The Cowshed Cinema Build Thread. This thread will follow the design and build of my purpose-designed Home Theatre in a 33ft x 18ft cowshed adjacent to my home. There are several overriding design criteria for the cinema, as specified by me to the company which is providing a turnkey solution to my specification: Birmingham based Custom Install Company, The Big Picture (Home Cinema Installation in the Midlands -). These criteria are: 1. Picture and sound quality are paramount. 2. A 'fancy' décor theme is not needed. 3. A considerable amount of acoustic isolation is required such that there is almost no sound leakage to the outside world. 4. Where possible 'Pro' gear will be used - this is especially so for speakers. 5. My existing hardware from my former HT is to be used where possible. 6. Sound calibration will be accomplished using my existing 7.2.4 Dirac Live capability via twin DDRC 88A units. 7. The initial design will cater for Atmos using 4 overhead speakers, but provision will be allowed for more overhead speakers to allow for potential future upgrades to the Dolby Atmos for Home specs. The thread will kick off with the initial rough sketches and designs and once the build commences (April 2017) I will add detailed photographs of the build progress and give a daily report on progress. I have reserved several posts after this first post but I will try to add new information to the original post. I am not sure if there is a post length limitation on AVF which is why I have reserved the following posts. Initial random thoughts, sketches and ideas. Here are a couple of views of the space before any work has begun. Although the cowshed is 33 feet long, I will not be using the entire length of the space for the HT. Approximately 11 feet will be reserved at one end for a small gym, making the space for the theatre roughly 21ft x 18ft. As you can see, we have a very good ceiling height which will greatly benefit the Atmos presentation. I have considerable experience with Dolby Atmos and have been privileged to be invited on several occasions to Dolby's London HQ to evaluate both their amazing Pro cinema room and also their 'home cinema' room, designed to approximate a typical domestic layout. My views, following this research and the incorporation of Atmos into my previous room (all designed and built entirely by me) are that the higher, within reason, that one can make the ceiling, the better the Atmos 'effect'. And a view of the exterior. The steel roller shutter door will of course be removed and be replaced by a conventional entrance door and the external wall lapboarded. One of the important criteria was to soundproof the cinema as much as possible. This was for two reasons: first, to ensure that no neighbours are disturbed by my late night sessions at Reference Level sound and second, to create a much lower noise floor in the room to assist with creating the greatest possible dynamic range. This means that we have two issues for the acousticians to work on: the soundproofing and the acoustic treatments to control unwanted reflections etc and to help give the best possible sound experience in the room. As a result, we will be building a 'room within a room', using an acoustic isolation system to physically separate the inside walls from the (20 inch thick stone) exterior walls. This will be supplemented by the use of high density rockwool 'inside' the walls and also double layers of plasterboard with Tecsound 5kg/sqm (Tecsound Membrane) membrane sandwiched between. The Tecsound alone aims to give a 25db sound reduction, and overall we are targeting a 40-45dB drop in sound from inside to outside. The creation of the isolated 'room within a room' is principally designed to benefit my two neighbours but it will also bring benefits for me as well (which is good since it is an expensive way to proceed). The benefits I will experience will be the reduction in the noise floor, as previously mentioned, but also we will end up with a 'diaphragmatic' or 'pistonic' set of walls and ceiling, where the whole walls and ceiling will work as bass absorbers thus giving a hugely improved control over bass. In addition to the dedicated acoustic treatments used extensively in the room (see later), this should result in a truly awesome bass quality from my dual Seaton Submersive subwoofers (4 x 15 inch drivers, 6,000 watts of amplification) giving fantastically deep, loud and controlled bass. Below is one of the early design sketches from The Big Picture. (Drawing © The Big Picture 2017) As you can see, we will have just one row of 5 seats (the sketch shows just 4). The seating position has been chosen with great care with respect to the room modes to ensure that the audience is not sitting in a null or right on a mode. This sketch shows approximate positions of the overhead speakers, the 4 surround speakers and the main LCR set behind the acoustically transparent 130-140 inch screen (final size not yet determined). A sketch of the rear wall, showing subs and other speakers as well as PJ. (Drawing © The Big Picture 2017) And a similar sketch of the front wall: (Drawing © The Big Picture 2017) A couple of sketches showing considerations for Atmos and surround speaker placement: (Drawing © The Big Picture 2017) (Drawing © The Big Picture 2017) Some idea of the finished appearance can be gleaned from the following sketch. As laid down in our criterial list, I am not interested in a 'fancy' interior design as I wish to spend as much of the budget as possible on picture and sound quality. I am therefore going for a 'nice aesthetic' pretty much along the lines of a smart commercial cinema. It will be interesting to compare these initial sketches with photos of the finished room in a few weeks. Note that this sketch is for 'appearance' only - the screen will be much bigger and will more or less fill the front wall. (Drawing © The Big Picture 2017) There is apparently a limit of 10 images per post, so the thread is continued below.