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Help getting my monitors to not sound like crap
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Gear Nut
Help getting my monitors to not sound like crap

Hello, I've posted before about my room and received a lot of help, but since then I've changed a lot and I'm having a hard time getting a good balanced stereo image from my room.

Using sonar works reference is a night and day difference and really exposes how bad my room and especially stereo image are. And I know I won't be able to get it perfect, but it's really bad, it sounds boxy right now and I would love some input on what I can do to make it better.

I have a studio RTA producer desk.
https://www.musiciansfriend.com/acce...oducer-station

I had to remove the top shelf because my display was way too high.

For monitoring I have Yamahas HS8's they are on the desk, on top of flat absorption pads. I can see the tweeters In mirror reflections on the desk, so I am slightly worried about desk reflections and comb filtering, though throwing padding and diffusing doesn't seem to make a night and day difference.

For sound absorption I have 7 panels 2'x4' 4" thick 703 Owens corning. Due to a huge closet in the back and a shelf on the front, I have 1 panel straddling the left corner, and in the other corners they are flat against the available wall. Above the couch I have the panel angled at a 45 degree angle between the wall and couch.

one of them currently isn't up, I'm planning to mount it above the desk when I get the time as a cloud. I have 20 or so loose auralex foam panels I can mount somewhere, not sure where.

Attached are my REW response files, sonar works reference screenshot.

Lets say I have a budget of $500 to make this better. The room layout has to stay relatively the same, I have to store my guitars and stuff somewhere (not shown in the image, but I have another small desk with a gaming PC, Roland V drums, and a guitar rack).

Some more stats.
Tweeter 43” from ground
Driver = 36” from ground
Distance between speakers 40”
Speakers to listening spot ~40”
Speakers 7” from back wall

Thank you so much for the time.
Attached Thumbnails
Help getting my monitors to not sound like crap-screen-shot-2020-06-22-8.49.06-pm.jpg   Help getting my monitors to not sound like crap-screen-shot-2020-06-22-8.52.54-pm.png   Help getting my monitors to not sound like crap-gearslutz.jpg  
Attached Files
File Type: mdat Both.mdat (715.6 KB, 15 views) File Type: mdat Left.mdat (713.4 KB, 12 views) File Type: mdat Right.mdat (714.3 KB, 13 views)
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Treat the rear wall, really thick (30+ cm or so).
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamdro View Post
I have 20 or so loose auralex foam panels I can mount somewhere, not sure where.
Mount them in Auralex' headquarters, maybe in the employee toilet?
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Gear Addict
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 

Agreed about the bass trap on the rear wall. High frequency absorption is likely not useful right now.

However... put those foam absorbers on the console, covering the whole desk, and see what that does to your stereo image. Is it better or is it work? This is a diagnostic, not a fix.
--scott
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by johannburkard View Post
Treat the rear wall, really thick (30+ cm or so).
The rear wall are basically 4 doors. One blocked by the couch. Would mounting 2x4x2” panels on each door be sufficient? I think I can do that and still make them usable. I have 70hz null. And a 330hz null. Looking at a room mode calc for my room it seems to be a horizontal (while looking at the mix position) bass problem. My ceiling is also bare. I’m planning on mounting a cloud above the first reflection point. Is there anywhere else that would be beneficial to mount on the ceiling.?
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio View Post
Agreed about the bass trap on the rear wall. High frequency absorption is likely not useful right now.

