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Trouble with room treatment
Old 26th June 2005
  #1
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wilkinswp's Avatar
 

Trouble with room treatment

Feeling rather ignorant on this topic. I seriously need to treat my monitoring room. I have ideas as to how to accomplish this. I've seen some of the websites with suggested ways of treating a room with certain dimensions. . . .

But what besides my ears will tell me that I finally have a good monitoring environment after adding some diffusers, absorbing panels I'm planning to build, and bass traps etc?

Is there a cheap analyzer that I could use to test the frequencies present at the listening position and just work to get a flat response?


Thanks in advance everyone. . . .
Old 26th June 2005
  #2
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... a cheap way is to use a plugin, for example in Logic a multimeter. use the logic aux inserts for online mesurements. For more precision may be pinguin (PC). A nice hardware solution is http://www.nt-instruments.com/X0-ASP...X1-default.htm but this is of course more expensive.

Andreas
Old 27th June 2005
  #3
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Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Wilkins,

> I've seen some of the websites with suggested ways of treating a room with certain dimensions <

That's not usually the best way to approach it, especially with a room the size you'll find in most homes. You'll almost certainly get better results using broadband absorption that works well to as low a frequency as possible. The "old school" approach was to determine the resonant frequencies in a room, and then design bass traps to target those frequencies. More modern thinking recognizes that all rooms have problems at all low frequencies, not just those related to the room dimensions.

> Is there a cheap analyzer that I could use to test the frequencies present at the listening position and just work to get a flat response? <

First, you're not likely to get a perfectly flat response, no matter how many bass traps you add. If you can get to within +/- 6 dB below 300 Hz you'll be doing really well.

Second, there's more to bass trapping than a flat low frequency response. Just as important is to reduce modal ringing decay time, and a typical Real Time Analyzer (RTA) will not show that. I use the ETF software, which runs on PCs only and costs a very reasonable $150. But - and this may seem difficult to believe - it's not really necessary to measure a room prior to treating it because the solution is always the same regardless of what you measure: As much broadband bass trapping as you can manage in the corners, plus mid/high frequency absorbers at the first reflection points on the side walls and ceiling. Once that's in place you're either done or 90 percent done. The last 10 percent would be more absorption, here and there as needed, placed on large opposing parallel surfaces to avoid flutter echo.

--Ethan
Old 27th June 2005
  #4
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Ethan,
I treated my studio with that methode you called "old school"approach. You mentioned that a more modern thinking recognizes, that all rooms have problems at all low frequencies, not just those related to the room dimensions. That´s interesting and very new for me. Could you please explain what's behind that new perceptions?

many Thanks Andreas
Old 28th June 2005
  #5
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Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Andreas,

> Could you please explain what's behind that new perceptions? <

Even better, here's an article I wrote for Electronic Musician magazine that explains it in detail:

www.realtraps.com/art_small_rooms.htm

--Ethan
Old 28th June 2005
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer
Second, there's more to bass trapping than a flat low frequency response. Just as important is to reduce modal ringing decay time, and a typical Real Time Analyzer (RTA) will not show that. I use the ETF software, which runs on PCs only and costs a very reasonable $150. But - and this may seem difficult to believe - it's not really necessary to measure a room prior to treating it because the solution is always the same regardless of what you measure: As much broadband bass trapping as you can manage in the corners, plus mid/high frequency absorbers at the first reflection points on the side walls and ceiling. Once that's in place you're either done or 90 percent done. The last 10 percent would be more absorption, here and there as needed, placed on large opposing parallel surfaces to avoid flutter echo.

That's how both of our rooms were done, and the results are great. The mix translation is excellent and every engineer (including myself) have complimented the results (and they are actually surprised at the simplicity of the principles behind it).
Old 28th June 2005
  #7
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ajcamlet's Avatar
 

Ethan:

Do you include corners/angles where the floor meets the wall, or are you just targteting ceilings and vertical wall meets wall corner?

alan
Old 29th June 2005
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer
Andreas,

> Could you please explain what's behind that new perceptions? <

Even better, here's an article I wrote for Electronic Musician magazine that explains it in detail:

www.realtraps.com/art_small_rooms.htm

--Ethan

Thanks Ethan
Old 29th June 2005
  #9
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Alan,

> Do you include corners/angles where the floor meets the wall, or are you just targteting ceilings and vertical wall meets wall corner? <

All corners are candidates for bass trapping. My living room home theater has 35 traps, and as I added each new round the low end got progressively flatter and tighter. Now this is a large room, and you don't really need that many to get good results! You can see photos of this room on our site, and both the front and rear walls have plenty of traps in the wall-floor corners. In many mix rooms traps can easily go on the floor in front of the desk (assuming nobody walks there and it's only wires on the floor.)

--Ethan
Old 20th July 2005
  #10
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wilkinswp's Avatar
 

Thanks Ethan for the input. . . albeit it's almost a month late. I'm going to go with your suggestions. . .
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