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The Titanic, room curves and other GS style OT wanderings
Old 22nd August 2018
  #1
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The Titanic, room curves and other GS style OT wanderings

MOD message: Parts of the "Dealing with room modes: resonators vs. hefty absorption vs. subwoofers" thread OT conversation has been relocated here.


The Titanic was built by Professionals, the Ark is being built by......

I favour the 'big headphones' scenario myself dino, but I would not rule out room feedback. Boggy's designs have an awful lot of wood close to the speakers and listener. They must have a 'sound' surely?

DD

Last edited by Northward; 24th August 2018 at 09:50 AM..
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Old 22nd August 2018
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
The Titanic was built by Professionals, the Ark is being built by......
Dan, as an aside, I think these kinds of statements are not very productive, and pretty misleading. It makes it sound like Professional designs are worthless and DIY somehow better. Unless I misunderstand what you're trying to say?

Both have their place, but are very far apart in terms of performances (...and budget).

The Titanic was a marvel of engineering at the time... Built in 1909. Design started in the late 1800s. It had issues, mainly the steel provided was not adequate, it was apparently overly brittle. But what a structure for 1909! Cars barely existed at the time. It hit an iceberg. I'm quite sure it was otherwise a very capable liner for the time.

The ark is a religious myth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dinococcus
You forget this forum is destinated to pro people, pro people who need to work with the less of coloration as possible.

It could be better you develop your argumentation in a professional context.
Exactly.
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Old 22nd August 2018
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northward View Post
Dan, as an aside, I think these kinds of statements are not very productive, and pretty misleading. It makes it sound like Professional designs are worthless and DIY somehow better. Unless I misunderstand what you're trying to say?

Both have their place, but are very far apart in terms of performances (...and budget).

The Titanic was a marvel of engineering at the time... Built in 1909. Design started in the late 1800s. It had issues, mainly the steel provided was not adequate, it was apparently overly brittle. But what a structure for 1909! Cars barely existed at the time. It hit an iceberg. I'm quite sure it was otherwise a very capable liner for the time.

The ark is a religious myth.



Exactly.
I take it to mean that just because a professional designed it, doesnt mean its always perfect. And likewise, just because its DIY doesnt mean it isnt sufficient.

Dan does a lot to help people who dont have the biggest budgets, and its reassuring to know its possible to get good results on any budget. A quick google search for flush mounted mains will show some pro results that make no sense to me, im sure theres countless examples either way..
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Old 22nd August 2018
  #4
Gear Guru
Professional

Quote:
It makes it sound like Professional designs are worthless and DIY somehow better. Unless I misunderstand what you're trying to say?
Any misreading of my words or meaning would have to be intentional or an utter SOHF. (Sense Of Humour Failure) My statement is a blatant fricking joke!
Like many jokes of this type it is only funny because it's true, sometimes. Too often in my experience.

The Titanic was trumpeted as THE most advanced and safest technology. The absurd and arrogant claim that it was Unsinkable is another layer to why I chose that joke. Why Did People Consider the Titanic Unsinkable? - History

Thank you Jason. One of the reasons I am now a Professional Acoustician, although never to be an 'Expert' , was the failure of most commercial studios I worked in to translate from CR to outside. With notable exceptions.
I believe there was, and still is, a fundamental misunderstanding amongst many Pro Studio Designers. Others got it, thus the exceptions. Ultimately translation is the 'performance' that matters.
So Thomas, on the 'aside' many of the CR designs I have had to work in, didn't work. That is a fact, no misleading. Furthermore, pointing out this fact and trying to understand why they didn't work is something I consider productive.

IMO to build a great car, you need to know all about driving. Or else really believe your 'Pro' driver friends.
The likes of Putnam, Les Paul, Dowd, straddled understandings.
Newell, Master Acoustician, Recorded and Mixed Tubular Bells. YouTube


DD

Last edited by DanDan; 23rd August 2018 at 12:41 AM..
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Old 23rd August 2018
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
Any misreading of my words or meaning would have to be intentional or an utter SOHF. (Sense Of Humour Failure) My statement is a blatant fricking joke!
Like many jokes of this type it is only funny because it's true, sometimes. Too often in my experience.

The Titanic was trumpeted as THE most advanced and safest technology. The absurd and arrogant claim that it was Unsinkable is another layer to why I chose that joke. Why Did People Consider the Titanic Unsinkable? - History

Thank you Jason. One of the reasons I am now a Professional Acoustician, although never to be an 'Expert' , was the failure of most commercial studios I worked in to translate from CR to outside. With notable exceptions.
I believe there was, and still is, a fundamental misunderstanding amongst many Pro Studio Designers. Others got it, thus the exceptions. Ultimately translation is the 'performance' that matters.
So Thomas, on the 'aside' many of the CR designs I have had to work in, didn't work. That is a fact, no misleading. Furthermore, pointing out this fact and trying to understand why they didn't work is something I consider productive.

IMO to build a great car, you need to know all about driving. Or else really believe your 'Pro' driver friends.
The likes of Putnam, Les Paul, Dowd, straddled understandings.
Newell, Master Acoustician, Recorded and Mixed Tubular Bells. YouTube


DD
Ok. I've seen you use that sentence a few times, and never got it was a joke, but a commentary. Guess the humour got lost in translation every time.

Many studios, especially from the 80s and 90s, that claim to have been professionally designed and are sold to clients as such, were in fact 'designed' by guys who were not qualified to do so and simply made visual copies of what other studios looked like from magazines at best, or simply winged it on a big budget at worse. A vicious circle. That behaviour is a plague, still today. I visited a lot of these places while traveling. They are not to be considered pro designed spaces. But represent a very substantial percentage of rooms currently in use.

