An accurate acoustic design is possibly the most important piece of 'equipment' a studio should have, as it will dictate all the technical and creative choices you make when working there, and how such decisions will eventually translate in the outside world when played back on other sound systems.
Slipway's control room is a RFZ (Reflection Free Zone) design, with reflective front walls, flush mounted system where the speakers are in the plane of the walls, and rear wall heavily absorbent at low frequencies.
The flush mounted speaker system gives an accurate sound reproduction by forcing the sound to the front only, thus eliminating back wall reflections that causes phase cancellation at lower frequencies resulting in a much tighter bass response.
Being the speakers flush with the front wall, the difractions at the cabinet edges are also avoided improving the transient response along with the stereo imaging.
The room shape, the treatment implemented within it and its locations are also an integral part of the overall system, as the room's boundaries act as acoustical mirrors to the loudspeaker's radiation. The side walls are splayed at an angle so that only the direct sound from the speakers can reach the listening position. These side walls are broad-band Helmholtz slat resonators, essentially airtight sealed cavities that absorb in the 150Hz-500Hz range as well as providing diffusion to the high frequencies. The reflected sounds are bounced down to the rear of the room right in the bass traps' mouth. There, they gets absorbed enough so that even if a portion still manages to find its way back to the "listening spot", it will have much lower energy compared to the direct sound to make it negligible.
Early reflections off the parallel ceiling and floor can also harm clarity and confuse the stereo image. To avoid that, the suspended ceiling was sloped down at the front of the room again with the aim to guide the reflected sound behind the listening position. This room shape, apart from breaking up modal frequencies and avoid flutter echo, also provides a better control of the overall ambience avoiding the need of exaggerated sound damping.
The Live room has a great sound by means of no one surface being parallel to the others and a good balance of absorption and reflection.
Low frequency absorption is handled by the big corner bass trap hidden behind the long splayed wall.
The numerous Helmoltz slat resonators provide broadband low-mid absorption as well as hi-mid and hi frequency reflection, whilst the rock wall between rooms contributes further to the sounds diffusion.
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