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Old 29th December 2011
 
Gear Head
 
I've gotten into a big project rearranging my garage and doing this stuff. I should post more about the experience when I'm done. I've been using a program called RPlusD (formerly called ETF) and a Behringer ECM8000 onmi mic. RPlusD is cheap. It plays a sweeping sine wave and white noise and then shows you the frequency response. Playing with this over the past few days has given me feel for how the room "behaves." It's fascinating stuff and it was all new to me when I started.

I used this in combination with CARA (to suggest some good starting places.) I ran CARA several times with different settings (man, it's complicated) and got widely varying results each time. Only one of those suggested positions turned out pretty good, the others not. In retrospect, I would have skipped CARA and just laid out the floor on a grid with taped marks, since this is what I wound up doing anyway. CARA was not a silver bullet.

One thing is for sure, wow it really makes a difference where your speakers are and where you are sitting. There is a lot of discussion about what the best monitors are, etc etc, but... imagine slapping a 32 band equalizer on your monitors with 10-15dB peaks and nulls! That's what's going on unless you find the best position and treat your room. Seeing it graphed out on RPlusD is very revealing. It's also amazing how small differences, like moving a speaker 1 ft, can have big effects sometimes.