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Untreated bedroom ARC-2 or VRM
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manight
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#1
18th November 2012
Old 18th November 2012
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Untreated bedroom ARC-2 or VRM

Hallo mates,
I have my audio stuff in my bedroom. That pose a major issue in treating the room since I cannot place traps around or move things more then just a bit.
The room is about 3m x 4m x 3.5m (high) there is a big window on the right wall (facing the speakers) and a big wardrobe that goes along all the wall from floor to ceiling on the back wall (the wall behind me not behind the speakers). The wardrobe is "plastic wood" so it's highly "reflectant".
Apart from that, the other walls are all covered with a Alkantara paper, wich is similar to a pool table cover.

Monitors are a couple of seasoned Yamaha NS-10M

This is the overall description. Of course is generic but I think it can be enough to point me to the right direction.
I would like to get some improvement for mixing/mastering duties (I'm no professional I do it just for fun) and instead of having to listen to the song in 189739123 different places to have the right feel for mix deficiences, I was wondering if some "audio helper" system could do the trick.

I did some research and end up with the main question wich is if in my situation I would benefit more from an IK ARC-2 system (or similar like MiniDSP+REW) or a goog couple of professional Headphones (AKG K 271 MK II + Focusrite VRM or similar).
Mixing entirely in headphones is not advisable of course but maybe VRM would ease this issue and provide better results than mixing on the speakers with an ARC-2 in an untreated room like mine.

The price for AKG K 271 MK II and ARC-2 is similar. Also I don't know if there are "better" systems than the Focusrite VRM or ARC-2

Thanks in advance for your guru suggestions and sorry for bugging with lame stuff.
#2
18th November 2012
Old 18th November 2012
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You can not eq a room only the speaker, which the room will still dominate. Also frequency response is only part of the equation. Decay times on the low end (think of this as low end reverb) is going to effect your judgement on mixing a lot more. Having the decay times inline (reduced) will result in the clarity of the mix that you are looking for which eq (the things you are listing) will not fix. I would figure out how to treat the room first. You can always treat upper corners around the room or even floor corners. See the following to understand low end and what corners you can treat.
Video: Bass Traps and Understanding Low Frequencies
Video: Testing Bass Trap Placement
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Built in Slat design (Scattering/Diffusion) on all Bass Traps click here
manight
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18th November 2012
Old 18th November 2012
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Thank you Gleen! I've seen you've been very responsive and useful in other threads as well so really I do appreciate your contribution!

I watched both videos and read some stuff around as well but put simply there is not much I can do to my room. Is a room intended for living not as a control room so for example in the upper corners of the wall behind the speakers I have spotlights and neon lights extruded from the wall (and the room door as well). On the wall facing the speaker (behind my seat position) I have the bed (on one corner) and this big wardrobe covering the entire wall up to the ceiling with the wardrobe "doors" opening until they touch the lateral walls. Also on one of the lateral walls I have a big windows so I cannot but stuff there as well.
I thought of some improvements I could do to the room but... really I surrender to the idea this is not possible.
Bass is not much of an issue at the moment... I mean... I don't hear much bass, maybe beacause of the NS-10 speakers or maybe the room but I don't have this "bass" build-up effects, maybe the opposite.

Anyway since I have this issue in setting up traps or such (by the way the room is quite full of stuff that breaks angles, spaces and walls, is quite small wih a big soft bed and many fornitures) that's the reason I was wondering if an ARC-like system could be of enough use or maybe it's best investing that money on a good pair of headphones, coupled with a VRM-like system...
I really wish I had a spare room in my house to dress up like it should

I'm not a full time "engineer" it's just a spare hobby that goes together with many others so maybe I do a song then for 3 months (or years) I don't even open my daw.
#4
18th November 2012
Old 18th November 2012
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Reference

manight, a good pair of headphones would be an invaluable reference.
The better ones tend to be open with no isolating effect. All the sealed ones seem to suffer from weird tizzy treble. Except the Sennheiser HD25 which is a very useful device.
So I recommend you take a listen to the open headphones, particularly Sennheiser. The 650/600 are truly amazing. Some of the mid range models come very close to this level of quality also.

While ARC seems to work quite well, it would have a ridiculous amount of work to do with those very coloured and restricted frequency range speakers.

DD
manight
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18th November 2012
Old 18th November 2012
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I see.... did you try the VRM system (or similar system emulating front speaker for headphones)? Do you think could do a fair job in helping spot the right balances in mixing?
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19th November 2012
Old 19th November 2012
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VRM

I took a listen to the Focusrite box. Not good enough quality electronics to drive proper cans. I also tried a software thing. It worked but found it buggy.
It may have improved and you can try a demo. 112dB

Cans do not deliver the same sort of center summing that speakers do, so a headphone mix and a speaker mix will differ. Just as a Mono and a Stereo mix will. So it's a matter of mentally averaging and using several references.
Mixing On Headphones

DD
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19th November 2012
Old 19th November 2012
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Try the VRM box with an amp, it starts to make more sense then.
manight
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19th November 2012
Old 19th November 2012
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Thanks for your seggstions. At least now I have a clear idea that ARC system in a completely untreated room would perform worse than mixing in very good headphones with VRM-like systems.
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19th November 2012
Old 19th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manight View Post
Thanks for your seggstions. At least now I have a clear idea that ARC system in a completely untreated room would perform worse than mixing in very good headphones with VRM-like systems.
No problem. If you don't understand decay times you can read the following article that does define it, about half way through it.
Comparing Foam to GIK 244 Bass Traps
#10
19th November 2012
Old 19th November 2012
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VRM

Quote:
Thanks for your seggstions. At least now I have a clear idea that ARC system in a completely untreated room would perform worse than mixing in very good headphones with VRM-like systems.
Very well put. +1. Personally I have not had difficulty with headphone mixes translating without VRM or the Redline. I like strong panning and the superb resolution of great cans seems to prevent the vocal level going up too much.

DD
manight
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19th November 2012
Old 19th November 2012
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Thank you Glenn again.

@Dan, yes I guess in the end you just have to get attuned to it and how it can translate on loudspeakers. Something like VRM could be useful anyway to easily test the mix in different environments (even if virtual)
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