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Mastering Room Acoustics
Old 8th November 2005
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DeeDrive's Avatar

Mastering Room Acoustics

I'm working on putting together a mastering room, and trying to get all the acoustic treatment figured out. I'm pretty new at this, does anybody have any experience at this? I'm going to put most of my efforts into bass trapping, but what about mids/highs? Is it pretty typical to use diffusion in a mastering environment?

I've got a pile of 2" foam lying around, which I'll probably try to use sparingly to tame some echos, as this room will be fairly small. (Appox. dimensions, 12' wide x 15' long x 8' high). What would you guys do? Is the 2" foam a bad idea, or will it have some use in a mastering room? Any ideas on this subject would be helpful.
Old 8th November 2005
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Darius van H's Avatar

Verified Member
I'd employ the services of a qualified acoustician.
Old 8th November 2005
Gear Addict

Verified Member
Originally Posted by Darius van H
I'd employ the services of a qualified acoustician.
...That, or do a search on the forum. I have been asking people around for the same thing.

Check the realtraps website (the owner -I think- Ethan posts here) there are some really good documents there.

Otherwise, wait for Ethan to "chip in" in this thread, he has been very helpful in the past.

Old 8th November 2005
Lives for gear
I've got a room similar in size. The 2" foam will do a little for the room but only a little. Like you stated it will help control the echo but that's about all. It will tame some highs as well. To improve overall broadband absorption I've resorted to gluing the 2" foam I have to a 2'x4' panel of 2" 703 Owens Corning rigid fiberglass. I've also floated these off the walls 3" using homemade wooden spacers. It worked, my room sounds much better now as opposed to when I just had the 2" foam tacked to the wall. Bass will probably be your main problem. this is the most typical problem area with that size room. I would recommend finding some 4" thick 703 Owens Corning rigid fiberglass. It typically comes in 2'x4' panels. If 2" thick is all that's available then glue them together with liquid nails. I would straddle these in all 4 corners of the room from the floor to the ceiling (convenient 8' height). If you have the cash then get some traps from Ethan Winer or RPG. The Auralex stuff is a joke. Unfortunately, I had to buy them to find this out. I only use their corner traps where the wall meets the ceiling. If you can, I would highly recommend investing in diffusers. I bought my first RPG skylines and couldn't believe the difference. No joke. My makeshift one's didn't compare at all. Try to focus your efforts on Bass traps and diffusion. Your mastering will improve greatly. If you're strapped on cash then MAKE the bass traps and BUY the diffusers.
Old 8th November 2005
Gear Addict

I'm building a 2 channel and surround mastering room now. The design was by Chris Huston.

A mastering room is more like an "audiophile listening room" where you DO have room interaction. The speakers are usually high-end audiophile speakers. Mine will be Wilson Maxx2. I've seen others use B&W or Dunlavy. YMMV
I will also be using a Sonoma and SADiE system.

Old 8th November 2005
Gear Guru
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
mltamisin is pretty much on the money with everything he said, but let me add a few things to that.

You really want to straddle all corners and if you are forced to put on walls (not corners) then make sure the 4" panels (make sure they are 4" and not 3" or less) are spaced off the wall 4" or more. Don't forget that a floor to wall or wall to ceiling is a great place for corners also. For your first reflections you can go with 2" panels, but I would still recommend using 4" panels just to make sure you are covering as much of the low end as possible. You may want to also think about putting panels on the ceiling at first reflection points.
If you would like you can visit our company website to see some pictures of how people have put up panels.

Good luck on the mastering room.

Old 8th November 2005
Gear Guru
Ethan Winer's Avatar


> wait for Ethan to "chip in" in this thread <

I have nothing further to add. You guys nailed it: Bass traps, bass traps, and yet more bass traps.

(And maybe a diffusor or two if the room is large enough to support that.)

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