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do you clap your hands to quickly assess a room? DAW Software
View Poll Results: clap or no clap?
yes, im a clap based acoustician
67 Votes - 83.75%
no, i believe better methods must be used
13 Votes - 16.25%
Voters: 80. You may not vote on this poll

Old 13th August 2008
  #1
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peat's Avatar
do you clap your hands to quickly assess a room?

i will often walk into a room (or any space) and clap my hands together to sort of get a sense of reverb time, frequency response and any flutter echo problems

i know its a very rudimentary method
how many of you do the same?
Old 13th August 2008
  #2
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Kyle S's Avatar
 

i try to imitate a sine sweep with my voice. sometimes its easy to find resonance like that.
Old 13th August 2008
  #3
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

I always eat a boatload of baked beans before going to a new studio......
Old 13th August 2008
  #4
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I do a few things to see how a room is sounding starting with my voice. If I go into a room talking to someone I listen to anything coming back at me. I might even walk around looking at stuff whilst listening to acoustic properties.

If you walk into a room you can asses it's size with your eyes and then make a guess and test for suprizes. You won't migically get a different reverb time from 2 rooms with the same dimensions.

I think someone that calls him/herself an acoustician and uses a clapping methodology only is like calling a guy with a knife and fork a surgeon!

I like to listen to how a room responds to a sound source and place the source in a sweetspot and or modify the room with gobos or hanging things off the walls or bringing in something reflective etc.

As I am walking into a room I am looking at different surfaces around the place and listening for any advantages that the room will offer up.

Like Kyle S I like sinewave sweeps etc.

I will say this though.. at least when you do your clapping you are listening but a room can add to the tone of the source at different frequencies.

Peace,
cortisol
Old 13th August 2008
  #5
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Yup, clapping is a fast way to assess and reduce room problems. Sometimes a room is fine whilst talking but certainly not on louder volumes. Hand clapping has also higher frequencies, so yes, i clap.
Old 13th August 2008
  #6
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J*808's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cortisol View Post
I do a few things to see how a room is sounding starting with my voice. If I go into a room talking to someone I listen to anything coming back at me. I might even walk around looking at stuff whilst listening to acoustic properties.

I think someone that calls him/herself an acoustician and uses a clapping methodology only is like calling a guy with a knife and fork a surgeon!

I like to listen to how a room responds to a sound source and place the source in a sweetspot and or modify the room with gobos or hanging things off the walls or bringing in something reflective etc.

As I am walking into a room I am looking at different surfaces around the place and listening for any advantages that the room will offer up.

Like Kyle S I like sinewave sweeps etc.

I will say this though.. at least when you do your clapping you are listening but a room can add to the tone of the source at different frequencies.

Peace,
cortisol
I whole heartadly agree, I think that clapping tells you one thing only:

How a clap sounds in that room. This may not relate at all to what you are using the room for.

J
Old 13th August 2008
  #7
DIY Basstraps build correctly?

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/low-e...o-quality.html

Room / Mic placement suggestions (drums)

Some hand clap test references in the above threads..

I do clap hands but I wouldn't say I make all judgments from the sound of it but it contributes to my thought process. (Abbey Road studio 2, despite its size has a very dead clap sound (IMHO) ) so it all varies.

For drums a cloudy long 'dark' clap reverb can = good and so can that 'big room but cant hear any real reverb' clap (like Abbey Road has)

Sometimes from a few claps I can arrive at the opinion that a studios live area is simply a domestic style construction (nasty reflections) and may have no real studio specific "qualities" to its sound. (in that case - bummer! - time to break out the thick blankets and hope for the best!)

Of course while you are playing 'clap acoustician', your eyes scan around the room(s) taking in the way they look constructed / laid out / treated etc.. that all adds to the opinion you develop at an initial quick inspection.

So its an eyes and ears thing..

BTW if I am ever in a big church, cathedral (and there isnt a service taking place) or a huge museum or public building hall I find I cant resist sneaking one clap just to hear the decay! heh
Old 13th August 2008
  #8
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Handclap, using the voice in as wide bandwith as it allows (half an octave for me I guess :-) ) and chest-dunking!!

By hitting your chestbone with your fist, standing in the corners of a room you may get a good sense of the LF behaviour. Use the surface of the hand that is made up by the thumb and index finger.

