How to build a home music studio: speaker placement and room correction

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Following last week’s explanation on how to configure the control room of your home studio, we take a look at two crucial aspects of acoustic treatment in your home studio: speaker placement and room correction.

As for your speakers, they should be placed so that the tweeters are at ear level and the woofers are not exactly halfway between the floor and the ceiling. The speakers should form an equilateral triangle with a top just behind your head.

Using the 38% rule is a compromise between physical symmetry (good for stereo imaging) and bass response (good for a balanced mix), so check the quality of the “phantom center” in your new position. listening to a voice. He should sit in the middle. If your high frequency broadcast is up to the task, you shouldn’t have too many problems.

The stronger your speaker, the better. Hollow metal brackets aren’t great, as they can suppress your lower octave – if yours is hollow, at least fill them with kiln-dried sand. Breeze blocks are great, but should be wrapped in cling film and fabric to prevent dust from spilling out.

And don’t use foam pads for the speakers – the speakers work more efficiently when they can’t move. Whenever the cone moves, the speaker also tries to move, so preventing the speaker from moving makes the speaker more efficient. Don’t make a bad situation worse by adding soft foam to the mix!

Correction of bass response

Most small and medium sized rooms end up with a few problem areas, usually down to 60Hz and a bit higher at 150Hz. If we’re going to fix them, it’s about time we pitched MelaTech correctly.

Manufactured by H&H Group in the UK, MelaTech is a high density open cell melamine foam that delivers powerful and uniform broadband absorption from 125Hz to 250Hz and above. Buy preferably in 100mm thick panels or large pre-cut blocks, MelaTech will deal with all your high frequency reflection problems and will be an essential part in the construction of our bass treatments.

We will also need 2mm thick pre-cut steel plates (which should be easy to get from any engineering company) and 3mm rubber sheets. These will come together to make panels with good bass correction, while the MelaTech will help us correct the horn and the reflection.

You can buy diffuser panels designed specifically to break horn and reflection, but these are more expensive, and a load of shelves full of books and pieces will do just as well, if not better.

Placing MelaTech on the ceiling and bass absorption panels on the sides, between us and the speakers, will effectively remove those walls by ensuring that the high frequencies from the speakers reach our ears without reflection from above and on them. sides.

Manufacture and assembly of bass correction panels for the control room

Home studio

(Image credit: Avenir)

Step 1: First we need a way to mount our heavy panels on the walls. By using batons rather than attaching everything directly to the wall, we can minimize “wall trauma”, keeping partners, parents or owners happy. Use captive fasteners / T-nuts to attach long threaded screws to the batons, then secure the batons to the walls using wall plugs and screws.

Home studio

(Image credit: Avenir)

2nd step: Drill holes in your 1200x600x2mm steel panels to hang them on the long screws. Push them back to reduce stress on the screws. Then hang rubber sheets of the same size to dampen the steel, suppressing its reverberation. A piece of wood glued to the rubber can prevent curling if necessary. The steel plate now resonates in these problem areas, helping to cancel out the excess bass.

Home studio

(Image credit: Avenir)

Step 3: The rubber creates an unwanted reflective surface, so let’s use a large piece of MelaTech 100mm thick to cover it. This also means that we will cover two problems in the same space, as we will have a bass absorber and a broadband mid and high frequency absorber in the same place. Glue a drilled aluminum plate to the MelaTech as shown. Evo-Stik works well, but make sure you have good ventilation!

Home studio

(Image credit: Avenir)

Step 4: Here is the whole dual-use treatment panel. Ideally you should have a few like this and also some that are double the width (1200x1200x2mm) to make sure you are acting on a wide range of low frequencies. These panels are ideal on a wall behind the listening position, or on either side to “pop out” neighboring walls. Cover them with fabric and they will be prettier!

Kill the reflections from the ceiling and floor of the control room

Home studio

(Image credit: Avenir)

Step 1: More MelaTech or similar, but this time in bulky shapes. No matter where you get your open cell melamine foam, it’s worth buying it already cut. A steady hand and a bread knife will do the job, but unless you cover it up, it’s definitely best to preform it. Shapes like this are great for removing floor-to-ceiling float and tightening up the stereo image. Here’s how to tie them …

Home studio

(Image credit: Avenir)

2nd step: Use a drywall fixture like this to screw a circular neodymium magnet to the ceiling. This is by far the easiest way to get your foam up and down, and if you accidentally hit it with something, it will move rather than get a hole in it. The magnets also allow for position adjustment, of course, so you can easily move your shapes alongside in your ad-hoc voice booth!

Home studio

(Image credit: Avenir)

Step 3: Use 200x100mm aluminum plates as magnetic fasteners. Again, Evo-Stik will do the job, but for the best seal, use a glue gun and then a hot iron on the griddle for a minute or two, and let dry overnight. If your ceiling is high enough, use a long screw on the magnet, creating a space of 200mm between the MelaTech and the ceiling. This increases the efficiency, as the sound hits the MelaTech, rises to the ceiling, and then comes back through the MelaTech.

Home studio

(Image credit: Avenir)

Step 4: Last but not least, the flooring. If possible, use a heavy underlay and a woolen twist rug. In addition to softening the room, it will be very comfortable! Add to that an extra mat under the chair and you will have virtually eliminated floor-to-ceiling problems. The general rule with home rooms is that they are never great acoustically, so the idea is to kill glare completely.


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