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Room treatment, my ass :)
Old 8th September 2012
  #1
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CrankyChris's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Room treatment, my ass :)

I've struggled with mixing for many years. I finally resorted to just tracking at home and farming out mixing duties b/c my mixes were always pedestrian. Having been told "you need room treatment" or "you just need to learn your monitors" or "it's all about experience" or "you have to use reference mixes", I now know that advice is all crap.

I replaced my Event 20/20 bas that I've had for 15 years with some Neumann KH120s. I don't know if the Events are particularly bad or that the Neumann's are all that great, but I do know that the Neumann's work for me. Within about 45 minutes of plugging them in, I had the best sounding mix I'd ever done. It was as if a veil had been lifted and <shocker> I could actually hear what was going on. I burned a cd to play in my car (preparing for disappointment) only to find that it still was the best mix I'd ever done - and it sounded pretty much exactly like it did on my monitors. The translation is awesome. And my reference mixes sound as I'd expect - not all jacked up like they did on the Events.

So: for all you struggling out there with your mixes: Consider upgrading your monitors. I'm sure room treatment will help (and I do have room treatment) but the improvement I've experienced w/ these monitors is bordering on unbelievable. Buy the best monitors you can afford! Again: Buy the best monitors you can afford!!!
Old 8th September 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
carlheinz's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Fantastic step forward.The room does matter but as long as it works for you,who cares.

This is good news because I was thinkin of buying a pair of those 120's myself.Never liked those events....ever

I don't know why I know so many who cheap out in the most important part of the studio...those things called monitors...... thay tell you what you are doing...good/bad /whatever.At least if you have a crappy vocal sound or any sound,,you will hear it proper on decent monitors.
Old 8th September 2012
  #3
Gear Nut
 
Burger's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Congrats!!
Good Monitors are very important. Stepped up to Focal Solos + CMS Sub a month ago. To me it made a crucial difference!!

Thread Title is a little bit stupid (got my attention though :-) ). Heaving heard a few professional designed mixing and recording rooms, a well threated room is imho at least - if not more - as important as a good monitor system.

Highend boxes will suck in a ****ty room and vice versa.

a chain is just always as good as its weakest link!
Old 8th September 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
The advice wasn't crap. You just got lucky.
Old 8th September 2012
  #5
Moderator
 
psycho_monkey's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrankyChris ➑️
I've struggled with mixing for many years. I finally resorted to just tracking at home and farming out mixing duties b/c my mixes were always pedestrian. Having been told "you need room treatment" or "you just need to learn your monitors" or "it's all about experience" or "you have to use reference mixes", I now know that advice is all crap.

I replaced my Event 20/20 bas that I've had for 15 years with some Neumann KH120s. I don't know if the Events are particularly bad or that the Neumann's are all that great, but I do know that the Neumann's work for me. Within about 45 minutes of plugging them in, I had the best sounding mix I'd ever done. It was as if a veil had been lifted and <shocker> I could actually hear what was going on. I burned a cd to play in my car (preparing for disappointment) only to find that it still was the best mix I'd ever done - and it sounded pretty much exactly like it did on my monitors. The translation is awesome. And my reference mixes sound as I'd expect - not all jacked up like they did on the Events.

So: for all you struggling out there with your mixes: Consider upgrading your monitors. I'm sure room treatment will help (and I do have room treatment) but the improvement I've experienced w/ these monitors is bordering on unbelievable. Buy the best monitors you can afford! Again: Buy the best monitors you can afford!!!
All that advice is good (although it's really hard to "learn" monitors if your acoustics are bad). But your 2nd comment is also equally valid!

As with everything in music, your system is only as good as it's weakest link. And if that weakest link is the monitors...then that's where you need to make improvements.
Old 8th September 2012
  #6
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
the room doesnt really matter. only for bass if you have a sub..
Old 8th September 2012 | Show parent
  #7
Moderator
 
psycho_monkey's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by nznexus ➑️
the room doesnt really matter. only for bass if you have a sub..
Not many posts on GS that don't contain some element of opinion, but this is one of those that is just plain wrong

Or maybe those investing thousands in room treatment, and the science of acoustics is wrong?
Old 8th September 2012
  #8
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abechap024's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Depending on your room, low mids are very likely to be screwed. Average room size at least.

Sent from my LG-VS700
Old 8th September 2012 | Show parent
  #9
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Hyder boy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by nznexus ➑️
the room doesnt really matter. only for bass if you have a sub..
I guess ears don't matter either...
Old 8th September 2012
  #10
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h4nc0's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
More bass, more problem. (without treatment) I just got a pair of 120s and am very satisfied as well. If you treat your room properly, your 120s will only sound better.
Old 8th September 2012
  #11
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popmann's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
The fact is, most budget monitors and DACs suck. So, it really doesn't matter how evenly you tune your room to respond to suck.

