The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
The Titanic, room curves and other GS style OT wanderings
Old 30th August 2018
  #151
Gear Addict
 
ReDRuMx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
Hi Fi Living Room. Listen to music very close to speakers. Way bright right. Listen in the regular seats, normal tonality.
Same Music, Flat or Pretty Flat CR and Eq. Adjust the Eq so that the tonality is the same as at the Couch.
Yes, but I am not used to that listening experience; I mostly listen to music in front of my monitors

I understand what you are saying: Your claim is that the majority of listeners will hear less HF (off axis, room tone...) and more bass (room tone). I kind of disagree that any individual home environment actually exhibits "more bass", for the reason I described above.

Also, as I described above, I think that 1/3 smoothed average FR in a domestic environment cannot really be "replicated" by simply achieving the same FR in a control room. This leaves out some nuances, that's why "flat direct sound" is suggested.

But leaving the above aside, let's say I accept 100 % what you are claiming. Fine, B&K curve it is. What about (I think) at least 80% of people who listen to their music on headphones / laptop speakers?

PS: What I meant in my previous message is that my reply makes less sense, as your original message has changed.

Last edited by ReDRuMx; 30th August 2018 at 02:01 PM..
2
Share
Old 30th August 2018
  #152
Gear Addict
 
ReDRuMx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
Obviously.
You know, the translation curve is often expressed as a 1dB/Oct SLOPE DOWNWARDS TOWARDS HF.
Rephrasing, a 1dB/Octave SLOPE UPWARDS TOWARDS LF. Same thing no?

DD
Yes, of course. With one important note: It depends on the directivity of the speaker (and / or size of room!). If HF drivers are very directional, the result can be less of a downwards slope at HF, when using a long gate measurement (domestic room). Especially if the room is large(r).

Last edited by ReDRuMx; 30th August 2018 at 02:01 PM..
Old 30th August 2018
  #153
Gear Guru
Proper Talk

As you said, writing clears ones thoughts, I edit all the time, best wait a little.
Quote:
Yes, but I am not used to that listening experience; I mostly listen to music in front of my monitors
So does music in the car or domestic environment sound similar tonally?

Very Directional HF radiators will deliver even less to the majority of of people in the room.
If playing with gates indicates something different then it does not represent the HEARD tonality.


DD
Old 30th August 2018
  #154
Gear Addict
 
ReDRuMx's Avatar
Also, to add to the "moving target argument"...

This was of course mentioned but, I think not enough...

What about Equal Loudness Contours, which obviously change shape with SPL.

So, to make sense of the raw FR graph in home environments, and use it in the CR.. We would need to know the "average listening level in home environments".

Again, an average probably could be found... Would it be a useful value, one we could set in our CR, which would be representative? IMO, definitely not.
1
Share
Old 30th August 2018
  #155
Gear Addict
 
ReDRuMx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post

So does music in the car or domestic environment sound dull to you?
No, not really... Never notice it. I might have set an EQ in my car though.
1
Share
Old 30th August 2018
  #156
Gear Guru
Translation

The ear is flattest at around 85dB or so. That is quite loud, particularly on Mastered Audio, and illegal.
Many listen below that to save their hearing and to simulate real world listening conditions. The lower level encourages pushing the extremes a bit, which of course is the smiley curve or 'Loudness' thing.
Sounds louder at lower volume, is more exciting when cranked up.
The Game of Inverses.

The fact that you do not hear a change in tone between your CR and Domestic listing systems suggests they sound the same don't you think?
A fully realistic measurement of your CR OR Domestic response would entail placing two mics at ear positions with a blocker in between and running both speakers. But no matter, you judge tonality on a daily basis. You say they sound the same, they are. If measurements say otherwise they are not fit for purpose.
DD
Old 30th August 2018
  #157
Gear Addict
 
ReDRuMx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
The ear is flattest at around 85dB or so. That is quite loud, particularly on Mastered Audio, and illegal.
Many listen below that to save their hearing and to simulate real world listening conditions. The lower level encourages pushing the extremes a bit, which of course is the smiley curve or 'Loudness' thing.
Sounds louder at lower volume, is more exciting when cranked up.
The Game of Inverses.

Not sure my point came across...

What I'm saying is that if you are intent on "replicating" the average curve of the domestic environment, and using it in your studio, you need to know at which level the average curve is being consumed. Because that curve, but used at a different level would, following your logic, still result in dull or bright mixes.