Or bring your laptop and Earthworks mic! :-)


/Peter
Old 13th August 2008
  #9
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duckoff's Avatar
 

I always try & do it while no one else is around tho cos I think it looks a bit amateur

but yeah - i clap, shout, sing & basically make any noises i feel like to assess the room ( voice sweep is a goodun looking for low mid boomy resonances )

like a few have said tho - it's only out of curiosity as it's hard to predict what a specific instrument will sound like till you actually hear it
Old 13th August 2008
  #10
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Yes - a quick clap is a very fast and easy way to get a first "feel" for a room.

I also sometimes just make a tick/click sound with my mouth that works very well as well - and is not so obvious if people are around.
Old 13th August 2008
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by duckoff View Post
I always try & do it while no one else is around tho cos I think it looks a bit amateur
Don't be self conscious about it. It's the people rolling their eyes about you doing it that are the amateurs.. (its an 'accoustic test' whats the big deal?)

Cheer up! - At least its not the 1980's when in the first 10 mins of arriving at a new studio to work in you might walk around clapping your hands and then start putting toilet paper over the NS10 tweeters! (agonizing over one ply or two!)
Old 13th August 2008
  #12
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synthoid's Avatar
 

I snap my fingers (I can do it really loud), but I think that counts as a clap, so I voted yes. Poor man's impulse response test!
-synthoid
Old 13th August 2008
  #13
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle S View Post
i try to imitate a sine sweep with my voice. sometimes its easy to find resonance like that.
how can you make a sine sweep with your voice?

it's kinda impossible even getting close to that...


I clap twice and then the room is perfect!

anybody want my services...?
Old 13th August 2008
  #14
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neon Heart View Post
how can you make a sine sweep with your voice?

it's kinda impossible even getting close to that...


I clap twice and then the room is perfect!

anybody want my services...?

Yep, *I* clap twice and then I'll want your services....'Whipers!...' heh
Old 13th August 2008
  #15
Gear Nut
 
LRhodes's Avatar
 

I once saw a girl sing a sine wave on an oscilliscope in a physics of sound class. Mine was like a saw I use the clap system and some low, "Hey Now" checks to sum up a room.
Old 13th August 2008
  #16
I use the Eventide SP2016 "Acoustic Impulse Generator".
Old 13th August 2008
  #17
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Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Yep. I'll walk in and clap to quickly find any trouble spots (or conversely, nice sounding spots) and start by putting up gobo's etc to deal with any nasties I think I can rectify.

Then I'll move, say, the kick/snare around to find my sweet spot.

R.
Old 13th August 2008
  #18
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
I always eat a boatload of baked beans before going to a new studio......
LMAO
Old 13th August 2008
  #19
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
you might walk around clapping your hands and then start putting toilet paper over the NS10 tweeters! (agonizing over one ply or two!)
omg thats happen a million times.
Old 13th August 2008
  #20
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drmmrboy's Avatar
 

I hate it when I clap & the room goes dark..
Old 13th August 2008
  #21
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peat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cortisol View Post
I do a few things to see how a room is sounding starting with my voice. If I go into a room talking to someone I listen to anything coming back at me. I might even walk around looking at stuff whilst listening to acoustic properties.

If you walk into a room you can asses it's size with your eyes and then make a guess and test for suprizes. You won't migically get a different reverb time from 2 rooms with the same dimensions.

I think someone that calls him/herself an acoustician and uses a clapping methodology only is like calling a guy with a knife and fork a surgeon!

I like to listen to how a room responds to a sound source and place the source in a sweetspot and or modify the room with gobos or hanging things off the walls or bringing in something reflective etc.

As I am walking into a room I am looking at different surfaces around the place and listening for any advantages that the room will offer up.

Like Kyle S I like sinewave sweeps etc.

I will say this though.. at least when you do your clapping you are listening but a room can add to the tone of the source at different frequencies.

Peace,
cortisol
how do you like your swept sinusoids
exponential or linear
do you use a full range omnidirectional sound source?
do you just listen to them or record them back in and then look at them

or do you use cross-correlation to obtain the impulse response and then take the FFT of that to have a look at the rooms frequency response, reverb time, c50 etc...
Old 13th August 2008
  #22
"So its an eyes and ears thing..

