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Room Treatment?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques  
Author Room Treatment?
I recently moved to a new apartment and my room is much to loud at the moment.
I'm looking at different acoustic absorbers and have no idea where to start.

My room is 16m2 (4.5x3.5 meters or similar) and not really tall. It's also my bedroom so I have a big bed in there and opposite the bed a wardrobe , a small cabinet and a desk with my stuff between the wardrobe and cabinet. besides that it's pretty empty.

basically I'd like to know where to start? should I make some audio measurements or run some kind of test tone?? or just buy a couple of acoustic pads for high/mid frequencies and a few for low or perhaps some diffusers and just experiment utill it sounds ok???

Also, as I said my audio stuff sits between a wardrobe and the cabinet about 1.8 meters apart. I'm guessing this is not a great solution but there is now way I could re-organize it so I'd like to know if I should put some acoustic absorbers there.

One thing I have to avoid is getting the room too much sound-absorbing because I play trumpet there and It's really bad to play trumpet in such room ( well' it's not ok with a very loud room either lol )
Also I'd like to use a large-diaphragm condenser mic on my trumpet so it's really important that the room sounds nice.

one last thing- I have no experience in real studios so I'm not sure if I get it right by ear seriously, i just don't get it

thanks for any suggestions!
Two things;
First, take a look at the forum. Lots of good ideas about room treatment. Second, before you drop a bundle on a LDC, I'd suggest you consider Elecrovoice RE20 to record your trumpet. A really great all around mic and exceptional on brass instruments.
i second the re20 recommendation -
and would say a great pair of headphones would be better use than sound treatment stuff
your bed is a giant absorber so you probably need diffusion to knock down reflections - books shelves work great - filled up with books

you can't turn down a trumpet no matter how much sound absorbers you put in a room - that would require sound proofing and that is not possible without construction
What are we talking here, acoustic treatment or isolation? You seem to be mentioning both interchangeably. They are not the same thing.
A quick test you can do it set up a sine wave on a keyboard and play up the scale chromatically starting from the lowest note possible. If you have any resonance problems you will notice certain bass notes seem very much louder than the others. You can smooth out this a little by adding those 4"x2'x4' rockwool things wrapped in material.

The other test is to clap your hands and listen to the echo. If the echo is obvious and fluttery then you need to think about diffusion.

The trouble with recording the trumpet in such a small room is it's going to sound boxy. A better approach might be to dampen and diffuse the room so it's dead-ish then add some artificial verb.
Thanks guys!
bf wrote:
What are we talking here, acoustic treatment or isolation? You seem to be mentioning both interchangeably. They are not the same thing.

lol treatment I think

I have quite a lot of flutter echo in this room. and also I'd like to boost the performance of my monitors. When mixing I listen to both speakers and headphones.

I was thinking about diffusion on the back wall and two absorption panels on the sides for early reflections (and maybe one on the ceiling) plus some foam in critical places

I see many people recommending the re20 here and also on gearsluts, I think I'll have to get one.

the whole room treatment is not only for recording , you also need a decent sounding room for trumpet practice because because when the room has too much echo or is too dull it creates tension within the player and it doesn't help hearing pitches either.

re: artificial reverb- what would you recommend in a reasonable budget?
to attack flutter echo you can should watch out for parallel reflective (= flat, hard material) surfaces. walls left to right and floor - ceilling are good bets.
in my room I put foam that is used for the inside of flight cases on certain areas of my walls and flutter echo was gone (I don´t recommend this material though because it´s not fireproof). have a friend help you find the right spot and you end up using much less material. sometimes it´s enough to put the stuff up in an asymmetrical way, so the sound bounces off one wall but gets stopped on the other filled with foam. experimentation is the key here.

of course this only helps in the high frequencies, for low mid or bass resonances you should google "superchunks diy".
have a look also to the tapeop forum, theres used to be a guy that runs a acoustic treatment company who knows this shit. he was very helpful with how to treat a room a lot of times - without wanting to sell you his product if you say you want to diy. I think he also put a "how to build your own absorbers" page on the web. I don´t have the bookmarks but go to that forum and they will help you out.

someone mentioned bookshelfs - without wanting to step on toes, if you don´t have the books already you shouldn´t waste money on used books for only this purpose. they aren´t very good absorbers and not very good diffusors. of course, if the books are about synthesis and trumpet recording they help to improve your sound a lot. ; )

edit: about the monitors performance - how big is your room and how big are your speakers? if your speakers are too big you will always have trouble with bass response, I learned that the hard way.

btw, are you studying jazz trumpet in katowice? years ago I was a week in krakow and met some guys from katowice on a session in some basement club... man, polish cats sure know how to play!
lol Unfortunately I've been playing for too short to study jazz here, but my teacher does. These guys have really awesome skills!

thanks for the advice,
I know about the bookshelves- I've seen some videos of guys showing that they're neither good absorption nor diffusors.

The room is about 16 m2 (3.5x4.5) and I have yamaha hs50m speakers so I don't think size is the problem w00t

Do you know some good manufacturers of affordable panels (absorption or diffusion) in Europe? I'd rather not go DIY as I don't have a workshop and I'd like the room to look good enough so I can still invite my girlfriend over oops
I was looking for something affordable myself but didn´t find a good solution.
friends of mine run a studio and they bought materials from a company that makes soundproofing for highways - you have seen these walls I guess.
this material works really well for soundproofing to the outside but also works as absorber and diffusor at the same time. for the size of the thing quite cheap, but it´s a permanent solution and if you don´t want to diy its not the thing for you.

have a look at thomann, they have some stuff: 687458c9&sw=absorber&x=0&y=0
I haven´t tried any of the products but my guess is that if you buy a set of those foam absorbers from t.akustik and combine them with 2 basstraps you should hear a substantial improvement, your room is not big. flutter echo should be gone as well.
of course, if you don´t want to DIY you have to pay the prices.

positioning of your speakers is crucial as well, putting them completely to one of the 3.5m wall or a little (between 30-100cm) off that wall on speaker stands are things you can try (I hope my description is clear).
I did a couple of sessions mic'ing a trumpet and fluglehorn with one of these and it sounded marvelous. Mic'd some other horns like a crumhorn and other ones I can't remember the name of. It worked great on all of them.

EDIT (whoops left out the link!)

I've had really good luck with home-made 2'x4' sound panels made from pressed fiberglass or rockwool or whatever you want to call it. I covered them with nice rust-colored drapery material (with spray adhesive" and they look good, really help the sound and you can move them around and experiment as needed. It's not a difficult DIY. I guess it's obvious but room placement of the trumpet and where it's aimed are critical. You can always move the sound panels for recording, like clipping them to a mic stand and aiming your trumpet bell at them to reduce the room flutter and them move them wherever you need them when mixing. For diffusion - add more gear!
+1 re20
and fiberglass bass traps are the way to go for treatment. imho: skip the eggcarton/foamstuff
home-made 2'x4' sound panels made from pressed fiberglass or rockwool

Yeah, I've heard pretty successful absorbtion of excessive reverb will the cheap boards of what I think is mineral wool. Get it at industrial supply type of suppliers in 4ft x 8ft sheets.

I've seen it painted. It might have been a very thin dusting of spray paint or watercolor.

But, if isolation is the goal, good luck! That really requires major mass and buffer layers. In an apartment, you would have to make a second wall in front of the existing wall, separated by a gap filled with something like pink fiberglass (?). I suppose you could design that in pieces that attach and detach.
Loads more info here
This is where I started.

You need the theory to make decent decisions since the space is so filled with bad information and overpriced products.

Yes, you can make measurements. There is free software and some not so free but not too expensive.

Usually Bass Traps are where you start anyway. That is the biggest bang. Although, a couch is already a bass trap.

Do not buy into all the expensive foam treatment kits. Read the whiner article.

Also, a little hint, you can get Aurelex to actually design the room treatment for free if you send them your room design. It can be helpful especially after you are more educated and can read between the lines.

I built custom bass traps via the Ethan Whiner design and also bought some from GIK

Made the measurements, build my own mid and high freq panels for mix position.

A bit of work but best thing I ever did, especially if the studio is a keeper long term.

If it's just an apartment, then maybe work with what you got. Couches, bookcases, etc... make all the treatment you need if you know where to place stuff.
thanks guys !
good reading, I'm now pretty much settled on what I'm getting for this room
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