However... put those foam absorbers on the console, covering the whole desk, and see what that does to your stereo image. Is it better or is it work? This is a diagnostic, not a fix.
--scott
I tried all sorts of stuff on the desk and noticed no difference. I did move my desk more center. Which may have helped some. It’s halfway between the 2 walls. But the front right corner is a built in shelf That goes into the wall. It’s around the same latitude as the monitors. Should I be halfway between the front of the shelf. Or the backside of the shelf? Which goes into the wall about a foot?
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Jason Foi's Avatar
 

You gotta add more bass trapping. 2" panels are not bass trapping. Get your speakers off the desk and on to massive stands. Cinderblocks filled with sand are cheap and effective. You can try raising the back legs of your desk an inch or two to redirect early reflections from the work surface. Aim for like ~6 to ~12 degrees
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Foi View Post
You gotta add more bass trapping. 2" panels are not bass trapping. Get your speakers off the desk and on to massive stands. Cinderblocks filled with sand are cheap and effective. You can try raising the back legs of your desk an inch or two to redirect early reflections from the work surface. Aim for like ~6 to ~12 degrees
Ok. I’ll build something thick and mount them on the closet doors. I actually have some monitor stands though I’ve never tried them with something as thick as HS8s. And I have carpet so they’re not the most stable. However I feel like with the depth of my desk there’s still going to be an early reflection. Like I said the desk is high, and it has wheels, so tilting isn’t really an option. I’ll play with a mirror and the stands and see what happens.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Gear Nut
Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Foi View Post
You gotta add more bass trapping. 2" panels are not bass trapping. Get your speakers off the desk and on to massive stands. Cinderblocks filled with sand are cheap and effective. You can try raising the back legs of your desk an inch or two to redirect early reflections from the work surface. Aim for like ~6 to ~12 degrees
Pardon the mess, I’m moving stuff around. But attached are 2 images. One to show the back wall where bass trapping is recommended, and secondly my desk. If I mount the speaker on a stand like right my display will be in front. The way I had it was like the left speaker. Both reflect off the desk. Is having a (curved) display in front going to cause a problem like I think it is?

I’m aware my panels aren’t floor to ceiling. I’m acquiring the materials to build more. This also shows the shelf Dilemma I have as far as the right monitor placement goes.

Yes I have 2 desks. I use this room for a gaming setup too (
and I like to record on Mac).

Also are the 2 leftover auralex foam panels on the door in the back enough bass trapping?


Old 1 week ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Jason Foi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamdro View Post
Pardon the mess, I’m moving stuff around. But attached are 2 images. One to show the back wall where bass trapping is recommended, and secondly my desk. If I mount the speaker on a stand like right my display will be in front. The way I had it was like the left speaker. Both reflect off the desk. Is having a (curved) display in front going to cause a problem like I think it is?

I’m aware my panels aren’t floor to ceiling. I’m acquiring the materials to build more. This also shows the shelf Dilemma I have as far as the right monitor placement goes.

Yes I have 2 desks. I use this room for a gaming setup too (
and I like to record on Mac).

Also are the 2 leftover auralex foam panels on the door in the back enough bass trapping?


Stands is the way to go. You can mount the monitor to the wall if you need to, but as long as it doesnt block the direct signal from the speakers it probably wont be your biggest pitfall in the room.

Looking at what you have, i wouldnt call anything in there a bass trap. You have a few broadband absorbers and some high frequency absorbers. 2" thick foam isnt your friend. That and the carpet will only suck all the HF energy from the room while leaving low mids and down completely untamed, not useful. IF you want to make a positive difference you will need LOTS of proper bass trapping.

Do you really intend to treat this room as best as possible? (I.e: trying to put out mixes that compete on a professional level) If not, that's fine, but my advice will depend on your goals.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Foi View Post
Stands is the way to go. You can mount the monitor to the wall if you need to, but as long as it doesnt block the direct signal from the speakers it probably wont be your biggest pitfall in the room.

Looking at what you have, i wouldnt call anything in there a bass trap. You have a few broadband absorbers and some high frequency absorbers. 2" thick foam isnt your friend. That and the carpet will only suck all the HF energy from the room while leaving low mids and down completely untamed, not useful. IF you want to make a positive difference you will need LOTS of proper bass trapping.

