'm in a similar situation with putting together an at-home mix room. I'm going to do a bunch of rockwool safe'n'sound panels. The dimensions of the room are 143.25 x 130.5 x 82.5 inches. The ceiling is very low, unfortunately, but the room is at least symmetrical.

I'm still trying to decide on 4" or 6" panels. Since there isn't a ton of space, I may do a bunch of 4" panels and then a 6" panel at the back directly behind the listening position. Each panel will be open on both sides and covered with fabric, and I plan to drill pseudo-randomized holes in the sides of the wooden frames.

My question to you is this: Would leaving some space between the panels and drywall walls be effective? I would only move them out an inch. Anymore would be unfeasible and I don't think it would fly in terms of aesthetics with my other family members living in the house. I'd like to do a cloud above sitting position with a bit of space, but this could only be about an inch too, especially with the low ceiling height.

Any other suggestions also welcome, of course.
Old 26th February 2021 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
avare's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosewood123 ➡️
Hi @ avare , I'm in a similar situation with putting together an at-home mix room. I'm going to do a bunch of rockwool safe'n'sound panels. The dimensions of the room are 143.25 x 130.5 x 82.5 inches. The ceiling is very low, unfortunately, but the room is at least symmetrical.

I'm still trying to decide on 4" or 6" panels. Since there isn't a ton of space, I may do a bunch of 4" panels and then a 6" panel at the back directly behind the listening position. Each panel will be open on both sides and covered with fabric, and I plan to drill pseudo-randomized holes in the sides of the wooden frames.

My question to you is this: Would leaving some space between the panels and drywall walls be effective? I would only move them out an inch. Anymore would be unfeasible and I don't think it would fly in terms of aesthetics with my other family members living in the house. I'd like to do a cloud above sitting position with a bit of space, but this could only be about an inch too, especially with the low ceiling height.

Any other suggestions also welcome, of course.
It will improve low end absorption a bit.
Old 26th February 2021 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
rosewood123's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by avare ➡️
It will improve low end absorption a bit.
Great. Thanks so much. I'll do the inch of space between the walls and panels then (maybe a bit more if I can).

I'd like to put bass traps in the front two corners from floor to ceiling as well (or maybe just a portion between floor and ceiling), but I'm unsure of what to do here. Maybe membrane absorbers? There's not a ton of space so it could be hard to do, and diy options might get tricky to implement.
Old 26th February 2021 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by avare ➡️
Can/do you have resources to DIY? I assume with measures you are in the USA. If you can, make absorbers with 9" or at a minum 6" thick Roxul Safe n Sound. Distribute then evenly on the walls staggering them to not face each other and put twice the density on the ceiling.

Foam works but is incedibly expensive for good performance. GIK products are good. Mineral wools do not emit particles when not physically moved.

Enjoy!

edit: I originally mistakenly wrote Rockboard.
6" or 9" panels? Or traps? Does the Roxul need to be thicker than 703?

If the cost is reasonable, I would rather buy the panels. Don't have a lot of time, and I'm not sure my DIY skills are up to the task. If the cost was significant enough I would probably consider it more.

So with the panels I put in the picture, I should avoid putting the across from each other?


Quote:
Originally Posted by rosewood123 ➡️
Hi @ avare , I'm in a similar situation with putting together an at-home mix room. I'm going to do a bunch of rockwool safe'n'sound panels. The dimensions of the room are 143.25 x 130.5 x 82.5 inches. The ceiling is very low, unfortunately, but the room is at least symmetrical.

I'm still trying to decide on 4" or 6" panels. Since there isn't a ton of space, I may do a bunch of 4" panels and then a 6" panel at the back directly behind the listening position. Each panel will be open on both sides and covered with fabric, and I plan to drill pseudo-randomized holes in the sides of the wooden frames.

My question to you is this: Would leaving some space between the panels and drywall walls be effective? I would only move them out an inch. Anymore would be unfeasible and I don't think it would fly in terms of aesthetics with my other family members living in the house. I'd like to do a cloud above sitting position with a bit of space, but this could only be about an inch too, especially with the low ceiling height.

Any other suggestions also welcome, of course.
From what I've read on the subject, having an air gap makes a significant improving on absorption. The GIK panels I'm looking at has a built-in air gap (wider frame).
Old 26th February 2021 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
rosewood123's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSct ➡️
From what I've read on the subject, having an air gap makes a significant improving on absorption. The GIK panels I'm looking at has a built-in air gap (wider frame).
Thanks. Yes, I've been reading this too. Ideally, I'd like to do 4" or more of space between the panels and walls, but this just doesn't seem doable right now for the room. There will be some extra gear in there too (outboard, guitars, guitar amps, a few various other items), so I'll quickly run out of space.
Old 26th February 2021 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
avare's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSct ➡️
6" or 9" panels? Or traps? Does the Roxul need to be thicker than 703?

