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Just moved in! New Studio Build
Old 28th July 2019
  #1
Gear Head
 

Just moved in! New Studio Build

Hello Everyone,

Excited to be here as I begin my new journey in this newly rented apartment. Hope to use this post as a great learning experience for not only myself but others who may be in a similar situation. This is also my very first post so thanks in advance for all the assistance.

Up until moving into this new space (a small but spacious studio apartment), I was always burdened with living in Basement apartments with noisy neighbours and paper thin walls. I've never had the chance to really make myself a studio and my work has suffered because of it. Being a producer of the electronic music type (Techno, Progressive, and House) sound was always an issue and even worse, acoustics. I spent the last year and half basically looking at my gear sit in boxes unable to be used in the way i intended when I first bought everything. It's been a sad and unproductive year but I finally got myself into a space where I can start to be creative again.

As you can see, the space is a lot better then what i'm used to. The only intention I have for this space is to make music so the bed is only there because well....it has to be. I was in a tiny basement with 6 foot ceilings before. This new space, boasts 8 foot ceilings, concrete exterior walls, and i've only got one neighbor beside me.

My first question is this: I don't have a lot of space or tools to build my own traps at this point so for stacked bass traps in the first two corners, I was thinking of buying the corner Ivar shelf system from IKEA (the corner unit shown in the link below)

https://www.ikea.com/ca/en/p/ivar-3-...ite-s79249984/

Would stuffing them with Roxul safe and sound as suggested from other posts i've looked up and then covering them with fabric be a good solution? It looks like this could be a great DIY with minimal construction and cover the entire first two corners.

My second question: How else should i treat this room? What recommendations would you suggest in order to get a great room for producing and mixing electronic music? I saw this build and they look like an amazing idea:

https://www.soundonsound.com/techniq...stic-treatment

I'm also planning on taking some measurements of the room while it is bare like this so any tips on how to do that would be helpful as well!

As mentioned, totally new to this but looking forward to discussing my build and sharing my progress.
Attached Thumbnails
Just moved in!  New Studio Build-img_5024.jpg   Just moved in!  New Studio Build-img_5025.jpg   Just moved in!  New Studio Build-img_5026.jpg   Just moved in!  New Studio Build-img_5027.jpg  
Old 28th July 2019
  #2
Gear Head
 

Forgot to attach the last image which shows the rest of the exterior wall.

Thanks everyone! Excited to get this project underway.
Attached Thumbnails
Just moved in!  New Studio Build-img_5028.jpg  
Old 28th July 2019
  #3
Gear Head
 

I would look at getting an Auralex kit that comes with everything you need including bass traps. That should suffice. Also if you do get a kit, don't use the crappy 2 sided tape they give you. Use Liquid Nails or Gorilla construction adhesive. Works like a champ. Extra Heavy duty two sided tape works ok, but just not the stuff they ship with you. Another option if you want to cover a lot of wall space (auralex foam panels get expensive) is to get sound absorption curtains. Moondream has some decent curtains, not exactly cheap though.

If all this is too expensive, and it can be, consider mixing with headphones so the room won't matter. If you are going to track live instruments or vocals, you can get a microphone reflection filter.
Old 28th July 2019
  #4
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason kalman View Post
I would look at getting an Auralex kit that comes with everything you need including bass traps. That should suffice. Also if you do get a kit, don't use the crappy 2 sided tape they give you. Use Liquid Nails or Gorilla construction adhesive. Works like a champ. Extra Heavy duty two sided tape works ok, but just not the stuff they ship with you. Another option if you want to cover a lot of wall space (auralex foam panels get expensive) is to get sound absorption curtains. Moondream has some decent curtains, not exactly cheap though.

If all this is too expensive, and it can be, consider mixing with headphones so the room won't matter. If you are going to track live instruments or vocals, you can get a microphone reflection filter.
I want to avoid expensive foam since it isn’t the most effective in terms of performance and cost. A lot of people have told me to stay away from foam for bass traps as it simply isn’t going to do anything below a certain frequency. I know it can help but I don’t want a rumbling room with all the mids and highs cut out. If I was going to go with foam I would have just gone with foam and not bothered considering posting about some DIY ideas I have in my head. I just haven’t heard good things about those kits.

From my understanding, stacked insulation or building some limp mass bass traps is the way to go. Works out to being cheaper then any foam kit. The ivar system seems like a great way to stack up some insulation for modular system that I can move easily. Just curious if my thinking is a good idea.

Ultimately, I just want a good sounding room I can trust and I want to do it properly the first time.
Old 28th July 2019
  #5
Gear Head
 

Recaro,
Sounds like you have a plan. I would go ahead with it. Maybe you'll get some feedback on this board. Perhaps you've already done some extensive google searches for info. Best of luck.
Jason
Old 28th July 2019
  #6
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason kalman View Post
Recaro,
Sounds like you have a plan. I would go ahead with it. Maybe you'll get some feedback on this board. Perhaps you've already done some extensive google searches for info. Best of luck.
Jason
I have somewhat of a plan!

I didn't mean to come off as rude. I just realized that message could have been misleading so apologies. I also didn't spend thousands of dollars on high end monitors, high end DAC, and interface to mix on headphones. I'd like to treat this room so I can take advantage of the high end equipment i have to get the best quality mixes i can. Of course mixing on headphones is a part of the process, but this solution on it's own just won't suffice.

I'm just looking for some reassurance because there is so much information on this stuff that i'm spinning deciding which route to take.

I know i don't want to just slap some foam up because as mentioned, i've been told to only use foam to treat areas where high and mids are problematic. I know foam is useful but i'm not sure i can just start sticking foam to the walls. I'd prefer something that I can place and move around. Something that isn't permanently fixed incase i find a better space to work in.

I appreciate your feedback and if you have any experience with the foam or some more info on if it is in-fact beneficial then i'm all ears. For now, I am seriously considering the IVAR corner units for bass traps. Just not sure of the shape and if it will work.
Old 28th July 2019
  #7
Gear Head
 

This is what the corner unit looks like. I would take out the middle shelves and just leave the top and bottom. THen fill the entire space with roxul.

The shape is a bit different. Instead of a traingle with a flat front, it's more of a pentagon in a traingle shape. Just want to know if it is ok with how the front posts tick out. and the two posts in the middle running down.

THe other idea was to use the square ones instead and stick those in the corner? measures about 16" x 19". Would that be better?
Attached Thumbnails
Just moved in!  New Studio Build-e4fd434ca6d9c0db89c807cdc0a8bb5b.jpg  
Old 29th July 2019
  #8
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by recaro19 View Post
I have somewhat of a plan!

I didn't mean to come off as rude. I just realized that message could have been misleading so apologies. I also didn't spend thousands of dollars on high end monitors, high end DAC, and interface to mix on headphones. I'd like to treat this room so I can take advantage of the high end equipment i have to get the best quality mixes i can. Of course mixing on headphones is a part of the process, but this solution on it's own just won't suffice.

I'm just looking for some reassurance because there is so much information on this stuff that i'm spinning deciding which route to take.

I know i don't want to just slap some foam up because as mentioned, i've been told to only use foam to treat areas where high and mids are problematic. I know foam is useful but i'm not sure i can just start sticking foam to the walls. I'd prefer something that I can place and move around. Something that isn't permanently fixed incase i find a better space to work in.

I appreciate your feedback and if you have any experience with the foam or some more info on if it is in-fact beneficial then i'm all ears. For now, I am seriously considering the IVAR corner units for bass traps. Just not sure of the shape and if it will work.
Recaro,
Thanks, but you weren't being rude at all. I think the route you want to go is great. I don't have any experience with the IVAR corner units, so hopefully someone who does can chime in.
Best of luck!
Old 29th July 2019
  #9
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason kalman View Post
Recaro,
Thanks, but you weren't being rude at all. I think the route you want to go is great. I don't have any experience with the IVAR corner units, so hopefully someone who does can chime in.
Best of luck!
ok good! Because it's the internet, you never know how someone is going to take something! Especially with how they read it to themselves.

Anyways, hoping others can chime in on my thinking and give some advice.
Old 31st July 2019
  #10
Gear Head
 

Bumpity Bump bump.

Wondering if anyone else can chime in? Going to look into doing some room measurements this weekend so you all have a better idea of what is going on but have never done it before so could use all the help I can get.

Also, for the 38% rule, i'm not sure which wall to measure that off of. I used the measurement along the exterior wall (where the two bay windows are) and the desk sticks out pretty far. Currently, I have the desk about a foot away from the wall i face when sitting. Is a foot away good enough?

Again, appreciate the help and for the time to read through this and assist me.
Old 31st July 2019
  #11
Lives for gear
Recaro,
There is nothing wrong with your corner traps idea. The support structure makes no meaningful difference in the performance of the traps or the overall acoustic of the room. Once you decide on your monitor position and where your ears will be when you are mixing, put some serious trapping (not foam) at the first reflection positions (mirror points) on your left/right walls and on the ceiling. If you have room to leave an air gap behind each trap, that greatly improves the performance of each trap.
I didn’t accomplish much with my treatment until I learned REW and used it. I also learned a lot from reading on the GIK site, and found their staff very helpful, even when I wasn’t buying anything.
I found that very amateur treatment of “invisible” wall/floor and wall/wall junctions was helpful. By invisible, I mean that they are out of sight behind furniture. I got some giant pillowcases and filled them with fiberglass. I don’t remember exactly which fiberglass. It was just a random DIY idea that seemed to help a bit in general damping of the space.
Old 31st July 2019
  #12
Gear Head
 

Hey Bushman,

Thanks for the reply. As you can tell, the room is fairly odd-shaped since I have a big open space to the right of my seating position to the entrance of the studio apartment and the kitchen and bathroom separate the space. I guess first reflections would mean every wall in this case? haha... seeing as there are two big windows to the left, I should place a trap on that middle wall? Also in front of my listening position behind the speakers and the walls to the right?

