The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Help with room treatment? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 30th August 2007
  #1
Gear Addict
 
RBowlin's Avatar
 

Help with room treatment?

I've got a small room (formerly a large closet) that I use as a recording "booth." It's relatively soundproof, comfortable and large enough to move around in. The dimensions are a bit odd: about 6' wide and about 12' long. One end wall is angled and the ceiling is also angled.
I've treated the room with six 2'x4' 703 bass traps in the usual places you would expect and the floor is carpeted. So far, I've recorded vocals and acoustic guitar in this room with pretty good success. However, I had a young female singer with a very powerful voice in recently. And things just didn't sound too good. The song she was singing had a great dynamic range, from quiet to loud. On the loud parts, things began to break down and sound, well, gritty distorted - not a lot mind you, but enough to bother me. We tried a number of mic/pre combinations and in the end, a TLM 103 thru a CL7602 seemed to work the best. I had her "work" the mic a bit and that helped, but I couldn't help but to wonder if a room this small is just going to fail when things get loud.
So, is there a way to treat a small space so that it can work with loud vocals? Anyone experienced something similar?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

-Rich
Old 30th August 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 

This is my vocal/acoustic guitar booth. Both have similar requirements. Its has uneven walls behind the picture, its roughly 10x10 not counting the odd walls. I used bass trap in the lower corner (black), and a high freq absorber on the walls and top corner. I also have 4 mobile absorber with legs so I can put them where I need them.

Also, try to use christmas lights. It will enhance the mental and emotional impact on your singers and players. Tip taken from Sunset Sound studios.
Peace.

Old 30th August 2007
  #3
Gear Addict
 
RBowlin's Avatar
 

Hi Wayne, I'm diggin the christmas lights! Do you have any trouble with loud vocals in that room? The slight distortion thing?

-Rich
Old 30th August 2007
  #4
Lives for gear
 

I'm not real certain the "distortion" you're hearing is due to the room acoustics. In my booth there is no echo or natural reverb, no matter how loud they sing. You want the singer to hear themselves, not just through the headphones. Some singers will have one ear on the phone and the other open so they can hear theirself in the room. A good isolated booth will create an intimacy with the voice. They won't have to strain to hear theirself. It should sound as if their ear is right at their mouth, not much different than if someone was talking close to your ear.

Most singers will have better control of their "outbursts" when they perceive their vocals as being more intimate. Hope that makes sense to you.
Old 30th August 2007
  #5
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by RBowlin View Post
On the loud parts, things began to break down and sound, well, gritty distorted
I agree with Wayne that this is probably not an acoustics issue. Passive absorption is linear and does not change its behavior at different volume levels.

--Ethan
Old 30th August 2007
  #6
Gear Addict
 
RBowlin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
I agree with Wayne that this is probably not an acoustics issue. Passive absorption is linear and does not change its behavior at different volume levels.

--Ethan
Hmmm... I tried a number of different mics etc and they all suffered at the high-volume parts. Ethan, I think I've followed most of your advice from other posts and your website, and I think things sound pretty good in this rather dead space. But this vocalist, who was really awesome, just sounded slightly distorted when she was belting out certain parts of the song. I guess I need to go back and look at the gain-staging. Maybe I had something screwed up.
Man, these kind of things drive me nuts. It exposes quite clearly how little I know about engineering.

-Rich
Old 30th August 2007
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Why not see if you can recreate it with your own voice? I'm sure this distortion would not care if you're in pitch or not.
Old 30th August 2007
  #8
Lives for gear
 

gain staging issues seem more likely a culprit...
Old 30th August 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
 
cubivore's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by orksnork View Post
gain staging issues seem more likely a culprit...

yeah, i'd try riding the gain on the pre. otherwise, try padding the mic on the loud passages.
Old 30th August 2007
  #10
Gear Addict
 
RBowlin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by orksnork View Post
gain staging issues seem more likely a culprit...
The more I think about it, this has got to be it. Since I mainly record myself, this room has a rack of preamps in it. I'm in there usually messing with the knobs to make sure everything is working. This time, I set the staging to what I thought would be correct and left the singer in there by herself. Well, the gain was probably set correctly for most of the song, but not for the loud parts. I tried a compressor plugin on the input but it sounded like crap, so I took it off. I should have been riding the fader.

Live and learn. Thanks guys.

-Rich
Old 2nd September 2007
  #11
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by RBowlin View Post
this vocalist, who was really awesome, just sounded slightly distorted when she was belting out certain parts of the song. I guess I need to go back and look at the gain-staging.
How does it sound in the room? If you hear no distortion there, then it's surely gain-staging.

--Ethan
Top Mentioned Products
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
Deleted / So much gear, so little time
1
shadyru / Low End Theory
0
mistaD / High end
10
artapril / So much gear, so little time
4
cajonezzz / So much gear, so little time
13

Forum Jump
Forum Jump