I’ve been wanting to turn my old workshop into a music studio and chill out area since last year but with the impact of Covid19 its been difficult to get started, this week i managed to get some time to clear the space and lay some wood flooring i had spare.
This is still a work in progress, at the moment im still testing the space, since i still havent setup any room correction, only testing the space using the behringer DSP8024 the results as expected are extrememly dissapointing. Using the behringers auto calibration system using an EMC8000 mic correction shows a sporradic and stereo unbalanced response.
This is as expected seeing that the left speaker has a boundary as opposed to the right speaker being open to the rest of the 20 foot long shed.
I plan to move the desk position to to the back wall. I find that im wanting to push the speakers further appart but lacking space in what ive designed so far.
Building the partition
I wanted a really sturdy partition to absorb as much low frequency content. So I’m building it again from the same pile of bits I have as strong as I can. It’s going to be crammed with fiber fill and then lined on the outside with double sheets of plasterboard. The insides going to be 3mm fiber board with perforations. I’m hoping this will allow the wave to travel into the cavity and disperse within the fibers. Its a theory right now but I will test this as I go.
I spent some time thinking about how I wanted the desk to function, its going to be mainly used for producing music but a bit of gaming and that too. I wanted the midi keyboard to slide out from underneath like most studios have, It seems a fitting solution to using it as a normal desk too, at least that way i dont have to pack anything away when i want to work or game.
I needed space to house a small amount of equipment with some thought into a future proof design.
I searched around for lots of ideas online and saw alot of high end studios that looked amazing aswell as many home studios that blew my mind! It seemed like there were two obvious camps, one camp was get the job done thrown together over the years cables all over the place in a working environment or a complex beautiful purpose built rooms with lush lighting expensive desks and equipment, the latter drew me in, they all seemed to have an inspiring natural vibey feel about them, they were themed or oozing inspiration.
I wanted the same for myself, so im planning to create a space with a midnset, a vibe, a feeling. I want the room to resonate my style and inspire me to write, compose and design.
170cm wide with 21″ angled lower section for any future rackmount gear to be housed
Im using an Akai 249 midi keyboard, I made a draw that will be underhung on some ball bearing heavy duty long extention 750mm draw runners.
Keyboard support and PC stand
The 3×3″ blocks which join the desk to the draw needed support and fixing to the floor to minimise wobble, with these in place the keyboard is firm and stable now even when fully extended.
The supports make a perfect place to house my pc on a shelf and run a cable management system upto the back of the top shelf allowing for the HDMI, 5.1 audio cables which connect to the Behringer DSP8024. I also need to run USB cables to the Focusrite Scarlet 4in4, The Behringer BCF2000, Extention lead for Logitec mouse and keyboard dongle.
I decided to start studio life with some KRKs, im used to their coloration and wanted to keep using them so I can A/B them from their current room to this new location. Being a completely wooden structure im expecting a big difference in response.
I decided that i would sit the speakers on concrete slabs giving them a heavy and solid foundation to rest uppon. When spending a few weeks testing the setup before finishing I found the desk resonating between ???? Hz.
The slab will sit housed inside the upper section and be decoupled by the same spike techniques used in Hi-Fi speakers, Inbetween the speakers and slab ill be using foam pads to further extend the decoupling process. Heres a render of the idea i have.
The slab sits inside the plinth but floating on a bed of insulating rubber then the whole plinth will float on spikes underneath.
The upper sections i wanted decoupled from the desk and wall so that I could keep vibrational transfer to a minimum, I worked out that with some fancy but simple and cheap techniques you can achieve really great results and hopefully keep the neighbours happy.
The monitor riser keeps the screen at eye level and in line with the speakers it also houses the Scarlet 4i4
I decided I wanted the Behringer DSP8024 and the LED meter to sit directly under the monitor infront of me under the top section, It gives me clean line of site to the spectrum analyser and db level meter.
I wasnt going to build this studio twice in a short space of time, this has to be a one time deal which integrates into the partitioning wall and creates a nook i can loose myself in creatively, The space has to work long term, the desk must be robust and acousticaly as dead as possible so that any future upgrade to the speakers or an addition for a subwoofer doesnt create resonance or vibration.
Bass traps and sound absorption panels could be made to help reduce energy buildup in the room, being a completely wooden shed enclosure except a concrete floor with multiple layers of chipwood and hardwood flooring put down including now some 12mm laminate. First and second reflections will be dealt with as best as possible with absorbtion panels, I think my biggest problem will be energy absorbtion, resonance and vibration control. I cant for now make any assumptons on what i will need to do to deal with it, all i can do is plan materials and deal with the issues as they present themselves by testing the room with a calibrated mic.
I designed these acoustic panel faces in sketchup and routed them out of MDF, filled with a 4in” layer of foam with 4″ of fiber fill and and burlap cloth topper it should absorb up a good portion of midrange and high frequency reflections from the sides, they are 120 x 50 x 12cm and cover a large enough section from floor to ceiling to absorb direct and indirect reflections.
At the back i have planned for some floor to ceiling bass traps which involve the use of two techniques i will be experimenting with once everything is built. Aswell as using corner frames with polyfill it will include a quater wavelenth internal structure to pull down the xx hz node i have already found the room to have.
I designed in some 21″ angled sections on each side of the keyboard future proofing my desk so that if I ever bought external hardware I have two sections under the desk on each side slightly facing me that I could fabricate cabinets that slide under with 19″ rackmount mounting fixings.
Before finishing everything up i spent about a week listening to music, producing and playing around with speaker positioning before getting the RTA out and using the DSP8024 to tune the room nodes out
Before using the DSP available on the KRKs i decided i would use the Behringer to tune out any resonant frequencies and work in the flattest response i could achieve. Once i knew what frequencies i had to dip i could then make the decision of where to play around with the KRK settings.