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Some suggestions for a difficult room
Old 4th August 2020
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Some suggestions for a difficult room

Hello!

I have this room available to set up my home studio. It is rather tiny and less than ideal, but I'm sure it's possible to improve it. See SketchUp pictures and dimensions below.

https://imgur.com/a/UIQyH98

(Sorry, I am no expert with SketchUp, hopefully it all makes sense).

How does it sound right now?

To no surprise, the room is very reflective despite the few instruments and furniture in there (I haven't drawn them all). What's most obvious is that there's a lot of flutter, a bit similar to when you are into an empty square room. It's not as bad as that if I were to clap my hands, I would hear a buzz, but it's not too far from being the case. The wall are plastered and the floor is wooden. I have a thin carpet that covers about 70% of the floor's surface.
I did run a sweep in the low end and to no surprise here again, lots of amplitude difference in my mixing position which is at 100cm l x 110cm w (not exactly the center of the room, but not exactly 38 % either)

What is the room for?

I will use this room mostly to produce, play the piano and electric bass, as well as mix. I don't need the room to be perfect, as I have a studio near mine I use to polish up my mixes and/or master. But I do need the room to be as good as it's reasonable to get it so that my productions and mixes can translate fairly well, and so that my time in the real studio (costly) is minimized. Overall, I am looking for a dead end rather than a live end, there will be close to no live recording in this room.

Plan and budget

At the moment, here is my plan:

- Get two custom made rockwool bass traps from floor to ceiling for the corners around my desk.
- Get two custom made rockwool bass traps for back corners but only at the ceiling points.
- Absorber panels on the wall on the left where first reflections occur
- No panel on the right side since the window occupies most of the wall's space and where first reflections would occur. At the moment the window has thin blinds, but I could maybe replace them with proper thick drapes if you think it would help?
- You can see on the drawing that at the back, there are shelves built where the wall's shape changes. Would it be interesting to fill these shelves with rockwool, or would it make it worse (it would make the room much closer to a square)?
- Behind my desk and speakers, I am considering absorption panels if needed after most of first reflections dealt with.

Also to note: My speakers are 8inches cabinet with front ported design, on stand.
I own a measurement mic so if you need some measurements, let me know. For any little changes, I intend to use Sonarworks to lightly correct whatever's left post-treatment.

Let me know your thoughts and suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated!
Old 4th August 2020
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by InTheMood View Post
I will use this room mostly to produce, play the piano and electric bass
Sorry, have to ask: How are you going to fit a piano in a room this small? πŸ€”

Quote:
Originally Posted by InTheMood View Post
I own a measurement mic so if you need some measurements, let me know.
Yes.

I think the plan you have outlined is okay. Front side walls floor to ceiling and treat as much of the rear at an uniform depth (get some rockwool that you can shape to whatever shape you need. Cover the window, too. Add a ceiling cloud, too.
Old 4th August 2020
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johannburkard View Post
Sorry, have to ask: How are you going to fit a piano in a room this small? πŸ€”
Ah I don't blame you for asking; it's simply resting on the desk. (61 keys). But in truth there's enough space in the room for a full piano too, I just can't afford it right now haha.

Thank you for commenting.
I'll update this post tomorrow with some measurements.

In terms of affording the treatment, I'd like to go bits by bits on several months. What would you say is the more important to deal with in priority?
Old 4th August 2020
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by InTheMood View Post
What would you say is the more important to deal with in priority?
Let's see some measurements first.
Old 5th August 2020
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johannburkard View Post
Let's see some measurements first.
Hello everyone,

Here are some measurements:

https://imgur.com/a/RjNCiPK

I tried to generate an impulse response too but the instructions on here confused me a little, not sure how to do it? Or even what I should be looking at?

I took some measurements in the centre of the room too and at the back. At the back, I get a smoother bass response (more bass too) but the highs are getting more filtered. The pictures above are done in my ideal listening position in terms of practicality, but I'm willing to compromise.

If I interpret this correctly, I believe it's most important to get bass traps all around. Any advices?

Also much more bass on the side that has a wall in comparison to the one that has a window. I'm guessing the window lets some of it go through?...
Old 5th August 2020
  #6
Please post the .mdat because your room looks just like pretty much all untreated rooms.
Old 5th August 2020
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johannburkard View Post
Please post the .mdat because your room looks just like pretty much all untreated rooms.
Here it is!

https://we.tl/t-2OvIRllTFO
Old 5th August 2020
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by InTheMood View Post
Quote:
Dang, looks like your transfer has already expired.
Old 6th August 2020
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johannburkard View Post
My bad, I'm being silly. Here it is off my drive:

https://inthemood.gaia.bysh.me/owncl...3NayJclS3Qhqp1

(Should be fine this time, though the WeTransfer link works here right now on both my computer and mobile...)
Old 6th August 2020
  #10
The biggest problem I see in the measurements is that due to the room's asymmetry, the bass response is very uneven.

