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Small room - semi-temporary acoustic treatment

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Small room - semi-temporary acoustic treatment

Postby Mark6432 » Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:23 am

I regularly read and have checked old forums but with seeking advice specific to window placement and future migration I hope I'm ok to post...

I write and produce primarily library music for professional libraries and have reached a point where my mixing needs to move up a gear...ie invest in acoustic treatment. I'm currently in a small room (almost cube!) 8x6ft and have recently moved things so the monitors are shooting down the width of the room. I understand this is somewhat of a cardinal sin (and spent the last year facing the 'correct' way) but logistically it's a lot easier to fit in keyboards and clients etc. this way. I'm also planning on converting my garage next summer so would be looking to purchase treatments that can be refitted after the move. The Auralex chart suggested the Project 2pack for 50% (advised for production rooms) coverage of a room my size. The other consideration is that the window is currently to my left so mirror reflections could be difficult to treat. So to clarify:

1) Should I move back to shooting down the long sides of the room? This would put the window behind the desk, is treatment behind the desk less important than to the sides?

2) What treatment (companies/packs) should I be looking at - I'd rather not spend as much as £400 (Project 2 pack) if I can't refit is at a later date. Also, could I realistically get away with less coverage?

3) I do already have 2 DIY broadband absorbers (poster size) which I can use if necessary. Although one has warped slightly so doesn't lie flush to the wall....any ideas??

Any advice is very much appreciated!

Thanks,
Mark
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Re: Small room - semi-temporary acoustic treatment

Postby zenguitar » Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:00 pm

Nothing sensible to add, but I couldn't resist...

Image

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Small room - semi-temporary acoustic treatment

Postby Wimek » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:23 am

Hey Andy, you've got interesting ideas about studios: acoustic ball isolation :D

Playing (acoustic) guitar is risky but certainly possible in that room. However, playing a drum kit ...

Wim
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Re: Small room - semi-temporary acoustic treatment

Postby sheggs » Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:19 pm

Hi Mark,

Firstly we would always recommend shooting down the room. We made this video to explain why -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tf4AfCFlZ-M

With regards to treatment. Panels to the sides of the monitors are for first reflection points. Video on what that does here -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9u7k2V4YPw

Panels behind your speakers is to deal with Speaker Boundary Interference Response. We have an article which may help with that -
http://www.gikacoustics.co.uk/index.asp?function=WEBPAGE&page=18

The basic advice I can give on a cube like room though is bass trapping, the more bass traps in your boundary areas the better
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Re: Small room - semi-temporary acoustic treatment

Postby Wimek » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:26 am

OK, now serious :)

Firt of all: I'm not an expert on room treatment. However, since you're planning to your garage next summer, I would not spend much money on room treatment in your current room, but do a good job in the garage next year.

What I would do at this moment is the following:
try different settings of the lowpass filter on your monitor speakers
try to experiment hanging the DIY absorbers in different positions
glue the DIY absorbers on thin wooden panels (tri-plex), so they don't warp and you can easily hang them in different positions
Stop changing when you reach an acceptable acoustic situation (your mixes translate well to different audio systems)

hope this helps a bit ... :)
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Re: Small room - semi-temporary acoustic treatment

Postby GIK Acoustics » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:02 am

Wimek wrote:Firt of all: I'm not an expert on room treatment. However, since you're planning to your garage next summer, I would not spend much money on room treatment in your current room, but do a good job in the garage next year.

Though I agree with your point, as long as you build or buy some sturdy panels that perform well, they can be moved to any space. I certainly wouldn't skip on such an important part of the monitoring chain as acoustic treatment just because you are moving...you still need workable results before you move!
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Re: Small room - semi-temporary acoustic treatment

Postby Mark6432 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:31 am

Thanks for all the advice thus far. So, the plan is to switch back to firing monitors down the length of the room. Because of the size of room (see specs above) flutter echos and bass are especially problematic...it's surprising hearing the room again now it's been emptied for decorating!!!

I've made my own broadband absorbers so will use these in addition to commercial products, I was thinking of these.

Foam bass traps - http://www.acoustic-foam.co.uk/products/AFBT02-Acoustic-Foam-Bass-Trap-Box-of-2-Bass-Traps.html
I know there are better products on the market but having read that it's difficult to do anything with bass problems in small (near cuboid) rooms I don't want to spend a fortune.

Would these improve the bass at all?

I'll also use a bunch of tiles for the hi freq's.

Finally, where should I place my DIY broadband absorbers - should I use them as mirror points or should I get them on the desk end walls )my left and right) close to the front wall corners where more bass might be building up.

Any advice appreciated!
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Re: Small room - semi-temporary acoustic treatment

Postby GIK Acoustics » Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:37 am

Mark,

From our own tests we've done I've gathered that most foam bass traps do not essentially trap low frequencies. Here's our test we did on our GIK 244 panels vs. foam bass traps: http://www.gikacoustics.com/news_020912.html

Rooms are certainly workable with the low end, I do not think you should just give up trying to treat it since it is difficult!

When you have enough bass traps in the room to tame the bass, your high frequencies usually end up being good as well. I would suggest saving the money from the foam and high frequency reflection panels and put all the money towards bass traps. Whether you're building your own or DIYing you will end up with much better acoustic control in the room, giving you a much greater chance at being able to produce translateable mixes. And not all bass traps are that expensive!

I would recommend using the ones you have currently either in corners or your first reflection points, though two won't make a huge difference in the overall bass control of a room.
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Re: Small room - semi-temporary acoustic treatment

Postby Mark6432 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:03 pm

Thanks for the great advice Alexander. Ive gone ahead and made a pair of bass traps today. It went pretty well so might make another pair tomorrow...I'm addicted!

I'll post some pics soon.
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