If you allow "sometimes loud", "sometimes quieter" -> You are allowing different FR curves.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
The fact that you do not hear a change in tone between your CR and Domestic listing systems suggests they sound the same don't you think?
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
You say they sound the same, they are. If measurements say otherwise they are not fit for purpose.
DD

You are assuming quite a lot here, Dan! From the top of my head, I can come up with at least 3 factors / reasons which might explain why I would "allow" a discrepancy between FR curves in my life
Old 30th August 2018
  #158
Gear Guru
For Purpose

I am not particularly focussed on 'replicating' any particular listening scenario, but rather covering most bases.
The goal is Translation as best as possible to the biggest majority.
I and probably most listen at different levels, sometimes just for fun or to 'clear out the cobwebs'.
I think our audience listening levels vary more than have a commonality, so this perhaps represents them fairly. Note I do set a 'Home' level at the start of each Project and keep returning to it, or sticking to it when Mastering.
I haven't been looking for or seen research on average listening levels, so again covering bases.

What is certain though is the ubiquitous slope seen in any research on preferred and actual listen environments enjoyed by the majority.
Flat represents none of them, and the researched curves are obviously less deviant from the majority.

I don't understand a bit...... does your reference music in your CR sound tonally similar to in other situations?
OR, complimentary question, does it sound noticeably different?

Quote:
Fine, B&K curve it is. What about (I think) at least 80% of people who listen to their music on headphones / laptop speakers?
What about it indeed? The headphone difference is radical. In M/S mode we see that 80-90% of the energy is in M. Bass, Kick, Vocal...... This is reduced by up to 6dB in headphones.
Maybe Flat speakers encourage one to mix with a lot more Bass and Kick and thickness in general. This should improve translation to headphones. But then there is the Car...... the speakers would probably bottom out if hit with such dark mixes.

Systems with restricted bandwidth on the other hand can be quite balanced if they are missing complementary extremes. Balanced and representing slopes well. Sonarworks did separate research into 'small speakers' which demonstrates this.
I am not suggesting laptops here but more the Bluetooth things. Many of them sound to me, e.g. The little Bose Soundlink sound remarkably smooth and a hard to believe suggestion of subby action.

DD

Last edited by DanDan; 30th August 2018 at 03:26 PM..
Old 30th August 2018
  #159
Gear Addict
 
ReDRuMx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
I am not particularly focussed on 'replicating' any particular listening scenario, but rather covering most bases.
The goal is Translation as best as possible to the biggest majority.
I and probably most listen at different levels, sometimes just for fun or to 'clear out the cobwebs'.

I think our audience listening levels vary more than have a commonality, so this perhaps represents them fairly.
You can substitute the word "replicate" with any other you prefer. You are trying to find some "average" or "usual" or "representative" conditions under which music is consumed by the average listener.

The "moving target" argument claims that this is a fruitless exercise. Also, I don't think B&K is really "covering most bases" - simple as that (headphones, laptops, cans...)!

And I really have no more creative ideas on how to re-frame the argument. I can live with us failing to understand each other


Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
What is certain though is the ubiquitous slope seen in any research on preferred and actual listen environments enjoyed by the majority.
Flat represents none of them, and the researched curves are obviously less deviant from the majority.
I disagree.

I will grant you that a "downwards" HF tilt (gated and ungated - as "the average listener" is usually not on-axis) would be representative of the majority, but only if we were to exclude headphones, pods, laptop speakers...



Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
does your reference music in your CR sound tonally similar to in other situations?
OR, complimentary question, does it sound noticeably different?
My CR is flat in HF. I just checked other environments. Laptop HF heavy in comparison, ear pods very HF heavy, cans muddy (a boost at around 100 Hz) - not sure about HF, In car - just crap, but mostly HF light.

They all do sound noticeably different, but I don't usually notice it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
CUT... the speakers would probably bottom out if hit with such dark mixes...
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
Systems with restricted bandwidth on the other hand can be quite balanced if they are missing complementary extremes. Balanced and representing slopes well. Sonarworks did separate research into 'small speakers' which demonstrates this.
I am not suggesting laptops here but more the Bluetooth things. Many of them sound to me, e.g. The little Bose Soundlink sound remarkably smooth and a hard to believe suggestion of subby action.

DD
Not sure how to unpack the above. The main disagreement is this I think:

I believe the CR shouldn't really be "representative of the majority", as the "majority" is impossible to define properly. For me, in a well controlled HF flat control room, the control for not making HF heavy or dull mixes is - other mixes

I'll rephrase the above: When the variance is so huge, the average value is meaningless.

