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Room acoustics MYTHS and what is a HIGH QUALITY MONITOR TOOL for you ? - Gearspace.com
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Room acoustics MYTHS and what is a HIGH QUALITY MONITOR TOOL for you ?
Old 27th January 2013
  #1
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Room acoustics MYTHS and what is a HIGH QUALITY MONITOR TOOL for you ?

I have often heard about people on GS(THE ROOM TREATMENT PEOPLE) venting the merits of acoustic treatment which can sum up with moderate quality monitor speakers to create very precise critical listening monitoring "systems." You will find at least 1 person commenting about room treatments in treads about monitor speakers.

These statements could not be further from the truth.

The point of having a good monitoring "system" is to hear with the greatest fidelity, the source signal coming from the DAC and AMP.

If the speaker suffers from box coloration and other design faults (which so many monitor speakers with big brands still have and which people don't even realize), you can have the best room treatment in the world but the biggest problem would still be present and it will in no way cure the design problems of the speaker.





"YYOU CAN HAVE THE MOST PERFECT ROOM IN THE WORLD, BUT IF YOUR SPEAKERS THEMSELVES HAVE THEIR SHARE OF COLORING AND RESONANCES, YOU WILL JUST HEAR COLORED SOUND IN A PERFECT ROOM."



β€œOne of the hardest tests for any speaker is to reproduce a well-recorded spoken voice; so many systems produce the sound of someone in a box β€” which means you can hear the speaker cabinet!”
Hugh Robjohns (Audio Specialized Trainer for the BBC UK, Author of multiple sound articles on professional audio magazines, and Technical Editor of the SoundOnSound magazine since 1997)




I would be very curious to know people's opinion about what a great monitor speaker represents and which speakers(brand and series) you believe have those qualities ?


NO TROLLS PLEASE
Old 27th January 2013
  #2
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🎧 10 years
Okay, fine. Couldn't you say the same things about almost anything though? Examples:

If a cable is providing color due to materials/workmanship, then you could be in the perfect room with the perfect source/mic combination yet you will just hear "colored sound".

If your preamp provides "color", then you could be in the perfect room with the perfect source/mic combination yet you will just hear "colored sound".

If your converters are not crystal clear, then you could be in the perfect room with the perfect source/mic combination yet you will just hear "colored sound".

etc, etc.
Old 27th January 2013
  #3
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A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The "room treatment people" are the realists who understand that 99% of the time, the weakest link, by far, is the room itself. Which leads to a very important corollary: the monitors and the room create an acoustic system. The only way to tell how good a pair of monitors are going to sound in a room is...to actually test them in the room.

We did our own shootout over a period of weeks, and nothing but the actual shootout could have predicted how the different speakers sounded relative to one another.

It is also true that the amp feeding the monitors is part of the system: an underpowered amp is going to create a poor rendition of what the speaker could do.

So, in the end, it is all three: amp, monitor, and room. A terrible, terrible, crappy amp may well be the weakest link. Or a terrible, terrible, crappy set of monitors. But if you go by the objective science of what it takes to create a reasonably accurate control room environment, and then compare that to the rooms that most people are using, chances are very good that the room is the #1 problem. Which is no surprise, because a well-designed, well-treated room is so much more expensive than good amps or monitors.
Old 27th January 2013
  #4
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narcoman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
... And to be fair, even a set of cheap monitors work better in a good room.
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #5
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Whigham ➑️
Okay, fine. Couldn't you say the same things about almost anything though? Examples:

If a cable is providing color due to materials/workmanship, then you could be in the perfect room with the perfect source/mic combination yet you will just hear "colored sound".

If your preamp provides "color", then you could be in the perfect room with the perfect source/mic combination yet you will just hear "colored sound".

If your converters are not crystal clear, then you could be in the perfect room with the perfect source/mic combination yet you will just hear "colored sound".

etc, etc.
This is perfectly true but I have discarded the AMP and the DAC, and assumed that they are of high grade.

The focus of the thread was about the speakers and the room treatment, people just don't realize how colored the sound coming from their speakers are.

The speakers+enclosure are the one of the hardest elements to get right and most of speakers out there and many monitor speakers we have tested suffer from those problems.

And i'm not the only one who complains about this.

