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Old 10th May 2011
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A few things from Ethan Winer, of RealTraps

Originally Posted by Ethan Winer
...This is a self-help forum. We will give you links to all the information you could possibly need, and then some. And when questions arise we'll gladly answer in detail. But few of the experts here have the time or energy to design your room for you, or provide one-on-one personal consulting for free. If you prefer to be handed a solution rather than spend the 5-20 hours needed to learn what's most appropriate for your specific room, you should consider hiring one of the acoustic consultants who post here often. Or rather than DIY your treatment, buy from a knowledgeable treatment vendor. Many treatment companies offer free placement advice, and often other acoustics advice, for free as part of the purchase of their products...

Originally Posted by Ethan Winer
1) Posters, PLEASE tell us the size of the room(s) you're asking for advice on. It doesn't have to be accurate to 1/4 inch, but at least within half a foot or so. American or Metric is fine.

2) Be sure to say where you are located, because the availability of acoustically useful material varies around the world. Ideally your location will be in your forum profile, so it appears every time you post as a reminder to us. Otherwise, at least state your location in your first post.

3) Please do NOT post enormous photos. Pictures should be 600-800 pixels wide at most. Viewing posts with huge photos is difficult and a nuisance.

4) Speaking of photos, the best photos are distant shots that show the entire room in context. Close-up photos are not useful. Stand outside the door if you have to. We need to see where the mix position is in the room, where your speakers are placed, what's on the side and rear walls, where the doors are, and so forth. The fewer photos needed to show all of that, the easier and faster it is for us to help you.

And from Jens Eklund

Originally Posted by Jens Eklund
1. Learn how to make measurements: REW - Room EQ Wizard Home Page
Don’t do anything without measurements.

2. Find the best position. Usually centered up against a short wall, is the best place to start. Confirm with measurements. If the room is big, you can experiment with a position away from the wall but then usually more than approx. 1,5-2 meters from it (speakers).

3. Identify and treat your modal and SBIR related issues and educate yourself about different bass-absorbing techniques.

4. Treat areas that otherwise creates early reflections.

5. If the room is big enough, add diffusers (but read up on how to use diffusers before going nuts).

Always base your decisions regarding different treatment, on measurements. Avoid thin porous only absorbers (including wall to wall –carpet, drapes etc.) unless a measurement indicates the need for it. There are many informative threads lying around; find them.
From Hannes regarding this thread

Originally Posted by Hannes_F
It would be important that reading the mentioned stickies and following the most popular suggestions will get you most probably to level 1 or 2 of the following list. The higher levels need more information and - and this is very important - individual measurements and calculations. For most people hiring a consultant will be the only way to ever get there.

Level 1 or 2 can be sufficient for the given project or not depending on the conditions and purpose. However it should be important to realistically estimate the goals and to give at least a glimpse on advanced possibilities.

1st level: Hanging absorptive panels in an existing room
Result: FR (edit: frequency response) +/- 10 to +/- 15 dB, can be optimized to +/- 8 dB at best if a measurement microphone is used for placement. Nevertheless massive modes. Lots of real world projects end up worse than +/- 8 dB.

2nd level: Hanging absorptive panels in an existing room plus installing SuperChunks
Result: FR +/- 6 dB at best, reduced modes. Lots of projects are worse than +/- 6 dB though.

3rd level: Using commercial membrane absorbers plus corner absorbers
Result: FR +/- 5 dB at best, even better reduced modes

4th level: Using closed layers of thick absorption
Result: FR +/- 4 dB at best, strongly reduced modes except the lowest, however decay on the dry side

5th level: Using closed layers of thick absorption in conjunction with reflection
Result: FR +/- 3.5 dB at best, cleaned up ITG (initial time gap) strongly reduced modes except the lowest, still on the dry side but not so bad as #4

6th level: Using tailored tuned traps, process well monitored by ETC measurements
Result: FR +/- 3 dB at best, cleaned ITG, fully controlled modes, no problem with the room being too dry

7th level and above: Integrated design using tailored tuned traps plus construction methods, soffit mounting etc.


Originally Posted by SAC
+1 Hannes makes some very salient points.

Exuberance is great.

But it takes a bit more awareness (measurements) and knowledge in order to treat some issues (assuming one even has a defined acoustical response model in place!) than to simply install beau coup porous absorbers and an obligatory diffusor or two.

And recognizing what you don't know is as, if not more, important than simply rushing ahead with only a partial understanding and the assumption that brute force can optimally solve the issues.

This is NOT meant to discourage folks! But there is a bit more to the science of acoustics (and yes, for all the artists, it is ultimately a science) than what someone can learn by simply reading a few how to and DIY articles. No less than one can reasonably expect to buy a guitar and the right clothes and reasonably expect to become a virtuoso on the instrument in a few weeks or months (ocarina excluded!). It should be evident simply by virtue that we approach the science here to the almost complete exclusion of math, and where everything is treated as linear - just add more and the benefit increases accordingly!

And where only a few have seriously ventured to familiarize themselves with tuned resonators and diffusion. And perhaps fewer have become intimate with actually taking and using measurements. And we have only scratched the surface in this regard! Some really nice and powerful tools have become available, but they do not eliminate the fundamental need for a bit more in depth knowledge. And it is wise to recognize just how far one is willing to invest in learning this, and the limits of exactly what one knows, and to recognize when it is best to call in someone who knows just a bit more.

Folks just need to realize that while some basics are great - and an awareness of the fundamental challenges are a beginning, it is not sufficient as an end. ESPECIALLY if one fantasizes of actually building a serious studio - which ALSO necessitates a serious business plan - as witnessed by so many famous/prominent studios closing in droves around us as we speak - and the live touring business is drying up as well with the last two years seeing actual shrinkage in this sector...(oh, and with the top ten drawing acts all being over 50 years old!) (Read FOH, SCN, and other trades...)

Last edited by Torea; 13th May 2011 at 12:38 AM.. Reason: Relocated the quotes from Post #3