As for the back wall where the bed is, should I hang something there? or add a diffuser?

I'll probably just buy the rectangular IVAR systems at the same height as the corner traps I plan on adding and fill those up with safe and sound as well. will allow me to move them around and also less hassle drilling into concrete walls trying to hang things.

I guess the first thing is to get some measurements. Going to try and accomplish that this weekend.

Any other tips on treatment placement for this space would be greatly appreciated.
Old 1st August 2019
  #13
Lives for gear
I didn’t understand that the desk indicated where your listening position would be. If your listening position stays close to your front wall, you might avoid windows being in the mirror points. You need to read about mirror points. In considering first reflections, there isn’t a mirror point on the front wall behind the speakers, and there aren’t any behind you. Mirror points are the places on the flat room surfaces forward of your head (including the ceiling) where you can place a mirror flat against the surface and see the bass speaker or tweeter of one of the main monitors (ignore the subwoofer). The idea is that if you can put a fat air-gapped trap at each of those positions, you can kill or diminish the strong coherent reflections that arrive from those reflection points at your ears later than the direct sound from the speakers. Trapping the mirror points doesn’t solve every acoustic problem, especially in a smallish, squarish room, but it can immediately improve the imaging and clarity you hear from your monitors. If done correctly, it ALWAYS improves monitoring.
Whether and where you might need to treat the front or back wall is a different question. That’s something I wouldn’t attempt without REW.
Old 1st August 2019
  #14
Gear Head
 

Yeah i've heard of that trick. But seeing as I don't really have any direct mirror points, should i just be treating the wall surfaces as best as I can?

Also, I found these simple panels. Looks very simple to make and would avoid any insulation cutting. All i'd have to do is get Lowe's to cut the wood for me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLk6fQVcoSw Would these work better then the IVAR system Idea i had?

I'd probably just make a bunch of these and cover the walls and then make a few to hang on the ceiling for a cloud.
Old 5th August 2019
  #15
Gear Head
 

UPDTE:

Finally found some time to start piecing this studio together. Right now, I just have a rough set up of my speakers and moniros. I may mount the TV to the wall and use the 24" computer monitor at some point but for now this is what I have. Keeping it simple. No hardware out yet and just running things through the Komplete Audio 6 sound card.

Speakers are just under 1 foot away from the wall. Distance from left cone to right cone is about 39" which means my listening position is just infront of the 39". i'm sitting at the 34-35" mark. The dimensions of the room are not a rectangular seeing at it is a studio apartment with a kitchen and bathroom boxed in to the rear and then an open space for the entrance.

No treatment, no nothing yet. Just a bed and a couch but the bass is definitely disappearing when i sit in my mix position. if i sit on the couch, i get a nice big boom and can hear all the low end. Should my seating position be where the couch is?

Have some work to do but hopefully when i get bak I can take some room measurements.

really hoping that treating this room will help. Still looking for advise and tips if anyone out there is willing to share.

Best,
Attached Thumbnails
Just moved in!  New Studio Build-img_5112.jpg  
Old 5th August 2019
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Speakers are just under 1 foot away from the wall.
... which is about 1 foot too far! (If you are referring to the distance between the rear of the speaker and the front wall) In a small room, speakers should be right against the front wall, or perhaps separated by a gap of no more than 4", if you want to put insulation in there. If not, then your lowest SBIR dip will be way down low. Not quite sure what speakers you have there (KRK?), since you didn't mention it, but the cabinet itself is likely about a foot deep, thus the front face of your speakers is likely two feet from the front wall, placing the SBIR dip at around 140 Hz. Pushing them closer to the front wall would force that frequency up higher, where it is less noticeable and possibly more treatable.

Quote:
Distance from left cone to right cone is about 39" which means my listening position is just infront of the 39".
That sounds like you are following the "equilateral triangle" myth! Yes, it's a myth... in the sense that setting up your speakers like that will always get you the best response in any room. Not true. Yes, it does work for most rooms and most speakers to get reasonable acoustic response, but no, it is not the best position in any room! It's just a starting point, at best. You didn't give the dimensions of your room, so it's hard to say what a better layout might be, but from the photos it seems that you should be spreading your speakers futher apart, and moving your head further back in the room. Getting too close to speakers puts your ears in a location where the frequency response can vary wildly over just a short distance: it's better to have your head further way, if the room allows it. Ideally, your head should be about 1/3 of the length of the room away from the front wall, and the speakers should be aiming at a spot behind your head, maybe 18" or back (final distance depends on the room). The ideal situation is where the acoustic axis of each speaker is aiming just outside of the tip of your ear, as you are seated at the mix position. And if you check the "equilateral triangle" diagrams, you'll find that the acoustic axis of each speaker is aimed at your EYES, not your ears....(!) That's fine for all mix engineers who have had their ears surgically transplanted onto their eyeballs, but for normal people, it's better to have the speakers aiming at your ears. After all, "on axis" is where the speaker produces the cleanest, flattest, most consistent sound, so that's where your ears should be... not your eye!

