Over the past few years, I have beat myself up, trying to improve the acoustics in my control room. In particular, control room acoustics while mixing with nearfields. Day after day, I would mix, make a CD, run to the car and listen. Only to find that I just spent the last few hours struggling to put a mix together and its just mediocre at best. And of course, the bottom end is always hit or miss and a guessing game. In an attempt to tighten up my bottom end, the last few months I have moved some bass trapping around. I would make an adjustment, and the results would be obvious and for the better, but still not acceptable to me. I would make another adjustment and again hear a bit more improvement. Then I thought the light bulb came on and I made more than a bit of a change. That was the wrong way to go. So, I went back one step and tweaked more on that.
Currently, I'm happier and closer to the true bottom end that I've ever been and I am spending less time getting to the finish line because I'm not fighting the clarity of the bottom end as much as I had been. With that said, I have come to the opinion that my most important piece of equipment is the control room I'm working in. If it does not translate, then I am not able to do my job to the best of my ability. No matter the quality of the sound of the instrument, microphone, or preamp. I cannot make those pieces of equipment sound the best they can unless I can accurately hear what is coming through the speakers. Too many times I have ruined a kick drum with eq because I could not hear the bottom end that was there but was not able to hear it.
My compliments to the acoustician that can build a control room that translates and in which an engineer can mix efficiently on nearfields with confidence.