of Magic Feathers

Small Room – Multiple Usages

It is the trend today. We use smaller rooms and expect more out of them. We use our smaller rooms to mix, record, and even master in. Real estate is expensive and with DAWs, we expect our rooms to perform multiple functions which back in the day were reserved for individual rooms with dedicated functions in larger studios. The solution is portable or movable treatment technology. We need to be able to create the room acoustic for each desired function.

Project Start

It started out as an upstairs bedroom. It was a small room and fell into the yellow area on our room size and volume chart. We needed more volume and ceiling height. Ceiling height is the most critical dimension when it comes to all audio rooms whether mixing, mastering, voice, or live. The ceiling height to floor distance results in unwanted low frequency pressure issues throughout the room since the ceiling runs the full length and width along with a time delayed reflection to our listening and monitoring positions that must be managed correctly with diffusion or absorption depending on usage.

Once the ceiling height was extended, the room was “skinned” with furniture grade veneered plywood. We do not recommend drywall. We never use it in any of our new builds. It has a negative impact on room response especially from 800 – 2,000 Hz. Plywood has a smoother response in the middle ranges and those that have taken our advice immediately hear the difference. Terms such as organic and balanced continually come to mind when plywood is used. The multiple layers of plywood assist us in vibration reduction and the surface veneer can be stained or clear coated or a combination of both.

Team Approach

Now that we have our room, we must treat with absorption and diffusion technologies. All diffusion and absorption technologies were built on casters so they could be located throughout the dual purpose control and live room. Low frequency issues were treated with a combination of our ACDA-10 and ACDA-12 technologies. Distances in the room indicated a QD-13 would work well for full wavelength maturity and cherry wood was chosen for its smooth middle range characteristics. Bases for the diffusers contained our carbon technology to increase the low frequency absorption needs of a small room.

This project was a joint venture. The client did some work and built product. Acoustic Fields did the design and built some products. It was a combination of both skill sets that reduced costs and produced the desired results. If you have a carpentry skill set with a few years of building experience, you can reduce your costs considerably and achieve professional appearance and performance results. You can take that up stairs bedroom that you may never visit and turn it into your favorite room in the house. We all need a good music room no matter what the intended usage.

Increase in Sound Quality

“We get a better balance in frequency and amplitude for our low frequencies below 100 Hz.. We achieve a balance in presentation and in our mixes for middle and high frequencies. We hear everything both wanted and unwanted in our vocals and instruments. We get less room sound and more music. We also get the power and magic of diffusion, a term widely used but not understood.”

Contact Dennis with any diffusion questions. He understands diffusion inside and out and will match your diffusion requirements to your room size and usage.

Red Zone

The red group are rooms that produce so many low, middle, and high frequency energy issues, that large amounts of absorption treatments are required. There is not enough space for diffusion in terms of surface area or distance for wave lengths to fully form. It is the room sizes that are below 2,000 cu. ft. in total volume. The large amounts of treatment surface area, especially in the lower frequencies, will take up so much space that you might not be able to work in it.

Yellow Zone

The second group (yellow) of room sizes is from 2,000 – 4,000 cu. ft. This group of room sizes and volumes has the necessary space to allow for enough low, middle, and high frequency absorption along with enough space for diffusion. You have the space to place the appropriate low frequency absorption technologies and enough distance for diffusion to work. You will still have issues, especially in the low end but they can be predicted and managed.

Green Zone

The third group (green) is greater than 4,000 cu. ft. It is an ideal grouping of width, height, and length to allow for almost any usage. These rooms have enough distance to allow for appropriate management of all reflection time signatures, unwanted modal pressures, along with enough distances to allow for diffusion to do its job correctly and allow for all diffused wave forms to fully form.


Do You Want To Solve Your Room Acoustic Problems?

There’s no one size fits all when it comes to room acoustics.
That’s why you need an individual room acoustic analysis in order to fix the issues you’re facing in your room.
Our chief acoustics engineer Dennis Foley will analyse your room personally and the best part is: It’s 100% free!

image of acoustic foam studio pro

Acoustic Foam StudioPro

I invented our acoustic foam because I was unhappy with the performance of current open celled acoustic foams. Why? Because current foam technologies do well at absorbing frequencies above 500 Hz. but do little to absorb much energy below that level.

The human voice spans the range of 100 Hz. to 800 Hz., so special absorption attention must be paid below 500 Hz. because that is where 75% of all the vocals lie, especially male vocals. Current technology gets 50% of the absorption curve correct but forgets about the bottom half where more than 75% of the real energy is.

We wanted to achieve just the right balance of absorption below 500 Hz. and we needed to start with 125 Hz. (the bottom frequency range of the male vocal).

Read more about our Acoustic Foam StudioPro here.

About SOWA

SOWA (singer-songwriter) has been awarded in the John Lennon and North Carolina songwriting competitions. His music has been placed in film and received national distribution.


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