These rules are disclosed to clarify the various responsibilities of all community members here on Soundman2020 - Studio Design Forum. They shall be adhered to by everyone to ensure that our board runs smoothly and provides a fun and productive experience for all of our community members and visitors.
Welcome to the Soundman Acoustic and Studio Design Forum!
If you are in the process of designing or building a recording studio, home theater, church, auditorium, or any other place with acoustic needs, this forum is for you! It contains abundant information that can help you, plus there are many knowledgeable members who can offer advice about your project.
Before you post any questions or comments, please take a few moments to read through these simple rules. If you are not willing to follow them, please do not post at all, but you are still welcome to read all you want.
The forum is free to use, but there are costs involved in running it, so if you find it useful then please consider donating something to help with that. There's a small "Donate" button at the top of every page, (at the bottom edge of the forum title picture). You can use that button as often as you want!
NOTE: as an anti-spam measure, your first few posts will need to be approved by a moderator. So if your first post doesn't show up immediately, that's why. We do try to approve all legitimate posts as fast as we can, but we do need to sleep and eat occasionally, so it might happen that the approval will take a few hours. After your first few posts, they won't need approval any more, and your posts will appear right away.Continue reading below, for everything you should know and do BEFORE POSTING:
(Last update: November 2019 by Soundman2020)
New members sometimes don't supply the basic details that we need to help them. They probably won't get much help if they do that! This is not arrogance: it's related to TIME - it takes much longer to help someone who doesn't even bother to read and study the links mentioned here, or who doesn't want to follow these simple instructions. The folks here who could help you simply do not HAVE that much time. We are all unpaid volunteers, doing this because we want to help. So we can only help those people who pay attention and show that they really do want help.
This means: No attempt at providing basic details about your studio = no answer. (If you try, and we need more, we'll ask.)
The effort you put into your questions, we will put into our answers. You can see that by looking at the posts of current members: Those who put a lot of effort, time and thought into their posts, get very detailed replies.
Bottom line: - if you are willing to put in the effort, then so are we. For members who follow these simple rules, we really do put in great effort to replying as completely as we can. Members who don't even bother to fill in their profile and select their country flag, normally get no response at all! If you get no replies to your first post, then this is the most likely reason. And if you DID get a response when you had not filled in your profile location, you better go buy a lottery ticket immediately, because that type of luck does not last...
Some spammers attempt to disguise their posts quite cleverly: But they don't last more than a few minutes here, so if that's why you are here, you are out of luck.
Things that will get you banned instantly: profanity, abuse, personal attacks, and posting any type of spam at all. "Spam" includes if you made something and want to sell it to forum members. If you think you have something that would benefit forum members, and want to offer it for sale, FIRST CONTACT A FORUM ADMINISTRATOR BY PM AND ASK IF IT IS OK! This does not apply to things like: you have a few tubes of Green Glue left over that you want to sell, or a few sheets of drywall, 703, door seals, backer rod, a pane of glass, door hinges, or other materials that you bought too many of for your project, and want to get rid of. It is OK to put a brief post on the forum mentioning that you have those available.
Also, if all you post is a rough, hand-drawn diagram of your room and say "Design my studio for me".... well, that's not going to happen. That's not what this forum is about. This is a self-help forum, where you can learn how to do design and build the studio yourself, and we will help you learn. You have to do most of the work yourself, and folks here will help you out for free when you get stuck, or if you have a specific question, or if you seem to have made a mistake in your design or build. But nobody here is going to spend the hundreds of hours that it takes to design a complete studio, for free. That's a lot of work! We will do our best to help people who spend the time to get as far as they can by themselves, but if you expect someone here to design your entire studio for free, then you are in the wrong place.
If you really do need a complete design and cannot do it yourself at all, for whatever reason, then some of the moderators and administrators do offer studio design services, for a fee. If that's what you want, then please contact one of us by PM for a private quote.
There are only a dozen simple rules: (Actually a baker's dozen...)
01) First, before you do anything else:
- Review the DOWNLOAD area (click here)
- Review the REFERENCE area (click here)
These are the closest things we have to a FAQ ("Frequently Asked Questions") resource about acoustics on the forum at the moment. Many common questions about recording studio design, building a recording studio, and acoustic design, are covered there, plues there's a lot of very useful information there, along with links to other information, and even a few freebies for you to download.
02) Use the search feature to look for threads that may contain the answer to your question. The answer you need might already be here somewhere.
If those efforts do not lead you to the answers you need, you are welcome to post your questions on the forum.
03) Edit your profile to include your location. This forum is a worldwide resource, and there are large differences between material costs and availability in different countries, states, and cities... as well as differences in building codes, regulations, and laws. For example, masonry is cheaper than gypsum in some parts of the world, but it's the exact opposite in other places. We're not asking for your address or credit card number: just a country and city will do. If you do not include your real, actual location in your profile, then you are saying: "I didn't bother to read or follow these instructions" This also applies to misrepresenting your identity: If your profile says you live in the USA, but you selected the Australian flag, and your IP address shows that you actually live in Germany, then don't expect a reply to your posts. If you don't get any replies to your posts, then check to make sure that your profile is filled in properly.
