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Author Topic: sketchup  (Read 933 times)

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dkersten

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sketchup
« on: January 11, 2018, 09:36:19 pm »
Anyone do any cool modeling with sketchup? 

I fiddled with it today and started drawing up a scale version of my new home theater.  It's easier to use than the last time I fiddled with it 2-3 years ago.  I might have to buy it, this is kinda fun...

This is maybe 60% done, need to model the wall treatments and final colors, the lighting and Atmos speakers, the furniture, the baffle wall, and draw up the screen and panels that mount on the screen wall frame.  Subwoofers are 18" (two more in back), mains have a 15" midbass driver, 4" mid with waveguide, and compression driver with waveguide for the highs.  Not sure on colors yet, always liked the deep red with black, but might mix it up a bit this time, maybe go with 3 tones of gray/black and throw in some stainless steel highlights here and there...



Vigo

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Re: sketchup
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2018, 02:26:22 am »

Howard_Casto

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Re: sketchup
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2018, 05:24:22 am »


^^This^^

That looks like a bit too much speaker for a home setup. 

jdbailey1206

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Re: sketchup
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2018, 06:10:38 am »
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 06:16:25 am by jdbailey1206 »

BadMouth

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Re: sketchup
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2018, 07:00:36 am »
How did you arrive at the speaker placement?

I would have settled for 2 subs up front in order to get the left and right channels further apart (but not so far as to be in the corner of the room).

Have you done any experimenting with the 18 to see if there are going to be any problem frequencies?  The perfect cabinet in theory often sounds like crap in a room.  Sometimes you have to experiment and adjust the design around problem frequencies.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 10:15:41 am by BadMouth »

dkersten

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Re: sketchup
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2018, 12:52:02 pm »
How did you arrive at the speaker placement?

I would have settled for 2 subs up front in order to get the left and right channels further apart (but not so far as to be in the corner of the room).

Have you done any experimenting with the 18 to see if there are going to be any problem frequencies?  The perfect cabinet in theory often sounds like crap in a room.  Sometimes you have to experiment and adjust the design around problem frequencies.
Speaker placement is not completely final.  I am considering pushing the left and right out a bit further and either running subs side by side on each side of the center or just adding a little space between the inner subs and the LR's.  But that is not for bass considerations, it is to help the room imaging.  Ideally the Atmos speakers will be lined up with the left and right mains so in order to keep it close to Dolby spec I think I need a little more separation.  I will also toe in the waveguides toward the main listening position.

As for subs, I have played around with REW to place the 6 18" subs in various locations to see if I can get close to flat response in my primary seating location.  There are several ways to get good bass response, one of those creative placement of the subwoofers throughout the room.  Another is add more subs to tame the room modes.  I don't really have the luxury of putting subs on the sides because it will ruin the aesthetic of the room or force design choices I don't want.  So I settled on 4 up front and 2 in the back.  I considered going with a couple near field subs built into the riser firing directly into the back of the front row, but ultimately there are too many reasons not to do this.  I tried running a couple near field subs in my last theater and didn't like it - the bass was too localized.

As for overkill, I had 2 of the same 18" subs running off one 6kw amp in my last theater and that room was only 1275 cu ft.  It was OK, but I wanted a little more.  I drove those subs to the maximum capacity of both the speakers and the amp on a regular basis and while it was pretty awesome, I always wanted just a little more.  This new space is 4000 cu ft, over 3 times larger.  So 6 18" subs would technically get me what I had before, tripling the power gives me a bit more, and going ported instead of sealed doubles it up again.  I should only have around 6 db more than I had in my last theater (around 130db total) which will get me where I want to be.  That will be fairly flat down to about 13hz.  Keep in mind, an IMax theater can do over 120db on the subs, and frankly that it is fairly tame.  And in comparison to car audio, I had 4 10" subs in a toyota pickup that did 145db, so this is actually mild compared to even a basic system in a car.  But the purpose of this system is not to sit and listen to droning bass music, it's for the dynamic sound of an action movie.  I like feeling the gunshots and explosions.  But 99% of most movies are playing well under 90db even on a system like this.

