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Room Advice For A Noob
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BrainstuHammy
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28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
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Room Advice For A Noob

Greetings all. Hope everyone had a nice Christmas. Apologies beforehand for the long-winded post, as I feel I need to put every detail I can into this to get the most accurate advice.

I am turning the second bedroom in my apartment into a small all-in-one room for my podcast/voice over recording and some music mixing as well. My landlord forbids me to nail anything to the walls and my fiance agreed to let me do this so long as we can move the couches and fit an air mattress in there and still use it as a guest bedroom for when her brothers visit, which is every other month or so. My room measurements are 10 feet by 11 feet and the ceiling is about 9 1/2 feet high. The walls are sheetrock and I have natural hardwood floors.

I'm on a next to nothing budget, so even the lightest purchases come rarely. Money is pretty tight. The first thing I did after repainting walls was consult with people from various stores and home theater treatment stores, explained my situation and budget and they recommended Auralex 1X1 pads, spaced by 6 inches. The glue won't ruin the walls, making my landlord not angry with me, and it will reduce the horrendous echo issue I had in the room. Before I had echo with any voice recording I did, now the room is a much quieter 20-25 DB. I have to be right next to my window to have any hint of echo. Here are some photos of my progress so far.

Painting

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphoto...49448797_n.jpg

Layout after desk and furniture

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphoto...53498388_o.jpg

After putting up Auralex pads to treat unwanted reverb

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphoto...57119991_n.jpg

With Christmas money I bought a pair of Yamaha HS80ms. I loved hearing them in the store and they sound great already in my room. I'm aware that having my back in a corner and the monitors facing a corner is a big no-no, but I wouldn't be able to move it in a way it would let an air mattress fit in there and still fit 2 other bodies for my podcast. I can hear the highs, mids and lows pretty well and commercial masters and even some of my old sessions sound great on these speakers. Even corrected some mistakes on my old work when I was just using computer speakers and headphones. The monitors are each 4 feet from the wall, 4 feet apart and 4 feet away from me, with my ears at center level of the speakers.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/A_GOBokCIAAWRWi.jpg:large

To sum this long-winded post up into questions: I know my room needs work in order to mix music in properly. What can I do with what I already have to make my situation better? What would I need to purchase to improve my room? If I have to re-arrange anything, what would you do? Any software I can use to test the acoustics that work on Mac with Snow Leopard? REW V5 won't read my interface for some reason. Anything else you'd recommend?

Thanks so much guys.
#2
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
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Putting up foam all over the walls is not going to do anything for low end decay times (think of this as low frequency reverb) which is the largest problem in room like yours. A few things.
1)Set up the mix spot to face the short wall in the room with the speakers as close to the wall as possible.
2)Cover as much corner area as possible with bass trapping made from rigid fiberglass or mineral room.
3)Treat the early reflection points.
More here.
The Basics of Room Acoustics: Bass Traps, Diffusion, Panels - GIK Acoustics
Bass Traps and Understanding Low Frequencies - GIK Acoustics
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Built in Slat design (Scattering/Diffusion) on all Bass Traps click here
BrainstuHammy
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28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Kuras View Post
Putting up foam all over the walls is not going to do anything for low end decay times (think of this as low frequency reverb) which is the largest problem in room like yours. A few things.
1)Set up the mix spot to face the short wall in the room with the speakers as close to the wall as possible.
2)Cover as much corner area as possible with bass trapping made from rigid fiberglass or mineral room.
3)Treat the early reflection points.
More here.
The Basics of Room Acoustics: Bass Traps, Diffusion, Panels - GIK Acoustics
Bass Traps and Understanding Low Frequencies - GIK Acoustics
Thanks for the quick response Glenn!

I'm not sure I understand what you mean when you say "short wall". If you're referring to the layout photo, I'm not sure why the panorama photo makes it look like that, but the wall with those 2 windows is 11 feet long, the walls to the right and left are 10 feet. Would turning the desk so the mix spot would face the wall with the diamond shaped pads be a good move? By that I mean that I would face the wall with the diamond shaped pads and my back face the couches in their current position (sorry, just so I understand what you're trying to say).

If I do that and re-arrange the other desk, I could easily put bass traps in the corners on stands. I knew just putting up foam pads wouldn't make my room treated. I just wanted to get rid of echo as inexpensive as possible so I can have a good sounding podcast.

Thanks again!
#4
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
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Yes face the 10 foot wall and treat away!!!
BrainstuHammy
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29th December 2012
Old 29th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Kuras View Post
Yes face the 10 foot wall and treat away!!!
Glenn,

I just moved my desk so my mix position faces the wall with the most padding on it. Monitors are now about a foot and a half from the wall. WOW! What a difference with just with what I have now. Not even stepping back I can already tell anything I play has amazing, more full sounds from the speakers. I feel really silly and sort of stupid for putting everything in the corner thinking I can get any kind of results. I can now actually hear more low end and actually hear the bouncing low end from the corners to my immediate left and right behind the monitors. I will most definitely purchase some corner bass traps and side panels to further help out with the treatment and remove the reflecting low end. Directly to my right is the door. Obviously I need an acoustic panel in front of it, but what else can I do to further treat the door? Also, would thick, acoustic curtains over my windows help, or is there something else I can do for them?

Photos of new layout. I will of course be moving the DVD shelf on the right and maybe find a new spot for the TV. We need it to have the news on when I do my podcast live for any breaking stories, but I might just move it out of the room entirely.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/A_RaWMDCIAEwtTX.jpg:large

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/A_RanaSCMAA_klD.jpg:large

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/A_Ra40fCMAAoAKf.jpg:large

I saw your company has panels that are surprisingly very affordable for me. I have about $300 left over from Christmas money. What would you recommend I get? Also, not to be a cheap plug, but my podcast network Morelikeradio.com has over 200,000 listeners a week. If you're interested in advertising, we're trying to get pro audio dealers to advertise with us. (cheap plug, I know. I apologize)

If I don't log in again before New Years, have a safe New Years. Cheers!
#6
29th December 2012
Old 29th December 2012
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Quote:
I saw your company has panels that are surprisingly very affordable for me. I have about $300 left over from Christmas money. What would you recommend I get? Also, not to be a cheap plug, but my podcast network Morelikeradio.com has over 200,000 listeners a week. If you're interested in advertising, we're trying to get pro audio dealers to advertise with us. (cheap plug, I know. I apologize)
wow that is a lot listeners. Cheers to that and no problem about plugging away. Have a link?
For $300 I would look at our 244 for straddling in corners and use the foam you have for now for the early reflection points. Over time you can add more.
Video Early or First Reflection Points - GIK Acoustics
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