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Author Topic: where is my bass?  (Read 7157 times)

C.Cash

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where is my bass?
« on: March 03, 2008, 11:48:40 am »

I have been listening to a bunch of my favorite albums in my new  Control Room. Everything sounds wonderful and clear especially the mids. However, I think I have lost some of the bass response. Is it possible that I have too much bass traps?
My CR is small so I tried to make it pretty dead but I am only using Lenrd traps.My monitors are Event SP8's so I'm sure they are not the problem.
 I have bass but its not punchy.

Thanks,

Clifford.
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Steve Hudson

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2008, 01:04:07 pm »

More likely you still have too little bass trapping and your listening position is in a null. I've heard of making a room too dead from a broadband perspective but never heard of too much bass trapping per se.
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Ethan Winer

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2008, 02:10:59 pm »

C.Cash wrote on Mon, 03 March 2008 11:48

Is it possible that I have too much bass traps?

Steve has the right answer. It's impossible to make any domestic size room perfectly flat. The more bass traps you have, the closer to flat you'll get. As more traps are added the perception is usually more bass, not less. However, in some rooms and some listening positions the peaks are more damaging than the nulls. In that case adding more traps does reduce the amount of bass, but then less bass is flatter too.

--Ethan

C.Cash

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2008, 02:25:48 pm »

So that means I am closer to flat?
This is good?
I can hear the bass very clearly but,....I don't feel it like I do in my car or on the house stereo.
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Steve Hudson

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2008, 03:17:42 pm »

You will perceive more bass "thump" in a car because you feel the bass through the seats and anything else your body is touching. Have you acoustically treated the room where your stereo is? If not, you may be hearing a bass bump. Neither environment is a good reference for what you should be hearing in a properly-treated control room (though they may be great references for how your mixes translate in these types of listening conditions).
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C.Cash

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2008, 03:35:56 pm »

Thanks, I guess its now a matter of learning my monitors.
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Steve Hudson

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2008, 04:11:06 pm »

Or add a couple more corner traps and determine if that helps or not. You might also make small adjustments to the position of the monitors, that can make a big difference.
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C.Cash

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2008, 04:41:56 pm »

 A friend has some Realtraps, I will borrow a couple and try them instead of the Lenrds, the room is so small I figured the Lenrds would be enough. The monitors are also sitting directly on my desk shelves, I will put something underneath them and I will move them slightly and see what happens.

Thanks,

Clifford.
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Steve Hudson

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2008, 05:22:46 pm »

Your intuition about a smaller room needing less trapping is actually wrong. The smaller the room, the more trapping it will generally need to tame those pesky low freqs.
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rankus

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2008, 09:20:38 pm »



Try moving your speakers around:  shooting the long way then the short way etc.

Also, try walking around the room while playing back.  Are there spots where the bass is reinforced, and other spots where it's more pronounced? (Checking for nulls)

 



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C.Cash

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2008, 07:11:15 am »

I walked around last night,one of the corners was bass heavy!
I will have the Realtraps tomorrow.
So, if I control the bass in the corner what will this do to the bass in the listening position?

Thanks,

Clifford.
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Ethan Winer

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2008, 04:46:30 pm »

C.Cash wrote on Mon, 03 March 2008 16:41

 A friend has some Realtraps, I will borrow a couple and try them instead of the Lenrds, the room is so small I figured the Lenrds would be enough.


Our MiniTraps are effective to a much lower frequency than LENRDs and will help a small room much more. MondoTraps are even more effective. Both also have a larger surface area, which is equally important.

Quote:

if I control the bass in the corner what will this do to the bass in the listening position?


Corner bass traps make the LF response flatter. Peaks are lowered and nulls are raised.

--Ethan

mbruce333

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2008, 10:21:35 pm »

C.Cash wrote on Tue, 04 March 2008 04:11

I walked around last night,one of the corners was bass heavy!
I will have the Realtraps tomorrow.
So, if I control the bass in the corner what will this do to the bass in the listening position?

Thanks,

Clifford.



See if this helps...

If you have reduced bass energy at the listening position, it means the energy that is missing is actually collecting somewhere else in the room.  Finding where in the room the energy is collecting and treating it will help the energy distribute around the room more evenly...hopefully making the response a little more even at the listening position.

Mike Bruce
www.AuricleAudioMagic.com
myspace.com/auricleaudiomastering
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Ethan Winer

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2008, 04:08:18 pm »

Yes, and in smaller rooms the worst nulls are usually caused by the reflections off the wall behind the listener.

--Ethan

C.Cash

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2008, 09:18:22 am »

My walls and ceiling are entirely covered in the Auralex 2" foam and all the corners have Lenrds,(this was all left over).
I am going to wate till weekend to borrow the Realtraps as I have been ill this week.
 So not only should they be in the corners, but directly behind as well.
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jimmyjazz

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2008, 12:14:12 pm »

2" Auralex won't be effective much below midrange frequencies.

Question:  where are you sitting in the room?  The absolute middle is almost always the worst spot you can be for bass response.  (Most of the time a seated person's ears are below the middle height-wise, but being in the middle left-right, which is typical, AND being in the middle front-back makes things pretty bad.)
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C.Cash

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2008, 04:16:15 pm »

My mids are quite strong, guess thats the 2" Auralex. I'm looking foward to trying the Realtraps this weekend. I'm going to put them in the corners and on the wall directly behind me.
Question;
Do they have to go from floor to ceiling or just put the 2'x4' panel mid way?

Thanks,

Clifford.
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jimmyjazz

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2008, 08:14:31 pm »

The effect of absorption in the middle frequencies and above is different than absorption in the low end.  Absorbing the low end at walls (or bettery yet corners) helps mitigate some of the huge peaks and valleys in bass response around the room.  These peaks and valleys are caused by resonant modes -- the natural frequencies of the room, if you will.  There are large gaps between those resonant frequencies in the low end in small rooms.  At some point, typically ~ 200 Hz and above, the distribution of resonant frequencies becomes so closely spaced that the room really doesn't exhibit that "lumpiness" (at least due to that effect).  Absorption at those higher frequencies is really used to cut reverberation time -- the "liveness" of the room, among other things.

If your midrange is too strong, you might have killed off too much of the room's high end with the Auralex.  You might need to double up on it -- not more square footage, but more thickness, to extend its activity down into the lower mids.  I'll bet your mids aren't TOO strong, though, just good.
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Ethan Winer

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2008, 01:46:36 pm »

C.Cash wrote on Fri, 07 March 2008 16:16

Do they have to go from floor to ceiling or just put the 2'x4' panel mid way?


It depends how many panels total you have. If you have only four to try, it's better to spread them around the room and put one in each corner. If you're borrowing 16 panels, then you could consider stacking them two-high in the corners. And don't forget that wall-floor corners are valid too. You may not want bass traps on the floor permanently, but this is a good way to see what it would be like if they were in ceiling corners. And you don't have to mount anything. Just lay them sideways on the floor, tipped back against the wall at an angle.

--Ethan

C.Cash

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2008, 05:14:46 pm »

Its really quite amazing, sitting in front of the monitors there is almost no bass but the mids and highs are wonderfully clear. All the bass is over in one corner behind my left shoulder, lots of bass.
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C.Cash

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #20 on: March 08, 2008, 08:26:28 pm »

OK, so I got 4 of the Realtraps. I stacked 2 in 2 corners behind me. A little better but not that much.Maybe I'm expecting too much?The sound is really clear but to me the mids are high, almost anoyingly high.
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jimmyjazz

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2008, 09:47:30 am »

OK, we've given you clues as to what some of the problems might be.  Let's try again:

1.  mids are "too strong" -- does this mean that your high end is rolled off?  That's my guess.  Too much Auralex.  Cover some up with plywood and see if the middle and high frequencies come into balance.  If that works, but the room now seems too "live", double up on the THICKNESS of the Auralex (which might mean buying 4" sheets instead of 2" sheets).

2.  bass is nonexistent -- are you sitting in the middle of the room?  It's the worst spot.  You say bass is piling up in at least one corner, and this is to be expected.  You need to trap the hell out of your room.


Tell us your room dimensions and where you sit relative to the front and side walls.
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jimmyjazz

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2008, 09:52:48 am »

Quote:

My walls and ceiling are entirely covered in the Auralex 2" foam


Oh, jesus, I just noticed this.  Of course all you hear are mids!  You've sucked all the treble out of your room.

I realize it's a small control room, but covering every wall and the entire ceiling is almost surely WAY too much absorption.

I would take it all off and start over.  Trap the corners between walls, trap the wall/ceiling corners, put some Auralex behind the monitors, and put some on the walls where a mirror lets you see your monitors from your seating position that you monitor from.  You'll also need SOME absorption on the ceiling (same mirror trick) and some on the back wall, but don't cover the whole room in absorption.  You'll deaden the place beyond belief.
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Ethan Winer

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2008, 02:25:19 pm »

C.Cash wrote on Sat, 08 March 2008 20:26

OK, so I got 4 of the Realtraps. I stacked 2 in 2 corners behind me.

Try one in each wall-wall corner. Also try laying them on their sides on the floor, tipped back against the front and rear walls. Wall-floor corners are useful too. Most rooms need a lot more than only four traps, but adding four MiniTraps to a small room should make a very noticeable improvement if you put them in the right places.

--Ethan

C.Cash

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2008, 05:22:15 pm »

Wow! I took one of the traps down from the corner that was not as bass heavy and layed it longways on the floor behind me leaning on the wall. I also spread the nearfields out a bit more, the center of the tweeters are about 49" apart.
 I put Roberta Flack,"The first time ever I saw your face". It sounded allot better at the desk but when I pushed back so my body was about 3 feet from the desk it was magic!Wonderful full clear sound.
 Now, should I get stands for the speakers and slip the desk back 3 feet? Confused
Or should I try a few more traps?
I feel better now that I have heard the sweet-spot.
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jimmyjazz

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #25 on: March 09, 2008, 05:52:44 pm »

You seriously need to reconsider the design choice that put 2" Auralex all over every wall and the ceiling.  That is a mistake.  

I feel like I've been typing in a vacuum, and that's OK -- you don't have to follow anyone's advice.  I've asked you several pointed questions to help you diagnose your problem, and near as I can tell, you've ignored every one.  Fine.  I'm done with this thread.  Good luck.
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C.Cash

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #26 on: March 09, 2008, 07:18:33 pm »

jimmyjazz wrote on Sun, 09 March 2008 16:52

You seriously need to reconsider the design choice that put 2" Auralex all over every wall and the ceiling.  That is a mistake.  

I feel like I've been typing in a vacuum, and that's OK -- you don't have to follow anyone's advice.  I've asked you several pointed questions to help you diagnose your problem, and near as I can tell, you've ignored every one.  Fine.  I'm done with this thread.  Good luck.


jimmyjazz, I totally apoligize. I have been reading and taking in what you have suggested and please believe me when I say i really appreciate the help. Its not that I am not following your advise I guess its that I'm starting with the easier suggestions first.I spent a couple days installing the Auralex and did a really good job, it sucks that I am going to have to take it down or  at least some of it.
 As for my position in the CR its difficult to say because of the shape of the room, It is quite small.When I get to my office tomorrow I will try to put a sketch up that will hopefully show you where I am sitting.

Please accept my humble apologies, without the help from generous people like yourself I would be lost in this endeavour.
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jimmyjazz

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #27 on: March 09, 2008, 07:36:40 pm »

No worries on the apologies -- all we need is information.  A sketch will be fantastic.  

And DON'T take down the Auralex until you try "removing" it with some masking plywood just to see what's up.  You're going to want a fair amount of absorption in a control room, anyway.  Just not 100%, and especially not 100% frequency-specific absorption.  (The thing about "thin" Auralex or other similar products is that they only work in the treble range down into part of the mids.  You can totally skew the balance of your room if you're not careful by over-absorbing the high end with too much thin absorption.)
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C.Cash

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #28 on: March 10, 2008, 08:32:03 am »

Here it is,I'm not good at this Sketch it thing but I think you get the idea on the seating position. The near fields are on the desk 49" apart. The shape of the CR is terrible I know.


http://img81.imageshack.us/img81/2018/master33xe5.png
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jimmyjazz

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #29 on: March 10, 2008, 02:20:26 pm »

C.Cash wrote on Mon, 10 March 2008 08:32

Here it is,I'm not good at this Sketch it thing but I think you get the idea on the seating position. The near fields are on the desk 49" apart. The shape of the CR is terrible I know.


That is almost the exact equivalent of the control room I had in my studio for 10 years.  It's not impossible to do good work in there.  I had diffusers on either side of the corner behind the listening position, and absorption on the ceiling and either side wall outboard of my monitors.  My floor was low-pile industrial carpet as well.  I had little to no bass trapping.

My main complaint was the same as yours -- bass piled up in the rear corner, so clients heard a different mix than I did.  I knew how to mix in there, though, and would play reference mixes out in the main live room (which was bigger that what you're showing).  

If you can trap the corners and cut down on the absorption, you'll have a workable professional space.  Nothing is ideal -- in the real world, everyone compromises (except maybe George Massenburg, who seems to be immune to the idea).
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C.Cash

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #30 on: March 10, 2008, 02:47:06 pm »

Whats the best way to get good absorption on the ceiling?
I have some 4" Ultratouch, should I do some sort of cloud?
I have some left over diffusers (Auralex) that I will try on the sides.

Thanks,

Clifford
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jimmyjazz

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #31 on: March 10, 2008, 03:35:12 pm »

You could do a cloud, or you could just glue some of that Auralex foam up there.  
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C.Cash

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #32 on: March 10, 2008, 03:51:01 pm »

4"?
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jimmyjazz

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #33 on: March 10, 2008, 04:07:25 pm »

I don't have any absorption data on UltraTouch.  From their website, it appears that it comes in 3.5" form, which is probably what you have.  If you can point me to a site showing acoustic absorption data and the means by which it was measured, I'll look it over.
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compasspnt

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #34 on: March 10, 2008, 04:57:50 pm »

This may be a dumb question, but could one not install say 2" foam OVER another layer of 2" foam, and thence get 4" worth of abs?
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jimmyjazz

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #35 on: March 10, 2008, 05:14:15 pm »

Sure, as long as the back side of the 2nd layer of foam isn't faced with something that is acoustically reflective.  (This would typically be most true in the high frequencies.)
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mbruce333

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #36 on: March 10, 2008, 08:33:10 pm »

It also seems like the rear corner would be a great place for a "super chunk" bass trap. Easy to build and very effective.

Scroll down about 1/2 way for a nice little turorial...

http://www.runet.edu/~shelm/acoustics/bass-traps.html

The article mentions that the burlap used to cover it doesn't come wide enough fit the frame, but I didn't have any trouble finding wide enough stuff at JoAnn's fabrics, FWIW.

Mike Bruce
www.AuricleAudioMagic.com
myspace.com/auricleaudiomastering
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C.Cash

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Re: where is my bass?
« Reply #37 on: March 10, 2008, 10:44:23 pm »

Great link.

Thanks!
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