That is currently happening in my neighborhood in Brussels. A guy building a studio, using a designer that can't solve a second degree equation, let alone a simple matrix, so how can he be a serious designer? The guy 'floated' the rooms on a 5mm layer of EPDM. That project is headed for a six figure crash, everything about it is clearly improvisation hidden in pseudo-technical vocabulary and hand waving. But I'm sure will be sold to clients as a pro design nonetheless, but not behave as such whatsoever. The 'designer' is often on the internet giving advice.

Like in everything, shades of grey and buyer beware. That 'designer' claims to have mixed a lot of records.

In general though, real designers do have a substantial experience using studios too (and a solid set of ears). A lot of them own one, but use it as a hobby - you can't be both a serious full time designer and a serious full time mix engineer. They are both time consuming professions.

Not that many people in Audio have actually worked or experienced (real) pro rooms. Those that did understand their value, that's why there is a demand for such facilities.

I agree translation is the goal.
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Old 23rd August 2018
  #6
Gear Guru
Ironic

The Titanic vs Ark, Pro vs Amateur, is Irony.

Quote:
I think these kinds of statements are not very productive, and pretty misleading.
I am glad you have reversed your view on my calling out non translating CRs Thomas.
Houston, we have agreed, we actually do have a problem.
But what was 'pretty misleading' ?

It would IMO be useful to know which CRs both you and I consider non functional.
But much more importantly WHY? My point of view is sonic only, structural engineering is not audible to me. From your Mathematics comment, I suspect we are possibly talking about different things. I think it most likely that my issue is with an Ethos, a collection of common sonic aspects of the design. e.g. 'Flat Response' Pink Noise/RTA tuning. Big PA speakers as Monitors. Diffusors directly behind the client's listening couch, itself at one of the acoustically worst locations in the room most likely. Weird notions about having short RT in the CR in order to hear the longer one in the imaginary Concert Hall like Live Room next door. FFS, everything was close miced, and we 'hear through' CR RT. We simply do not use less reverb in a lively mix environment, nor vice versa.

We brought Hi Fi loudspeakers in to circumvent the fact that we could not trust the response in any studio really. THE FREQUENCY RESPONSE. I am not referring to the NS10 debacle. There were many favoured actual Hi Fi speakers. AR18s? I brought my Ditton 66s. In a truck.
Even Pros got on board. Meyer designed a 'portable' monitor, or supplied a bag, to address this need.
The 'need' being the fact that the Response in the majority of CR's did not translate.

Something was wrong. A wrong turn. The BBC have and had all this down. Their designs started with the need for translation, consistency, from the Home listener, on a high quality network, to CR to CR.

Currently most of us seem to be following Newell. NE and all it's children.
With good reason, but there is a problem.
The only home listener hearing anechoically is wearing headphones. But we listen anechoically. That's going well right? IMO we need to consider Room Tone, both Early and Later. In which case might be worth a listen to SMTs efforts, Moulton, Toole. I have used and suggested adding 4.0 RT electronically. This is nicely enveloping. But it does not react to human noises, and I am undecided as to whether it actively destroys clarity at HF as real local reflections do.
Back to Newell, Neutral and Non. Seems to me Neutral would be less unlike the home sonic. Boggy seems to be way ahead on this.

Quote:
you can't be both a serious full time designer and a serious full time mix engineer.
Clearly one can't do two things full time. Newell however did both to the highest level, some of us do more than two things, seriously.

DD

Last edited by DanDan; 23rd August 2018 at 04:11 PM..
Old 23rd August 2018
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
The Titanic vs Ark, Pro vs Amateur, is Irony.

I am glad you have reversed your view on calling out non translating CRs Thomas. But I am still a bit mystified by the 'pretty misleading' accusation.
Could you clarify the 'pretty misleading' term. Or perhaps just withdraw the whole sentence. After a U turn one cannot maintain correct then and correct now.

It would IMO be useful to know which CRs both you and I consider non functional.
Dan, I did not change my mind. Your comment came across -to me- as a dismissal of (real) professional work altogether, seemingly implying DIY can reach that level of quality. It simply can't: the mathematical and stuctural complexity of such designs simply rules out DIY. We indeed seem to draw the line of what is considered a pro design and what isn't at different levels - which is fine by me. But it's making this conversation complicated, and prone to bickering which is useless, so I'll leave it at that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
But much more importantly WHY? My point of view is sonic only, structural engineering is not audible to me. From your Mathematics comment, I suspect we are possibly talking about different things. I think it most likely that my issue is with an Ethos, or particular sonic aspects of the design. e.g. 'Flat Response' Pink Noise/RTA tuning. Big PA speakers as Monitors. Diffusors directly behind the client's listening couch, itself at one of the acoustically worst locations in the room most likely. Weird notions about having short RT in the CR in order to hear the longer one in the imaginary Concert Hall like Live Room next door. FFS, everything was close miced and we 'hear through' CR RT. We simply do not use less reverb in a lively mix environment, nor vice versa.

We brought Hi Fi loudspeakers in to circumvent the fact that we could not trust the response in any studio really. THE FREQUENCY RESPONSE. I am not referring to the NS10 debacle. There were many favour actual Hi Fi speakers. Even Pros got on board. Meyer designed a 'portable' monitor, or supplied a bag, to address this need.
The 'need' being the fact that the Response in these CR's did not translate.

Something was wrong. A wrong turn. The BBC have and had all this down. Their designs started with the need for translation, consistency, from the Home listener, on a high quality network, to CR to CR.