If the cost is reasonable, I would rather buy the panels. Don't have a lot of time, and I'm not sure my DIY skills are up to the task. If the cost was significant enough I would probably consider it more.

So with the panels I put in the picture, I should avoid putting the across from each other?
Why are you asking about 703? First of all I wrote Safe n sound at the stock (6" or 6" and 3") thicknesses. The appropriate depths re quire appropriate materials. A bottle of bourbon does not resemble a bottle beer. 703 is an inferior product.

If you are buyinh panels why are you asking about components?

Yes, avoid putting them across from each other.
Old 26th February 2021 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by avare ➡️
Why are you asking about 703? First of all I wrote Safe n sound at the stock (6" or 6" and 3") thicknesses. The appropriate depths re quire appropriate materials. A bottle of bourbon does not resemble a bottle beer. 703 is an inferior product.

If you are buyinh panels why are you asking about components?

Yes, avoid putting them across from each other.
I ask about the components because I want to know what I'm putting into my environment..? As far as I know GIK uses 703. And that's inferior to Safe n Sound? I thought they were about the same with 703 being more dense..?

Component wise, just want to make sure it's safe for a room I'm in 24/7. And that the particles are prevented from escaping. With the understanding that people do this all the time safely, so I'm not jumping on the conspiracy theory bandwagon. Acoustic performance is somewhat a factor, where less material with higher performance is desirable, balanced with cost.

I just realized that I read the site wrong. They are closer to $70 per panel in a 3 pack. My brain thought "small to big" in the table, but they actually put the 24x48 on the top, so it's a 3 pack and not a 4 pack. So 6 panels with shipping is close to $600.

For me to DIY or not depends on the cost + time ratio. And the quality of bought panels vs my DIY panels keeping particulates in. I get it isn't rocket science, but I tend to botch DIY projects.
Old 26th February 2021
  #10
Lives for gear
 
rosewood123's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Thinking about it now, would it be effective to create a frame that's 6" in depth and fill it with 4" rockwool, leaving an air gap of 2", and then mount it directly to the wall? That way there's an air gap of 2" between the drywall and the rockwool.
Old 26th February 2021 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
avare's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosewood123 ➡️
Thinking about it now, would it be effective to create a frame that's 6" in depth and fill it with 4" rockwool, leaving an air gap of 2", and then mount it directly to the wall? That way there's an air gap of 2" between the drywall and the rockwool.
What Rockwool? Rockwool is a brand, not a specific product. Safe N Sound IS a Rockwool product. Due to the differences in marketing, phases of the moon etc Safe N Sound is significantly cheaper than 703, Rockboard etc, and the best product acoustically at 6" to 9" thickness.

Yes, you can go 4" with a gap and spend much more money.
Old 26th February 2021 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
rosewood123's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by avare ➡️
What Rockwool? Rockwool is a brand, not a specific product. Safe N Sound IS a Rockwool product. Due to the differences in marketing, phases of the moon etc Safe N Sound is significantly cheaper than 703, Rockboard etc, and the best product acoustically at 6" to 9" thickness.

Yes, you can go 4" with a gap and spend much more money.
That's what I mean: Safe 'n' Sound by Rockwool. So 4" Safe 'n' Sound with a 2" gap. Or I take it you're saying it's just better to go with 6" and no gap (?). Or maybe I could do 6" with a 1" gap, but that's pushing it a bit for my available space.
Old 26th February 2021 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosewood123 ➡️
Thinking about it now, would it be effective to create a frame that's 6" in depth and fill it with 4" rockwool, leaving an air gap of 2", and then mount it directly to the wall? That way there's an air gap of 2" between the drywall and the rockwool.
I have a vague understanding on how this stuff works. I'm learning just like you are. But I would imagine the size of the air gap can effect the performance of which frequencies are absorbed better. The idea of the air gap is to bounce sound into the back side of the acoustic material.

Purchased panels like the GIK ones have had testing done on them, so you would have a better idea of the performance. DIY panels, it's hard to say how these adjustments would effect the performance. If you want to tinker with it, it's probably a good idea to get measurement microphone and test it and not guess. The Behringer ECM8000 seems popular, usually goes for $80. Sweetwater has it for $40 right now, although it's on back order.

