Day 7 of phase 2. Today Jeff went out hunting and managed to capture an air-conditioning unit. Meanwhile back on-site, Artis took time out from his heavy schedule of banana-drawing (see photo) to construct some lighting boxes. And the lights are going to be fantastic. There will be eight downlighters in the control room – four built into the baffle above the monitors, and four across the centre of the room. There will be a dimmer switch in each room, and each light is built into its own cube-shaped box, ensuring that the bulbs don’t touch the rockwool, and allowing hot air to escape safely into the ceiling void. The light fittings are moveable so each 35W lamp can be angled as needed.
Both interior doors are now fitted. They’re pretty dense as they are, but the guys will be adding an MDF layer to the lobby side of each door to add density (the door and its hinges being potentially the weakest point in the room in acoustic isolation terms). The art and craftsmanship of pro door-hanging is truly a thing to behold. There’s a perfect coin gap all the way down – a £1 fits snugly and a 50p rattles around. This is a pretty phenomenal achievement when you think about it – fitting a 40KG 2m high door within less than 1mm tolerance. I once tried to hang a bathroom door at my previous house. I did such a bad job that I had to move house to avoid the embarrassment…
On the music front, we’ve temporarily stopped listening to Skyforger and have now moved on to Jackyl – AC/DC blues with live chainsaw solos. Oh yes!
The air ducts are nearly completed. The system will work like this;
- Refrigeration unit will cool the entire lobby area
- Fans will blow the cooled air down the silver ‘sandworm’ pipes
- Cool air will come out at the front of each room (through the ceiling baffles)
- Warm air will escape into the lobby via ventilation holes at the back of each work room…
- …and be cooled by the refrigeration unit
- There will be a fan switch and speed control in each workspace, so the occupant can just switch it on whenever cooling is needed
The air path is broken up into zigzags to prevent bass frequencies from travelling; the ducts are lined with rockwool & fabric. My 8-year-old has pointed out that in the event of anyone, er, ‘trumping’, this air will be circulated round and round the building at slightly different temperatures. So we will need to open the lobby door occasionally.
The cunning part is concealing all the ducts necessary to achieve all this. As mentioned before, the cool air enters via the ceiling baffles, having made its way through the soft pipes that run alongside the ceiling. In the lobby area there are two more ducts. This is the one for the live room, in its pre-covered state – you can just see the silver pipe emerging from the back and carrying the cooled air off to the right.
The second foyer duct – the one supplying the control room – is practically invisible now because it’s built into the door frame, so here are a few photos of it under construction.
The basic construction of the control room bass traps is now complete. The principle of a bass trap is that it stops particular bass frequencies from being accentuated by the construction of the room – here’s an article about the physics of listening spaces. This is to ensure that the monitor speakers are giving an accurate sonic ‘picture’ of the instruments/sounds in the mix.
Because low frequencies have a longer wavelength, they can only be broken up by large objects. Howard’s design of bass trap, from what I can tell, combines a ‘membrane’ and ‘broadband’ method of construction – plywood panels, with air gap, rockwool and fabric covering. All this means that we need some very large bass traps in the control room. So I may end up with a slightly smaller sofa than I originally thought!
On other news, Artis has been getting me and Jeff into Latvian folk-metal. Here’s Skyforger – chanting a 500-year-old folk song on the beach, then straight into some driving speed-metal riffery. Check out the bagpipe solo!