Lumber Arrives for the Gypsy Wagon Shell

posted Jan 4, 2017, 12:25 PM by David Hakan

This project has been all on paper and computer files and in my imagination. But now there is lots of lumber in my garage. A solid commitment. To the Shell at least. 

I find that I am itching to get started. The smell of raw wood is intoxicating. My space heater is warming up the garage. 

So what is an acoustical shell anyway? If you have been to a big theater that has classical music, the stage was probably bounded by three sides and above by special reflective panels. Some outdoor stages have a curved wall at the back that looks like the inside of a sea shell. Both are designed to reflect sound to the performers and to the audience. 


But wait! Isn't this supposed to be a recording space? Don't you want the sound totally deadened? (You may ask.)
Well, yes, I may need to put sound deadening Foam Wedge Acoustic Panels around the inside to block all reflection at times. (Like if I'm adding a track to something recorded elsewhere.) But I think most of the time I will use the natural reverb of this small concert chamber produced by the Gypsy Wagon wooden interior Shell. Most folk instruments: guitar, banjo, mandolin, violin and dulcimer have subtle nuances that are lost is a deadened space or outside. (If you have played your instrument in a living room with drapes, carpet and upholstered furniture, then you know how true this is. Play the same instrument in the bathroom and you hear everything. Yes, the bathroom. Go try it now.)

The problem with small rooms is mostly the parallel surfaces, and the echos that are produced. Now look at the inside of a a Reading Style Gypsy Wagon. Three slanted walls and a curved ceiling, all in wood. This is what I am testing with the Shell. No one knows what this will sound like. No one has even thought about making a small concert chamber. (Except KOA campgrounds. Their small cabins are sloped ceilings, with wood paneling on the floors, walls and ceilings. Even with beds, these spaces sound amazing.) Here is a Vardo Wagon inside. Imagine the bed taken out. 

Vardo Wagon inside
The Shell with replicate the space created by the inside of my Gypsy Wagon Studio enough to test the reflection of various frequencies. If this passes the test, then my design will work. It will sound amazing. Besides recording, and filming, it will be great for live webcasting, practice, lessons and, of course, song circles. David