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Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby Guest » Sun Nov 21, 2004 3:12 am

Having had an unexpected couple of days off I've been able to get up to date and I had some comments I wanted to add to this thread.

Btw, thanks for the reply Ethan.

This isn't intended as a direct assault on you or anyone else - though I'm aware that it might come across as such - I just want to catch up on a load of things that I would've posted as the thread developed, had I not been away for a few days. I should probably just let things lie as they seem to have reached a sort of logical conclusion in the thread but there are a number of things I want to query/comment on. There doesn't seem to be much point in starting a new thread as it all relates to this existing one but it is perhaps going off topic - for which I apologise.


Max:
however, there's NO such thing asa truly effective foam bass trap.

Until very recently I would've agreed 100% with that - it's a comment I've often made on this forum. More recently though, I've seen and heard some (not yet commercially available) foam corner traps that do work surprisingly well. And if the figures for the MegaLENRD are correct - and I've no reason to doubt them - there's another product that's really testing the accepted theory. Bums! So much for another of my accepted beliefs - wrong again! Though I still wouldn't say they're as efficient as most well built DIY glass/mineral wool corner traps and therefore perhaps represent limited value for money for anyone working on a tight budget. They would however be viable as a workable solution for someone to whom convenience is more important than ultimate cost, and who likes the appearance of sculpted foam (not really my taste). I guess they could always be hidden behind some fabric - but if you're going to do that, you might as well forget about the foam and save some money - assuming there's time.

Ethan Winer:

> [Quoting Olivier] the minitraps are tuned where corner traps are not <

That's not true at all. MiniTraps and our newer, larger MondoTraps are both broadband absorbers. They do have a huge amount of absorption at low frequencies, and it may appear from the data at our site that they are tuned, but they are not.


I don't think I follow the plot here. Looking at the figures on the comparative graph the behaviour of the Minitrap is more akin to that of a tuned trap than a broadband absorber. Whilst it does clearly absorb across a much wider bandwidth than many "tuned" traps, it does exhibit a marked and quite steep response peak - much more marked than any of the other products under test. You've stated that the reduced absorbtion higher up the spectrum is deliberate and that's fine. All the other products tested also exhibit some degree of "tuned" response in their absorption peak at around 100Hz but imo this is more likely to be a function of their, and the MiniTrap's, common test setup/application across a corner rather than anything specific about the materials used in the products themselves (though the addition of a membrane, even a well damped one, generally will create a tendancy to a more "tuned"/peaky/resonant behaviour). Ignoring the unreliable sub-100Hz figures (though this unreliability applies to all the products tested) the MiniTrap (I can't speak for MondoTraps as I've seen no comparable research on them) exhibits a much lower absorption above the peak frequency than the other products. Whilst the extended upper frequency absorption does give weight to the description of "broadband" I'd say that it's not a particularly efficient broadband absorber. I do understand that this is a deliberate design feature not an accident and I'm in no way implying that it's anything other than a deliberate choice, I also follow the thinking that led to it and can see applications where it's a good idea so this isn't really a criticism of it's performance. There are times when a reduced absorption in the higher spectrum can be desirable but whatever the method used to achieve the reduced absorption the result is a trap that's optimised to a specific frequency band/contour so in my book that optimisation makes it a tuned/hybrid rather than a true broadband trap.


Ethan Winer:
DoeZer,

> I read that the auralex stuff absorbs bass end + all frequencies BETTER than the realtraps stuff. <

Not in a million years.

The comparison I believe you're referring to was 1) sponsored by Auralex, and 2) used a slab of foam four times larger than a MiniTrap. And even with all that mass it was only a tiny bit more absorbent (5 percent) at 100 Hz than a MiniTrap. More important, that data is invalid for a variety of technical reasons. You can trust the independant magazine reviews that all came to the conclusion that RealTraps surpass foam in every way.


I don't see how you arrive at this. The graph clearly shows that the Auralex product in the test does absorb bass and all frequencies more efficiently than the MiniTrap. Whether this is always desirable is another matter. To be fair though, I'd say that DoeZer's comment can only really be applied to the two specific products under test not as a blanket remark covering all Auralex and RealTraps products.

Whilst it's true that the research was paid for by Auralex, the methodology and results are clearly given and appear to me at least to be reasonable and honestly stated. Whilst not explicit in your remark above, the implication that this somehow invalidates the research, I feel, is at best not relevant and at worst is rather disingenuous and does you few favours.


Thanks for replying to my request for an expansion on your comment about about the invalidity of the data, I appreciate it. It's thrown up some more questions for me. I take your point about flaws in the test methods but since these flaws apply uniformly to all the products under test I don't see how is this relevant to the *relative* effectiveness of the products under test (however much the absolute figures are flawed. My understanding/reading of the figures is that the tests were performed on real products set up so as to attempt to simulate their practical useage. I might be wrong but I don't read it as an attempt scientifically to evaluate the mechanical or acoustic properties of the materials from which the products are made or any other abstract test; rather the relative practical effectiveness of a number of actual products. I can see that comparing a MiniTrap to a physically larger product like a MegaLENRD is not comparing apples to apples but if I'm right, and the test is one of products not one of principles, that's irrelevant. I'd be interested to know whether the results shown were the product of multiple repeated tests on each product - I assume that the tests followed the standard routines and they were. This should reduce the stastical variation in results though I suspect that physically larger products would still have an advantage in terms of ultimate accuracy as well as ultimate absorption. Though as I've already said, I don't think that's relevant as that isn't what was being tested.

When acoustic panels are tested according to ASTM standards, at least 64 square feet of surface material is demanded to ensure a large enough change in reverb time in the test chamber.

Unless I'm missing something (and I've not yet read all pertinent the ASTM standards documents - I downloaded them but like most standards documents they're rather soporific ;)) In what I've read so far there doesn't seem to be a standard specification designed for measurement of corner mounted acoustic absorbers rather than flat/wall mounted absorbers. The detailed properties and (theoretical) behaviour of corner acoustics and absorption afaik still aren't fully understood so it's probably not yet actually possible to devise a foolproof/accurate standard for testing. (Though already I might well be wrong about this.)