Last edited by ReDRuMx; 30th August 2018 at 06:36 PM..
Old 30th August 2018
  #160
Gear Guru
Average

Quote:
My CR is flat in HF. I just checked other environments. Laptop HF heavy in comparison, ear pods very HF heavy, cans muddy (a boost at around 100 Hz) - not sure about HF, In car - just crap, but mostly HF light.
Thanks for doing that, I am just trying to walk in your shoes a little.
I guess my living room, bedroom, car, all sound good. (Note the Living room is very reverberant for the last year)
Even the iMac has a decent sound close to it.
The tonal balance on all, including CR with and without DRC, and HD650's is remarkably similar. I have studied translation for several years in terms of adjusting the positions of the speakers, onboard eq settings, Dirac Live Target curve. I am obviously very happy with the outcome, which extends into pretty much every place I hear my Refs or own work.
I suppose it worth noting that Olive's research was in 'decent sounding rooms' and the speakers were also decent. I would imagine B&K and Sonareworks would also have found no value in sampling aberrant systems.

Quote:
I believe the CR shouldn't really be "representative of the majority", as the "majority" is impossible to define properly.
I don't understand the logic of representing nobody. Are we mixing for ourselves/CR or our audience/Domestic, Car?

I cannot see how a tonal balance achieved in one space can translate to another space 6-10dB different.
I have tried correction to Flat. Walking between my reference domestic spaces and the CR, the difference is absurd.
So the fact is that tonal balance does NOT translate.
The Flat vs Sloped Graphs using the Lingua Franca gating, exactly depict the same grossly audible difference.

EDIT, 2DO List. Binaural Recording of playback of a Ref Track, say Famous Blue Raincoat, in CR, Flat vs B&K, vs Living Room, vs Bedroom, Car, Music Venue. Won't happen immediately but it might put move us from comparing words to comparing Sound.

DD

Last edited by DanDan; 30th August 2018 at 04:20 PM..
Old 30th August 2018
  #161
Lives for gear
 
scraggs's Avatar
thanks for that detailed reply Thomas, really interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northward View Post
The other issue is when we decide to take care of that reflection (in the few cases where it is audible).
just curious what you do to take care of the reflection?

Quote:
Sterling Sound NYC... ca 3.5Hz!
damn! what even happens at 3.5Hz? is that like the plates of the earth shifting or a star imploding? (serious questions!)

did you design the Sterling rooms with some nice room tone so they get good translation? (less serious)
1
Share
Old 30th August 2018
  #162
Gear Addict
 
ReDRuMx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
Thanks for doing that, I am just trying to walk in your shoes a little.
I guess my living room, bedroom, car, all sound good. (Note the Living room is very reverberant for the last year)
Even the iMac has a decent sound close to it.
The tonal balance on all, including CR with and without DRC, and HD650's is remarkably similar. I have studied translation for several years in terms of adjusting the positions of the speakers, onboard eq settings, Dirac Live Target curve. I am obviously very happy with the outcome, which extends into pretty much every place I hear my Refs or own work.
I suppose it worth noting that Olive's research was in 'decent sounding rooms' and the speakers were also decent. I would imagine B&K and Sonareworks would also have found no value in sampling aberrant systems.
Perhaps the effort you put into making all your audio equipment sound equal - makes your listening environments/habits non-representative?

Perhaps this is why you can easily spot "different curves"? Most people are used to the chaos, and need the "framing" provided by references. I always start my mixing sessions by browsing through my reference list in iTunes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
I don't understand the logic of representing nobody. Are we mixing for ourselves/CR or our audience/Domestic, Car?

I cannot see how a tonal balance achieved in one space can translate to another space 6-10dB different.
In a good control room - If your references sound right, your mix will sound right.

I really don't know how to explain it any better than I already did in my long post, point nr. 1.
Old 30th August 2018
  #163
Gear Guru
Translation

Thanks for your patience. Context is everything, obviously your far best listening is in your CR. Just a coulpIe more plse. Is your CR LF boosted? Do your Mixes get Mastered elsewhere? My other rooms have typical bedroom (Tivoli) and Living room a small 100 buck Panasonic little thing. I Master here, so Translation is a survival issue. DD

Last edited by DanDan; 30th August 2018 at 05:28 PM..
Old 30th August 2018
  #164
Gear Addict
 
