Room Treatment Priorities

Discussion in 'Acoustics (Live Room, ISO Booths)' started by Kruddler, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. Kruddler

    Kruddler Active Member

    May 2, 2011
    I'm about to set up my first studio for mixing. It's a small, roughly sqaure room. I want to set up enough treatment so that I can be comfortable that the acoustics of the room are not affecting my mix to any noticeable extent. Of course there are numerous articles and examples on how to do this on the net. Here is a good one:

    The Studio SOS Guide To Monitoring & Acoustic Treatment

    But, I'm not going to be able to afford to do everything. For starters, I live in a rented place so I can't put holes in the walls etc.

    So my question is: what are the most important treatment points?

    Room corners? Mirror points? Ceiling treatment?

    If you were about to set up a small square room and had a limited budget, and limited space, what would you do first?
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Mar 20, 2000
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    yup, you said it, plus the 38% sweet spot position between your front and back wall including all that goes with room tuning.
    Do yourself a BIG favour and visit RealTraps website. Read and watch the video's there . That, and our Acoustic Construction Forum is the best places on the web for this kind of information.
  3. Kruddler

    Kruddler Active Member

    May 2, 2011
    Sorry for posting in the wrong spot, I didn't come across that forum when I first looked.

    So, I've got some treatment up to the sides of the speakers (mirror points?). The back wall has a big thick mattress which would be taking out some of the sound. It still leaves the corners and the ceiling, but also the floor. The floor is hard wood. Is it important to put something there? Common sense would seem to say that a room would echo less with a big thick carpet rug. Then again, I've heard people say that carpet is not a very good sound absorber.

    Has anyone got any ideas about good ways to get acoustic treatment on the ceiling with minimal damage to the plaster? I'm living in a rented place.
  4. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    "It's a small, roughly sqaure room."

    You have two things to consider...well, we can start with two :)

    A small room for mixing is already going to be an issue since we can all agree that low frequency build up is one of the problems with a small room. When I say small room I refer to less than 1500 cubic feet, of which I am certain yours does not approach that even closely.

    Small rooms have uneven/clumped modal distribution which makes it difficult to start with, not undoable, but does require some exploration.

    Secondly, if this is in fact a square room, then it will not perform as a mixing environment very well. Reason being is that each dimension of the room plays a part in how the room interacts with your sound, has it's own modes (the things that are strongest and most noticeable in the overall sound frequency and causes a boost at specific frequencies according to the lengths involved.

    A 10 foot wall length or height, doesn't matter which direction, corresponds to the wave length (1130/10/2=56.5Hz) then you will have frequency boosts @ 56.5 and multiples there of e.g. 113 Hz, 169.5Hz, 226Hz and so on.

    Like audiokid stated, all the areas you are looking at, the first reflection points, the starting position of 38% of the distance from the front hard boundary to the listeners ears, low frequency absorption in the front corners and an over head cloud are all good suggestions.

    Going back to the potential square environment, if you have boosts at specific frequencies due to the measurement of one wall, then you will also have a reenforcing frequency boost due to the next measurement that matches this same length.

    The issue with a room of unknown dimensions, like yours since you did not give any, is that in order to stop the rooms two pair of parallel walls from interfering with the ability to hear sound correctly you will almost have to make the entire room absorptive to stop the wall reflections. And that is not a good mix environment.

    While you can install absorption at the first reflection points and this will be better than nothing, the room is still going to produce hard boundary reflections above and below these points, which can still influence how or what you boost or cut in the frequency band.

    The only way it could be worse if it were a cubed room. Alton Everest stated that cubed environments are "anathema", that means to be loathed or detested.

    As to how you would hang the panels, you could attempt to hang the side wall panels like it were a picture...using a heavy duty type hanger, or make them free standing. The overhead items may not be in your future in a rented area. Broad band absorption may also be developed in a free standing type fashion.

    You can visit my site @ Building a recording studio or Home Theater - Education not Speculation and look around to maybe get more answers.

    Thing about this aspect of your music is it is not a one size fits all, and you have to do some home work...just like learning to play your instrument of choice :)
  5. Bassplayer2030

    Bassplayer2030 Active Member

    Feb 13, 2012
    Darwin Australia
    Cheap idea DACRON a poly fiber
    suspended 100m or 3 1/2 inch away from the wall
    this will eat the Axial waves which carry the strongest energy
    it is 98% flat freq & the timeline has the same decay across all but the 3 fundamentals
    if your speakers don't excite those fundamentals ? then no traps will be needed
    oh & you can hear Phase for the first time in your mixing life too !!!
    Regards Michael
  6. Bassplayer2030

    Bassplayer2030 Active Member

    Feb 13, 2012
    Darwin Australia
    PS make panels self supporting even a roof of it in wooden frames with some cover/cloth etc

    be wary of Traps !! as in electronics anything with a High Q makes BAD phase distortion
    the same applies to Acoustics High Q may give you attenuation but what else is it doing??????
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