Another rule was also violated, quoted from ASTM document C-423: "extreme aspect ratios, such as long narrow strips, shall be avoided." Those tests Auralex paid for placed the traps end to end creating - yup - a long narrow strip.

Surely the intended application for corner mounted absorbers produces long narrow strips of absorber and the probem is one of a lack of an appropriate test standard rather than anything for which Auralex is responsible. Imo, for comparison purposes, as long as all the products were tested in similar circumstances and along the lines of those recommended for their use the test still is a fair and valid comparison. The potential for inaccuracy in the testing of " long narrow strips" was there for all the products tested and whilst it could call into question the absolute values obtained by the tests, if the steup is as per the recommended use of the product, they should still be valid as a comparison of perfomance. I haven't seen any suggestion that the results shown for MiniTraps are incorrect but suggesting - if you're not, I apologise but that's how it appears - that the results are somehow biased/invalid because a, the products are different, b, the test methodology is flawed when none better exists, it was uniformly applied and not apparently chosen to bias the results, and c, Auralex paid for the tests, is itself not fair.

Max:
Point me to this "other forum", there are some heads that need bashing.

that is complete and utter bollox.


Ever the diplomat ;) :tongue:

Max:
TRUST ME, I do NOT work for Ethan , nor do i get a special rate or any backhanders..... but I have PERSONALLY installed more than 50 of his real traps "Mini traps" on client sites since they became available in the UK, and they are FAR more effective than ANY foam based product as currently available.

the corner wedge bass traps are all uniformly useless below @120-150 Hz, and even there they are less effective... they are quite capable above @200Hz, but that's it.

You know we all trust you darling ;) And I don't doubt that in your extensive experience of such things what you say is true. As I said above, I used to feel the same about foam "bass traps" (though I've never had reason to use a RealTraps product as I usualy have the option of implimenting something a bit more "custom"). However, in the context of this thread, i.e. most cost effective rather then convenient acoustic treatment I feel that there are possibly better options than MiniTraps - and Auralex - even though both are effective in their own way. To return to the original question, imo, carefully deployed MiniTraps would give a better result than the Auralex kit mentioned - especially at LF - but, with a bit of effort, there are DIY solutions which would yield better results than either. They just take more time, a modicum of skill/care in their construction and will be more messy to install.

DoeZer:
for me personally, the only reason I want to sway more towards the other products (not the real or mini traps is cos theyre a DAMN sight cheaper over here than the realtraps stuff!

does anyone have any opinions on these 'prima-kits' which also do the room-in-one kind of solution...
just more of the same I imagine?? heres a link...

It's obviously sensible to look for the most cost effective solution but as you point out very well in another post, that isn't always the cheapest. The foam in a box or MiniTraps solution is clean, quick and convenient but as has been pointed out several times in this thread there are more efficient and cost effective ways to treat a room.

DoeZer:
just one point though. i dont think its right to say that one product is better than the other given that its alot SMALLER. its down to cost. if you buy X trap and its more effective than Y trap and cheaper then X trap wins. Yes, Y trap may indeed be alot smaller and on a per cubic meter of material basis may win hands down, but most people are just interested in cost and effectiveness...

having said that!! all this positive talk on mini-traps is being noted and I certainly will check them out! like i say, all I want is as 'true' a monitoring environment as i can get! once I feel Im getting value for money I dont care who I go to!

Well said. :)


Despite how it might appear, I agree with the positive comments about RealTraps and defence of their UK pricing. The product is undoubtedly good and fills a market niche. (The same is true of the various foam products.) The pricing was explained with commendable candour by the UK distributor in a thread on the old Infopop forum and, whilst they're not cheap, it doesn't seem an unreasonable price to pay for the particular combination of effectiveness, convenience, expected longevity, and the level of service described in that thread.


Ethan Winer:
Digi,

> Apparently this Eric Desart guy has a hard on for bustin' Ethan's chops. <

Yes, and it amazes me that a 56 year old man (Eric) can devote so much of his time and energy to harrassing me. He literally Googles me every day to see where I post, then shows up and starts trouble. He poses as an objective scientist, but it's clear from all his name calling that he is anything but. 'Nuff said.

Not quite "'Nuff said".

Ethan, I don't know what is the problem between you and Eric and I don't particularly want to know. I'd just rather the squabbling didn't find it's way into this forum. Equally, I'd rather people on this forum didn't start having a go at Eric without him being here to defend himself.Your comments are rather one-sided and, without Eric being here to respond, rather un-called for. From what little I've read so far, Eric does seem rather annoyed about something though he does make some good points. Just for the record, and to balance the negative comments a little, though I don't know Eric Desart, I know his reputation and his work and imo he knows more about acoustics - both practical and theoretical - than anyone I've seen on this forum or a large number of people I've dealt with who call themselves acoustic designers/experts. I've never directly had any dealings with the man but I've worked in rooms he designed/consulted on and they are some of the best I've ever seen/heard anywhere in the world and certainly verify his qualification to comment on matters of acoustic design. I'm not taking sides and I'm not suggesting that he's always right - I doubt he'd claim that; neither am I suggesting that Ethan or anyone else is wrong or less qualified to make their point; I'm just saying that I have personal experience of Eric's work and I really don't think that it's fair to write him off in his absence with the implication that he's some kind of bitter nutter with a personal vendetta.

If what Ethan says about Eric "Googling" him every day in order to pick fights is true then it's a remarkably sad way for him to spend his time. I've not yet bothered to look up all these arguments - though I will spend some time on it - but in some of the few ...er...discussions I've seen between them, Ethan hasn't been above some name calling and frankly childish behaviour so perhaps Eric isn't the sole guilty party here. I would also say that, despite the ongoing spat, Eric does consistently produce some well reasoned and compelling arguments to explain his point of view and his technical standpoint and, despite numerous requests, I can't see where Ethan's really answered many if any of them. I don't doubt that there are rights and wrongs on both sides but with my Moderator hat on I don't want them aired here unless it can be done in a reasonable and fair way.


