Diffusors, best used for tracking or mixing?

Discussion in 'Studio Construction & Acoustics Forum' started by sshack, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. sshack

    sshack

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    I've seen them over mixers and in studio rooms/booths where tracking is done but what or where is the advantage? I've researched a bit but haven't been able to come to a good conclusion yet.

    Thank you.
  2. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer

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    First, good diffusion costs a lot more than good absorption. So the very first consideration is your budget. If you need to do this cheaply then forget diffusion. But if you're aiming high, then diffusion can be useful in both a tracking room and a control room.

    In both cases absorption or diffusion can reduce flutter echo and make a room sound larger than it is. Two places where you definitely want absorption and not diffusion are at the side-wall and ceiling reflection points in a control room, and on a low ceiling above a drum set or anywhere else you'll use overhead microphones.

    --Ethan
  3. hueseph

    hueseph Moderator

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    Both? I think their purpose is to minimize the possiblity of standing Waves. Particularly where the engineers sits in front of the console. I could be wrong.

    Edit: I see I was slow on the draw.
  4. sshack

    sshack

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    Thanks Ethan. I just found the write up that you have on your site, but have only had time to read a few paragraphs (I was at work).

    My current situation isn't the worse, yet far from the best as I do all tracking and mixing in a spare living room in my house. It's your basic rectangular room with sheet rock walls and ceiling, so I think most people in home recording have to deal with predefined rooms like this...it doesn't bother me too much.

    Some time ago I did the Auralex room analysis and per their recommendation installed some absorption panels and bass traps, but no diffusors as of yet. The biggest wonder that I have given my situation is whether or not I should put a few tiles on the ceiling above my mixing desk and/or in the corner where I track my vocals.

    I'm quite blind to how they could potentially help me since I can't really say that I honestly 'detect' a problem per se. It's just one of those things where I wonder if the sound is optimal given I have a flat sheet rock ceiling.

    Any advise offered is well taken and appreciated.

    Thanks.
  5. Space

    Space Moderator

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    Maybe your looking for an overhead cloud absorber?
  6. sshack

    sshack

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    I certainly could be.
    I'm quite open to suggestions.
  7. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer

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    Yes and Yes.

    And that is exactly why 95 percent of people who consider themselves "serious" about recording have no acoustic treatment at all. It's even worse among audiophiles. They are never satisfied with the sound of their system, and many constantly upgrade one perfectly competent piece of gear for another. Or buy overpriced wires believing the hi-fi magazine BS that better wires will give them deeper tighter bass, or a clearer high end, etc. Yet they continue to overlook the one thing - acoustic treatment - that really will make an improvement. A big improvement.

    --Ethan
  8. sshack

    sshack

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    Thank you Ethan.

    Any brand and/or style recommendations?
  9. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer

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    I'm biased be cause my business is making and selling acoustic treatment products. If that doesn't turn you off :D click the link under my name below.

    --Ethan
  10. Greener

    Greener Guest

    If anyone can find a grammatical error in this whole threAD you're better than I.
  11. sshack

    sshack

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    Wat choo talkin' bout Willis?

    :lol:
  12. Space

    Space Moderator

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    3ad

    I think I typed "your" but should have typed "you're"?
  13. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Space is better than I.

    Which is annoying because he made the mistake.
  14. sshack

    sshack

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    No worries, I understood.

    Ethan, I may end up giving you a call soon. You have some nice looking products and the video demonstrations on your site were quite helpful.

    After going back over (mostly in my head) of what I'm after, I can see where I'm getting some reflections, I think, off of my ceiling. The corner in my room that I track vocals has absorbtion on the wall that I face coupled with two gobo-type panels that have absorbtion on them. So, three sides if you will...two of which I can move/manipulate as needed. (ok, they were old bi-folding closet doors that I painted, put legs on and studio foam wedges on, but they work pretty well for me.)

    Depending on what I'm doing, I also have thick velvet curtains that I draw over the openings to the room to deaden things a bit.

    Back to my point, I think the ceiling is a culprit here.
  15. andrebrito

    andrebrito

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    Diffusers are used to correct acoustical problems and yet retaining some live characteristics in terms of acoustics. Sometimes you want to solve echoes in a room and not change its reverberation time drastically, so you should end up using diffusers.

    Another benefit of diffusers versus absorbers is the fact that diffusers help to distribute sound in a room. This creates a nice acoustical environment.
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