ReDRuMx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
Is your CR LF boosted?
Yes, starting below 110 Hz or so...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
Do your Mixes get Mastered elsewhere?
Very very rarely... I tried multiple times, but in most cases the client would prefer my mix. But we don't work with huge budgets, that's for sure.
1
Share
Old 30th August 2018
  #165
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
...I cannot see how a tonal balance achieved in one space can translate to another space 6-10dB different
that to me sums it all up!

my 'other space' is usually the concert hall/live room - when i measure bands performing live music (not tones), the slope is mostly 6db down per octave starting at 1kHz (at foh with levels hopefully not much above 90dbA lufs). the slope gets even steeper at the far end, so a huge difference within the listening area.

the ratio of direct/room sound is obviously very different from most any studio (except maybe for the front fills which for this reason not only get eq'd and limited differently but also get fed with a different efx)
Old 30th August 2018
  #166
Lives for gear
 
Jens Eklund's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
my 'other space' is usually the concert hall/live room - when i measure bands performing live music (not tones), the slope is mostly 6db down per octave starting at 1kHz (at foh with levels hopefully not much above 90dbA lufs). the slope gets even steeper at the far end ...
What? 6 dB/oct starting at 1 kHz ... that's 24 dB down at 16 kHz ...
Old 30th August 2018
  #167
Lives for gear
 
akebrake's Avatar
 

Gating (ARTA) vs Windowing(REW)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Eklund View Post
Gated (direct) vs steady state (un-gated) FR in untreated room. Green is steady state. Speaker is 8250A (no DSP in use).
Hi Jens,

In REW the "gating" is called Windowing.
REW also have Left/Right hand Window which can be individually tweaked.
Choice of window type will also affect the resulted Frequency Resolution?
Did you use Half Hann in ARTA?

If we like to mimik your gated response with REW what window setting would you suggest? (Say 1kHz frequency resolution)

Best

Quote:
Another room, same condition as above:

Old 30th August 2018
  #168
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Eklund View Post
What? 6 dB/oct starting at 1 kHz ... that's 24 dB down at 16 kHz ...
yep
Attached Thumbnails
The Titanic, room curves and other GS style OT wanderings-rta_live.jpg  
Old 30th August 2018
  #169
Gear Guru
Prize

Thank you for participating in our Survey Red.....;-)
There are many versions of the slope, but LF boosted is a Nett tilt to HF no matter where the way point.
Conversely Bob Katz favours a HF drop to -3dB 15KHz, not sure where his 0 way point is.

Your Reward Prize is a Track Mastered at SoundSound!
Do try that sometime. SS Work is guaranteed, if you don't use it, you don't pay.

Ditto deedee. Interesting Spectra of actual HEARD sound,
There are probably not many Live Engineers here so if I may clue them in:-
I assume these are Spectra off the Measurement Mic at the Mixing Desk. Just to keep it country dd, what Mic? Pointing Up or Horizontal? Cal File in use?
Typically us LEs control both Mix and System Response.
So there we are sitting or standing in the audience in the space. One person deciding the Mix and Spectrum heard by thousands.
Our living depends on our 'taste' being both musical and tonally calibrated to theirs.
Quite often the system is shared so if we are System Techs we need to 'voice' the system to suit all the visiting Engineers.
Anyone want to place bets on typical system curves?

Here's something I hope is of interest and possible use. It's hard to approach BK exactly with a normal Eq. Actually I wish someone would make a freely drawable Eq as in Dirac Live.
BIRD
Other BIRD


Hi akebrake, REW Ninja.....
Linkwitz:-
Quote:
A typical reverberation distance is actually quite small, 0.72 m (2.4 ft) for the monopole
The only Direct Field in a typical untreated domestic room will thus be closer than 2 feet to the loudspeaker. It is thus not representative of sound HEARD by really anybody. That is why Olive, Toole etc. use normal long gating, to represent reality.

An aside, PMC use RISING HF On Axis on some models. They then recommend placing the tweeter up high and with a very small toe in The idea being that a larger area of the room, everybody, experiences Off Axis Flat. Too bright for me and they let me in on the fact that most people buying that model also opted for a hardware HF reducing Filter. Too expensive for me so I let them go. If Dirac existed back then I would have bought them. Amazing Bass from the IB1

Another: I did not start this Thread as is falsely indicated, nor did Title it obviously. It seemed free flowing so I joined in to advocate improvement in treatment at every level. Plus I advocate the use of Target Curves, in particular B&K.


