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Studio setup issues Condenser Microphones
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Head
 

Studio setup issues

Hello,

I have two issues I was hoping your experience could help me figure out.

I have a 4.2m x 3.7m room that has carpet on 2/3 of the floor, wood floor in the rest of the area, Bass Traps in the corners and acoustic foam on the 2 long walls (pics attached). Unfortunately I cannot setup the length of the long walls and have to be on one of the short walls. My first issue is regarding the highs, when I tilt my head down to look at the floor the highs seem to come alive, but when I look straight ahead between the monitors, they don’t seem as bright. The second issue is the bass is much less prominent at my listening area then behind me at the wall.

Any tips on how I can maximize my space? The monitors are Focal Alpha 65. Appreciate all of the help.
Attached Thumbnails
Studio setup issues-20190219_234317_resized.jpg   Studio setup issues-20190219_234324_resized.jpg   Studio setup issues-20190219_234337_resized.jpg  
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
1st problem:
Maybe your ears are off-axis?



2nd problem:
"less bass" doesn't mean anything. I mean: You might be in a null position for a (some) certain(s) frequency/ies. But not for others.

And...What the f...oam!

I'd replace your foam, by a proper acoustic treatment!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Head
 

Thank you for the suggestions. Regarding the first issue, the speakers are on iso pads which raised them a little so I removed the insert in the pads to angle them down. I did however also set them directly on the desk, but that didn't yield any improvement. Moving my seating position up/ down also was of no help.

The foam was put up prior as the room was initially going to be used for rehearsing and had flutter echo issues.

Any other suggestions on how to deal with the null point? I tried moving the speakers further into the room, but ended getting slightly better results by putting them back against the wall.

Would removing some of the foam help with the high frequency issue or would it introduce the flutter echo back into the mix?

Any suggestions appreciated.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
Yes. Removing foam will re-introduce flutter-echo.

But, even if it appears as the first problem. It's not.
Your problem is your bass.
A proper measurement (using REW) will reveal it. Among others problems probably.

Indeed, most of the time, it's better to have speakers close to the front wall.



Sometimes, placing a panel can help with SBIR.

My advice before getting a proper acoustic treatment: measure your room. In order to get the best listening position.

Then treat.

Some threads, worth reading:

Velocity based vs. pressure based absorbers

Making sense of modes, standing waves and bass traps

Are 6-7 feet or 1,94 meter too much distance between Nearfields?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
Lives for gear
And about "when I tilt my head down to look at the floor the highs seem to come alive"

Have you tried to put your speakers upside down?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Head
 

Thanks for information Jaypee. I will read over the links as well as try flipping the monitor upside down. The manual did show this option, but it never occurred to me to go ahead and try it.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
Lives for gear
Manuals from genelec and others well known pro brands are highly informative.

I'd recommend you to read:

https://www.genelec.com/sites/defaul...guide_2017.pdf
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
Gear Head
 

Just as an update I tried the monitors upside and on their side with no noticeable improvement on the high frequency situation. Out of the 3 variations, putting them on their side yielded the least favorable audio result.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
Please describe "come alive".

Another explanation:
If your on-axis, at listening position,
when you tilt your head down, it might not the highs "come alive", but the frequencies in bass region that changes (maybe less bass in your case) so your highs become "higher" in volume.

Once again, only supposition. Only proper measurement can help..so we can help!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Head
 

By "come alive" I mean the hi hats, cymbals, snare all become more apparent, a little more sizzle and snap, also their location becomes clearer. Looking straight forward there seems to be less definition in those instruments then when I tilt my head down.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
Lives for gear
Btw, the tweeter is NOT the axis point.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
Gear Head
 

I just ran some spl measurements on the lower frequencies and there are some nasty dips going on. Considering my setup since I can be on the long wall in the middle, would being on the long wall towards the side of the room help any or would I just have the same issues? Is the amount of foam up on the walls contributing to the issue with the high frequencies?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

How about posting the actual MDAT file with the results of your testing, and also some actual photos of the room, as it is right now? We can't see what you are seeing, unless you show us...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayPee View Post
Once again, only supposition. Only proper measurement can help..so we can help!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
Gear Head
 

I'll get on the pics when I get home from work. Regarding the testing, it was just basic SPL readings from the listening area using the RealTraps Test Tone CD. I'm not sure what an MDAT file would be at this point. Appreciate the help.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
I'm not sure what an MDAT file would be at this point.
An MDAT file is the file created by the REW acoustic testing / analysis software. It's free, and it does an excellent job of testing your room. After you run a test, it creates an MDAT file with the results in it, and you can post that file here on the forum, so others can download it and analyze it. So get REW, install it, calibrate it properly, run it, and you'll have all the truth about how your room is actually responding, in all possible parameters.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
Gear Head
 

