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Old 30-07-2013, 09:28 PM   #1
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Sound treatment

Hi,

It's been 3 years now that I make elecrtonic music and I give more and more time on the mixing part of the production.

When I produce I do it 98% of the time with my 70$ AKG K77 on the head even though I have KRK Rokit 5''.

When all the arrangement is done, I really like to spend time on polishing the whole thing with EQ/reverb etc.... but it always get very frustrating because each time it sounds good to me on my AKG and the moment I transfer on my KRK, laptop speakers or car it sounds like crap! Some instruments are too loud, others not enough and the mix is thinner.

Is it because those AKG are crap or because we shouldn't mix on headphone + my inexperience...?

Well, now I want to help myself in the mixing part by sound treating the room where I "work".

How many of you made some effort to treat the room where you mix?

I would like your advices to avoid spending my money on things I don't need or doesn't worth it...

This is my room :



Does that setup make sense for you or should I place things somewhere else?

I know KRK 5 are too small for the low frequency but I can't really have a sub since I live in an appartement ...I will have to treat what is under 55 hz in my headphones for now... maybe I'll get 8 inches monitor later.

Now I plan to buy a microphone to test the room with a software and to see the curve ....wich microphone do you suggest for this? Not too expensive since it will probably be used only for this! And wich software?

Then I plan to home make bass trap and buy those foam [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
for the high frequency...

Any advices or trick? There is so much information on the internet that I don't know where to start and what to believe!!

Thanx!

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Old 31-07-2013, 08:25 AM   #2
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Re: Sound treatment

Take my words with a grain of salt but I always thought -when having a small room- you should place your speakers as close to the wall as possible and then use some bass traps.

A totally different angle -but probably a cheaper one- would be to buy a Focusrite VRM Box. I read a lot of great stories about it -working better than Isone and 112db Redline Monitors. Although it's only like 80 euros at the moment I'm waiting for a better deal on ebay to buy them (I only mention this since you say you prefer to mix with headphones).

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Old 31-07-2013, 03:40 PM   #3
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Re: Sound treatment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
Hi,

It's been 3 years now that I make elecrtonic music and I give more and more time on the mixing part of the production.

When I produce I do it 98% of the time with my 70$ AKG K77 on the head even though I have KRK Rokit 5''.

When all the arrangement is done, I really like to spend time on polishing the whole thing with EQ/reverb etc.... but it always get very frustrating because each time it sounds good to me on my AKG and the moment I transfer on my KRK, laptop speakers or car it sounds like crap! Some instruments are too loud, others not enough and the mix is thinner.

Is it because those AKG are crap or because we shouldn't mix on headphone + my inexperience...?

Well, now I want to help myself in the mixing part by sound treating the room where I "work".

How many of you made some effort to treat the room where you mix?

I would like your advices to avoid spending my money on things I don't need or doesn't worth it...

This is my room :



Does that setup make sense for you or should I place things somewhere else?

I know KRK 5 are too small for the low frequency but I can't really have a sub since I live in an appartement ...I will have to treat what is under 55 hz in my headphones for now... maybe I'll get 8 inches monitor later.

Now I plan to buy a microphone to test the room with a software and to see the curve ....wich microphone do you suggest for this? Not too expensive since it will probably be used only for this! And wich software?

Then I plan to home make bass trap and buy those foam [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
for the high frequency...

Any advices or trick? There is so much information on the internet that I don't know where to start and what to believe!!

Thanx!

Hi,

You should definitely not place your speakers closer to the wall as that will exaggerate your bass frequencies as well as other frequencies. You should have bass traps though.

Your set up is actually quite correct as it is now.

You should have your mix position about 30% of the of the length of the room. So you should be about 3-4 feet away from the wall with your desk facing the window as you have it now. I'm not completely sure about windows though...not sure if they cause problems acoustically, but you are supposed to place your speakers facing the longest portion of your room like you have it.

Your speakers should be something around 5 feet away from the wall to avoid exageration of frequencies, but for people like you and I that isn't possible. Some speakers (such as the Yamaha HS80m have switches to lower the different frequency bands to make them fit in the room better when not placed far enough from walls. You could place some sort of intermediary eq to get the same effect on your audio output signal).

I actually have almost the same size room as you and it's easy to mix in. Your problem could be any number of things honestly. It could be your monitors, it could be the actual room, and it could be that you have no room treatment. You also shouldn't mix with headphones. You can, but it is harder. I'd stick to production on headphones, and mixing with your monitors. With headphones the sounds reach your ears in an unrealistic time and can make it harder to get the correct stereo image in your track. Also yes, those headphones likely suck..I had the $150 pair of AKG production headphones and they were absolutely horrible.

If you have carpet you will absorb excessive amounts of high frequencies and you will have a more difficult time correctly diagnosing what amount of high frequencies your mix actually needs. If you have cement walls that's going to cause problems as well.

If you don't have treatment the first thing I would do is get some. It will do WONDERS for you. Believe me. It was astounding.

Check these guys: [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]


You can send them your room details and they'll basically tell you what your room needs with no pressure for sales. I picked up the smallest room kit and for my smaller room (12' x 13') it was all I needed. It cost me like $700 with shipping, but it was probably the best investment I've made in my studio.

Finally here is some good info:
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Last edited by rodan; 31-07-2013 at 03:47 PM..
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Old 31-07-2013, 04:09 PM   #4
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Re: Sound treatment

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Old 31-07-2013, 04:16 PM   #5
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Re: Sound treatment


I actually have the krk ergo room eq system and it works really well. I've heard good things about arc too.
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Old 31-07-2013, 04:45 PM   #6
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Re: Sound treatment

Quote:
Originally Posted by rodan View Post
I actually have the krk ergo room eq system and it works really well. I've heard good things about arc too.
That's a nice investment! But going about the same rate as Dirac 400+ euro is a little too much for me. Arc is doing 250 euro at the moment which seems rather strange since -as Ergo- it also includes hardware.

By total chance today I finally found a good deal for the Focusrite VRM (40 euro) so I'll be giving that a try. I know it's far from optimal in regard to monitors and room treatment and/or correction but for the late night sessions I'm curious to see how well that translates.

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Old 31-07-2013, 06:04 PM   #7
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Re: Sound treatment

You are on the right track, Jonathan. There are decent cheap reference mics around. Even the cheap Behringer ECM8000 does an OK job (I try to stay away from Behringer at all times because they suck).

Beware though, putting speakers in corners will accumulate bass (up to 6dBSPL, which is quite alot). Don't do that if you want a flat response.

My advice is, as you've already said yourself - buy/make absorbers, diffusers, bass traps, Helmholtz resonators, etc yourself. There is alot that you can do (for cheap) to make your room sound great.

I wouldn't buy ARC/ERGO - You can't really "EQ away" the symptoms of a badly threated room.

Heck, even use bookshelves+books as diffuser and absorbers. This book below is great if you want to educate yourself (It's also about an inch thick, which is great for absorbing frequencies around 10kHz )
Amazon.com: Master Handbook of Acoustics (9780071603324): F. Alton Everest, Ken Pohlmann: Books [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]


Further info:
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Old 31-07-2013, 07:42 PM   #8
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Re: Sound treatment

you should less focus on sound and tuning it with EQ and effect every time you make a track. I'm too use AKG headphones but check how track sounds on (big but shitty) speakers frequently. Headphones can't give you bass "vibe" feel, right understanding of stereo field and in general headphones sounds different (forgot about natural room reverb when you use speakers) you should keep this in mind, one day you'll just know how to do right way, every music producer have this issue.

I know many dudes with a lot of releases on cool labels who have no monitors, in same way i know many who have but can't do music well.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:27 AM   #9
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Re: Sound treatment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evelon View Post

This book below is great if you want to educate yourself (It's also about an inch thick, which is great for absorbing frequencies around 10kHz )
Thanx I'll buy a couple of copy then!!

So, next step is to build bass trap like these [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
...it seem not too complicated to build and I don't want something fixed to the wall ...

I'll also check too find the behringer mic!

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Old 01-08-2013, 12:32 AM   #10
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Re: Sound treatment

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Originally Posted by istinspring View Post
you should less focus on sound and tuning it with EQ and effect every time you make a track.
What do you mean? .....why?

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Old 01-08-2013, 01:19 AM   #11
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Re: Sound treatment

The best advice, and the most comprehensive explanation of room treatment I know of is written in the book "Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio" by Mike Senior. You can easily find a digital copy online. Give it a read, if nothing else the first few chapters cover everything you should know about monitoring and room treatment. Highly recommended
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:41 AM   #12
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Re: Sound treatment

have you tried mixing on your KRKs and referencing on your AKGs? it might translate better on to other systems if you mix on your KRKs. worth a try if not.
your room layout looks pretty ideal, but if you havent already get a tape measure and make sure youve got all your measurements accurate (such as distance between speakers and each wall/ceiling/floor, listening position e.t.c.)
if you havent already got carpet laid that can help.

i cant offer advice on acoustic treatment because i havent put the time into that yet (my room doesnt allow it), but there are plenty of resources on the internet about that, and since your room is very simple it will be easy to translate that to your room.
i do know though, that there should be treatment in the areas of the walls and ceiling that are directly between you and your speakers. think of all your walls/ceiling as mirrors, the points where you can see your speakers in the reflection is where you should treat. that and bass traps for the corners.

also, i would rename the exit to entrance, it just sounds more appealing to the studio

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Old 01-08-2013, 11:50 AM   #13
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Re: Sound treatment

I can only recommend you to use a sub!
Mixing lowend with headphones is nearly impossible due to physical circumstances.
I'm using a 12" sub (quite big setup for my bedroom..).
But I also use a foot pedal to switch it off if I dont really "need" it.
Means: mixing/mastering and checking the bassline stuff I'll activate it.
Most off the time its off.

Frequency analyzer for the time I cant have it on though.... but headphones for the little tiny details in the upper frequency.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:59 PM   #14
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Re: Sound treatment

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Old 01-08-2013, 04:11 PM   #15
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Re: Sound treatment

Wow your really going in with this sound treatment stuff

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Old 05-08-2013, 01:56 AM   #16
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Re: Sound treatment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parricide View Post
have you tried mixing on your KRKs and referencing on your AKGs? it might translate better on to other systems if you mix on your KRKs. worth a try if not.
Yes you are right ....I was mixing almost only on my headphone but I now realise that even if I don't hear the low frequency on my KRK it translate better ....and that setting on the picture is new ....my KRK were in another (smaller) room before ....it sound better now and I discover a new world now .... -> Panning and positionning

I have a carpet (in the center of the room) for confort ....but I don't think it's a good thing ...it seems like a carpet remove high frequencies only so it "unbalance" the room ....like that guy said in this video...

starts around 25 minutes :


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Old 05-08-2013, 03:11 PM   #17
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Re: Sound treatment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
Yes you are right ....I was mixing almost only on my headphone but I now realise that even if I don't hear the low frequency on my KRK it translate better ....and that setting on the picture is new ....my KRK were in another (smaller) room before ....it sound better now and I discover a new world now .... -> Panning and positionning

I have a carpet (in the center of the room) for confort ....but I don't think it's a good thing ...it seems like a carpet remove high frequencies only so it "unbalance" the room ....like that guy said in this video...

starts around 25 minutes :

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Having a whole room carpeted is bad, but depending on the size of your room and the acoustics of the room having a rug in the room can actually help you get a flatter sound. Especially if you don't have any treatment.

Really depends on the acoustic properties of your room. The best way to discover would be to get a reference mic and run REW to measure your room and find out what the specific problems are in your room. Gearslutz has a good guide on their Acoustic Treatment forum that will help you with REW, and once you have the measurements you can post the results and get advice on what needs to be fixed.

Another book I'd recommend is Mixing Audio:
Amazon.com: Mixing Audio: Concepts, Practices and Tools (9780240522227): Roey Izhaki: Books [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]

This book really got me up to speed. Very text book style writing, but it was full of great info. I think I highlighted at least half the book heh.
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:17 AM   #18
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Re: Sound treatment

I have made nice room in that way. With load different PA speakers etc. to listen sound on them and compare. I think they maybe not the best for mixing so I ordered new Yamaha HSM80 speakers and audio interface.
Ia also listen on headphones while doing final mixing at least few times.

Have to "get close" to Your speakers and get in love with them if they r good(like I did). Then You understand how they act. For me I know that highs are too much on those speakers. But I am waiting for those Yamaha's to compare.

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Old 10-08-2013, 08:40 PM   #19
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Re: Sound treatment

Hey Jonathan!

I have one good piece of advice for you. Whatever you do, do not buy foam panels. I cannot stress this enough, as the ones you posted a link to will do very little for your recording setup. I was once in the same boat as you and was told by many people with experience that foam was not the way to go.

So, what should you do? Get rigid fiberglass panels. I buy 6 packs of 2'x4', 2" thick Owen's Corning 703 rigid fiberglass panes for about $100. I treated my small home studio with them and cannot be happier. It is much cheaper than buying foam and is much more effective. You can also buy 4" thick panes which are very good for bass absorption.

For your purposes and being on a budget, I would get enough to treat your room's early reflections first and then buy more as needed or whenever more money is available. Search for some tutorials on "early reflections" on youtube and you will find some great information.

Anyways, I hope this helps. Let me know if I can help in any way!


P.S. Whatever you do, don't get foam panels!!!
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Old 11-08-2013, 01:17 PM   #20
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Re: Sound treatment

Quote:
Originally Posted by HoldenHarris View Post
P.S. Whatever you do, don't get foam panels!!!
Thanx for the advice.

Yesterday I bought everything to build 2 corner bass trap like these : [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]


The triangle is 26" x 26" x 37" and the height of the module will be about 47"

Everything costs me about 140$ for the 2 bass trap...

I will build them right today!

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