DD

Last edited by DanDan; 30th August 2018 at 10:01 PM..
Old 30th August 2018
  #170
Moderator
 
Northward's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by scraggs View Post
thanks for that detailed reply Thomas, really interesting.

just curious what you do to take care of the reflection?
Either rockwool, Helmholtz, or micro-slotted panels. Depends on frequency, available space etc - but what they all have in common is that they have to cover quite a bit of surface. Where you need to be careful is how each of these affect phase. You don't want to somehow shift the problem instead of fixing it by messing up the phase response too much. So wide Q (Helmholtz can be wide Q) and high efficiency.

It is statistically rare that we have to do something about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scraggs View Post
thanks for that detailed reply Thomas, really interesting.damn! what even happens at 3.5Hz? is that like the plates of the earth shifting or a star imploding? (serious questions!)

did you design the Sterling rooms with some nice room tone so they get good translation? (less serious)
3.5Hz is the natural frequency of the springs as loaded by the shell. Which means they actually amplify that frequency. They start decoupling at sqrt2*f(n), so just under 5Hz. At which point there is still no decoupling. It's just not amplifying or reducing transmission. But from there it gradually ramps up in efficiency to reach 90% around 8Hz (iirc) and 100% by 10Hz.

With the studios really close to one another in some areas 4"/100mm and these guys potentially pumping quite a bit of deep low-end with still some substantial energy left under 20Hz (they all have ATC 110 A SL with stereo in-wall 15" custom ATC subs) it was needed!

There is no audible or measurable cross-feed between the rooms.

Offering these guys to put such a curve on their system would have either gotten me fired or in deep trouble with the tech team and engineers, or... They would have simply not hired me. Kind of not kidding here. The sterling tech team is really phenomenal and they know more than enough to be dangerous. So do the engineers. It leads to good conversations.

PS: knowing the difference between natural frequency and actual point of efficiency is important when looking at products used for floating. Anything above 10Hz is potentially problematic. I've seen some product show a best case scenario of 17Hz f(n) which basically in a studio is asking for trouble as it would amplify transmission of Bass cabinets, traffic noise etc.

Last edited by Northward; 30th August 2018 at 07:33 PM.. Reason: additional comment
7
Share
Old 30th August 2018
  #171
Lives for gear
 
scraggs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northward View Post
It leads to good conversations
i bet it does!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northward View Post
Where you need to be careful is how each of these affect phase. You don't want to somehow shift the problem instead of fixing it by messing up the phase response too much.
can you talk more about phase? and explain it like you're talking to a child? (i'm a drummer.)

a couple more questions, which will probably lead to yet more.....in your rooms with the glass front wall, for example Josh Bonati's, where he has the lathe in the 'front room'...that room is floated on the same floor as the main mastering room? and is that room considered part of the dimensions of the main room?

i'm guessing yes to both but i am often wrong about many things!

also, i forgot to mention this before:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northward View Post
If you witness a room measurement (which always happens after a first critical listening session) you will see that the first thing I'm literally sweating about and can't wait to see is the ETC data and then look at the 20-200Hz frequency response.
the 'literally sweating' bit made me smile.

doing this DIY, with no formal training in acoustics, the only way i can see to get good results is extensive trial and error. fixing problems when you don't know the cause is...uh...difficult.

so when i was at the 211,437th iteration of test-analyze-change something-repeat, and about to lose what was left of my mind, i thought...i bet with Northward rooms Thomas shows up, puts a mic up, runs one sine sweep, shows you the perfect results, everyone high-fives and goes for lunch.
Old 30th August 2018
  #172
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northward View Post
It's the last ER that remains in the room, especially in rooms where there is little or no furniture to mitigate it a bit, or furniture designed to have a minimal acoustic print.
What you will measure at the sweet spot is the delta of (/the difference of) distance between direct speaker sound and the geometrically reflected sound off the floor, happening roughly about half way between sweet spot and engineer.

In a good empty room, it will show up as a narrow Q, deep hole in the FR. Usually between 120Hz and 200Hz, with another one, much less pronounced with a slightly wider Q at harmonic. As soon as there is some furniture in there, it tends to be less deep and have a wider Q.

You can easily spot it on a full range ETC. From there you can check software measured vs. physically measured distance in the room and correlate to confirm.

See Graphs attached.

As you move forward towards the speakers it will lower in frequency. As you move away, it will go higher in frequency. The type of speaker used and its height plays a large role in where the hole will be frequency wise. Single or dual woofer will also make a difference (vertical or horizontal dual woofers etc).

What's difficult to assess with this phenomenon is if whether or not it's going to be audible, especially since moving your head / mic a bit will drastically change the effect. In the case of the studio in the attached graphs, it's not audible. In other studios it is. I can't yet explain exactly why that is.