The room will be heavily treated acoustically as well.  Anyone who really knows audio knows that you could put $50 speakers in the right room and they would sound better than $500,000 speakers in a bad room.  Most of my money is going into making the room sound good.  I am starting with a soundproof shell (double 5/8" drywall over resilient clips and hat channel) that will keep the sound contained, but more importantly, keep sounds from the rest of the house and neighborhood out.  A typical quiet room has a noise floor around 35-40db, I am targeting under 20db in this room, which means I can run a movie at lower volume and still hear every detail.  Then once the room is built out, a mix of absorbtion and diffusion panels will be placed around the room based on recommendations by acoustical engineers.  The entire riser will be built to act as a bass trap to counteract room modes and resonant frequencies, and the front sound stage will have significant absorption in the corners for more bass trapping.  On top of all this, I run Dirac Live sound processing which does a really good job of handling room modes and cancelling out resonant frequencies in the subs.

Finally, seating position is key here.  I don't have the money for expensive processors that would allow me to run more pairs of speakers and dial the room in so every seating position sounds good, so I am targeting the "money seats" that will be used most often.  I made sure not to place them at the 1/2 or 1/3 points to avoid those really bad cancellation spots.  The goal is still to get it to sound good in all 8 seats, but I want it to sound best from MY seat.

Finally, Yes, it may seem like crazy overkill to some of you, but over the years I have tried all sorts of various lifestyle upgrades, from outdoor spaces, to a decked out woodshop, to game rooms (arcades, pool table, etc), to all sorts of various hobbies like snowmobiling, boating, classic cars, drag racing, etc.  And the two places where my invested time and money was actually being utilized after the build stage was in the theater room and in the shop.  So when I built this house I built it around the shop and theater spaces.  I chose the floor plan based primarily on the ability to accommodate these spaces.  To me it is a good use of my money and time, and I enjoy building it all as much as I do using it.

I was interested in whether others here have played with Sketchup, but I guess I am also interested in what you would do if you could build your dream space in your home?  Whether that is a shop, an arcade, a workstation, a great kitchen, a "green" house, or whatever, if you had the money, no debt to worry about, kids all grown up, etc, what would you build?

Mike A

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Re: sketchup
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2018, 12:59:14 pm »
Quote
Anyone who really knows audio knows that you could put $50 speakers in the right room and they would sound better than $500,000 speakers in a bad room.

You really should consult someone who knows what they are doing. ::)

BadMouth

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Re: sketchup
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2018, 01:19:10 pm »
Quote
Anyone who really knows audio knows that you could put $50 speakers in the right room and they would sound better than $500,000 speakers in a bad room.

You really should consult someone who knows what they are doing. ::)

The examples are a bit extreme, but I agree that proper placement and sometimes room treatment are indeed more important factors than the price of the speakers.




Mike A

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Re: sketchup
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2018, 01:23:23 pm »
Both are important. You can place bad speakers as expertly as you want. They will still sound bad. Good speakers are a lot more forgiving of placement.

Howard_Casto

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Re: sketchup
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2018, 03:17:59 pm »
What you said is correct, but why would you spend more money just so you can skip setting things up the right way?  I'm not saying you can't get better quality if you put more money into it, but what exactly does one do with a home theatre with speakers that high end?  Do you invite a hundred people over for a viewing or something?  Myself I thought the whole point of a home cinema was the fact that you don't have to replicate all the bad things of a public one.... you know.... all the people.  ;)


As for what I would build.... isn't that obvious?  The bridge of the Enterprise D.  Put the whole room on a hydraulic rig for feedback, put some arcade controls on the comm, put a wheel on one of the other stations.  Then you are good to go for movies, video games, sims, or drinking tea in the ready room and telling kids to get off my damn bridge.  :D

dkersten

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Re: sketchup
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2018, 07:22:40 pm »
but why would you spend more money just so you can skip setting things up the right way?
I'm not sure I follow.  I'm guessing you are referring to the practice of adding more subs to beat a room into submission?  It's actually a very valid approach to a difficult problem.  I already need more than one subwoofer to get what I am after for output, and the good side effect of this is that I can smooth out the response throughout the whole room by placing more subs, so it is a win win.  But every room has room modes, and there are always compromises to be made, regardless of the money you are throwing at it.  Acoustic treatments are a requirement.  So both the money spent on treatments and the money spent on more subwoofers is heavily justified and some would say necessary. 

