Case Study

Home Recording Studio

Objective: In this case study of a home recording studio, we had many physical and budgetary constraints to deal with. Very important to a recording studio is to isolate noise from being recorded, as well as providing a room with neutral sound quality characteristics so that the recordings and mixes created sound good anywhere. A/V RoomService, Ltd. was to provide acoustical noise control and sound quality designs and recommendations for the shell, HVAC and electrical with drawings in accordance to the customer needs.

Observation: The client indicated that rather high levels are likely while recording or mixing in the home studio environment. It was also indicated that noise control for these high-energy sound levels to the rest of the home is extremely important, as is noise entering into the studio environment. There is living area above the studio, a garage common to one wall and three exterior walls. In addition, local codes required two door entrances and a small window.

One of the most critical design features associated with good wall, ceiling and floor noise & sound quality control is to not only to dissipate energy leaving or entering the space, but to control sound energy which is ultimately held within the room. Therefore, the recommended wall design, while providing excellent noise attenuation, is also designed to help control resonant energy and modes, which typically find their way back into to the recording/listening environment. As a result, a number of issues are looked at, including stud material, spacing, cavity depth, insulation type, air space, damping materials and surface treatments.

Solution: A/V RoomService provided information for the following:


Studio Front

Studio Rear

Result: It is hard to estimate low frequencies energies for such a small room and we were not able to perform onsite tests, however the room performs well according to the owner. We are confident that we provided the best “bang for the buck” considering the many constraints. In order to do this, we communicate the pros and cons of different options, make our recommendations based on the client/room profile, and allow the customer to make final decisions.

Room Layout

Estimated Room Modes

Estimated Reverberation times

Click to enlarge graph

“It was such a pleasure to work with Norm and Harry on the design on my new studio. The results have exceeded my expectations. Comparing my old room with the new is night and day. I immediately noticed improved imaging with individual instruments occupying specific places within the stereo spectrum instead of being generally panned to the right or left, improved tonal balance, and improved dynamics. In short, my mixes are translating better than ever and with less work. Awesome!

As construction began on the project, the “facts on the ground” made it necessary for Norm to adjust the room dimensions at the last minute when our contractor realized a structural beam prevented the HVAC ducting from being placed where original spec'ed. Norm was able to come up with a solution quickly - allowing our contractor to get back to work.

I highly recommend A/V RoomService.”.

Matt F. McCabe
Finley Sound