Ethan Winer:
DoeZer,

> theyre a DAMN sight cheaper over here than the realtraps stuff! <

Understand that the foam product shown in that comparison costs about the same as a MiniTrap, yet it's four times larger. This is not a typical piece of corner foam! You can see how effective typical sized corner foam is on the Product Data page of the RealTraps site.


Frankly, it doesn't matter to me whether the Auralex tests are valid or not because MiniTraps held their own admirably. What looks like lower absorption above the high bass range is a big feature of MiniTraps, not a failing. Further, the only way Auralex could best a MiniTrap was by comparing it to a huge chunk of foam. That was not a standard LENRD they tested, it was a MegaLENRD, which is 34 inches across the face and has four times the volume of a MiniTrap. Likewise for the "super chunk" which also is 34 inches across the face and solid rigid fiberglass all the way through.

As I said above, in the context of those tests, this isn't really relevant. The test was put forward as a comparison of different products; if a duvet had produced the best results they'd still be valid! The foam trap may not be a typical piece of corner foam but no-one pretended it was. The pertinent data for the product is freely available and it was clearly stated to be a MegaLENRD rather than a LENRD. The fact the MiniTrap and the MegaLENRD cost about the same isn't really relevant either as I don't think anyone claimed that the test was of similarly priced products though it doesn't do any harm in a perceived VFM comparison that they're similarly priced. If all that matters is the sheer quantity of absorption offered by the two products then the MegaLENRD wins on bang for the buck. However what matters isn't just the numbers - it's how the products are deployed in a given design scenario. As pointed out above, one might not want the ultimate in broadband absorption in every circumstance. Perhaps it's better to look at them as two separate products designed to fulfill different roles and with different applications rather than seeing them as direct competitors.

(P.S. Ethan, I've had a look at the information you refer to on your website and can I ask, what was the corner foam product and test setup that you used to obtain the results shown - they're somewhat different from any data I've been able to find anywhere for foam corners? (Feel free to PM if you'd rather spare the blushes of it's manufacturer and not mention them openly in this forum - I promise not to use the information against them ;)))

Anyway, that's about it for thoughts on this one. Finally!

I think I'm starting to turn into Scott ;) :tongue:
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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby cc. » Sun Nov 21, 2004 11:46 am

DoeZer wrote:
just one point though. i dont think its right to say that one product is better than the other given that its alot SMALLER.

I would say size does matter! Well, in my case anyway - maybe my room is a bit of an extreme case being made of huge chunks stone and concrete (essentially no bass escapes and all is reflected back). I've used 8 minitraps to tame the bass - if I was using something that needed even twice the space for the same performace I wouldn't have been able to fit it in the room (it's 3m by 4.5m).

As I say, this might be a bit of an extreme case...
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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby Ethan Winer » Sun Nov 21, 2004 5:47 pm

0VU,

> I should probably just let things lie <

I agree, mainly because you've brought up more stuff than I have time to "debunk," for lack of a better word. But I'll try anyway. :headbang:

> I've seen and heard some ... foam corner traps that do work surprisingly well <

There is no question that foam absorbs, and given enough of it you can get reasonable absorption at low frequencies. The key being "enough of it" because, again, a MegaLENRD has four times the mass/volume of a MiniTrap. As cc pointed out, most people are not willing or able to give up that much space to accommodate such an enormous trap.

> it [MiniTrap] does exhibit a marked and quite steep response peak <

Again, this is due more to corner mounting than anything else. As was already pointed out, look at the wall mounted data for MiniTraps on our site and you'll see no hint of resonance. If you looked at data for a wood panel trap, which is resonant, the peak will be clear whether mounted near a corner or flat on a wall. What seems like a peak is really just the low end falling off naturally, coupled with the "shelved down" mid/high response. As I already explained.

> Ignoring the unreliable sub-100Hz figures (though this unreliability applies to all the products tested) <

No, unreliable means unreliable! It does not mean you can apply a constant bias to all the test results to make them more reliable.

> Whilst the extended upper frequency absorption does give weight to the description of "broadband" I'd say that it's not a particularly efficient broadband absorber. <

You are missing something very important here. Look again at the corner data on our site for MiniTraps. A MiniTrap has a front surface area of 8 square feet, so at frequencies where it absorbs 8 Sabins or more it has an absorption coefficient of at least 1. Meaning it absorbs at least 100 percent. A MiniTrap in a corner absorbs 100 percent or more up to nearly 2 KHz, and it remains above 50 percent all the way to the 10 KHz limit. To my way of thinking this is very effective broadband absorption!

> since these flaws apply uniformly to all the products under test I don't see how is this relevant to the *relative* effectiveness <

Again, unreliable is unreliable, which is why I made the point earlier that you can get negative values at low frequencies from some tests but not others, even with the same materials half an hour apart in the same lab.

> I can see that comparing a MiniTrap to a physically larger product like a MegaLENRD is not comparing apples to apples but if I'm right, and the test is one of products not one of principles, that's irrelevant. <

Agreed. However, it would be much more useful and relevant had Auralex included data for standard LENRDs in a corner. I am certain they measured that.

> there doesn't seem to be a standard specification designed for measurement of corner mounted acoustic absorbers <

Yes, but that has no relevance. A minimum amount of material is demanded to ensure a large enough change in reverb times between the room empty and when the material is present. This has nothing to do with whether ASTM has developed a standard for corner testing.

> The detailed properties and (theoretical) behaviour of corner acoustics and absorption afaik still aren't fully understood <

Not fully understood by whom?

> the intended application for corner mounted absorbers produces long narrow strips <

No, and we have always told people to space their MiniTraps evenly between the floor and ceiling, or to leave a space between them when mounting several in a long ceiling corner. Auralex's test should have spaced the four-foot sections two to four feet apart to avoid that.

> there are DIY solutions which would yield better results than either <

Please email about this. I'll pay you a handsome commission if you can show me a way to make bass traps that are better than what we sell now. Yes, I am absolutely serious!

> he [Eric] knows more about acoustics <

I agree that denigrating Eric here is not necessary. If you care to email me we can discuss it further. I have plenty of evidence to the contrary.

> Ethan hasn't been above some name calling and frankly childish behaviour <

That's a serious charge that's neither true nor fair. I have always been cordial to Eric, even when he's insulted me personally and professionally. I have tried everything to get along with him, and all of the blame for our disputes falls on him, not me. If you can show examples of me calling names or being childish I'd love to see them.

> what was the corner foam product and test setup that you used to obtain the results shown <

The foam was from Foam by Mail, and photos of the tests are linked on our Product Data page.

BTW, who are you, besides "0VU?"

--Ethan
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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby Paul Woodlock » Wed Nov 24, 2004 12:19 am

Greetings

1] Eric Desart is far more knowledgable about acoustics than Ethan. Despite vacuous claims by Ethan to the contrary.

Eric was one of the designers of Galaxy Studio, which has probably the best isaoltion spec in the worls, and certainly world class acoustics. http://www.galaxystudios.com/index_content.html

Ethan has even tried to play this down in the past.

In contrast Ethan has had NO Formal acoustical training. In comparison to Eric, Ethan is NOT an expert in acoustics.

Ethan always claims the 'victim' against some kind of crusade by Eric Desart. All Eric does is speak the truth about acoustics. Ethan get's upset becuase Erics writings showteh flaws in Ethan's products and knowledge.



2] The tests done for the Studiotips site are NOT flawed. Ethan's claims to the opposite are in fact flawed. The MegaLENRDS and DIY Rockwool Wedges perform far better than the Mini-Traps.

3] Ethan deliberately used the FOAM-BY-MAIL foam for comparisons to his Mini-Traps, becuase he KNEW the foam-by-mail foam is not made out of the correct material for acoustic treatment, and hence forth doesn't perform well at all.

Ethan should provide comparisons between his products and Auralex foam products on his RealTraps site if he is confident his products are better. Ask yourself why he doesn't do this/.

Foam-By-Mail Foam, and the similar stuff sold on E-Bay is pretty crap in comparison to the Auralex Products that have been, ripped off.

4] A Mini-Trap is NOT a broadband absorber. It is a panel absorber, which by definition is narrow band. And the test results at the Studiotips site bear this out.

5] Is my post biased? Yes, it is Biased. And for good reason. Ethan's Products are NOT crap by any means, but they are simply not as good as his rhetoric and misleading data show. All people like Eric Desart ( who actually DO know their stuff ) are trying to do is clean up the Internet of misleading imformation and people claiming they are experts when they are clearly not.

Anyone can quote stuff from books and from acoustic Lab standards, without knowing the background of it all.

For the layman it's all a matter of trust.

I trust someone who has ACTUALLY been in the acoustics business for many years, who has actually worked in acoustics labs, who has actually dseigned world class studio's such as Galaxy.

If anyone finds what I've written here to be suspect, then by all means come over to the StudioTips forum and interrogate Eric and the other experts. They have nothing to hide, and NO commercial agenda. You'll soon see who the REAL experts are.


cheers :)


Paul
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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby Studio Support Gnome » Wed Nov 24, 2004 1:56 am

Max The Mac wrote: I have PERSONALLY installed more than 50 of his real traps "Mini traps" on client sites since they became available in the UK, and they are FAR more effective than ANY foam based product as currently available.


0VU, Mate , with all due respect, The full "in Context" quote should read like this... and I would like to direct your attention to the last 3 words uttered in that phrase.

I will assess MegaLENRDS in the new year as soon as I can get my grubby mitts on some...

My Reference is to the commonly available "industry standard" sort of Corner wedge , of which I currently felt the best were probably the (new ish) Studiospares "own brand" , but Still would rather fit Real traps products for both practical results reasons as well as aesthetics.... and to those decrying the costs... I should seriously point out that the costs per unit come DOWN quite rapidly the more you fit....

Installing say 16 brings it down to something like £170 odd each..... which is a whole lot less per unit !

and it is quite reasonable to install that many in a single 2 room facility, 8 per room, one in each vertical corner, one in each horizontal ceiling/wall corner....


IMHO the results speak for themselves.... and in terms of a time/cost/effect ratio, the minitrap is still the best value product CURRENTLY available in the UK

Having used both Foam products, and more specialised DIY/craftsman built designs.... I have to say that the results and the overall value for money are undeniably good.


I feel I MUST add this, though I dislike where SOME of this thread is heading..... I actually have read threads elsewhere in the past where Eric HAS "gone after" Ethan in a highly personal and disturbing manner, frankly that behaviour at the time made me doubt his veracity, or indeed whether it was in reality Eric himself at all.......( It is not unknown for random cyber pillocks to impersonate people of some kind of stature)
Some Further investigation led me to conclude that Eric simply can't stand Ethan, for whatever reason, and his normally civilised knowledgeable and reasoned arguments and Data were perhaps suspect for subjective reasons.,..

I have no proof or evidence for that as such , and I would STILL acknowledge his expertise. But I basically "switch off" the moment he starts ranting again.,.. and switch back on when he's finished..... perhaps that is naive of me, but Life is too short to spend it sifting through other people's personal itches.

Ethan has publicly acknowledged his "self taught " status on many occasions, and I believe he does so in the articles posted on his site as well.... but that has no bearing on the usefulness of his products, or the validity and relevance of most of his advice........

I would also point out that his Minitraps and their brethren are being happily and successfully used in many many professional , possibly even "world class" studios........ possibly more than Eric has had a hand in..........

That neither invalidates Eric or Ethan as sources of knowledge on the subject, nor should it give either any greater "status" in interested parties eyes.....

But I would be very pleased if the interested "warring factions" could take it elsewhere, it isn't terribly productive within the context of this forum.