My problem is what kind, how many, and where to put them for my use-case. Which is just me with headphones recording my voice into an overhead boom that is relatively close. With computer fans in the background. Not using monitors or blasting music in the room.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosewood123 ➡️
That's what I mean: Safe 'n' Sound by Rockwool. So 4" Safe 'n' Sound with a 2" gap. Or I take it you're saying it's just better to go with 6" and no gap (?). Or maybe I could do 6" with a 1" gap, but that's pushing it a bit for my available space.
Probably yes. Safe n Sound is not rigid. It is less dense. Apparently better for low end.
Old 26th February 2021 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
avare's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosewood123 ➡️
That's what I mean: Safe 'n' Sound by Rockwool. So 4" Safe 'n' Sound with a 2" gap. Or I take it you're saying it's just better to go with 6" and no gap (?). Or maybe I could do 6" with a 1" gap, but that's pushing it a bit for my available space.
To quote me, "huh?" Safe N Sound comes in 3" and 6" thicknesses. 3" of it is not appropriate. I wrote 6". That is what I mean. The next increment is 9" (6" and 3" together).
Old 26th February 2021 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
rosewood123's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSct ➡️
My problem is what kind, how many, and where to put them for my use-case. Which is just me with headphones recording my voice into an overhead boom that is relatively close. With computer fans in the background. Not using monitors or blasting music in the room.

Probably yes. Safe n Sound is not rigid. It is less dense. Apparently better for low end.
Thanks for the info. I'd recommend a good PC case like something from Fractal Design and a quiet CPU fan (I use the Noctua NH D15 and it's silent). I picked these up for my PC and it's silent under heavy load now. You can also adjust your case fans in your BIOS setup, of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by avare ➡️
To quote me, "huh?" Safe N Sound comes in 3" and 6" thicknesses. 3" of it is not appropriate. I wrote 6". That is what I mean. The next increment is 9" (6" and 3" together).
Oh, I see. I must have misread measurements when I was looking at Safe n Sound on the hardware store website (I thought one of the measurements was 2" depth, but I am clearly mistaken).

Okay, in that case, the 6" seems to be the best bet for me. I will consider the 6"+3" if I can do it.

Thanks for your help.
Old 27th February 2021 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosewood123 ➡️
Thanks for the info. I'd recommend a good PC case like something from Fractal Design and a quiet CPU fan (I use the Noctua NH D15 and it's silent). I picked these up for my PC and it's silent under heavy load now. You can also adjust your case fans in your BIOS setup, of course.



Oh, I see. I must have misread measurements when I was looking at Safe n Sound on the hardware store website (I thought one of the measurements was 2" depth, but I am clearly mistaken).

Okay, in that case, the 6" seems to be the best bet for me. I will consider the 6"+3" if I can do it.

Thanks for your help.
I have Fractal already. It's not loud per-sey. It just causes a lot sound frequencies to bounce around the room to be picked up by the mic. A dynamic mic tunes a good portion of that out, but condenser picks up more of it.
Old 27th February 2021 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
rosewood123's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSct ➡️
I have Fractal already. It's not loud per-sey. It just causes a lot sound frequencies to bounce around the room to be picked up by the mic. A dynamic mic tunes a good portion of that out, but condenser picks up more of it.
Ah, okay. I found the cpu fan made the biggest difference for me, and making sure all the fans are set not to blast if the computer isn't being taxed.
Old 1st March 2021
  #18
Gear Nut
 
It looks like Roxul rebranded as Rockwool.

Thinking about possibly building my own bass traps and panels. The issue I have is finding Rockwool at all. The closest store to have it is an hour drive away, while all my local hardware brands don't have the brand at all.

These are my options at my local stores:

Homedepot:
- Owens Corning Thermafiber Fire and Sound Guard Unfaced Mineral Wool
- Owens Corning R-15 Thermafiber UltraBatt Unfaced Mineral Wool Insulation
- Mix of Owens Corning Pink Faced/Unfaced R-13, R-15, R-19, R-30, R-38

Lowes:
- Johns Manville mix of different R types Faced/Unfaced
- R-13, R-19 Ultratouch

The Lowes an hour away has Rockwool Safe and Sound at 16", but not 24".

I can order Safe and Sound 16" or 24", but the minimum order is 3 (so $130-$200).

Are any of my options equivalent, or am I better off ordering it online and have it shipped to the store?

If I build triangular bass traps, lets say 16" x 16" x 22.63" triangle, are 6" for side walls needed? Is that size of a triangle sufficient, or should I go larger, lets say 24" x 24" x 33.94"?

(Also trying to determine if I should order the 16" or 24" Rockwool; 24" isn't common in my area as our building codes standardize on 16" studs)

How high should I go with the traps? Floor to ceiling? 48"?

