Room Acoustics

Acoustic treatment mixing room

Acoustic treatment solutions for a mixing room

First you want to make certain that you have your listening position set up as an equilateral triangle to produce the best possible starting position. Your speakers/monitors should be placed at a starting position 38% from the front wall as a starting position.

First, let me cover why I suggest 38% as a “starting position” for the speakers. It goes back to something Wes Lachot said in a forum back in the day that took on a life of it’s own and became an Internet myth.

The myth is that Mr. Lachot stated this as a definitive starting position for control room speakers when in fact all he was saying to those that would hear is that this is what he uses as a starting position for setting up control room monitors.

His logic is simple: It isn’t in the center of the mixing room and it avoids by math, the frequency issues, axial modes, that exist in a room. You can read the story by clicking this highlighted text.

How do you get 38% as a measurement for a room, you ask? Glad you asked, since this is a pretty simple solution for establishing this dimension. Let us say your long length of your room is 12 feet. Convert 12 feet to inchs (12 feet X 12) = 144 inchs. 144 inchs X .38 = 54.72 inchs or 54 3/4 inchs.

What is 38% of a room that measures 10 feet 4 inchs on the long side? 10 feet X 12 inchs = 120 inchs (120 + 4 = 124). 124 X .38 = 47.12. Roughly 45 and 1/16 of an inch.

Ok, let’s move on…

Second you want to get your front corners treated to control low frequency which is the biggest issue in smaller rooms. Super Chunks are a tested and highly recommended method to treat the corners of a small room audio environment.

Next you want to make heavy speaker stands. You do not want lightweight stands or flimsy stands.

You want to control the low frequency that the speakers produce as best as possible, to make certain your mixes translate better.

I made mine out of concrete blocks, glued together and wrapped with sheetrock ,trimmed and painted.

Then you need to control the sidewall reflections of the mixing position, where your ears are. This is where flutter or “slap” echo will be introduced into the listening path due to parallel hard surfaces. You have heard it before as a “pinging” sound in larger ares that have hard parallel surfaces.

An overhead cloud will do you wonders. Effectively you take the overhead hard surface out of the listening position which helps you in making better mixing decisions. There are many options when designing an overhead cloud.

You may use a hard back soft face or an open design that has both a soft back and face. You can install track lighting on the cloud or embed can lights. Whatever is safe is what you do.

These are the basic things suggested. Obviously every room requires different acoustic treatment solutions. So after doing these simple things you may find that you require more absorption in the back of the room, more at specific problem frequency areas according to the rooms modes.

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