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Author Topic: how to compensate for a small bad room  (Read 7513 times)

erikjamesmusic

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how to compensate for a small bad room
« on: May 02, 2008, 04:25:41 am »

i'm a composer here in a small apartment in queens. i have a bedroom setup (gotta love that murphy bed), so it's a bedroom by night, studio by day. i have minimal auralex absorption in this room that is 11'x11' with normal cieling height. it is my live room and my control room at once.

I mostly record softsynths and keyboards/modules, and mix itb with lots of UAD plugs in Logic 8 or DP5 for the tv/film work that i do. My Pre's and AD/DA is the Apogee ensemble, and my mic cabinet consists of the shure sm7b, 57, 58, and a SP C1. I monitor through dynaudio bm5a's.

My room sounds absolutely awful, as one wall in concrete, one is Sheetrock, one is a closet. I'm trying to come up with a solution for 2 problems:

1: How do i make this room sound half decent while recording in it? the awful reflections and overall bad sounding room kill my recordings. Would a RealTraps "portable vocal booth" help my audio recordings significantly?

2: Without putting more acoustic treatment up (currently i have 4 bass traps and a few sporadic absorption tiles), how can i improve my monitoring situation? My girlfriend won't let me hang anymore "ugly acoustic foam", and there is currently a huge bump somewhere around 100hz. so should i put an equalizer in between my apogee and my dyns? which one?
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billiard

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Re: how to compensate for a small bad room
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2008, 10:15:02 am »

Your girlfriend is right.  Foam is your enemy.  Foam will NOT help at all, in fact it will exacerbate the problems of the room by absorbing the (higher) frequencies that may be alright and leaving the (lower) problem frequencies more pronounced.

1130/2L is the equation that will tell you most about the room.  1130 is approximately the speed of sound.  The actual speed varies with several factors but for calculations this is OK.  For L you use any particular dimension of the room.

So for an 11 foot dimension, 1130/22= aprox 51Hz.  That (and it's multiples: 102, 153, 204, 255...) are the most prominent modal resonances.  Those are the problems.  You can absorb those with wideband bass traps or more selectively with Helmholtz style absorbers.

I wouldn't worry too much about anything over 300-400Hz or so.  I also wouldn't get my hopes up for making the room sound good.  A room that size and shape will likely never sound good, but with effort you can make it so you are able to confidently get work done.

Also try to kill direct reflections between you and your speakers.

There are many books with considerably more information. You can also learn much more by hanging around in Fran Manzella's forum.

I hope this is of some help.

ps: DON'T eq. That will not help the room.

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Knastratt

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Re: how to compensate for a small bad room
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2008, 04:38:09 pm »

Build yourself some baffles. 2"4" frames filled with glasswool or polyester fibres with plastic film over. And when you'll let your GF choose the fabric to dress them with - she'll be happy too!

index.php/fa/8744/0/
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mshilarious

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Re: how to compensate for a small bad room
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2008, 10:28:14 pm »

Fold out the bed while you record/mix.
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Jim Williams

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Re: how to compensate for a small bad room
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2008, 09:59:36 am »

Open the windows, quick and cheap.
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Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades

jowillie

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Re: how to compensate for a small bad room
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2008, 10:09:00 pm »

Opening window or door works. Or maybe the baffles. Try these:
DIY Baffles
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Hallams

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Re: how to compensate for a small bad room
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2008, 11:39:07 pm »

 For bottom end absorpsion.... go to the toilet and don't flush........she will hate you for it but given enough it works...
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Chris Hallam.
Melbourne, Australia.
 

billiard

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Re: how to compensate for a small bad room
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2008, 08:35:13 pm »


Jim Williams wrote on Mon, 05 May 2008 09:59

Open the windows, quick and cheap.


In Queens??   Very Happy


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hrasco

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Re: how to compensate for a small bad room
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2009, 02:17:30 am »

If you haven't already, open the closet.
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hargerst

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Re: how to compensate for a small bad room
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2009, 11:50:47 am »

hrasco wrote on Mon, 05 January 2009 01:17

If you haven't already, open the closet.

And record your vocals in the closet.  Add reverb to taste during mixdown.
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio

compasspnt

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Re: how to compensate for a small bad room
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2009, 12:12:24 pm »

Knastratt wrote on Sun, 04 May 2008 16:38

Build yourself some baffles. 2"4" frames filled with glasswool or polyester fibres with plastic film over. And when you'll let your GF choose the fabric to dress them with - she'll be happy too!

index.php/fa/8744/0/



That's two inch by four inch?

Looks bigger.


I see you have one of the Metal Perf Sibilance Makers.
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Dominick

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Re: how to compensate for a small bad room
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2009, 12:42:08 pm »

compasspnt wrote on Mon, 05 January 2009 12:12



That's two inch by four inch?



index.php/fa/10829/0/
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Dominick Costanzo

marcel

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Re: how to compensate for a small bad room
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2009, 01:18:23 pm »

compasspnt wrote on Mon, 05 January 2009 09:12

Knastratt wrote on Sun, 04 May 2008 16:38

Build yourself some baffles. 2"4" frames filled with glasswool or polyester fibres with plastic film over. And when you'll let your GF choose the fabric to dress them with - she'll be happy too!

index.php/fa/8744/0/



That's two inch by four inch?

Looks bigger.


I see you have one of the Metal Perf Sibilance Makers.


I think he was talking about the dimensions of the frame material, properly described as a 2x4, and cleverly not 2" by 4" either.
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Best, Marcel

compasspnt

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Re: how to compensate for a small bad room
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2009, 01:51:33 pm »

Dominick wrote on Mon, 05 January 2009 12:42

compasspnt wrote on Mon, 05 January 2009 12:12



That's two inch by four inch?



index.php/fa/10829/0/




EXACTLY what I was thinking!


I have a good friend from Europe who was building a house here in The Bahamas while still working in Europe, so he couldn't be here much.

All of his drawings he sent in were done in metric, but the contractors instead did things in inches and feet.

He got a much bigger house than he'd planned...
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McAllister

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Re: how to compensate for a small bad room
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2009, 02:41:21 pm »

Quote:

All of his drawings he sent in were done in metric, but the contractors instead did things in inches and feet.

He got a much bigger house than he'd planned...


Wait.
Did I calculate this wrong? Wouldn't his house be much smaller?
If the living room was 5x5 meters - wouldn't they build that as 5x5 feet - and end up with a house 1/9 the size? How did it get bigger?

M
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