Currently most of us seem to be following Newell. NE and all it's children.
With good reason, but there is a problem. The only home listener hearing
anechoically is wearing headphones. We listen anechoically. That's going well right? IMO we need to consider Room Tone, both Early and Later. In which case might be worth a listen to SMTs efforts, Moulton, Toole. I have used and suggested adding 4.0 RT electronically. This is nicely enveloping. But it does not react to human noises, and I am undecided as to whether it actively destroys clarity at HF as real local reflections do.
Back to Newell, Neutral and Non. Seems to me Neutral would be less unlike the home sonic. Boggy seems to be way ahead on this. DD
Come visit a bunch of rooms. Then we'll have that conversation.
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Old 23rd August 2018
  #8
Gear Guru
Misleading

Quote:
Your comment came across -to me- as a dismissal of (real) professional work altogether, seemingly implying DIY can reach that level of quality.
That is an absurd misinterpretation of both the post and my overall 'thing' Thomas.
I praise it when I hear it or when I see it in the data. In the same short post I referred to both NE (big headphones) and boggy's work, which complies with actual defined professional standards. The latter, as I said seems the most likely to come closer to the actual home listening experience, with benefits. Ironically Most Pro would be closest to Domestic. IN FREQUENCY RESPONSE.

Aside I would also question the popular ethos of very short LF Room Tone in recent CRs. This will of course sound amazing in situ, similar to great headphones, but with central summing in the air. But will this translate into spaces with long RT, i.e. added boomy uneven bass? Clarity and level are two very different things.

So to clarify further, again, it is the Acoustic Response I am referring to, or to distill it again, Frequency Response. In this case a DIY effort may well achieve better translation to home listening. Because it is closer to it. Back in the day, we took our Mixes home. Listened in the car, various rooms/systems at home, friends or neighbours spaces. We kept the mix up on the board until it stopped sounding different.
So in essence we mixed, or did the QC, IN an average of actual spaces. Ahem, B&K the long way round but for real.

I won't be visiting unless things actually reverse again. But by all means send me, or publish, an .mdat or binaural Altiverb sweep recording.

BTW, good chat. Way Off Topic, but you got out some fundamental information about what is wrong in those CR's. As did I hopefully.
Might be worth remembering that a lot of the time, my seemingly stupid questions and pokes, are intended to elicit such.


DD

Last edited by DanDan; 23rd August 2018 at 08:12 PM..
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Old 23rd August 2018
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
I have used and suggested adding 4.0 RT electronically. This is nicely enveloping. But it does not react to human noises, and I am undecided as to whether it actively destroys clarity at HF as real local reflections do.
Wait, are you really "undecided" as to whether a 4 second reverberation time "actively destroys" high frequency clarity? Is this a typo?

And yes, a 4 second RT it is even worse for clarity than sparse specular reflections. Try talking to someone in an untreated living room vs talking in an untreated warehouse. You will find that it requires much more effort to hold a conversation in the warehouse. Or, if you're not happy using human speech as a guideline, then imagine that someone plays you short snippets of songs and then asks you to name the song. It would be much more difficult in a room with 4 second RT as opposed to a .5 second decay time. Intelligibility is completely destroyed.

...

Your posts are long and meandering, so I'm having a hard time understanding what you're actually trying to say. All I've gathered is that you think sometimes DIY is good and sometimes professional is bad, and various authors you've heard of have various opinions that you've also heard of.

I don't see how this is directly relevant to the discussion of whether or not the SMT people are coming to the board specifically to market their products based around blatant pseudo-science.
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Old 23rd August 2018
  #10
Gear Guru
4.0

4.0 is a Surround Format Mike. 4 Speakers Lf Rf Lb Rb. RT is meant to read Room Tone. The abbreviation is used repeatedly in my posts here. If I meant Reverb I would have said it, or RT60.

I have frequently written of using a pair of rear speakers to alleviate deadness, simulate a more normal listening space, and even to provide a rear burst of faux ISD Gap closing energy. Readers may recall jim1961 uses a baby Lexicon.


DD

Last edited by DanDan; 23rd August 2018 at 08:46 PM..
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Old 23rd August 2018
  #11
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Ok, good, then at least we're on roughly the same planet.
Old 23rd August 2018
  #12
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Absurd

It beggars belief that you might really think I wrote a 4 Second Reverb.

DD
Old 23rd August 2018
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
That is an absurd misinterpretation of both the post and my overall 'thing' Thomas.
I praise it when I hear it or when I see it in the data. In the same short post I referred to both NE (big headphones) and boggy's work, which complies with actual defined professional standards. The latter, as I said seems the most likely to come closer to the actual home listening experience, with benefits. Ironically Most Pro would be closest to Domestic. IN FREQUENCY RESPONSE.
Dan, NE has little in common with a big pair of headphones. E.g. in a NE room, the HRTF is in full effect, as is the floor effect. HRTF cannot be reproduced via a simulation accurately either to be usable as just like finger prints, each set of ears is unique, as are head and torso shape etc.

Head-related transfer function - Wikipedia

None of this happens with headphones, and it's a massive distinction. In NE, when listening to music all the essential binaural cues are present and properly interpreted by the auditory system. They are absent when using headphones. So the comparison is not viable (even as a joke).

Room acoustics standards such as the ISO, EBU or ITU ones are sadly very loose, and easily met by using basic treatment. They are the lowest possible common denominator. Nothing usable in a pro studio. Design wise it's like shooting an elephant from 2m away. Results are poor. I'm quite sure Boogy's room far exceed any of these standards.

I'm not sure I get what you're saying in your last sentence as it's unclear, but for sure one thing you don't want is a "domestic" FR in a studio or anything even remotely close to that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
Aside I would also question the popular ethos of very short LF Room Tone in recent CRs. This will of course sound amazing in situ, similar to great headphones, but with central summing in the air. But will this translate into spaces with long RT, i.e. added boomy uneven bass? Clarity and level are two very different things.
CR with very short LF decay times: the only commonality between such rooms and headphones is that there are no holes in the response (but beware, most headphones are pretty distorted under 100Hz, and in fact pretty far from being that linear - high quality speakers in pro rooms are most certainly more linear and exhibit much less distorsion). The actual auditory and physiological perception of it is very different too. Short decay allows to literally zoom in and make incredibly fine frequency adjustments and control the dynamics and level very accurately. Listen to Noisia, I recommend the track Sinkhole, this will give you an idea of how amazingly controlled, clear and detailed LF can be these days. Mixed in a room with very, very short LF decay. It translates superbly from home Hifi to large venues.

