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Help with installing acoustic foam

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Help with installing acoustic foam

Postby kalmoa » Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:00 pm

There's so much information on the internet nowadays, and it gets very overwhelming/confusing. I sent a Personalized Room Analysis form to Auralex last week, and they told me today that they will get back to me next week. I am a bit impatient, as I want to get this treatment done already!

Some months ago, my wife bought me 4 LENRD® Bass Traps along with 24 pieces of Studiofoam Wedgies (all from Auralex). We just moved into a new place, and the room I have to use is a bit weird. I will attach a picture.

Image

There's 4 windows in the room, which I will be covering with blackout curtains to help with sound reflections. My main question/concern is where to put the bass traps and wedges. Should I put the bass traps in the upper corners of the room, or lower corners? Should I also put the wedges on the ceiling above me? Do I space the wedgies out, or put them directly side by side?

Thanks for any help, I appreciate it.

The gear I am using is as follows: Pair of Yamaha HS5 Monitors on speaker stands. KRK RP-10S Rokit Powered Subwoofer (Old Model from 2006). Also using HD 600's for Headphones.
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Re: Help with installing acoustic foam

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:53 am

The bass traps can go in the most convenient corners and the more the better. Your room is about the same size as mine with a slightly higher ceiling, quite small but usable however you will never get completed control of the bass in a room that small. Avoiding sitting in the dead centre of the room when mixing will help you hear the balance at the low end but listen in different places 'till you find the spot where the bass compares best with what you hear on headphones.

The wedges are (nominally) broad band absorbers and designed to reduce higher frequency reflections. They need to be placed at 'mirror points' i.e. the places where you would see the monitors from your mix position if you hung a mirror on the walls/ceiling. This will reduce the first reflections from the monitors, don't forget the back wall BTW.

The broadband absorbers in my room are mostly 4' x 2', 2" thick but spaced from the walls and ceiling by 2" and I have 7 of them. The room sounds pretty good, certainly adequate for my needs, but I'm under no illusions that it will compete with Abbey Rd......
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Re: Help with installing acoustic foam

Postby kalmoa » Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:36 pm

Thanks for your reply Sam. I used your advice, as well as the template Auralex sent me. My room sounds drastically different now, but I am not sure if this is a good or bad thing? I know people say you don't want to make the sound of the room "dead", as you want to keep some of the natural acoustics of the room.

How would I tell if the room is 'dead' sounding or not?

Image

That is what they sent me. I've setup everything, aside from the MAX-Wall and ProMax systems. I don't have those. I only had the 4 Bass Traps and 24 Wedgies.
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Re: Help with installing acoustic foam

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:02 am

By 'dead' do you mean anechoic (i.e. no echoes at any frequency) or dull (lacking high frequencies)? The latter would be a problem to mix in, the former is unachievable in a normal room.
What we are trying to achieve is a balanced sound with no particular frequencies standing out (either for being emphasised or missing). A completely dead (anechoic) room would be good for mixing (I think?) but a room where the HF is gone but the rest still bounces around will sound dull and boxy fairly easy to do but obviously bad). It is fairly easy to control the mids and highs even in a small room but the risk is that you'll reduce the HF out of proportion to the rest Low frequencies have wavelengths as long or longer than the dimensions of a small room so any reflections will cause peaks and nulls at certain frequencies in specific places in the room (e.g. there is always a null at the dead centre of the room, the frequency/wavelength corresponding to the diagonal dimension of the room). Bass trapping can help reduce these but you will still find it difficult to mix these on speakers in a small room (so use good headphones to check and compare your mixes to commercial mixes of a similar genre).
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Re: Help with installing acoustic foam

Postby kalmoa » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:25 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Bass trapping can help reduce these but you will still find it difficult to mix these on speakers in a small room (so use good headphones to check and compare your mixes to commercial mixes of a similar genre).

I am not sure if my bass traps are adequate, as many people (from what I have read in forums) have stated they are NOT.

As far as headphones, I use HD 600s. Which work pretty well. I'll compare my mix between both the headphones and HS5 to see how they sound.
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Re: Help with installing acoustic foam

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:31 am

In a small room you can't have too much bass trapping, and you will (probably?) never achieve an even bass response regardless. You can make it better though and, hopefully, usable with the odd workaround like checking everything on cans.
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Re: Help with installing acoustic foam

Postby CS70 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:29 am

Yeah, unfortunately in my experience these foam wedges dont really trap much bass, at least not only 4 of them. Perhaps if you had them at corners floor to ceiling. Better than nothing, tough. And if you don't use a subwoofer you won't have much of the really really low energy anyways.

The other bit to keep in mind is to keep levels generally down at mixdown. Mix at a level where you could have a conversation over the music. Whatever trapping you have, you'd be better off not having so much energy to trap in the first place :)

You can try to understand how the room behaves by playing increasing bass frequencies (there's plenty on youtube) or your fave funky bass line :) and listen attentively if you perceive any holes or undue increases in volume at your listening position. Moving around a little bit tells you how big that area of sound is and if a 15cm move of the head would change the spectrum dramatically or not (hopefully not).
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