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Room Placement of my Acoustic Treatment?

Discussion in 'Room Acoustics / Isolation / Treatment' started by JoshHPMusic, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. JoshHPMusic

    JoshHPMusic Active Member

    Hello all,
    I just bought 9 pieces of rigid fiberglass board, 3# density (Johns Manville 814). 24"x48"x2".
    I have lots of acoustically transparent burlap to wrap the panels in, and mounting hardware, for walls, corners, and ceiling.
    So now the question is, how should I distribute it? I have 9 panels to work with, but that number will decrease if I really must double stack for bass traps.

    I have a slightly odd-shaped room, but I do have a SketchUp file, with a rough sketch, and dimensions.
    I couldn't seem to unload the actual file, so here are a few screenshots:

    Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 11.31.09 PM.jpg Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 11.30.45 PM.jpg Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 11.30.22 PM.jpg

    Also, here are a few pictures of the actual room right now:

    IMG_0286.jpg IMG_1493.jpg
    IMG_1751.jpg IMG_3292.jpg IMG_5386.jpg

    Also, where I move my mixing desk is pretty flexible too.

    So please, tell me where I should place my panels!

  2. JoshHPMusic

    JoshHPMusic Active Member

    Started assembling the panels today. Here's one: IMG_1774.jpg

    Still dont know where to put everything!
    Some answers would be great!

  3. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Good question.

    I think it hinges on what you are doing/expecting from this room in order to address your issue.

    More importantly, I would have to ask after you answer the above question, is are you ready to re-configure this room and the equipment in it.

    Because in the current configuration, your asking for trouble.

    I say that because you are tracking in a hard surfaced environment.

    That is one thing.

    Then you are attempting to mix in the same environment.

    That is another thing.

    So while you could place panels in any of a dozen(12) places it doesn't do anything towards defining the usage of the room.
  4. JoshHPMusic

    JoshHPMusic Active Member

    Well, I do use the room for recording vocals, guitars, and cabs. I also will be mixing, with Yamaha HS5's. I can also do some headphone mixing though.

    Am I planning to re-configure the room? SOME of it. But NOT ALL of it. There are many aspects of the room that I am willing to change, but there are a few things that need to stay put.
    I am willing to do what it takes to at least get a room decent enough for monitor mixing, and tracking. The floor is hard, made of a coating, sealed in polyurethane, over concrete. The ceiling is a type of porous material, almost like cardboard.

    Thanks for the help
  5. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    "Am I planning to re-configure the room? SOME of it. But NOT ALL of it."

    Then I would do this with your panels.

    Measure the longest distance of the room and divide that number 2.

    Now Install a panel in each corner of this room that can not be modified according to your specifications.

    That gives you 9 panels- subtract four corner panels- leaves us with 5 panels. Well, you have to do corners, and there are many corners to attack, wall-to-ceiling, wall-to-floor and the most obvious wall-to-wall.

    There are some here that would suggest 9 panels are simply not enough in respect to your room, I would be inclined to buy into this thinking at this point...but your the boss.

    Take those five panels that you have left and place them where ever you want to. Your room in the current configuration is poor, your thinking on this subject is kinda sketchy, and I think that "rigidity" should be left to MASS, not to thinking in respect to what does it take to better a rooms acoustic abilities.

    You understand what I am going for here? You chiseled the room in stone by suggesting that "SOME of it. But NOT ALL of it. "

    If you want to get help , your at the right place.
  6. JoshHPMusic

    JoshHPMusic Active Member

    I agree, corners should be treated. But my room is not a standard 4-corner room, so I don't think it works the same. Where there are not corners, frequencies won't build, so won't they just bounce? But now I don't know which corners to treat? You can look at the room in the first post of this thread.

    And it is really not an option to turn this into a 4-corner room, I just don't have the money or time.

    I know, 9 panels doesn't seem like a lot, and it's not. But that's what I've got, and I know it can at least improve the room. It might not be a perfect room, but 4 foot panels should certainly help.
  7. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    "so I don't think it works the same."

    Thank you for you thinking that you know what you are talking about :)

    I addressed your issues...you have deflected...you do not want help you want APPROVAL.

    The room needs to have rugs placed on the floor underneath microphones. This room needs an overhead cloud at the monitoring position. The monitoring position needs to be moved. Most of the instrument positions in this room need to be moved.

    There are nothing but hard surfaces at the the listening/monitoring areas. You will want to suppress those first reflections at this area.

