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are there any rooms in the world with perfectly balanced acoustics? Bass Traps
Old 11th September 2011
  #31
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Jens Eklund's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northward View Post

I gather it's your personal experience of these rooms. Which one did you visit or work in?

These rooms are described by the vast majority of people working in or visiting them as feeling pretty natural, for a control room. They are never described as dead or feeling "pretty close to anechoic".

But YMMV.
A room with only two surfaces reflective (front wall and floor) will be close to anechoic since there will only be a very limited number of early reflections supported by it. The debate (if any) lies in the definition of "close".
Old 11th September 2011
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwo View Post
A NE room lacks the important psychoacoustics cues that a LEDE room has.
I know that my LEDE + mods room had incredible imaging. Clearly defined voices just hung out there in space. It was an analytical room because of that, but before I got totally happy with it, we moved into a new place. My hunch was that the integration of the live end with the dead wasn't optimum and although it was improving with additional mods, it's like the ear/brain was struggling to ignore some of the rear reverberant field. I've been in LEDE rooms I liked less, for what that's worth.

The modified NE room I mentioned does't give up anything on the psychoacoustic side. It is very 3-D, meaning convincing image height and venue/studio volume. The bird flight illusion on Mickey Hart's Dafos in this room is the best I've ever heard.
Old 11th September 2011
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syncamorea View Post
I know that my LEDE + mods room had incredible imaging. Clearly defined voices just hung out there in space. It was an analytical room because of that, but before I got totally happy with it, we moved into a new place. My hunch was that the integration of the live end with the dead wasn't optimum and although it was improving with additional mods, it's like the ear/brain was struggling to ignore some of the rear reverberant field. I've been in LEDE rooms I liked less, for what that's worth.
Can you explain more in detail how you treated the room?
Old 11th September 2011
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwo View Post
Can you explain more in detail how you treated the room?
If you mean the LEDE room, it was all standard stuff for the era. We tried a range of DIY bass traps including Helmholtz and ditched the Helmholtz. The best mid-room solution were traps that looked like smallish polys but had a really thin wood outer with an elastomer coating on the inside, then filled with rock wool that did not contact the wood/polymer membrane. The same kind of device ran vertical down the center of the front (dead) wall with large traps to either side, then smallish QRDs separating those midwall traps from the corner traps. The side wall dead end trapping was generic DIY initially, then as time went on, it got more and more covered with vertical slats.

The live end had a vertical QRD right behind the listening position, surrounded by bass traps with slats, then some of the poly-like quarter pie corner bass traps. By the mid 80's I had picked up a few tube traps and I tried swapping out some of the traps in the room for them, but it just didn't fit as well as the DIY pieces. I tried a bunch of different ideas above the monitors and probably had more room for improvement there. Don't get me wrong, people with educated ears liked the room, but I've heard better rooms since, especially with respect to the low end.
Old 12th September 2011
  #35
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Northward's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Eklund View Post
A room with only two surfaces reflective (front wall and floor) will be close to anechoic since there will only be a very limited number of early reflections supported by it. The debate (if any) lies in the definition of "close".
Let me know what your impressions are when you get to visit one of these rooms. You may be surprised...

Be well.
Old 12th September 2011
  #36
Gear Guru
Dead Close

For me, the word Anechoic immediately suggests large silent rooms with boundaries of fibre wedges. Time spent in there is quite strange and amazing.
It can go like this....
Breathing is loud!
After a little while one hears ones own heart beating, perhaps properly for the first time.
As time passes all of this appears louder and clearer. Other noises appear. The sound of ones blood flowing. Eventually a new noise appears. The hiss of molecules hitting the eardrum at random. Or is is neurons firing like the hiss of a preamp at 70dB gain? One wouldn't be inclined to start up a conversation with oneself in here......
So here we are, bombarded by personal noise, probably for the first time, in an environment close to silent, probably for the first time. Locked in behind massive steel doors, standing on boards suspended in mid air on a steel mesh grid....
And some say it's the lack of reflections that is weird..... heh heh

I am not aware of any studio or other critical listening or performing space with a design goal to be anechoic.
Since we are generally talking of such spaces here, how about we leave anechoic to the Lab.


There is a much more interesting debate available here.
Do we want to hear the sound emanating from the speakers unaltered, or do we want a controlled addition from the room?
Which works better?
Are we in these rooms to have a Euphonic good time, or to get work done?
Is the enjoyment from getting artistic work done quickly painlessly and accurately more satisfying than the pleasure of the sense of envelopment in the music in a room with deliberately added reflections?
Or can we have it all?


I have worked in many Control Rooms, in different countries. Unfortunately I had not studied acoustics in that way at the time, so I was not aware of the design principles at work.

