You are here

Home office/Studio layout and sound issues

Customising, building or repairing your own gear? Need help with acoustic treatment or soundproofing? Ask away…

Moderator: Moderators

Home office/Studio layout and sound issues

Postby Beqpod » Wed Apr 14, 2021 12:07 pm

Hi everyone,

New to the forum and new to music production.

I'm in need of some layout/acoustic issues with my home studio.

My ear is burning when I play so I either putting this down to the room acoustics or the speakers needing more time to burn in. Its on the right side since I turn to face the synth (pics). I read that this might be ear fatigue? The monitors are adam t5v. Either way I hope I can get some pointers from you guys as to my setup layout and anything I need to get to have a pleasant experience. Both monitors are currently set to a tiny bit off the 0db.

In general the room is rectangular except for a small cranny behind the door.

The glass door leads to a small balconey and is never used. Could this glass be causing issues from the back of the speaker? I keep the thin curtains closed because I found the morning sun on the right speaker and it got hot. I wanted to protect it.

I can spend a bit of money on acoustic treatment if need be. Although I found some corner dampeners for hundreds of pounds. I can't pay that for one corner.

Thanks for reading,

If my post isn't too clear I'd be happy to clarify any detail.

Image
Image
Image
Beqpod
New here
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:34 am

Re: Home office/Studio layout and sound issues

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Apr 14, 2021 1:52 pm

Hi Beqpod, and welcome to the SOS Forums! 8-)

You're right to point your loudspeakers down the longer dimension of your rectangular room, as this will sound better because reflections coming back from the 'rear' wall will arrive slightly later.

However (and especially since you say that glass door isn't used), I'd readjust your loudspeaker positions slightly so that each one is the same distance from the side wall, with you sitting exactly halfway across the room. In other words, try to place your gear so that everything is as far as possible symmetrical about an imaginary centre line from front to back.

You'll get significantly more neutral bass end performance by placing some bass trap in your two vertical front corners (these can be DIY, and only cost a few tens of pounds each).

You'll also benefit from some wall-mounted traps at the two side reflection points (these could be light enough to be hung from a picture frame hook, so no nasty changes to your room).

That should be a good start anyway - hope this helps!

If you want more practical info, have a read of this SOS feature: https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques ... -treatment


Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 17706
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Home office/Studio layout and sound issues

Postby James Perrett » Wed Apr 14, 2021 1:57 pm

In addition to Martin's suggestion, I'd also suggest raising your speakers off the table as this could be causing problems with the bass. It is usually best to have the tweeters roughly at ear height.

There appears to be very little in your room to absorb sound waves at the moment so a bit of acoustic treatment should work wonders.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 10821
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Home office/Studio layout and sound issues

Postby blinddrew » Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:12 pm

What Martin and James said ^^^. :)
The only thing I'd add at this stage is that I don't see a set of headphones plugged in anywhere. In small domestic rooms like this we're never going to get great bass response, unless we fill it with so much bass trapping that we can't actually move. So getting a decent pair of open-back headphones, to check the low end in particular, is a sound investment.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 14998
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Home office/Studio layout and sound issues

Postby Beqpod » Wed Apr 14, 2021 3:28 pm

James Perrett wrote:I'd also suggest raising your speakers off the table as this could be causing problems with the bass. It is usually best to have the tweeters roughly at ear height.

James,

Yea the tweeters are pointing at my mid chest when I sit. I considered stands but most I found were so flimsy. Will have a look for some kind of desk mount.

Martin Walker wrote:
However (and especially since you say that glass door isn't used), I'd readjust your loudspeaker positions slightly so that each one is the same distance from the side wall, with you sitting exactly halfway across the room. In other words, try to place your gear so that everything is as far as possible symmetrical about an imaginary centre line from front to back.


Martin,

I've made your recommended changes and also swapped the mixer for the grandmother. I can sit more naturally.

Image

The speakers are now 40cm from the side walls and I also pulled the desk away from the back wall (i assume this will help although it means less room for the waves to form in the rest of the room.

