#ROOMACOUSTICS Tuning The Control Room

Acoustically fine-tuning the room has been a major challenge for us, but we can now say the sound of this Control Room is amazing! Great detail, especially in the low frequency range, makes working in this room precise and easy. So how did we achieve this?

As far as the mid and hi-mid range is concerned, placing foam along parallel walls has been quite effective in balancing the frequency response. As far as the low-mid is concerned, we were about to be surprised...

As you can see, we had an unreasonably long decay response at 190 Hz, and it was imperative to deal with this room mode. Considering our options, our first idea was to build a Helmholtz Resonator to deal with that specific frequency. So we did, but it didn't work out exactly as planned... various online calculators exist to translate frequencies to building materials and sizes, but precision is very critical here and in our case, the resonator we built, instead of being tuned to 190 Hz, was actually tuned to around...well...260 Hz.

So it did help flatten a longer decay time that was present in that frequency range, but still, the main issue, the 190 Hz magnum, remained unresolved. From that point on various attempts have been made to solve this problem, all of them unsuccesfull. Starting from drapes on the window separating the control room from the recording room, that helped flatten some 150 Hz decay, yet remained ineffective in the problematic range. Higher quality speaker stands were brought in, the table was changed, rubber was installed wherever possible to prevent vibrations, tests were made with or without stands, corners were foamed.

Results were grim, and we were starting to get used to the idea that we were doomed to 190 Hz oblivion. On the dawn of the next day, with little hope left, we thought of the remaining insulation we had left, what remained of the great job we did in isolating the studio from the outside (with great results), a thick roll of rockwool. This fierce enemy of Kooki, and close friend of Yoni (we now have scientific evidence that people of russian descent have innate tolerance to rockwool) was thrown in the back corner of our listening position. The results were stunning:

This giant stack of rockwool dealt with the room modes that were forming in the back corner. From there we built a wooden structure for the bass trap, and freed from 190 Hz oppression, we were now able to continue fine tuning the room with minor adjustments.

So what have we learned from this experience?

First, if you are going to work with near field monitors, your biggest concern is your immediate sorroundings. The walls immediately adjacent, front, rear, the table, vibrating objects etc. Off course, your clients on the couch might get a bigger load of bass than the actual mix, but drying out the entire room might cause an innatural listening environment, while keeping it undamped can allow you to listen to interactions while walking around the room, keeping your sweet spot balanced.

Second, don't build a Helmholtz Resonator if you don't have access to high precision machinery. It's extremely scientific and frequency specific. Or better said, you can build it, but the frequency it will be effective on, will depend mainly on...luck.

Third, thick rockwool can do wonders! Building nice wooden frames for it and covering it with cloth can also make it look nice and make it soft and cozy to touch and lean on (even if you're not russian...).

So that's it! Until next time...

Double Dot Studios

P.S. If you're interested in this kind of treatment for your recording room/control room, contact us for reasonable pricing here: 052-3172445.

#doubledot #studio #roomacoustics #measurements

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