I don't understand how you can come to the conclusion that working on LF in a room that gives you complete control over it somehow would be detrimental to how it translates to a problematic listening space. What's the alternative - work in a room where you have far less control/definition and hope that for some reason it will translate better? If the listening room is messed up, it's messed up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
So to clarify further, again, it is the Acoustic Response I am referring to, or to distill it again, Frequency Response. In this case a DIY effort may well achieve better translation to home listening. Because it is closer to it. Back in the day, we took our Mixes home. Listened in the car, various rooms/systems at home, friends or neighbours spaces. We kept the mix up on the board until it stopped sounding different.
So in essence we mixed, or did the QC, IN an average of actual spaces. Ahem, B&K the long way round but for real.
FR is the least important graph to look at when "fixing" a room. Obsessing on a FR graph until it's flat(-ish) while ignoring the actual real underlying problems, behaviour in time, will lead nowhere. A flat FR is by no means a guarantee of quality. A well controlled time response is - which will naturally lead to a flat FR. While the inverse is not true. Also, these rooms do not exhibit a Reverb Time and the equations used, even Eyring's, are very unreliable in such spaces. They are meant for very large spaces. So using such data as a benchmark to look at time behaviour is completely useless. Tools like ETC, Filtered ETC, Waterfalls, are a lot more useful. But beware that as you go in the LF, they also tend to become less reliable depending on how the software is setup (windowing etc). So it's important to know intricately how the data is collected and processed when looking at the graphs.

Here I also fail to see how working in a room 'closer to a home listening condition' (whatever that is btw - european sized concrete bedroom with speakers on an ikea shelf? US style light wood structure living room with large speakers? In short let's say acoustically a pretty bad room that comes in a wide variety of structures, volumes and with a wide variety of HiFi systems from band limited bluetooth mono speakers to expensive Hifi: anything but a standard setup) can possibly yield better results down the line.

If in the past you had to go to your car, listen at home and at your neighbour's then reality is that you had very serious problems with your Control Room. Getting it closer to home listening conditions (again whatever that is) is likely the worse idea one can have.

Good rooms translate immediately. Mix or master your track, move on to the next. No need to check on a secondary system. And as a matter of fact, they are very far from your average living room.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
I won't be visiting unless things actually reverse again. But by all means send me, or publish, an .mdat or binaural Altiverb sweep recording.

BTW, good chat. Way Off Topic, but you got out some fundamental information about what is wrong in those CR's. As did I hopefully.
Might be worth remembering that a lot of the time, my seemingly stupid questions and pokes, are intended to elicit such. DD
You know I cannot share data - and what I could share I have already shared. I also fail to see how that will help you get any grasp on the subject at hand unless you actually experience the space too. An Altiverb sweep recording is not going to get you even close to the real thing - I don't see how you can think that it technically even could. Let's start with the HRTF subject alone.

I'll move these OT posts to a separate thread in the morning.
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Old 24th August 2018
  #14
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Dang, all this time i thought this forum was here to help people learn about acoustics and get the best results they possibly could with whatever their budget is. Maybe guys starting out or doing it purely for the absolute love of their hobby should just forget it and take up gardening instead so the millionaires can have room to discuss the finer things....
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Old 24th August 2018
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Foi View Post
Dang, all this time i thought this forum was here to help people learn about acoustics and get the best results they possibly could with whatever their budget is. Maybe guys starting out or doing it purely for the absolute love of their hobby should just forget it and take up gardening instead so the millionaires can have room to discuss the finer things....
Maybe you should consider the idea that for hobbyists with lower budgets it is essential to receive the right advice so they can make the best out of their investment: advice based on a solid understanding of the physics of sound and how a studio is designed and works.

Not some dubious, pseudo-science semi-random advice rooted in a lack of understanding of the "finer things", or simply pure snake-oil products with no evidence behind them - that actually contradict on a regular basis what the best-available science tells us.

That's what's negatively affecting hobbyists from getting the best results they can from their investment: dropping 2-4k on useless products and/or bad advice. Being told that building this simple panel or buying this product (too often with blown-up unrealistic specs) and slapping enough of it on the walls will get them instant professional results (and do the dishes) - it won't. It can't. But it can certainly improve things, sometimes dramatically.

What will certainly optimize anyone's DIY investment is a small investment in time and a couple of well selected books to gather an overview of the general parameters to keep in check (and pretty quickly be able to root out snake oil products and pseudo-science BS advice) and then taking the time to draft a simple chart of what the best scenario is wrt to budget, what to prioritize at first and how things could be slowly improved in the future. And getting some practical advice from people in the field while doing so will certainly help too.

Optimizing budget is also knowing when you're out of your depth, and when budget is sufficient handing out the project to a qualified engineer.
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Old 24th August 2018
  #16
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Thank you Thomas,

May you point out some of these 'more general overview' books?

I'm also particullary interested in LF absortion as it seems one of the hardest things to get right and one of the first things one should worry about.
Old 24th August 2018
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanArt View Post
Thank you Thomas,

May you point out some of these 'more general overview' books?

I'm also particullary interested in LF absortion as it seems one of the hardest things to get right and one of the first things one should worry about.
This one is fairly recent and very good:

"Applied Acoustics: Concepts, Absorbers, and Silencers for Acoustical Comfort and Noise Control: Alternative Solutions - Innovative Tools - Practical Examples" by Helmut V. Fuchs

More general introduction:

"Acoustics: An Introduction" by Heinrich Kuttruff

Anything from Leo Beranek is a good read too, maybe not as focused on studio acoustics.