Ethan, to answer your last query to a small degree

0VU is an experienced, and highly respected member of the UK pro Audio community , with many credits, a CV that makes most people jealous, some high profile clients, and is also a personal friend of mine.... (In real life, not just here in Cyber-space) I'm not about to go bandying his personal details about , but I generally trust his opinion in many things, although we do sometimes differ in the minutiae and over certain subjective matters.
He is also Moderator of this particular bit of SOS territory, and rightly so......

Where he and I differ I suspect , right now, is that I've used your products quite a bit..... and he hasn't as yet......

But he DOES rather know what he's about.....

Best regards

Max

PS
Right, I'm off for a bit....... Have to go to Scotland..... and I'm not bloody posting from My PDA or Mobile phone......... ;) so I'm afraid I can't be dragged into any further argument or debate right now chaps.......

MTM
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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby Paul Woodlock » Wed Nov 24, 2004 2:51 am

Greetings Max

I come here in peace, as a DIY studio Builder, and personal friend of Eric's. Also outside Cyberspace.

I too would like the war to cease, as with all negativity, it's destructive.

The reason Eric got personal with Ethan was for reasons far removed from any quality assesment of Ethan's products, and little to do with Ethan's uncomparable knowledge to Eric's.

It was to do with something that Ethan did 'behind the scenes' so to speak, which caused upset to many people on the Internet, and I'm not going to bring it up here and further any war. Ethan know's exactly what I'm talking about, and I hope he too doesn't bring up the subject and continue the negativity.

Cheers :)

Paul
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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby Paul Woodlock » Wed Nov 24, 2004 3:20 am

Ethan Winer wrote:DoeZer,

> theyre a DAMN sight cheaper over here than the realtraps stuff! <

Understand that the foam product shown in that comparison costs about the same as a MiniTrap, yet it's four times larger. This is not a typical piece of corner foam! You can see how effective typical sized corner foam is on the Product Data page of the RealTraps site.

--Ethan

Ethan, you're continuing to mislead people about foam.

The Foam-by-mail foam you use as a comparison to your Mini-Traps is NOT 'typical' acoustic foam, and you know it. the Foam-By-Mail stuff, as you know is made from teh wrong type of material for effective Foam trapping. Again something you know.

The Auralex Mega LENRDS actually perform much better than your mini-traps, as they use a type of foam that is suitable for bass trapping.

You can blind people with quotes from acoustical standards to layman as much as you like to discredit the StudioTips tests, but your arguments don't stand upto to acoustic experts.

Those test were paid for by auralex, and teh original idea was to compare the DIY rockwool wedge trapping solution, as the DIY traps were known to work very well in practise, but there was NO Firm data on them.

The reason your Mini-Traps were included in the test, was to, quite fairly, counter your misleading claims of 'typical foam' being inferior to mini-traps.

And now the truth is out that 'typical' acoustic foam is not only NOT inferior to a Mini-Trap, but indeed is MUCH MUCH better.

Hugh says
People can surely spend money on whatever they want. The thread started with a question about foam corner bass trapping, and I think we have all agreed that this is not a very effective solution, cheap and easy though it might be.

Hugh, again with respect, that is a dangerous and misleading statement to make, especially from a technical editor of a respected magazine ( I Love SOS btw, great mag )

The CORRECT kind of foam, as used by Auralex's Mega LENRDS is VERY effective for Corner trapping. It certainly isn't cheap, as you say, and IIRC actually costs a little more than the Mini-traps per facing area.

The test results published at StudioTips speak for themselves http://forum.studiotips.com/viewtopic.php?t=536

There's also a diagram on that page showing the comparable space taken up in a corner. Ethan's arguments over volume dont' apply in a corner, as a panel will use up as much space as a wedge.

Foam has got an unnessesarily bad name, due to rip of manufacturers like Foam-By-Mail, and the foam you see typically sold on Ebay, and also Ethan's misleading comparisons with 'typical foam'.

I would suggest, if you can, doing a side by side test of teh same facing area of Mega LENRDS v. Mini-Traps and testing them both with ears AND acoustic analysis software.

No it won't be as accurate as actually testing in an accredited lab, like the Studiotips test, but at least it might dispell the MYTH in you guys minds that Foam is no good for Bass Corner trapping.

And even a cursory glance at the Stuiotips tests, will show that the broadband DIY rockwool wedges or Mega LENRDS are a better overall solution than the narrow band Mini-Traps.....

Why?...

Because the problems from room modes extend well into the lower midrange, not just the bass ( particularly in the SMALL ROOMS that most readers have to put up with in their homes )

FWIW, I do not work for Auralex, or have shares in them. I have no commrecial agenda at all in fact.

I'm a music maker who is building a really cool studio. I'm also keeping a diary of events, with piccies over at the StudioTips Site. See Paul's Studio Build Diary here...http://forum.studiotips.com/viewforum.php?f=1

I update the diary daily ( well except when I'm far too knackered after a logn days building :) )

Have fun everyone, and please stop spreading the myth that foam is no good for trapping. :)


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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby Scott R. Foster » Wed Nov 24, 2004 6:40 am

Just to clear up a few points on our work at StudioTips relating to this topic that seems to be titillating a few over at this forum. We have hashed through the general concepts of corner absorption device designs, their costs, and their effectiveness in the overall scheme of acoustic treatment for some years now. I will not attempt to summarize all of these issues yall are wrestling as they might have been resolved by our forum, but if you wish to dip your toe in any of the many angles explored by our group you are welcome to visit us at

http://forum.studiotips.com

Our forums go back quite some time, so if you would rather not dig through all that, but have a specific question you'd like to get our input on I would suggest you give the FAQ a quick read and post away.

As to the matter at hand... first, the test data can be found here:

http://forum.studiotips.com/viewtopic.php?t=536

Background:

We at StudioTips instigated a series of tests on corner absorption treatment. These tests were designed to resolve questions about the overall effectiveness of four known devices as corner mounted absorption elements.

The desire was to fix data points expressing the results as absorption coefficients per linear foot [whether vertical or horizontal is immaterial] of corner treated. The results give one the ability to make rational assumptions about the effects of adding a given number of linear feet of each of the 4 types of treatment to a room's corners.

