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 Post subject: Making music in a tiny room
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:34 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:43 pm
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Location: Schmocation
OK, so I've moved into a new house, and my "studio" is now a small, rectangular room. I placed my desk with monitors etc. on the short end of the room, and with my old IKEA Jerker desk, this takes up the entire width of the room. I initially favoured this solution, as it gave me a long distance to the wall behind me. I'm getting a quite unpleasant reverb from my monitors, and I was wondering if I'd be better off placing the desk on the long side of the room, which would leave a lot more room on the sides of the monitors, but less room between me and the wall in my back.

I've been in a similar situation earlier, but then I had my setup on the long side, and, as it was a temporary accommodation, I propped two big mattresses behind my desk, which helped a lot with the reverb.

Thoughts?

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 Post subject: Re: Making music in a tiny room
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:01 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:57 pm
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In general, I've heard it advocated to place your monitors firing down the length of the room to reduce reflections from the rear (i.e., set up against the short wall as you have done)

Support for this:
"In a room that is longer than it is wide, it's better to place the speakers near the shorter wall so they fire the long way into the room. This puts you farther from the rear wall where the low frequency peaks and nulls are most severe."

"If centered against the long wall, you are likely to sit in the node of more modes; not ideal. The reflection from the back wall will also arrive too soon if setup against the long wall."

You can always give it a try & decide which sounds best for your particular room.

The good news: a rectangle is better than a square!


DO's and DON'TS of MONITOR PLACEMENT - An article by CARL TATZ:

DO'S

1. Do toe in your near field monitors to a 30 degree angle
2. Do space your near-field monitors far enough apart so that the apex of your equilateral triangle is 18 inches behind your head. (recommend 67.5 inches from tweeter to tweeter)
3. Do use speaker stands and implement a decoupling element between the stands and the monitors
4. Do adjust the height of the acoustic center of the speaker (usually midway between the tweeter and midrange) to match the height of the listeners ears.
5. Do experiment by moving the engineer/monitor position back and forth along the length of the room to avoid axial mode nulls.
6. Do attenuate first reflections once you have chosen your positioning by sitting in the listening position and having someone
walk along the right side wall with a mirror until you see the left speaker. Repeat for the left wall and the ceiling as well. Place sound-absorptive panes at the wall and ceiling positions identified
7. Place absorption material on the rear wall

DON'TS

1. Don't assume that your speakers are going to be truly accurate in your room, no matter how much you paid for them or how well your room is acoustically designed
2. Don't use any other angle other than 30 degrees for stereophonic monitoring. The laws of physics determined this for stereophonic listening 50 years ago.
3. Don't mount your monitors on the console. Unless your console has a lot of mass, the console resonance will greatly affect frequency response.
4. Don't use consoles with high backs that prevent proper speaker height positioning.

http://www.carltatzdesign.com/index.html


Another really good article defining "Golden Rectangles", includes instructions & illustrations:
http://www.cardas.com/roomsetup.pdf

"If you are forced to place your speakers on the long side of a symmetrical, rectangular room, create a Golden rectangle in each rear corner. Your speakers can then be placed anywhere along a line extending from the outside rear corner through the inside front corner (Diagram F)."

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Last edited by oblique strategies on Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Making music in a tiny room
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:17 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:42 am
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Location: beneath mouse mountain
^^ good advice

Matresses are pretty much useless in my experience

Good quality acoustic panes can reduce high frequency reflections.

I have yet to find a way of getting rid of unwanted bass traps.

Getting some decent headphones and using them to check the balance of your mix (with monitors off) is important.

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 Post subject: Re: Making music in a tiny room
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:04 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 11:46 pm
Posts: 12951
Location: Seattle
Starting with sound acoustic principles like above is the best way to start the process, but don't be afraid to try something different if you think it might sound or work better ergonomically. In small rooms, often times anything goes, and I've seen the least likeliest speaker locations sound the best once we sat down to actually listen to thing. Play around with moving your studio around, especially in the early days.

Better to experiment now IMO, versus realizing too late there might be a better layout.

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 Post subject: Re: Making music in a tiny room
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:44 pm 

Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:19 pm
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Location: San Francisco, CA
some more great reading:

http://realtraps.com/art_room-setup.htm

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 Post subject: Re: Making music in a tiny room
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:04 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:43 pm
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Location: Schmocation
Thanks, guys! This has provided a great starting point!

The linked article talks about placement of 'absorption traps' - what kind of material should those be made of? Anything like this? (That sort of foam is the closest thing I've seen at any local shop.)

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 Post subject: Re: Making music in a tiny room
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:44 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 11:46 pm
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Location: Seattle
Owens Corning 703 and Roxul are the most commonly used in absorption traps.

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 Post subject: Re: Making music in a tiny room
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:33 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 2:47 pm
Posts: 337
Marking thread for later reading.....

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 Post subject: Re: Making music in a tiny room
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:31 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2007 7:50 pm
Posts: 666
If you are on a budget, try to find someone that is selling the panels they use in cubicle farms. I got 10 of them for less than 100. They're about 6'x5' or so and it's just cloth over insulation. I put them behind my speakers and on the walls facing my ears. I mount them about 2-3" off the wall. Works great to cut down on the reflections. However, they offer very little bass trapping. Also, I set my desk up on a diagonal in a corner.


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 Post subject: Re: Making music in a tiny room
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:27 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:43 pm
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Location: Schmocation
Yeah, it does look like a fun DIY project. I guess that making it look somewhat decent shouldn't be too hard, as long as you cover it with some kind of canvas/cloth.

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 Post subject: Re: Making music in a tiny room
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:54 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 9:15 pm
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*bookmark*

Nice post OS


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 Post subject: Re: Making music in a tiny room
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:18 pm 

Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:19 pm
Posts: 778
Location: San Francisco, CA
also, a great DIY bass trap building resource:

http://www.readyacoustics.com/DIY-BASS-TRAPS-MADE-EASY.pdf

if you're not into the DIY thing, i think GIK makes the cheapest 'good' bass traps available:

http://www.gikacoustics.com/

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 Post subject: Re: Making music in a tiny room
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:24 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 11:46 pm
Posts: 12951
Location: Seattle
+1 for GIK, their room kits are a great deal.

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