I have a pair of Monitor Ones from 20 years ago...fed by my Echo card...used just as monitors for the keyboard station to do sequencing...I can't trust any mix decision I make there. Still. Been around here for two decades. Were my mix monitors until say 8-9 years back. Yes, overnight, my mixes improved. My tracking improved (because I could hear more accurately).

Doesn't mean there's no point in evening room response. But, "nothing is more important than transducers"...like all the guys plugging $200 Chinese LDCs into $1k preamp channels...

As long as the room or preamp doesn't SUCK hard...all transducer.
Old 8th September 2012
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
You would do well to start comparing your mixes to material that you already know sounds great. Becoming familiar with the speakers and room is key. This way you can also tune your mind to the room instead of going crazy vice-versa. Everything is an interpretation in the end, there is no one reality. Compare your mix even within the session, import some tracks and cut back on their volume to level your mix off, and A B them back and forth. Listen to how much low end there is, top end, is it clear or muddy, is it drier than you remember or more diffused, are all these things making sense to your memory of their sound on other systems in the past?
Old 8th September 2012
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Sometimes the basement at mom and dads house works out. I would not always count on it though.

I second that you just got lucky.

Bass traps would be my only real concern for metaphysical room correction.
Old 8th September 2012
  #14
Lives for gear
 
7 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Room treatment is obviously the best way, but it's not needed, if you know the monitors/room the results are good if you have the ability.

As the saying goes, it's not what you got it's how you use it, and in many cases people with no treatment get far better results (And work time) then those spending time with treatment etc.

As said treatment is of course best but it's not essential and is often over played on here. It's better to have a good set of monitors in a bad room then a crap set of monitors in a good room (Though it's best to have both good room and monitors)
Old 8th September 2012 | Show parent
  #15
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CrankyChris's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuildaFriend ➑️
Sometimes the basement at mom and dads house works out. I would not always count on it though.
Old 8th September 2012 | Show parent
  #16
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CrankyChris's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jomox ➑️
Room treatment is obviously the best way, but it's not needed, if you know the monitors/room the results are good if you have the ability.
Or if you've already treated your room as I mentioned in the OP.
Old 8th September 2012
  #17
Gear Guru
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Your ass could make a reasonable room treatment if placed properly I guess.
Old 8th September 2012 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by nznexus ➑️
the room doesnt really matter. only for bass if you have a sub..
Oh for ****'s sake.
Old 8th September 2012
  #19
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popmann's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Treating your room does nothing with inaccurate monitors...I think is the point. Transducers affect the sound more than the room they're in.

Maybe there's a point at which you shouldn't get EVEN better monitoring without tuning the room...but, most home recordists are no where near that level. And some 20/20 or my old MonitorOnes will never yield better mixes in a better room than nicer monitoring in a "does not suck" room. Ever. It's not a matter of learning them. BS. You're assuming in accuracy isn't exclusionary...you learn the, to produce mixes that don't suck donkey balls...not to produce GOOD mixes.

Good mixes fom less than good monitors is dumb luck. Over expenditure on tracking, maybe--or using a bunch of prerecorded samples for everything that were sampled and shaped for you already by...people who could hear what they're doing.
Old 8th September 2012 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyder boy ➑️
I guess ears don't matter either...
nothing matters!

there is a post (or two!) somewhere on Gearslutz dissing the value of every piece of gear, every Best Practice, and every tried and true technique. Even caring about getting good sound is said to be a 'waste of time' because all you need is a "good song" .

Sometimes it just an attention-getting headline, but I think a lot of people really want to believe that Every corner can be cut with no penalty. I am sure somewhere is a thread saying your monitor speakers don't really matter either!


I just hope more people take these posts seriously and hopefully All of them Together At Once, because the audio engineering field is too crowded as it is!
Old 8th September 2012 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuildaFriend ➑️
Bass traps would be my only real concern for metaphysical room correction.
This thread went down two, then left.

Metyaphysical room correction? What's next? I think I'll start building existential converters that help me deconstruct my mix.
Old 8th September 2012 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
CrankyChris's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by popmann ➑️
Treating your room does nothing with inaccurate monitors...I think is the point. Transducers affect the sound more than the room they're in.
Yup. That's the point.

Thanks!
Old 8th September 2012 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by popmann ➑️
Treating your room does nothing with inaccurate monitors...I think is the point. Transducers affect the sound more than the room they're in.

Maybe there's a point at which you shouldn't get EVEN better monitoring without tuning the room...but, most home recordists are no where near that level. And some 20/20 or my old MonitorOnes will never yield better mixes in a better room than nicer monitoring in a "does not suck" room. Ever. It's not a matter of learning them. BS. You're assuming in accuracy isn't exclusionary...you learn the, to produce mixes that don't suck donkey balls...not to produce GOOD mixes.

Good mixes fom less than good monitors is dumb luck. Over expenditure on tracking, maybe--or using a bunch of prerecorded samples for everything that were sampled and shaped for you already by...people who could hear what they're doing.
I would disagree on that one point as expressed in the first line above.

That's not to say -- in the least -- that monitors aren't aren't the most important part of the speaker/room relationship (actually that would be speaker/room/ear relationship but let's keep it simple for a sec) but that bad speakers in a bad room have the potential for being just that much worse, depending on the speakers' and listener's position.

A not necessarily minor point.
Old 8th September 2012 | Show parent
  #24
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq ➑️
nothing matters!

there is a post (or two!) somewhere on Gearslutz dissing the value of every piece of gear, every Best Practice, and every tried and true technique. Even caring about getting good sound is said to be a 'waste of time' because all you need is a "good song" .

Sometimes it just an attention-getting headline, but I think a lot of people really want to believe that Every corner can be cut with no penalty. I am sure somewhere is a thread saying your monitor speakers don't really matter either!


I just hope more people take these posts seriously and hopefully All of them Together At Once, because the audio engineering field is too crowded as it is!
heh

The implication behind joeq's irony is that it all potentially matters. To varying degrees in varying circumstances, to be sure. But we're talking chains, and every link in a chain is, in the sense that it is a chain, potentially crucial.
Old 8th September 2012
  #25
Moderator
 
psycho_monkey's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jomox ➑️
Room treatment is obviously the best way, but it's not needed, if you know the monitors/room the results are good if you have the ability.

As the saying goes, it's not what you got it's how you use it, and in many cases people with no treatment get far better results (And work time) then those spending time with treatment etc.

As said treatment is of course best but it's not essential and is often over played on here. It's better to have a good set of monitors in a bad room then a crap set of monitors in a good room (Though it's best to have both good room and monitors)
How can you learn a room that changes as you move your head 2"?! That's what happens in a poor room...
Old 8th September 2012
  #26
Moderator
 
psycho_monkey's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by popmann ➑️
Treating your room does nothing with inaccurate monitors...I think is the point. Transducers affect the sound more than the room they're in.

Maybe there's a point at which you shouldn't get EVEN better monitoring without tuning the room...but, most home recordists are no where near that level. And some 20/20 or my old MonitorOnes will never yield better mixes in a better room than nicer monitoring in a "does not suck" room. Ever. It's not a matter of learning them. BS. You're assuming in accuracy isn't exclusionary...you learn the, to produce mixes that don't suck donkey balls...not to produce GOOD mixes.

Good mixes fom less than good monitors is dumb luck. Over expenditure on tracking, maybe--or using a bunch of prerecorded samples for everything that were sampled and shaped for you already by...people who could hear what they're doing.
Even crap monitors perform better in a good space. Conversely, putting great monitors in a crap space makes them worse. You're wasting money buying good monitors and sticking them in a crap room. But putting average monitors in a good room, they punch above their weight.

So, do you want to overpay for underperforming speakers, or do you want to get more for your cash?

Plus of course, it's really not expensive to do basic treatment. I'd rather spend a few quid on rock wool and a bit of elbow grease making bass traps, than spend a load of cash on great monitors then not get the best out of them.
Old 8th September 2012
  #27
Lives for gear
Sit your monitors in front of an ASC Attack Wall and then tell me room treatments don't make a difference. Unless your room is already thoroughly treated, what you will hear coming from your monitors will be very noticeably different, which will translate to a different resulting mix.

That said, every so often a room will be fine the way it is using good monitoring, but arguably that happens *very* rarely, but it has happended to me a couple of times.

Now take your new monitors into a different room with different dimensions, re-do the same mix from scratch, and I bet it will not sound the same (ASC Attack Wall not allowed in this case ).
Old 8th September 2012 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq ➑️
I just hope more people take these posts seriously and hopefully All of them Together At Once, because the audio engineering field is too crowded as it is!
LOL
Old 9th September 2012 | Show parent
  #29
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Hyder boy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey ➑️
Even crap monitors perform better in a good space. Conversely, putting great monitors in a crap space makes them worse. You're wasting money buying good monitors and sticking them in a crap room. But putting average monitors in a good room, they punch above their weight.

So, do you want to overpay for underperforming speakers, or do you want to get more for your cash?

Plus of course, it's really not expensive to do basic treatment. I'd rather spend a few quid on rock wool and a bit of elbow grease making bass traps, than spend a load of cash on great monitors then not get the best out of them.
What he said...
Old 9th September 2012
  #30
Deleted 1846071
Guest
At low volumes the room becomes less important, though it is more difficult to deal with lows and low mids.

It is possible to have a good mix from an untreated room, especially if you reference your mixes on different systems and know the weaknesses of the room. There is more than one pro in Behind the Glass who says room treatment is unnecessary.

As for monitors - Auratones, NS-10s, nuff said. Michael Brauer mixes 70% of the time on a boombox sitting behind him.

Would I like to sit in a pro designed room with killer mains? Sure. But I don't need it to make a great record.
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