    I have no interest in if you use headphones or not, the room in any shape could survive if all we considered were headphones.

    It is an "Acoustics" forum you are in not a head phone or gear area.

    I will move this thread for you to a newbie recording area.
  8. JoshHPMusic

    JoshHPMusic Active Member

    Dude... seriously? Why are you acting so childish?
    First of all, I'm only replying to your suggestions. Unfortunately, I can't use every suggestion. I don't have infinite money, or time. I don't know everything. I need to have my room in a way that makes sense. I also record video in this room, and need to have things in certain areas.

    Second, I stated that my mixing position is flexible. You never addressed that, though.

    You also asked if I could move things around, and then gave no suggestions as to where I should put things. I gave you sketches AND real pictures. Scroll up.

    I never said I would only use headphones. I just meant that if the room sound isn't 100% accurate, I have another way to check for mixing accuracy.
    And YES, I this is COMPLETELY related to acoustics. I am just asking where I should be mixing, and where I should mount my acoustic treatment.

    Next time, don't get frustrated. You need to step in to other people's shoes for once.
  9. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    man lets relax, take a step back. i've literally been screamed at for not pressing stop fast enough after a producer told me too, in front of the band. Audio is not for people w/ thin skin.

    i think there are a couple key things missing in the first post that would help get this moving in a direction. first is just a simple statement of where your understanding of acoustics is. for example i've been on this or that forum, checked out these cool studios online, and read these books, i have made a couple of regular rooms into audio friendly rooms, i have very little understanding and am willing to learn from anyone who more than i do, and willing to give me correct info. dig?

    ok. so next is why you chose this particular panel, before you had a plan on where to put them. Was it the panels bass absorption? was it just cheap and readily available?

    next, are you trying to use them mix specific, or in general room taming. you gotta pick one to start w/ as you are aware nine isn't much, and you can't do both right away.

    so, what is your primary goal? to have a room thats tamed a bit to record practices/do overdubs w/ the inevitable 'spare blanket booth'.

    is your concern leaning more towards mixing? where you'd want to setup a cloud, and hit at least the front wall and two side walls and corners w/ panels, and three for the cloud? i can't tell from the pics, but it looks like your ceiling is a grid type, w/ removable panels, this makes it easy to incorporate a cloud.

    also what are the room dimensions? absolutely necessary to know.

    a 90 degree corner is a corner. no matter how many, or where, a corner has a concentration of low frequencies.

    so thats it man, think about what your first priority is in the room, and work towards that. to some extent one is gonna help the other, in a bare room.

    the general generic answer to how to orient your room is have the the position about 1/3 back from the front wall. most stuff i know points to having the speakers fire towards the longest dimension, w/ the oddest of the building characteristics behind you i.e, your third pic, where the staircase wall would be the back wall. but it might be better firing towards a short wall. trial and error is the best plan here man.

    honestly man in a room like this i'd just move stuff around till i found something that fit both requirements. maybe you wanna pick a corner to set up the mix stuff to not have parallel side walls and a flat front wall. in a place like this, ergonomics are important as anything. it might not be great to have the best sounding spot in the room, if there are no power outlets nearby, or people keep tripping over your stuff, or it's right near that drum kit and you can't hear diddly while he's goin.

    for me in a room like this, i'd probably err towards a decent mix position, and use technology like drum replacement and direct recording to get the job done.

    your absolutely hands down best room treatment, is tuning your ears to the room. listen to your fav stuff and compare it to how it sounds in other places. i don't care how perfect any studio in the world is, any engineer needs to be aware of how things translate, tracking and mixing being equal on this front IMHO.
  10. JoshHPMusic

    JoshHPMusic Active Member

    So my current understanding of acoustics is pretty basic, and that's mostly why I'm here in the first place. The reason I posted all the sketches and pictures of my room was so someone with more knowledge could suggest specific placement of my new panels. But that hasn't really been happening much.

    I decided to go with these panels because I've done research, and decided that these do have good absorption coefficients, and are cheap. Basically the same thing as many panels that cost 10x more. So I drove 40 minutes to buy the panels, and put em together. A pretty good deal for me, on a budget.

    Right now, my main concern is just getting a decent or good sounding room. My top priority is to have a room that will always work for tracking. Recording. Capturing sound.
    BTW, I mostly record rock, blues, some acoustic stuff, and anything in between.

