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Folded Space Micro Room

Micro Room - Silent Speaker System. (This page also has links to a FAQ, user tips, and test data.) Excerpts:

Tired of hearing your neighbors cry "Turn it down!"? The SSC-1 is your answer. The SSC-1 is great for recording and live situations where leakage is a problem. Record electric guitar, harmonica, bass, synth or any instrument through a speaker and microphone using your amplifier, without disturbing anyone. Compact, complete, ready to use Silent Speaker System. Includes: power attenuator, Shure SM57 (optional), speaker and Auralex acoustic treatment. The Micro Room is a compact easy to use speaker isolation enclosure furnished complete with a Shure SM57 microphone, an adjustable power attenuator, a vintage type speaker and Auralex Studiofoam. Simply connect the Micro Room to the Speaker Out of your amp, and connect the Lo-Z Out of the Micro Room to your mixing console.

Great sound relies on air motion, not just electron flow. Emulators, preamps and other means of direct (DI) recording can't produce the sound of your amplifier through a speaker, because they only move electrons, not air. The Micro Room allows you to record your amp through a speaker without the problems normally associated with "open" speakers (like sonic bleed and irate neighbors). The sound and response of your amp through a speaker is preserved.

The Micro Room is a must for home and project studios. The Micro Room will solve your biggest noise problems without altering the dynamics of your sound. It will liberate valuable studio space. Tracks can be reamplified during mixdown. It is quiet enough to be used during live sessions and overdubs. The Micro Room assures repeatable sound allowing seamless punch-ins. The Micro Room is quiet enough to use in the control room or while cutting vocal tracks. It's truly like adding another room to your studio.


[is this "12x12" a symmetrical air space? what about resonance peaks?]

Micro Room..............................395.00
Delete SM57 mic........................deduct 75.00 Install user-supplied microphone (subject to size limitations)..................20.00

Folded Space Technologies
(770) 427-8761
fspace at mindspring.com

The Folded Space company emphasizes home studio noise control, from your amp to the neighbors and from the stray outside noises into your microphones.

"Out of Roger Brainard's personal experience came Folded Space Technologies, a small company that manufactures, markets and sells acoustic "cloaking devices" that can turn virtually any room into a recording studio. Though Brainard's products are primarily sold to the home studio market [hooray!], they are also appropriate for use in offices, schools or other locations where a portable, makeshift recording studio is needed."

The Guitar magazines should review the Folded Space Micro Room against the Demeter Silent Speaker Chamber. Full-range speaker systems have scaled down well to produce satisfactory bookshelf speakers. This miniturization might well be possible for guitar speaker systems as well (as WeberVST, a guitar speaker researcher, is proposing). The Micro Room speaker isolation cabinet is reviewed in the November 1996 issue of Electronic Musician magazine. I think they could have done better testing and reporting. I would sure like to review it myself, trying EQ before and after, and separating the attenuator from the speaker isolation cabinet. I think scaled-down speaker technology has great potential. Rather than using a high-power tube amp, I am really interested in hearing a 5-watt tube amp directly driving the 5 watt, 6" speaker inside this box. This product is smaller and quieter than a full-sized isolation box driven by a 15 watt tube amp, reaching the ideal of a genuine cranked tube amp directly driving a guitar speaker, yet the system remains practically silent, so that you can control the sound and add post-amp effects and only hear the final, treated signal. I am wary of putting an attenuator between the power tubes and speaker. I think the power tubes and guitar speaker need to interact fully. If my setup works, of bypassing the attenuator, this raises the question of just how small and low-power you could go while still retaining cranked tube amp and guitar speaker tone.

>Did you ever make a smaller isolation speaker cabinet with a 6 inch speaker and 5 watt amp?

No. I'm waiting for the designers to offer inexpensive 5-watt tube amps.

Reviews of Folded Space Products - excerpts:

Purists live by the sound of a speaker driven hard by a well-matched preamp/power amp combination, captured by a mic from up close. What makes that sound so special? mostly, the cumulative distortion of the benign analog kind, introduced at several stages until a real speaker cone moves real air towards the microphone. While this arrangement may spell sonic bliss to many, is also means noise, and lots of it. And noise causes soured friendships, not to mention divorces and irate landlords.

A slew of products deal with this dilemma-we've reviewed several over the years. Most deal with the problem by simulating the real thing in a digital signal processor. The designer of the Micro Room took another approach, with a 12"x12"x22" fully enclosed isolation cabinet. It comes with and inward facing 5" speaker, a built in Shure SM57 mic and Studiofoam (by Auralex) internal treatment. (note-an attenuator is also included)

Operation couldn't be simpler. You use your favorite amp head, but instead of driving your regular speakers from the amp's power stage, you send a speaker wire (with 1/4" a plug) to the Micro Room. If your amp puts out more than 30 watts, set the attenuator switch on the Micro Room to ON. Hook up a mic cable from the XLR OUT on the back of the Micro Room to your favorite low-Z mic preamp and wail away. Literally.

We cranked the volume while recording the guitar tracks you can hear on the PLAYBACK CD 2 and never had to raise our voices. If anything could be heard in an adjacent room, it would have been a bit of low end through acoustic coupling with the wooden floor. Set the Micro Room on foam, carpet a couch or whatever and even this ceases to be a problem.

The speaker can really take it. Listen to the PLAYBACK tracks, where we have the original speaker from a Fender Twin on the left channel and the same signal off the Micro Room on the right. Aside t=from a tiny difference in EQ ( the Micro Room favors lows ever so slightly over the Fender's highs), The overall quality is nearly identical.

