(not sure what category to post this in; moderators feel free to move this!)
So, I am having a frustrating experience with my mixes. I come up with what I think are decent mixes in headphones, but I just don’t love the way they transfer to my monitors or car, etc. So I’m finding I just keep re-mixing and re-mixing and not making any progress (yeah, I know, I need to post this stuff for more bashing; I will, I will ). But I’m thinking I need to really look at some acoustic treatment in my room, cuz it is pretty awful.
It’s a spare bedroom with a vaulted ceiling and nothing on the walls (drywall).
14.5’ x 15" (window wall is 14.5)
9’ 3” to peak (111”)
82” to low end of wall before it slopes up.
There are two windows, 25” off floor, at the end of the room with the peak of arched ceiling.
My problem is cost: I can spend a bit on this, but I’m just doing this for fun, as a hobby. Having a blast with it and learning tons. But I consulted with GIK for some rx’s, and the guy I spoke with was awesome, but he’s coming in at $3,000, which would be cool if I did this professionally, but, well, you know what I mean.
From everything I’ve read, covered panels with Owens Corning 703 insulation seem to outperform Auralex foam stuff pretty big time, so I’m okay with going in that direction. Maybe I should just do the OC panels for just bass traps and use foam for higher frequencies?
Anyway, Mike’s (from GIK) rx’s were pretty impressive:
6 -Tri-Trap Corner Bass Trap© with Range Limiter @ $150.00 treat all corners $900.00
4 -244 Bass Trap w/FRT (rectangle) Full Range @ $74.99 sidewalls only (5.25” x 24.25” x 48.25”). $299.96
3 -244 Bass Trap w/FRT (rectangle) Full Range @ $74.99 ceiling panels $149.98
3 -6A Alpha Series Rectangle with 2D Scattering @ $198.00 on the back wall (6” x 23″x45.5″). $594.00
2 -Monster Bass Trap w/FRT (rectangle) with Range Limiters @ $142.50 2 below the windows (7.3” x 24.25″ x 48.5″)
2 -Monster Bass Trap w/FRT (rectangle) with Range Limiters @ $142.50 on the back wall $285.00 (7.3” x 24.25″ x 48.5″)
2 -Monster Bass Trap w/FRT (Square) with Range Limiter @ $82.49 on the 2 sidewalls at the rear of the room (one behind the entry door. (7.3” x 24" x 24”). $164.98
2 -4A Alpha Series Bass Trap Diffusor/Absorber (Rectangle) with 2D Scattering @ $138.00 on the rear sidewalls above the square Monster Traps.(4” x 23″ x 45.5″) $276.00
Still, it seems like quite a bit of overkill for me. I’m finding tons of instructions for building my own panels pretty inexpensively, but most of those are only 2-3" deep; Acoustimac sells 4’ x 2’ x 2" panels, finished, for only $58.
As you can see from GIK’s rx’s, most of the panels they’re recommending are 5-7" thick. I mean, I have no doubts that it would be better and be amazing, but $3,000 is a bit over the top for me.
Would love thoughts as to suggestions as to what would be meaningful compromises for me, and where should I not compromise?
Looking at Mike’s rx’s, what are the pieces I could do without (he ranked them, so I hunch that the last one’s on the list could be the first to go)?
If I went the DIY route, or Acoustimac, how MUCH of a downgrade would that be to go to 2" panels? Save me a ton, but would I be short-changing myself?
Should I cough up the big bucks on the bass traps from GIK and scale down to 2" panels from Acoustimac or DIY?
Should foam be a part of the equation?
I should clarify that “most” of my work is done ITB, but my vocals are recorded live, as are my guitars: electrics are DI and played thru amp sims (mainly S-Gear, but also Guitar Rig and Amplitube), and acoustic is mic’d (sometimes double-mic’d). So my interests are for a better recording environment for guitars and vocals, but also (especially?) for mixing.
From everything I’m reading, and tutorials I’m going thru, I keep hearing over and over that room treatment should be a top priority, that can’t be covered up with plugins, etc. I’ve been reading up on what treatments are “best” but IDK how to balance “best” with what’s more practical for me. I’m serious about doing some acoustic treatment, but don’t wanna go overkill. I think I’m “getting it” that it would make a huge difference in my mixing. But, hey, what do I know anyway!?
So that’s where y’all come in. Speak truth into my life and point me in the way I should go!