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Author Topic: Since Ethan's checking in, too???  (Read 1939 times)

Teddy G.

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Since Ethan's checking in, too???
« on: August 28, 2006, 10:25:37 am »

I'm just so pleased and proud that I finally went to the local RS and bought one of their digital Sound Level Meters. Actually seems pretty snazzy and a pretty fair price(Even RS has gotten it somewhat right, at times, over the years, despite being an easy target of complaints -- yes, the guy did ask me if I needed a cell phone - so what? Maybe I do? If I didn't ask, beg, plead, cry - ALL THE TIME - if someone needs voiceovers, I'd never get any...). Anyhow, I did a few tests, using the .mp3's from the Real Traps sight NOT the complete series, yet(I will, give me time!), but, I need to ask a question:

So, I set the level - NO, first ---:

So, must I make a CD from the files? Why can't I play them "direct" with Windows Media Player? I mean, I did just open the zip file, click on them, as desired and they "play"(Some serious clicks and pops, but they play - OK???)... I will put them up on Wavelab, and see if those clicks and pops are really there..? If so(Not just another "fault" in WMP), I'll maybe take some time to edit out the BANGS, so I can bumpup the level without popping a driver or my eardrums OUCH!!! Still, no prob, at "normal" levels no prob at all.

Anyhow, The idea is to set the level of playback so the meter is at around 70dB? Or any dB that seems to "fill the room"(Well the "room" around the "mix/listen/meter position") without blowing up speakers or whatever(Neither too low nor too high - OK..?). So, I set the level at 77db with the pink noise. NOW, is the idea to see "how far away" from 77db +/-, the rest of the levels are - adjusting the range of the meter as needed?

So far, just fooling around, I set 77db with pink noise then, like, NOTHING below the 49 cycle(Hertz) level, as my little Yammie's just don't go there(OK with me, I "Cut" my inputs at 80 cycles.). At 55 cycles it's about even with the pink noise - 77 dB. After that, as I go up, it gets higher and higher above 77, almost linearly? So, by 109 to 118 cycles(Far as I've gone) I'm at 95 to 98 dB..!?!? 21 dB higher than the original pink niose level of 77dB... Is this right? I mean is the test proceeding properly? Is this the way to do it? Just doing the 7 ranges, so far, it's ALL headed "up" nothing "down" - which I BELIEVE makes sense, as I've done NOTHING to diminish these extreme lows in my room.  

Anyway, there you go. I think I've got "corners" for about 12 Real Traps? Maybe I'll buy them one at a time? I DO have the "stuff"(Sort've) to try to roll my own for a few? Don't know? Couldn't find the "real stuff", locally, as mentioned on the RT site(I read about it maybe 3-4 years ago? I plan to use Luan plywood, 1/8" Masonite and an "interior" of Armstrong 2x4 ceiling panels, along with some silicone sealant. NO IDEA how it will work? No idea of whether it's even worth trying? But, as I likely WILL have the time(That's sad...) and the materials, I probably will. At least maybe I can try to measure ANY difference, now???

Here's something I hesitate to admit, as it must be HORRIBLY WRONG to do. My room is setup corner to corner - there, I've said it(I feel sooo much better.). My computer desk from the office place is the "corner" type, so my computer monitor and speakers are facing the opposite corner of the room(Where the draped, stuffed-with-clothes, closet is). The speakers, on either side of the monitor are angled "in" to face my ears, with the tweeters at "ear level", perched on their "custom made" blocks of 2x4, painted flat black, of course, and then with Aurelex Mopads sitting on them and the speakers sitting on them. The speakers, at "normal" sit, are about two feet from my old, tired, barely functional ears. Sounds SOOO much better than my old, tiny speakers that I also hesitate to complain, but, I know things could be better. Playing a low frequency tone, when I "go to a corner" my head is about imploded by the bass buildup... not good...

Comments? Suggestions? Any "scratch and dent/bents n' bumps" RT's???

Thankx! You guys checking-in is WONDERFUL! LOVE your videos Ethan! All this PRO commentary helps me feel as though even I have a chance.....

TG
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Ethan Winer

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Re: Since Ethan's checking in, too???
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2006, 02:39:29 pm »

Teddy,

> must I make a CD from the files? <

You can absolutely play them directly from a computer. The suggestion to burn a CD is mainly for audiophiles and home theater people who don't have a computer connected to their system.

> is the idea to see "how far away" from 77db +/-, the rest of the levels are - adjusting the range of the meter as needed? <

The pink noise level reference is just to get the playback volume "in the ballpark" to be loud enough to be above the ambient room noise, but not so loud you blow up anything. Especially if someone starts with the 10 Hz tone, there's a real risk of playing it too loudly and not even knowing it's too loud. Maybe I need to add a clause to our Legal Disclaimer that we're also not responsible if you blow up your subwoofer? Shocked Very Happy

But to answer your question, the pink noise level is not directly related to the level of the tones. At least not as you envisioned.

> Is this right? <

Sadly, Yes. At least as the tones change relative to each other.

The real purpose for providing test tones is to show people how bad their system's response really is. Many people have no idea how bad their rooms really are. They buy speakers that claim this or that frequency response, and wrongly assume that's what they're getting. NOT! So test tones let folks see how badly they need to deal with their room.

> My room is setup corner to corner <

The advantage of that orientation is the side walls are splayed enough to send first reflections to the rear of the room. The downside is that puts the opposite corner behind you, which focuses everything right back at you! A large amount of broadband absorption over the entire area of the rear corner can avoid the focusing. This probably requires more than the usual 2 foot wide panels though.

> Any "scratch and dent/bents n' bumps" RT's??? <

We do have a Seconds page, linked partway down on the left side of our home page. We don't have much now though, but we'll be at two shows in October and whatever we bring back will surely be slightly "used."

> LOVE your videos Ethan! <

Thanks. There's no escaping that the videos are very much home made, but hopefully the content at least comes through.

--Ethan

Teddy G.

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Re: Since Ethan's checking in, too???
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2006, 03:21:28 pm »

O.K?

So, my "test levels" get louder and louder and louder(So far), again, in almost linear fashion. In a perfect room, they would stay the same, the same, the same, as I went up the tone scale, no matter their level with respect to the pink noise set-up level?

Also so, it might, then, help to "start" with traps in the rear corner? As the sound is spread-out by then, covering as much as possible from the absolute corner, out, in each direction, as finances permit -- may help a bit? What to do about the closet in the opposite corner? Put actual doors on it and cover them with panels? Then, work around the room other corners first? I'd like to try to get as much bang(Or, reduction of bang...) for the buck as possible... Don't want to short you guys your due and all, nice to do it all at once, but ain't gonna' happen. In your videos you mention "hearing a difference" with very few panels in the room. Would I see a difference on the meter, as well, if I got, say, 4 Mini Traps, would I get a BIG difference?

I'll stop dreaming now... 4 Mini Traps, don't sound like they'd be enough? Maybe I'd need floor to ceiling(No longer the usual 8 feet due to the drop ceiling), 4, 6, even 8 feet wide, just to cover the far corner plus extended reflective wall surface where the sound, by the time it's traveled the dozen+ feet, is bouncing back from, just to give the traps a chance? Uuoewww, this sounds like it's getting pricey - a "custom" job, even..? Ooh Noo......

Nice to deal with this though, as my place has got to be a duplicate of 1000's of spare bedroom studios - 'scuse maybe the corner to corner orientation..? No matter how much it hurts, it IS good to know...

Thankx!

TG
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Ethan Winer

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Re: Since Ethan's checking in, too???
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2006, 12:51:54 pm »

Teddy,

> In a perfect room, they would stay the same, the same, the same, as I went up the tone scale, no matter their level with respect to the pink noise set-up level? <

Yes, though there's no such thing as a perfect room. So you aim to get as close as you can manage given the room size and your budget.

> it might, then, help to "start" with traps in the rear corner? <

When someone is using only a few traps I prefer to start in the front corners. Assuming broadband bass traps (that also absorb some mids and highs) this helps to reduce the "chatter" in the front of the room, especially in the vicinity of the loudspeakers. I'd be interested in hearing Fran's take on this too.

> What to do about the closet in the opposite corner? Put actual doors on it and cover them with panels? <

When all else is equal, a larger room is better than a smaller room. So I would not make the room even smaller by adding doors.

> Would I see a difference on the meter, as well, if I got, say, 4 Mini Traps, would I get a BIG difference? <

I'm not comfortable discussing specific products here. This is Fran's forum, and I feel like I'm his guest. I am glad to discuss such specifics with you! But it's better if you can email me through the Contact page of my company's web site.

> Maybe I'd need floor to ceiling <

The more bass traps you have, the flatter and tighter the low end will be. It's pretty much that simple. You saw my living room in the Room Setup video, yes? When I made that video I had 39 traps. I just added the 40th (and probably last) a few weeks ago. Very Happy

--Ethan
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