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Studio Sound Treatment

Discussion in 'Acoustics (Live Room, ISO Booths)' started by Doublehelix, Sep 4, 2002.

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  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

  1. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    That's the stuff.....If anyone wants to know about diffusion, click on that url. Good info......Fats p.s. I wonder how much?....... :tu:
     
  2. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Hey Guise - I'm waiting for a call-back on pricing as I type -

    Meanwhile, got the specs in front of me, such as they are - looks like a DIY type of guy with a radial or table saw could make one (also assuming he knows what a dado is) for the price of some glue/paint, a fair amount of time and about 1-1/2 sheets of 3/4" MDF (what the real ones are made of, based on a SWAG, is maybe 5/8", based on a given weight of 60 lbs and approximately 1-1/2 sheets) -

    Sooo, if you already had the tools and space and time (sorry, Fats, from your earlier posts you'll just have to pay the price :=)) it looks like this:

    parts - about $20
    time - depending on expertise, 4 hours (cabinet maker) to 3 days (just got the saw, not sure how to plug it in)(in this case, triple the materials cost, hehehe)

    Still waiting for the only sales dud in the place to call back...

    Still waiting...

    OK, after an hour wait, called again and got this:

    Price each, $259, shipping each $25.
    West coast may be cheaper shipping if drop-shipped from BC. The salesman promised to call back (right...) with info on drop ship in quantity. MacMidiMusic had only 3 of these in stock (Nashville)

    Since a typical project control room would need at least 4, they would probably be shipped on a pallet for better protection (according to their website) and delivery to west coast would be 3-4 days, probably longer and more expensive to other parts of the country.

    Out of USA people, sorry - probably better save for a table saw... These things are 60 lbs each and 2 feet by 4 feet by 8 inches without packing. Shipping costs would most likely pay for the table saw and your time... Steve
     
  3. M Brane

    M Brane Guest

    Hmmmm. Very similar to the Decware designs.
     
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    The ASC ones are about the same price but not as elaborate of a design. They were in maple for that price too. I think that is about the price for rear wall diffusion, $1000. But when you consider what your willing to pay for a 002 that is crap in a couple years or sh#tty knock off mics and pres, it's a great deal. The diffuser will last forever or at least until someone comes along and markets the 6 channel room phase modulating control room modeler.....Fats
     
  5. tubedude

    tubedude Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2001
    I found a personal line on the styrene Skyline style (those big deep ones) for $90, plus shipping. I think those would be the way to go.
    I also got a price on the auralex metrofusers, they are $11 and some change each.
     
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    With the plastic diffusers you lose effectiveness at mid and lower frequencies. They are only effective in the treble range. No mass. It's important to diffuse mid range also. Use some of the ridged fiberglass that was mentioned (by Eric Best ).
    Cut the fiberglass to fit in the cavity snugly thereby increasing the mass of the diffuser. …….Fats
     
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    I finally got all my gear interfaced and hooked up in my living room. Speakers placed and wired through an x-former switcher and power amp hooked up. All the outboard is wired and The 2 Mackies are ready to go with all the inzanouts and inserts wired to patch bays. I played some CeeDees and some vinyl yesterday, walking around the room (14'x19'x7'7") I was surprised at how good the room sounds without any treatments. No bad reflections, no bass hot spots. It's actually useable. One of the 19' walls is mostly glass with a curtain over it. Carpet on the floor and 2 futon chairs for bass trapping! Could one of you guys with a room program run those dimensions for me and see what's there? ..............Thanks Fats
     
  8. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Fats, other than the low room volume of 2085 cu ft, there is a 3rd harmonic of width and a 4th harmonic of length that are only 2 hZ apart (should be at least 5) - Bonello distribution of all modes looks good. The curtain apparently is handling some of the highs off the glass.

    Sounds like you got sorta lucky - my living room isn't symmetrical in ANY dimension without something getting in the way. Short way listening there's a wood stove in the (not quite) middle, and long way one possible spkr location is solid, the other opens into the kitchen and a hallway.

    I gave up long ago trying to win the war between (his) acoustics and (her) aesthetics, now I have my area and she everything else (fair trade, actually)

    Happy vibes... Steve
     
  9. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Steve,
    Yeah the back 1/4 of the rear wall in my room opens to the dinning area and entrance foyer too. But I think it's actually trapping off some extra sound pressure from the room. I think I got lucky. I'm going to get a pink noise CD and run some sound pressure checks. I'll put some corner traps, just to be on the safe side and I need maybe some 2" foam on the wall in front of the mix station, I can hear a slight reflection that is interfering with the phantom center imaging...other than that I think I lucked out! Thanks Steve, ....Fats
     
  10. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2001
    Houston, I think we have a problem... :mad:

    Well, I have been working on finalizing a mix in my newly acoustically treated "studio", and the mixes are sounding pretty bad outside of the studio. The problem is the bass. My new mixes are soooooo bass heavy, it is obnoxious! After hearing my latest mix, I went back in the studio to see if I could fix it (grumbling and cussing all the way...!), and *re-mixed* one of the songs to reduce the bass a bit...guess what??? It was *still* way too bass heavy outside of the studio! Grrrrrr.... :mad:

    I am guessing that it could be due to either one or two things (or *both*!!!):

    1) My ears are used to hearing my mixes through my monitors a certain way, and now I need to re-adjust my ears to the new sound of the room.

