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adamg67

Room Treatment

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Interested reading the home studio porn thread that lots of people have sound treatment in their rooms at home. Obvious question, how do you figure out what you need and where you need it?

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There is lots of information on room design and treatment here.

http://forum.studiotips.com/index.php

This article is a good place to start

http://forum.studiotips.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=3314

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I can't recommend the Gearslutz forum enough for this kind of thing...

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/studio-building-acoustics/

... lots of pro audio folk on there who are happy to help.

Other than that, there are basically two ways of approaching this:

1) The easy way, which is to assume that your room will need bass traps in every corner, side panels next to where your desk is and a 'ceiling cloud' panel above it. Pretty much 99% of home studios will need that exact treatment.

2) The more involved way, which is to buy yourself a calibrated measurement mic, download a free copy of [url="https://www.roomeqwizard.com"]Room EQ Wizard software[/url], learn how to use it (no mean feat - I've dabbled!) and get yourself some accurate room measurements to inform your choices for acoustic treatment.

Or... if you're able to spend some money, there are a number of companies who can do all this for you. The people at [url="http://gikacoustics.co.uk"]GIK Acoustics[/url] are arguably the market leaders with offices in the US and UK. Very helpful by all accounts. I personally have experience of using [url="http://www.bluefrogaudio.co.uk"]Blue Frog Audio[/url] (small independent company), who were just great and spent a lot of time working out what treatment I needed, using Google Sketchup to illustrate their ideas.

But ultimately... acoustic treatment is a HUGE topic that gets very scientific very quickly. There's lots of basic advise on Gearslutz and elsewhere online (pretty much summarised by my point 1 above), but of course each solution is ultimately specific to the room itself - so if you want a detailed answer, you need to measure/provide the detail yourself or ask for help from a professional. Which sadly isn't me :)

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I'd start with thinking about these 3 areas:

1) basstraps - corners and where wall meets ceiling behind speakers

2) absorbers - to kill first order reflections from speakers - i.e. ceiling above, and to the sides (think of it as a mirror)

3) some sort of diffuser behind you - bookshelf with randomly stacked books is acceptable as a real world compromise....


other than that, aim for symmetry between walls, and ideally sitting at around the 38% mark of the room.... don't be afraid to experiment with speaker positioning too, especially if they are rear-ported. sub-woofer set up is a whole new area too....

good luck!

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There's also [url="http://www.eqacoustics.com"]http://www.eqacoustics.com[/url] who do very good home studio studio kits and will help with advice.

I used Fuzzmeasure to get the basic plot of rooms to tell me where the problems are then apply bass traps to the nodal points, (corners basically) and some absorbers at the Early Reflection point, this will help tame most problems to a degree.

Fibre cored units are much better than foam, which isn't as effective as some people would have you believe, but will help some.

Diffusion isn't much use in a small room, but is very good in larger spaces with taming reverb and echo problems.

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[quote name='WinterMute' timestamp='1506262631' post='3377393']
Fibre cored units are much better than foam, which isn't as effective as some people would have you believe, but will help some.
[/quote]

Absolutely this. Foam is next to useless for taming bass, which accounts for 99% of problems in 99% of home studios [i](*Department of Made Up Statistics, 2017). [/i]It mostly just dampens the high frequencies, which can leave the room sounding 'off'.

Bass trapping is all about density and volume of 'stuff' and the more the better. Most manufacturers seem to use ECOSE (a type of Rockwool). If you have the time and patience, you can manufacture bass traps yourself fairly easily and cheaply (says someone who has never done this himself...). Lots of tutorials online for how to do so.

[quote name='WinterMute' timestamp='1506262631' post='3377393']
I used Fuzzmeasure to get the basic plot of rooms to tell me where the problems are
[/quote]

Never heard of FuzzMeasure before. I'm going to investigate...! :) Edited by Skol303

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[quote name='Skol303' timestamp='1506349650' post='3378092']
Absolutely this. Foam is next to useless for taming bass, which accounts for 99% of problems in 99% of home studios [i](*Department of Made Up Statistics, 2017). [/i]It mostly just dampens the high frequencies, which can leave the room sounding 'off'.

Bass trapping is all about density and volume of 'stuff' and the more the better. Most manufacturers seem to use ECOSE (a type of Rockwool). If you have the time and patience, you can manufacture bass traps yourself fairly easily and cheaply (says someone who has never done this himself...). Lots of tutorials online for how to do so.



Never heard of FuzzMeasure before. I'm going to investigate...! :)
[/quote]

It's a great little room measurement tool, but it relies on the quality of the mic and speakers, best used with a good Omni and whatever monitors you intend to use in the room...!

I did think about building the bass traps myself, but I'm just not that good at DIY and EQ do some really good packs.

If you've got more money that sense, take a look at these little boxes of voodoo, they are unbelievably good. [url="http://www.psiaudio.com/en/our-products/avaa-c20-active-bass-trap/"]http://www.psiaudio.com/en/our-products/avaa-c20-active-bass-trap/[/url]

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Thinking about FuzzMeasrure (which is mac only, so no good for me) I have a vague memory of seeing a video someone "shooting a room" using a mic, and I guess it must have been a frequency graph? So you play stuff, poke your mic into different bits of the room and see if the frequencies coming back are the same as in the original. Does that sound sensible? It would work for bass traps maybe.