Quote:
But seeing as I don't really have any direct mirror points,
Ummmm.... yes you do! Unless you are sitting out in the middle of the desert on a 50 foot ladder, there are ALWAYS reflection points around you! A rectangular room has refletion points on the side walls, ceiling and floor, at the very least.

Quote:
No treatment, no nothing yet. Just a bed and a couch but the bass is definitely disappearing when i sit in my mix position. if i sit on the couch, i get a nice big boom and can hear all the low end. Should my seating position be where the couch is?
The reason for no bass is: no treatment! You need substantial bass trapping to get your low end under control. It is probably also related to the mix position and speaker position. Your "lack of bass" could well be the SBIR issue I outlined above. For a speaker with the face 2 feet from the front wall, the center of the dip is around 140 Hz, but that dip can extend quite a distance each way on the spectrum. You might also have your head and/or speakers (or both) in modal nulls or peaks, which could be robbing you of even more bass.

So, to get your bass back, first put major bass trapping in the usual locations in the room, then set up your geometry more suitably (forget about the "equilateral triangle" myth). Then test your room to see if you can find a better spot, close to the theoretical ideal. Then treat more...

And of course, use REW extensively to help you at ever step of the way. Here's how to do that: How to calibrate and use REW to test and tune your room acoustics

- Stuart -
Old 5th August 2019
  #17
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundman2020 View Post
You didn't give the dimensions of your room, so it's hard to say what a better layout might be, but from the photos it seems that you should be spreading your speakers futher apart, and moving your head further back in the room.
Hey Stuart!

Thanks for the thorough response. Read through it and it seems like I need to start with dimensions of the room first and figuring out speaker placement and listening position before anything. I've just finished drawing up some plans. Let me know if they are ok? As mentioend, it's a bit of a weird shape so not sure how it's affecting my sound quality and if I should just be placing bass traps on every possible surface.

As for what speakers i have, they are Neuman KH 120. I also have a set of KRK Rokit 8's generation 2 with 10s Sub but they aren't set up and i would only be using that system as a second set of monitors.

Let me know what I should be thinking of in terms of distances and such.

P.S. Should i take a measurement with REW before doing treatment? Let m know and i'll do those next.
Attached Thumbnails
Just moved in!  New Studio Build-floor-plan-1.jpg   Just moved in!  New Studio Build-floor-plan-2.jpg   Just moved in!  New Studio Build-floor-plan-3.jpg  
Old 6th August 2019
  #18
Lives for gear
I am not an acoustician, but I do think that you have picked the best wall for your speakers. What is in front of your ears and close to the speakers is symmetrical. That is good for LR balance at your listening position. It also allows for matching corner bass traps in front of you. Ditto for mirror points in front of you.
The odd shape of the room behind you and to your left and right rear is not predictable in terms of acoustics. It is good that it is a larger space than the smaller “fake room” you are facing. It MAY be good that it is somewhat random and not symmetrical behind you. I’d treat the area in front of you and see what REW tells you about the room at that point.
Old 6th August 2019
  #19
Gear Head
 

That was exactly my thinking. Glad to see i'm on the right path. Thanks Bushman for the verification.

I'm going to start with the front wall i'm facing, along with the two corners. Going to take a look this weekend at those shelves again and maybe head to lowes to get them to cut some pieces of wood for me.

Should i be taking a measurement before placing the treatment or is it kind of redundant? Makes more sense to add some treatment then take measurements right? Or should you always take a preliminary measurement? I'm just going through the documentation Stuart has linked on how to take measurements with REW.
Old 6th August 2019
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by recaro19 View Post
P.S. Should i take a measurement with REW before doing treatment? Let m know and i'll do those next.
Of course, if only to pull the data out and tell yourself "yes, it was that bad."
Old 6th August 2019
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Or should you always take a preliminary measurement?
I always recommend doing that, for the reason Johann mentioned, and also because it's a good indicator of where to start: what area should you be focused on. If you only take measurements after putting some treatment in, you'll never know if that treatment was effective at doing what you hoped it would do, or not. For example, if you measure after some treatment and see that you have a modal issue at 90 Hz, you won't know if that treatment was already helping to deal with 90 Hz, or not helping much, or perhaps even making it worse! I prefer to measure at every step of treatment, to check that each "thing" did what it was supposed to do, and to see what's the "next biggest thing" that I still need to deal with. It's tedious to do that, yes, but it sure does help to orient you in the path you should take. And if something DIDN'T do what it was supposed to, you can then take it out confidently and rework it, or do something else entirely, rather than leaving in place something that isn't working, taking up valuable real-estate, without you even knowing that it isn't working...


