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Need help making a small room into a mixing room.

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by K2000, May 31, 2011.


  1. K2000

    K2000

    Nov 16, 2005
    Brooklyn
    Need help picking monitors, and setting up room treatment. How bad am I screwed?

    I'm just getting started setting up a small room into a workspace. I've only dabbled in computer recording before, using Garageband and headphones to monitor everything. I want to get more serious, so I purchased Logic... now I want to set up my little room with monitors.

    [​IMG]

    Each square is approx. 1 foot, so room is about 7.5 x 12 (depending on where you think the closet 'ends' the room).

    My idea is to place the speakers on the already existing wall shelf (plank) which is about nose-high. (I work standing up). Front ported speakers... from reading, I understand that rear ported speakers are not best, if they need to be placed close to a back wall. I figure I can cheat the speakers a bit over the edge of the shelf and put Auralex pads to isolate (and point more towards my head). Maybe Auralex type pads on the wall directly behind the speakers, as well as on the wall behind me. Or what about hanging a big heavy theatre curtain on the wall behind me, as a bass trap?

    Can you recommend speakers for me? I live in an apartment, so I will never want to get very loud, because of the neighbors. Despite that, I am willing to purchase more monitor than I need now, with an eye towards better/bigger rooms in the future. My music can be bass-heavy (synths and electronics) so it's important to me to hear the details in the lower frequencies too.

    I was thinking about the KRK Rokit Powered 6.

    :help:
     
  2. im quite fond of my samson rubicon 8's. pretty good LF response. might want some bass traps on that back wall. isolate the speakers from the shelf. make sure its close to ear level.

    any chance you could squeeze a couch in there? great natural bass traps
     
  3. Jerry Callo

    Jerry Callo Banned

    May 23, 2011
    It may not you want to hear, but I don't think the room size matters much. And Logic essentially IS garage band with a few more bells and whistles. I also believe simple bookshelf sterio speakers set flat work very well as monitors. People don't listen to music on studio monitors. Check out BASS JAZZ MONTANA and DIAMONDHEAD COVER MONTANA on youtube. All done at home on GB.
     
  4. K2000

    K2000

    Nov 16, 2005
    Brooklyn
    Actually, I LOVE hearing that :)

    I'm kind of in the "Tape Op" (magazine) camp... that having mediocre gear or technical shortcomings shouldn't prevent you from recording music. Actually, some of my favorite records sound pretty terrible, technically speaking. However, if I'm going to make this into a room (and spend money) I'd like to do it right, right off the bat. "Buy once, cry once" etc. I like to research stuff and try to learn from people smarter than me.

    (BTW, I thought Garageband was pretty good too, but I need more fine tuning/more precise control, and some additional features that Logic has).
     
  5. K2000

    K2000

    Nov 16, 2005
    Brooklyn
    Another question... if I install sound treatment (acoustic foam squares for example) can I install them with a staple gun, or push-pins? I'm renting the apartment so anything I do should be easily un-doable too. Do I have to use glue?
     
  6. Jerry Callo

    Jerry Callo Banned

    May 23, 2011
    ??? Are you playing live in the room with amps and acoustic drums? Otherwise it's completely unnecessary.
     
  7. I would have thought it was necessary to most accurately hear what you were doing? I'm not an expert, but the good studios I've been in have acoustic treatments in the control rooms.
     
  8. K2000

    K2000

    Nov 16, 2005
    Brooklyn
    My concern is accuracy when listening or mixing with the monitors.
     
  9. GoesThump

    GoesThump

    Jul 13, 2007
    Funny you should bring this up. I teach this stuff & have my students doing a project on studio design this week.

    A few points : Size does matter, to a certain degree. However, the ratios between H/W/L are more important.
    Do a google search for a program called "modecalc.exe" to get an idea of the frequency response of your room.

    Very simplified : any enclosed space has resonances. Good ratios spread these out so that no frequencies are unduly emphasized. It really doesn't matter what monitors you throw in a lousy space. If it has very poor frequency response, you'll end up with unbalanced mixes that won't translate.

    Acoustic treatment : It isn't just about soundproofing - you want to hear the monitors, not the walls. Sound will bounce off the walls and come back to you, a bit delayed because of the distance it travelled. This can lead to frequency cancellations/reinforcements.

    Grossly simplified : in a small room, the reflections come back very fast, and relatively loud. (The farther sound travels, the quieter it gets.) So, acoustic treatment is really important in small spaces.

    Lastly, you have to consider where you're putting your speakers. It isn't a good idea to put them too close to a wall/ceiling. You'll also want to avoid putting them equidistant from two walls. (i.e. 2ft away from back wall and 2ft away from side wall.)

    I'd look at solving these things before picking monitors.

    Good luck & let us know how it goes.

    GT
     
  10. TRichardsbass

    TRichardsbass Banned Commercial User

    Jun 3, 2009
    Between Muscle Shoals and Nashville
    Bassgearu, Music Industry Consulting and Sales. Tech 21, NBE Corp, Sonosphere.
    The Samson's are a great monitor, small, and affordable. For what you are doing its nearly perfect.

    tom
     
  11. K2000

    K2000

    Nov 16, 2005
    Brooklyn
    Thanks for the responses so far. I'm a Mac user, so I'll have to see if there is a Mac equivalent for that .exe file. Ceilings are 9 feet high.

    As far as speaker placement, it seems like I'm kind of stuck putting them near a wall. As it's plotted out now, the speakers will be about 3 feet away from my head. If I bring them further into the room, they'll be right next to my head. I don't see another way to do it (?)
     
  12. K2000

    K2000

    Nov 16, 2005
    Brooklyn
    Looks like the Samson Rubicons are out of production, but they have something called the Resolve. That's what I was prepared to pay for the KRK Rokit 6. The Resolve doesn't have the ribbon tweeter, though, if that was a feature you liked about the Rubicons (has a silk dome tweeter).

    Samson Resolv A8 | Sweetwater.com

    (Hmmm. There are some refurbished Rubicons on Ebay)

    Looks like Behringer makes a couple of models with a ribbon tweeter, if that was something you liked about the Rubicons.

    Buy Behringer TRUTH B3031A Monitor (Single) | Powered Monitors | Musician's Friend
     
  13. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    7.5x12x8 = 720 cubic feet. Your room is not that big. You do NOT need large monitors. Perhaps a two medium sized monitors with a small sub.

    Opening the two side doors will work fine as bass traps and effectively make the room larger.

    You will have reflection issues. There are all sorts of inexpensive methods for fixing that. The refelctions will come from not only the rear wall.

    If you can get your monitors away from the wall, that would be good.

    Create an equilateral triangle between the two monitors and your head.

    If your mixes sound bass heavy when listening back on other systems, then your room is acting in the opposite way - sucking up the lows, so you mix in too much. Same goes for high frequencies - not enough when played back in other systems - yours has too much, so you mix in less.

    Test with familiar, well-known commercial recordings.

    ALWAYS check your mixes in MONO.

    Acoustically treat accordingly. Do not go out and buy a lot of useless stuff from Guitar Center. No egg cartons!

    The large curtain is a possibility. Test it out.
     
  14. K2000

    K2000

    Nov 16, 2005
    Brooklyn
    Found this (Fuzz Measure):

    FuzzMeasure Pro 3
     
  15. kaputsport

    kaputsport

    Nov 14, 2007
    Carlisle, PA
    Atypical, not a typical...
    I disagree 100% with everything Jerry said. No that is not a joke.

    First off, no set of speakers is ever going to sound the best, perfectly flat in every room. No matter what. Using bookshelf speakers set to "flat" is a horrible idea. I'll tell you why. Monitors, are designed to reproduce what the recording shows as close as possible. How would you get your "bookshelf" speakers set to flat? RTA? Measure the response? What happens if another person is in the room, or you bring in a backpack and set it in the field of view for the speakers?

    Secondly, room size plays a HUGE role in the way things sound.

    Thirdly, saying that Logic is Garageband with a few bells and whistles is like saying a Ferrari is just a Ford Focus, with a few extra horsepower. Theoretically, in the most simplified way they both facilitate the same action, but in the end, they are completely different.
     
  16. kaputsport

    kaputsport

    Nov 14, 2007
    Carlisle, PA
    Atypical, not a typical...
  17. K2000

    K2000

    Nov 16, 2005
    Brooklyn
    Good to know! I would like to keep the doors closed for the sake of privacy/neighbors, but it's not hard to imagine regularly opening the doors for critical listening.

    Thanks for your other info as well!

    How far from the back wall should the speakers be, in an ideal world? I don't have any room to play with.
     
  18. kaputsport

    kaputsport

    Nov 14, 2007
    Carlisle, PA
    Atypical, not a typical...
    See Bold.
     
  19. kaputsport

    kaputsport

    Nov 14, 2007
    Carlisle, PA
    Atypical, not a typical...
    Also, I own a set of KRK Rokit 6 SE, and we use a set of KRK Rokit 8s in the main studio. Great bang for the buck, and the KRK Rokit 8s are flat frequency response (within 1-2 dB) from 35 to 20K.
     
  20. K2000

    K2000

    Nov 16, 2005
    Brooklyn

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