Recording - May 2018 - 22

they cause a lot of interference from low-mids to high frequencies and
can give irregular spikes in response and smearing of dynamics. Luckily,
reflection points are easy to treat with a few acoustic panels in the right spots.

ROOM ACOUSTICS: THE BASICS
Why Do I Need Room Treatment?

A room is basically a cabinet with your speakers inside it. Each room
is going to have a few dominant tones because of the shape and size of
the room. Think of "tone" as "sonic signature" or "resonant frequency."
Those dominant tones are called room modes and until you treat the
room with proper absorption, bass trapping, or diffusion, you are going
to hear the dominant tones / modes. It doesn't matter how your speakers
are tuned because the ROOM will dominate the speakers.

An untreated room will influence what you hear by making some
frequencies much louder than they should be and other frequencies
much softer than they should be. This is why music mixed in an
untreated room will sound completely different when you listen to it in
another room. It's not the speakers - it's the room. So the goal of acoustic
treatments is to absorb or diffuse as much of the room tones / modes
as possible so you can clearly hear what's coming out of the monitors.
But the acoustics of a room goes a little beyond just the tones /
modes of a room. Modes within a room are at certain frequencies.
Let's say the dominant tone of a room is 80Hz, which is commonly
produced by the kick drum and bass guitar. Not only is the sound of
80Hz going to be louder within the room, it's also going to ring. We
call that ringing decay. Other frequencies will be masked or covered
up because that 80Hz frequency is still ringing which results in a false
sense of clarity or a "muddy" sound. The more proper treatment you
have - absorption, bass trapping, or diffusion - the more you remove
the decay, thus better you hear the monitors accurately.
Simply put: you need room treatments in order to obtain accurate
transparency from the speakers to the listening position.

Acoustic Treatments

Where you place room treatments really is pretty easy to figure out.
There are three primary areas to consider:

Early Reflections

One of the first areas of a room where acoustic treatments are
recommended is the early (first) reflection points which are the areas on
sidewalls, floor, and ceiling where sound waves will bounce (or reflect) and
come back to the listening position. Such reflections are loud and quick, so
22

RECORDING May 2018

UNTREATED EARLY
REFLECTION POINTS

Bass Issues and Corners

There are many different types of low frequency problems in rooms,
but most boil down to dips in response (which leads to a lack of low
end) and peaks in response (which results in muddy / boomy sound), or
a combination of the two. The largest contributor to bass unevenness in
most rooms are the room modes (those natural, dominant room tones),
which cause standing waves. Appropriately dealing with bass can be
tricky; but typically it's best to treat at least two wall-to-wall corners
with bass traps positioned floor-to-ceiling. Then tackle more corners if
possible - not forgetting wall-to-ceiling corners or wall-to-floor corners.

Back of Room

Reverberation and flutter echo (upper frequencies that bounce
between parallel reflective surfaces) can be issues behind the sitting
area. There are two areas in the back of the room to examine. For rear
sidewalls properly spaced absorption or diffusion is recommended. The
back wall can be a source for a lot of nulls and peaks in the low end. The
best approach is to consider the overall size of the room. In a smaller
room, back walls are best treated with thick absorption. If the room is
larger, then a combination of absorption and diffusion is recommend.

A PROPERLY
TREATED ROOM

A New Foundation

It is important to have a strong foundation to build on in any room.
If the set up in the room is less than optimal, results won't be as expected
and problems can arise. On the other hand if the general guidelines
above are met and understood, then identifying secondary problems
and solutions will be much less challenging and costly.
The team at GIK Acoustics can provide free Acoustic Advice as well
as a broad range of room treatments to address issues in your room.
Our business is to help you have the best sounding room possible.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - May 2018

Contents
Recording - May 2018 - Intro
Recording - May 2018 - Cover1
Recording - May 2018 - Cover2
Recording - May 2018 - 1
Recording - May 2018 - 2
Recording - May 2018 - 3
Recording - May 2018 - 4
Recording - May 2018 - 5
Recording - May 2018 - Contents
Recording - May 2018 - 7
Recording - May 2018 - 8
Recording - May 2018 - 9
Recording - May 2018 - 10
Recording - May 2018 - 11
Recording - May 2018 - 12
Recording - May 2018 - 13
Recording - May 2018 - 14
Recording - May 2018 - 15
Recording - May 2018 - 16
Recording - May 2018 - 17
Recording - May 2018 - 18
Recording - May 2018 - 19
Recording - May 2018 - 20
Recording - May 2018 - 21
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Recording - May 2018 - 25
Recording - May 2018 - 26
Recording - May 2018 - 27
Recording - May 2018 - 28
Recording - May 2018 - 29
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Recording - May 2018 - Cover3
Recording - May 2018 - Cover4
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