04) Start your first post with an overview of your goals and where you are in the process... Research? Planning? Construction already underway? Finished, and you want to know why it doesn't work? Just one or two sentences laying out the reason why you are posting.
05) HOW LOUD are you, and how quiet do you need to be? How picky/loud are your neighbors? How close? This cannot be subjective, and must be objective, in terms of real decibels, measured with a proper sound level meter. Saying "I wanna play rock music loud and my neighbors are close" is no use at all. So you need to buy something like this:
... or any other good sound level meter. They are not expensive. For about US$ 100 you can get a good one on eBay or Amazon.com. But be warned: Stay away from the cheap US$ 25 Chinese meters... Most of those are garbage.
If you're recording/mixing/performing music then you should be using a sound level meter ALWAYS, so it's not a waste of money. For music at typical mix levels, set your meter to use "C" weighting, and "slow" response. The human ear has no way of "measuring" ABSOLUTE sound levels; it just adapts to what's there, and calls that "normal" - so if you keep raising the volume, pretty soon you're mixing at 110 dB, ruining your hearing and neighbor "atta-boy" points, etc - the SPL meter helps you keep levels constant and safe.
For all other tests, the authorities virtually ALWAYS use A weighting, and (I think) slow response. So for compliance wit regulations, use "A" weighting measurements.
06) Include as much detail as possible about the existing construction. It's very important that you provide details about your existing floor, walls, doors, windows, ceiling, stairways, halls, etc.: what are they made of? How thick? What's on the other side?. By "details", I mean enough information that I could to go buy materials and actually BUILD a nearly identical version of your construction; Things like: type of material, size of framing, if it's visible, style of construction, thickness of the window glass, is the door hollow or solid, which way do the doors open, etc. - without that level of detail we can't recommend much of anything. We need to understand what you have in order to help you.
07) Please don't say that you want to float your floor. This is almost always impractical, and WILL require a QUALIFIED LOCAL STRUCTURAL ENGINEER to verify that it will be safe. Apart from anything else, you very likely do not need to do it anyway.... for all the reasons why not, take a look at the downloads area http://spartanew.digistar.cl/Forum/viewforum.php?f=9. The only exception is if you are building on an upper level of a building, are very loud, and have a lot of money to spend on doing it right.
08) Remember that acoustics is three-dimensional, not two - when you give dimensions, please provide Length, Width, and Height! We also need to know about any unusual features of the room. For example, of one wall is curved, or the ceiling slopes, or there's a large fireplace on one wall, or a staircase. Those are all big acoustic issues, so please mention them in your post.
09) Include drawings of what you're describing if at all possible. They do not need to be professional or perfectly to scale, but they do need to account for the necessary details. Include the locations and dimensions of things like windows, doors, stairways, support pillars, beams, fireplaces, chimneys, radiators, and every other large or unmovable feature in the room. Even better than a drawing, is a SketchUp model of your room.
10) Please post ALL pictures and other documents directly to this forum instead of linking to them; If you link to pictures or documents located elsewhere, they could end up disappearing because the off-site host has moved, closed down, gone out of business, or just vanished for unknown reasons. When new members want to read and learn from those old threads, they can't follow things because the pictures and documents are no longer there. Posting your pictures HERE ensures that others get the help YOU got. Other forums place sever restrictions on the type of document you can post, and the size... but not here! Our servers have the capacity to accept all the legitimate file types you might need to post related to your studio design or build, including photos, SketchUp files, MDAT files form the REW acoustic package, PDF files, videos, audio, etc. If you need to post a file that the forum doesn't allow, or rejects as being too big, then please contact the administrator and ask to have that fixed.
11) Group your actual questions last, at the end of your post, and put each question in its own paragraph. This makes it easier to respond to each of your questions.
12) What is your Budget? Without knowing this, we have no idea if we are wasting our breath suggesting things that you cannot afford, or just as bad, not suggesting useful things that you can afford. Saying that your budget is "small", "REALLY tight", "reasonable", etc, is no use whatever. Comments like "under $500", "prefer to keep it under $2,000 but can go more if necessary", "$5,000-$10,000 MAXIMUM", will give us a clue for realistic suggestions.
Please be patient. Questions are answered in the order received (oldest first). Sometimes it might take a few days, or even a week for a response. But you won't be forgotten! If you care to ask an additional question, or provide more information before you receive a response, editing your post or add a second post. However, if you don't get a response after a week, then feel free to "bump" your thread, or contact one of the moderators or administrators by PM to ask if there is something wrong.Once again, welcome to the forum! And good luck with your acoustic project.#
We do hope you find the forum to be a useful resource, and your project turns out to be a great success!
If you you find the forum useful, please consider using the "donate" button, to show your appreciation.