Any recommendations on my back two corners (see picture in first post)? I don't exactly have space to put traps there. Thinking about alternatively hanging them horizontally between wall and ceiling in the back as an alternative.
Old 2nd March 2021 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
rosewood123's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSct ➡️
It looks like Roxul rebranded as Rockwool.

...
I suppose all this depends on your design goals. It sounds like you're approaching treating your room like a mix/listening room (I believe you said you're not really doing mixing or much listening). It's probably still fine if you're doing voice work, and bass trapping would always be a good idea, I'd imagine. Live rooms can be a different thing, but I suppose a fairly non-reflective room with effective bass trapping is good for voice work. I've never designed a mainly vocal recording space, however, and there will be lots out there who clearly know much more than me about it.

I have a Dayton EMM-6 measurement mic coming in. This will help me to plan and set up my room (obviously). It's looking like avare's recommended thickness of at least 6" to 9" panels for Safe n Sound makes much more sense at 9". I calculated the absorption coefficients and they become well more effective with 9" in low frequencies. I doubt 6" will approach even being decent enough for the low modes that I'll be getting in my room (which I calculated with amroc and other calculators). I'm also trying to follow principles of RFZ design, and I worry I'll be getting good mid and high frequency absorption without enough bass absorption. Upping the thickness of the panels will help to keep the high absorption coefficients for higher frequencies while more effectively addressing low frequencies (though still only with coefficients of .20 to .40 in critical areas). I imagine I'll still need to prioritize corner bass traps, and designing this could get tricky.

I did see a paper that avare posted in another thread about the absorptive properties of drywall cavities. There is a room that's directly behind my back wall that's about 8 feet in depth, and the back wall is covered with only one sheet of drywall and no insulation behind (there is not another layer of drywall behind in the room behind and no insulation). Perhaps this will help absorb bass frequencies (?).

I guess time will tell how things go once I begin measuring and treating the room. I do wish I could create a space with deeper absorption, and at times I feel like I should give up because 6" to 9" of absorption may not be good enough. In times like these, I dream of having options with a commercial space. But I have no other options right now. Acoustics are a very interesting and often frustrating topic! But worth it, no doubt.

I was also looking into doing tube traps for bass, but obtaining the necessary pipe insulation would be difficult and it's hard to find information about absorption properties (though I've heard they're very effective).
Old 21st March 2021
  #20
Gear Nut
 
I was in a similar room trying to get the best sound possible while teaching virtually for eleven months.
If all you’re doing is trying to capture your voice a bit better, it’s easy to DYI using SnS (at least 6” with 9” being better as said by the awesome professionals here) if you have the means to do so or with panels made by GIK.

I already had a small collection of GIK stuff, so I used that. Their stuff is quality. I also couldn’t go crazy at home, so I did just enough to get a sound I liked for teaching.

To just improve things enough to make a dynamic sound better or to use a good shotgun mic off camera and eliminate a lot of your room from your audio, first go ahead and change your high and low pass filters to 80 and 16000, respectively, if you can. It’s good enough for audiobooks, and it works great with streamed media.

Next, put floor-to-ceiling bass traps in the front two corners. (I have two 24x48 GIK 244 bass trap panels stacked on top of each other in each, and they work well for this—especially since it was just for voice and the HPF rolls off everything under 80Hz.)

Then, put a thick 48”x48” square on each wall to your left and right.

Finally, while not ideal but as a great option since your closet is behind you, open the closet when recording. I packed ours full of clothes hanging up and extra pillows and folded clothes on the shelf above and floor below. It actually makes a positive difference. Thick GIK or SnS panels on the rear wall would be better, but the closet prevents that. (You can also put a sheet or something over the closet door to hide its contents from your videos.) For virtual teaching and videos made for my kids, this sounded light years better than my untreated room.

Looking for more, I did add two GIK PIBs directly behind me to give a better visual background and tighten the audio up a bit. Also, in an attempt to do something with the window, I added thick blackout curtains, but I don’t know if they really did anything.

Can you do more? Oh yeah! Will this sound better than what you have? Without question. With this setup my RE20 shines, and I like using my MKH 416. This is a arrangement works with those mics, but it doesn’t do enough to the room for me to want to use any of my cardioid condenser mics.

Good luck!
📝 Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 412 views: 121251
Avatar for MSR74
MSR74 2 days ago
replies: 5789 views: 1867581
Avatar for Funny Cat
Funny Cat 6 hours ago
replies: 62 views: 66320
Avatar for Alex Kretov
Alex Kretov 27th May 2019
replies: 74 views: 32055
Avatar for Apendica
Apendica 20th November 2019
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump