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Sub Woofer monitoring systems for organ music.

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Re: Sub Woofer monitoring systems for organ music.

Postby Arpangel » Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:42 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote: either a replay system is accurate or it isn't. Either it can play different bass notes or it can't. Either the mid-range detail is clear or it is masked by LF distortions...

THIS! - and with knobs on!

Here are some facts about speaker systems and hearing in general and in no special order -

We can hear frequencies down to about 2Hz but below c.a. 30Hz we progressively do this with our balance organs which are also in the ear. Exciting the balance organs triggers a whole range of emotional responses.

The best mid-range clarity and response times are achieved (logically) by relatively small speaker drivers. Small drivers are poor at reproducing bass and for this reason, anything below about 100Hz is best handed over to a third driver designed for bass.

Bass sounds are most effectively and uniformly reproduced from one position in a room. Where that position is best tested before any trapping is installed and in an empty room. That way you get to find where the greatest problems will occur.

Bass trapping is always required if a uniform bass is to be achieved in any listening environment. We have about 15m or 16m of bass trapping set into the corners of our post-prod and projection room. The measured effect has been to smoothen out the bass by about 20dB and in some spots in the room, there was no bass audible whatsoever prior to the installation of bass traps (tested at 10Hz and 20Hz using R&S test rig).

The best traps are the ones you build yourself. Nearly all those foam wedge things, yes, even the expensive ones, are not that great. Cardboard filled with acoustic Rockwool and covered with some attractive soft material works far, far better (and cheaper!) than those foam things, most of which are made from the wrong type of foam anyway!

Thin wall-mounted bass traps are less effective than something set into all the corners of a room. Some wall-mounted units seem to do nothing at all! They still cost money though!

If you use those less than good foam wege things, you will still have to spend about £50 per meter, so our room would have cost £800 for a less than satisfactory installation.

If you have just one sub, you will still need a controller if the sub does not have one built-in. Sometimes it is just easier cheaper and better to have two subs side-by-side!

I agree about across the board accuracy, but bass trapping is out, just not practical.
I think whatever happens I'm looking at something big, everyone seems to think that sub-woofers aren't a good idea though.
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Re: Sub Woofer monitoring systems for organ music.

Postby The Red Bladder » Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:51 pm

Then you won't get any useable or pleasant bass and every system will sound dreadful.
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Re: Sub Woofer monitoring systems for organ music.

Postby Arpangel » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:26 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:Then you won't get any useable or pleasant bass and every system will sound dreadful.

Do you mean about sub's, or bass trapping?
I can't treat this room, it's not an option, which again leads me to another reason why I haven't done anything about this as it's all too much hassle, also, why I'm not keen on spending thousands on speakers, that won't get heard properly.
All I want, the bottom line, is something that sounds "reasonable" I'm not after, or expecting laboratory like results. Is that too much to ask for! :)
When my friend bought that BlueSky system down it sounded great to me, it may not have been set-up right who knows? We just "bunged" it in the room, and I didn't notice anything that made me think "my god, that's awful".

:roll:
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Re: Sub Woofer monitoring systems for organ music.

Postby The Red Bladder » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:44 pm

I mean bass trapping.

But as far as subs go, they are the same thing as taking the woofers out of a 3-way system and placing them in an ideal location that gives the listener the most even bass throughout the room. When you go to a cinema, you are hearing subs, when you go to an amplified concert, you are hearing subs. The bass fiddles in an orchestra are performing the same function as two or three subs.

If someone claims subs are not for them and that a 3-way system is better, all they are really claiming is that the subs should be where the rest of the speakers are located - a perfectly reasonable way to do things. Nothing wrong with that approach whatsoever.

IMO it is just easier and more convenient and more flexible to locate the subs in a different place, as LF is propagated differently.
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Re: Sub Woofer monitoring systems for organ music.

Postby Arpangel » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:47 pm

Neumann KH810 Sub plus 2X KH310, according to Neumann that sub goes down to 18Hz, but I guess we're in the realm of bass trapping to get the most out of it, again.
Seems very few, fingers of one hand, subs for mainstream monitors go down that far, I think the Adam sub goes to 21Hz.
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Re: Sub Woofer monitoring systems for organ music.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:01 pm

Arpangel wrote:...people are of the opinion that for organ music a cardioid speaker isn't ideal, as the sound from organ pipes comes from all directions.

Er... nonsense!

If you were building a system to reproduce organ music in a cathedral or church this might -- might -- have some relevance. But you're not.

You're looking to reproduce organ music in a domestic environment with less than ideal acoustic properties, especially at the very low end. One potential aid (not solution) to dealing with that problem is to use speakers with a cardioid bass response as they will tend to excite the room less. Basically, you don't get the direct LF reflection off the rear wall behind the speaker, so that specific source of interference is removed... which can help.... but you do still get LF reflections off the side and back walls, of course, so a cardioid response won't magically do away with room modes in an untreated room!

And the other downside is that speakers with cardioid LF responses are difficult and expensive to build...

I forgot to say, I remember now, when Mike brought down his BlueSky system he set-up 5.1 surround, and that's why it sounded very realistic.

Ah yes... it's certainly the case that good sound envelopment can really help to create the illusion of being in a big space, and that would certainly add a welcome degree of realism to an organ recital! It's also amazing what a substantial difference it makes to many forms of acoustic music add a proper height replay channel as well -- something else I know Mike was experimenting with.

I've also had a recommendation for the Barefoot M27's, although I'm very wary of these, apparently they go down to 35 Hz but that's not enough, I need at least 32, preferably 16Hz.

Oh for heaven's sake! :wtf:

A speaker doesn't just stop working at 35Hz, or whatever. The number quoted in the specs is a measurement denoting the point where the speaker's output level has fallen by 3dB (or 6dB or 10dB, depending on the manufacturer's viewpoint) relative to its sensitivity in the mid-range (ie 1kHz) -- NOT the frequency below which nothing comes out!!!!!!!!!!!! :crazy:

But you'd be very hard pushed to find any system capable of a flat response to 16Hz that you can (a) afford, and (b) fit into your room, and (c) could actually be supported by your room's acoustic properties anyway!

The only people that have achieved that kind of performance in commercial recording studios were Tom Hidley and Shozo Kinoshita... and there are only a few control rooms built to that standard in the entire world because no one could afford that level of performance! (See the relevant section of this article: https://www.soundonsound.com/music-business/bop-studios-story)

I'm using Hauptwerk virtual pipe organ, and recommendations for speakers for that suggest 32Hz as a bare minimum requirement.

Yeah... right.... :wave: :headbang:

My budget is OK, around the price of a Barefoot M27, or a bit more if suitable.[/quote]

If you're seriously looking at blowing around £10k plus on monitors (the price of a pair of M27s), you'd be utterly, utterly barking bonkers raving mad loony not to invest FIRST in properly designed room acoustic treatment -- which needn't actually cost that much or look embarrassingly DIY.

But if you want a surround system you'll obviously have to scale back the quality of the monitor speakers a fair bit from the Barefoots to afford five main monitors and a subwoofer.

For straight stereo with a £10k budget there are a lot of very decent stereo monitors that would make a good fist of the pedal register. JW's Geithain 944Ks are certainly a good option, and the SP Acoustics 1MA that Max suggested, or even the ATC SCM50 that I think you said you liked. Or there's the Unity Audio Boulder which is extremely nice, and Neumann's KH420s (or KH310s and sub) are more affordable options. Or there's the passive route with speakers like the PMC's IB1 plus a decent amp like a Bryston 4B... (which provides my own very satisfying organ music delivery system! ;-) )
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Re: Sub Woofer monitoring systems for organ music.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:12 pm

Arpangel wrote:Do you mean about sub's, or bass trapping?

He means bass trapping.

I can't treat this room, it's not an option...

Fair enough. I understand the domestic limitations and compromises involved. But you need to understand that one of the compromises arising is that you will almost certainly end up with a lumpy bass response in the room. The extent will depend on the room dimensions and the exact placement of speakers and listening position... but it won't be anything like flat. The practical upshot is that some pedal notes will boom, some will be noticeably weak, and some might even go missing completely.

Now it depends how critical and analytical you are about the music, but I have to say it annoys the heck out of me when I'm trying to follow a score...

...also, why I'm not keen on spending thousands on speakers, that won't get heard properly.

I'm confused... I thought you were talking about a budget sufficient for Micromain 27s which were about £10k+ the last time I looked...

All I want, the bottom line, is something that sounds "reasonable" I'm not after, or expecting laboratory like results. Is that too much to ask for! :)

Clearly there's a subjective element to 'sounds reasonable'. Myself, and the other helpful souls here, are just trying to highlight the issues involved in trying to reproduce genuine low end well. And when someone's talking about wanting a system flat to 16Hz and £10k plus budgets the assumption is you're going to want to do the job right...

The more practical reality is that you really don't need a system flat to 16Hz, or 32Hz to be able to enjoy organ music with a reasonable sense of weight and power. Our brains are very clever at anticipating and imagining the fundamentals from the harmonics...

H
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Re: Sub Woofer monitoring systems for organ music.

