Do I need a designer?

Of course you do! but that doesn’t mean the designer isn’t you! without wanting to use “it depends”, sorry, it depends. to be an effective designer of a complex studio construct where isolation, treatment, layout, aesthetics all play important roles, it will take a lot of study and practice to create a proper design. and if physics and acoustics and construction engineering are not your primary skill set, then its an uphill road. on the other hand, if you are simply looking to treat an existing room using DIY or commerically available acoustic treatment products (such as GIK Acoustics, Real Traps, etc), you can probably learn what you need to know in just a few weeks of self-study on the product sites and main acoustic forums.

You might need to learn a bit of math and some terminology but the essentials are learning to accept room modes as the primary problem area for small spaces, and getting the RT60 adjusted for your space. a room mode is simply the result of sound waves being trapped within a set of walls, floor, and ceiling. RT60 is the reverberation time. usually, once you add the treatments for room modes using broad band treatments (broad band meaning wide number of frequencies) you can often find that RT60 and miscellaneous echoes also come under control. in “dry rooms “(low RT60) you might need to add some panels (like plywood or boards) to get some life back into the room. in “wet rooms” (large RT60 or lots of echoes) you will want to add absorption to get all the energy (sound is energy) from bouncing around for too long a time. It depends…

Did that sound alien? possibly. but in a short time you can review product sites for examples of solving common room problems, some reading up on the acoustics forums, you can learn what all this means to you and prepare you to make the decisions needed to shape your space.

Mysterious Visitations

one of the cool things about having a web site is the ability to view activity reports which show you how people are using the site and hopefully to gain some insight into things that people find useful. one pattern i’m seeing are people (anonymously) making 2, 3, or 4 visits to the site and repeated visits to the contact page and my design checklist page, all without contacting me! i don’t mind (really) but if you want to call me to discuss your project, please don’t feel that you will end up being obligated to hire me on the spot. i often advise bigger potential clients to “shop around” because designers can often provide important ideas on how to approach your project (for free!) and this can help you to more effectively determine what path (and designer(s)) you should take.

so if you are on your 2nd or more visits to my site and you want to chat, email or telephone me. if you’re international, email me to set up a time to talk via IM .

Cheers!