    The ceiling is not a grid type, and panels are not removable. It's some type of cardboard like material, expect a little more heavy duty, and slightly rough. Hanging anything from it does not seem like a good idea, as I'm not sure if it'll hold weight, or the hooks properly.

    As for the room dimensions, you can hopefully see them all in the first 3 pictures. The images from SketchUp. Click on the images and tell me if you can see them.

    I do understand the importance of treating corners, but I'm still not sure which specific corners absolutely must be treated though. For reference, the stairs are the North side of the room.

    Now here's a different question. So I'm aware that many of the "pros" or long-time engineers will say otherwise, but headphone mixing is certainly not what it used to be. An example would be Focusrite's VRM technology. I'm planning on buying the Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP.
    Given all the problems with my room as it seems, is it even worth it for me to attempt to treat my room with my 9 panels, and then attempt to mix on monitors, or is it even worth it? If I decided not to get the monitors, I would be able to mix on headphones with the VRM system, and also buy something like the Golden Age Pre-73, which I hear could be a great improvement on my overall sound.

    Which option is better then?
    1) Buy Yamaha HS5's, reconfigure and treat my room w/ 9 panels, and attempt to find an acceptable mixing position
    2) Mix with VRM monitors, don't change my room much, and buy Golden Age Pre-73

    Thank you for all your help, I really do consider it and learn from it!
  11. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    i actually have a basement room that size, and use 8" monitors, and get workable bass response that translates pretty okay, when i mess around at home. i'd definitely cover that brick w/ a panel. and i'd tend to put the panels on the side walls and wall in front of the sources. i'm not sure what instruments you play, but either way i'd make the panels moveable so you can move them around the source. or just trial and error, mainly just kinda distribute them around the room evenly to start, and walk around and clap, areas the you hear that 'pinging, slap echo' put the panel on the wall near where your standing.

    any corner is a good place to start, but 9 panels of that size is about enough for one bass trap, so i'd just focus on killing the slap echo. you can move the sound sources, and use hpf's to work the bass. without knowing at least a working idea of where the instruments are gonna be, its impossible to offer more than just general ideas.

    look man, people can develop skills and figure out how to mix well on alot of things. the question is how much do you want to compromise during the process. the reason pro's and longtime engineers say headphones suck to mix on is cuz they do. they are just not as authentic a representation of your music, as monitors moving air will. your eq/effect levels, and balances require unnatural compromises, to ensure they sound good everywhere else. plus, how do you know what your bass is doing on something w/ such a limited response.?

    that VRM, i've used it, it's trash. it's a gimick. a trick to fool people who work in places where speakers would disturb others, into thinking that they can use headphones and it'd be just as good. it's an utter failure of a product IMO, and focusrite should be embarrassed. how do they know what headphones your using? they don't, but they claim it'll sound like some ns-10's no matter what? bullocks, it's simply eq/and spatial effects. you cannot mix what is not there, and headphones are limited in what you hear 'accurately'.

    why try and re-invent the wheel that has been turning out recordings since the dawn of engineering w/ 100 product?

    that golden age pre... if true Neve knockoffs could be sold for 300 bucks, then engineers wouldn't bother paying for the real thing, or great river, or vintech, or Brent Averill. i haven't heard the thing, but really your saffire pre's are gonna be fine, save your money for something that'll make a real difference, in the $500 plus range.

    i already said what i'd do w/ that room, and thats speakers, w/ moveable panels that you can position to suit your purpose of mixing or tracking on a case by case basis. it sucks moving stuff around, but when you got no money, you gotta make up for it somehow. your ceiling reflections are going to crush your recording/mixing unless you tame them. so many people overlook them, but your sound sources are usually closer to a basement ceiling than they are to most wall area.

    what snake oil salesperson told you that? i'm pretty sure it still consists of to very small speakers, very close to your ears. if that was the optimal way to mix, thats what the majority of people would do.
  12. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    First ; get monitors. Mixing on simulated mixer and plugins with simulated speakers puts a bit far from reality. Headphones are a good reference to use.
    second, if you're to use a mic, the room need to be controled.
    To start, It would help to get some measurement tools, a db meter will do wanders. Play a frequency sweep in the room and check the meter.. if you see bumps in the reading, those are the frequencies you should work on first.
    Also You and we need to know the spec of those panels. If they absorb 100hz to 2k they can't act as bass traps. If you don't have a problem where they affect the sound, they will worsen your situation. (ex I have too much of 2k and the panel affec 500hz to 1k : I'm in trouble)