There are no corners being cut here, but I do have a budget, and if I want to get this room done for less than $250k, I can't just buy my way into perfect sound.  This theater has been a year in the planning and will be another 6 months before it is done.  I have consulted with acoustical engineers, done hundreds of hours of research, and actually built and practiced with various acoustical models to get to this point.  And I am drawing on the experience of hundreds of home theater enthusiasts, many whose rooms make mine look like child's play.
but what exactly does one do with a home theatre with speakers that high end?
Enjoy the experience, of course. 

What else would you do with good things?  What do you do with a car with 500 horsepower?  You enjoy it.  What do you do with a woman with a nice rack?  You enjoy.. her (or is it them?).  As long as you can afford the finer things in life, what is wrong with having them?  Besides, do you question someone who will spend a couple thousand to have a refurbished original arcade cab when they could build a mame cab for a fraction of the price?  As Yots says, build what you dig, bro.  I happen to dig big sound and big screens.

Funny thing is I posted something here a few years ago saying that I would never spend that kind of money on a home theater.  Funny how priorities change...  I started this whole project 3 years ago with a $500 upgrade budget in mind.  Ended up putting nearly $13k into my last home theater, and now I built a damn house just to have the theater I dreamed up.  But hey, I had the means, so why not, right?

Anyway, these are all far from high end speakers.  They are all DIY, and while the price is REALLY good for what you get, it is not high end.  At best, I am doing "budget high end" theater, although it is relative.  My entire budget wouldn't buy one piece from a high end system, and the entire cost of my house wouldn't cover a complete high end theater.

If you are interested in good inexpensive "DIY" speakers (high end taste with low end budget) that are easy to build, check out diysoundgroup.com.  The mains I am using are the Titan 615lx and cost less than $700 each with the flat packs for the enclosures, and will cost a few dollars more in polyfill and neutrik connectors when I assemble them.  Comparable large home theater speakers would normally cost in the $1500-3500 range.  Each.  My surround and Atmos speakers are under $200 each for the kit and the materials.  The subs were about $275 each, add another $100 in materials per sub for the 2 sheets of MDF and the polyfill and connectors. Amps for the subs are under $400 each (3 of them).  Between DIYSG and Parts Express, they cover 90% of my system.  At these prices, why would I NOT just go off the deep end?

Really the most expensive part of a good home theater is the room.  Of my roughly $50k $40k all-in budget, about $15-20k of this is the room.  From there, the projector and screen is the next most expensive part, but you can certainly get top quality for a good budget if you don't care about squeezing the last 3% of performance out of your video.  Due to some unexpected hits to the budget, I may be going with a more budget projector than originally planned.  Next, in my case, is the furniture.  The seats I plan to use are kind of expensive.  I drove to California last summer and spent about 6 hours at a showroom that had just about every home theater seat made, and in the end the one I liked most was about $1500 per seat (need 8 seats).  But honestly, I cringe at spending $12k on two couches, so I may go cheap on the second row.  I am planning another road trip in a few months and I will hit that showroom again and demo the new stuff and then make a final decision.  I might be able to shave about $5k from that part of the budget, which I need because building this house got more expensive than I had planned.  From there, the electronics is the next most expensive part.  The receiver, amps, and various media players add up to a big chunk, especially when you are going with components.  In every case I will do all the work, which is saving me about $20k in labor.  The plan is to have a theater that is comparable in aesthetics, sound quality, picture, and overall "wow" factor as a $100k theater.