- Stuart -
Old 6th August 2019
  #22
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundman2020 View Post
... which is about 1 foot too far! (If you are referring to the distance between the rear of the speaker and the front wall) In a small room, speakers should be right against the front wall, or perhaps separated by a gap of no more than 4", if you want to put insulation in there. If not, then your lowest SBIR dip will be way down low. Not quite sure what speakers you have there (KRK?) since you didn't mention it, but the cabinet itself is likely about a foot deep, thus the front face of your speakers is likely two feet from the front wall, placing the SBIR dip at around 140 Hz. Pushing them closer to the front wall would force that frequency up higher, where it is less noticeable and possibly more treatable.
This totally makes me feel like I wasted time learning the wrong things all these years. Thanks for this. Clearly, I've been doing things wrong because I was told to not have the speakers close to the wall and to make the dimensions of the speaker different for each (HxWxL) so they aren't sharing similar dimensions. I was under the impression that the speakers would cause more bass issue if up against a wall.

As for what speakers I'm using, they are Neuman KH120. I also have a secondary system that consists of KRK Rokit 8 gen 2 and a KRK 10s subwoofer. The KRK system is not set up at the moment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundman2020 View Post
That sounds like you are following the "equilateral triangle" myth! Yes, it's a myth... in the sense that setting up your speakers like that will always get you the best response in any room. Not true. Yes, it does work for most rooms and most speakers to get reasonable acoustic response, but no, it is not the best position in any room! It's just a starting point, at best. You didn't give the dimensions of your room, so it's hard to say what a better layout might be, but from the photos it seems that you should be spreading your speakers futher apart, and moving your head further back in the room. Getting too close to speakers puts your ears in a location where the frequency response can vary wildly over just a short distance: it's better to have your head further way, if the room allows it. Ideally, your head should be about 1/3 of the length of the room away from the front wall, and the speakers should be aiming at a spot behind your head, maybe 18" or back (final distance depends on the room). The ideal situation is where the acoustic axis of each speaker is aiming just outside of the tip of your ear, as you are seated at the mix position. And if you check the "equilateral triangle" diagrams, you'll find that the acoustic axis of each speaker is aimed at your EYES, not your ears....(!) That's fine for all mix engineers who have had their ears surgically transplanted onto their eyeballs, but for normal people, it's better to have the speakers aiming at your ears. After all, "on-axis" is where the speaker produces the cleanest, flattest, most consistent sound, so that's where your ears should be... not your eye!
Yet again, working off the old stuff I learned and not knowing that this was a myth. It's crazy because even Neuman gives you a page to set up on your desk that show's you the angles in which you should be setting up your speakers from the listening position. There is a 30 degree option (L & R) and a 60 degree option (L & R).

How do i know how to set up each speaker in accordance with my room and the speakers pointed in a way in which you have explained. Is there a tutorial or guide on this? Any photos or equations?

Crazy how mathematical this all is and I'm just getting into acoustics so this is all very new. especially since what I've been teaching myself isn't accurate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundman2020 View Post
Ummmm.... yes you do! Unless you are sitting out in the middle of the desert on a 50 foot ladder, there are ALWAYS reflection points around you! A rectangular room has refletion points on the side walls, ceiling and floor, at the very least.

The reason for no bass is: no treatment! You need substantial bass trapping to get your low end under control. It is probably also related to the mix position and speaker position. Your "lack of bass" could well be the SBIR issue I outlined above. For a speaker with the face 2 feet from the front wall, the center of the dip is around 140 Hz, but that dip can extend quite a distance each way on the spectrum. You might also have your head and/or speakers (or both) in modal nulls or peaks, which could be robbing you of even more bass.

So, to get your bass back, first put major bass trapping in the usual locations in the room, then set up your geometry more suitably (forget about the "equilateral triangle" myth). Then test your room to see if you can find a better spot, close to the theoretical ideal. Then treat more...
Sounds good. This is great information. Really appreciate it! I tried to take measurements last night but I realized I lost my mic clip and didn't want to be holding the mic and standing in the way while the system did its measurements. I will do a preliminary measurement and then push things back a bit and take a second measurement. Will post soon!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundman2020 View Post
And of course, use REW extensively to help you at ever step of the way. Here's how to do that: How to calibrate and use REW to test and tune your room acoustics
AMAZING! NEED THIS
Old 6th August 2019
  #23
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johannburkard View Post
Of course, if only to pull the data out and tell yourself "yes, it was that bad."
Precisely. Thanks for the verification.
Old 6th August 2019
  #24
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundman2020 View Post
I always recommend doing that, for the reason Johann mentioned, and also because it's a good indicator of where to start: what area should you be focused on. If you only take measurements after putting some treatment in, you'll never know if that treatment was effective at doing what you hoped it would do, or not. For example, if you measure after some treatment and see that you have a modal issue at 90 Hz, you won't know if that treatment was already helping to deal with 90 Hz, or not helping much, or perhaps even making it worse! I prefer to measure at every step of treatment, to check that each "thing" did what it was supposed to do, and to see what's the "next biggest thing" that I still need to deal with. It's tedious to do that, yes, but it sure does help to orient you in the path you should take. And if something DIDN'T do what it was supposed to, you can then take it out confidently and rework it, or do something else entirely, rather than leaving in place something that isn't working, taking up valuable real-estate, without you even knowing that it isn't working...


