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Just wondering how many of you have done serious acoustic treatment, and if so, what you would recommend to others.

I was (very) lucky to move into a place that belonged to the former lead guitarist for David Lee Roth, so he'd already done a job on the room that he converted into a studio. Then I added Sonarworks to tweak the acoustics, and I'm pretty happy with the result.

I still need to put in bass traps. Commercial ones aren't cheap, but there are a bunch of plans on the web for doing DIY ones that look pretty effective and not difficult to make. I actually see a considerable advantage to taking the DIY route, because you can match the traps exactly to your room (e.g., floor-to-ceiling).

Thoughts?

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I can tuna room. ;-) My room is fully treated. I used GIK traps. I have the corner bass traps stacked to the ceiling, all first reflections covered, etc. I run Genelec 8351a's up front and 8330's as the rear surrounds, fed digitally via AES. I set everything up first just using SMAART and a measurement mic to get the best results in room I could from positioning. Then I put up the GLM mic and let Genelec's automation take it the final step. I made one or two small tweaks to its proposed equalization and it helps significantly. I am a big proponent of active, DSP speakers for professional work rooms.

I still have a room mode at 62Hz that would require PSI's AAVA's or tuned membrane absorbers to address. I situate the mix position to minimize its importance. I run a large desk - Argossy extra long composers desk, so I do get a reflection off of it that can't be avoided unless I change desks. It is visible in both the impulse response and the frequency domain plots.

I ended up with plus/minus 5dB, from 27Hz - 20kHz at 1/12th octave smoothing - which is a strong result. The overall response curve follows the Harman recommendations and findings. If I run this at 1/3rd or 1/6th octave smoothing, it is effectively flat. The time domain is also controlled. The RT60 is not completely flat, but the bass rise is low and acceptable for Dolby standards for mix rooms.

Overall, I have a room that is fully capable of professional work. It is not perfect, but I am dealing with slightly upgraded residential construction. The last inches are expensive and require floated floors, soffited speakers, deep trapping built into the walls, traps tuned to fix specific problems and proper broadband absorption - to say nothing of non-parallel walls... But this room sounds good, and I can record drums, piano, etc.

Someday, I'd love to do floated concrete bunkers like the good folk at Galaxy Studios in Belgium, but that's a huge step up from where I am now....

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I can't recommend any design in particular - there are several variations in bass trap construction, but basically they all do the same thing. You bring them into a room and they soak up low frequencies. You may need some woodworking tools, but I'll bet that you've made friends with a few folks in Nashville who build sets, or even rooms, who cut panels for you or lend you clamps for gluing.

Do it.

And also, try IK's ARC3. I got a copy for a review but I couldn't get past making the measurements. Even though they say it'll work with Windows 7 (what I'm using) and above I couldn't get the graphs to display, and the band at the top of the window where the menu is covered up by Windows' top band. Tech Support tried really hard but couldn't get me going. It's a disadvantage of having antiquated equipment (the computers are Core 2 Duo) and never upgrading because it works with what I use. But I liked what I saw from as much of the program as I could get working, and if all their calculations and algorithms work, they're taking and making use of more measurement data (measurements are made at three heights) than most of the other room correction programs.

What I really wanted to do was get the program running on one of the old clunkers, then dedicate that computer with a decent audio interface to live right ahead of my monitor amplifier so I'd have its room correction regardless of the source, not just as a plug-in for a DAW (that I'd have to remember to bypass when bouncing down a mix to stereo.

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REW is free room analysis software. The Behringer measurement mic is under $100. So you can know what you started with and ended with pretty easy.

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Ahhh, semantics...

Yes, I probably COULD tune a room. The tools and procedures are readily available, including Nathaniel's and Mike River's helpful posts in this thread.

Will I tune MY room? It seems pretty unlikely at this juncture. Major structural changes would be required that far exceed any budget I may or may not have.
I moved into the wrong location for a great, tuned studio space. First step would be complete soundproofing, all done on the inside since it's a condo and I won't get permission to redo just my own unit on the exterior.

When somebody attempts to merge on the freeway at 40 mph on the nearby on ramp (this happens often), and the Canadian trucker slams on his air brakes to avoid crushing them like an insect, it is LOUD. My floor under the carpet is thick concrete but all the walls and the ceiling would need to be soundproofed throughout the entire unit. Next up would be silent ventilation, another expensive proposition.

Once those two things were done one could begin tuning the space.

Through good fortune and making a fairly quick decision, I managed to buy and hang onto a place that would no longer be affordable as prices have gone way up in the last 14 years. I like my location, other than the noise.
So, I'll make the best of it tuned or not.

It does sound better now than it did. I found and killed an annoying flutter echo and I've reduced the external noise and internal reflections considerably but it's pretty hillbilly. I have plans for more attractive improvements, that will take time and diligence. I'm lucky Dad was a carpenter and I have a good set of tools.

There you go - BOTH answers in one response...


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Originally Posted by Nathanael_I
REW is free room analysis software. The Behringer measurement mic is under $100. So you can know what you started with and ended with pretty easy.

Gotta agree with this one. A free program with a learning curve much shorter than Smaart. You’ll do yourself a big favor to figure out what room modes you wanna treat with bass traps and then construct tuned traps. Much better way to go then just throwing up stuff that may make things worse. I see too many budget rooms with a lot of expensive foam that can make things worse if you don’t realize exactly what is happening.


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