All can be found on Amazon.

For the ones interested in the deeper physics of sound and with a fairly solid maths background, anything from this guy is great (In french but there might be English versions floating around):

Accueil

LF management, whether soundproofing wise or room response wise, is the hardest part to get right and where all the money goes.
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Old 24th August 2018
  #18
Gear Guru
Big Ears

NE and it's children is essentially devoid of room tone. So is headphone listening. The term Big Headphones refers to that, plus the fact that some mixers place them selves in very close.
Obviously HRTF is at play, which maintains compatibility with loudspeaker listening in the real world. This can be simulated in cans very effective by the likes of Canopener Studio.
People can read the observation as it is written, but to call it a non viable comparison is erroneous acoustically. Erroneous Semantically too, it wasn't a comparison.

Quote:
I'm not sure I get what you're saying in your last sentence as it's unclear, but for sure one thing you don't want is a "domestic" FR in a studio or anything even remotely close to that.
Not understanding my writing seems limited to a couple of you.
That aside, here it is, The Elephant. This is why CRs don't work. Acousticians believe the CR should have a different Frequency Response to the audience listening chain.

The single most common issue we 'Drivers' encounter when Mixing, is lack of translation. Almost invariably the Mix sounds dull outside the CR.
This is because in the real world Room Tone is added. Plus early reflections destroy HF clarity. The sum FR is very different to an Anechoic Direct Field Response. This sum FR has been measured in situ, by Bruel and Kjaer in the 60's and more recently Sonarworks. The curves are very similar, nothing has changed.
When this domestic target curve is applied to the way too bright anechoic response, references again sound normal, the same as in the real world. Translation occurs unfailingly.
This principle is well known to practitioners. People use a 'TV' curve and of course the certified Cinema Curves.


For decades Mixers have brought their own speakers into the CR because the Mains are voiced wrongly for translation. Flat is for Audiology.

Mixers very often use obscuring techniques for different perspective. Outside the room with door open. Studios even had transmitters to allow mix checking in cars.
There is a lot that Acousticians could learn from Recording Engineers.
The barrier is irrational disbelief in the experiental facts we relate.
An inability or refusal to LISTEN in every sense.

Here is a long thread on the matter, the 'Scientist' claims his speakers and room are flat and best that way, no curves presented. The 'acoustician' diffuses the issue saying it's a matter of taste. The Mixers all favour and use rolled off HF.
What's going on here? "Flat response" sounds terrible!

An Inconvenient Truth About Room Acoustics (The Myth Of The Flat Frequency Response) — Acoustics Insider Note the HF roll off in Boggy's work.

I don't understand the repeating gap between what I write and what you read Thomas. I said BINAURAL Altiverb Sweep. Obviously this includes a HRTF. Have you experience of Altiverb? It is widely used in Film work. It is extremely good at placing the listener in the space.

I took a listen to Sinkhole by Noisia. The bottom end is synth. Of course it is clear and every note the same volume. It is entirely inaudible on small speakers. That is not good mixing. Here's an example of a Mix which will sound the same everywhere. Dropbox - 8 Fat Valley Of Pain.aiff

DD
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Last edited by DanDan; 24th August 2018 at 09:01 PM..
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Old 24th August 2018
  #19
Old 24th August 2018
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northward View Post
...implying DIY can reach that level of quality. It simply can't: the mathematical and stuctural complexity of such designs simply rules out DIY...
build quality/room design/acoustic treatment do not need to be the dominant factors which enable good translation ('from CR to PR') but the experience of an engineer, so DIY can be enough for an individual; pro design then simply would be a waste of resources.

and 'mathematical and stuctural complexity'?! - c'mon...
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Old 24th August 2018
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northward View Post
Maybe you should consider the idea that for hobbyists with lower budgets it is essential to receive the right advice so they can make the best out of their investment: advice based on a solid understanding of the physics of sound and how a studio is designed and works.

Not some dubious, pseudo-science semi-random advice rooted in a lack of understanding of the "finer things", or simply pure snake-oil products with no evidence behind them - that actually contradict on a regular basis what the best-available science tells us.

That's what's negatively affecting hobbyists from getting the best results they can from their investment: dropping 2-4k on useless products and/or bad advice. Being told that building this simple panel or buying this product (too often with blown-up unrealistic specs) and slapping enough of it on the walls will get them instant professional results (and do the dishes) - it won't. It can't. But it can certainly improve things, sometimes dramatically.

What will certainly optimize anyone's DIY investment is a small investment in time and a couple of well selected books to gather an overview of the general parameters to keep in check (and pretty quickly be able to root out snake oil products and pseudo-science BS advice) and then taking the time to draft a simple chart of what the best scenario is wrt to budget, what to prioritize at first and how things could be slowly improved in the future. And getting some practical advice from people in the field while doing so will certainly help too.

Optimizing budget is also knowing when you're out of your depth, and when budget is sufficient handing out the project to a qualified engineer.
I have considered it, and learned it the hard way with a $2k investment in foam. From there i spent years reading everything i could about acoustics on this and other forums.

You talk of pseudo science and snake oil, as if they are a constant bombardment on the forum, and yet i rarely see it pop up and i read 90% of the threads added to this forum. I realize im not an expert, but im not entirely ignorant either. People who give innacurate advice are immediately called out for their claims by those who do know the truth, and more often than not by the same person who is yet again the defendent here. In that way the forum is self regulating to protect the ignorant and i think it works well.

