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are there any rooms in the world with perfectly balanced acoustics? Bass Traps
Old 6th September 2011
  #1
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are there any rooms in the world with perfectly balanced acoustics?

as in a room that will not change the loudness of certain notes, and if a string of sinewaves were played, keep them all exactly the same level?

if anyone knows of any that come close pics would be epic.
Old 6th September 2011
  #2
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No, because nothing is perfect. It is a question of how close to perfect one wants or is willing to pay for - and a question of "perfect for what use?". Also, advanced acoustics is as much about time behavior as frequency response (outside the scope of your request). And at the top of the game, the finer points are subjective judgment calls.

Also, you didn't specify what type of room you had in mind. If you mean control/mixing rooms, every professional studio built within the last 20 years probably approaches your request. And plenty of semi-pro ones, too. If that's what you're interested in, there are many studio build threads here you could review.

No doubt someone will point you at Blackbird Studio C which is, if not "perfect", at the very least unique.
Old 6th September 2011
  #3
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Ask any designer and they will say one of there rooms. I would say what room translates the mix is the room that would be "perfect" for the person using it. In other words, what works for you! heh
If you would like take a listen to this room (music starts around 3:30) with and without recorded music being played. The room is not "perfect" but translate pretty darn well.
GIK Acoustics. Treated and untreated listening room video.

Ethan Winer also has a video like this on his website.
Old 7th September 2011
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyrukante View Post
as in a room that will not change the loudness of certain notes, and if a string of sinewaves were played, keep them all exactly the same level?

if anyone knows of any that come close pics would be epic.
of course not

there are some very good rooms
they are different from each otehr

different is different
different is not better
different is not worse
different is just different
Old 7th September 2011
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyrukante View Post
as in a room that will not change the loudness of certain notes, and if a string of sinewaves were played, keep them all exactly the same level?

if anyone knows of any that come close pics would be epic.
anechoic - Sök på Google
Old 7th September 2011
  #6
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As Jens said, only an anechoic chamber can accomplish what you want, even so, there would be inconsistencies at the lowest frequencies. I'd guess that Massenburg's room - Studio C @ Blackbird - would measure most balanced, across the frequency spectrum, over the widest sweet spot. Pure conjecture, of course. I suppose any properly designed Newell/Hidley type room can accomplish this as well, albeit with a lower RT60 - approaching the aforementioned anechoic room.

Old 7th September 2011
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiothings View Post
I suppose any properly designed Newell/Hidley type room can accomplish this as well, albeit with a lower RT60 - approaching the aforementioned anechoic room.
No control room has any RT60 to speak of since there is no diffused field in such small rooms. Careful control of laterally arriving reflections at the right time will add “space” to a room but this is not to be confused with “reverb”. An NE-style room is virtually anechoic (speaker - listener response).


EDIT:

And just to add to the original question; a dead (anechoic) room is not considered pleasant or “neutral” by most people (although some enjoy dead rooms) and this is where the fun begins, how to keep a room accurate and neutral but still not “dead” sounding (when listening to the speakers). This has been the challenge and so far, and LEDE/RFZ and perhaps CID are some of the concepts available to achieve this. The room at Blackbird, although interesting and completely wild, is still considered relatively dead by some of the people who has been there. Since there’s nothing above -30 dB after the direct sound, it is obviously a very accurate reproduction but still quite dead sounding because the lack of reflections of significant strength.
Old 7th September 2011
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Eklund View Post
Careful control of laterally arriving reflections at the right time will add “space” to a room but this is not to be confused with “reverb”.
? what is it, if not a reverb?
Old 7th September 2011
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filipv View Post
? what is it, if not a reverb?
Reflections, modal decay etc.

The definition of a reverberant field says the energy flow should be equal in all directions, completely diffuse in other words, and this is simply not the case in small rooms.
Old 7th September 2011
  #10
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Quote:
No control room has any RT60 to speak of since there is no diffused field in such small rooms. Careful control of laterally arriving reflections at the right time will add “space” to a room but this is not to be confused with “reverb”.
Thanks for the clarification... you are correct, of course... i should have said "while sounding way less lively"?

Quote:
An NE-style room is virtually anechoic (speaker - listener repose).
I believe the correct term is hemi-anechoic... Newell would argue that it is very different sounding from an anechoic room, because of the hard floor and front wall...
Old 7th September 2011
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiothings View Post
I believe the correct term is hemi-anechoic... Newell would argue that it is very different sounding from an anechoic room, because of the hard floor and front wall...
Important to separate the acoustic response due to a person talking in the room and the response when listening to music from the speakers. The front wall does not introduce any reflections when using the monitors since is only serves as an extension of the baffle thus avoiding diffraction effects and raises efficiency of the speaker (as flush mounting normally do). The floor reflection can be minimized if the desk is properly designed.
Old 7th September 2011
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Eklund View Post
.........Since there’s nothing above -30 dB after the direct sound, it is obviously a very accurate reproduction but still quite dead sounding because the lack of reflections of significant strength.
Close similarity with anechoic room is only in ETC measurement results, but fully diffuse rooms aren't anechoic at all.

N-E design can't be anechoic too, because reflective floor and reflective front wall.
Old 7th September 2011
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiothings View Post
Newell would argue that it is very different sounding from an anechoic room, because of the hard floor and front wall...
Quote:
Originally Posted by boggy View Post
N-E design can't be anechoic too, because reflective floor and reflective front wall.

Recording Studio Design - Google Böcker

"The 'Non-Environment' concept (see Chapter 16) attempts to make the room as anechoic as possible to the loudspeakers. Only the floor and front wall are reflective in order to give life to speech and actions in the room, ..."

Again, I’m talking about the speaker - listener response. After all, this is what is most important.
Old 7th September 2011
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boggy View Post
Close similarity with anechoic room is only in ETC measurement results, but fully diffuse rooms aren't anechoic at all.
I never said it was anechoic, I said that it is relatively dead.
Old 8th September 2011
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Eklund View Post
Important to separate the acoustic response due to a person talking in the room and the response when listening to music from the speakers. The front wall does not introduce any reflections when using the monitors since is only serves as an extension of the baffle
Well put, Jens... I see the point.
Old 10th September 2011
  #16
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What is CID short of?

LEDE/RFZ done correctly sounds awesome!
Old 11th September 2011
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwo View Post
What is CID short of?
"Controlled image design"
Old 11th September 2011
  #18
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Originally Posted by bwo View Post
LEDE/RFZ done correctly sounds awesome!
I built a LEDE room back in the 80's and for the first month or so, I was pretty happy with it. I knew it was dry but something about sound appearing out of a space that was larger then the actual room it was being played back in was appealing. It was like money for nothing and chicks for free. Bit by bit, I added diffusion and reflection to the dead end and diffusion to the live end. Within 6 months, over half of the dead end was no longer dead and the corners of the live end were absorbers. My preference for a control, mixing or mastering room would be to err on the slightly bright side - if I had to choose between bright or warm. Or better yet, have some tunability built in so you can adjust somewhat for people that work or spectate in the room.

The next room I built had the old modified LEDE room as a sort of starting point but the new room itself had better dimensions and responded more predictably. I miss that place. Right now I'm jonesing to build a non environment room.
Old 11th September 2011
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syncamorea View Post
...Right now I'm jonesing to build a non environment room.
OT
Interesting. What do you find appealing about that design over the LEDE?
Old 11th September 2011
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syncamorea View Post
I built a LEDE room back in the 80's and for the first month or so, I was pretty happy with it. I knew it was dry but something about sound appearing out of a space that was larger then the actual room it was being played back in was appealing. It was like money for nothing and chicks for free. Bit by bit, I added diffusion and reflection to the dead end and diffusion to the live end. Within 6 months, over half of the dead end was no longer dead and the corners of the live end were absorbers. My preference for a control, mixing or mastering room would be to err on the slightly bright side - if I had to choose between bright or warm. Or better yet, have some tunability built in so you can adjust somewhat for people that work or spectate in the room.

The next room I built had the old modified LEDE room as a sort of starting point but the new room itself had better dimensions and responded more predictably. I miss that place. Right now I'm jonesing to build a non environment room.
Note that I said "done correctly". When you say the room sounded very dry, that's a clear indication that you overdampened and I'm questioning if you have understood LEDE/RFZ. You might benefit from the quoting of SAC in this thread:
eigenmodes calculator

A NE room is more dead then a LEDE room.
Old 11th September 2011
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwo View Post
Note that I said "done correctly". When you say the room sounded very dry, that's a clear indication that you overdampened and I'm questioning if you have understood LEDE/RFZ. You might benefit from the quoting of SAC in this thread:
eigenmodes calculator

A NE room is more dead then a LEDE room.
An NE room is practically anechoic (speaker – listener response). A LEDE room (if done right; not completely covered with absorbers in the front end, in other words) is anything but dead.
Old 11th September 2011
  #22
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Originally Posted by bwo View Post
Note that I said "done correctly". When you say the room sounded very dry, that's a clear indication that you overdampened and I'm questioning if you have understood LEDE/RFZ. You might benefit from the quoting of SAC in this thread:
eigenmodes calculator

A NE room is more dead then a LEDE room.
Like I said, my room was built in the 80s. I based the design on an AES paper that talked about, what was at the time, new LEDE experiences. I just looked and can't find the paper. There have been a few things learned about control room design over the last 3 decades, by the way...

Sorry, no help by re-reading the link you post above. Just not pertinent to the situaiton. Note that I said "dry", not "very dry" and wasn't talking about "dead". In its initial configuration, I think that part of the problem was the reflections from the back wall and insufficient back corner trapping. It just needed tweaks, and it got them. And don't mistake me for dissing on LEDE, it just needed more love than I expected. When I built the next room, which was a pretty large deviation from that early 80's AES paper, the speakers end was even less absorptive.

An NE room can be tuned also and I've heard an example that was not dead. What I liked about that room was its presentaiton of dynamics and how well it held together on the loud end. (Plus the imaging, frequency balance and vibe.)
Old 11th September 2011
  #23
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Originally Posted by John White View Post
OT
Interesting. What do you find appealing about that design over the LEDE?
The owner of the room tends to play back at pretty high levels - beyond what I'd expose my ears to for more than, say 10 minutes. But I did listen to it cranked for a few minutes, then he let me turn it down (and up occasionally when I wanted to.) It really held up at the loud end. I'd taken along a some of my own music and was pretty surprised at some of the detail I heard when playing back orchestral music at ~100dB peaks. And that detail was often in sections that ran at about 70 to 80dB. It had amazing dynamic range for a room of its size. I took along my own dB meter and found myself listening to most songs at fairly low levels, like mid 80's peaks. For electronic music like guitar, the system sounded very close to an in-the-studio sound, as opposed to recorded and played back. Bass guitar and drums had impact that was excellent as well as clear pitch deliniation.

Last edited by Syncamorea; 11th September 2011 at 07:36 PM.. Reason: typo
Old 11th September 2011
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syncamorea View Post
An NE room can be tuned also and I've heard an example that was not dead.
See post 11 & 13.
Old 11th September 2011
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Eklund View Post
See post 11 & 13.
Already did, already knew.
Old 11th September 2011
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syncamorea View Post
Already did, already knew.
Ok, just checking. Many people are not aware of the difference. The acoustic response of an NE-room if playing music over the speakers is as anechoic as can be. The acoustic response if talking in the room is not completely anechoic but fairly close.
Old 11th September 2011
  #27
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Originally Posted by Jens Eklund View Post
Ok, just checking. Many people are not aware of the difference. The acoustic response of an NE-room if playing music over the speakers is as anechoic as can be. The acoustic response if talking in the room is not completely anechoic but fairly close.
The room that really got my interest is too modified to be thought of as one of the NE rooms I've seen in Newell's book and elsewhere. I've listened in it five times now for a total of maybe 12 hours so I have a decent handle on its signature. I've also spent time in a few anechoic chambers (no like-y!) recording acoustic instruments and voice. The modified NE room has enough life in it that I've able to relax and just listen. Every time I've gone into an anechoic chamber, I had an adjustment period, then a sort of hyper stimulated period, then decided I wanted out of there. Kind of strange. My first LEDE room, before tweaking, also induced that hyper stimulated reaction in some people, especially if the room was in total darkness. But I guess that's just more thread drift so I'll apologize for that in advance.
Old 11th September 2011
  #28
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Originally Posted by Syncamorea View Post
The modified NE room has enough life in it that I've able to relax and just listen.
Perhaps its closer to a "Front-to-Back" (FTB) room then.
Old 11th September 2011
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Eklund View Post
Ok, just checking. Many people are not aware of the difference. The acoustic response of an NE-room if playing music over the speakers is as anechoic as can be. The acoustic response if talking in the room is not completely anechoic but fairly close.
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.
Old 11th September 2011
  #30
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A NE room lacks the important psychoacoustics cues that a LEDE room has.
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