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EDM producers neglecting monitors/treatment
Old 18th September 2012
  #1
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🎧 5 years
EDM producers neglecting monitors/treatment

I can't be the only person to notice this... whenever I watch a studio video of a successful EDM producer, probably 8 times out of 10 they have no acoustic treatment and monitors placed against the wall.

Is room treatment/monitor placement really as big a problem as we make out?
Old 18th September 2012
  #2
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tehlord's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
A lot of the successful ones only arrange/compose at home, and then take entire mixes to a professional studio for a few hours to mixdown.

Headphones are rife too.

Most of the ones I actually know do have treatment though, and are fully aware of it's importance.
Old 18th September 2012 | Show parent
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tehlord ➑️
A lot of the successful ones only arrange/compose at home, and then take entire mixes to a professional studio for a few hours to mixdown.
That would make sense. Great answer, thanks. End of thread?
Old 18th September 2012
  #4
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tehlord's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
My field of knowledge isn't exhaustive.

Let's let the others play too
Old 19th September 2012
  #5
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I know I've been putting off purchasing and putting up room treatment in my bedroom studio. Though I'm far from a professional lol

That said, it is on the list. Though, I'd rather buy a new computer, a new audio interface, new monitors, a Virus, a Voyager, a patch bay, an EQ, some better plugins, etc, etc, etc.

Seriously, it's going to be the next *****' I purchase after a new computer and interface. For those of us who don't have the luxury of having the access or the cash to pay for access to a professional studio, I think it's an eventual must. That is if you want to mix on monitors.

I have been mixing on my AKG 702's more often lately, and I am finding that my stuff translates better everywhere. I am getting very used to my room and monitors now too, so I'm not so sure how necessary treatment REALLY is. I A/B between the two, and I think my mixing is getting way better. I'm not running to the acoustic specialists just yet, but I will. That's just me.

I also always hear the argument that 'until you've mixed in a properly treated room, you won't know what your missing out on.'
Old 19th September 2012
  #6
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ChristianRock's Avatar
 
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+1 to mixing with headphones, that's what I've been doing.

If I had gotten more money out of my analog studio when I sold it, I would have gotten some Yamaha MSP series monitors and some room treatment. But alas, I didn't make much, so an AKG Q701 will have to do for now.

Also, one can make the argument that if you get the basic mix right, the mastering engineer will make sure that your recording translates well in all sorts of equipment, and will correct EQ flaws. I know that this only goes so far, but it might be sufficient if you did a good enough job.
Old 19th September 2012
  #7
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🎧 5 years
My friend spent hundreds of pounds on tiles, traps, foam etc. He took a reading with Fuzzmeasure Pro before and after the installation and compared the graphs.

The difference was...... absolutely none. The graphs were 100% identical.

btw, I'm not anti-room treatment by any means. Just something that's been on my mind.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #8
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Synth Buddha's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brassica ➑️
My friend spent hundreds of pounds on tiles, traps, foam etc. He took a reading with Fuzzmeasure Pro before and after the installation and compared the graphs.

The difference was...... absolutely none. The graphs were 100% identical.
Haha, for that he should win some sort of prize. That's truly an achievement, if not good old fashioned wizardry. Then again, when I read "foam" I tend to get skeptical...
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #9
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🎧 15 years
LOL. Sorry man, something's broken in his approach to measurements if his results were as you say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brassica ➑️
My friend spent hundreds of pounds on tiles, traps, foam etc. He took a reading with Fuzzmeasure Pro before and after the installation and compared the graphs.

The difference was...... absolutely none. The graphs were 100% identical.

btw, I'm not anti-room treatment by any means. Just something that's been on my mind.
Old 19th September 2012
  #10
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🎧 10 years
Foam is useless. If it was involved, I'm sure that it wasn't a job by someone that knew what they were doing.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #11
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Eric J's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brassica ➑️
My friend spent hundreds of pounds on tiles, traps, foam etc. He took a reading with Fuzzmeasure Pro before and after the installation and compared the graphs.

The difference was...... absolutely none. The graphs were 100% identical.

btw, I'm not anti-room treatment by any means. Just something that's been on my mind.
Not all room treatment is created equal. I wonder what kind of tiles, traps and foam made no difference. "Foam" sounds suspect to me.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #12
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Synth Buddha ➑️
Haha, for that he should win some sort of prize. That's truly an achievement, if not good old fashioned wizardry. Then again, when I read "foam" I tend to get skeptical...
Perhaps foam should be reserved for shaving cream. I'm probably using the wrong word here, but he spent a lot of money on these "things" thinking it would change his life.
Old 19th September 2012
  #13
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🎧 10 years
I'm pretty surprised to hear that there was absolutely no change in your friends room. That's really ****ty actually.

My room is pretty empty and I get a nasty high frequency springy sounding reverb/echo. Drives me nuts sometimes. In my last apartment, i had a lot more 'stuff' in the room, and the high end reflections were virtually 'non-existent.' I'm sure my old room had it's problems lol, but right there in a non-professional sense of treatment I noticed a difference in sound.
Old 19th September 2012
  #14
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I see "foam" (sometimes by other names) and suspicious looking panels being advertised all the time. That's why I'm only going to do room treatment when I have the means to do the job properly. Too much snake oil in this business... it's not like I'll impress my gearslutz friends anyway... :grin:
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brassica ➑️
Perhaps foam should be reserved for shaving cream. I'm probably using the wrong word here, but he spent a lot of money on these "things" thinking it would change his life.
Even with foam and doing all kinds of dumb things there would still be a change, unless your friend is a wizard - and of course he could be. If there really was no change anywhere, then wizardry is a more likely explanation than foam (or whatever he used), because even with foam you'll get changes in high frequencies. And going by what you said I get the impression that he did buy more than a few pieces, so something must have changed, or else he is indeed a wizard.
Old 19th September 2012
  #16
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🎧 5 years
Can we forget I mentioned this story?

I was trying to reinforce my question in that perhaps it's not such a big deal as people make out, or is it?

Someone posted this video here the other day. These guys seem pretty smart, yet they have no treatment and monitors up against the wall.



Benga masterclass anyone? Presumably this is an old-ish video, but a lack of room treatment didn't seem to prevent his career from taking off, right?



So many studio videos I come across... the same deal.
Old 19th September 2012
  #17
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1 Review written
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I have no room treatment. My tracks come out just fine.
Old 19th September 2012
  #18
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🎧 10 years
It may or may not matter to anyone else, but personally I simply can't even stand to work in an untreated room. Having spent so much time working in a good room, going to a bare typical bedroom studio is excruciating.
It may or may not "work" for someone or someone else. You may be able to "learn" a room or "learn" monitors, but I really don't think so. Not a bare general-purpose room. Even if you can to some extent, it's just not nearly as pleasant an overall experience.
Old 19th September 2012
  #19
nms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brassica ➑️
My friend spent hundreds of pounds on tiles, traps, foam etc. He took a reading with Fuzzmeasure Pro before and after the installation and compared the graphs.

The difference was...... absolutely none. The graphs were 100% identical.

btw, I'm not anti-room treatment by any means. Just something that's been on my mind.
That is of course impossible if he took the measurement correctly and had it set to display correctly. Trust me, it makes a big difference! When I redid my studio the last time I took measurements after every piece that went in and each time I could see it in the graph. I use Room EQ Wizard though so I can't speak to the accuracy of fuzzmeasure. Like anything you have to set it up right though. If you're zoomed way out with smoothing the results will be deceiving. I work in a grid where 1 square = 2db.

Room treatment is only really expensive for people who don't want to put out effort and build their own (often better) treatment. We pay around $50 here for a big bag of Roxul Safe n Sound insulation which gives you enough to make a serious dent. The best thing I can recommend is front L&R corner traps. Straddle is ok, but my best results by far were from solid 16x16" columns floor to ceiling.

Here's a few measurements I took. The first one is the before shot with 2x2' autalex tiles on left, right, rear and 8' tall 16x16" triangular "superchunk" style bass traps in front L&R plus a 6" thick 5' x 3' front panel. The second is after I redid the acoustics adding five 2x4' Roxul panels L&R, rear, cloud, front wall to ceiling edge and doubling up my triangular corner traps to make 16x16" solid soffit style traps.

These really only hilight the freq response difference but you get the idea. I wish I had some for what the room's like with no treatment but it'd be a huge undertaking to take it all out. I can tell you it'd be uglier than you would possibly believe though!

One of the biggest improvements is to your low end. All the nasty holes and peaks are evened out. If you ever hear a hollow low end on tracks that's likely due to that effect.
Attached Thumbnails
EDM producers neglecting monitors/treatment-before-redesign.gif   EDM producers neglecting monitors/treatment-final-treatment-w.-soffits.gif  
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nms ➑️
If you're zoomed way out with smoothing the results will be deceiving.
Something like this is likely, hence why I regret saying it
Old 19th September 2012
  #21
nms
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Exactly. When I work on my room I always go with zoomed in graphs where you can see the ugly truth of it all. It's the only way to go!