    2) My room is now *too* dead.

    I have the entire front wall covered (behind the mixer), and the corners trapped. The back wall and ceiling are completely untreated. Should I remove *some* of the tiles from the front wall? Add the diffusion I keep threatening to add?

    Help!!!
     
  11. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    "First off, subjectively, the room sounds just *fantastic*!!! I am soooo happy!!! There is still some more work to be done, but it is amazing what a difference it makes!!! I can't believe I waited *this* long to do this!" -

    Huh???!!?!

    OK, James, I've just been thru this whole thread (all 4 pages) and not once were any components/SPL's/reference CD's listed.

    Here's the list of what we need in order to fix this:

    1. What speakers/amp are you using?

    1a. What is the rest of the signal path between the source and speakers,

    2. What distances are speakers from walls/corners, what settings (if any) on speakers if they're powered,

    3. What were you listening to when you made the above quoted statement, and does it STILL sound wonderful,

    4. Is there a subwoofer involved, and if so where is it,

    5. What SPL are you mixing at (VERY IMPORTANT), and how/where measured, (Radio Shack analog SPL meter, ($45 or so) set @ "C" weighting, fast response, 85 db level w/peaks to about 90 is ideal)

    6. Are you listening with "fresh ears", or after a day at the iron foundry without ear plugs ?

    We need ALL the answers to the above just to get started - don't remove any foam or move anything around until we have a baseline set of conditions to work from.

    If you don't already have the SPL meter, don't bother shopping around for a different one - anything else is going to skew the results and cost 10 TIMES as much. The RS meter, while not precisely level calibrated, is close enough for all but critical perfectionist use. DO NOT, I repeat NOT, adjust the little "calibrate" screw, EVER, unless you have a friend with a $$$$ B & K SPL meter calibrator handy. I really wish they had put that little screw INSIDE the meter, accessible only with tools...

    Anyway, check ALL the above, post back with results/info and we'll go again.

    Might be better if you start a new thread, so we know which page to start with... Steve
     
  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    DH,
    Everything Steve said is correct! The Rado Shack meter is a great inexpensive audio tool. Low end will return to the room when you add diffusion. I think I mentioned that before. Don't freak out….yet! It's only half time. Where is your listening position? Are you listening at the point where the foam stops and the walls are untreated? Everything in front of you should be foam everything in back of you should not. This includes the walls on your sides. Looking back at the whole thread, I do not see a references to your doing anything with the side walls. If you haven't done any treatments on these I would bet that the hi frequencies are being reflected and reinforced to a point that your turning them down / attenuating them too much. This fits with what your first impressions were after you put up the foam.
    The low end may be fine, it could be the highs need some additional attenuation / diffusion. I agree with Steve that you need to work with speaker placement and do some more spl / test tone runs to see exactly what's going on. I'll say this, it's much better to be in a position of attenuated lows rather that boosted!. We'll get you there.... listen to some of your favorite music, get used to the way the room sounds...you may be correct in your assumption regarding "ear memory"....Fats
     
  13. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2001
    OK...it may be best to start a new thread on this, but I at least want to address the latest set of questions here first...

    It *does* sound great!!! It just does not translate well outside of the room. I will admit that I have not put in any reference CDs...I know...I know...I need to spend more time doing this. I have read some posts here that say that some of you do it daily to set up a reference point. Obviously, I need to start doing this, or at least do it periodically as I am mixing.

    As soon as I finished mixing some of my latest projects, I burned a CD and took them upstairs to check out on the home stereo...immediately, I knew I was in trouble. I verified this in the car and on my Walkman. The bass was overpowering everything, and masking the whole rhythm section.

    I already mentioned the reference CDs...I know I am a bad boy. Lesson learned.

    Speakers: Event 20/20 bas (bi-amped). There is a bass and a treble attenuation pot, but they are currently set to "zero". No Sub-woofer.

    Computer -> Layla/24 PCI card -> Peavy mixer -> Main outs on Peavy -> Monitors

    (same setup I have used for a couple of years). And yes, I know the Peavy sucks...I have been cruising Ebay for the last month trying to find a good deal on a better mixer (Allen & Heath Wiz 16:2, for example).