Do you really intend to treat this room as best as possible? (I.e: trying to put out mixes that compete on a professional level) If not, that's fine, but my advice will depend on your goals.
I figure I have so much gear and can’t hear it properly so I would like to be able to monitor in a not ****ty environment. That being said, I’m not a pro, I’m not sure I’m going to make any money off mixing ever, it’s my house, and I use this room for more than just mixing. The panels that are up are 4” thick. As far as corner straddling I can only do it where they are currently. Are you suggesting I built wedges? Will 4 6x2x10” on the back wall be enough with what I already have?
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Jason Foi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamdro View Post
I figure I have so much gear and can’t hear it properly so I would like to be able to monitor in a not ****ty environment. That being said, I’m not a pro, I’m not sure I’m going to make any money off mixing ever, it’s my house, and I use this room for more than just mixing. The panels that are up are 4” thick. As far as corner straddling I can only do it where they are currently. Are you suggesting I built wedges? Will 4 6x2x10” on the back wall be enough with what I already have?
You'll need to treat all first reflection points. Left wall, right wall, ceiling, rear wall, and anywhere else that pops up. Ditch the mirror, you'll need to use ETC in REW. I'll go through your mdats soon and get back to you. In the mean time, theres some stuff you should read.
At what depth does fiberglass bat insulation become the better choice over rock wool?
Read that thread and the links Jen's posted to in it. It'll help with the basics.

https://www.gikacoustics.com/unpacki...y-reflections/

This one is helpful too.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Gear Nut
Thanks. I'll do some reading. some of this stuff is confusing and contradictory. Always put monitors on long wall, Always put monitors on short wall. Put the monitors as close to wall as possible, don't put monitors against a wall. 4" 703 straddling a corner is a good bass trap.... that isn't a bass trap.

I have 7 4x2x4" panels that I got a while back. multiple calculators I've read said a room of my size should have 7-12. I'm handy, so I'm planning on building some panels.

Mainly 7x2x4" x3 to replace the ones in the available corners now (so they go floor to ceiling)
3-6 6x2x4" to place along the ceiling and first reflection points and super bare walls.

And I'm looking to build a thick Bass trap to hang on one of the doors of the closet straight behind. I'm thinking 6x2x ??? leaning towards 8"

I'm planning to use rock wool safe and sound as its the only stuff I can find that doesn't need to be sold by the palet at the local lowes.

I think I can get all this done with 2-3 bags.

If that doesn't do it, I'm not sure what will. Does this seem like enough coverage? My goal is to have <10db of peaks and nulls in my room response.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Gear Addict
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamdro View Post
I tried all sorts of stuff on the desk and noticed no difference. I did move my desk more center. Which may have helped some. It’s halfway between the 2 walls. But the front right corner is a built in shelf That goes into the wall. It’s around the same latitude as the monitors. Should I be halfway between the front of the shelf. Or the backside of the shelf? Which goes into the wall about a foot?
Okay, so you know your big problem isn't reflections off the console.

Don't worry about the shelves, worry about those big reflections off the side wall and the front wall. I agree that it sounds like bass trapping is strongly indicated here.
--scott
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Gear Addict
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 

Umm... I just saw the photo.

Your monitors are at different heights and different distances from your ears. Put them at ear level forming an equilateral triangle with your head... same distance to each speaker and that should be the same as the distance between the speakers. That should improve things a whole lot right there.
--scott
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Jason Foi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamdro View Post
Thanks. I'll do some reading. some of this stuff is confusing and contradictory. Always put monitors on long wall, Always put monitors on short wall. Put the monitors as close to wall as possible, don't put monitors against a wall. 4" 703 straddling a corner is a good bass trap.... that isn't a bass trap.

I have 7 4x2x4" panels that I got a while back. multiple calculators I've read said a room of my size should have 7-12. I'm handy, so I'm planning on building some panels.

Mainly 7x2x4" x3 to replace the ones in the available corners now (so they go floor to ceiling)
3-6 6x2x4" to place along the ceiling and first reflection points and super bare walls.

And I'm looking to build a thick Bass trap to hang on one of the doors of the closet straight behind. I'm thinking 6x2x ??? leaning towards 8"

I'm planning to use rock wool safe and sound as its the only stuff I can find that doesn't need to be sold by the palet at the local lowes.

I think I can get all this done with 2-3 bags.

If that doesn't do it, I'm not sure what will. Does this seem like enough coverage? My goal is to have <10db of peaks and nulls in my room response.
For perspective, i have 8 cases of oc703 and 12 bags of fluffy insulation in a 15 x 12 x 8 room.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio View Post
Umm... I just saw the photo.

Your monitors are at different heights and different distances from your ears. Put them at ear level forming an equilateral triangle with your head... same distance to each speaker and that should be the same as the distance between the speakers. That should improve things a whole lot right there.
--scott
I was showing 2 possible positions
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamdro View Post
Hello, I've posted before about my room and received a lot of help, but since then I've changed a lot and I'm having a hard time getting a good balanced stereo image from my room.

Using sonar works reference is a night and day difference and really exposes how bad my room and especially stereo image are. And I know I won't be able to get it perfect, but it's really bad, it sounds boxy right now and I would love some input on what I can do to make it better.

I have a studio RTA producer desk.
https://www.musiciansfriend.com/acce...oducer-station

I had to remove the top shelf because my display was way too high.

For monitoring I have Yamahas HS8's they are on the desk, on top of flat absorption pads. I can see the tweeters In mirror reflections on the desk, so I am slightly worried about desk reflections and comb filtering, though throwing padding and diffusing doesn't seem to make a night and day difference.

For sound absorption I have 7 panels 2'x4' 4" thick 703 Owens corning. Due to a huge closet in the back and a shelf on the front, I have 1 panel straddling the left corner, and in the other corners they are flat against the available wall. Above the couch I have the panel angled at a 45 degree angle between the wall and couch.

one of them currently isn't up, I'm planning to mount it above the desk when I get the time as a cloud. I have 20 or so loose auralex foam panels I can mount somewhere, not sure where.

Attached are my REW response files, sonar works reference screenshot.

Lets say I have a budget of $500 to make this better. The room layout has to stay relatively the same, I have to store my guitars and stuff somewhere (not shown in the image, but I have another small desk with a gaming PC, Roland V drums, and a guitar rack).

Some more stats.
Tweeter 43” from ground
Driver = 36” from ground
Distance between speakers 40”
Speakers to listening spot ~40”
Speakers 7” from back wall

Thank you so much for the time.
Maaaaaaan, I had HS8's in a BAD room at one point.......WOW that was bad.

Hey, the HS8's have some setting switches for different environments, don't they?

I doubt they'll solve the problem, but it will cost you nothing to flip em' and see what happens.
Old 1 week ago
  #19
Lives for gear
I'm sure you are aware of this, but what you want to do, part of it anyway is eliminating any standing waves.

That's where sound can get caught in a refractory loop. It's like turning up the "Feedback" knob on a delay to 100%

So where is sound leaving your monitors, hitting a hard surface, then bouncing straight to another hard surface that will send it back the same way it came?
Old 1 week ago
  #20
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Foi View Post
Stands is the way to go. You can mount the monitor to the wall if you need to, but as long as it doesnt block the direct signal from the speakers it probably wont be your biggest pitfall in the room.

Looking at what you have, i wouldnt call anything in there a bass trap. You have a few broadband absorbers and some high frequency absorbers. 2" thick foam isnt your friend. That and the carpet will only suck all the HF energy from the room while leaving low mids and down completely untamed, not useful. IF you want to make a positive difference you will need LOTS of proper bass trapping.

Do you really intend to treat this room as best as possible? (I.e: trying to put out mixes that compete on a professional level) If not, that's fine, but my advice will depend on your goals.
A SQUARE BOX ROOM.....Bro, you are BEGGING for problems.

Don't forget, the bass out the back loves to bounce off those windows and come right back at you with the signal you've already heard......PHASE F&^K FEST!

Perpendicular and parallel walls. NIGHTMARE.