Front wall corners are the heavy lifting spots though hands down. The thicker you go, the sweeter your low end gets. Floor to ceiling 16x16x16" is pretty burly if you're not in a big room.

Oh, and another thing that's been touched on..

Sure there are plenty of successful guys with no room treatment. The question is, are their tracks really well produced & mixed and are they sending their stuff off elsewhere for mastering? When I go through the beatport charts my ears hurt from the production quality of so much of what's being made in these poor conditions. It's so worth it to put the effort in here. It sure makes working & listening to music more fun as well.
Old 19th September 2012
  #22
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Jon Silva's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The benefits of room treatment aside, doesn't it also largely depend on the room itself? I mean, it could well be that at least some of these guys don't have problematic rooms.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #23
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Reptil's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Silva ➑️
The benefits of room treatment aside, doesn't it also largely depend on the room itself? I mean, it could well be that at least some of these guys don't have problematic rooms.
bingo!
give this man a sigar heh
some rooms are perfectly ok, without treatment.

but yeah the average EDM producer studio has crap monitoring. or mixing. or processing. and tens of thousands invested in piles of synths.
it's funny really. because they're happy, I'm happy, we're all happy.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #24
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brassica ➑️
Can we forget I mentioned this story?

I was trying to reinforce my question in that perhaps it's not such a big deal as people make out, or is it?

Someone posted this video here the other day. These guys seem pretty smart, yet they have no treatment and monitors up against the wall.


Benga masterclass anyone? Presumably this is an old-ish video, but a lack of room treatment didn't seem to prevent his career from taking off, right?


So many studio videos I come across... the same deal.
I imagine one reason is that a dance producer really only has to make his sounds good on the dancefloor which I guess is easier then making something sound good everywhere. A lot of people with bad setups will regularly play in clubs and test their tracks there and just learn over time how their home setup will translate to a club environment and adjust their productions accordingly.
Old 19th September 2012
  #25
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🎧 5 years
Interesting point.. yeah, a reflective room with bass peaks is closer to club scenario.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #26
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d1rtynyc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by teknatronik ➑️
I have no room treatment. My tracks come out just fine.
Apparently those producer's tracks do too without it.

I know a few really big producers personally that do fantastic work with no treatment and only decent monitors. If you're good, you're good.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #27
nms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil ➑️
the average EDM producer studio has crap monitoring. or mixing. or processing. and tens of thousands invested in piles of synths.
oh man... I never can get that! I'd rather be down one synth and using a pair of Focal Twins than up one synth and back to using KRK's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Silva ➑️
The benefits of room treatment aside, doesn't it also largely depend on the room itself? I mean, it could well be that at least some of these guys don't have problematic rooms.
If you have a typical room with corners and walls bouncing stuff back at your listening position you have a room with acoustic problems. You can expect it to work well with some tracks while making others sound ****e because of fundamental elements landing in problem areas. I can't stand those hollow nulls.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brassica ➑️
Interesting point.. yeah, a reflective room with bass peaks is closer to club scenario.
The big problem here is this scenario. Let's say you're dialing in your low end. Your reference is 5db down on a particular area of the low end so you mix that area louder to compensate. Your end user has an environment that's 5db up in that same spot. Textbook translation problem as what sounded great in your room sounds like ass in someone else's because it's so far off the happy middle ground. Same goes for clubs, your room has big nulls in the low end so you mix it louder then hear it on a big club system and it's muddy garbage.


Or, one common one being people who use subs or have an artificial low end boost from their room. It sounds bangin to them but weak elsewhere.

In dance music the toughest part to get right is the low end, and if you want to make consistently great sounding music you'll always have a way better shot if your reference for what you're doing isn't letting you down.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #28
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by d1rtynyc ➑️
Apparently those producer's tracks do too without it.

I know a few really big producers personally that do fantastic work with no treatment and only decent monitors. If you're good, you're good.
I am sure having a great room with great analog equipment helps and might make your song a hint better, but in my experience of the last 15 years the main thing that matters is knowing what you want to achieve! simple.

I kn ow I like my songs with bass, breaks, and funky edits... I am happy if they are not the best mixed song, but sound as good as most. I am happy if my tunes mix well with others, but maybe not the best mastering. In fact, I get tons of compliments from peers on my tunes even when I mix in headphones ( which I hate) and its all down to what you want to accomplish.

Music is fun and interesting for me and I see no need to change that with 10 thousand dollar monitors or a room treated to death with foam or tiles etc.

I do see how some it is very important and that is great for them... I know many dudes who have half million dollar studios yet cannot make a tune for the life of them....
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