Perfect Studio Room Acoustics for AKA AKAMoritz Meier
At HOFA-Akustik, we have a wide range of activities and can help our customers with our expertise by offering individual advice, measurements, and planning. Rooms differ and clients have special wishes, individual requirements, and a wide variety of uses.
This year, we received a request from Holger and Hannes, better known by their alias AKA AKA. They have been travelling the globe as DJs for years, entertaining electronic music lovers with their productions. After moving to a new studio, the guys needed support in optimising the acoustics of the new location and asked us for help.
My name is Moritz Meier, I’m an acoustic technician at HOFA and in this article, I would like to show you what such a project can look like.
The first contact was made by e-mail, they sent us initial information about the space and asked for an assessment of the required steps. After my initial assessment, we talked about the following procedure. In larger projects, a 3D room planning always makes sense. The planning costs are credited afterwards, and the customer will get a better idea of the proposed solution through the visualisations. In addition, we acousticians have the advantage of being able to create a more detailed and accurate plan that is perfectly tailored to the conditions of the room. Holger and Hannes saw it the same way.
2. Modelling, simulation and proposed solution
In addition to detailed sketches and more photographs, we also asked the clients for additional information. In such cases, the properties of the walls, ceiling, and floor, among other things, have to be considered. Specific wishes and objectives are also requested in detail and discussed afterwards. This information is usually submitted by the client via an online form.
When I had all the information, I started with the 3D modelling. In this process, the original room is modelled as accurately as possible in its actual state.
When the model was ready, I started the simulations to calculate the reverberation time and room modes. The information obtained beforehand (dimensions, materials, and interior) serves as the basis for these calculations. Afterwards, the results of the simulation are evaluated, and the required acoustic modules are included in the calculations in order to display the result after optimisation.
The next task was to place the required modules carefully in the room. Usually, a compromise between the best acoustic solution and the customer’s wishes must be found at this stage.
Furthermore, the optimal loudspeaker and monitoring position as well as all relevant initial reflection points are determined during this process.
Holger and Hannes gave me a lot of leeway for this, so the compromises were kept to a minimum. The focus of this project was clearly on the optimal monitoring situation, since producing, mixing, and mastering are the main tasks. Another goal was to create a good setup for recording vocals.
The grey elements at the first reflection points are broadband absorbers that minimize reverberation time, especially in the high and mid frequencies, and are ideal for dampening first reflections from the ceiling and walls. These modules were also used for the requested vocal corner, again to manage harsh reflections and thus create a professional recording environment. There is also a mobile wall there. If necessary, this can be placed behind the monitoring position to reduce hard reflections from the door over a wide range when monitoring with the loudspeakers.
We also used bass traps. Due to the chosen setup, these modules absorb the low frequencies most effectively. Because of the material thickness achieved in this way, the effectiveness below 80 hertz is increased enormously.
The diffusers in the back of the room are designed to diffuse further harsh reflections, creating a softer, more homogeneous acoustic quality.
We take care of your room acoustics
Simply send us a sketch and pictures of your room and our experienced acousticians will be happy to create an individual room acoustics planning for you.
This way, you will know exactly how to improve the acoustics of your room.
3. Delivery and installation
Thanks to the good communication in advance, the first proposal was immediately accepted by both of them. Barely three weeks later, the goods were already at AKA AKA’s studio. If assembly is requested, we offer this service and take care of the entire process. However, Holger and Hannes wanted to carry out the assembly themselves. Accordingly, I provided an installation plan with all the relevant details and instructions. This is also included in a 3D room planning.
The guys were enthusiastic about the acoustics right from the start. Measurements they took themselves still showed small irregularities in the bass range, which are typical for small rooms, but do not impair professional work. We generally recommend experimenting with the loudspeaker and monitoring positions as well as the bass positioning. Often, the improvements achieved so far can be further enhanced.
Since one of our acousticians was in Berlin at the time anyway, he took the opportunity to visit AKA AKA to assist with these positioning tests and measurements. After a few variations and measurements, the best possible solution was found:
It can be seen that by shifting the bass traps, speakers and listening position, some peaks and dips in the frequency response could be smoothed significantly. The listening test confirmed this measurement. As a final step, the Genelec DSP system was used to get the last few bits out of the interaction between the room and the speakers.
In this video you can see what Holger and Hannes from AKA AKA think about their new studio, planned and equipped with HOFA-Akustik: