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Author Topic: Easy Real-Time Room Tuning! Goodbye Guess Work! (post clarified/re-edited)  (Read 2481 times)


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Thanks again to everyone who's chipped in advice while I've been working on my less-than-ideal small, square room. Today I got excellent, VERY FAST results while searching for the best listening/monitor locations, using this method...

1. Get an RTA plug-in that shows an overlay of at least two channels of audio. I think there are a few of these around. See example below ("Schope" from Stillwell Audio). Each channel is usually displayed in a different transparent color, so you can easily see how each channel's spectrum relates to the other(s).

2. Get a synth plug that plays sine waves. There are many available. I recommend any that let you set the attack (so you can slow the attack slightly and avoid hearing a loud click at the beginning of each note).

3. Route a MIDI keyboard controller to the synth plug and route the synth's audio through your DAW and to your monitors.

4. Send a direct, mono channel from the synth plug to the RTA.

5. Set up your measurement mic and send it to the same RTA instance (I did this by inserting the RTA on a stereo group track, then sent the synth and mic signals to two mono "child busses" derived from the group track).

6. Play some notes on the synth. Try starting with a chromatic scale in the lower range. Better yet, record a looped MIDI track of the scale, so you can concentrate on where the action is (the RTA!).

7. If everything is working right, you should see two overlaid peaks moving up/down the RTA. One peak is the direct line from the synth plug and the other is the room mic. The frequencies of the overlaid peaks will be identical, the amplitude of the peaks from the synth will be constant, but the amplitude of the peaks being picked up by the room mic will vary (according to the room modes). The overlaid peaks clearly show how the amplitude of the synth note is changed after the note bounces around your room. You can clearly see where the sines being played to the room  are louder/quieter than the flat, reference sines provided by the direct line from the synth.  You see all this IN REAL TIME (no more waiting for sweeps in REW, hooray!).

8. Pick a room sine that deviates dramatically in volume from the direct synth sine (i.e. one of the problem areas in your room).

9. Set up a looped MIDI track of that note. Now you can move the mic around the room and watch how the room note volume changes in relation to the synth/reference note. Amazing!

I looped synth notes for my worst hole and worst peak (one at a time of course) and explored the room to find the best spots for monitors and listening position. I plan to use this method to find the best placement (in REAL TIME no less!) for upcoming targeted room treatments.

Hope some of you find this technique helpful...I humbly suggest you try it before you knock it.

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