#1
So, the building that we are currently using as a practice space is getting demolished in a few months. Luckily we managed to secure a new space, but it turns out its pretty big. It used to a be a kitchen for a kindergarten, so its big, tall, and most of all, echoy as fuck. What we decided to do, is to basicly build a room inside a room, with drywall and some sound isolation. We are using drywall for construction and then using glass wool or something similar (covered with felt of course) for sound and heat insulation, as well as some difusers and those fancy pyramid foams to get rid of echoing.

What we dont really know tho, is what dimensions, or even shape, should the room be. So far we practiced in an old garage, a small storage room and the latest was an abandoned office, that was around 4.5x3m, or something similar. We are a 4 piece band, with a pretty substantial drum set, 2 guitars and bass. We all have a half stack setup, so a head with a 412 speaker box, and we need space for 3 microphones so that all 3 of us can sing comfortably. Id also like to have space for a couch and a dedicated laptop and mixer stand.

I was thinking of making a 5x5m room would be good for this? Surely we could space ourselves around better in a square room than in a rectangle that we currently have? Basicly every member would take one side, and thats it. One corner would have the laptop and mixer, and two corners would have the PA speakers, oposite each other. Or, have each member take one corner and have the PA and the computer/mixer in the sides? I was thinking the ceiling should be at least 3m, but id rather have it at 3.5m

We were also thinking of adding a control room and a vocal booth, if we ever decided to record there, but that would be built next to the practice room, so thats not really an issue.

Anyway, any ideas? We have a really good oportunity here, to create a great practice space, and i really dont wanna fuck it up from the start by designing the room wrong.
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
Last edited by gorkyporky at Dec 1, 2016,
#2
Personally I'd want to use all the space available, sometimes it is good to work in a circle so you can communicate easily, other times you'd want to set up as if you were on stage performing live. Space lets you move around. I'd also avoid having the room symmetrical in any two dimensions. That's to avoid setting up any room resonances which can end up making the sound very confused.

you need to think about soundproofing so that you won't disturb any neighbours. there are grades of plasterboard (drywall) that are good for that, two layers with fibreglass or rockwall in between are adequate but most of your sound will escape the cracks round doors and windows so take care to seal those. The next consideration is ventilation. My experience of sound proofed rooms is that they get hot very quickly. You can buy heat exchangers that pump the warm damp air out and bring colder dryer air in through concentric insulated piping. The heat recovered can be directed into a reception area to save on heating if you wish and the long pipes will reduce sound transmission.

Then you need to control reflections in the room. Reduce the number of hard surfaces and treat at least three surfaces. Either floor or ceiling and then one of each opposite pair of walls to start with. You don't want it too dead for live practice and you can move temporary screens for recording. The cheapest way of doing this is probably to use high density rockwall batts and cover them in fabric. Soft furniture also helps as a sound trap. Carpet and thick underlay will help with floors as will thick heavy curtains with walls, I'd start with relatively little sound dampening and build it up over time until you get it sounding right, you'll know when you pass the sweet spot.

There's loads more you can read on this and I'll bet there's specialist forums where you'll get better advice than mine. Let us know how it works out.
#3
Bigger is better, no 2 walls the same length, avoid parallel walls, lose the foam wedges and build proper bass traps instead. I like a solid floor with throw rugs instead of carpet. Partial isolation of the drum kit so you can keep your rehearsal volume well-contained and hear your vocals really well.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY