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Author Topic: Basic first suggestions for a room this ugly?  (Read 3784 times)

Tomas Danko

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Basic first suggestions for a room this ugly?
« on: January 03, 2007, 06:31:43 am »

Hi guys,

I shot a room the other day looking like this, as bad as it seems are there any ways to improve things besides lots of bass trapping and treating the first reflection area?

The room is 16' 5" x 8' 2" x 8' 2" which is probably a worst case scenario.

Due to practical reasons the speakers are set up to shoot across the shorter length of the room. I know, shoot me right now! Or please give me some ideas what to do?

index.php/fa/3958/0/

Sincerely,

Tomas Danko
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jimmyjazz

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Re: Basic first suggestions for a room this ugly?
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2007, 09:44:42 am »

Good lord!  Without running the calcs, it's pretty obvious 2:1:1 is going to be bad.  I feel your pain!

No doubt your best course of action is what you suggested.  Any chance they can rotate the room so the monitors fire down the length?

That is going to be one dead room when you're through!
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Ethan Winer

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Re: Basic first suggestions for a room this ugly?
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2007, 01:12:03 pm »

Tomas,

> I shot a room the other day <

So I take it this is someone else's room?

> Due to practical reasons the speakers are set up to shoot across the shorter length of the room. <

How is a horrible bass response ever practical? Shocked

If this is someone you're advising, show them this pair of graphs for the same room, one with the speakers firing the longer way and the other the shorter way. Maybe then they'll reassess their idea of what's practical.

--Ethan

http://www.realtraps.com/long-short.jpg

Tomas Danko

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Re: Basic first suggestions for a room this ugly?
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2007, 05:20:10 pm »

jimmyjazz wrote on Wed, 03 January 2007 14:44

Good lord!  Without running the calcs, it's pretty obvious 2:1:1 is going to be bad.  I feel your pain!

No doubt your best course of action is what you suggested.  Any chance they can rotate the room so the monitors fire down the length?

That is going to be one dead room when you're through!


Yeah, tell me about it. hehe The ONLY worse scenario would probably be 1:1:1 and anything smaller than that but with the same ratio!

Rotating can be a future option, and in the long run it probably will happen.

Wish me luck, eh.  Confused
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Tomas Danko

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Re: Basic first suggestions for a room this ugly?
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2007, 05:36:15 pm »

Ethan Winer wrote on Wed, 03 January 2007 18:12


So I take it this is someone else's room?

> Due to practical reasons the speakers are set up to shoot across the shorter length of the room. <

How is a horrible bass response ever practical? Shocked

If this is someone you're advising, show them this pair of graphs for the same room, one with the speakers firing the longer way and the other the shorter way. Maybe then they'll reassess their idea of what's practical.



Thanks for the graph, Ethan.

This is one of the rooms I'm currently using (the other one being great for my purposes, although half an hour away from the room in question) but unfortunately it looks like it'll become my only own mixing room for a while. No recording going on in this room, thank god. So let's call it my room, from now on.

The peculiar thing is that when aiming the speakers along the long side of the room it doesn't sound bad, except for a standing wave around low B or whatever it was, that sounded like acoustic feedback if you cranked it enough.

At the moment it's all filled with gear with the speakers facing the wrong direction due to practical reasons regarding how many people will be in there simultaneously while working on the project. During these sessions it's not about correct listening, much more about creating ideas and being able to access all the gadgets, instruments and wingdings for all the people in the room (especially the computer screen).

However, the room has got very thin walls, and three doors as well as a window (ie an opening in each wall). When I open up all the doors (not the window, it's friggin' ice ages out there up here in the cold north!) it's as if a third of this room opens up to much larger rooms and things happen with the sound big time.

Another funny thing is that I've used this room years ago for another project that worked out well. As long as I walk out into the adjacent hall to check the bass levels, that is.  Very Happy

So, except for turning the whole rig 90 degrees, what else is there to be done to make it less of a disaster?

Sincerely,

Tomas Danko
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jimmyjazz

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Re: Basic first suggestions for a room this ugly?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2007, 07:05:40 pm »

Hey Ethan . . . what did you use to generate that graph?  Is it from some analysis you did on Tomas' room, or is it from a room you actually measured?

It's interesting, regardless.
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Tomas Danko

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Re: Basic first suggestions for a room this ugly?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2007, 06:47:45 am »

jimmyjazz wrote on Thu, 04 January 2007 00:05

Hey Ethan . . . what did you use to generate that graph?  Is it from some analysis you did on Tomas' room, or is it from a room you actually measured?

It's interesting, regardless.


I understand Ethan entered my room dimensions into some software. For my own graph, that came from measuring a sine sweep at the listening position in my room, I used FuzzMeasure.
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Ethan Winer

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Re: Basic first suggestions for a room this ugly?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2007, 02:05:48 pm »

Tomas,

> So, except for turning the whole rig 90 degrees, what else is there to be done to make it less of a disaster? <

Bass traps, my friend, lots and lots of bass traps. Laughing

Of course, you'd want as much bass trapping as possible even if the room were rotated 90 degrees!

--Ethan

Ethan Winer

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Re: Basic first suggestions for a room this ugly?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2007, 02:09:17 pm »

Jimmy,

> what did you use to generate that graph? <

I didn't make that graph. It's actually from a review of my company's products in Sound On Sound magazine. According to the logo on the screen shot the software is the RightMark audio analyzer, which I believe is freeware.

I use the ETF software, and FuzzMeasure that Tomas mentioned is also good and affordable. One big advantage of ETF and FuzzMeasure is they show modal ringing as well as raw frequency response, and ringing is just as important as LF response.

--Ethan

jimmyjazz

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Re: Basic first suggestions for a room this ugly?
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2007, 02:20:30 pm »

OK, so it's an actual measurement.  I'd worry about software that calculates pure modal distribution differently depending on orientation!  (This is not to say that orientation doesn't effect frequency response, but rather that the MODES are what they are, and are purely a function of room geometry, and to a slight degree, lossiness.)
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Tomas Danko

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Re: Basic first suggestions for a room this ugly?
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2007, 07:49:50 pm »

Ethan Winer wrote on Thu, 04 January 2007 19:05

Tomas,

> So, except for turning the whole rig 90 degrees, what else is there to be done to make it less of a disaster? <

Bass traps, my friend, lots and lots of bass traps. Laughing

Of course, you'd want as much bass trapping as possible even if the room were rotated 90 degrees!

--Ethan


As I thought. If I turn it all 90 degrees, won't I still need some more stuff to cover walls etc regarding first reflections and so forth?

I wonder how many traps I will need, how much space they will take, where I can put them (corners, I know, two corners are taken by doors already) and how many I can afford!

Thanks for your help, so far.

Cheers,

Tomas Danko - Comping vocals in the monitors right now, using phones for checking mixes...
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jimmyjazz

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Re: Basic first suggestions for a room this ugly?
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2007, 11:28:32 pm »

Search the web for Chris Wealy's acoustics spreadsheet, which will help you perform quite a few basic room analyses.  You can evaluate things like reverberation time (which has limited accuracy in small rooms), modal frequencies, modal spacing, etc.  The reverberation time calcs can provide partial guidance about how much absorption you'll need on your walls to flatten out the room response, but it doesn't account for corner traps, which work better than a given amount of absorptive material slapped right on the wall.  Wealy's spreadsheet does include a very extensive material library, allowing you to model things very similar to Ethan's products, among others (foam, rock wool, etc.).  You can input your own user-defined absorption curves for materials he doesn't include.

Really, to flatten the modal issues in the low frequencies, more traps are usually better.  It's hard to deaden the low end MORE than the middle frequencies and above, so there's not a lot of risk there, but you can make the room TOO dead overall if you go crazy with absorptive broadband traps.  I imagine your budget will crap out before that point, though!
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Tomas Danko

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Re: Basic first suggestions for a room this ugly?
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2007, 04:30:47 am »

jimmyjazz wrote on Fri, 05 January 2007 04:28

Search the web for Chris Wealy's acoustics spreadsheet, which will help you perform quite a few basic room analyses.  You can evaluate things like reverberation time (which has limited accuracy in small rooms), modal frequencies, modal spacing, etc.  The reverberation time calcs can provide partial guidance about how much absorption you'll need on your walls to flatten out the room response, but it doesn't account for corner traps, which work better than a given amount of absorptive material slapped right on the wall.  Wealy's spreadsheet does include a very extensive material library, allowing you to model things very similar to Ethan's products, among others (foam, rock wool, etc.).  You can input your own user-defined absorption curves for materials he doesn't include.

Really, to flatten the modal issues in the low frequencies, more traps are usually better.  It's hard to deaden the low end MORE than the middle frequencies and above, so there's not a lot of risk there, but you can make the room TOO dead overall if you go crazy with absorptive broadband traps.  I imagine your budget will crap out before that point, though!


I understand that as many bass traps as possible is a good start. And then the first reflections, and that's kind of it as far as cost vs efficiency go. I don't want a completely dead room, I actually prefer mixing in a room that is a little alive.

Besides putting something like mondo traps in the free corners, is there a benefit when it comes to filling up the space behind them? Surely there must be.

Short of rebuilding the room the budget is what I decide it to be. If I can't invest in acoustics on par with at least the cost of my monitors I'd be the first one to slap myself silly and call me Sally. Smile

Regards,

Tomas Danko
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jimmyjazz

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Re: Basic first suggestions for a room this ugly?
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2007, 10:41:39 am »

I would trap the corners and put additional broadband absorption at the first reflection points.  That would go a long way towards making the room better.  After that, I'd shoot it again and decide if the bass response is still too "lumpy".
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Ethan Winer

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Re: Basic first suggestions for a room this ugly?
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2007, 05:09:40 pm »

Tomas,

> If I turn it all 90 degrees, won't I still need some more stuff to cover walls etc regarding first reflections and so forth? <

Yes, but those are mainly mid/high frequency issues, and so are solved much more easily than peaks and nulls at 200 Hz and below.

--Ethan
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