You touched on diy not being able to acheive what a professional can, and i find that to be a little insulting. Budget will be the deciding factor in most cases, but an informed and proficient diy'er can do amazing things while stretching their budget further than a professional could, and in some ways that same informed diy'er can exceed a professional who gets complacent or simply uninvested in a project due to budget size. I suppose the definition of professional would be a deciding factor, but anyone who is charging money for services rendered is considered a professional, and far too many of these "professionals" are simply unprofessional and unethical. I realize this is not the case with your company and a handful of others, but unfortunately that is a rarity. You yourself commented on a trend of studios being built by designers who are unqualified and providing terrible results.

All in all, it seems to me that everyone generally agrees. Professional or diy, some rooms are done well and some are not, and at the end of the day the REW results are the deciding factor, not the design philosiphy used. But one thing is certain, these silly debates and blantant attacks on other members over semantics or the intentional twisting of their words to make them seem ignorant is unproductive and unhelpful to all. And in my opinion, unprofessional. All the experts who are here sharing their knowledge do so for free and should be commended for their efforts not condemed.
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Old 24th August 2018
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
build quality/room design/acoustic treatment do not need to be the dominant factors which enable translation but the experience of an engineer, so DIY can be enough for an individual; pro design then simply would be a waste of resources.

and 'mathematical and stuctural complexity'?! - c'mon...
If that floats your boat. Experience and talent are obviously major factors. Good rooms don't provide extra talent. If you have none...

But I don't know of any professional engineer currently with a pro room that is looking forward to going back to an office space with DIY panels. And I know a lot that are really looking forward to finally getting a proper room.

If it were a waste of resources, we wouldn't be constantly booked, working for major facilities, multinational corporations and artists. None of these guys like to waste resources. They'd spend their money on something else if it weren't important.

When you design multilayered deep bass traps for ex, and basically what is a complex system where everything is somehow intertwined, I can assure you things get very complicated quickly. Sometimes FEM kind of complicated (finite elements method).

Same goes when you have to create 70 metric tons shaped shells floated to very low frequency, having to know the exact load on each of the 20 to 40 heavy duty spring, match deflections, estimate the deck and concrete torsion as an appetizer, work on 3 axis decoupling systems. It gets spiced up in seismic areas like LA.

That stuff is not trivial. Structural engineers are systematically involved.

I'd be more than happy to give you a tour of such a facility, see how easily you figure it all out around a coffee. I'm serious. It's easily arranged.
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Old 24th August 2018
  #23
Gear Guru
Daft

Y'all might find this interesting.
Target Room Response and Cinema X-curve | Audio Science Review (ASR) Forum

The situation is kinda daft. We prefer the 1dB per octave sloped response because the music was recorded and mixed to suit that response.

If domestic listening systems delivered a flat response over a wide area of the space, then obviously we should mix in a flat FR.

But that is simply not the case. Speakers were designed to be flat on axis anechoic.
In a room this actually delivers a FR sloped downward 1dB per octave.

Because of gazillions of recordings made to sound good in the 'normal' domestic acoustic, we cannot change over to flat now no matter how obviously logically desirable that might be.

I think it worth considering the spectra of Live and Recorded Music. It is considerably tilted down towards HF. And not a huge difference between Orchestra and Rock. A spectral similarity to Pink Noise even.
So we listen to this severely HF rolled off stuff on our further HF rolled off speakers/rooms. Go figure.

T, I understand why you cannot publish clients' Frequency Response Data. But how about your own CR? Or could you simply tell us what your desired Frequency Response is? And why is it different to the response we prefer everywhere else? IMO this thread is interesting because it is shining a light on the fact that many to most commercial CR's do not work, and why. Thank you for moving it to here and participating. A suggestion, perhaps a thread title suggesting the content, even just Control Room FR or similar.

Professional Studios allow blasting out Mixes in the wee small hours. Takes not spoiled by airplanes or cattle. Vast building engineering, which then requires vast acoustic engineering to solve the interior problem we have just created.
All to deliver the speaker to ear acoustic response of a Tent!

DD

Last edited by DanDan; 24th August 2018 at 10:07 PM..
Old 24th August 2018
  #24
Gear Guru
Skill

Quote:
build quality/room design/acoustic treatment do not need to be the dominant factors which enable good translation ('from CR to PR') but the experience of an engineer, so DIY can be enough for an individual; pro design then simply would be a waste of resources.
Certainly the experienced Brain/Mixer is the biggest factor by far.
What we do is 'calibrate' to the CR or even PA system, using Reference Tracks, familiar for decades, heard everywhere.
If the rig sounds too bright, which is pretty much always, we turn down the tweeters. Or cover them with towel or toilet paper. Or bring in our own speakers and listen to them so closely that the room influence is diminished. Big Headphones.

One of the other things we do is interject obstacles. The popular NS10 is a bit harsh. If you can make something sound big and smooth on them, it will be enormous in the real world. It is easy to achieve separation in Stereo, but it is a false friend. So we listen in Mono to compel us to create real separation in terms of frequency and time/distance.


Quote:
I don't understand how you can come to the conclusion that working on LF in a room that gives you complete control over it somehow would be detrimental to how it translates to a problematic listening space. What's the alternative - work in a room where you have far less control/definition and hope that for some reason it will translate better? If the listening room is messed up, it's messed up.
Same thing, if the Bass sound is fabulous, Deep and Crisp and Even, you don't have do anything to it.
But most to all of our audience is listening in messed up scenarios. So the Mixer has to fight to make it clear in the target audience space. This is hard to do and an impediment can actually help. I have an entirely open mind on this though. When working on Bass and Kick and such, I tend to reach for headphones. Not so much for relative level, more about details, every note the same, blending the two using complementary sounds, making them appear in higher octaves for smaller speakers, using trickery.




DD
Old 24th August 2018
  #25
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Northward's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Foi View Post
I have considered it, and learned it the hard way with a $2k investment in foam. From there i spent years reading everything i could about acoustics on this and other forums.