To my incredibly highly developed gold ear though, they all sounded dead to me. As dead as DoDos.

I honestly can's say if I have worked in a NE type or not, but I find the attempt to deliver some human comfort, i.e. some liveness, while preserving the purity of the speaker to ear path, seems like having cake and eating it too. Similarly I applaud the other designers attempts to humanise the space with perhaps the added bonus of the psychoacoustic enhancements.

I believe it would be very interesting to make binaural recordings of speaker playback in CR's. If the same track is played back one should be able to hear the effect of the room quite clearly. I am frequently amazed at people posting graphs when a pair of mics and say Jennifer's Bird On a Wire.......
This would enable any of us to experience the sound of various listening rooms, which should remove some guessing or assumptions based on photos are theories. Or graphs for that matter..
Why are we looking at pictures of how a room reacts to non musical sound when we could listen to the real thing?

I liked the CR's that worked and vice versa. IMHO the parameters which divided those that worked from the others was a tone thing. As in simple tone, Bass and Treble. Take the mix home, listen in the car etc. When there was a problem it was always at the ends of the spectrum. Too bright, too dull, booming bass, not enough bass.

Worth reflecting on I reckon.

DD
Old 12th September 2011
  #37
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Jens Eklund's Avatar
Perhaps you missed it so I’ll repeat it one more time:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/7007727-post13.html
Old 13th September 2011
  #38
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Point

No comprendo Jens. Anechoic to the speakers? Who asked them for an opinion, and how did they express it? Loudly perhaps? heh

It seems to me that we both have read about N.E. rooms and that most likely neither of us has been in one. Perhaps also we read about them from different books as my understanding of NE is very different to what I perceive as yours.

I see them as an attempt to provide the liveness which many desire, without interfering with perfect speaker to ear transmission.

NE appear to have less reflective area, if diffusors are included, than the rooms which deliberately add to the speaker sound.
However, looking at the pictures on Newell's website I cannot imagine them as sounding dead. From a briefest look at the graphs in his book, they appear tight, but not particularly dead. e.g. 200-300mS across most of the spectrum.

Have you read Newell's book?

DD
Old 14th September 2011
  #39
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Jens Eklund's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
No comprendo Jens. Anechoic to the speakers? Who asked them for an opinion, and how did they express it? Loudly perhaps? heh

It seems to me that we both have read about N.E. rooms and that most likely neither of us has been in one. Perhaps also we read about them from different books as my understanding of NE is very different to what I perceive as yours.

I see them as an attempt to provide the liveness which many desire, without interfering with perfect speaker to ear transmission.

NE appear to have less reflective area, if diffusors are included, than the rooms which deliberately add to the speaker sound.
However, looking at the pictures on Newell's website I cannot imagine them as sounding dead. From a briefest look at the graphs in his book, they appear tight, but not particularly dead. e.g. 200-300mS across most of the spectrum.

Have you read Newell's book?

DD
Did you not check the link?

The quote is by Philip Newell ...

And for the last time, please distinguish between the acoustic response when using loudspeakers and that produced by person related activity in the room. The acoustic response (again, naturally talking about when listening to music) of an NE-room is as anechoic as possible. If you think otherwise, I suggest that you ask Newell for a comment.
Old 14th September 2011
  #40
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I tend to agree with Jens here, for the most part... As the front wall is merely a speaker baffle extender, it is looking at a pretty anechoic room, with the important exception of the floor... As Thomas has said, one single reflection from the floor and you are dealing with a 6 dB non linearity...

i'm wondering about bwo's blanket statement though...
Quote:
A NE room lacks the important psychoacoustics cues that a LEDE room has.
I believe this type of thing is often hearsay... Maybe even from the Davis' seminal papers, but hearsay nonetheless. Fact is... I have never heard one who has worked in a NE room complain about it... If it is comfortable to work in and has a linear response across a wide sweet spot, I think we are in a good place. You may prefer a more lively control room, but that is exactly what it is... a preference.
Old 14th September 2011
  #41
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Jens Eklund's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiothings View Post
but that is exactly what it is... a preference.
+1

I have nothing against NE-rooms. What I do not like is a preference based on erroneous assumptions.

Also, the reflection from the floor in a NE-room can be reduced with proper implementation of the desk.
Old 14th September 2011
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiothings View Post
i'm wondering about bwo's blanket statement though...