- Stuart -
100% Stuart. I will be taking preliminary measurements soon and have them posted up. I have no idea what it will mean or how to do it yet but should be able to figure it out in the next day or two.

Picked up a mic clip today and will be using the sonarworks measurement mic I got.

Keep you posted.
Old 6th August 2019
  #25
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
This totally makes me feel like I wasted time learning the wrong things all these years. Thanks for this. Clearly, I've been doing things wrong because I was told to not have the speakers close to the wall and to make the dimensions of the speaker different for each (HxWxL) so they aren't sharing similar dimensions. I was under the impression that the speakers would cause more bass issue if up against a wall.
Unfortunately, there's a lot of bad info circulating on the Internet in the field of acoustics! Probably not with bad intentions: just well-intentioned ignorance. Some of it is silly, some of it is myth and urban-legend, and some of it is "snake oil", put out by folks who don't really care what they tell you, as long as they can persuade you to pay them some money!

OK, so let's look at acoustic reality:

Quote:
I was under the impression that the speakers would cause more bass issue if up against a wall.
That one is actually true! Yes it is correct that putting a speaker against a wall will increase the bass output. And that's why speakers have controls on the back, to compensate for that! Theoretically, the boost can be as much as 6 dB, which is why the control generally offers up to 6 dB of bass cut. Generally, the actual boost is less than that, but that's why the "bass roll-off" control is there at all: to compensate for the location of the speaker against the wall. If your speaker does not have that control, then it is possible to do the same thing with external EQ... with care! There are equations that tell you what frequency range will be affected, and those equations take into account just one parameter: the smallest dimension of the speaker cabinet itself. Technically, for all frequencies where the wavelength is smaller than that dimension, the sound will be projected mostly forwards, and for all frequencies where the wavelength is longer than that dimension, some of the sound will be projected forward and some will "wrap around" behind the speaker, going "backwards". It makes sense that waves that are bigger than the face of the cabinet cannot be contained by the cabinet., and that's what happens in reality. Since it is the dimensions of the front face, or "baffle" of the cabinet that governs this effect, this is often referred to as the "baffle step response" problem. Because there's a "step" in the frequency response curve, and the location of that step is governed by the size of the baffle. Hence, baffle step response. In reality, it's not a sudden "step" in the graph, with all frequencies above that point only going forward and all frequencies below that point only going backwards: rather, rather, it's a gentle curve in the response, that covers a broad range of frequencies (4 octaves, to be exact), and the "baffle step response frequency" is in the middle of that curve. There's an example of such a curve below. The bass roll-off control on the speaker is usually designed by the manufacturer specifically to deal with that exact curve, created by the speaker itself.

So yes, it is correct that you'll get an increase in bass with the speaker against the wall, there's a reason for that, and there's a method for dealing with it.

Yes, you can apply EQ in this case, because the issue is "minimum phase". That's a sort of complicated technical term, but what it means in practice is that there's a special mathematical situation for minimum phase issues that allows you to apply EQ to correct it, and it works for the entire room. Some people think that if they can fix this problem with EQ, then they can just apply a whole bunch of EQ filters all over the place, and "fix" everything! Except that it doesn't work... EQ can only be applied like this IF the problem is minimum phase. The vast majority of acoustic issues in a room ar NOT minimum phase, so if you attempt to apply EQ to "fix" them, then in the very best case it only works for one specific location in the room, at the expense of all other locations: move your head a few inches in one direction or the other, and you are no longer at that spot.... And that's in the best case! In most cases, applying EQ can make the frequency response curve flatter, but messes up some other aspect of the sound in the time domain, or in phase.

So you can't use EQ to fix many of the problems in the room. But you can use it to fix the power imbalance cause by this Baffle Step Response issue. That's one of the few where it does work.

Quote:
I was told to not have the speakers close to the wall and to make the dimensions of the speaker different for each (HxWxL) so they aren't sharing similar dimensions.
Mostly myth, vaguely mixed with some half-truth, but can be ignored.