Of course I could always scrap it and go put the money down on a camper, or on a boat.  Or a car.  Or something else I will use 3 times a year...


dkersten

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Re: sketchup
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2018, 08:25:24 pm »
Both are important. You can place bad speakers as expertly as you want. They will still sound bad. Good speakers are a lot more forgiving of placement.
Placement is a part of it.  For example, if you move a speaker away from the wall a few feet you can avoid a nasty spike in midbass that happens from the sound coming off the back of the speaker reflecting off the wall and meeting the sound coming off the front of the speaker.  That doesn't really change as you increase the quality or change the design of the speaker, only as you change the speaker placement.  If you move a subwoofer around, the response from the listening position will change, but if you put a more powerful subwoofer in the same spot as the old one and you had a 12db null at 40hz from your listening position, you will still have that null, no matter how much better that subwoofer is.  That being said, some speaker designs work better in some situations, like a line array that has fantastic response across the width of the room while minimizing reflections from the ceiling and floor.  And you can find a subwoofer with a built in EQ knob at 40hz that you can crank up and make that 40hz null in your seating position sound better without actually treating the room.

But when it comes down to it, placement allows you to put the listener or speakers in a position where the nulls and spikes from standing waves and room modes are at frequencies less common in your listening material and get better sound as long as you stand or sit right there.  However, no matter how much you spend, the room is going to have flaws that spending money on speakers cannot change.  If you can avoid those flaws with the placement of the speakers or the listener, great, but chances are it will be less than ideal.  For example, if the best listening position is directly where the kitchen table now sits, and the best placement of the subwoofer is in front of the door to the room, you can't really make that work, no matter how much better the speakers are.

My point is that a room has limits on how good it can sound.  In any case where you are looking for critical listening, whether it is movies or music, the money you spend on speakers has a limit on how much it can improve the sound quality.  If you start with a speaker that can accurately reproduce 20hz-20khz, your gains from a "better" speaker are minimal at best.  But put one diffuser up on the wall, or put a bass trap in the corner, or just add some absorption in key places and you can make vast improvements.  If you want it to sound good everywhere, you gotta spend more on the room.

BadMouth

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Re: sketchup
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2018, 10:18:53 am »
  And you can find a subwoofer with a built in EQ knob at 40hz that you can crank up and make that 40hz null in your seating position sound better without actually treating the room.

...and your neighbors will hear it louder than you think since they aren't sitting in a dead spot.  :lol

Post build pics.  I couldn't bring myself to spend that amount of money even if I had it, but I enjoy seeing other people do things up to a T.
Kinda makes me wish I'd built a home theater in the basement this year instead of a workshop. 
I seriously thought about it, but my house is so small that I can't justify dedicating a separate space.




eds1275

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Re: sketchup
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2018, 08:42:55 pm »
Looks great. If you haven't already, I recommend a book called "Home Recording Studio: Build it Like the Pros" by Rod Gervais. I used to own a recording studio before my divorce, and I built it using advice from this book. I had easily the best home recording studio on the island I live on and definitely better than most of the "professional" non-home ones around. I know there's a difference between a studio and a home theatre but the construction techniques for sound reduction (assuming you are interested in that) are solid from my experience. Mine's packed away right now but I also think there was some information on diffusion and absorption  and ways to measure things. Personally I did some measuring with my work tools (I'm a sound engineer for concerts and plays) and didn't do much for spot treatments because my room had a nice character that helped my recordings.

dkersten

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Re: sketchup
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2018, 12:54:10 pm »
I am willing to do a mini build thread here if you guys are interested.  I have my main build thread over on AVSForum of course, but I figured a lot of this stuff is right up the alley of a lot of people here. 

This weekend I re-did my network racks partly to clean it all up and partly to prepare for the AV equipment.  I installed 3x 20A 220v outlets and 4x 20a 110v outlets, each with its own breaker.  3x of the 20a 110v will run the subwoofer amps, and the 3x 220v circuits will be for the main amps.  The 220v outlets are overkill for the amps that will run on them, but I may upgrade to some 220v gear in the future and don't want to open my walls again.  The sub amps can easily max out a 20a outlet, so those are necessary.

Here's a couple pics of the racks.  The network rack will get drawers in the base soon, and I have 2 1500va UPS's coming today that go behind the monitor.  I still have 8u left for expansion, but I think for now I will raise the monitor up to fill that space.  The right rack only has the whole house audio stuff right now (taking 9u), but will get 6 amplifiers and 1 pre/pro soon, along with another PDU, and a shelf for various devices.  I will probably add another shelf for the UHD player, and that will still leave around 16u left for future expansion.  The left rack is 25u, the right is 42u, they stand 80.5" tall.

  
 

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