You talk of pseudo science and snake oil, as if they are a constant bombardment on the forum, and yet i rarely see it pop up and i read 90% of the threads added to this forum. I realize im not an expert, but im not entirely ignorant either. People who give innacurate advice are immediately called out for their claims by those who do know the truth, and more often than not by the same person who is yet again the defendent here. In that way the forum is self regulating to protect the ignorant and i think it works well.

You touched on diy not being able to acheive what a professional can, and i find that to be a little insulting. Budget will be the deciding factor in most cases, but an informed and proficient diy'er can do amazing things while stretching their budget further than a professional could, and in some ways that same informed diy'er can exceed a professional who gets complacent or simply uninvested in a project due to budget size. I suppose the definition of professional would be a deciding factor, but anyone who is charging money for services rendered is considered a professional, and far too many of these "professionals" are simply unprofessional and unethical. I realize this is not the case with your company and a handful of others, but unfortunately that is a rarity. You yourself commented on a trend of studios being built by designers who are unqualified and providing terrible results.

All in all, it seems to me that everyone generally agrees. Professional or diy, some rooms are done well and some are not, and at the end of the day the REW results are the deciding factor, not the design philosiphy used. But one thing is certain, these silly debates and blantant attacks on other members over semantics or the intentional twisting of their words to make them seem ignorant is unproductive and unhelpful to all. And in my opinion, unprofessional. All the experts who are here sharing their knowledge do so for free and should be commended for their efforts not condemed.
Sorry to hear you fell in the foam trap. As a teenager in the mid 90s' I religiously hoarded and covered my band's rehearsal room with egg cartons. The worse bit was the smell.

Pseudo science pops up a lot more than you think on Audio forums. It would be a full time job to take care of it properly. I agree with you, some of it is pretty obvious. But some is a lot more insidious and not as easily noticed unless you know 'enough to be dangerous' - and often consists of cheap short cuts and generalizations, misunderstandings, and an overwhelming trend in which over simplification of problems and the need for a quick and simple answer dilutes any substance in conversations and down the line creates weird myths.

The link Jens Eklund posted higher up wrt to the interpretation of target curves is a clear example of that. His explanation is clear and correct, but simply does not seem to go through to some. And a few weeks later, the same misinterpretation is again being discussed and offered as a solution to better mix translation. This happens on and on. You see this as an attack - but it's simply a course correction. Increasing signal, reducing noise.

I don't mean at all to be insulting when speaking about DIY Vs (real) pro rooms - don't read me this way. I'm just being realistic. That somehow the two can be comparable is just not true. And if it were, many of us simply would not have a job. Especially with the current state of the music industry.

I agree with you that there is a problem in this industry with ethics and that it seems to attract a lot of charlatans. But it's not because such behaviours exist that de facto the gap between DIY and actual pro is not real. DIY and pro designs both have their advantages and answer different needs and niches of the audio market.

I reacted to the Titanic quote (as I understood it) because what these create down the line when repeated often enough by a heavy poster is a
misrepresentation of reality. Maybe I was wrong to call it. Maybe not.
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Old 24th August 2018
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northward View Post
Sorry to hear you fell in the foam trap. As a teenager in the mid 90s' I religiously hoarded and covered my band's rehearsal room with egg cartons. The worse bit was the smell.

Pseudo science pops up a lot more than you think on Audio forums. It would be a full time job to take care of it properly. I agree with you, some of it is pretty obvious. But some is a lot more insidious and not as easily noticed unless you know 'enough to be dangerous' - and often consists of cheap short cuts and generalizations, misunderstandings, and an overwhelming trend in which over simplification of problems and the need for a quick and simple answer dilutes any substance in conversations and down the line creates weird myths.

The link Jens Eklund posted higher up wrt to the interpretation of target curves is a clear example of that. His explanation is clear and correct, but simply does not seem to go through to some. And a few weeks later, the same misinterpretation is again being discussed and offered as a solution to better mix translation. This happens on and on. You see this as an attack - but it's simply a course correction. Increasing signal, reducing noise.

I don't mean at all to be insulting when speaking about DIY Vs (real) pro rooms - don't read me this way. I'm just being realistic. That somehow the two can be comparable is just not true. And if it were, many of us simply would not have a job. Especially with the current state of the music industry.

I agree with you that there is a problem in this industry with ethics and that it seems to attract a lot of charlatans. But it's not because such behaviours exist that de facto the gap between DIY and actual pro is not real. DIY and pro designs both have their advantages and answer different needs and niches of the audio market.

I reacted to the Titanic quote (as I understood it) because what these create down the line when repeated often enough by a heavy poster is a
misrepresentation of reality. Maybe I was wrong to call it. Maybe not.
I understand about persisting myths being a nuisance and i myself more than likely fall in a grey area where i am educated enough to be a fool. Time will tell when i finish building my room.

I assume youre refering to the b&k curve vs flat frequency response debate. In school i was taught a control rooms FR should be flat, and the high-fi and living room will color the mix to taste for the listener, but i see how the B&K curve could be bennificial as its what an average person will be accustomed to. I feel like whatever works for the mixer is the correct approach. If their mixes dont translate with a flat CR but do with B&K then the choice is obvious. But simply having options arent bad.

I see your side on diy vs pro. Especially in regards to isolation, structural issues, and designing multiroom facilities that work. I was refering mostly to a one or two room home studio which may or may not require isolation, but did not make that point clear. I am however a strong believer in the philosophy "what one man can do, another can do". So i do believe that with enough effort, anyone can build whatever they want. Most are just to scared to try. I do however respect the time and energy you have put into your profession and understand your place in this community.
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Old 25th August 2018
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Foi View Post
I assume youre refering to the b&k curve vs flat frequency response debate. In school i was taught a control rooms FR should be flat, and the high-fi and living room will color the mix to taste for the listener, but i see how the B&K curve could be bennificial as its what an average person will be accustomed to. I feel like whatever works for the mixer is the correct approach. If their mixes dont translate with a flat CR but do with B&K then the choice is obvious. But simply having options arent bad.
Acoustics Issue
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Old 25th August 2018
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
Obviously HRTF is at play, which maintains compatibility with loudspeaker listening in the real world. This can be simulated in cans very effective by the likes of Canopener Studio.