Postby The Red Bladder » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:12 pm

If someone came to me with a brief for a room or studio that reproduces accurately down to 16Hz, I would have to build the sub(s) into the brickwork and the trapping would have to also be integrated into the room. Good acoustics starts with good building design.
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Re: Sub Woofer monitoring systems for organ music.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:19 pm

Absolutely -- those Hidley rooms are massively constructed and... er... massive, with the speakers built into the front baffle wall, and subwoofers built into the rear wall.

But with so much physical trapping in the side and back walls, the ceiling and even under the floor (!) the usable room size is substantially smaller than the room's actual footprint. And I dread to think what it would cost to do anything like that these days.

But that really is what it takes to achieve that level of performance. I've visited a few of those Tom Hidley 'Infrasonic' and 'non-environment' room designs now, flat to 30, 20 or 10Hz depending on the design, and there's really nothing else remotely like the experience. Absolutely stunning!
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Re: Sub Woofer monitoring systems for organ music.

Postby The Red Bladder » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:13 pm

Hidley was the design guru, Studio Sound was 'The Bible' and George Martin set the beat. Those were the days! But then we forgot Rupert, but only because we didn't set the Focus-Right!

Days when everybody knew everybody else and absolute excellence was all we had to worry about. Jim was still wearing his string bow-tie, Graham's scorpions were all over the road, Conny was doing his tape-loop thing and the only reviews that really mattered were from Hugh Ford.

In those days microphones were made by people we knew who carried the title 'professor', Karl, Fritz and others that we could meet and talk to. Men who began their companies in sheds and whose sons followed in their footsteps.

Days when I had hair - days and follicles long gone!
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Re: Sub Woofer monitoring systems for organ music.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:48 pm

You're making me feel old.... :ugeek: :think:
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Re: Sub Woofer monitoring systems for organ music.

Postby wireman » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:08 pm

I wonder how much of this low bass is going to get through to the living room next door, if there is one.
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Re: Sub Woofer monitoring systems for organ music.

Postby Studio Support Gnome » Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:22 am

The Red Bladder wrote:If someone came to me with a brief for a room or studio that reproduces accurately down to 16Hz, I would have to build the sub(s) into the brickwork and the trapping would have to also be integrated into the room. Good acoustics starts with good building design.


Just so you know../.. Prior to my quitting the studio lark... , My Room, using SP Acoustics SP1's , at the mix position was within +/- 3dB from 18Hz to 18kHz, and only at -5 dB at 10 HZ and 20kHz .

with nary a port in sight.


for a low budget mix room , I was tolerably pleased with that.

;)

(okay the speakers were not exactly low budget )
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Re: Sub Woofer monitoring systems for organ music.

Postby Studio Support Gnome » Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:25 am

The alleged bottom line on those TH rooms was "A Million quid per room"

Lord knows why any studio owner thought they'd ever recoup that kind of investment.
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Re: Sub Woofer monitoring systems for organ music.

Postby Arpangel » Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:28 am

Thanks for all the help and advice, but I think I'm going to put this one to bed again.
Also, when thousands of pounds are talked about it always makes me come over all underwhelmed when listening to such equipment. I just haven't got the enthusiasm for all this that I used to have.
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Re: Sub Woofer monitoring systems for organ music.

Postby blinddrew » Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:49 am

Then parking it definitely seems like a sensible idea!
One of the positives of this hobby/business is that, although the laws of physics don't change, the tools and devices to work around just come down in price. What's available in 10 years for £1k will doubtless blow the socks off what's available now and so on. (Certain local political hiccups aside).
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Re: Sub Woofer monitoring systems for organ music.

Postby John Willett » Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:58 pm

Arpangel wrote:Thanks for all the help and advice, but I think I'm going to put this one to bed again.
Also, when thousands of pounds are talked about it always makes me come over all underwhelmed when listening to such equipment. I just haven't got the enthusiasm for all this that I used to have.

Even if you park this, I'm still happy to bring the RL934Ks over - I would really like to hear how they perform with organ in a normal room. :thumbup:
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Re: Sub Woofer monitoring systems for organ music.

Postby Arpangel » Tue Oct 22, 2019 2:49 pm

blinddrew wrote:Then parking it definitely seems like a sensible idea!
One of the positives of this hobby/business is that, although the laws of physics don't change, the tools and devices to work around just come down in price. What's available in 10 years for £1k will doubtless blow the socks off what's available now and so on. (Certain local political hiccups aside).

I'm sort of, very happy with what I've got, because it was all free!
I could go out and blow £20,000 on a pair of monitors, but I'll be listening to them with different ears, ears that have Just blown £20,000! and I'll be trying to hear what's better than my current system and thinking was it worth it! This sort of stuff would have blown me away years ago, I'd be chomping at the but to get it all set-up, and spend my very last penny on it and eat beans for a year. But now it's.......yeeeaahhh? OK.....er.....right.
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