Acoustics Question <HELP!!>

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by hubnub, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. hubnub

    hubnub Piano User

    May 4, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    So do to certain circumstances, I'm forced to practice in the basement of our house. It's a finished basement and it doesn't disturb family or neighbors, so I can practice any time of day. What is bad is the set up of it. The dimensions are H:8' x W:12' x L:24'. Concrete floor covered with indoor/outdoor carpet, paneled walls, and plastered ceiling.

    I get no feed back at all down there and was wondering if someone could suggest a way to make it more acoustically friendly. I find myself working very hard during practice sessions and it's become quite a drag....:evil:

    I know the low ceiling has a lot to do with it. The carpet and furniture helped a bit, but it still feels "stuffy", "dead", "not resonant" (pick one). Any help to improve acoustics would be appreciated. I know it won't ever sound like a band room or concert hall, but I know there have to be ways to make practice sessions easier.

    Thanks Folks!!!
  2. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria

    Don't try to improve it. I know that it is not that enjoyable at first, but is good for practice. You can hear better all things than can be improved. Than when you go back to the band room or the concert hall you will be rolling like hell!
  3. hubnub

    hubnub Piano User

    May 4, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    Thanks Trpnick,

    I spend so much time working on sound production, I get to a club and finally feel good about my sound, but downstairs, it frustrates me.
  4. Bloomin Untidy Musician

    Bloomin Untidy Musician Piano User

    Jan 14, 2008
    The room sounds near perfect for practice. Keep the acoustic dry. I find if it is wet with reverb, it is difficult to do detailed articulation and sound work. If you can make a nice noise down there, you will sound sensational in a club! Failing that a reverb effects unit with an amp. You can turn the room into a inside a cathedral!!!!!!!!
  5. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    I agree with the above stated opinions. If the room is dead, that is great for practicing. Since there is no feedback, resonance, bounceback, "livliness" (insert own word here) you can hear more nuances of your music. I.E. articulations, ending of notes, vibrato, etc.
  6. trumpetlore

    trumpetlore Pianissimo User

    Apr 14, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    if you really want to change the acoustic, an easy way is to get a series of blinds made of a harder fabric (vinyl maybe?) you can place these around the room to add a little life to the room. I agree with the other guys, a dead room can help with certain aspects of your playing, but sometimes it can also be very tiring.
    hope you figure out what you want!
  7. MrClean

    MrClean Piano User

    Oct 22, 2005
    I would think the carpet and furniture would deaden the room. If you want reverb, hard, parallel surfaces are what you would need, with no fabric (think concrete stairwell). The ceiling height is going to be a problem. Losing the paneling and carpet might help, but your folks probably wouldn't be too happy about you ripping up the basement.

    I'm with you - I hate dead rooms, but too much reverb isn't a smart idea, either.
  8. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Try playing from corner to corner diagonally across the room: that should help a bit, but bad acoustics at home can be a blessing--if sound good there, we'll sound great in a normal hall.

    Have fun, and at least it will be somewhat cool to practice there!
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I like a more reverberant atmosphere myself.
    The feedback that you desire will be a little tough though. The general plan is a hard wall opposite a soft wall. In your case that means one long and one short wall need to become more reflective. Mirrors, cabinets, even hanging a 4x8 foot piece of chipboard on the wall (you can glue a poster of your favorite artist to it with wallpaper paste though - VB is into Jennifer Aniston, so if you want a duet buddy............) will improve the acoustics. Play in the long direction. It will minimize the early reflections that make a room feel stuffy!
  10. hubnub

    hubnub Piano User

    May 4, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    Thanks Guys!

    Bloomin/Bear : I defiantly don't want to sound like I'm in a church.... But I guess most of my frustration (now that you've brought it up) comes from the fact I've been playing out a lot as of late. Then to go down there on a night off....

    Mr.Clean: The furniture does deaden the room.... but I stand in the little area by the furniture and play to the open end. Ceiling height is a factor, but since I've read these posts, seems like not much to do about it. As far as tearing the paneling and carpet..... the folks won't care.... the wife might get pissed;-) I might try to take some of the other things out from the other side of the basement (e.g. table and chairs, kids toys) and see if that helps give it a bit of "wetness" or reverb.

    VB: I have tried to play from corner to corner.... and it does help, but I think the main thing is the low ceiling, which I have to deal with. The only drag about corner to corner is there's no place to hang my Jennifer Aniston poster;-) (lol @ Robin)

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