The other issue is when we decide to take care of that reflection (in the few cases where it is audible). The graph flattens, the ETC sees a much reduced spike. But as it turns out, every time we got rid of that reflection a few days or weeks later, the engineer would call us and say he's removed the treatment because it sounded somehow a bit off, even if the graph looked better and at first it seemed like a small improvement.

It's also hard to explain clearly what happens there, but current consensus is that the floor plays a major role in how we perceive spaces and very particular cues, which for the engineers may down the line be more important than the FR impact of the effect:

On the design of canonical sound localization environments
Eric J. Angel1,2, V. Ralph Algazi1, and Richard O. Duda


"Several key research papers served as motivation for the design of the canonical localization environments. These papers focus primarily on the perceptual effects of reverberation and head tracking.
Hartmann [8] and Rakerd and Hartmann [2] studied the effect of early reflections on azimuth localization accuracy using acoustically adjustable rooms. They found that reflection from the floor and ceiling gave more accurate azimuth judgments for sounds in the horizontal plane, while lateral early reflections blurred the location of the source."

"With substantial evidence that lateral reflections may be detrimental to azimuth localization, and following the work of Hartmann and Rakerd who found that a "room" comprised solely of a physical floor degraded localization accuracy by only a modest amount, we concluded that for a virtual environment the externalization provided by a floor reflection would be of value to localization. Thus a room with only a virtual floor was chosen as the basis for a new canonical localization environment. Such a floor would reinforce the direct sound azimuth cue and may not be detrimental to elevation localization."

" 7. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS
The results reported lead to the following conclusions with respect to canonical localization environments for a broadband noise stimulus:
1. When head tracking is not possible, an environment with a single floor reflection is a canonical environment in that it reduces reversal rates by more that 40%, decreases the bias of azimuth errors on the average by 30% and does not increase elevation errors. Adding reverberation to that environment does not significantly change the localization accuracy.
2. When head tracking is used, then an environment that includes a floor reflection as well as head tracking is canonical. For most subjects, the reversal error rate was the lowest in such an environment, and on the average was 65% lower than for dry sound and 40% lower than for the canonical environment without head tracking. The bias in azimuth errors was also reduced further by 15% from the canonical environment without head tracking and the elevation errors were slightly reduced.
We expect these results to hold for any broadband sound source and not only for noise. The results are likely to be different for speech or any other sound source with no high frequency content, in that the key contributions of the pinna to the determination of elevation will be absent or reduced. In that case we expect that head tracking may lead to a greater improvement in elevation localization."

Since studios are real spaces and not virtual like in the paper so 'head tracking' is naturally in full effect via HRTF, the current consensus is that floor plays indeed an important role, likely even more for a subject with trained ears. Getting rid of it seems more damageable than not.

See attached PDF.



The shells are always heavy shells as we need to reach NR15 for FTB, a very quiet environment. In very rare instances we won't float (like at J's since he's really in a super quiet place, studio is in a separate building far away from any road or noise and he does Mastering, so no instruments next door). But otherwise floating is the de facto norm to be able to achieve such quietness.

For bunker, the shells are a bit heavier since they are close to one another. But the real main difference in soundproofing between the rooms will be the fact that they are floated to low frequency. Bunker is under 8Hz. Sterling Sound NYC... ca 3.5Hz! A lot of people think that adding wall layers after layers will increase isolation, but quite rapidly it won't as most of the noise heard at this stage is structure born and re-emitted by the non-floated studio shell and floors. You can keep adding all you want, it won't reduce the LF content much. You need to stop the mechanical transmission.

In terms of inner acoustic treatment, the limited shell mass variations in our designs have little impact, we disregard it and design treatment based on a standard heavy shell no matter what.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northward View Post
Either rockwool, Helmholtz, or micro-slotted panels. Depends on frequency, available space etc - but what they all have in common is that they have to cover quite a bit of surface. Where you need to be careful is how each of these affect phase. You don't want to somehow shift the problem instead of fixing it by messing up the phase response too much. So wide Q (Helmholtz can be wide Q) and high efficiency.

It is statistically rare that we have to do something about it.


Hello Thomas,

this is a very interesting information.

How do you test if this single floor bounce dip is an issue or not?

You write that it is rare that you have to do something about it?

How do you test this?

Thanks
Tom
Old 31st August 2018
  #173
Lives for gear
 

Interesting thread for sure! While it appears to have been somewhat heated in classic GS style, there have been some excellent points, clarifications and data!