To restate the question, we wanted to know what absorption characteristics running 8' of device "A" in a corner of a room would provide as compared to devices "B" "C" & "D".

The devices were chosen by a consortium of DIY'er studio builders, professional contractors and acoustic engineers. The Auralex firm very graciously agreed to fund the test by allowing it to be "slipped in" with an extensive suite of research and product development tests they had scheduled to run at an independent laboratory. In essence, our question was dropped into a long list of questions that the lab was hired to collect data on.

The lab in question is Riverbank Acoustic Laboratories which was founded by Wallace Clement Sabine (1868-1919), the father of the science of architectural acoustics. You can find out more about this facility at the links below. Suffice to say the data from this shop is not to be lightly tossed about by anyone who desires to be taken seriously in the field.

http://riverbank.alionscience.com/index.htm

http://62.232.79.101/penpub.nsf/0/97b44195aa1283da80256b5d005d6f06?OpenDocument

The results presented by StudioTips at the link abovelisted are meant for expressly the purposes described above and we stand by them in that context. What these results will not tell you includes the following:

1) What you will pay for the devices [as noted in this thread, this will vary dependant on where you buy em, where you ship em to, and the size of your order];

2) Whether any of the 4 will meet with your aesthetic concerns;

3) What skills you might need to acquire to build either of the DIY devices [though frankly if you can cut pairs of boards to length, be safely left alone with the glue pot, and staple fabric without ruining your shirt cuffs you can probably pull it off];

4) THIS PART IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND WHEN INTERPRETING THE DATA - the presentation does NOT explain the peak at just under 100 Hz that all the devices demonstrate. This phenomena has been recreated in other subsequent testing and its cause is a matter of interesting discussion. Suffice to say for the purposes here in this thread, the 100 Hz peak exists to varying degrees for all 4 devices and is generally agreed to be an artifact of the corner mounting.

I hope that clears up any confusion as to what the StudioTips data is - and what purposes it would be sound to attempt to use it. If you have specific technical qustions as to how th data was normalized, etcetera I again suggest you visit StudioTips.

As to the rest, if you buy the concept that the MiniTrap's poor performance above 125Hz is some kind of "feature", rather than a "flaw, then I respectfully suggest you consider covering up a piece of 4" rockwool with a duvet [to make a SCA] and send me the change... you receive all of the benefits of this fab feature, and I promise to spend your lovely money on UK beer, UK girls, or UK guitar amps [aint globalization great!].

As to the suggestion that device size comes into play when rationally comparing the utility of the four devices, IMO this point is utterly specious... as you may note from the link, the devices all occupy a similar "footprint" and cover a similar corner section, and can all be installed in a variety of fashions to meet your needs. None of the devices has a "space" advantage over the others in the corner installations pertinent to the data. Figure out what it will cost YOU to buy em, and/or build em to your tastes and you will be ready to compare apples to apples in real world performance as absorption devices suitable for mounting in ant given room.

Finally, on the matter claims that MiniTraps are "broadband... that statement is flat wrong... the MT is a panel absorber and like all such devices is narrowband.. not a notch filter mind you, but calling the MT broadband device is pure nonsense. Just look at the absorption graph at the link, and don't be misled.

Good Luck!

:headbang:
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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby cc. » Wed Nov 24, 2004 9:38 am


My experience with the mini traps is that the lack of absorbtion at the higher frequencies is a feature. It is true that after putting in the mini traps there were still problems higher up which had to be fixed by installing foam. But I needed the foam anyway: to cut down reflections either side and above the mix position and to deaden my vocal recording area. After doing this the room's pretty balanced.

I guess the point is that it's not just the total amount of absorbtion that matters - it's where it is too.
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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby DoeZer » Wed Nov 24, 2004 11:06 am

Hi all

Thanks. Sorry if Ive caused some kind of crossfire at this stage!
Basically, as I see it, it seems that both sets of products get pretty good reviews from the people who use them and they all tend to do exactly what they say they'll do i.e. absorb bass in an attempt to improve room acoustics. so. enuff said by me!!

Personally Iva always found both Ethan and all the people over on the studiotips forum (Scott F, Paul Woodlock and others) to be REALLY helpful and to dispense advise that doesnt sem to be purely given with a commercial interest as motiviation. so I'm gonna bail out of this and leave the experts to discuss it all!!!

as for my own choice for treatment... I'm not fully sure which way I go yet but I'll decide soon. Im pretty sure that whichever one it is, it will probably do the job pretty well for my needs...

now back to my othr problems, namely the price of Rocksil Insulatuion :headbang: :headbang: !!!

thanks to all for the help
D
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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby Digipenguin » Wed Nov 24, 2004 1:52 pm

blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I see your mouths movin' but..................
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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby Paul Blenn » Wed Nov 24, 2004 3:43 pm

I am pretty much in the same camp as Doezer. I went to an amazing studio the other day (GRADO's from the Nuendo forum) and he was using the Auralex stuff. His control room sounded amazing. That may not be the case with mine by using the same product but it still vouches for the Auralex stuff!

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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby Ethan Winer » Wed Nov 24, 2004 5:35 pm

DoeZer,

> Sorry if Ive caused some kind of crossfire at this stage! <

Not at all - this is hardly your fault!

I'll start with the biggest lie of all:

Paul Woodlock wrote:

I come here in peace ... I too would like the war to cease, as with all negativity, it's destructive.


In fact, Paul and his friends started this "war," and they perpetuate it every chance they get. It's a shame this has now arrived at the SOS forum, but I'm not surprised. These guys - Eric Desart, Paul Woodlock, Scott Foster, Dan Nelson, and Andre Vare - have been making trouble unprovoked for more than a year now. This is just one more in a long line of audio forums where they show up with the sole motive to insult me and my company's products. Identical threads have occurred at Harmony-Central, Recording.org, the AV Science forum, GearSlutz, and probably one or two more I'm forgetting. The sequence is always the same: I'm helping someone with treatment questions and these guys show up and hurl insults. They always come in groups and gang up on me, so it appears to onlookers that more than just one person disputes me. Just look at their Posts counts and you can see they're "out of towners" who came only to make trouble.