Image

Martin Walker wrote:
You'll get significantly more neutral bass end performance by placing some bass trap in your two vertical front corners (these can be DIY, and only cost a few tens of pounds each).

You'll also benefit from some wall-mounted traps at the two side reflection points (these could be light enough to be hung from a picture frame hook, so no nasty changes to your room).


Any particular material spec for this?

I found these corner traps, its a pack of 4 at 30cm by 30cm by 30cm. I figured 2 on each corner at the same height as the monitors:

https://www.andertons.co.uk/recording/recording-studio-accessories/acoustic-treatment/bass-corner-traps/universal-acoustics-mercury-bass-trap-300mm-burgundy-pack-of-4

Thanks for the link. I came across this before but many of the details went over my head. It's something I should look into more.

blinddrew wrote:The only thing I'd add at this stage is that I don't see a set of headphones plugged in anywhere. In small domestic rooms like this we're never going to get great bass response, unless we fill it with so much bass trapping that we can't actually move. So getting a decent pair of open-back headphones, to check the low end in particular, is a sound investment.

blinddrew,

I do have some d770 250ohm but one side stopped working and I haven’t been able to ship them off to get fixed. I was thinking of buying another pair to have. Any particular reason you are suggesting open back? Is this to have the headphones and monitors on at the same time and use the headphones for the bass?
Beqpod
New here
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:34 am

Re: Home office/Studio layout and sound issues

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed Apr 14, 2021 4:02 pm

... and in addition to what's been said... consider some isoacoustics monitor stands... they really do make a difference.
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8309
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:00 am

Re: Home office/Studio layout and sound issues

Postby Beqpod » Wed Apr 14, 2021 6:09 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:... and in addition to what's been said... consider some isoacoustics monitor stands... they really do make a difference.

Definitely. I have some iso pads under the monitors but I really need something to lift the monitors off the table. Alot of the desk stands I found were too small to hold these monitors though.
Beqpod
New here
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:34 am

Re: Home office/Studio layout and sound issues

Postby blinddrew » Wed Apr 14, 2021 6:27 pm

Another +1 for isoacoustics stands. I have some here as well.

Why open-back? A number of reasons, one is that they tend to give you a more airy presentation that's a bit more natural. Another is that they tend to be a bit more comfortable for longer sessions. And also that they're less likely to cause a build up of ear wax.
I'm not making this up.
But mostly it's about the more natural and airy response. Generally rule of thumb is closed back for recording and open back for mixing. But some people like semi-open back for mixing too.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 14998
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Home office/Studio layout and sound issues

Postby N i g e l » Wed Apr 14, 2021 7:21 pm

blinddrew wrote:Why open-back? ...... that they're less likely to cause a build up of ear wax.
I'm not making this up..

Ive not heard that :lol: but I can imagine that ear buds promote wax build up - is there an interesting audio ear wax article that you know of ?
User avatar
N i g e l
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1548
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:40 pm
Location: British Isles

Re: Home office/Studio layout and sound issues

Postby blinddrew » Wed Apr 14, 2021 8:06 pm

Jack Ruston mentioned it on a thread a while back and gave a credible source - but I can't remember what it was! :D
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 14998
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Home office/Studio layout and sound issues

Postby N i g e l » Wed Apr 14, 2021 10:02 pm

not someone I follow but at least Im safe with my open back headphones.
User avatar
N i g e l
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1548
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:40 pm
Location: British Isles

Re: Home office/Studio layout and sound issues

Postby RichardT » Wed Apr 14, 2021 10:24 pm

I’m another Isoacoustics fan! They also allow you to tilt the monitors so that the tweeters point to your ears. Well worth the money.

Where are you sitting in the room? Are you in the ‘near field’ of your monitors? The ideal position is normally that you and the monitors make an equilateral triangle.

The bass traps you linked to are made of acoustic foam. They will help, but not remotely as much as traps made of denser absorbent material such as rockwool. Rockwool is quite cheap so if you’re handy (and you have the right protective gear) you can make bass traps for not much money at all. A couple of corner traps and some treatment of the reflection points will make a significant difference.
RichardT
Frequent Poster
Posts: 979
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 12:00 am
Location: London UK

Re: Home office/Studio layout and sound issues

Postby Beqpod » Thu Apr 15, 2021 10:12 am

Mike Stranks wrote:... and in addition to what's been said... consider some isoacoustics monitor stands... they really do make a difference.

Oh, interesting. I looked these up, looks promising. However, most of the models I find avialable are too small for the footprint of my monitors. Is this normal? Width is fine but depth is a few inches shorter. I'm concerned about vibrations from the monitor and it shaking off... especially if tilted.

blinddrew wrote:Why open-back? A number of reasons, one is that they tend to give you a more airy presentation that's a bit more natural. Another is that they tend to be a bit more comfortable for longer sessions. And also that they're less likely to cause a build up of ear wax.
I'm not making this up.
But mostly it's about the more natural and airy response. Generally rule of thumb is closed back for recording and open back for mixing. But some people like semi-open back for mixing too.

Wow I had no idea. I think I'll get my dt770 repaired at some point and get myself some open back in the mean time for mixing/producing. Thanks for this tip. Any particular pair you recommend? Would the high ohm be an issue if I wanted to disconnect from mixer and plug into laptop (for mixing). I didn't notice a volume drop on my current cans when using the laptop but then my ears aren't as trained.

RichardT wrote:Where are you sitting in the room? Are you in the ‘near field’ of your monitors? The ideal position is normally that you and the monitors make an equilateral triangle.

The bass traps you linked to are made of acoustic foam. They will help, but not remotely as much as traps made of denser absorbent material such as rockwool. Rockwool is quite cheap so if you’re handy (and you have the right protective gear) you can make bass traps for not much money at all. A couple of corner traps and some treatment of the reflection points will make a significant difference.

Yea I have been reading that foam isn't that great. I'm sitting right up against the moog in the latter pictures so that is pretty much equilateral (except the height, I need to hunch over to get my ears level with the tweeters).

I'm not very handy at all and don't have a space to DIY anything. I'd much rather buy some solution outright but I'm sure rockwool bass traps would cost a fair penny.

About the reflection points, would foam be ok for this? Or again is some kind of rockwool panel needed for the job.

Also, although I pulled the table away from the end wall, is that necessary? Is it better out from wall or closer? I see so many home studio pictures right up against the end wall and no acoustic treatment and I'm baffled as to how these setups function :headbang: .
Beqpod
New here
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:34 am

Re: Home office/Studio layout and sound issues

Postby Luke W » Thu Apr 15, 2021 10:37 am

Beqpod wrote:Oh, interesting. I looked these up, looks promising. However, most of the models I find avialable are too small for the footprint of my monitors. Is this normal? Width is fine but depth is a few inches shorter. I'm concerned about vibrations from the monitor and it shaking off... especially if tilted.

IsoAcoustics have a calculator on their site to tell you which stands will best fit your monitors, link here:

https://calculator.isoacoustics.com/

Beqpod wrote:I'm not very handy at all and don't have a space to DIY anything. I'd much rather buy some solution outright but I'm sure rockwool bass traps would cost a fair penny.

GIK Acoustics do ready made panels if you don't fancy the DIY approach, I don't think I've seen any in person but they seem to have a decent reputation. Again, link here:

https://gikacoustics.co.uk/product-category/acoustic-panels-6/

Beqpod wrote:About the reflection points, would foam be ok for this? Or again is some kind of rockwool panel needed for the job.

It would be better than not having anything. But in general you'll usually get better results with a mineral wool panel than foam, and foam isn't usually any cheaper for the same surface area.

