Room positioning and acoustics

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Hello,

The mixing room/project studio-to-be (well, bedroom) in my new house is
3.3x4.0m, with a bay window at one of the ends, making it more like 3.3x5.0m
(10.8'x13.1' or 10.8'x16.4') respectively. Respectably high ceilings (about
2.4m/7.9').

My question is this - I've heard that in a long room, it's meant to be
better to place the monitors/console/DAW at the one end to minimise slapback
from the wall behind. But if I do this, then either I've got the bay window
behind me (I'd rather work near a window, though I'm not too fussy), or I'm
right at the bay window (reflections from behind the monitors). Do either of
these scenarios pose enough of an acoustical problem that it would make it
preferable to put the DAW on one of the long walls instead?

I have a small budget for room treatment and will probably set up bass
traps, wall-mounted diffusers/absorbers etc, but I can't touch the window.

Thanks!

TJ
 
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I'd do heavy drapes on the window and set up on that end facing the drapes.
That way you can open things up when the monitoring isn't that critical, and
the drapes provide some absorption/diffusion as well.

dik
 
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TJ,

> I've heard that in a long room, it's meant to be better to place the
monitors/console/DAW at the one end to minimise slapback from the wall
behind. <

Almost. The main problem with a wall that's too close behind you is comb
filtering. This creates numerous peaks and deep nulls throughout the bass
range, continuing through mid and high frequencies if the wall is highly
reflective like glass. Therefore, setting up so the speakers fire the long
way helps because it puts the wall behind you farther back.

> or I'm right at the bay window (reflections from behind the monitors). <

I'd face the window. First, a nice view is always welcome. But more
important, a reflective surface behind the speakers is not a problem because
your speakers are facing AWAY from that surface. I know it's common to treat
the entire front wall with thin absorption, but it's not needed and can even
be harmful. In fact, this is such a common misunderstanding I wrote this
short article to explain the issues:

www.realtraps.com/art_front-wall.htm

> I have a small budget for room treatment and will probably set up bass
traps, wall-mounted diffusers/absorbers etc, but I can't touch the window. <

Diffusors are probably not useful in a room that small. Much more important
is broadband absorption that works well to as low a frequency as possible.
There's a lot of other advice on my company's site linked above. Snoop
around in the Acoustics Info section.

--Ethan
 
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"Ethan Winer" <ethanw at ethanwiner dot com> wrote in message
news:qomdnSwYBYuN9aTeRVn-og@giganews.com...
> TJ,
>
>> I've heard that in a long room, it's meant to be better to place the
> monitors/console/DAW at the one end to minimise slapback from the wall
> behind. <
>
> Almost. The main problem with a wall that's too close behind you is comb
> filtering. This creates numerous peaks and deep nulls throughout the bass
> range, continuing through mid and high frequencies if the wall is highly
> reflective like glass. Therefore, setting up so the speakers fire the long
> way helps because it puts the wall behind you farther back.
>
>> or I'm right at the bay window (reflections from behind the monitors). <
>
> I'd face the window. First, a nice view is always welcome. But more
> important, a reflective surface behind the speakers is not a problem
> because
> your speakers are facing AWAY from that surface. I know it's common to
> treat
> the entire front wall with thin absorption, but it's not needed and can
> even
> be harmful. In fact, this is such a common misunderstanding I wrote this
> short article to explain the issues:
>
> www.realtraps.com/art_front-wall.htm
>
>> I have a small budget for room treatment and will probably set up bass
> traps, wall-mounted diffusers/absorbers etc, but I can't touch the window.
> <
>
> Diffusors are probably not useful in a room that small. Much more
> important
> is broadband absorption that works well to as low a frequency as possible.
> There's a lot of other advice on my company's site linked above. Snoop
> around in the Acoustics Info section.
>

Thanks Ethan - I was hoping you'd be hanging around RAP... So the concave
nature of a bay window (and the reflectiveness of the glass) isn't a
problem?

What about the technique of putting absorbers wherever you can see the
speakers in a wall-flush mirror, which I first read on your site
incidentally? Would that not be difficult on glass?

Thanks,

TJ
 
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TJ,

> I was hoping you'd be hanging around RAP <

I've been here for years and years!

> So the concave nature of a bay window (and the reflectiveness of the
glass) isn't a problem? <

Concave is a problem, but that's true regardless of where the concave
surface is. Again, the last place to worry about is the surface on the front
wall behind the speakers. Not that it's never a problem, just that it's the
last place.

> What about the technique of putting absorbers wherever you can see the
speakers in a wall-flush mirror <

Yes, that's important too. But the place to absorb is where you can see the
TWEETERS in a mirror, not the rear side of the speaker box.

--Ethan
 
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In article <heydnXD1MMDzBqfeRVn-sA@giganews.com>,
"Ethan Winer" <ethanw at ethanwiner dot com> wrote:

> TJ,
>
> > I was hoping you'd be hanging around RAP <
>
> I've been here for years and years!
>
> > So the concave nature of a bay window (and the reflectiveness of the
> glass) isn't a problem? <
>
> Concave is a problem, but that's true regardless of where the concave
> surface is. Again, the last place to worry about is the surface on the front
> wall behind the speakers. Not that it's never a problem, just that it's the
> last place.
>
> > What about the technique of putting absorbers wherever you can see the
> speakers in a wall-flush mirror <
>
> Yes, that's important too. But the place to absorb is where you can see the
> TWEETERS in a mirror, not the rear side of the speaker box.
>
> --Ethan

Not just tweeters - certainly mid domes/cones in 3-ways, and I'd also
extend the treatment to wherever I see the woofers as well. In a small
two way, plenty of mids come out of the little woofer which you'll want
absorbed. So generally speaking, place absorption where you see the face
of the speaker, but as Ethan said, not the back of the box. Remember,
the ceiling counts too!

--
Jay Frigoletto
Mastersuite
www.promastering.com
 
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Jay,

> Not just tweeters - certainly mid domes/cones in 3-ways <

Agreed.

> I'd also extend the treatment to wherever I see the woofers <

Only if the treatment is effective at those frequencies, But you're correct
here too, because some two-way systems cross over pretty high.

> Remember, the ceiling counts too! <

Indeed. Early reflections off the ceiling are just as damaging as those off
a side wall.

--Ethan
 
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