I'm sure it's very frustrating to these guys that they are unable to destroy my business, but they sure are trying. The fact is that RealTraps has grown enormously this past year because we make a terrific product and sell it for a reasonable price (excluding European pricing which is a different issue). Every single review we've received has been wildly favorable, and in every single case the reviewer bought the traps instead of sending them back. Three more gushing reviews will be out in pro audio magazines over the next two months, and all of those reviewers also bought our traps after reviewing them. Earlier this year RealTraps doubled its manufacturing space, and we now have two full-time shifts cranking out traps day and night to keep up with the demand. This is hardly the sign of an incompetent company or inferior product.

If their goal is to dispell acoustic misinformation, why do they attack me instead of the companies they believe sell inferior foam fraudulently using faked data? Why attack MiniTraps as a bad value when so many companies sell clearly less-effective products for five times the cost of a MiniTrap? Their bias is obvious to all, which is why one of our customers posted the following at the AVS forum after these guys showed up to make trouble by sending AVS forum members to THIS StudioTips thread that takes personal attacks to a new level:

That whole thread is like a rocket scientist telling me how to get more thrust out of my Pontiac. Gimme a break. As a type of engineer, I'm always amazed at the rule which, in general, states: The more education and time you have, the more patronizing and arrogant you become. These guys prove it ... Those guys are at the other end of the spectrum, being bloated with their own purpose to debunk anything by crunching a few numbers and prattling on just to hear their own voices. I know the type very well. We do not get along. I'm a solution person, so my logic would be to say "the traps could work better if you blah, blah, blah", not tear into the product as though it were a Yugo of the audio world. If they're all so friggin' smart, where's their competing product that they prototyped, marketed, and made a business out of? And if so, why are pieces of cardboard tube stuffed with bunny-fluff worth a grand each? There's more to a product than making it a paradigm ... Are there better systems? Sure. There's always something or someone better than you or your product. It's called competition. Do I know what they are? Nope. Do the RealTraps work for me as expected? Yup. Works great for "my little system in my little room", thank-you much.

Then another AVS forum regular added this:

I'm not sure what to think about this thread. I glanced over the link to studiotips.com, and quickly spotted several comments and suggestions by mods and the site admin that just don't stack up. Whether it is spreading misinformation or just a misunderstanding doesn't really matter... I read enough to know that I'd go elsewhere for accurate answers.


That Paul Woodlock and Scott Foster ("Foz") continue to refer to a MiniTrap as a "panel absorber" shows that neither of them has a clue what a MiniTrap actually is or how it works. That Paul would further pretend to read my mind ("Ethan deliberately used the FOAM-BY-MAIL foam for comparisons to his Mini-Traps, becuase he KNEW the foam-by-mail foam is not made out of the correct material") is simply amazing.

Folks, I hope this will be my last post on the subject. I have a business to run, and I've wasted too much time - yet again - on this nonsense.

Thanks.

--Ethan
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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby Paul Woodlock » Wed Nov 24, 2004 6:02 pm

cc. wrote:
My experience with the mini traps is that the lack of absorbtion at the higher frequencies is a feature. It is true that after putting in the mini traps there were still problems higher up which had to be fixed by installing foam. But I needed the foam anyway: to cut down reflections either side and above the mix position and to deaden my vocal recording area. After doing this the room's pretty balanced.


Greetings CC :)

You say it's a feature in your experience, but you don't really say why.

The point is that whether you call it a feature or not, a narrow band mini-trap is a very questionable player in the various solutions for a typical home studio.


And here's why....


There are, amongst others, TWO main treatments for small room acoustics. Small room being defined as less than 2500 ft3, which means MOST average home rooms.

1] Room Mode problems

2] Early reflection problems


1] Room Mode problems depend on the size and shape of the room, and occour NOT just in the BASS area, but extend up to the lower midrange as far as 300 to 400Hz in some cases. This can mean 4 to 5 octaves needs addressing.

A narrow band panel such as a mini-trap isn't the best solution in this case. Broadband devices like the Auralex MegaLENRD OR the DIY rockwool wedge/panel solution work much better. And futhermore for the layman who isn't up to calculating the effects of each axial, tangential or oblique mode, the broadband absorber solution offers a quick and easy method.

Argmuents like "The mini-traps lack of absorption at higher freqeuncies prevents a dull room" is misleading. We're talking LOWER MIDS here, not Upper mids or high frequencies. More absoprtion at 300 to 400Hz does NOT Dull a room.

The ability of the braoadband solutions to absorb well into the lower mids IS an excellent feature where room modes are concerned.

The best place to put trapping is is corners where the standing wave pressure from the room modes is at it's greatest. In a corner the defining factor for taking up space is the front face of the trap. So the argument that a Mega lenrd/ROckwool wedge is 4 times the volume than a minitrap doesn't wash for corners. IN fact even a DIY rockwool panel 4£ thick placed across a corner works better than a Mini-trap.


I guess the point is that it's not just the total amount of absorbtion that matters - it's where it is too.


Yes, you right. As said above Bass trapping shoudl bedone in corners. Both vertical corners ( wall meets wall )< and horizontal corners ( Wall meets ceiling/floor ).

In fact tri-corners ( wall meets wall meets ceiling )are the best.

2] Early reflections are a different kettle of fish than room modes. While room mode trapping ( I won't call it bass trapping, as modes aren't just in teh bass ) is there to trap the WHOLE room, Early relfection control is there to provide a RFZ ( reflection free zone ) at the LISTENING POSITION.

Early reflections are defined as those which arrive at the ear lessthan around 20ms after the direct sound. refelctions less than 20ms are perceived by the ear as eing part of teh direct sound, and thus smear the sound, cause a fuzzy stereo image and a 'comb filtered' frequency response.

The way to cure early reflections is to use the Mirror Trick. This involves sitting in the listening position and getting a friend to move a mirror around all the surfaces of the room. Where ever you can see a speaker in the mirror, that is where to place absorption panels.