The truth of the matter is that the room has several resonant modes that can be "triggered" by the speaker, and the location where you place the speaker can cause it ti trigger, or not trigger, certain of those modes. The frequencies where the modes can occur can be calculated from the dimensions of the room, using a simple "room mode calculator", such as one of these:

http://www.bobgolds.com/Mode/RoomModes.htm
https://amcoustics.com/tools/amroc

They will tell you what the mode will be, and where they will cause problems in the room. If you place the speaker at a spot where there is a null for a specific mode, then the speaker will not be able to trigger that mode. If you place the speaker at a spot where there is a peak for a specific mode, then it will probably trigger that mode very well. So if you analyzed your room properly using REW, and you see that there's a major modal issue (strong peak, long ringing), then it might be possible to reduce the effect of that mode by placing the speaker in a null for it. It's possible to do that, yes.... however, you often find that the null for one mode is in the same spot as the peak for another mode, so you'd be putting out one fire by pouring fuel on another one! It's work experimenting a bit with speaker positions to see if you can reduce modes like that, but the other problem is that you might be messing with the optimal geometric layout for the speakers... so you could end up finding a great spot that minimizes some modes, but it means putting the speakers in a terrible location, from the point of view of overall acoustics. So the plan of putting your speakers in modal nulls is not very useful, in most rooms. Occasionally you get lucky.

So in general, its better to start by placing the speakers at the theoretical best position, then move them slightly left and right from that spot to see if there's any improvement. Also move the mix position slightly forwards and backwards, once again to see if there's any improvement at another spot. Generally you can get useful improvement like this, but it's a slow, tedious process.

There's also the issue of reflections: some people claim that by moving your speakers to some "magical" locations in the room (based on mystical golden numbers and pixie-dust ratios... )you can prevent reflections from happening, prevent modes from happening, and get perfect acoustics.... garbage. Try following those mythical processes in your own room, and measuring with REW: You'll soon see that there is nothing at all behind them, except wishful thinking. Don0t be fooled by glitzy web-sites with beautiful photos of stunning rooms... but no acoustic data to show the results.... You'd think that if they were getting such amazing results from following their secretive brews, then they'd be proud to share the results! You have to wonder why they don't...

Quote:
As for what speakers I'm using, they are Neuman kh120.
Nice! I do like those.

Quote:
Yet again, working off the old stuff I learned and not knowing that this was a myth. It's crazy because even Neuman gives you a page to set up on your desk that show's you the angles in which you should be setting up your speakers from the listening position. There is a 30 degree option (L & R) and a 60 degree option (L & R).
Yup! Virtually every speaker manufacturer does include that diagram for a simple reason: it works in most rooms. You can get good results like that. But that doesn't mean that it is OPTIMAL for any give room! So by publishing that triangle, they know that non-experts will get usable results with their speakers.... while the experts will ignore that advice and go with finding the BEST layout for the room! So everyone is happy. Take a look at photos of leading high-end studios, and note the angles of the speakers... how many of them have the speakers at exactly 30°? In reality, anywhere between about 25° and 35° is good in most rooms, and somewhere in that range will be a much better situation than fixed 30°. In fact, I know of one leading studio designer with decades of experience, who has been known to go as far as 45°... with great success! I would not recommend such a large angle for home studio builders, but in the hands of an expert designer, it is possible.

Now, even in those manufacturer's manuals, even though they talk about equilateral triangles, if you look at the diagrams you'll see that they don't actually show that! The difference is subtle, but many diagrams do correctly show the acoustic axis pointing at your ears, NOT your eyes..... and thus, it isn't an equilateral triangle any more! If your head is FORWARD from the apex such that the axes are aimed at your ears, then the REAL angle to the middle of your head is not 30°...

I'm attaching a couple of images that I've collected over the years, to show that. One of them is from JBL, which goes the other way: they show the axes pointing at your eyes (!), but they do mention that there's a wide range of angles to play with....

So yeah, it's confusing.... even the manufacturers can't quite seem to get it right. But when you read up on the science of psycho-acoustics (how we humans perceive sound, with our amazing ears and brains), then it becomes a lot more clear. And if you look around, you'll find that most studio designers recommend using whatever angles makes sense for the room and the speakers, with the acoustic axis pointing at your ears, or just outside of your ears. It makes sense, when you think it through... and it works!

Quote:
How do i know how to set up each speaker in accordance with my room and the speakers pointed in a way in which you have explained. Is there a tutorial or guide on this? Any photos or equations?
Here's the danger: I can give numbers, but then some people will think that the numbers are engraved in stone by the hand of God himself, and can never be altered! But that isn't true... That's what happened to Wes Lachot, years ago, when he figured out that the theoretical best location for your ears in a studio, is at 38% of the room length (distance from front to back). Ever since then, people refer to the "38% rule", and go to crazy lengths laying out there rooms in vain attempts to position their ears exactly 38.0000000%, thinking that it will be perfection! It isn't, of course, and in fact Wes never intended for it to be! What he found was a good starting point, nothing more. That was his intention. It's sort of obvious, because even leaning slight forward in your chair is going to move your ears out of that magical 38% spot, by quite a few percentage points. So there's the danger... The numbers are GUIDELINES, not RULES.

Best listening position: on room center line, equidistant from left and right walls, 38% of room depth (reality: anywhere from maybe 30% to maybe 45%).