    Then you need to place your listening position a way to receive exact frequency response from each side. That's why I'd say you need perfect corners. If you don't have them, create them : instead of placing the panels on the wall they can be hang from the ceiling. Where ever you put your mixing place, you will need to address early reflection. Search on youtube, there's a mirror trick you can use for that.. The panels will install themself if you only address problems in your room..
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    first, you should have posted this in the Acoustics section. you would have gotten a much better response from people who really know their stuff instead of someone like me. :)

    that aside;
    it's important to set up the room and equipment symmetrically. the monitors and your listening position should form an equidistant triangle. the wall you face while mixing ( we call this the front wall) should be covered with absorption as much as possible the side walls should be covered up to the line where your listening position is. you can then space out the remainder of the absorption in individual 2x2" or larger pieces to the rear wall. a trick is to use a mirror and anywhere you see a reflection of the monitors in the mirror is a good place to place some absorption.

    you should place panels across all four corners. if you can stack two or more that is better or you can do what is called a wedge trap

    try to do something to scatter the sound on the rear wall. alternating 2x2' blocks of absorption and bare walls works (good) or you can get some high end and expensive diffusers (better). this is your typical live end dead end set up.

    you might want to get the F. Alton Everest book. there's a wealth of information there and well worth the expense and time to read it.

    good luck.

  14. JoshHPMusic

    JoshHPMusic Active Member

    There really isn't a ton of slap or ping echo in the room right now, because the furniture seems to be diffusing and/or absorbing pretty well. The monitors are 5 inch monitors, but already at ~$350, I can't really afford anything higher. Do I really need 8 inch? Give me some recommendations, keeping under $450, if it's really necessary. I'm currently looking at Yamaha HS5's.
    For the bass traps, do you recommend I double stack, for 4 inch thick? Or is it not really necessary, given my limited resources?
    I will be recording the guitar amps in their current locations, right near the wall of the brick fireplace, not directly front of the brick though. I would be recording acoustic guitars and vocals a few feet in front of that.

    Well, I guess I'll primarily be monitor mixing then. I will still get the Focusrite Saffire 24 DSP at some point, and hopefully use it to reference my mixes further.
  15. JoshHPMusic

    JoshHPMusic Active Member

    I'm not sure of the panel specs anymore, but you can look up the 2" thick Johns Manville 814, 3# density. I did find a chart once on the interwebs. I'm sure it's still there.

    Here's the problem; I can't make this room symmetrical. No matter what, it is not a perfect rectangle, nor can I have symmetric furnishings on both sides of the room. Not really sure what to do there.
  16. JoshHPMusic

    JoshHPMusic Active Member

    I actually did post this in acoustics. BUT, some ******* "moderator" was having a bad day, got frustrated, and moved this to some newbie ****. His name starts with a "Sp" and ends with "ace".

    Again, I can't make this room symmetrical . I just can't. It's too oddly shaped already, and I don't have the money to shape it as I'd wish. I can however, be equidistant between the larger sidewalls, and 1/3 of the way across the room, as I hear is a good mixing position.

    I don't exactly have for corners, and one of them is blocked by a door, the other is partly a built in bookshelf. (Look at the pictures). So I could cover the two corners by the fireplace wall, the corners that intersect the 2 longest walls. But I don't know about the others. Should I double stack, and have 5 panels left? Or not? And have 7 left?
  17. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i suppose that is because the thread degenerated into a headphones vs monitors debate and a discussion of the interface. what i've posted is a one size fits all solution. you will just have to use your imagination as to which modifications and compromises you want to make.

    i suggest firing the monitors into the furthest dimension and not into compression. it's best if the room opens up rather than closing down.

    unless you want to go through a load of pre planning and design oola boola, keep it simple and set up a basic live end dead end room useing the basic guidelines i've outlined. you just have to throw it on the wall and see if it sticks.
  18. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    You don't have to make the room symmetrical physically. You want it to sound symmetrical specially where you sit to mix. That's why I said you can hang some panels to fit the distance of those on the walls.
  19. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    no, the alesis monitor one mk2 powereds are the stuff, for around 300 a pair, they are worth it.

    i really wouldn't stress it too much man. if you got the stuff, just take a night or two and move it around and figure out what you like best. then you'll ended up doing it again and eventually find the best spots for the room.
  20. JoshHPMusic

    JoshHPMusic Active Member

    Alright, thanks everyone. I think I know what the setup might look like now. I'll keep you guys updated.

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