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Looking for help with speaker and treatment placement

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Looking for help with speaker and treatment placement

Postby AlexWnbrg » Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:59 pm

Hey all.

I am brand new to the forum and also a total newb in the world of sound engineering and acoustics, so please excuse my lack of knowledge and potential at misusing terms. I am a life long musician, and am taking this opportunity of 0 gigs and work to try to set up a decent home studio and further teach myself how to properly mix so I can actually release music without having to pay an arm or a leg to hire an engineer.

I bought a pair of HS5s, and honestly, I did so without really doing much research into how to get the most out of them, so once I started down that rabbit hole, I realized I might have just wasted the money I spent on them due to a less than ideal listening environment. I want to give it a shot at setting up a decent room, at least decent enough for a beginner, before I throw in the towel and just sell them and buy a pair of nice monitoring headphones.

Here is the room I have to work with and where I have currently set up my speakers and listening position:

Image

To me, this seemed like the only place in the room I could really set up and keep some sense of symmetry. I did my best to follow all of the rules I've read about when setting up the speakers and listening position. I avoided having the speakers at 25% point from side walls. I tried to bring them out from the wall as far as I could, but any more would put my listening position at around 50%, which I've read is the least ideal spot. I initially had them in front of the front window as I read that can actually help absorb some of the low frequencies, but it seemed to lack all low end when I had them there, so I put them further towards the walls and I can at least hear some of the low end now. My listening position is a little bit inside of the equilateral triangle that one is supposed to make with the speakers, but again, I was trying to avoid the half way mark of the room. Not sure how detrimental this decision is.


The only treatment I have up so far is some acoustic panels at each point on the walls where I could see the speakers with a mirror from the listening position. Has definitely helped with the reflectivity of the room.

I'm now waiting on a shipment of some bass traps I ordered. At first, I thought they were 4 inches thick as it says that in the description, but just realized the title says they are 2.1 inches thick, so I'm a bit confused as to what they actually are. I bought 4 and they are 19.7x19.7 each. My idea was to put them on the front wall, behind the speakers, in the corners at speaker and ear height. Here is the link to what I bought:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/716157684/ ... ve_1&crt=1

Hoping I didn't just waste more money on those!

I think it's also important to note that the corners on the left side behind the listening point, the one where the window meets the wall of the closet at 8'1" back, and the corner behind that, are very small due to the window and closet. These pictures also demonstrate how deep the window wells are. The window behind the speakers has the same depth.

Image
Image

I took a measurement of the room using REW as it is now. Here is a link to that file, I can also provide JPG if needed:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/22pu7hdimkggr ... .mdat?dl=0

I have so many questions, but I think the most pressing ones are:
Does my speaker placement and listening position seem like a good choice given the room dimensions?

Would placing the bass traps where I was thinking of placing them going to give me the best bang for my buck?

Will those bass traps even do enough to help absorb some of the low end? I believe these speakers only go down to about 75hz, so I'm not really worried about anything below that and will most likely switch to my Sennheiser HD280 pros to really listen to anything below that (I'm not even sure if those are a viable option for that, but seem better than nothing).

Should I just throw in the towel, sell everything, and buy some great headphones to do all mixing in? I'm not in a position where I can go nuts and break the bank treating this room, although willing to spend a bit more if there are some decent options that will really help get it to a reasonably good level for where I'm at in this journey and not ruin me financially.

Thank you so much in advance for any thoughts!
AlexWnbrg
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Re: Looking for help with speaker and treatment placement

Postby AlexWnbrg » Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:38 pm

I should clarify, I have up acoustic foam, not panels.
AlexWnbrg
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Re: Looking for help with speaker and treatment placement

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Oct 14, 2020 3:08 pm

As you have already discovered even a little treatment can improve matters and you have taken the right approach using trial and error WRT speaker placement and listening position to get a reasonably well balanced sound. It will always be a compromise in a domestic room but more is usually better when it comes to panels, especially the mirror points (don't forget the ceiling). Foam is usually too thin and often lacks sufficient density to work well but can be spaced off the walls to increase it's effectiveness, as I said above, everything helps. It is often said on here that you cannot have too much bass trapping in a small room but before spending more you could experiment with a couple of rolled duvets in the corners to see how much difference more trapping would make? FWIW those traps you link to look as if they should be ok but you'll probably need a fair few (my bass traps go floor to ceiling and are about the same width).

I think the biggest issue with your room might be the number of acoustic panels you have, you don't say but if it's only a couple of 500mm square panels their effectiveness will be limited. I have a 4 x 4 m room and have 7 off 1200 x 600 mm panels and three large bass traps and am intending to add another 5 or 6 this winter. DIY panels are easy to make and very cost effective if you are even only marginally competent with a drill and saw, plenty of threads on here explaining how to but ask if you want specific links.

edit :- looks like its DIY acoustic treatment week :D https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=74541&p=715314#p715314
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Re: Looking for help with speaker and treatment placement

Postby AlexWnbrg » Wed Oct 14, 2020 6:12 pm

thank you so much for your advice.

The panels I have are each 12"x12" and 2" thick. I have placed 4 of those at each reflection point so there is a total of 4 square feet of foam at each point, although I have not done the ceiling, and that was honestly not something I had even thought of yet. Do you know of an effective way to space those off the walls? Maybe just hang some sort of material and then attach those to the material? How far off the wall would you suggest?

I've thought about the DIY traps, although I'm not extremely handy and we don't have a saw. I guess I could rent one, but I wouldn't even say I'm remotely competent with them, so the thought of attempting to make those myself is a bit daunting.

I've also read a bit about bringing the traps out from the corner to increase absorption, although again, it will push my listening position closer to the halfway mark of the room, so I'm still deciding what the best approach there is.

As far as applying the small amount of trapping I have coming to me now, would the best approach be to put those at speaker level until I get more to do the whole corner?
AlexWnbrg
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Re: Looking for help with speaker and treatment placement

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:49 pm

Foam panels are very light so spacing them off the wall with some foam blocks would be feasible, my 50mm Rockwool panels are mostly spaced 40-50mm off the surface. The ceiling is as important as the walls so you need to look at that. The usually suggested ratio of panels to untreated surface is 1/3rd absorbers, 1/3rd diffusers and 1/rd untreated but it's pretty much impossible to achieve in a small room. What you need to avoid is lots of mid/high frequency absorbers and little in the low mid and bass, that would make the room sound very 'honky' and nasal, you are better off with some reverb remaining and reasonably balanced frequency response. As I said it's always going to be a compromise, you'll never get a living room or bedroom to sound as good as this...

Image

https://www.soundonsound.com/music-business/bop-studios-story
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Re: Looking for help with speaker and treatment placement

Postby AlexWnbrg » Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:16 pm

Great, thank you so much. Every little bit of info feels very valuable to me right now, so I appreciate all the help.
AlexWnbrg
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Re: Looking for help with speaker and treatment placement

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:28 pm

:thumbup:
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