I believe this type of thing is often hearsay... Maybe even from the Davis' seminal papers, but hearsay nonetheless. Fact is... I have never heard one who has worked in a NE room complain about it... If it is comfortable to work in and has a linear response across a wide sweet spot, I think we are in a good place. You may prefer a more lively control room, but that is exactly what it is... a preference.
i think bwo was referring to haas effect and such from the termination of the ISD in the LEDE and RFZ room models - of which there is no termination in NE.
Old 14th September 2011
  #43
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Comprendo

Jens I did of course read the link and I completely understand what Newell is saying. i.e. The path from speaker to ears is devoid of damaging reflections.

What I cannot figure out is what point you are making?

I really have no idea what it is you are trying to get across here.
Please explain without being cryptic or providing links if you would be so kind?

DD
Old 14th September 2011
  #44
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Jens Eklund's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
Jens I did of course read the link and I completely understand what Newell is saying. i.e. The path from speaker to ears is devoid of damaging reflections.

What I cannot figure out is what point you are making?

I really have no idea what it is you are trying to get across here.
Please explain without being cryptic or providing links if you would be so kind?

DD
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
No comprendo Jens. Anechoic to the speakers?

...

It seems to me that we both have read about N.E. rooms and that most likely neither of us has been in one. Perhaps also we read about them from different books as my understanding of NE is very different to what I perceive as yours.

...

looking at the pictures on Newell's website I cannot imagine them as sounding dead.
A NE-room, as described by Newell, is as anechoic as possible, and yes once again; I am (as always) talking about the acoustic response when using the speakers, not the response as a result of a person talking in the room. The reflective front wall is reflective in order to provide reflection back to a person that speaks in the room, it does not generate any reflections* back to the sweet spot if using the monitors since all other walls and the ceiling are absorptive.


EDIT:
* of significance

EDIT 2:
It sounds like you’re thinking of Moulton Rooms, not NE-rooms:
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
NE appear to have less reflective area, if diffusors are included, than the rooms which deliberately add to the speaker sound.
or perhaps FTB-rooms.
Old 19th September 2011
  #45
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In response to the question (that I missed because I've been so busy for the past 2 weeks...) "Are there any rooms in the world with perfectly balanced acoustics?" YES. But not any that I know of that do not have peaks and valleys when you move around the room while playing sine waves...

I think that the heavily trapped NE rooms show a 'smoother' response compared to most and have the most uniform response - room to room.

And yes, of course, MY rooms are very nicely balanced... but if you play sine wave sweeps, you'll still get areas that accentuate one frequency over another... You can damp them so that they are at a minimum but you can't get rid of them. - that's the physics of an enclosure - and you're not going to change that without changing the laws of physics.

Cheers,
John
Old 19th September 2011
  #46
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Quote:
are there any rooms in the world with perfectly balanced acoustics?
Why is every reply referring to CR's? Wouldn't the authors question be more apt to be in relationship to the actual studio?(you know...the place where the Musicians areheh)



The reason I ask is this. Here is a quote from an article I copied long ago. I NEVER see anything on this forum that deals with this. If you want the whole article...just ask. I don't have a link to it anymore
Quote:

THE ACOUSTICAL DESIGN OF RECORDING STUDIOS


When one considers that the recording industry has been building and
using studios for about 70 years, it is remarkable that so little basic
theory has been published on the subject. To be sure, there are plenty
of "here's how we did it" articles in print as well as a number of
"here's how to do it" examples to be found in books and magazines,
but none of these provide enough of the underlying design principles
to enable a reader to duplicate the performance of such studios unless
he also duplicates the studio. For that reason, while such publications
are interesting and even entertaining, they are of little use to a
studio owner who wants to improve an existing room or build a new one
in a space different from the exemplars given.

The situation grows even more extraordinary in light of the massive
amount of experimentation and research devoted to control rooms over
the past few years.

Those efforts have resulted in enough published material to allow a
studio to select from at least two demonstrably excellent generic
control room designs, both of which spring from the same clearly
expressed theoretical underpinning. While the general case design
will need some cleanup and tuning to achieve optimum results, a
studio owner can use the published theory to modify a given plan,
adapt it to his particular situation, and come up with a fundamentally
decent room. In short, we know how to build good control rooms.

We sure as hell don't know how to build good studios.
In fairness,
there are some designers who appear to know something of the subject,
but they don't give away their stock in trade, so a studio owner is
faced with the problem of separating the good designers from the good
talkers. With the near future of his business at stake, that's a
serious problem, made worse by the fact that even very good
acousticians have been known to make very bad mistakes when dealing with recording rooms.

Just curious.
Old 19th September 2011
  #47
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avare's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fitZ View Post
Why is every reply referring to CR's? Wouldn't the authors question be more apt to be in relationship to the actual studio?(you know...the place where the Musicians areheh)
Studio rooms are subjective. There is no one "acoustic performance" that fits all genres, much less personal preferences. As just one example, a studio for classical acoustic instruments will have a longer decay time and boost in low frequencies compared to jazz. With studios the question is like "what is the best shade of rose for glasses?