An early reflection absoprtion panel of a given thickness works better is there is an air gap behind it. Air is FREE< so it's good way to get extra absorption if the budget is tight. For example, in order of effectiveness ( best first )......

1] 6" Absorption

2] 4" Absoprtion + 2" Air Gap

3] 4" Absorption

etc
etc

you get the idea :)


To conclude....

For anyone who knows an ounce about acoustics, to say the Mini-Traps narrow band performance with lack of absorption at higher ( Lower mid ) freqeuncies is a feature is simply a marketing smokescreen to cover up a flaw in the design when applied to small room acoustics.

I would advise anyone who is thinking of acustically treating their home studio, to do a little research on room modes and the frequencies they are likely to affect, and you'll soon realise why a broadband trapping solution is much better.

I'm sure the humble Mini-trap has it's uses, but the contentious threads that seem to follow it around are only there becuase of the misleading claims over foam, and mini-trap marketing hype which accompanies it.

If Real-Traps ( Ethan ) accepted that Foam is a more than viable alternative and stopped trying to mislead people, then there wouldn't be any need for people like Eric Desart to go around trying to put the truth back into DIY acoustic treatment.

cheers :)


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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby Paul Woodlock » Wed Nov 24, 2004 6:34 pm

Ethan Winer wrote:DoeZer,

> Sorry if Ive caused some kind of crossfire at this stage! <

Not at all - this is hardly your fault!

I'll start with the biggest lie of all:

Paul Woodlock wrote:

I come here in peace ... I too would like the war to cease, as with all negativity, it's destructive.


In fact, Paul and his friends started this "war," and they perpetuate it every chance they get. It's a shame this has now arrived at the SOS forum, but I'm not surprised. These guys - Eric Desart, Paul Woodlock, Scott Foster, Dan Nelson, and Andre Vare - have been making trouble unprovoked for more than a year now. This is just one more in a long line of audio forums where they show up with the sole motive to insult me and my company's products. Identical threads have occurred at Harmony-Central, Recording.org, the AV Science forum, GearSlutz, and probably one or two more I'm forgetting. The sequence is always the same: I'm helping someone with treatment questions and these guys show up and hurl insults. They always come in groups and gang up on me, so it appears to onlookers that more than just one person disputes me. Just look at their Posts counts and you can see they're "out of towners" who came only to make trouble.


Well it's only fair that we have a chance to respond to your claims isn't it.

We have busy lives as well, and we don't relish having to follow you around and put people right.

And I might add I DID NOT come here specifically to bait you.

I've been on this forum off and on for a few years. I haven' been here for a while, and have recently signed up to the V3 forum again.

My first post here was regarding Floating Floors actually, and at that time I didnt even know you ( Ethan ) were posting here.

In fact it was in this thread, that YOU started it all off again, NOT US.

We're just here to fairly have our say on the matter.


I'm sure it's very frustrating to these guys that they are unable to destroy my business,..


No one is trying to destroy your business.

If their goal is to dispell acoustic misinformation, why do they attack me instead of the companies they believe sell inferior foam fraudulently using faked data?....


A] we're NOT attacking you as such, we're merely showing the truth.

B] We do contend Foam-By-Mail products. But of course Foam-By-Mail do NOT trawl the Web forums ( Like you ) making misleading claims. If they did, they would get an anser from us too.



I'm not sure what to think about this thread. I glanced over the link to studiotips.com, and quickly spotted several comments and suggestions by mods and the site admin that just don't stack up. Whether it is spreading misinformation or just a misunderstanding doesn't really matter... I read enough to know that I'd go elsewhere for accurate answers.


And now your discrediting the obviously excellent info and expert advice given at StudioTips. Something that can't be contended.



That Paul Woodlock and Scott Foster ("Foz") continue to refer to a MiniTrap as a "panel absorber" shows that neither of them has a clue what a MiniTrap actually is or how it works. That Paul would further pretend to read my mind ("Ethan deliberately used the FOAM-BY-MAIL foam for comparisons to his Mini-Traps, becuase he KNEW the foam-by-mail foam is not made out of the correct material") is simply amazing.


No it's not amazing Ethan. You didn't use Proper acoutic Foam as a comparison becuase you KNOW it would show your mini-traps in a less than favourable light.

Ahh, so a Mini-trap isn't a Panel/Membrane Absorber then?

Have you changed it's design? What is it then? It's certainly NOT a braodband absorber that's for sure.



Folks, I hope this will be my last post on the subject. I have a business to run, and I've wasted too much time - yet again - on this nonsense.

Thanks.

--Ethan


Ethan, with respect it is YOU who STARTED all this.

YOU have acommerical agenda. WE do NOT.

You are trawling the web posting on as many acoustics forums as you can.

NO ONE is questioning your desire to help people.

What we are questioning, and have the data to prove it, is your methods of marketing and claims of EXPERT.

YOU are the one spreading a FALSE claim that FOAM is not a good acoustic tratment. Which is a LIE because I know you know otherwise. If you areup for complete honesty, then why not provide a comparison to Auralex Foam on your RealTraps site instead of the vastkly Inferior Foam-By-Mail. Then people who visit your site can make an HONEST choice between Mini-Traps and Foam? But I doubt very much you will do that, as the results wont' be in your favour.


And as for 'Insults'..

Scott and I haven't insulted you in the slightest here. We've simply provided some info, that is backed up by Lab Data, to enable people to make an honest choice when spending their hard earned money on acoustic treatment.


Ethan, if you want this to stop, then it upto YOU to change.

You can claim the victim of some fictional campaign against you as much as you like, but people, when given the chance to see both sides of the story can clearly see whose the cause of all this negativity, and which solution for trapping is better for them.

And lastly, I would like to apologise to the SOS folks who run this forum, that ONCE again Ethan has caused us at StuioTips to respond to Ethan's Foam discreditation campaign which has ended up here. If Ethan stops spreading the negative Foam Myth, then WE will stop having to put people right. Simple.

thanks :)


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