I would to add to the discussion the simple observation that “If it sounds good, it is good”. The cost of a design/build is not directly correlated to how good the room sounds. I have heard some Really bad rooms that looks great and cost a lot. I have heard some DIY rooms that were surprisingly good given the total investment involved. However, the best rooms I have heard had superior designers, large budgets and pretty sophisticated engineering involved in the mechanical and acoustical design and build. In a modern, world class room even the most basic aspects require true professional engineering such as structural weight-bearing, proper spring calculations for floating floors, heat loads, power conditioning, etc. this is before even considering sophisticated low-end control and proper time alignment based on physical design and structures. I have not had the honor of hearing a Northward room but from my experience and from the information that Thomas has been able to share publicly, I am quite certain that it is a completely different and higher order of listening environment. The best rooms I have heard are probably in that range or approaching that level. In these environments “flat“ is a completely different experience. You simply listen And bass all your decisions simply on what you hear. There is no compensation or need to reference multiple monitors to gain a clear picture, the environment allows you to hear it as it is and eact instinctively and immediately.

Now going back to my first statement “if it sounds good, it is good” this does not detract from DIY, semi-professional and basic professional studio building. This does not imply that people in lesser rooms are somehow inferior by any means. This does not in any way suggest that someone who functions well with a curve on their play back, or uses multiple sets of momitors are in anyway wrong or lacking. Where you work, and the gear you use really are less important than the results you can produce. In the end it is just that a room built with modern Knowledge, advanced tools and practical experience eliminate the need for anything other then “just listening” to what you hear in the control room.

If it sounds good, it is good. If the end result sounds good then job is completed!
1
Share
Old 31st August 2018
  #174
Lives for gear
 
DirkB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveGTR View Post
You simply listen And bass all your decisions simply on what you hear. There is no compensation or need to reference multiple monitors to gain a clear picture, the environment allows you to hear it as it is and eact instinctively and immediately.
This is exactly it. After I had done some serious mixing for a couple of months in my new FTB CR this is exactly what I said to Thomas: "it almost feels like cheating". When I am done with a mix, things that still bug me a little bit but I am not finding the right way to make it better - when I listen then in my car of on iphone earbuds, I generally do not hear these issues anymore.
Or put differently: outside my CR I always experience the mix in the real world a little better than I felt about it in my CR.

Generally, people experience the opposite. In my opinion, my CR being as flat as it can be (meaning: without modal anomalities or other distortions introduced due to unwanted cancellations or interference), is what makes the difference.

Best Regards,
Dirk
2
Share
Old 31st August 2018
  #175
Lives for gear
 
Jens Eklund's Avatar
I often warn new clients, that opposed to the somewhat common misconception; “everything sounds great in a good room with good speakers”, the opposite is true; most songs sound “bad” one way or another and it´s actually quite hard to find material that sound perfect in every way. This makes sense since you hear everything that is “wrong” without effort in a good system in a good room.

In a normal domestic listening situation (more or less terrible compared to a good room), you won’t hear all the “shortcomings” and most songs sounds “ok” (unless really bad mix). This is what makes mixing in a good room with good speakers so much easier; the ability to instantly hear the problem without effort. It kind of jumps out at you and you simply can’t ignore it as would be possibly in a less detailed listening environment.
6
Share
Old 31st August 2018
  #176
Lives for gear
 
Jens Eklund's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by akebrake View Post
Hi Jens,

In REW the "gating" is called Windowing.
REW also have Left/Right hand Window which can be individually tweaked.
Choice of window type will also affect the resulted Frequency Resolution?
Did you use Half Hann in ARTA?

If we like to mimik your gated response with REW what window setting would you suggest? (Say 1kHz frequency resolution)

Best
Windowing is Hanning (default in ARTA I think).

Resolution will depend on what gate time you can use (and this is naturally determined by time difference between direct sound and first reflection).

Again; please remember that these measurements are from completely untreated rooms. In partially treated rooms; the difference will be smaller.
Old 31st August 2018
  #177
Gear Guru
PR

With no disrespect to what is certainly a Gold Standard bearer and innovator, there is an inordinate focus here on Northward Rooms. Perhaps a dedicated thread, a QnA with TJ would be of enormous benefit.
But it is as if Newell, Bogic, Manzella, Hedback, Sayers, etc. don't even exist. (Just examples, apologies for omissions, particular in other languages!)
Thomas certainly pursues and achieves ultimates. But so do the others. When gets into a similar price bracket, I doubt if there is really anything between Newell and Northward in terms of impressive structure, prettiness, or performance.
Home
In fact most of the CRs I have experienced have been built to the very highest standards adhering to and achieving the design intentions.
Really the ONLY issue with them is that many fail to translate. Dull mixes due to overly bright sound. When this is addressed by reducing it to domestic levels- bingo. Still the same transparency, resolution, lack of bumps in FR or Time, but now tonally similar to the familiar in the Home, Car, etc.

