avatar

iris

Gold Finger

Posts: 798 Member Since: 17/01/2012

Lead

Sep 22 16 6:40 PM

Tags : : , , ,

Hi all. I'm in WAY over my head here, particularly with the acoustic treatment bits.
But the client is a 27 year friend... and wants me to run point. I need the work!
It's all on me... from treatments right up to designing, purchasing, and running the venue sound.
The whole building is 78' long x 44' wide, with antique hardwood flooring.
It's all mostly reflective surface at this point, with approx 3sec reverberation, and some pitch specific flange style slapback(s).

I'm in process of laser measuring and plotting the layout, so I have an accurate blueprint.
I'm not a pro with this... but I know way more then the client... I'm a quick study... and I have access to y'all!
So I'm not panicking yet.
First burning question...

What the heck do I charge for this?

I need an hourly rate to hit the client with. Can anybody clue me what a real experienced pro would charge for this
type of consultation/labor per hour? I'm thinking to make my rate approx 1/4 of what a pro would charge,
study my ass off... and learn as I go.
Does anybody know what an average consulting fee is (ballpark is fine) for this type of work?

Music will be everything from folk artists up to full reggae bands, and even DJ's.
Options include temporary carpet as needed, permanent absorption and diffusion panels, flexible curtaining,
ceiling treatment, etc. Client wants to keep the vibe "elegant" if possible. It will also be a cafe - restaurant. 

Thanks for reading this far. Any and all help greatly appreciated! Cheers!
Nicholas
Quote    Reply   
avatar

barry hufker

Diamond Forever

Posts: 12,118 Member Since:26/01/2011

#1 [url]

Sep 23 16 1:36 AM

This may sound rude so I hope you'll forgive me.  In my opinion, if you want to truly be a friend, you will encourage him to hire a professional to design the installation.  Then you can cut costs by helping him with the installation.  But if you learn on the job, your friend is never going to be happy (IMO) because the finished job won't be the best it could be and you'll take all the blame.  If you want to learn, read all you can about acoustics, ask the professional questions and be involved in every aspect you can, but don't be the person who designs this space.

I'm sorry if you're offended.  I'm trying to offer my best professional advice to you and am saying what I would to any friend of mine.

 

Quote    Reply   
avatar

jaykadis

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,422 Member Since:24/01/2011

#2 [url]

Sep 23 16 12:37 PM

Barry certainly has a point and in an ideal world you would act as a general contractor and hire an acoustics expert for the design work. In the real world, the budget probably isn't there for that. Professional acousticians would charge $100/hour at least, probably more (maybe a lot more) for real tried-and-proven expertise. It's worth it if you have the money. If your friend understands the situation and is willing to accept trial-and-error to some extent to save money, you have a lot of work to do but there is a wealth of information available in the form of acoustics theory and studio design books. Philip Newell's Recording Studio Design is one I have used. Be advised it is intended for studio design and converting a gym is not going to be a topic covered specifically in any book I know of.

Back to Barry's comment - if you don't have the desire and time to become an acoustician in the pursuit of this project, seriously consider hiring the expertise up front. And know that even seasoned experts don't always get it right on the first attempt. It IS "rocket science."

Quote    Reply   
avatar

gold

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,506 Member Since:27/01/2011

#3 [url]

Sep 23 16 2:09 PM

Hiring a proffesional is obviously first choice. I have never really had that option. Living in NYC people have to pack up in a hurry and move quickly. I have close to 30 years of what i affectionately call 'ghetto acoustics' experience.

I'd suggest only doing one thing at a time. Start by putting up the PA and see how it sounds in the room. My first guess would be that you should start by making the celing soft. Listen, listen, listen. Get a ladder and listen at the celing. When it sounds good up there move on to the rest of the room.

Try not to buy a lot of stuff you won't end up using.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

iris

Gold Finger

Posts: 798 Member Since:17/01/2012

#4 [url]

Sep 23 16 3:32 PM

Hey... thanks! Barry... not at ALL offended! I can always count on y'all for the strait scoop.
And Jay and Gold too... thanks guys. (Gold - "ghetto acoustics!" Nail on the head in this instance!)
I've been thinking the same thing about contracting with a real pro.
There ARE budget restrictions with the client... and she admittedly "doesn't play well with others". It's why I got offered the gig.
I can work with her. Shes a Texas fireball and has had some bad experiences communicating with pro contractors at this place already.
I'm going to run point with the electrician for her... so perhaps she will let me find a real pro and get them over here for
an acoustics consult in the early stages.
Anybody know a solid pro in the S. Oregon or N. Cali area? Closest city is Medford... not a bastion of audio pros!
Portland maybe could work, but that's got travel expense added, so...
I'm not sure I can hold my breath hunting for savvy help within 100 miles of this hulking old reverb trap!