Thanks Soundman, do I need a special mic or can I use a LDC?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sicfigure View Post
Thanks Soundman, do I need a special mic or can I use a LDC?
In theory, you can use any good quality omnidirectional mic that has totally flat response from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, but it's better to get a proper acoustic measurement mic. They aren't that expensive: a good one will be around US$ 100 or so. It is specifically designed for the purpose. I have several, but the one I use most is the Presonus PRM-1. Other good ones are the dbx RTA-M, Audix TM-1, Nady CM-100, Beyerdynamic MM1, Dayton EMM-6, all in roughly the same price range. I wrote this tutorial on how to use REW, on another forum: you might find it helpful. John Sayers' Recording Studio Design Forum •

View topic - How to use REW to analyze the acoustics of your room...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
Gear Head
 

Looks like I will be purchasing a mic for measuring. In the meantime, some more pics of the room to see if they help.....
Attached Thumbnails
Studio setup issues-20190221_203857_resized.jpg   Studio setup issues-20190221_203946_resized.jpg   Studio setup issues-20190221_203836_resized.jpg   Studio setup issues-20190221_203847_resized.jpg   Studio setup issues-20190221_203921_resized.jpg  

Studio setup issues-20190221_203934_resized.jpg  
Old 3 weeks ago
  #20
Lives for gear
Please, meanwhile you receive your mic. Check the manual linked above. Particularly about speaker placement...L/R symmetry
Old 3 weeks ago
  #21
Gear Head
 

I have indeed measured the speaker distance between the speakers and made sure it is the same distance from the listening area. I have also tried toeing the monitors in/ out, but still can't figure out the high frequency quagmire. Hopefully the measurements from the mic will help clear things up.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #22
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayPee View Post
Please, meanwhile you receive your mic. Check the manual linked above. Particularly about speaker placement...L/R symmetry
Old 3 weeks ago
  #23
Gear Head
 

Are you referring to moving the whole setup to the right so it is in the middle of the side wall? If so, do you think this would fix the high frequency issue?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #24
Lives for gear
No high frequencies are like rays.

Axis point-------------> ears

Axis should be right to your ears (are just behind your ears).
Try to find the best angle for your speakers.


L/R symmetry is important for stereo image.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #25
Gear Head
 

I have experimented with this, but it does not help with the high frequency issue. For some reason when I tilt my head down the highs are more prevalent, how I imagine they should be. Moving the speakers left/right or up/ down has not helped with this issue, nor has moving the listening position forward\/ backward.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #26
Lives for gear
Have you tried to angle your speakers?

Just angle them till you find the same sensation you have when you have your head tilt down with normal speaker positioning.


Anyway, measurement will tell you everything we need to know
Old 3 weeks ago
  #27
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks for posting the photos! That reveals a LOT!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sicfigure View Post
I have experimented with this, but it does not help with the high frequency issue. For some reason when I tilt my head down the highs are more prevalent, how I imagine they should be. Moving the speakers left/right or up/ down has not helped with this issue, nor has moving the listening position forward\/ backward.
There are several issues with your room layout. JayPee has mentioned a couple of the most important ones, so I'll just reinforce what he said, and add some more.

Symmetry: your room should be left-right symmetrical, at least as far back as the mix position, but preferably all the wall to the rear wall. In other words, the left half of the room should be a mirror image of the right half. If not, your left ear will not be hearing the same acoustic "signature" as your right ear, and in addition your left speaker will not be producing the same acoustic patterns in the room as the right speaker. Symmetry is critical: Specs for critical listening rooms state that the differences between the channels should be no more than about +/-1 dB across the entire spectrum. That's hard to achieve in a home studio, and maybe +/-2 or 3 dB would be more usual, but it's is still a very important goal to aim for.

Speaker geometry:
1) Your speakers should be positioned such that the acoustic axis (not the top or bottom of the speaker cabinet, nor the tweeter) is at your seated ear height, or a bit higher "Standard" height is 120cm (about 47 1/4"). You can go a bit higher if needed, for any of several reasons, but not by much. Maybe a couple of inches, max.

2)Your mix position (where your head is located) should be about 1/3 of the distance from the front wall to the back wall. Theory suggests 38%, but most engineers and studio designers prefer to be a bit closer to the front wall, so 1/3 (33%) is usually a decent spot. Anywhere in that range, 33% to 38% should be good.

