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Old 19th August 2019
Lives for gear
Another question I have - is it worth buying a Galaxy Audio Live Sound Monitor (CM130) to help with the Acoustic Treatment process?
Unless you need accurate sound level measurements, or want to do precision acoustic tuning of your room, then no, you probably don't need that. It's useful for those things, for sure, but for a simple hobby studio, you can get by without. There are free apps for your cell phone that can give you a rough estimate of sound levels.

I guess I'm asking for the best bang for the buck or where the principle of diminishing returns kicks in for most hobby home studios.
The exact point where you hit diminishing returns, is the point where you reach into your wallet to buy more materials, and find you have no money left! OK, so more seriously: treat your room until you are satisfied that it is giving the results you want, in that things you mix in there sound fine when played in other locations (your car, living room, office, shop, church hall, club, ear buds, or wherever else you normally listen to music you make). If you find that your mixes are not "translating well" like this, then you probably need to look at the treatment again, but if your mixes are fine for what you need, then you are done!

Best "bang for the buck" is bass traps: Big ones. Lots of them. Deep. The reason why that's the best place to invest, is because all small rooms have major issues in the low frequencies: By far the biggest problems in your room will occur below about 200 Hz. Getting that region under control will make the biggest overall impact on your room. This normally includes something like "superchunk" bass traps in the room corners, and thick absorption across the entire rear wall, perhaps with wood slats over it to not suck out too much of the high-end.

Next biggest "bang for your buck", is first reflection points: putting good absorption on the walls and ceiling at the places where reflections occur, that are bouncing sound into your ears.

But there's also the "free" bang for your buck, that costs you nothing in money: only your own time: setting up your speakers and mix position in the correct relationship. That can go a long way to improving the acoustic response that you hear. It's very much worthwhile doing that first, before you start treating the room, then doing it again a couple of times during the treatment process, to optimize the locations of the speakers and mix position, since the treatment itself can potentially affect that.

- Stuart -