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New monitors or acoustic treatment?
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avafreak252
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#1
22nd December 2010
Old 22nd December 2010
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New monitors or acoustic treatment?

From reading a lot of the treads on GS most people say buying acoustic treatment would be more beneficial, but I want to know if this also applies to my situation.

Right now I don't have any studio monitors or any decent headphones, I'm actually mixing on the built-in iMac speakers... so would it be better for me to buy monitors first?

Or would it be better to buy acoustic treatment. If I bought acoustic treatment I would only have about $100 to buy foam panels and $20 for adhesive. So I would need to find some DIY method for bass traps.

Some other questions I had about acoustic treatment:
1. Do I need diffusors? I'm unsure of what they do, I heard they help the room if the sound is dead.
2. If I don't have bass traps will the foam panels have little/no effect on the sound?

Thanks for reading this.
#2
22nd December 2010
Old 22nd December 2010
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Diffusors reflect sound but scatter it rather than reflecting it back at a given angle. It's good to have some in your room. You don't generally want a room to be overly dead.

The foam panels you mention - yes, even without bass traps, anything that absorbs will help tame a room that is too live. Of course, doing it evenly across the full frequency spectrum is not easy to do.

A basic approach is to place absorbing panels on the ceiling and side walls where early reflections from your monitors would reach your listening position. If you can see your monitors in a mirror positioned on the wall or ceiling, then that is where you should have some absorption. Diffusion usually goes in the back of the room and absorption in the front. That is a popular approach, but not universal.

I'm not an expert at this by any means, and I'm sure some guys who know much more about it will chime in. There are some pretty wildly differing philosophies.

Regardless of room acoustics, you would no doubt benefit from some better monitors too.
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#3
22nd December 2010
Old 22nd December 2010
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Booster_Kitty is offline
Definitely treat the room first. Sucks getting your nonitors home and then not being able to mix on them at all. Either that or get a set of ath m50s (way better than sennheiser 280s.)
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22nd December 2010
Old 22nd December 2010
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Even if you only have $120 left over for room treatment, I'd do *something*. Forget foam - overpriced and bad effect - it is far more effective in the higher and mid frequencies, but does nothing/little to control bass problems, which are far more difficult to tame. You can get some cheapo fiberglass insulation or mineral wool to make DIY basstraps for very cheap. I got enough insulation to make 7 superchunks (big-ass 24"x24"x~34" traps that are ~18" deep) for $160us. All you need beyond that is a few pieces of wood and some fabric. You could easily make 2 for your rear corners at or under your budget and have enough for something for your "RFZ".

I'd recommend checking out RealTraps and GIK sites for their primer articles - it's a good start.

I would say that you should get some monitors too, though... imac speakers are really not qualified as mixing speakers!!
#5
22nd December 2010
Old 22nd December 2010
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Room treatment. You'll never get the low end right even with accurate monitors if your room is off.
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22nd December 2010
Old 22nd December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cinealta View Post
Room treatment. You'll never get the low end right even with accurate monitors if your room is off.
Yeah but check the OP... iMac built-ins wouldn't be sufficient in any room...
#7
22nd December 2010
Old 22nd December 2010
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get some monitors first and get your room treated asap
check into some packages here
GIK Acoustics. Acoustic Panels and Bass Traps.
what is your budget??????????????????????
might be able to do both
and what is the purpose of your studio?
strickly production monitors >room treatment
recording studio monitors=room treatment
mixing studio monitors=room treatment
best thing to do is save up to buy both at the same time if you can
but like I said I would get the monitors first then treat your room
because using computer speakers is just wack
avafreak252
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22nd December 2010
Old 22nd December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fataltone View Post
get some monitors first and get your room treated asap
check into some packages here
GIK Acoustics. Acoustic Panels and Bass Traps.
what is your budget??????????????????????
might be able to do both
and what is the purpose of your studio?
strickly production monitors >room treatment
recording studio monitors=room treatment
mixing studio monitors=room treatment
best thing to do is save up to buy both at the same time if you can
but like I said I would get the monitors first then treat your room
because using computer speakers is just wack
Right now I have $100 and I could possibly get $100 more (depending on how much money I receive this month). So based on this budget I think it would be better if I bought only 1 of the 2 instead of buying both.

I'll wait for more responses but I see most people are leaning towards acoustic treatment, so what you guys are saying is that:
(acoustic treatment + computer speakers) > (no acoustic treatment + studio monitors)
#9
22nd December 2010
Old 22nd December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcb4t2 View Post
Yeah but check the OP... iMac built-ins wouldn't be sufficient in any room...
True. Can you at least swing some Altec Lansing computer speakers?
#10
22nd December 2010
Old 22nd December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avafreak252 View Post
Right now I have $100 and I could possibly get $100 more (depending on how much money I receive this month). So based on this budget I think it would be better if I bought only 1 of the 2 instead of buying both.

I'll wait for more responses but I see most people are leaning towards acoustic treatment, so what you guys are saying is that:
(acoustic treatment + computer speakers) > (no acoustic treatment + studio monitors)
It might make more sense to wait and save up a little longer and get a decent set of monitors - I don't know how far you're going to get with $100. Not trying to be negative, but it's just the reality of the market...

I mean you're asking for either/or but you really need both....
#11
22nd December 2010
Old 22nd December 2010
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CodyD is offline
I wouldn't recommend spending $100 on monitors. I would save up, and if your on a budget the Adam A7s are a great choice in the future. Ns10s are pretty cheap too, Ive seen some around for $300, but there is a great debate over the usefulness speakers, you would have to read into it. I personally like to use them, not for an entire mix, but for reference of the highs and mids. Still..... they would be better for mixing than Imac speakers. Also, they wont give you a super accurate reading of the lower bass freqs...

In the meantime, you could always use the 1/8" output of your mac into some stereo speakers, anything cheap you can find and has bigger cones (5-8") than your imac so that you can monitor the lower frequencies somewhat more accurately. Something like this... JVC Ghettoblaster

look its free.... You can spread the speakers and face them towards you so that it forms an equilateral triangle into the listening position. They could be awful speakers for mixing, or they could be decent with a treated room. You never know. Switch back and forth between that and your Imac speakers for reference until you can afford more accurate monitors.

Acoustically treat your room as you save up. Buy some roxull like rcb4t2 mentioned and build your own bass traps and some panels for monitor reflections.
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