I was thinking perhaps it was rude or perhaps not PC, to ask about pro consultant rates... so Jay... thanks for that ballpark figure.
It will help me with the client. She's a friend... is helping me out also... and I'm fine with 25 or 30 an hr rate to do what I can.
I will be wearing so many hats for this project... some aspects I have much greater skill with... some not so much.

Thanks again for the savvy replies... feel free to hit me with anything, from oddball creative to tried and true.
WHATEVER WORKS!
And I will float notions to be shot down or supported as you see it.
New question - How do you feel about couches down both long walls as functional bass traps?
Right now it's long wooden plank benches... and not well built. Just more reflective surface.
Cheers!

Quote    Reply   
avatar

gold

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,506 Member Since:27/01/2011

#5 [url]

Sep 23 16 4:17 PM

I'd just add that I'd stay away from automated help like EQ Wizard or any acoustics software. You need a lot of experience to make sense of the data. Use your ears.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

darin k

Gold Finger

Posts: 902 Member Since:26/01/2011

#6 [url]

Sep 23 16 5:20 PM

Random, rambling, thoughts: First get the floor plan for the cafe/restaurant. Will there be a walled-off kitchen area? Is it meant to all be open, with kitchen/cafe/restaurant on one end & stage on the other and nothing in-between? For live music, be sure to include in the plans from the beginning a place for the sound guy/gal, and routing for all cables & electrical - I'm guessing you'll stick with the floor as is and drop a ceiling? A performance space is different from a studio in that all the sound (band, p.a.) comes from one area and is meant to sound good everywhere else. (But you mention DJs - will that work with just the p.a. system or will you need more speakers at the other end of the room?) Will all recording be live recording of the band on the stage, or does it all need to be usable as a studio? Is there enough separate non-gym space for green room, storage, etc.? A storage space behind the stage can be built to also function as a giant bass trap. For the "elegant" vibe your client wants, theatre curtains (red or gold, usually) can do that and have acoustic benefits, and can hide whatever's behind them. But they won't work in a modernist or industrial style, so the overall look of the design should be decided first. Is your client picturing something in her mind already? Maybe you can find a similar size & shape venue and talk to the folks there.

Darin K.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

iris

Gold Finger

Posts: 798 Member Since:17/01/2012

#7 [url]

Sep 23 16 8:09 PM

Thanks Darin! You got it right... kitchen and dining/lounging area at far end, and stage at other.
The stage as it is is punk as hell. I would hate to play there. It is in essence a box with 2 small side rooms.
If nothing is done, I already feel sorry for the drummer! Basically anyone on "stage"
in the box with the drummer! Stage is 23' wide, only 9' deep, and only an 8.5'ceiling. With an extra 2ft lip as stage wing. Lots of corners like that!
I'm gonna build the stage out at least 4ft... prolly 6... so at least singers can get out of the box.
The back wall of the stage is THE back wall, so no dead space. And the side walls between little side rooms are structural, and just got dry walled
and stuccoed on the room sides so I can't rip 'em out. I already asked.

And the whole hall has been ceilinged already with some form of acoustic tile... just now getting painted a glorious copper wash.
It's about 10' 10''... and has really helped. Was installed a few years ago. Owner has some interesting decorative foam tiles she thought
to place in the center of all the roof tiles... and they might provide a smidge of diffusion because of the dimensional design.
But they are very thin and I'm not so sure. I like the idea but perhaps with true diffusion panels... at least in strategic locations.

My rev. time approximation was overblown... and it is closer to 2sec decay... certainly not longer then 2.5.
I actually think a drum kit might sound decent in there as is... if going for a large room sound.

First function is live venue... any recording situations will come later, and be mostly live multi tracks of whatever artist.
On the good tip... the main hall has no major corners at either end... someone put in angled corner pieces - 4 footers at the stage end,
and 3 footers at the far end. And some other protruding sub rooms are built into the kitchen end of the left side, creating a few actual corners,
but also adding some odd assymetry to the main room shape.

I'm stoked on the challenge and feeling gung ho to tackle it. The pitched fluttering slap backs that seem like standing waves in certain spots
between the floor and ceiling are particularly fascinating to me!
And forgive me if my terms are incorrect. I obviously have a ton to learn.
Cheers!

Quote    Reply   
avatar

iris

Gold Finger

Posts: 798 Member Since:17/01/2012

#10 [url]

Sep 24 16 6:35 PM

podgorny wrote:
I sure wish I could get paid $30/hour to not have a clue what I'm doing... Oh, wait.

Haha... thanks. That's how I roll!
I DO have a small clue. I ask you guys how to do it.

Quote    Reply   
Add Reply

Quick Reply

bbcode help