You can start by facing your desk into one of the corners, I think you'll hear SOME improvement right away if you do that. Not enough, but some. And make it a corner that isn't connected to a window.
Old 1 week ago
  #21
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by terrible.dee View Post
A SQUARE BOX ROOM.....Bro, you are BEGGING for problems.

Don't forget, the bass out the back loves to bounce off those windows and come right back at you with the signal you've already heard......PHASE F&^K FEST!

Perpendicular and parallel walls. NIGHTMARE.

You can start by facing your desk into one of the corners, I think you'll hear SOME improvement right away if you do that. Not enough, but some. And make it a corner that isn't connected to a window.
Did you post in the wrong thread? My room is 15x10 not square.
Old 1 week ago
  #22
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by terrible.dee View Post
I'm sure you are aware of this, but what you want to do, part of it anyway is eliminating any standing waves.

That's where sound can get caught in a refractory loop. It's like turning up the "Feedback" knob on a delay to 100%

So where is sound leaving your monitors, hitting a hard surface, then bouncing straight to another hard surface that will send it back the same way it came?
Yes I'm aware. However there seems to be a lot of debate as to how to successfully and realistically do that.

A 4" thick panel straddling a corner leaving a huge air gap behind it doesn't seem to be enough in this particular thread, but is the recommendation from a lot the acoustic panel manufacturers. I can admit I need more, to add some to the back wall, and hang a few on the ceiling.

I have moved the desk to be more centered, positioned the monitors on stands and put them a bit higher as well as moved the listening position back a bit (I'm about 32% back from the front wall now. which is in the 25-50% range).
I am actually getting a much better response now, especially from the right speaker, but there's a big null around 330 on both speakers, and there's a sharp null at 120hz from the left speaker only now which I'm trying to make sense of.
Old 1 week ago
  #23
Gear Addict
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamdro View Post
I was showing 2 possible positions
Okay, the height of the speakers should be enough to have them at your ears. They need to follow that equilateral triangle rule. The distance from the front wall will set the low frequency corner (approximately... the side walls also affect that) so put them on stands and move them forward and back until the low end is flat.

But I think you're going to have a lot of weird reflection issues in this room, yes.

It won't hurt to stick a lot of absorption on the front wall, but it will only affect higher frequencies and won't fix your real problem. However, since you have absorbers it might be a way to get some sense of what is going on...
--scott
Old 1 week ago
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Jason Foi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamdro View Post
Yes I'm aware. However there seems to be a lot of debate as to how to successfully and realistically do that.

A 4" thick panel straddling a corner leaving a huge air gap behind it doesn't seem to be enough in this particular thread, but is the recommendation from a lot the acoustic panel manufacturers. I can admit I need more, to add some to the back wall, and hang a few on the ceiling.

I have moved the desk to be more centered, positioned the monitors on stands and put them a bit higher as well as moved the listening position back a bit (I'm about 32% back from the front wall now. which is in the 25-50% range).
I am actually getting a much better response now, especially from the right speaker, but there's a big null around 330 on both speakers, and there's a sharp null at 120hz from the left speaker only now which I'm trying to make sense of.
A 4" panel spaced 4" off the wall is the recommended minimum for first reflection points. Straddling a corner creates a bigger airgap which lowers the effected frequency and creates a membrane effect if using rigid panels which helps with LF absorbtion.

The kicker is just stradling 4 corners isnt enough area devoted to treatment. When it comes to axial modes, the strong ones, they are created by oposing boundaries. Front wall/back wall, etc, the entire wall creates this effect, when you straddle just corners you are treating a very low percentage of the relevant surface. How much you need depends on the strength of the mode and the absorbtion coeificient of the materials used.

Oc703 at 4" spaced 4" off the wall for example has an absorbtion coeificient of .2 at 40hz. 1.0 is considered complete absorbtion. If you want to make a dent in a 40hz mode you need to cover pretty much 100% of relevant surfaces with that material to make a dent.

Keep reading theres a lot to learn.
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