Speakers: On heavy stands, against the front wall, with the axis 47 1/4" (120cm) above the floor, 27% of room width away from the side walls (reality: anywhere from maybe 20% to 35% of width), angled inwards to aim at a spot 18" behind you head, with the angle not being less that 25° anf not more that 35°.

There, I went and did it! I gave you numbers! ... which are basically meaningless, without knowing the context of the room... Once again, those are GUIDELINES. not law. A good place to start, but then do a series of careful moves, in small steps, using REW, to identify better locations.

Quote:
Crazy how mathematical this all is and I'm just getting into acoustics so this is all very new. especially since what I've been teaching myself isn't accurate.
Yup! Lot's of math in understanding acoustics! Because sound follows very strict mathematical equations, and many things about it can be calculated easily, with simple equations... except for the best location of your speakers!


Quote:
AMAZING! NEED THIS



- Stuart -
Attached Thumbnails
Just moved in!  New Studio Build-baffle-step-response-curve-typical.gif   Just moved in!  New Studio Build-equilateral-triangle-adam-gets-right-sort-.jpg   Just moved in!  New Studio Build-genelec-gets-equilateral-triangle-correct-partly-.jpg   Just moved in!  New Studio Build-jbl-gets-right-equilateral-triangle-correct-.jpg  
Old 8th August 2019
  #26
Gear Head
 

Ok, so....

Came home from work and tried out REW for the first time. I took preliminary measurements with my equipment set up AS IS. Meaning i didn't move anything from the original set up i posted. Speakers are in the same position along with everything else.

No treatment, no nothing.

I don't know if i did the measurements correctly but here is what the program spit out after following the GIK Acoustics tutorial.

Is this good? Bad? I really don't know what i'm looking at. Did i post the right graphs?
Attached Thumbnails
Just moved in!  New Studio Build-all-spl-red-soundcard-.jpg   Just moved in!  New Studio Build-spl-phase-black-line-soundcard-.jpg  
Old 8th August 2019
  #27
Lives for gear
 

The data looks valid, you seem to have done the calibration correctly, but the scale you chose for viewing is not very useful! A scale from -200 dB to +200 dB covers everything from the sound an electron makes as it orbits inside an atom, to the sound that galaxies make when they collide.... A more reasonable viewing scale is something like 30 dB to 110 dB.

If you post the actual MDAT file here, then there's a few folks around that can analyze it for you.

What is visible, is typical small room response. What seem to be modal peaks and dips, SBIR, comb filtering. That's about all that can be said from such low res graphs. Also, frequency response isn't really the most useful of the data that REW gives you: time domain is much more useful for diagnosing and treating rooms. You can see that on the "waterfall" and "spectrogram" graphs. The Impulse Response graphs are also very useful.

- Stuart -

- Stuart -
Old 8th August 2019
  #28
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundman2020 View Post
The data looks valid, you seem to have done the calibration correctly, but the scale you chose for viewing is not very useful! A scale from -200 dB to +200 dB covers everything from the sound an electron makes as it orbits inside an atom, to the sound that galaxies make when they collide.... A more reasonable viewing scale is something like 30 dB to 110 dB.


I knew my first time attempting this would require that I fine tune things! haha...but hey, I am trying to create sounds to attract Alien life ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundman2020 View Post
If you post the actual MDAT file here, then there's a few folks around that can analyze it for you.
I'm at work at the moment but to do this, is it just as simple as saving it as a MDAT file in REW?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundman2020 View Post
What is visible, is typical small room response. What seem to be modal peaks and dips, SBIR, comb filtering. That's about all that can be said from such low res graphs. Also, frequency response isn't really the most useful of the data that REW gives you: time domain is much more useful for diagnosing and treating rooms. You can see that on the "waterfall" and "spectrogram" graphs. The Impulse Response graphs are also very useful.

- Stuart -

- Stuart -
I realized after I quit the program that I forgot to render the waterfall graph. I will get that posted tonight along with the changes you've mentioned above. Hopefully, I will get it right this time.

Thanks! Getting excited to start treating. Going to try and do the bass traps on Sunday.
Old 8th August 2019
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by recaro19 View Post
I'm at work at the moment but to do this, is it just as simple as saving it as a MDAT file in REW?
Yes, and then attach it to a post or a reply.
Old 8th August 2019
  #30
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johannburkard View Post
Yes, and then attach it to a post or a reply.
Ok so I think i got it this time... hopefully.

Master file attached along with some more resonable limits on the SPL graph. Also included a few shots of the waterfall graph from 30hz to around 2.3khz

let me know if I need to take any other measurements. I saved the file this time.
Attached Thumbnails
Just moved in!  New Studio Build-all-spl-aug-8-2019-.jpg   Just moved in!  New Studio Build-waterfall-1-aug-8-2019-.jpg   Just moved in!  New Studio Build-waterfall-2-aug-8-2019-.jpg  
Attached Files
File Type: mdat Measurement 1.mdat (2.83 MB, 7 views)
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