3) With your head in that position, your speakers need to be spread apart roughly the same distance as your head is from the wall, or a little more even, then the speakers need to be rotated or "toed-in" such that they are pointing towards your ears: More accurately, many studio designers prefer to have the speakers pointing at a spot about 16 to 24" behind your head. Around 18" is reasonable. In most rooms, that should mean that your speakers are toed-in by about 30°, give or take a few. That's fine.

(Yes, this advice does conflict with the infamous "equilateral triangle" diagram you see all over the internet, and in some speaker manuals, with the apex of the triangle in the middle of your head.... sigh! That triangle would be fine if your ears are located where your eyeballs are, but for the rest of us, who have ears sticking out on the sides of our heads, it's better to aim for a spot behind your head, such that the acoustic axis of the speaker is grazing past the tip of your ear.... think about it!)

Unless you have a very large room, your speakers should be very close to the front wall, almost touching it, but allowing for an absorption panel about 4" thick between the speaker and the wall. Your room is not large, so this is the correct location for your speakers. If not, then you will have SBIR issues in the low frequencies, which is really bad, and practically impossible to fix with treatment. With the speakers very close to the front wall, the SBIR issues move up to the lower mid range, where they are less obnoxious and easier to treat.

With that arrangement, move your desk so that it is in a comfortable position when you are seated with your head at the correct location.

In other words, your mix position defines the desk position, and defines the speaker geometry.

Get your speakers OFF the desk! Put them on stands. Having them on the desk, or on the console meter bridge, is a really bad choice. Too many artifacts like that: Your "head down high frequencies issue" could VERY well be due to comb filtering effects from the desk surface. The speaker stands should be sturdy, and heavy.

Other : Re-arrange all the other stuff in the room to get it as symmetrical as possible (including the curtains and furniture), and get rid of the clutter.

Did I mention that symmetry is critical?

Lose the foam on the front wall: it's not doing anything for you. Replace some of it with 4" thick OC-703 panels, or something similar, that sit directly behind the speakers, as I mentioned above, and "superchunk" style bass traps in the corners. But don't cover the entire front wall with insulation! Just in the corners, and directly behind the speakers.

Build similar traps in the rear corners.

With that setup, do some listening tests: I'd bet good money you'll notice a huge difference! And that your "head down high frequency issue" is solved as well.

Before you do any of that, though, do the REW tests that I mentioned in that link above. Then after you do all of that, do another REW test, and compare the graphs, to see what the difference is...

Oh, and when you do the REW tests, please cover your drum kit with a thick blanket, or better still, take it out of the room completely: that's a whole bunch of resonant "things", that will happily want to sing along with the REW test tones... So you'd be testing the room partly, and testing your drum kit partly... not a good combination...

Quote:
Are you referring to moving the whole setup to the right so it is in the middle of the side wall? If so, do you think this would fix the high frequency issue?
It would very likely help with many other things! (Maybe I didn't mention this, but symmetry is really, really important.... )


Quote:
For some reason when I tilt my head down the highs are more prevalent,
As I mentioned above, that is very likely due to the comb filtering effect from having the speakers directly on the desk, and/or the common frequency dip in the mid range due to the same reason, and/or due to not having your overall geometry correct, so you are changing your head to a very, very different location in the sound field.. and/or....

Quote:
Moving the speakers left/right or up/ down has not helped with this issue, nor has moving the listening position forward\/ backward.
See above: You need to get all of your speaker/mix position/desk geometry correct (not just one little part of it), and also the basic treatment correct, and also the symmetry issue. There are many, many issues with your current layout, any of which could be contributing in one way or another. It might be a combination of things, rather that just one. But if I had to guess, I'd stake my money on the desk issue.

The above is pretty much the "standard" setup for a room (if there is such a thing as "standard" in studio design!). There are other possibilities, and it can probably be improved on. It's not necessarily the BEST layout for any given room, but it is is still a GOOD layout for practically all rooms (unless they have very strange shapes or dimensions). Try it.

Oh, and one other thing: I forgot to mention that symmetry is really, VERY important: take care with symmetry!

- Stuart -

Last edited by Soundman2020; 3 weeks ago at 04:11 PM.. Reason: (Edited to fix spelling errrrorz!)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #28
Gear Head
 

Soundman, Thanks for your time and thorough explanation. I will dig into it later this week and also perform the tests as soon as the mic arrives.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #29
Gear Head
 

Ok, first test in REW attached. Hopefully everything was setup correctly.
Attached Files
File Type: mdat Test 1.mdat (6.26 MB, 10 views)
Old 2 weeks ago
  #30
Gear Head
 

Any thoughts based on the REW test?
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