About the Project"I’ve been working at Detox Unit’s new place, on what we have dubbed a "dad basement to studio conversion” project. He picked a room with a lot of potential, decently sized with Bolt compliant dimensional ratios, though lacking Bonello compliance in the second third octave. This project came with an interesting challenge, his landlord didn’t want too many holes through the lovely wooden walls which were presumably installed circa World War 2. "
Detox Unit Studio Conversion
From “Dad Basement” to Studio
Authored by Head Engineer Matt Davis
I’ve been working at Detox Unit’s new place, on what we have dubbed a “dad basement to studio conversion” project. Joe picked a room with a lot of potential, decently sized with Bolt compliant dimensional ratios, though lacking Bonello compliance in the second third octave. This project came with an interesting challenge, his landlord didn’t want too many holes through the lovely wooden walls which were presumably installed circa World War 2. With that in mind, I advised the client to buy GIK Acoustics gobo stands so that the treatment could be freestanding. As a sidenote, having these stands for the treatment expedited the install and inspired a lot of experimentation, I highly recommend trying them out. This room had a drop ceiling so I reused the trick I developed for Mr. Bill’s place (pink puffy attic insulation 9” deep, above the drop ceiling for comprehensive deep trapping). Interestingly enough, after removing the first drop ceiling’s tiles we discovered a second drop ceiling, which we subsequently demo’ed before proceeding.
Once the itchy part of the job was done I started working on the treatment layout. When I saw the room in person it struck me that it would benefit greatly from comprehensive RFZ trapping, and that we had more than enough panels to accommodate it if done carefully. With the freedom afforded by the freestanding gobos, I decided to try a pseudo-Attack wall layout with deeper traps on the walls/corners behind it. I implemented a little trick I’ve recently picked up from my friend and absolute legend, Aaron PhatChief Gandia and set the panels on either side of each speaker at less than 180 degree angles from the speaker baffle (think hornloading, but with absorptive materials). I have seen this technique demonstrated at my studio to great effect on the overall perceived width, depth, and center imaging with NO loss of localization precision, and it worked astonishingly well here as well.
During the process of chasing down the last few early reflections and excess group delay anomalies I spent a fair amount of time testing the impact of the desk and screen on resultant measurements to no avail. As an experiment I deployed the string trick to chase down an ETC anomaly at 3.5msec and at 6msec and very quickly identified the drop ceiling to be the culprit for the former, and a secondary bounce from the ceiling to the desk as being the latter. Three clouds later and the room is now within ITU/EBU compliance for early reflection control. I also took it upon myself to vet the behavior of an adjoining storage room and closet through testing with the doors open and closed. This time they both passed, most likely due to their distance from the mix position, although some weather stripping was needed to prevent rattle. A lighting ballast above the mix position also needed damping in the form of Dynamat, removal of bulbs, and the fixture stuffed with wedge foam. Lastly, foam was applied to the back of the Argosy desk racks.
As you can see in the before pictures this room is not sealed on account of a stairwell which runs up the back of the room to the main floor of the house. On the other side of that stairwell is a second room with roughly the same size as the studio. During the planning stages I knew the results would break in one of two ways. The first case would be that the modal response would behave as though this were an 19×12.5×8.5 room and yield a favorable modal behavior but with the volume of a much larger room, resulting in better subrange coherence. The second case would be that the room behaved like a 42×12.5×8.5 room and yield less favorable modal behavior. From cross-referencing measurements against simulations I have deduced this room has qualities of both cases, but leans towards the former. The stairwell is well above ear height in the middle of the rear wall, which (I believe) tipped the odds in our favor. A heavy curtain run across the back of the room has helped to reduce upper spectra RT60 anomalies that would otherwise be an issue from reverberation in the other room returning to the mix position.
This room came out really nice, with about as holographic of imaging as I’ve accomplished outside of my place so far. The voicing of the Footprint01 system is working nicely in congress with the room, and the aesthetics of the mix position are extremely cozy, as you can imagine the client is thrilled. Classic weekend.
- Date : Sep 16, 2019
- Category : Studio Design
- Client : Detox Unit
"Massive shouts to Matt Davis at Hacienda for flying out to help build and linearize my new studio. Simply blown away with how it sounds, the stereo imaging is particularly out of this world!😉 Excited to take the fidelity to the next level. If you need help setting up your studio or want an opinion I highly recommend hitting this dude up, always a pleasure to work with and really knows his stuff. Now back to cave 🔊🔊🔊"