    Speakers are (officially now, I just measured!) 22 inches from the side walls/corners, and 14 inches from the back wall, I did recently move them closer to the wall, they were almost 2 feet from the back wall when I first did the foam. They are sitting on monitor pedestals 44" high. I also just went down and rechecked the settings, everything is flat (the HF trim and LF trim, the input gain is set at "5 out of 10" for both speakers).

    I was listening to my mixes, and yes it still does sound wonderful. I now realize how stupid that statement sounds now...how can I say my mixes sound wonderful without something to compare them to...like I said above, "lesson learned". I do have a few songs that I have ripped to my HD from a couple of CDs, and I have listened to them since I did the room, but I wasn't really taking a critical listen. If I remember, they sounded "fine"...I sure didn't notice any *huge* glaring problem.

    Fats quoted a statement I made about me going back and listening to some of my old mixes, and how they were all really strong in the high frequencies...interesting comment don't you think? They sounded fine before, and also travelled well...Hmmmm...this should have been a big red flare right in front of my eyes. Something was fishy...

    No subwoofer.

    No clue here. I have heard that 85 dB is the correct listening level, and I would say that I normally mix at *less* than 85, however lately, I have been making a conscious effort to listen at a louder level, but I obviously have no clue the actual SPL. I will go out and buy one of those Radio Shack meters...I was *just* looking at them about 2 weeks ago when I was in there...funny you should mention that...get the analog one you say, eh? They also have the one with the digital read out...don't you like that one, or is it just more expensive for no good reason?

    Hehe...I *love* it! Iron factory!!! :)

    I usually mix with fresh ears. I learned that lesson a long time ago as a musician...

    I will now get to Fat's questions...
     
  14. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2001
    OK Fats...now to your questions....

    (nice new avatar btw... :) )

    I have no foam on the side walls or ceiling (yet). My listening postition is at that equalateral triangle postion (head, monitor, monitor).

    I understand your comment about me possibly attenuating the highs instead of boosting the lows, especially with my new mixes, but that would not make sense when going back and listening to my older mixes. They all traveled well outside of the studio, and sounded fine before. They now sound high-frequency heavy, and almost "tinny". I have not adjusted anything on them since they were "completed" before treating the room.

    It is also interesting now to go back and look at the RTA readings...everything below 125 Hz had to be boosted by the EQ to get the room flat.

    I am worried about the diffusion situation, since there is no way I can afford $1000 or more on some of that high-level diffusion that has been talked about in this thread. I am looking at the cheaper Auralex plastic stuff...the basic diffusers or the Metro Diffusers...that is about the extent of my budget at this point.

    I did actually get a mix to sound good outside of the room, but the bass was really attenuated, beyond what I felt sounded good in the studio. This new mix sounded great (3rd try...Grrrr...) on the home stereo and in the car. I have not even thought about attempting to give it my "quickie mastering" treatment...I would be just guessing at what sounded good.

    This mix that sounded good did not have any high end boost to compensate, only low end attenuation. It now sounds *much* better on other systems, maybe a bit "muddy" in the lower mids (250 - 350ish?), but I usually can master that out if I have to, although it would nice to take care of it in the mix first.

    I am kind of nervous to try anything, not knowing where it will lead me...

    Sorry to be such a pain guys...and thanks again as usual for all your help!
     
  15. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    DH,
    I think you may be boosting lows to compensate for the highs being more apparent.
    Get some foam on the side walls and above you. This is part of the L.E.D.E.(live end, dead end) thing. I asked;
    Then I said;
    You may be boosting bass to compensate instead of cutting the mids and highs. Either way it's apparent the room isn't flat yet. Like I said, run the RTA and let me know what you see now….Fats
     
  16. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2001
    Hey Fats...thanks, yeah, I do not have any foam up on the side walls, but it wouldn't be too difficult to do, and will be much easier than the work I have already done!

    My comments earlier were based on work I did *before* I put up any foam. When I go back and listen to them now, they sound really "tinny", and very "edgy" with high frequencies. Yet these same mixes sounded fine before the foam,

    and here is the important part:

    they sound fine outside of the studio...not tinny at all.

    With these mixes, I was not compensating for the foam, since there was none!

    Anyway...I will get more foam for the side walls and ceiling, and see what happens. I will also try another RTA reading, and see what comes up.

    Thanks again!
     
  17. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    "get the analog one you say, eh? They also have the one with the digital read out...don't you like that one, or is it just more expensive for no good reason?" -

    James, I personally have always had problems relating to digital meters. I'm more used to the ballistics of analog meters, and can more easily tell what the average reading is without having to mentally average 20 or 30 exact, quickly changing, digital numbers. With Analog meters, you can look quickly and get an instant average value. Also, the cost factor -

    One more question - did you mention what you have on the floor of your room? Carpet, parquet, gravel, what?