Randy Bachman wrote to Folded Space (excerpts): "My 2 Micro-room cabinets sound fantastic. I use them not only for guitar and bass, but to make drum machines and samples sound more real by the creation of the speaker/air movement/microphone chain. They and a couple of Re-amp boxes are very useful for doing remixes. I'd like to order 2 more Micro-cabs, 1 of each configuration (closed back and open back). I've just returned from Bob Rock's studio in Maui (the Plantation) where he is producing my son, Tal. Bob is very interested in all of your products but especially in the Micro Rooms." (Note: Bob went ahead and ordered a Micro Room for the Plantation studio.)

The Cloaking Device is a free-standing, easily movable device that can be used to construct a mini room acoustically independent from the rest of a space. The concept is similar to ASC's SubSpace, but the devices themselves bear no resemblance to Tube Traps. The central building block is a 2' X 4' wood panel that is inset on one side (the absorptive side ) with a sheet of 2" Auralex Studiofoam. The other side of the panel is 1/4 inch ply and thus quite reflective.

The Small Room Kit is a very affordable setup consisting of two swivel -mounted panels, one bi-fold on stilts and two extra slices of 2X4-foot wedgefoam. The Kit arrived unassembled in two boxes and took me about an hour to put together. The wood is pine with a natural finish. Fully assembled, the units are quite nice looking.

The Small Travel Kit gets you started with two basic panels, some linking hardware and a stand for only $130.00. A Small Room Kit with four panels and accessories runs $299.00. The best selling eight-panel VOX BOX system is priced at $699.00.

Tips for Quiet Home Studios - This is a good page of general home-studio tips. This page has a note about combining a speaker isolation cabinet and reverb to give the final polish to sound like a conventional guitar amp in a room with ambiance:

Got a big spare room? Maybe not. But some of the characteristics of an original reverb system can be approximated using a Micro Room. Rather than return your reverb's outputs directly to the console run them to the input of a guitar or PA amplifier and connect the output of the amp to a Micro Room. The output of the Micro Room is then fed to a lo-z input in your console and mixed or folded back into the mix. The Reverb gives the impression of size, the amplifier will warm, smooth and EQ the sound and the Micro Room will add the AIR.

new URL for Folded Space Micro Room

unflattering review of micro room (I'd rather test it myself and read more input - so many variables and tricks can help)

Is the stereo version of the Micro Room available for purchase yet?

Is the stereo version of the Micro Room the same outer size as the original?

Are there two power attenuators? two speakers? two mics?

Is there a provision for completely bypassing the power attenuator, to plug in a 1-5 watt tube amp?

Will the speaker quickly blow if I drive it with a tube power amp which is rated at 5 watts and which is driven into saturation? If so, how about a 3-watt tube power amp? 1 1/2 watt? (http://www.amptone.com/g232.htm - Tiny Tone)

If I want to try various 10" or 8" speakers in the Micro Room (bright or dark), should I pay for you to send a unit with a larger speaker mounting hole, or should I cut the larger hole myself?

I have built my own 2-layer medium-large iso cab and know that it's far better to buy a pre-built unit such as yours; a professionally manufactured iso cab is easier, produces better results, provides a cleaner design, and is less expensive than building one at home.

Smaller speakers, lower wattage, is important, because 15 watts directly into a double-layer heavy cabinet still makes too much external noise (low bass) and is too bulky.

DejaNews query: newsgroup postings containing "Micro Room"

Messages 1-20 of exactly 20 matches for search "Micro Room":

        Date   Scr        Subject                     Newsgroup           Author

   1. 96/11/11 030 Re: Actual cranked tube amp  alt.music.4-track     Bean           
   2. 96/11/12 028 Re: Actual cranked tube amp  alt.music.4-track     Michael      
   3. 96/11/12 028 Re: Actual cranked tube amp  alt.music.4-track     The Advanced Au
   4. 96/11/06 027 Re: What is a speaker is#1/3 rec.music.makers.guit Mark Borrow    
   5. 96/11/04 027 Cranked tube amp & spk i#2/6 alt.guitar.amps       Michael      
   6. 96/11/03 027 Re: Rvw of Power Brake, Hot  alt.guitar.amps       Michael      
   7. 96/11/10 026 Re: What is a speaker is#1/2 rec.music.makers.guit Michael      
   8. 96/11/10 026 Re: Actual cranked tube amp  alt.music.4-track     Michael      
   9. 96/11/08 026 Re: Placement of satur. #1/2 alt.guitar.amps       J.R. Elswick   
  10. 96/11/06 026 Re: What is a speaker is#1/2 rec.music.makers.guit Michael      
  11. 96/10/16 026 7 Approaches to Quiet Po#2/2 alt.guitar.amps       Michael      
  12. 96/10/16 026 Re: 7 Approaches to Quiet Po alt.guitar.amps       Michael      
  13. 96/10/16 026 Re: 7 Approaches to Quie#3/4 alt.guitar.amps       J.R. Elswick   
  14. 96/11/08 025 Re: 5 watt tube power amps?  alt.guitar.amps       Michael      
  15. 96/11/04 025 Cranked tube amp & spk i#3/6 alt.guitar.amps       Michael      
  16. 96/11/02 024 Re: List of small tube a#2/2 alt.guitar.amps       robertb        
  17. 96/11/01 024 Re: 5 watt tube power am#1/2 alt.guitar.amps       Michael      
  18. 96/12/29 023 New site: Amp tone, spk iso  alt.guitar            Michael      
  19. 96/11/09 022 Actual cranked tube amp tone alt.music.4-track     Michael      
  20. 96/11/02 022 List of small tube amps for  alt.guitar.amps       Michael      

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