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Can you make a small room sound decent?

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mightycicadalord

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Would you be willing to get a much much bigger carpet and maybe place it on a thick carpet pad?

Possibly, but I did end up putting a second rug in here that was the same size as the current one and didn't really hear any change.
 

LightninBoy

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I've wanted to this from the beginning but those materials are just crazy expensive. Anything for commercial spaces had such a massive markup.

I think my low end is pretty decent, I only have this on my phone at the moment, missing the db axis but still. Is that not flat? I've got that dip there but as I said my problem is really with everything else, like this space just feels crazy reflective.

I'm not ruling a sub out but I really don't have any complaints with the low end, it's really tight and goes low.

That does look good, would like to see the scale on the db axis to be sure. