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Looking for help with speaker and treatment placement
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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Looking for help with speaker and treatment placement

Hey all, I'm extremely new to audio engineering and acoustics. I've been a lifelong musician, and with this forced time off of gigs, I'm trying to set up a decent enough room for myself to delve into the world of production and mixing.

I bought a pair of HS5s without really understanding how much of a rabbit hole it is to have to treat the room and how useless they are without proper setup and time, energy, and money put into some sort of treatment. I'm on the fence right now on whether I should keep diving, or sell everything I've bought and just buy a pair of really nice monitoring headphones.

Here's the room I'm working with and where I've placed them and my listening position:

https://imgur.com/jtSXVug

Any thoughts on where I've placed everything and if that is the best spot on paper to put all of that? I feel like the awkward layout of the room makes my options pretty limited.

Also, I'm waiting on a shipment of 4 of these corner bass traps.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/7161576...ently_viewed-1

When I first bought them, I thought they were 4 inches thick as the description states, but after ordering, I realized the title says they are 2 inches. Not sure why there are two conflicting bits of info, but from what I've heard, a couple inches for bass traps will makes a huge difference. If they are 2 inches, will they be virtually useless for bass trapping? Also, My plan was to put 2 on each back corner behind the speakers at speaker and ear level. Does that seem like the best bang for my buck when using those?

Aside from that, the only other treatment I've done is putting up acoustic foam panels at the points in the wall I could see the speakers in a mirror from the listening position.

Sorry for all of the newb sounding questions. Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated!
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Gear Addict
 

The experts over here (which I am certainly not) can't tell you much from your post. Other than, yes, they're too thin, and not enough. Actual acoustic treatment starts with measuring the room, so get a measurement mic like the ones listed here

Get a hang of the free Room EQ Wizard software (REW), this video will help.
Do measurements with and without those traps and panels, find out what they do.

Other important reads
Acoustics/Treatment Reference Guide - LOOK HERE!

I personally like the videos of this guy, he covers interesting matters in 10 to 15 minute videos:
https://www.youtube.com/c/AcousticsInsider/videos

Room EQ wizard: https://www.roomeqwizard.com
Old 1 week ago
  #3
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Thank you for your response and for the resources.

I do have an omnidirectional, flat response mic and have taken one measurement without the traps set up. I feel like analyzing the measurement I have taken is definitely pretty over my head.

I will take some time with these links and see if it clears up any confusion for me. Thanks again!
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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Jason Foi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AliceWinebagz View Post
Hey all, I'm extremely new to audio engineering and acoustics. I've been a lifelong musician, and with this forced time off of gigs, I'm trying to set up a decent enough room for myself to delve into the world of production and mixing.

I bought a pair of HS5s without really understanding how much of a rabbit hole it is to have to treat the room and how useless they are without proper setup and time, energy, and money put into some sort of treatment. I'm on the fence right now on whether I should keep diving, or sell everything I've bought and just buy a pair of really nice monitoring headphones.

Here's the room I'm working with and where I've placed them and my listening position:

https://imgur.com/jtSXVug

Any thoughts on where I've placed everything and if that is the best spot on paper to put all of that? I feel like the awkward layout of the room makes my options pretty limited.

Also, I'm waiting on a shipment of 4 of these corner bass traps.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/7161576...ently_viewed-1

When I first bought them, I thought they were 4 inches thick as the description states, but after ordering, I realized the title says they are 2 inches. Not sure why there are two conflicting bits of info, but from what I've heard, a couple inches for bass traps will makes a huge difference. If they are 2 inches, will they be virtually useless for bass trapping? Also, My plan was to put 2 on each back corner behind the speakers at speaker and ear level. Does that seem like the best bang for my buck when using those?

Aside from that, the only other treatment I've done is putting up acoustic foam panels at the points in the wall I could see the speakers in a mirror from the listening position.

Sorry for all of the newb sounding questions. Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated!
Welcome to the world of acoustics! Unfortunately, the traps you bought will not make any appreciable difference for you. If you can return them, i would. Basic recommendation would be at bare minimum to place 4 inches of fiber spaced 4 inches off the wall at all first reflection points. If you go the bare minimum route you would want a fiber around 3lbs pcf with a GFR (gas flow resistivity) of around 10,000. Typically that works out to aroud 12 to 20 2ft x 4ft panels distributed around the room. Going the bare minimum route you will still be left with issues in the low end most likely.

From there the rabbit hole gets really deep. You need to decide what your goal and budget is and go from there.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Foi View Post
Welcome to the world of acoustics! Unfortunately, the traps you bought will not make any appreciable difference for you. If you can return them, i would. Basic recommendation would be at bare minimum to place 4 inches of fiber spaced 4 inches off the wall at all first reflection points. If you go the bare minimum route you would want a fiber around 3lbs pcf with a GFR (gas flow resistivity) of around 10,000. Typically that works out to aroud 12 to 20 2ft x 4ft panels distributed around the room. Going the bare minimum route you will still be left with issues in the low end most likely.

From there the rabbit hole gets really deep. You need to decide what your goal and budget is and go from there.
OK, thank you for the insight. This is what I was sort of afraid of. At this point, I haven't really set a budget, but probably don't want to spend more than another $500, at least for the time being. My goal is to have a space that is decent enough to where I can start learning to mix without having such a terrible listening environment that it ends up being a constant uphill battle. Maybe that's unrealistic for my budget and situation? That's sort of what I'm trying to gauge to decide if I want to continue down the rabbit hole or sell it all and get super nice headphones, which from my understanding, isn't ideal, but would be better than a poorly treated room with decent speakers.

Also, I'm not quite sure I follow what you say about treating the first reflection points. Would I want to treat those with traps? I was under the impression that the most important points to put bass traps would be the corners? Or is there way more to it than that? There probably is, haha. The more I learn about this, the more I know how little I know.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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The most difficult part about it is that I have yet to develop my ears to where I can even tell what is lacking and what needs improvement. It seems that comes with many hours spent in behind the wheel, but it also seems it will be impossible to develop those ears if what is coming into them is garbage. I'm trying to learn how to analyze my room, but that also feels like a huge rabbit hole that will take some serious dedication, time and energy. I'm totally willing to spend it, but afraid I'll waste it all when I discover that it's not in my budget or expertise to make it worth it.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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OK, I just received the traps and they are indeed 4 inches at their deepest point. They are shaped for corners and have a triangular back, so some points are less than 4 inches. Not sure if these are still useless or not.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AliceWinebagz View Post
OK, thank you for the insight. This is what I was sort of afraid of. At this point, I haven't really set a budget, but probably don't want to spend more than another $500, at least for the time being. My goal is to have a space that is decent enough to where I can start learning to mix without having such a terrible listening environment that it ends up being a constant uphill battle. Maybe that's unrealistic for my budget and situation? That's sort of what I'm trying to gauge to decide if I want to continue down the rabbit hole or sell it all and get super nice headphones, which from my understanding, isn't ideal, but would be better than a poorly treated room with decent speakers.

Also, I'm not quite sure I follow what you say about treating the first reflection points. Would I want to treat those with traps? I was under the impression that the most important points to put bass traps would be the corners? Or is there way more to it than that? There probably is, haha. The more I learn about this, the more I know how little I know.
Lol, yeah, a wee bit more than just throwin up a few bass traps in the corners. I mean peoole get Phd's in acoustics, if thats all you gotta learn in 6 years sign me up!

First reflection points are places where sound bounces off the wall first and then immediately goes to the listening position. You need to stop that from happening either by absorbing the reflection or angling the surface to deflect it somewhere else.

Budget... $500 worth of cheap fluffy fiberglass batts from home depot would be a decent start if you can DIY the panels.. Measuring will let you know if its enough
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AliceWinebagz View Post
OK, I just received the traps and they are indeed 4 inches at their deepest point. They are shaped for corners and have a triangular back, so some points are less than 4 inches. Not sure if these are still useless or not.
Still useless, mostly because of quantity. If you had like 60 of them, then you'd be getting somewhere. Its not uncomon for a pro room to devote upwards of 60% of a rooms volume to treatment. Think feet, not inches
Old 1 week ago
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Foi View Post
Lol, yeah, a wee bit more than just throwin up a few bass traps in the corners. I mean peoole get Phd's in acoustics, if thats all you gotta learn in 6 years sign me up!

First reflection points are places where sound bounces off the wall first and then immediately goes to the listening position. You need to stop that from happening either by absorbing the reflection or angling the surface to deflect it somewhere else.

Budget... $500 worth of cheap fluffy fiberglass batts from home depot would be a decent start if you can DIY the panels.. Measuring will let you know if its enough
Haha, yes, duly noted.

And as far as the bass traps I got, What I meant was that they were 4" thick as opposed to 2" thick. The panels themselves are 20x20" wide and tall.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
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So I'm covering somewhere around 11-12 square feet with 4 inch panels.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AliceWinebagz View Post
So I'm covering somewhere around 11-12 square feet with 4 inch panels.
Yes, and if you work out the total percentage of wall space covered vs relevant surface area for whatever your first mode is, its next to nothing. Assuming drywall for the walls you would want about 50% of reletave surface covered for you 1,0,0 (front/back walls) mode. 50% would be your entire back wall, floor to ceiling, wall to wall... if you have concrete walls, you'd want 100% coverage, both walls completely covered
Old 1 week ago
  #13
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I see. Thanks for the info. It sounds like I'm nowhere close to where I want to be!
Old 1 week ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AliceWinebagz View Post
I see. Thanks for the info. It sounds like I'm nowhere close to where I want to be!
Not yet, but you can get there with a bit of effort.

Skim the following thread, its got some good beginners info in it. Post #38 links to important info for deciding what materials/thicknesses to use, and post #171 has literally everything you need to know to design a good critical listening room.