BTW if I am ever in a big church, cathedral (and there isnt a service taking place) or a huge museum or public building hall I find I cant resist sneaking one clap just to hear the decay! heh[/quote]"

Jules is great!! This is why I love gearslutz!

I do the clap, sometimes stomp the floor, sing, etc... just try to get a feeling for how the room sounds before putting up any mics or gobos.
Old 13th August 2008
  #23
I give up, I admit that I am a clapper tutt

Not always but I find myself often clapping to check out the room. It is more to get the feeling for the room than an analytic sound check.
Old 13th August 2008
  #24
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Lee Knight's Avatar
 

When I studied with Malcolm Chisholm he made point of "Using what you have". He was a pretty funny guy if any of you know of him. He recorded Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, CSO, etc. but later went on to doing acoustics for public areas like restaurants etc. Lot's of $ in those gigs. Anyway...

Paraphrasing Malcolm. "You've got a couple of test instruments you carry around all the time. Why not use them and stop being so precious about it. The first pair are on the sides of your head, the other pair are on the ends of your arms. Use them. Are their better tests? Of course, but it's kind of silly not starting here at least. Do it every time you walk into a new room and the info will start meaning something to you over time."

He was right.
Old 13th August 2008
  #25
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I won't name names, but I have seen a few of the biggest names in acoustic design clap their hands to asses a space.

I travel and deal with sound in about fifty venues per year in all parts of the U.S.
I can't carry a machine to analyze a room.
There isn't time to screw around, so you have to make quick assessments.

Clapping works.

I will add that a big name acoustician (now deceased) was in one my control rooms once.
He was clapping LOUDLY and said, "There is a resonance at a strange frequency."
I said, "No, you are hearing the metal on the base of the chairs ringing."
HE CLAPPED THAT LOUD!
The chairs had a decorative, metal cover on the legs and they were ringing when he clapped.
Gotta' remain practical and objective!
Old 13th August 2008
  #26
Gear Addict
 
rkwyent's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neon Heart View Post
how can you make a sine sweep with your voice?

it's kinda impossible even getting close to that...


I clap twice and then the room is perfect!

anybody want my services...?

Hey DO, RE, ME is kind of a sine sweep that you can do with your voice
Old 13th August 2008
  #27
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DeepSpace's Avatar
 

I clap. Among other things.

I have to say that I find the folk who have derided the practice of clapping on this thread hilarious. A clap test is simple and "low-tech" but to anyone with ears it provides immediate information about reflections, decay patterns and the way ambience will be applied to transients. Granted it's rarely enough on its own, but it's a fine place to start.

If there are some folk who have no use for the information a clap test provides, then they're to be pitied - but the fact that some appear to think that others "reveal their ignorance" by obtaining and using such information --- well that's just superbly ironic!!
Old 13th August 2008
  #28
Gear Addict
 
Lee Knight's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkSky View Post
I clap. Among other things.

I have to say that I find the folk who have derided the practice of clapping on this thread hilarious. A clap test is simple and "low-tech" but to anyone with ears it provides immediate information about reflections, decay patterns and the way ambience will be applied to transients. Granted it's rarely enough on its own, but it's a fine place to start.

If there are some folk who have no use for the information a clap test provides, then they're to be pitied - but the fact that some appear to think that others "reveal their ignorance" by obtaining and using such information --- well that's just superbly ironic!!

Exactly. It's an impulse test that you carry with you. If you were a surveyor and had to level a large expanse, wouldn't you look at it first? You know, with just your plain old eyes. Look. Then apply surveying techniques.
Old 13th August 2008
  #29
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by peat View Post
i will often walk into a room (or any space) and clap my hands together to sort of get a sense of reverb time, frequency response and any flutter echo problems
Clapping is very useful, but it doesn't tell you anything about how a room responds at low frequencies. In small home-sized studios it's the lows that get you every time.

--Ethan
Old 13th August 2008
  #30
Gear Addict
 
Lee Knight's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
Clapping is very useful, but it doesn't tell you anything about how a room responds at low frequencies. In small home-sized studios it's the lows that get you every time.

--Ethan
Of course. I don't think anyone's proposing to do room response measurements using clapped hands. Good point though.
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