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[quote name='adamg67' timestamp='1506429156' post='3378647']
Thinking about FuzzMeasrure (which is mac only, so no good for me) I have a vague memory of seeing a video someone "shooting a room" using a mic, and I guess it must have been a frequency graph? So you play stuff, poke your mic into different bits of the room and see if the frequencies coming back are the same as in the original. Does that sound sensible? It would work for bass traps maybe.
[/quote]

Sort of, you put the mic in different places, the listening spot, the back of the room, a few others and you play a combination of sweep tones, blips and white or pink noise (not all at the same time...) then the software shows you a waterfall graph of the frequency response, another of the RT. You can see where the frequencies are exaggerated and/or missing and you can plan accordingly.

Some 5.1 receivers do the same thing for living rooms and surround systems with a bit more automation and EQ.

Here's the waterfall plot of my room in the listening position and the back wall, you can see the difference in the bass response.

[attachment=254468:Listen pos waterfall.jpg]
[attachment=254469:Rear wall C waterfall.jpg]

That's why you bass trap the back wall and the corners. Evened it out a bit with the traps, still too bassy on the back wall, but you don't listen critically in that position and the response only needs to be even at the listening position for such a small room.

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[quote name='WinterMute' timestamp='1506545001' post='3379509']
That's why you bass trap the back wall and the corners. Evened it out a bit with the traps, still too bassy on the back wall, but you don't listen critically in that position and the response only needs to be even at the listening position for such a small room.
[/quote]

I was thinking exactly that when I was in the room the other day, it only really matters how it sounds where I sit. I'm on the "long" wall but still close to the wall behind me, the room's only 2 x 2.5m anyway so it's hard to get away from it. We're looking to move next year, so this might be something to look at after that

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[quote name='Skol303' timestamp='1505741541' post='3373909']
I can't recommend the Gearslutz forum enough for this kind of thing...

[url="https://www.gearslutz.com/board/studio-building-acoustics/"]https://www.gearslut...ding-acoustics/[/url]

... lots of pro audio folk on there who are happy to help.

Other than that, there are basically two ways of approaching this:

1) The easy way, which is to assume that your room will need bass traps in every corner, side panels next to where your desk is and a 'ceiling cloud' panel above it. Pretty much 99% of home studios will need that exact treatment.

[/quote]

Bit late to this thread, but I agree with this, and would also add 'difussion' which is anything from shelves full of books to specialist panels. I built my own bass traps using Knauf ECOSE , I think it was the 45 weight (i'd have to check) and put them in all coreners, 600mm depth. The side panels and cloud, from thinner panels, also make a difference - you can buy those in many places, although I also made mine.

Once you have put some essential treatment in I would [i]definitely[/i] recommend Sonarworks - it's a software room correction. You get a calibrated mic, it walks you through the measurement, and it creates a custom EQ curve - essentially an inverse of your room, boosting the dropouts and cutting the peaks. For £250 ish quid it is amazing - I have a lot of room treatment and expensive monitors and Sonarworks makes the sound MUCH better. One of the things it does which you can't do any other way is send a different eq to left & right speakers (if it needs to) - in my room, which has a problem with being asymetrical, I now get a solid central image which just sounds hazy when Sonarworks is disabled. Highly recommended!

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Remember that something like Sonarworks should only be used after you have done as much as you can with traps and diffusers. Plus using an EQ curve to correct room problems only works for the position at which you measure your room (i.e. where the mic is) and any change to the room including having other people in it will change the effectiveness of that correction.

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[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1509031017' post='3396180']
Remember that something like Sonarworks should only be used after you have done as much as you can with traps and diffusers. Plus using an EQ curve to correct room problems only works for the position at which you measure your room (i.e. where the mic is) and any change to the room including having other people in it will change the effectiveness of that correction.
[/quote]

I totally agree re. doing treatment first.
Re. Sonarworks the 'sweet spot' is quite wide - it measures from about 30 points in an area about 4 feet wide and three feet deep, and presumably averages those. Bear in mind that that you mix in one position anyway. I was quite sceptical, but I have to say I am very impressed.

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[quote name='tedmanzie' timestamp='1509034257' post='3396214']
I was quite sceptical, but I have to say I am very impressed.[/quote]

Ditto. My room is treated as far as it can be whilst still remaining accessible to other members of our family, rather than being my own private padded cell.

Sonarworks make a very noticeable difference and my mixes have translated much better since I started using it, especially when it comes to mixing the low end. Highly recommended.

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Still not sure whether to go for this on the box room if we're likely to move, but if I do I'll definitely look at Sonarworks

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Sonarworks does look pretty good in concept admittedly. However, don't be convinced you can't mix without it: once the biggest room problems have been addressed, it is still very much possible to make great mixes even in sub-optimal spaces.

The key is lots and lots of referencing and getting your ears used to how music you know sounds in your particular room; then mix with that in mind. Did I say lots of referencing to commercially released tracks? :-)

Misjudging low end is definitely all too easy - not helped by often-utterly-excessive amounts of super lows contained in drum samples or stock synth patches... I suspect this is done to sell software / hardware, not help you mix well! But that's another rant... Edited by roman_sub

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[quote name='roman_sub' timestamp='1509664912' post='3400782']
Sonarworks does look pretty good in concept admittedly. However, don't be convinced you can't mix without it
[/quote]

Absolutely.

I'd go as far as to say that you don't even need a good room. I mixed for years on headphones and still do 80% of my mixing on Apple earbuds and a crappy set of cans we have kicking around for general use at home. The remaining 20% or whatever is what my room, Sonarworks, outboard, etc, helps me to attain. But a lot of that could be achieved on headphones with sufficient referencing and patience.

For me, having a treated room (albeit a very amateur DIY setup!) is more about convenience and speeding up workflow than it is about attaining better quality output.

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