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Acoustic Treatment Optimise acoustics in your studio environment for accurate mixing - the best advice here..

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Old 12th August 2008 , 04:47 PM
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Default Room Placement of Acoustic Treatment/Bass Traps

Bouncing off an earlier very interesting thread here which ended up discussing types of acoustic treatment in project studios..

Are my monitors any good????

..can I ask if there's a simple general ruling about where exactly (in a spare bedroom/study home studio set up) acoustic panels/bass traps should actually be placed.. Behind listening position, in front, left/right.. height.. corners.. how many etc?

Are there some definitive image illustrations that other members may know of that can help pls?
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Old 12th August 2008 , 05:07 PM
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The first rule of thumb, and I am being very generic here, is to place acoustic panels at the positions where sound from your nearfields will bounce of walls and back to your ears. Say you are set up in a bedroom with your gear on a desk against one wall. The ideal positions to place acoustic treatment first would be on either side wall, at "ear" level at a point half way between where your ears are and the point where your monitors are situated. Another point is the same deal but on the ceiling above your listening position. Also on the wall behind your nearfields.

These are really generic suggestions though, as each room will be different.

This image (from a Sound on Sound magazine article) should demonstrate what I've described.

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Old 12th August 2008 , 05:13 PM
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What Dave said. It does vary depending on room shape/size too - you might have to play around to find your 'problem spots.'

Crazy tip o' the day: bookshelves on the rear wall (filled with books!) can make an attractive diffusion solution on a very low budget.
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Last edited by whitecat; 12th August 2008 at 08:41 PM. . Reason: re-stating my point so as not to blow things out of proportion. :) <
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Old 12th August 2008 , 05:20 PM
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From RealTraps - Videos

"This video is a greatly expanded version of our text article How to Set Up a Room. It explains the basics of room layout and acoustic treatment, and presents practical solutions to many common problems. The focus is on home theaters, but all of the information applies equally to professional recording studios and mastering rooms."

http://www.realtraps.com/video_setup.wmv
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Old 12th August 2008 , 06:39 PM
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also try to put up thick curtains around the windows ..and move all mirrors out of the room especially big full length mirrors if you ve got your studio in a bedroom were the wardrobes sometimes have full length mirrors..if you cant move the mirrors out the room then cover them up with a duvet or blanket..blankets especially natural ones such as cotton/wool are excellent defussers of sound reflections.

windows arent too bad if there behind your mixer and monitors but are bad when there at the back of you so make sure when you come to your finalmix you close the curtains to stop unwanted reflections creeping back at you .

egg boxes are a old wifes tale they dont do anything really..they may look cool but tests shown they didnt really do anything.

a cool thing they taught me at collage was the clap test ..to judge were yo u ned treatment .turn of your studio and clap your handsand listen to were the sound is getting reflected from if its from your left side then place treatmentrs there until you no longer hear the reflection if its behind place behind you also try do it on your own if you can ..the more people you have in the room when your treating it will affect how your sound is being reflected because the sound will hit the other people and not give you a true reading of your room.

the books on a shelf is also a old wifes tale ..if youve got books with shiny surfaced covers the sound reflects back ..the whole point of treatment is the sound doesnt reflect back it carrys on going in straight lines until its defussed.

when i did my studio it was the first thing i did get the acoustics as best as i could..i stripped everything out ..spent hours doing the clap trick and then i had acoustic treatment boards made and then me and my mate screwed them to the walls were the reflections were coming from ..all in all it took me around 3 days too get everything right and the acoustics are very good now..

if you can take everything out your room and take your time ,,its best not rushing acoustic treatments and once done youll not need do it again and you will notice the benifits..

and expect too pay a couple of hundred pounds too
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Old 12th August 2008 , 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waxxy View Post
the books on a shelf is also a old wifes tale ..if youve got books with shiny surfaced covers the sound reflects back ..the whole point of treatment is the sound doesnt reflect back it carrys on going in straight lines until its defussed.
It's not an 'old wifes tale.' [sic]

It works - the problem is that it will generally be uneven and thus somewhat unpredictable. But it's a solution which often doesn't require much in the way of extra purchases. I would never treat anything other than the back wall, depending on the size of the room, with the low-budget book solution, but in a pinch the shelf from Ikea isn't gonna cost much.
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Old 12th August 2008 , 07:42 PM
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I remember seeing a video recently (for the life of me I can remember where) in which a composer or producer had a rack of CDs or cassettes on the wall behind his head. If I remember correctly, he claimed that this worked as acoustic treatment.

Is this an old wives tale too?
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Old 12th August 2008 , 07:44 PM
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(quote)It's not an 'old wifes tale.' [sic]

It works - the problem is that it will generally be uneven and thus somewhat unpredictable.

if theres a problem then it doesnt work.
acoustic treatment was a 2 month part of the course i took (and i passed)and they dismmissed loads of old wifes tales and someone on the course mentioned the books and the lecturer laughed he said it doesnt work because for a few reasons but heres a few..

1)all books would have to be the same size.and also the books couldnt have any type of shiny surface and most books come with some kind of laminated or shiny cover
2)you cant have any gaps between shelfs and books because the gaps would reflect sound back but at an uneven dispersall rate so would mess up any type of mixing.
3)if you got the above two ponts correct youd spend a bloody fortune on books and would end up costing you much more than buying decent acoustic panels ..
but thats even if the book thing could work in the first place and it doesnt.

so sorry terminal your wrong
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Old 12th August 2008 , 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sphelan View Post
I remember seeing a video recently (for the life of me I can remember where) in which a composer or producer had a rack of CDs or cassettes on the wall behind his head. If I remember correctly, he claimed that this worked as acoustic treatment.

Is this an old wives tale too?
That seems weird - with books, I suspect it's about the fact that they're paper. But you never know, I've never tried it!

I'm only speaking from my own experience of course, I was able to deaden the back of a room once with a low bookshelf when trying to record some acoustic guitars. Have also used a couch dragged to be right behind the mic as well. If it sounds good, it is good!
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Old 12th August 2008 , 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waxxy View Post
if theres a problem then it doesnt work.
acoustic treatment was a 2 month part of the course i took (and i passed)and they dismmissed loads of old wifes tales and someone on the course mentioned the books and the lecturer laughed he said it doesnt work because for a few reasons but heres a few..

1)all books would have to be the same size.and also the books couldnt have any type of shiny surface and most books come with some kind of laminated or shiny cover
2)you cant have any gaps between shelfs and books because the gaps would reflect sound back but at an uneven dispersall rate so would mess up any type of mixing.
3)if you got the above two ponts correct youd spend a bloody fortune on books and would end up costing you much more than buying decent acoustic panels ..
but thats even if the book thing could work in the first place and it doesnt.

so sorry terminal your wrong
Let's see -

1) I've done it.
2) It worked.
3) I'm wrong???!



You should write letters to Electronic Musician and Sound On Sound as well who consistently recommend stocked bookshelves as zero-budget solutions.

http://emusician.com/aux_hardware/em...ial_treatment/

Quote:
No-Budget Solutions
But what if you don't have extra money to spend on acoustic treatment? It then becomes necessary to rely on the materials you already have on hand, although improvements will be minimal compared to what you could get from dedicated acoustic treatments. Furniture; old, folded-up packing blankets; and careful placement of well-stocked bookshelves have all served those who needed to improve the acoustical behavior of their recording spaces for next to no money.

“A bookcase with books at all different depths placed behind you, or at the first reflection point off the left wall or the right, could be a diffuser,” says Grimani. “Not a great one, but better than the flat surface of the wall.”
(that's Anthony Grimani, who owns this company here - http://www.pmiltd.com/)
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Last edited by whitecat; 12th August 2008 at 07:58 PM. . <
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Old 12th August 2008 , 07:53 PM
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yeah the cd thing doesnt work too the whole point of sound treatment is that you want to get rid of any reflective area which reflects audio back at you and you especialy want to get rid of anything which will disperss the sound waves at uneven angels.
sound is a weird thing sometimes it can create psychoacoustics in certain rooms which will give you a weird sence of hearing things were there not.
lots of people mess up mixes because of there acoustics more than blaming the speakers they should be looking at there rooms.
you also need to place you speakers correctly too ..the pic describes it best.
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Old 12th August 2008 , 07:55 PM
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Wow, I seem to have landed in the middle of something!!

And the CD racks?
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Old 12th August 2008 , 07:58 PM
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sorry if you dont believe me terminal try going on an acoustic course they will dispell lots of myths.
for years i thought egg boxes worked i went on the course and felt daft that it doesnt lol..my bedroom when i was a kid looked like a farm shop it was full of em.

but if your happy with what your hearing then good on you terminal but im afraid youll find your wrong on this occassion.

you can say it works but theres a problem ,if theres a problem then its not working is it..for it too work you cant have any problem.

sorry
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Old 12th August 2008 , 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waxxy View Post
sorry if you dont believe me terminal try going on an acoustic course they will dispell lots of myths.
for years i thought egg boxes worked i went on the course and felt daft that it doesnt lol..my bedroom when i was a kid looked like a farm shop it was full of em.

but if your happy with what your hearing then good on you terminal but im afraid youll find your wrong on this occassion.

you can say it works but theres a problem ,if theres a problem then its not working is it..for it too work you cant have any problem.

sorry
Well Waxxy, I can believe you and your "course", or I can believe industry experts, documented evidence, and my own experience/ears.

Just because you're taught something in school doesn't instantly make it true. Have you ever tried bookshelves?
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Old 12th August 2008 , 08:07 PM
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nope cd racks dont do anything either like i said for acoustic treatments too work best you need something will keep in sound not reflect it..
some people think certain things work because some guy in the pub told them but when you try a proper treated room you can feel the difference.in my room there is no echos at all at first it sounds really weird because every room in the house has some type of reverberation but not mine.

foam,natural materials(such as wool ,cotton) work best.

plastic,metal,glass,mirrors, dont work because of there density the sound isnt kept in its bounced away backinto the room.

a good way of thinking about sound is to imagine it like a water gun..if you fire the water into wool it soaks up but fire it onto plastic it splashes back.

the reason i know a lot about it is i hated this part of the course i just wanted to learn programming and he wouldnt let us near the computers until we knew how to build a studio first.
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