Room treatments, mental treatments, and jumping gear too often

Discussion in 'Tales from the Bully Pulpit' started by k4rstar, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    I think the point is that instead of spending thousands on "upgrades" or "magic cables", well thought out room treatment is likely to have a bigger impact for a lot less money.
     
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  2. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    A friend of mine built himself a small theatre in his basement. His corner traps are just big homemade bag chairs for the kids; old blankets sewn together and stuffed with foam and polyfil. Works well enough for the $40 he spent.



    In reality the theatre is probably used more as a semi-sound proof sex room, but y'know, priorities...
     
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  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    That's last priority if people really want to do that. Don't care if people want to mini cable risers reminiscent of ancient PG&E power lines first. I've given up trying to talk sense into people.

    What upsets me is that people have actually advocated formal room treatments before better gear. For most rooms of normal people, I'd recommend better speakers first, move some shit around, and to wait on room treatments. It's very rare that I see a room that is unworkable with furniture. Again, we are building a mix stage or sound editorial bay.

    I'm really concerned that you guys end up dying as lonely old men with nothing else but awesome listening rooms with formal room treatments.

    I already feel I'm weird enough with these big ass square or horn speakers in two rooms.
     
  4. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    Tragic ending particularly for a headphone guy.
     
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  5. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    Haha well I hear you, when I say room treatment in my case that means furniture placement, replacing leather with fabric, putting bookshelves with books in corners, that kind of thing. Wife will not be happy if I start putting sound panels on the walls and ceilings.

    No need to go full studio, but putting a little thought into furniture type and placement goes a long way.
     
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  6. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Non Voting Friend

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    If you use a sub with headphones, why not just man up and use speakers?

    Excuses and more excuses.

    This ain’t a penis measuring contest on who can hear the most made in a garage crap unless you make it into one.
     
  7. Zhanming057

    Zhanming057 Friend

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    Rooms have a frequency-specific decay profile. You can tune that profile. You can make rooms sound entirely the same by either doing really good processing combined with the right reflective materials, or absorbing indiscriminately. At the extreme, all near-perfectly anechoic rooms sound identical to each other. As a practical guideline, I recommend people go for minimal reflectivity if they don't want to consult a room treatment expert. Not to dick-wave, but this is coming from someone who used to run 4,000 CPU-hour simulations of sound-wave tracing in EASE. Rooms are hard but they are a pretty exact science. If we can't make a room sound a certain way, it's because of the damn architects (or damn structural engineers).

    If you meant $30,000 into a speaker system including treatment, I'd agree with you. $300 or even $3,000? I'd like to keep my headphones, thank you.
     
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  8. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    I'll add that speakers even at moderate volumes will stress the pets out. Just the one, eh whatever, might be able to keep them calm, but we've got four dogs, two cats, and an increasingly large collection of birds whose eggs might well be destroyed if there's enough agitation; has already happened in large volumes once with all the construction around the neighbourhood. Dad was devastated.

    I like the idea of speakers, they're fucking cool, but I've said this many times before: they just aren't feasible for a great many people. If I were given $10k I could only use for audio (cuz I'd probably stash in bank otherwise), the RAALs would supersede a good 2ch rig. I'd say to each their own— I occasionally miss that slam and sense of being in the music no headphones will ever be able to replicate, but that's life. No need to bring a misplaced sense of masculinity into it.
     
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  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Dude. You are dick-waving.

    I've been working out of a local sound facility two days a week for the past three weeks. This building has x2 theatre sized mix stages, x4 medium size mix stages for TV, and probably another two dozen sound edit bays. It's one of the top three sound facilities in the El Lay basin in terms of capabilities.

    I'm pretty sure the head engineer, the guy who was around when this building was put up from scratch just a few years ago, didn't need 40,000 hours of x4 AMD Ryzen time running a sound ray-tracing program to get these rooms right.

    I'll ask him though to make sure. I'm pretty sure he's going to look at me weird. Actually I won't ask him because I don't want him to think I'm weird.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
  10. Zhanming057

    Zhanming057 Friend

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    We work on large live rooms, which have a different design process compared to mixing and recording rooms and rooms that are intended to be used with amplification. The last project I was on was a music hall in Hong Kong.

    Simulates are pretty standard in the industry although there are different software that will do the job. The team I worked with liked fancy modular solutions since modern halls are expected to carry a variety of genres without amplification. That also means we have to simulate every setting, usually with different sizes of audience (10% ,25% ,100% full). And of course you have to work with the engineers and designers and when they want to change things, you have to re-do everything.

    If you assume that speakers will always be there and always a part of a performance, you can bake in DSP, life is easier that way. Room-level DSP can be processed in near real-time these days, with GPUs and enough speakers in enough places you can do extremely cool stuff with real-time feedback and take out echos and weird spikes on the fly. Different game though. But I've only seen it being done with multi-channel setups.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
  11. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    If you don't work in rooms made for listening to speakers with amplification, then at the risk of pissing you off and me sounding like a dick: just STFU.

    All you have been doing is dick-waving, telling us how hard it is to have a speaker room and intimating that only someone like you holds the gnosis of room design while not offering a single piece of information that can be helpful to the pleb. You are so full of shit and I think it's pretty obvious by now that you do not have a listening room.

    Just telling you straight what everyone else is thinking in their mind. Stop being one of those high class Chinese scholar wankers. I'm no fan of Mao, but this kind of attitude is why Mao shoved a lot of smart people into the countryside to farm rocks and eat bark.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
  12. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Non Voting Friend

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    Wow that’s some pure autism. You’re basically saying that you’re a loser who has sex with robots as you can’t fuck Italian models.
     
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  13. Zhanming057

    Zhanming057 Friend

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    Okay. Someone says that $300 speakers sound better than any headphones and that every room is different. I think that both aren't true and refute accordingly. It escalates a bit because you mention mixing, and I clarify. What part of this is being part of a wanker?

    I don't have a speaker setup because I don't have a way of doing a proper speaker setup myself at the moment, mostly because of traveling. And I don't think that you can spend $300 or even $3,000 and get to a point where speakers are definitively better at any headphone system and sufficiently not-flawed. People can prefer either, but that wasn't the point that @Psalmanazar was making.

    My point is that they are different and have different advantages and you can't say that one is categorically better than the other because rooms are hard and annoying and you have to put holes in walls to put foam on there, and sometimes people can't or don't want to do that or might just appreciate the things that headphones do better.

    Find me a pair of $300 speakers that has better response speed than a pair of headphones made from high-end tweeter drivers? Or a 2 channel setup that hits 10hz with good response there?
     
  14. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    OK. You win. You are right.
     
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  15. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    What concerns me are people talking about the "slow" bass of ported speakers, without making sure that it might really be SBIR making a +12dB increase in low end and/or that they're sitting in a high pressure room mode.

    A traditional furnished room is sufficient to get a really good response out of a speaker system, provided one knows how to position stuff and EQ out low end peaking. The problem is that people want to listen to music, not dick around with computer simulations, tape measures and REW.
     
  16. Serious

    Serious Inquisitive Frequency Response Plot

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    It's really not too hard to get a decent room response with good speakers and a decent size room. You don't even need a ton of treatments to get a smooth decay time. It can take some time and you'll most likely have to take measurements, but overall it shouldn't be hard. I'd actually be interested to see what the RT60 measurement looks like in Marvey's room.

    This is what my room looks like: https://i.imgur.com/vPBOqIw.jpg
    And this is what the FR and decay looks like at the listening position. Admittedly I have absorbers on my side walls at the first reflections points, but my room is pretty narrow by american standards. Also there's insulation behind the drywall on the two ends under the sloped ceiling and along one of the walls, but no bass absorbers. Keep in mind there's no EQ, no bass absorbers, etc and my speakers use just 3 crossover parts for the woofers and none for the widebander.
     
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  17. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    Super live sounding rooms are a problem for people who like minimalist living environments. The trend for super large windows also makes things worse.
     
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  18. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    $300 speakers > headphones is in many ways true. But the parts where you are being a wanker are these (among others):
    1. "Dude's in Asia. The Head-fi world over there is very different from the Western hemisphere".
    2. "I can spend three days in Hong Kong, go to 3-4 dealers, and try out 20+ sets of absolutely top-of-the-line headphone systems."
    3. "My dealer in Beijing has something like 150+ cans including the HE90 and Stax Omega, you can listen to all of them for as long as you want if you're enough of a valued customer."
    4. "I own a bunch of exotic and opinionated CIEMs."
    5. "I don't know about SoCal, but the people who do regular hops between SF/LA and Asia usually can't wait to be in Asia to try out new stuff."
    6. "...that's probably just because there are fewer people [in SoCal] who take a price-no-object view of the hobby."
    [​IMG]

    Did any of the 150+ cans from your dealer provided a set of realistic multiple impinging angle HRTF cross-channels needed for sound localization, all by themselves?

    Last I checked, headphones by themselves cannot do imaging the way a pair of $300 speakers can. In fact, they can't do imaging for shit. Don't you think that is not a limitation?

    Speed. I'll level with you. That's just waxing lyrical IMO. In terms of "speed", as in the immediacy of drums and all that shit, a good set of headphones and a good set of speakers can do about the same. That's not what sets them apart.

    Also, you think most headphones in general can hit 10 Hz clean? Reality is that they don't. Furthermore, a lot of ultrasonics are felt. You can't feel low frequencies with classic headphones the way you would with classic speakers.

    Room treatment my ass. I actually use an anechoic chamber from time to tome. I know how sound propagates in them, among other things. I also known how to EQ a subwoofer in-room and avoided peaks. No need big foam everywhere.

    What room treatment may buy you is a bunch of less narrow notches in the FR. Some of which comes across room coloration. The brain filters that to some extent. The lack of cross channels in headphones is a bit harder on the brain. And in that, a set of $300 speakers win the day.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
  19. Ardacer

    Ardacer needs to read more, post less

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    Pff. Make this into a sticky. If only I read this and took it to heart a few years ago.
     
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  20. spwath

    spwath Collegiate hijinks master

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    I would like to point out, they probably did use some sort of computer ray tracing program. We did that in my acoustics class for a dog kennel, due to the unique shape. In order to calculate how much material you need to reduce the reverb time, ray tracing type software is needed for anything other than a rectangular room. Though close to rectangular can still be modeled with a simple spreadsheet.

    Or, if we are waving dicks, it can be calculated with my website, acousticscalculator.com
     

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