Amroc says that room modes start at around 65 Hz but you have a peak slightly below 40 Hz which is weird.

On the other hand, you'll have to think about how you're going to squeeze all the treatment in there anyway. Beyond a ceiling cloud, my suggestion would be: Fill up the front wall floor behind the desk with 30 cm deep treatment and then repeat with soffit traps across all ceiling corners.

You'll just have to creatively squeeze a lot of treatment in this space...
Old 6th August 2020
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johannburkard View Post
The biggest problem I see in the measurements is that due to the room's asymmetry, the bass response is very uneven.

Amroc says that room modes start at around 65 Hz but you have a peak slightly below 40 Hz which is weird.

On the other hand, you'll have to think about how you're going to squeeze all the treatment in there anyway. Beyond a ceiling cloud, my suggestion would be: Fill up the front wall floor behind the desk with 30 cm deep treatment and then repeat with soffit traps across all ceiling corners.

You'll just have to creatively squeeze a lot of treatment in this space...
Thank you so much for taking the time to review this.

Could you clarify: you're suggesting treating the whole length of the floor beneath the front wall as a priority? Or did you mean floor to ceiling in each corner behind the speakers?

I can fit 30cm deep corner bass traps behind the speaker, floor to ceiling. I would make them custom with rockwool. I read very different opinions about whether I should make a panel and leave an air gap, or if I should fill the whole triangle with rockwool. Considering the measurements of the room, what would you say is preferred?

After this first set of treatment, I was thinking of treating the 94cm of straight back wall at the corner and with the ceiling. Like, two triangle bass traps in the length of the wall.

I don't have the budget to get soffit traps, but what are they exactly? Free standing, thick, columns of porous absorbant? I could look into recreating them.
Old 6th August 2020
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by InTheMood View Post
Could you clarify: you're suggesting treating the whole length of the floor beneath the front wall as a priority?
Not as a priority - I was just trying to come up with places where it's easy to add treatment without reducing space for you. Behind every desk, there's a lot of air...

Quote:
Originally Posted by InTheMood View Post
I can fit 30cm deep corner bass traps behind the speaker, floor to ceiling.
Good, then do that first but keep in mind while corner bass traps are effective, there's still going to be a lot of untreated surface so it's just a first step.

Quote:
Originally Posted by InTheMood View Post
Considering the measurements of the room, what would you say is preferred?
I wouldn't want to waste space so skip the air gap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by InTheMood View Post
After this first set of treatment, I was thinking of treating the 94cm of straight back wall at the corner and with the ceiling. Like, two triangle bass traps in the length of the wall.
Just cover the whole rear wall, much easier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by InTheMood View Post
I don't have the budget to get soffit traps, but what are they exactly?
https://gikacoustics.co.uk/product/g...fit-bass-trap/
Old 6th August 2020
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Amazing, thank you so much!
I will update this thread with measurements as we go through treatment, in case it's useful to future users and to track the progress!

One last question maybe: the bass response being so much flatter in the back of the room, would it help to reposition my desk (not the speakers) so that I am at that listening point? Or will this sweet spot move somewhere else once treated?
Old 6th August 2020
  #14
Did you have the speakers in the rear for the BACK measurement? If yes, you're right, the measurements are really better (relatively).
Old 6th August 2020
  #15
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johannburkard View Post
Did you have the speakers in the rear for the BACK measurement? If yes, you're right, the measurements are really better (relatively).
The speakers were always at the same location during measurements, so by the front wall. I just measured different points in the room. It could be a temporary solution to move my desk back so that I get this nicer response. Because the room is quite small, this spot at the back would actually preserve the triangle between me and the speaker, the distance is pretty good.

Also I have found a lot of various material in my attic that I decided to hang to (temporarily) treat. It looks absolutely awful, but it sounds a lot better, and the measurements have improved slightly too, especially looking at the waterfalls which are now a lot flatter than they were below 400Hz. I'm already happy that it has made the room less resonant and bright, which makes for a nicer listening experinence overall.

Also, most problematic frequency is circa 120Hz. It's very clear when playing the bass, because all the notes that have this harmonic resonates a lot. Another one is the null at 90Hz. Not sure how to go about that one though.
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