    You really need to get levels under control and pick several commercial CD releases that are widely noted for their great mixes/sound quality.

    Keep in mind that the human ear, besides not being a flat transducer under the best of conditions, has absolutely no way of determining the exact sound pressure level applied to it other than either inaudibility or pain. We get used to whatever level of sound we hear, including levels that will cause permanent damage, and then it no longer seems loud. The SPL meter is the ONLY way to ensure that you're at a level that translates, a level that's constant, and one that won't cause hearing damage.

    We also need to know more about your home and car listening setups - do you favor subs/pumping bass, are your home speakers sitting on the floor in corners or away from walls on pedestals, etc - in other words, all the stuff that I asked about the studio, including speaker size, type, etc, tone control settings, room size/shape/materials/furniture, anything that could change the sound in any way. Only then can we get an idea of the conditions you're dealing with, and even that isn't nearly as good as a trip to your world for a firsthand experience.

    I know this seems like a lot of work, but I've been told by some people that my stuff was too bass-heavy, and when I heard normal CD's on their system I thought their tweeters were blown - Some people turn the bass all the way up and the treble down, then when they hear a balanced mix that has some of everything they think it's too heavy.

    Doing this all by remote control is a lot like the story of the 3 blind men describing the elephant...

    If the Peavey mixer isn't broken, I don't think it would contribute much (if any) to the tonality problem, as long as it doesn't have one of those built-in "graph-^#$%" EQ's in the path - It just might not be as transparent as a higher order mixer.

    When you get the SPL meter and some CD's picked out (Donald Fagen's Nightfly CD is a good balanced reference for me - duh...) Al DiMeola's Kiss My Axe has a good range bottom to top too... Between the CD's and a new RTA check, you should be able to tell what's going on with the room.

    Maybe it's best to just keep everything right here, just to maintain continuity - Let us know when you have some more results to decipher... Steve
     
  18. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2001
    OK...thanks...I'll do some more work, and post again. I'll pick up an SPL meter and some reference CDs, put up some more foam, check the RTA again, etc.

    BTW...the floor is carpeted.
     
  19. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    James, I wouldn't go out and buy any more foam til more info is available - you may be able to just move some of what you already have.

    The lack of bass in the room that's causing you to make "boombox mixes" may be over-absorption of lows (not real likely) or, more likely, either the speakers or you sitting in a node (cancellation area)

    To find out if this is the case, once you get the SPL set @ 85-90 and a CD on that sounds good in your other environments, you should walk around the room while listening, alternately lowering your head to find out whether you just happened to locate yourself in a "bass vacuum" - You may have to relocate the entire mix area somewhat in order to get away from this.

    One reason your mixes sound better in the room now (aside from low bass levels) is that the foam is killing the early reflections in the mid/highs that muddy the stereo image.

    Once you're using the SPL meter and Ref CD's, the procedure I'd use is to move your head around, back and forth, til you get some bass back - then, relocate the speakers to re-establish the nearfield triangle, moving whatever is necessary to accomplish this, and re-check everything.

    I know you didn't want to hear this - there seems to be an unwritten law that says ergonomics and acoustics will always be at war with each other.

    The good news is, once you find that sweet spot it won't move and you can concentrate on other stuff for a change.

    If you can't find a spot, it is possible that you have too much low absorption in the front of the room (I would be surprised) - If you do, you may need to cut down on the 4" stuff - the thinner foam won't reach down as far and shouldn't affect freq's below about 400.

    Can't think of anything else right now, keep us posted... Steve
     
  20. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    DH,
    I agree with Steve about much of what he said but I really doubt that you are over absorbing the low end. That's very hard to do with an 8' ceiling... Bass nulls could be the problem, especially if your speakers and you are sitting at the half way point (4'). The good new is if you want to add some lows to the system you may try moving your speakers back towards the wall. Boundary effect wills add some low response. Many studios place their mains in the corners, by design, despite what has been said in this thread about keeping them 3' away from any boundary. Low ceiling rooms are very problematic to get tuned correctly but I think we can get you there....I once personally spoke with Chips Davis, the guy who conceived the idea of "Live End, Dead End" when I was designing my big room and he told me it is very important to foam /absorb everything in front and on your sides….As Steve said, go get the meter and hook up the RTA and run some test tones and pink noise through the system and take a look at what you've got. Until you get that accomplished, were all working in the dark here....I think your going to find that the mids and highs are being reflected and reinforced ……I just can't see the lows being over absorbed in the room you described! If they are, you got some GOOD FREAKIN' FOAM!……….Fats
     
  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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