β€œOne of the hardest tests for any speaker is to reproduce a well-recorded spoken voice; so many systems produce the sound of someone in a box β€” which means you can hear the speaker cabinet!”
Hugh Robjohns (Audio Specialized Trainer for the BBC UK, Author of multiple sound articles on professional audio magazines, and Technical Editor of the SoundOnSound magazine since 1997)
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clueless ➑️
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The "room treatment people" are the realists who understand that 99% of the time, the weakest link, by far, is the room itself. Which leads to a very important corollary: the monitors and the room create an acoustic system. The only way to tell how good a pair of monitors are going to sound in a room is...to actually test them in the room.

We did our own shootout over a period of weeks, and nothing but the actual shootout could have predicted how the different speakers sounded relative to one another.

It is also true that the amp feeding the monitors is part of the system: an underpowered amp is going to create a poor rendition of what the speaker could do.

So, in the end, it is all three: amp, monitor, and room. A terrible, terrible, crappy amp may well be the weakest link. Or a terrible, terrible, crappy set of monitors. But if you go by the objective science of what it takes to create a reasonably accurate control room environment, and then compare that to the rooms that most people are using, chances are very good that the room is the #1 problem. Which is no surprise, because a well-designed, well-treated room is so much more expensive than good amps or monitors.
Please name monitors which you consider GOOD?
Old 27th January 2013
  #7
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ciro's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The problem with this "ressonances" is that a good part of it is really caused by the room or things like a big desk, etc, etc. ThatΒ΄s why (imo) we see opinions tottaly different ("scooped" and "forward" mids , eg) about the same pair of speakers.
When I read someone saying "Dynaudio BM6 has a dip in the 105 , 320 and a peak in 500", I bet these are room issues, these monitors are not designed with perceived "built in dips/peaks" (I hope).
Any set of speakers (cheap or expensive) will suffer with strong early reflections , long/unbalanced decay times and strong peaks and dips .
Everything imho, of course, IΒ΄m not an acoustician nor have an expensive set of monitors.

Ciro
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ciro ➑️
The problem with this "ressonances" is that a good part of it is really caused by the room or things like a big desk, etc, etc.
I am talking about box/enclosure resonances here, it's what the BOX in which you place the speaker produces and reflects back into the latter to modify/color the sound source.


The room also acts like this box, with resonances.


So if you tame the room resonances ... the speaker resonances(in the speaker box) are still PRESENT and room acoustic treatment can do nothing about it.
Old 27th January 2013
  #9
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🎧 5 years
Your right! Room treatment is a bunch of BS! F--K IT i'm going to start mixing in the bathroom!
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #10
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Scott Whigham's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by hans_beiger ➑️
...people just don't realize how colored the sound coming from their speakers are.
Who are these people you are referring to? You've posted this in the "High End" section which is, by and large, frequented by very experienced posters. If you think they aren't aware of such things, you're just not correct. I'd even venture to say that almost anyone who has listened to two different pairs of monitors in the same room can recognize how a specific design or material affects the sound of the monitors. Paper cones, ports, active vs. passive - anyone who has listened to multiple pairs of monitors in the same room recognizes this as a clear, sonic difference.

Sorry - if you're trying to make a point that's different from what I've referred to above, I'm just not getting it.
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Whigham ➑️
Who are these people you are referring to? You've posted this in the "High End" section which is, by and large, frequented by very experienced posters. If you think they aren't aware of such things, you're just not correct. I'd even venture to say that almost anyone who has listened to two different pairs of monitors in the same room can recognize how a specific design or material affects the sound of the monitors. Paper cones, ports, active vs. passive - anyone who has listened to multiple pairs of monitors in the same room recognizes this as a clear, sonic difference.

Sorry - if you're trying to make a point that's different from what I've referred to above, I'm just not getting it.
I have made a thread about focal twins based on the resonances I heard, and most of the people don't get what I mean, they say they never heard such things and some even told that they didn't know what box resonances mean and if it was a new buzzword.

I am sorry but I do not really comprehend your statement about the high end forum frequented by only very experienced posters.

I agree that it used to be the case a couple of years ago though.



What I am trying to put forward is the voodoo of room treatment cannot fix the design problems of a speaker, and the people that say that a superb monitoring system can be built with a great room+ an average monitor speaker ... is just plain non sense.
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #12
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by hans_beiger ➑️
people that say that a superb monitoring system can be built with a great room+ an average monitor speaker ... is just plain non sense.
Whom has made this claim? I believe you are making a straw man argument. No rational person claims that a *superb* system can be built with *average* components.

What is claimed is that in most monitoring environments, the room acoustics are far worse than the limitations of the speakers. Therefore, considerable effort needs to be paid to the room before addressing the finer points of speakers.
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #13
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KevWind's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by hans_beiger ➑️

The room also acts like this box, with resonances.

So if you tame the room resonances ... the speaker resonances(in the speaker box) are still PRESENT and room acoustic treatment can do nothing about it
. Correct and the converse is also true.
Simple logic dictates that once you get an accurate speaker and clean amplification, if your room is crap you will have very accurate sound bouncing, standing, canceling and resonating around the room and sounding like very accurate crap, and the accurate monitor system can do nothing about it.
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenchijin2 ➑️
Whom has made this claim? I believe you are making a straw man argument. No rational person claims that a *superb* system can be built with *average* components.

What is claimed is that in most monitoring environments, the room acoustics are far worse than the limitations of the speakers. Therefore, considerable effort needs to be paid to the room before addressing the finer points of speakers.
Just see by yourself

Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman ➑️
... And to be fair, even a set of cheap monitors work better in a good room.
This even got two thumbs up lol
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #15
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Scott Whigham's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by hans_beiger ➑️
I have made a thread about focal twins based on the resonances I heard, and most of the people don't get what I mean, they say they never heard such things and some even told that they didn't know what box resonances mean and if it was a new buzzword.
So is that what this is about then? You made a point about a specific speaker, some people didn't agree with you, and now you've decided to make a new thread about it to try to get different people to agree with you? Okay. Well, my POV is that, if you did as good a job in the other thread of making your point, then I'm not surprised you found people unwilling to see your side of things. The truth is that your "arguments" are weak, obtuse, and have nothing more than your own personal opinion cited as a source. That sort of thing is generally viewed as "opinion" rather than "fact" thus your post(s) come across as you trying to make your opinions be viewed as facts (which is just weird). Perhaps English isn't your first language and there's some sort of language barrier - it happens - I don't know. But your points are just not being made clearly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hans_beiger ➑️
I am sorry but I do not really comprehend your statement about the high end forum frequented by only very experienced posters. I agree that it used to be the case a couple of years ago though.
So says the guy with the join date of November, 2012. Okay.
Old 27th January 2013
  #16
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Ryan Silva's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by hans_beiger ➑️
I have made a thread about focal twins based on the resonances I heard, and most of the people don't get what I mean, they say they never heard such things and some even told that they didn't know what box resonances mean and if it was a new buzzword.

I am sorry but I do not really comprehend your statement about the high end forum frequented by only very experienced posters.

I agree that it used to be the case a couple of years ago though.



What I am trying to put forward is the voodoo of room treatment cannot fix the design problems of a speaker, and the people that say that a superb monitoring system can be built with a great room+ an average monitor speaker ... is just plain non sense.
I get what you saying sir, I do indeed. It's just the proportionality of it that's important. In most small poorly treated studios I've been in, treatment and speaker placement yield much higher improvement than replacing poorly designed speaker enclosures. So I don't see a problem with focusing on room elements, yes getting the right speakers are important sometimes your stuck with what you got.
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevWind ➑️
. Correct and the converse is also true.
Simple logic dictates that once you get an accurate speaker and clean amplification, if your room is crap you will have very accurate sound bouncing, standing, canceling and resonating around the room and sounding like very accurate crap, and the accurate monitor system can do nothing about it.
Absolutely true 100% agree

Now to the second part of the OP

Would you mind sharing a speaker brand/series which you could qualify from your experience as being a very accurate monitor speaker ?
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #18
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by hans_beiger ➑️
Just see by yourself
No. You made the claim (argument). Whom has said this? Show me some quotes. I've been here for years, and I find the topic of room acoustics very interesting. I have not seen anyone make the claim you just proposed- that a superb system can be made with average components. Please show me examples of this argument.

Otherwise you are simply knocking down your own straw men.
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenchijin2 ➑️
No. You made the claim (argument). Whom has said this? Show me some quotes. I've been here for years, and I find the topic of room acoustics very interesting. I have not seen anyone make the claim you just proposed- that a superb system can be made with average components. Please show me examples of this argument.

Otherwise you are simply knocking down your own straw men.
Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman ➑️
... And to be fair, even a set of cheap monitors work better in a good room.
Just look up this very thread U'll see this post

Now keep on flaming good luck
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #20
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by hans_beiger ➑️
Just look up this very thread U'll see this post

Now keep on flaming good luck
I see. You don't understand English. Absolutely no one has made the claim that you accuse them of. You are simply trolling for attention. Narcoman said that cheap monitors sound *better* in a good room, not that a "superb system" could be created with "average speakers."

That is your own delusional invention.
Old 27th January 2013
  #21
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Moderate

Newell waterfall plot of NS10 - Google Search

Speaker resonances indeed. There are anomalies though. The BBC designed BC-1 monitor has a 'lossy' cabinet. The resonance was part of the design.

I am experimenting with DRC these days. It has an interesting byproduct , the speakers get Eq'ed too.

Overall these things are tools. The skill is in the craftsman. Many great mixes have been made on NS10's and HorrorTones.

DD
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #22
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenchijin2 ➑️
I see. You don't understand English. Absolutely no one has made the claim that you accuse them of. You are simply trolling for attention. Narcoman said that cheap monitors sound *better* in a good room, not that a "superb system" could be created with "average speakers."

That is your own delusional invention.


If I follow your logic and if am not mistaken this room is about HIGH END stuff and my OP is talking about HIGH QUALITY MONITORING TOOLS ... I don't know where "cheap monitors" have their place in the discussion, but yes it might be my english :P

But again, Good luck flaming
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #23
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan ➑️
Newell waterfall plot of NS10 - Google Search

Speaker resonances indeed. There are anomalies though. The BBC designed BC-1 monitor has a 'lossy' cabinet. The resonance was part of the design.

I am experimenting with DRC these days. It has an interesting byproduct , the speakers get Eq'ed too.

Overall these things are tools. The skill is in the craftsman. Many great mixes have been made on NS10's and HorrorTones.

DD
Box/Enclosure coloration cannot be distinctly seen on a waterfall plot nor frequency/amplitude plots. This is why those guys count on listening experts.

These things are tools indeed but highly skilled craftsmen can do stunning works when they are not limited by their equipment, but a very good job can be done on less than perfect speakers I do agree.

I just depends if one wants to create the top of the top works, or just very good results.

The point is to give to the craftsman the optimal tools to get the very best out of his capacities, if not, people would never bother about constantly spending tons of money on research and development of high level athlete's equipments.
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #24
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by hans_beiger ➑️
Absolutely true 100% agree

Now to the second part of the OP

Would you mind sharing a speaker brand/series which you could qualify from your experience as being a very accurate monitor speaker ?
Well first understanding that any and all loudspeakers (and rooms for that matter) are going to provide it's own color to the sound, it's more a matter of degree and type. Those speakers with flatter response curves throughout the entire freq range are objectively theoretically said to be more accurate. Now as to weather that is desirable is totally subjective and a completely different discussion.

The point is that if you are auditioning speakers in a room that is not relatively flatter in its response, you will have a much less accurate situation in which you can make any kind of objective/accurate assessment.

That said if your looking for suggestions to my ear PMC speakers are fairly flat
Old 27th January 2013
  #25
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🎧 10 years
Hans, calm the tone down. Repeated comments if " good luck flaming" have no place here. Especially from a recent registrant.

First and last warning.
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #26
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickGobe ➑️
Your right! Room treatment is a bunch of BS! F--K IT i'm going to start mixing in the bathroom!
I have some space over my bathtub so I'm planning to sell all my treatment and put a pair of Lipinskis right there, should be awesome! I'll put the shower curtain back if I feel like I need a tad of bass trapping.
Let me know how it's going on your side.
A.
Old 27th January 2013
  #27
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dft3670's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The list of classic recordings made in acoustically accurate rooms mixed primarily on a $300. pair of NS10s with tissue on the tweeters and a single crappy auratone is as long as the street I live on. This list of classic recordings made in 15x10 foot untreated room with $15k monitors not as long.
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #28
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dft3670 ➑️
The list of classic recordings made in acoustically accurate rooms mixed primarily on a $300. pair of NS10s with tissue on the tweeters and a single crappy auratone is as long as the street I live on. This list of classic recordings made in 15x10 foot untreated room with $15k monitors not as long.
I think you forgot Sir, that those engineers checked their mixes on the soffit mounted "main monitors" as well, which I would not really classify as $300 speakers, nor Auratones
Old 27th January 2013
  #29
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🎧 10 years
I agree with you 100%. They "checked" their mixes on those speakers. The majority of the mix was done on cheap speakers. I would be willing to bet the one gold tooth I have that any of those engineers could have sent a mix done totally on NS10's to a mastering house and still deliver exceptional results. We can agree to disagree and I respect your opinion. I myself will always take an accurate room ahead of a "high end" monitor.
Old 27th January 2013
  #30
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I do indeed check on the mains but generally the mains are for recording. Great monitors (which I have ) are indeed only worth having in great rooms but a well treated room will serve any mOnitor as a workable solution.
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