Andre
Old 19th September 2011
  #48
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jhbrandt's Avatar
+1... again.

Sent from my GT-S5830 using Gearslutz.com App
Old 19th September 2011
  #49
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Quote:
As just one example, a studio for classical acoustic instruments will have a longer decay time and boost in low frequencies compared to jazz
I agree that there often is a drier sound on Jazz recordings than classical chamber music, but there are also many great jazz recordings made in rooms with with a long decay, some examples:

"Kind of Blue","milestones","jazz at the philharmonic" and
"sketches of spain" (many more) Miles Davis
"jazz på svenska"and
"jazz på rysska"Jan Johanson
"time out" Brubeck -The decay is very important part of Joe Morellos drum intro/solo, I don`t think it would be the same in a dry room, one reason being that there is so many pauces in it, ending each "statement" with a reverb tail.
Old 19th September 2011
  #50
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avare's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hsal View Post
I agree that there often is a drier sound on Jazz recordings than classical chamber music, but there are also many great jazz recordings made in rooms with with a long decay
I did not say chamber music specifically. Concert halls for romantic music have longer reverb times than (supposedly ideal) for baroque music. Gregorian chants are good in cathedrals with multiple second reverb times.

Andre
Old 19th September 2011
  #51
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Quote:
a studio for classical acoustic instruments will have a longer decay time and boost in low frequencies compared to jazz
My point is that there is a large crossover between jazz and classical music, where the rooms fit both, in this case chamber music and jazz.

Regarding concert halls,Jazz concerts in concert halls is nothing new, started with Norman Granz "jazz at the philharmonic" (Charlie Parker, Dizzy+++)


Here is a clip from a concert I attended in Oslo opera house a couple of years ago, the acoustics where great for the music
(concert dedicated to Radka Toneff)
Kirsten Bråten Berg & Arild Andersen - Drømmehesten (live, Til Radka, 2009) - YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9PuJIjQ2AE


Oslo opera house has excellent acoustics (Arup/Brekke-Strand)

long decay brings both possibilities and limitations (nice decay but less intelligibility of the transients) bass boost can be positive for certain kinds of jazz

Last edited by hsal; 19th September 2011 at 10:05 PM.. Reason: eadded second link
Old 19th September 2011
  #52
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Jens Eklund's Avatar
The optimum decay rate of a recording space is often related to tempo. Gregorian chant is the extreme when the cords need to be able to overlap without clashing even if slow tempo because of the extreme decay times of churches.
Old 19th September 2011
  #53
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We seem to be ignoring the frequency response of the reverberant rooms? A room built for amplified or loud instruments will most certainly have less bass in it than one built primarily for lighter acoustic instruments.

GC
Old 19th September 2011
  #54
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I don`t think abit of bass boost is a big problem for a band using acoustic bass (jazz) and an 18 inch bassdrum, as long as the modes overlap eachother, this of course requires a large room.

If the bassboost is troublesome for the music, it is always possible to use gobos.

From universitetets aula in Oslo, famous for it`s acoustics for chambermusic, here`s Monk:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmhP1RgbrrY

(only 240p)
Old 19th September 2011
  #55
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avare's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hsal View Post
I agree that there often is a drier sound on Jazz recordings than classical chamber music, but there are also many great jazz recordings made in rooms with with a long decay
I am refering to the general practice, not exceptions.

Andre
Old 19th September 2011
  #56
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Kind of Blue is not the exception, it is the most sold jazz album in history
Old 20th September 2011
  #57
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avare's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hsal View Post
I don`t think abit of bass boost is a big problem for a band using acoustic bass (jazz) and an 18 inch bassdrum, as long as the modes overlap eachother, this of course requires a large room.
Bass boost is a problem with modern amplified performances in rooms with bass boost. The re enforcement which aids with sound of acoustic performances, muddies the amplified bass of electronically aided/created bass.

Andre
Old 20th September 2011
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hsal View Post
Kind of Blue is not the exception, it is the most sold jazz album in history
In which case it is exception(al).
Old 20th September 2011
  #59
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Quote:
In which case it is exception(al).


Quote:
Bass boost is a problem with modern amplified performances in rooms with bass boost. The re enforcement which aids with sound of acoustic performances, muddies the amplified bass of electronically aided/created bass.
for studio recording of acoustic bass, one will normally not use an amp, if there is material with electric bass, one can add several gobos to the room.
Old 20th September 2011
  #60
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Hsal:

You are having problems with the jazz example. For the example, use rap and a choir performing Handel.

Andre
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