[...]

I don't understand the repeating gap between what I write and what you read Thomas. I said BINAURAL Altiverb Sweep. Obviously this includes a HRTF. Have you experience of Altiverb? It is widely used in Film work. It is extremely good at placing the listener in the space.
From their website Canopener only seem to think they're "making your headphones behave a bit more like loudspeakers". If you think that this can really provide you with an alternative to the real thing, you're vastly over estimating the current state of the technology and glossing over a lot of important factors.

From the Fraunhoffer Institute's recent paper on the subject, who is at the forefront of this type of research:

"3.3.3 Binaural Transcoding

Headphones as reproduction device have gained significant interest during the last decade. Mobility and social constraints in most cases dictate headphones as a reproduction device on mobile players. If conventional stereo material that was produced for loudspeaker playback is reproduced over headphones, the audio content is perceived inside the head [11, 12] due to the absence of the effect of the acoustical pathway associated with a certain sound source position.

An approach that is often pursued to resolve the lack of ’out-of-head’ localization is to simulate a virtual loudspeaker setup over headphones by means of Head Related Transfer Functions (HRTFs) [13, 14]. This approach seems however suboptimal since it inherits all drawbacks of loudspeaker systems having a limited number of speakers and hence does not fully benefit from the full 3D positioning freedom that in principle exists when using headphones [15].

One of the challenges for 3D sound reproduction on headphones is the subject dependency of HRTFs [16, 17,18, 19]. It has been shown that incorporation of head movement relaxes the requirements of using individualized HRTFs [20, 21, 22, 23]."


There is no current system that supports proper head tracking, except for Waves that has a basic one. And it only "relaxes the requirements", it's still sub-optimal, in particular when there is no associated visual cue: certainly not a tool to evaluate the accuracy of a Control Rooms or Mastering suite from your laptop.

Abstract from an older paper on the subject:

"The binaural recordings were made at the (listener's) blocked ear canal entrance, and the reproduction was carried out with individually equalized headphones. Eight subjects participated in the experiments, which took place in a standard listening room. Each stimulus (female speech) was emitted from one of 19 loudspeakers, and the subjects were to indicate the perceived sound source. When compared to real life, the localization performance was preserved with individual recordings. Non-individual recordings resulted in an increased number of errors for the sound sources in the median plane, where movements were seen not only to nearby directions but also to directions further away, such as confusion between sound sources in front and behind. The number of distance errors increased only slightly with nonindividual recordings. Earlier suggestions that individuals might localize better with recordings from other individual's found no support."

All this on top of your standard studio headphone's response which is likely to be pretty non-linear (hence in the paper they mention the use of individually equalized headphones, so fine calibrated to each user for a flat response right at the entrance of the ear canal so the playback of the HRTF cues is actually accurate) and pretty distorted. In short, your method is a pile-up of pretty strong deviations, very likely relying on heavy compression algorithms and as such, completely unusable.
Old 25th August 2018
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Eklund View Post
Im not sure ive got my head wrapped around that. In rew, on etc, we use the frequency response calculated from 0ms to the first reflection to show up? Hopefully 20ms if our rooms properly treated? When we set window limits to this we only see that area of FR on all other graphs? Waterfall, etc? And we want a flat FR at HF in this window because thats how we insure what we hear is true? Thats gated response? If im way off point me at something to read please.
Old 25th August 2018
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northward View Post
If that floats your boat. Experience and talent are obviously major factors. Good rooms don't provide extra talent. If you have none...

But I don't know of any professional engineer currently with a pro room that is looking forward to going back to an office space with DIY panels. And I know a lot that are really looking forward to finally getting a proper room.

If it were a waste of resources, we wouldn't be constantly booked, working for major facilities, multinational corporations and artists. None of these guys like to waste resources. They'd spend their money on something else if it weren't important.

When you design multilayered deep bass traps for ex, and basically what is a complex system where everything is somehow intertwined, I can assure you things get very complicated quickly. Sometimes FEM kind of complicated (finite elements method).

Same goes when you have to create 70 metric tons shaped shells floated to very low frequency, having to know the exact load on each of the 20 to 40 heavy duty spring, match deflections, estimate the deck and concrete torsion as an appetizer, work on 3 axis decoupling systems. It gets spiced up in seismic areas like LA.

That stuff is not trivial. Structural engineers are systematically involved.

I'd be more than happy to give you a tour of such a facility, see how easily you figure it all out around a coffee. I'm serious. It's easily arranged.
you seem to assume that everybody not following your agumentation isn't a pro in his field (and you are using a language that imo is insulting)...

i have been working in studios, music halls, arenas etc. for the last 35 years. i happen to have a knack for a studio design that is considered to be outdated by modern standards as well as for venues that entertain the eyes more than the ears (and can be somewhat 'difficult'): there is hardly a common denominator frequency wise between those places which to me is prove enough for our ability to adapt to whatever 'curve' there is.

i don't care about the efforts that have been taken to plan and build a venue, music hall or studio: i deal with what's given so the discussion on structural complexity falls flat too.

but of course i'm lazy and 'carry my curves' wherever i go, using dsp to 'correct' whatever system i'm using, regardless of built quality, be it a large pa or small nears fields, in a DIY or award winning place - another topic we seem to disagree.

but thx for the offer to visit studios you designed: working for the european parliament regularly (so around your area?), this should easily be possible; i'd be interested to measure preferably two rooms of different sizes and i hope you'd also allow me to publish and comment my findings.
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