#1
I play, record, and do most music related stuff in my basement, which has some serious flaws. Firstly, the ceiling is only 210cm high. Secondly, the dimensions of the main room are 3.6m x 7.8m, so 1:2 ratio, which is quite bad. Thirdly, if I want to make basstraps, two corners in the back are problematic because one is obstructed and the other is just a little piece of wall (22cm).

The biggest issue I experience is a big resonance at 160Hz. It's huge, and makes some music sound really bad (feels like my head is just getting filled and blocked with the resonant bass, like it's blocking my ears).

Here is an image of the room:


What do you recommend? Will just two basstraps help with the 160Hz resonance? Should I place fibreglass panels on the ceilling? Is a diffusor above the listener's head a good idea? Should I absorb or diffuse at the first reflection points? Should I cover the back wall with a lot of fibreglass, leave it flat or place a diffusor there? Is the very low ceilling a huge problem (I have no other rooms) ?

EDIT: There is a typo in the picture, the actual dimensions are 3.6 x 7.8 !!!
Last edited by ArturPr at Feb 28, 2017,
#2
I think the height is definitely a very bad thing...

Maybe try along the long wall with your back to the door or desk to the side of the entrance door. Maybe build a few movable gobos stuffed with rockwool/isolation material and wheel these around on the side of your monitoring position and behing you until you get better results. On this room honestly, I wouldn't know what to recommend besides just getting a nice pair of headphones and hoping for the best.

What kind of monitors are you using? Maybe something without a subwoofer for starters might help.
#3
Well, I didn't even buy monitors yet, I got headphones because even normal pc speakers could make the room resonate and sound crap. The problem is I can't play guitar with headphones, nor really record it because the resonance sometimes leaks into the mic
#5
I thought about it but I can just aswell build some basstraps for the same effort. But are just 2 or 3 corner floor-to-ceiling basstraps enough to tame the huge 15dB peak @ 160Hz?

I know this room will never be great, but I want it as least crappy as possible (doesn't make me wanna vomit = good enough)
#6
Recording guitar amp in this room unless wrapped around in bkanket, isolated or with one of the mic shields to prevent room leak will probably never sound right but bass traps and acoustic panels should help sonewhat.
We had a nasty reh. room like that when we were kids, we lined the whole ceiling with acoustic foam. It was better than before, but the boxy sound never got away. Ours was about 6.5ft ceiling, 12x8ft or something like that.
#7
Never hurts to try stuff.

Your dimensions, though close to 2:1, are not exactly and might not be as bad as you think. (it's 1.88:1) I believe it is one of those things where, the closer you get, the exponentially worse it gets. So, for instance, a room that is 1.7:1 is probably perfectly fine. 1.8:1 is probably reasonably okay. 1.9:1 is noticeably worse. 2:1 is noticeably worse again.

Trap as much as you can. You've got two great big corners at the front on either side of your desk. Build two big-ass traps there. Yes, put in first reflection absorption, and yes, put in a cloud at the first reflection on the ceiling, and yes, put in some absorption on the wall behind you.

Don't forget that you actually have 12 corners in a room. We always think about the four vertical ones, but there are four horizontal corners around the perimeter of the ceiling, and four horizontal ones around the perimeter of the floor. Maybe you could put traps along the back wall behind you that will go horizontally - one along the floor and one along the ceiling - instead of the vertical ones?

Carpet the floor if you haven't already done so - at least a large area rug.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#8
Also, what materials are your walls, ceiling and floor made of? That matters.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#9
axemanchris Thanks. There is a typo in the post and the picture, the dimensions are actually 3.6 x 7.8m. Good idea on 12 corners - I now think I could put some smaller basstraps on wall-ceiling corners.
My floor is carpeted, and all walls and the ceiling is solid concrete. No bass gets through those

diabolical Your old rehearsal room was much smaller, my basement doesn't sound "boxy", it's just the low frequency resonance that really annoys me
#10
It's not a bad sized room. It's not that unlike the room I use for my "live room" here. (About 3.3m x 6m with a similar height ceiling). The smaller the room, the more "boxy" you risk it sounding. My control room is a little less than half that size, so it needed a ton of acoustic treatment.

Solid concrete is going to present some challenges to work around. It is going to be reflective as all get out, so you're going to need way more treatment than you would if, say, they were framed walls with drywall or whatever. Maybe consider getting a heavy theatre style curtain that you can install on a track that goes around the room and have it hang about 8" from the wall or something.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#11
The curtain isn't going to work, I have a shelf on one wall and I plan to store cables hanged on a wall. I can make some simple panels from fibreglass left from making basstraps, their thickness would be 10 or 15cm. I think putting them on walls in stripes so there is always panel on one side and bare wall on the other, alternating sides
#12
Broadband absorbers should be made from semi-rigid fibreglass - not the fluffy Roxul Safe and Sound stuff you would use for the bass traps.

The semi-rigid is often marketed as a brand name "Owens Corning 703" but of course, other manufacturers make it other than OC.

I think the general recommendation is to use 4" thick panels of the semi-rigid glass, and to stand them out a bit from the wall. Mine are on little legs made out of PVC pipe that stand the panels out from the wall by about 4".

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#13
The most problematic resonance is at 160Hz, which is the 2nd harmonic of floor - ceiling standing wave, whcih is 80Hz. The 80Hz isn't audible, or at least I didn't notice it, or maybe my pc speakers can't move enough air.

Anyways, should I build a Helmholtz Basstrap tuned to 80Hz or 160Hz ? Do those work with harmonics, or only the fundamentals?

I am just planning now. Gonna have to wait at least 2 months before I can start building the bigger stuff but the Helmholtz resonator is a small enough project for now
#16
This room can work with most of the suggestions. I have worked with much worse.
-Traps along all wall to wall, and wall to ceiling corners
-Diffusers or absorbers at all 1st reflection points.
-simple moveable ISO-panels around amps to eliminate room bleed.
- Direct-in for bass amps and moveable ISO-panels around drums.
- 80-100hz HPF on all mics except kick drum.
"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
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Mar 4, 2017,
#17
Thanks. I don't plan on recording drums here, but it's cool to know that it could maybe work. I will do the trapping later this year.

Still, do Helmholtz resonators work with harmonics of their frequency or only with the fundamentals?
#18
As I recall from waveform physics a HR will effectively cancel the specific tuned frequency and reduce each harmonic by 3db. It's been a while so you should get specifics if this is your plan. If 160hz is your problem frequency, build it to 160 Hz.
"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