This of course is not a Studio Design or Performance issue at all. There is no difference in the fundamental acoustic performance goals between Newell and Boggy or any of them.
The issue is one of Speaker FR Calibration.
Do you calibrate to the Heard Sound in an Anechoic Chamber or in a Normal environment?

I have presented much evidence from Olive to EBU to actual Audio.
Testimonials and claims that 'it just does' will not shake the fact the the HEARD tonal balance in any CR with an Anechoic transfer function from speaker to ear, is very different to the Norm which listeners experience, 6-10dB duller.

Olive, Toole and explorations of how to vainly try to isolate the anechoic FR of a speaker in a domestic space are utterly irrelevant.

It blatantly sounds radically different.

I encourage testing. Listen to your domestic speakers wishing 0.7 M on axis. Ridiculously bright, pretty flat. Move to the couch, normal, -6 to 10dB duller.
Eq your CR to sound the same tonally as your Car or Living Room. Eq your Living Room to sound the same tonally as your CR.
Listen to the audio I provided in a Flat treated scenario.
Which sounds better or normal?

Flat is a simplistic easy to grasp goal. Science clusters around it, an ultimate, and easy reference.
Water boils at 100 C at sea level. A nice reference. But I wouldn't put my hand into it to experience what 'ultimate' hot water is.

Ultimately those of us the Mix, Master, Record, decide what sounds good. We are the arbiters. Our goal is to create a piece of sonic art which will light up our audience ears. In their homes and cars and cinemas and buds.

DD

Last edited by DanDan; 31st August 2018 at 06:40 PM..
3
Share
Old 31st August 2018
  #178
Lives for gear
 
scraggs's Avatar
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Old 31st August 2018
  #179
Lives for gear
 
Jason Foi's Avatar
 

I think is pretty obvious that neither side will accept the others viewpoint, which is a shame as there is validity to both. Ultimately a control rooms purpose is to allow the engineer to consistantly make mixes that translate. If it does not, then its broken, no matter who designed it or to what standard. It is also obvious that some engneers feel comfortable working with a flat FR and some do not. As the engineer is the one using the room, its their decision to use whatever curve suites them best. Its obsurd to tell a engineer, your customer mind you, that what works for them is wrong.

Dan, if you tuned a room for a client and applied the B&K curve, and their mixes were excessively bright and not translating, would you give them a flat FR? Or tell them that they are the problem and they must adapt to your preference?

Thomas, if you designed a room for a client and they couldnt get their mixes to translate as they were overly dull, would you bring the high end down for them or tell them they are wrong and should adapt to your preference?
1
Share
Old 31st August 2018
  #180
Deleted 4adc64a
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Foi View Post
Thomas, if you designed a room for a client and they couldnt get their mixes to translate as they were overly dull, would you bring the high end down for them or tell them they are wrong and should adapt to your preference?
Moot point, really.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northward View Post
From the project files I currently have on my laptop HDD / not archived yet:

- Out of 29 mastering suites designed and built, 0 are using/requested such a curve.
- Out of 43 control rooms designed and built, 0 are using/requested such a curve.
- Out of 10 post-prod facilites, 0 are using/requested such a curve.
- Out of 6 large research labs and/or speaker manufacturer test facilities with critical product listening room, 0 are using/requested such a curve.
- Out of the 30-odd non-Northward designed rooms I have measured in the last few years, 0 are using such a curve.

This includes a large amount of A-list mix and mastering engineers and world renowned test labs and manufacturers.

That's 118 professional grade rooms in the USA and Europe. That is a statistically very significant sample.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northward View Post
I have never worked with an engineer requesting a HF curve. A couple have asked a slight HF boost of 0.25dB at most.
Certainly there can be exceptions to every rule, as raised in this thread. But I predict Thomas never has to answer this question, and for fairly good reason. I'd go so far as to say that if you need these curves in one of his rooms, there's something going on in your brain/auditory system that is probably going to throw off translation in whatever kind of environment you're in.
1
Share
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump