Recording - March 2017 - 32

In the top left of figure 1, I've input a common dimension for
a home project studio: 11' x 15' x 8'. To establish a baseline
of what the room does, I leave the Surface Absorptions to their
default of 0.10, which is only a small amount of absorption.
More absorption here will flatten out the curve and make it
more realistic.
Below that is a diagram of the room, showing the placement
of the listening position and the speakers, both a top view and a
front view. The graph on the right shows the predicted response
curve, with the room modes (standing wave frequencies) shown
in various colors as semi-transparent vertical lines. More detail
is available under the "Model Resonance Lines" tab if you wish
to explore the mode calculations.
Under the "Speaker Controls" tab you will see only the left and
right speakers selected. It is possible to add up to four subwoofers to the room, allowing you to simulate various single- or multisubwoofer strategies. You can also tweak the delay and gain of
each subwoofer, common in home theater or surround setups, but
for this illustration we will keep it simple with just the left and right
full-range monitors.
Take a look at the predicted response graph here. There is a
huge peak at 38 Hz, and a very wide and deep null at 57 Hz,
with a swing of more than 50 dB between the two! The 57 Hz
null, in particular, will make it very difficult to get the low end
right in most music, since the kick drum and the bass of many
formats are right in this range. Chances are quite good that
mixes coming out of this studio will have way too much low
end, since the mixer is always compensating for the inability
to hear that range.

So if moving the speakers horizontally helps, what about
the height dimension? If we move the speakers vertically,
straight up toward the ceiling, presumably pointed down to a
sweet spot, we get this predicted response:

FIGURE 3

As you can see in the lower left, the speakers are much
higher than ear level, but there is still more improvement
below 120 Hz. There are still peaks and nulls between 170200 Hz to solve, but simple broadband bass traps are far
more effective in this range than in the lower octaves. To
illustrate the point, look what happens when we increase the
absorption in the room to what we might find in a well-treated
project studio:

Fixing the issues

But there is hope! Look what happens to the graph when we
move the speakers closer to the front wall:

FIGURE 4

FIGURE 2

It's still far from a flat response, and the 38 Hz peak
remains, but the deep null at 57 Hz is much less severe.
The speakers are at ear level, and a bit narrower than an
equilateral triangle.
32

RECORDING MARCH 2017

With these placement tweaks, and the right amount of
absorption in the room, we can achieve the best response yet
by far. This room will be much easier to mix in, and recordings
made in this room will have a nice focus to them.
The Room Sim function in REW is very useful for people
looking to design a new room, or predict their existing room's
response in relation to speaker placement. It is also a great
way to visualize the SBIR phenomenon in room acoustics.
You can experiment with placement of speakers and listening
position in three dimensions. These simulations can save a lot
of time by serving as starting points for room testing when
you are arranging your setup in the room. Other functions of



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - March 2017

Contents
Recording - March 2017 - Intro
Recording - March 2017 - Cover1
Recording - March 2017 - Cover2
Recording - March 2017 - 1
Recording - March 2017 - 2
Recording - March 2017 - 3
Recording - March 2017 - 4
Recording - March 2017 - 5
Recording - March 2017 - Contents
Recording - March 2017 - 7
Recording - March 2017 - 8
Recording - March 2017 - 9
Recording - March 2017 - 10
Recording - March 2017 - 11
Recording - March 2017 - 12
Recording - March 2017 - 13
Recording - March 2017 - 14
Recording - March 2017 - 15
Recording - March 2017 - 16
Recording - March 2017 - 17
Recording - March 2017 - 18
Recording - March 2017 - 19
Recording - March 2017 - 20
Recording - March 2017 - 21
Recording - March 2017 - 22
Recording - March 2017 - 23
Recording - March 2017 - 24
Recording - March 2017 - 25
Recording - March 2017 - 26
Recording - March 2017 - 27
Recording - March 2017 - 28
Recording - March 2017 - 29
Recording - March 2017 - 30
Recording - March 2017 - 31
Recording - March 2017 - 32
Recording - March 2017 - 33
Recording - March 2017 - 34
Recording - March 2017 - 35
Recording - March 2017 - 36
Recording - March 2017 - 37
Recording - March 2017 - 38
Recording - March 2017 - 39
Recording - March 2017 - 40
Recording - March 2017 - 41
Recording - March 2017 - 42
Recording - March 2017 - 43
Recording - March 2017 - 44
Recording - March 2017 - 45
Recording - March 2017 - 46
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Recording - March 2017 - 50
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Recording - March 2017 - 57
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Recording - March 2017 - 70
Recording - March 2017 - 71
Recording - March 2017 - 72
Recording - March 2017 - Cover3
Recording - March 2017 - Cover4
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