Knauf with foil backing or no backing?
Old 1 week ago
  #15
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Thank you for the resources!
Old 1 week ago
  #16
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OK, so I just discovered that GIK offers DIY panel frames that bypass the need for using a saw and are accessible for me to build. My thoughts were to buy 4-5 of these:

https://www.gikacoustics.com/product...-panel-frames/

My question is this: what would be the best insulation to get if I'm planning on using these as corner traps and also placing at first reflection points? Would these be an acceptable option? From what I can gather, since the frames are 4" thick, I could most likely stuff two of these panels in each frame:

https://www.acoustimac.com/acoustic-...ning-703-frk-6
Old 6 days ago
  #17
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Quote:
My question is this: what would be the best insulation to get if I'm planning on using these as corner traps and also placing at first reflection points? Would these be an acceptable option? From what I can gather, since the frames are 4" thick, I could most likely stuff two of these panels in each frame:

https://www.acoustimac.com/acoustic-...ning-703-frk-6
For the first reflection treatement, this is 4" without hard surface in front or inside.

So oc703 without foil faced https://www.acoustimac.com/oc7032
Old 4 days ago
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AliceWinebagz View Post
OK, so I just discovered that GIK offers DIY panel frames that bypass the need for using a saw and are accessible for me to build. My thoughts were to buy 4-5 of these:

https://www.gikacoustics.com/product...-panel-frames/

My question is this: what would be the best insulation to get if I'm planning on using these as corner traps and also placing at first reflection points? Would these be an acceptable option? From what I can gather, since the frames are 4" thick, I could most likely stuff two of these panels in each frame:

https://www.acoustimac.com/acoustic-...ning-703-frk-6
You CAN do that if you want. I have 6" of 703 spaced 6" off the wall in my room in a few spots. I would personally go for a material with a lower GFR. If cutting wood is the deal breaker for DIY i know homedepot will cut wood for you and then yiu can glue/screw it together. It'll save a bunch of cash. If you have made up your mind on the oc703 though dont buy from acoustimac. You can get it much cheaper at http://www.buyinsulationproducts.com/?redirect=false

Also, skip the frk
Old 4 days ago
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Foi View Post
You CAN do that if you want. I have 6" of 703 spaced 6" off the wall in my room in a few spots. I would personally go for a material with a lower GFR. If cutting wood is the deal breaker for DIY i know homedepot will cut wood for you and then yiu can glue/screw it together. It'll save a bunch of cash. If you have made up your mind on the oc703 though dont buy from acoustimac. You can get it much cheaper at http://www.buyinsulationproducts.com/?redirect=false

Also, skip the frk
Ah ok. That's good to know. What material has lower GFR and why should I opt for that? Everywhere that I've looked, it seems like OC703 is the most popular material for this along with mineral wool and one other.
Old 4 days ago
  #20
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This is a fun approach . . . I'm using the Rule of Thirds version, and it sounds great. Caveat: I have a lot of 4" rockwool in my room.

http://noaudiophile.com/speakercalc/
Old 4 days ago
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AliceWinebagz View Post
Ah ok. That's good to know. What material has lower GFR and why should I opt for that? Everywhere that I've looked, it seems like OC703 is the most popular material for this along with mineral wool and one other.
Well, oc703 is so popular because its thin and people who sell treatment can slap it in a 4" panel and ship it anywhere at a reasonable cost. They have pushed it like crazy and it'll be the first material you see when you start looking into bass traps so everyone else regurgitates it as gospel.

To over simplify things, the distance the front of the panel is from the wall that determines how low in frequency a panel will absorb. To acheive smooth absorbtion you want the entire depth to be filled. Materials like oc703 are pretty dense and stop being efficient at depths over 6" or so. Light fluffy materials on the other hand are way more efficient at absorbing low frequencies, but they do need that depth to be effective.

If you are treating a room to be a critical listening room for mixing, then controlling low frequency decay times/fundimental axial modes is top priotity. It takes lots of volume to do this, so think deep treatment. Good news, the insulation thats really effective at trapping bass is also cheap. Regular pink fluffy fiberglass sold at homedepot is the best bang for the buck in my opinion.

I'll attach a model of 4" of oc703 spaced 4" off the wall vs 24" of pink fluffy to illustrate..
Attached Thumbnails
Looking for help with speaker and treatment placement-screenshot_20201021-175524_firefox.jpg  
Old 2 days ago
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Foi View Post
Well, oc703 is so popular because its thin and people who sell treatment can slap it in a 4" panel and ship it anywhere at a reasonable cost. They have pushed it like crazy and it'll be the first material you see when you start looking into bass traps so everyone else regurgitates it as gospel.

To over simplify things, the distance the front of the panel is from the wall that determines how low in frequency a panel will absorb. To acheive smooth absorbtion you want the entire depth to be filled. Materials like oc703 are pretty dense and stop being efficient at depths over 6" or so. Light fluffy materials on the other hand are way more efficient at absorbing low frequencies, but they do need that depth to be effective.

If you are treating a room to be a critical listening room for mixing, then controlling low frequency decay times/fundimental axial modes is top priotity. It takes lots of volume to do this, so think deep treatment. Good news, the insulation thats really effective at trapping bass is also cheap. Regular pink fluffy fiberglass sold at homedepot is the best bang for the buck in my opinion.

I'll attach a model of 4" of oc703 spaced 4" off the wall vs 24" of pink fluffy to illustrate..
Wow, the plot thickens even more! Man, a lot to think about here. I appreciate all of the insight.
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