My room. Advice on treatment!

My room. Advice on treatment!
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Matt from the UK. Producing Trance music and need to treat my bedroom. Its 3.7mx3.7m and 1.9m tall. Due to it also being a bedroom its not a perfect room but its all i have. Please find attached a pic of my room and the proposed treatment. The treatment is all ear level and above due to having furniture also in the room. I would also be having treatment on the ceiling above me. Any advice on if I’m on the right track or something else that would give me a better sound?

Cheers

Matt

@Ethan_Winer watched your videos on Youtube and you seem very clued up on this. Any help really appreciated :slight_smile:

It’ll be a bit of a tough go because the bed will mess with reflections, and having the monitors that close to the wall will cause some issues too.

Ok here’s some thoughts, but bear in mind I’m no expert, and people with more knowledge may come and shit on what I have to say :rofl:

  • Try to have your corner traps on an angle. Bass accumulates in corners, and the way you have it here, you’re just moving where the corner is as opposed to trying to reduce how much corner there is.
  • I would consider diffusion instead of absorption on the wall opposite your desk, as it might help reduce some standing waves.
  • Also if you’re able, consider hanging some absorption above your sitting position.

Make sure you have good headphones to reference on, and Sonarworks would be a pretty important investment. There will probably be lots of issues so listen to tons of music on your monitors and headphones and constantly reference other music when creating your own. Even without a perfect space, if you know how existing music should sound in your space, then you’re well on the way to being able to make your own music translate. To be perfectly honest… you could probably go minimal on treatment as long as you take the time to learn how mixes translate on your system.

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Thanks for the reply. I do plan on having some treatment above me , forgot to mention that. Will update the original post. I do also have the Sonarworks Reference 4 with the mic , bought it last week but haven’t installed it yet until I’ve treated. I also have the Audio Technica M50x headphones, which Sonarworks can work with so once I’m treated , should sound similar no matter if I’m on headphones or on the studio monitors.

I could do the bass traps on an angle (trianglular) in 3 of the corners from ear height upwards but the corner by the door i would have no room, so would have to be flat against the left wall and then flat on the door. The bed I’m stuck with as I’m already on my last warning with the wife haha

Matt

Hi Matt

I’m proudly amateur in my approach to all thing Audio! I have a bedroom studio too, which is a little bigger at 5m x 4.5m. I’ll add that I’m not an expert in this area, but I have spent a huge amount of effort getting my room to a point where I can at least trust my ears when I hear sound coming out of my monitors.

I’ll agree with about the monitors being too close to the walls. In my bedroom I could only move them about a foot away from the wall while still maintaining a usable room. So I pulled my desk away from the wall, and pushed the speakers further towards me so there’s a distance between them and the wall. That really did make a huge difference, and I don’t think I could go back to putting them up against a solid surface again. As I mainly do vocal recordings, I had to make sure that the big fat solid walls directly in front of my face had some foam squares on them. That also really helped a heap with some weird echoes I was experiencing. In terms of bass traps, I built some rockwool absorbers, and ended up with 8 of them in the room. Each one is a fairly decent size, and depth. In front of me I have 5 of these traps, 3 in the corners, and two on the upper edge hanging from the ceiling at 45 degrees. Above my head I have large “egg carton” foam panel, as first reflection point treatment, and on each side I’ve got panels at my first reflections.

On my left side I have a window I can’t move, so I decent heavy curtain which seems to do a good job of cutting out reflections. The rest of my bass trap absorbers are in various places around the room. The back wall in the room is a horrendous built in wardrobe that just presents the room with an amazing smooth and reflective surface for all sounds to bounce off and ruin my listening! I tend to leave the doors open and let the odd objects in the wardrobe act like natural diffusers.

I also have a rather large sofa bed, and I just count it as a opportunistic broadband absorber that you can sleep on.

I spent months working on this room, and I won’t pretend it’s anything other than some amateur fool’s attempt at getting a good listening room. But I will say that going to other people’s studios and listening to stuff is nowhere near as satisfying as sitting on my chair and firing up some music. Over the years I have got extremely confident in what I’m hearing from my monitors and making choices with my EQ. I think that’s the important point here. Get your treatment done, and then get confident with what you’re hearing coming out of the monitors.

so, just keep in mind that with a room that size, you are working almost purely in damage control mode. Your low end is going to be wonky no matter how many bass traps you put in it. And that’s perfectly OK. Plenty of people mix in small rooms with imperfect acoustics.

A few things you will want to watch out for:

  • Stereo Imaging problems. set up a tone generator, close your eyes and adjust the pan. Do some frequencies sound like they are coming from the wrong place? That is probably an indicator that your first reflections aren’t covered well enough. Ceilings count too.

  • Bass traps will work better when there is an air gap between the trap and the wall. A bass trap flat against the wall is not a bass trap. You are better off mounting them on the ceiling or the ceiling/wall corners. That way they aren’t taking up precious space, but they are still doing something.

  • Curtains on the window will help, as well as having some broadband absorbers across from the window. You really don’t want two parallel bare walls like that. That will cause nasty flutter echo. Any place where you have 2 bare walls facing each other, you should put something there. Even a guitar on the wall is better than a bare wall.

After doing everything you can, you can get room correction software. That stuff is not a cure for bad acoustics, but gain get you a flatter response at the listening position. It’s helpful if you have some bass frequencies that really stick out.

Get used to doing a lot of work on headphones. You’ll hear people talk about how terrible headphones are for mixing. They are about 25% right. Decent headphones can get your very far if you know how to use them.

Hi,

I do have Sonarworks Reference 4 with the Mic but haven’t opened it yet until I get some treatment. So bass traps on the ceiling would work as good as having them in the corners? If so that would be perfect. I can get some heavy curtains for the window when doing music.

Matt

think of it this way: Sound waves don’t care about gravity. Ideally you’d have bass traps in every corner, but in small rooms, you can’t just pretend like space isn’t an issue. To save space, you can put them in the upper corners. Then you can give them a nice air gab without eating into your space.

I have my speakers close to the wall but also have a bass roll off switch and front bass ports.I have bass traps from floor to ceiling and acoustic panels behind the speakers and on the wall behind the speakers. i have both side walls fully covered with panels.Where your bed starts mt ceiling slopes down as its an attic room and i have some more panels along the small bit of the wall and some on the slope. 5 panels on the ceiling.I can trust the room pretty much now and mixes seem to translate well

I am making some broadband absorbers and have ordered some rockwool rwa45 75mm thick and putting it in some DIY frames 100mm thick so there will be a 25mm gap from wall to rockwool. Was told that is better. Will 75mm be ok for broadband? Going to then make some bass traps and use 200mm thick to try and tackle the low end.

I ended up doubling up my panels of rockwool, and ended up with about 11-12cm of thickness. I have about 4cm of space in the frame so total of about 15cm of depth for my absorbers. I read countless forum posts about how think a bass trap has to be. I actually remember reading a post in a forum where this guy went through some high level maths, and considered the length of a wave at 80hz, the absorbancy of rockwool, and the nature of waves and came back with a thickness of 80cm per panel for this guys room. Let that sink in. Close to 1 metre thick panels on your walls!

I think 75mm for broadband absorbers should make a big difference in your room. If you manage to get coloured cloth to cover the panels they can actually look really nice hanging on your walls. If you get a chance, experiment with the placement of the panels. I couldn’t believe just how much or how little the placement of my panels changed the sound in my room.

I’ve ordered the wood and rockwool. Just deciding on the material. Sure I read somewhere that lycra is really good?

I think breathable is best. I went for a simple and thin cotton stretched over the frame and stapled. My first attempts were awful, but my latter panels look really professional. It’s the stretch and staple that must not be overdone.

I made 3 bass traps of 1200mmx600mm and they made a bit of difference. Havent got round to doing the rest yet but ive just bought some thick acoustic foam (75mm thick) and going to put that everywhere as well as it will at least stop the flutter echo. Its also stated that its been tested and absorbs everything from 500hz upwards by 1x

Just deciding what to do in the room as ceiling bass traps make a lot of sense as the 2 i have on the walls are really interfering with day to day life in the bedroom such as getting changed etc. BUT, i keep hearing that bass collects in the corners. If its in the roof corner then the mid wall down is still untreated?

What do you think?

Yes, but if it’s on the wall, then the corner is untreated. It’s best not to think of bass trapping as spot treatment and think of it better as where you can put it that it will absorb the most moving air particles. When it comes to bass trapping, corners tend to be that place.

If that wall is now bare after putting the traps in the corners, then you can treat it with something less thick and obtrusive.

Be ok when you get the panels up. its a squeeze with my bass traps getting in and out the door but i put up with that.Its important to put some behind your speakers too and a few on the ceiling

This.
Given a choice, I mix 100% on cans (AKG 701). There are potential pitfalls, yes, but the advantages are huge.

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I use 701s too and been very happy with them.Just use a crosstalk plugin that helps a lot.Good for checking low end and bad resonating frequencies in cans too.Its just what you get used to

Despite a lot of bass traps in my room I like using headphones too. Compared to my not so fantastic monitors (Samson Rubicon R5) my AKG 702 cans sound more defined, and using the VRM software in my Focusrite saffire Pro 24 I can get a reasonable stereo image as well. Switching from cans to monitors and back helps to get a different perspective. I also use my small fostex 6301 monitor to check how it sounds on a small speaker with mid frequency focus.

Yes i switch about.Sometimes i enjoy working on phones and can often get more into the mix.My mixes often come out more well balanced and detailed.I also prefer surgical eq work in cans.I think the 701 are the same as the 702 without the detachable lead