Get that practice room together

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by rowuk, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    The computer was my downfall too - I solved it by scanning all my music into .pdf files and using the computer as my music stand and unplugging the internet cable - it works for me. I play into the wardrobe and use the top drawer of the internal chest of drawers to support the computer on top of my socks (sox).
  2. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006
    Building a practice room.

    As large as you can but without parallel walls. A triangular room is good with the door at the apex. Use a heavy steel door like an entrance door with a double pane window.

    In the United States you can get special drywall for sound barriers. It is used in condominiums and duplexes. A double layer of dry wall on both sides will work.

    Use a 2X6 sill plate but 2X4 studs staggered so that the walls are isolated on each side of the wall. In other words. The outside wall is not connected to the practice room side of the wall. Use rock wool insulation in the walls. Not fiberglass. You can get it at a dry wall supplier.

    Contact Owens-Corning and get their basement sound deadening wall panels. They are at the home shows. The panels can be removed and installed as serves your desire for a live or dead room.

    Go to the home shows in your area and look at everything available. There are many sound isolation systems marketed for multimedia rooms.

    You need a computer so you can listen to accompanyment tracks.
    You need a television so you can watch baseball games and NASCAR races. Both are good for practicing. (Formula 1 for the Euros.)

    An attic with pitched roof is good because it doesn't have walls but has nonparallel surfaces.

    Refridgerator for cold water or ice tea without sugar. You are going to blow it through the horn in some way.

    Carpet the floor but maybe not all of it.
    A window is ok.

    A straight back chair for practicing.

    A lazyboy recliner because it is your practice room and nobody elses and it is none of their business whether you are practicing or taking a nap or watching TV.
  3. Adam Smith

    Adam Smith Pianissimo User

    Jun 23, 2006
    I am moving into a condo and plan on making one bedroom a practice/recording room. It will be in the middle and not adjacent to a neighbors room but I still need to keep the sound in. But since I plan on recording as well, I can't just kill all the sound. I need to find a balance. Any recommendations? Would it be possible to put up sound absorbing material then reflecting acoustical foam on top of that? I am really lost.
  4. bockhaus

    bockhaus Pianissimo User

    May 11, 2008

    What's the benefit to non-parallel walls?
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    As I understand it, the idea behind all the random stuff--joists and walls and foam and so forth is to minimize any resonance inherent in the room itself, which, in this Vulgano's perspective, is stupid. Great halls do resonate, and heck with the neighbors! Some of the cool old churches I got to play in in Europe would resonate at certain tones, and the Priest, Pfarrer or whatever (well, no druids) could find those tones and scare folk when singing liturgy.

    The idea is to create a room that is "neutral," which is great for recording studios, but one portion of the Vulgano Theorem holds that we get better by practicing more, and that a flattering room encourages more practice, which is why I like to have posters of attractive ladies on my walls, and forget the acoustics!
  6. Khora

    Khora Piano User

    Sep 17, 2006
    New York
    I approach my practice room in a completely different way. I have no desire to make it an almost sterile environment, just perfectly organized and with no distractions. (Even if I did want to it isn't going to happen in a NYC apartment!) But I have yet to do a performance, audition, or even a rehearsal in a space that didn't have some kind of pretty major distraction. Practicing isn’t just about making the horn do what we want, it is about doing what we want no matter what else is going on around us.

    It does take a lot of self-discipline, but in the long run, for me, being able to focus on the job at hand (regardless of what is lying on the desk or the pictures on the wall or whatever someone else is playing in the warmup room) is pretty much the whole point.

    Yes, it is much easier to make excuses when there are 'distractions' in the room. Yes, it is distracting to have the computer on while I'm practicing. So I put it to sleep when I'm practicing. I have a laptop, so I shut it. If I had a desktop I would throw a cover over the screen. My feeling is that if I can’t muster the focus to ignore a computer just sitting on my desk when I’m practicing, I’m not really practicing anyways – I’m just going through the motions.

    Distractions are always going to happen. Practice dealing with them, and they become easier to overcome.

    But what do I know anyways?
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    what is special about where you practice? Do you get a glass of water, play to a window looking down Times Square, turn the kitchen radio off? Sometimes even a small symbolic motion can help our mind set!

    Judging from your posts that I have read (all of them), you know quite a bit!
  8. sething

    sething New Friend

    Apr 28, 2008
    it has to do with reflection

    in recording studios its extremely important to the way microphones pick up.

    lets say your in a square room(for the sake of the argument there are no doors or windows) you have a microphone in the exact middle of the room on the floor. you play your trumpet about a foot away pointing directly at the mic. what happens is the microphone will pick up the sound for sure, but the trumpet's sound will bounce off the wall behind the microphone and head straight into the mic causing time arrival distances. this will cancel out certain frequencies and cause your trumpet to sound thin.

    of course this can be used as an advantage but thats a completely different discussion.

    the simplist and cheapest way to get a live/dead sound is to get/make a gobo. you just get two big pieces of wood, glue some eggshell foam to it and cover the whole thing in some sort of porus fabric put some hinges joining the two pieces of wood before you cover everything in fabric. the two pieces should for a sort of V when your looking at it birdseye. place your microphone at the middle of the V and play at a foot to two feet away facing the microphone, this will assure no unwanted reflections are hitting the microphone(which is basically all that matters)

    monitoring your recorded sounds is a bit trickier but generally the same, just your ears instead of microphones.

    sorry if this seems complicated, im a bit drunk at the moment(lakers game :dontknow: ) but if you dont understand ill explain more when im sober.
  9. Khora

    Khora Piano User

    Sep 17, 2006
    New York

    Nothing particularly special about my practice room. It looks onto the airshaft in our building. I'm further uptown - no great views of Times Square! I have natural light, though, which really helps me a lot.

    I don't know - it is special because it is where I get to practice! It is my space (most of the time anyways). I have pictures on the walls that inspire me - and change them when I feel the need for change. I can close the door and it becomes whatever I want it to be.

    But mostly I just try to get myself excited about working on something specific before I walk in the room. Even something simple - a Clarke study or an Arban exercise. Over the last 6 months I ended up taking over many teaching duties when a colleague passed away suddenly, and my practice time basically vanished. I've never appreciated so much the few minutes I could grab whenever I could - and it improved my focus exponentially!

    It's the way I try to approach life in general - stay in the moment and be excited about what is at hand, rather than constantly thinking about "the other stuff". This is a HUGE battle for me - it has taken me years to be able to develop that focus, and even then it can be tenuous. Meditation has helped - and even more so is allowing myself to let my practice time be my meditation time!

    Sorry, I'm having a hard time putting into words exactly what I mean - hope this makes a little sense! Not sure it addresses your question, though...
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Walls that are parallel have a strong resonant frequency. If sound travels at 1100 feet per second, then parallel walls 20 feet apart have resonant frequencies at 55, 110, 220 and 440 hz (1100/20). When the walls are not parallel, the resonant frequency is based on the volume of the room and not the shape. That generally makes the resonance less annoying. That lack of resonance also means that you do not have to dampen the acoustics with foam as much.
    The worst case is a square or cube where the resonance patterns reinforce one another. Optimal dimensions on the other hand are based on the golden ratio (1.61803399). In this case no frequencies reinforce or cancel other ones.

    If you need to think about the neighbors in an apartment, put a big bookshelf on the common wall. Books are one of the best acoustic isolators available! Because books also vary in size, they scatter soundwaves instead of just plain reflecting them.

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