Beqpod wrote:Also, although I pulled the table away from the end wall, is that necessary? Is it better out from wall or closer? I see so many home studio pictures right up against the end wall and no acoustic treatment and I'm baffled as to how these setups function

When you work in a space that hasn't been purpose built it can come down to a compromise between what works better in terms of sound, and what is practical. Often a bit of trial and error can be the best way to find out what works best for you. There are lots of photos of people doing all sorts of strange things with their studio setups, but that usually gives very little indication of how it actually sounds.
User avatar
Luke W
Frequent Poster
Posts: 973
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:00 am
Location: Northamptonshire, UK
Studio - Techical Services - Bespoke Construction

Re: Home office/Studio layout and sound issues

Postby blinddrew » Thu Apr 15, 2021 11:59 am

Beqpod wrote:
Mike Stranks wrote:... and in addition to what's been said... consider some isoacoustics monitor stands... they really do make a difference.

Oh, interesting. I looked these up, looks promising. However, most of the models I find avialable are too small for the footprint of my monitors. Is this normal? Width is fine but depth is a few inches shorter. I'm concerned about vibrations from the monitor and it shaking off... especially if tilted.
One of the points about good stands is that they isolate the monitor so that there is no shaking. Therefore no falling off. :)

Beqpod wrote:
blinddrew wrote:Why open-back? A number of reasons, one is that they tend to give you a more airy presentation that's a bit more natural. Another is that they tend to be a bit more comfortable for longer sessions. And also that they're less likely to cause a build up of ear wax.
I'm not making this up.
But mostly it's about the more natural and airy response. Generally rule of thumb is closed back for recording and open back for mixing. But some people like semi-open back for mixing too.

Wow I had no idea. I think I'll get my dt770 repaired at some point and get myself some open back in the mean time for mixing/producing. Thanks for this tip. Any particular pair you recommend? Would the high ohm be an issue if I wanted to disconnect from mixer and plug into laptop (for mixing). I didn't notice a volume drop on my current cans when using the laptop but then my ears aren't as trained.
DT770s are good headphones and definitely worth getting fixed (I have a pair here in fact :) ), for open-back cans I personally like my DT990s but there is a lot of love in these parts for AKG K702 (712s if you're feeling rich ;) ).
Lower impedance models will be easier to drive from a laptop/phone, that being said, I've never had any issues getting enough volume from my phone with my 250Ohm DTs, but I think some people do like to listen a lot louder than I do.
The AKGs are around 60 Ohm I think, the DT880 and 990 are only available in 250Ohm though.

Beqpod wrote:
RichardT wrote:Where are you sitting in the room? Are you in the ‘near field’ of your monitors? The ideal position is normally that you and the monitors make an equilateral triangle.

The bass traps you linked to are made of acoustic foam. They will help, but not remotely as much as traps made of denser absorbent material such as rockwool. Rockwool is quite cheap so if you’re handy (and you have the right protective gear) you can make bass traps for not much money at all. A couple of corner traps and some treatment of the reflection points will make a significant difference.

Yea I have been reading that foam isn't that great. I'm sitting right up against the moog in the latter pictures so that is pretty much equilateral (except the height, I need to hunch over to get my ears level with the tweeters).

I'm not very handy at all and don't have a space to DIY anything. I'd much rather buy some solution outright but I'm sure rockwool bass traps would cost a fair penny.

About the reflection points, would foam be ok for this? Or again is some kind of rockwool panel needed for the job.

Also, although I pulled the table away from the end wall, is that necessary? Is it better out from wall or closer? I see so many home studio pictures right up against the end wall and no acoustic treatment and I'm baffled as to how these setups function :headbang: .
The thing about foam is it only tends to be effective at damping higher frequencies, so your room will sound dull and boxy, leading to a tendency to create mixes that are over-bright as you compensate for it.
Using a thick rockwool panel, spaced a little from the wall, will give you much more consistent control across a broad band of frequencies (hence they're sometimes referred to as broadband absorbers). Gik have been recommended above, but it's worth having a look back through this sub-forum as there was a thread a few months ago with someone offering pre-built units at a very reasonable price. There's also a thread about polyester absorbers as well if I recall.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 14998
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Next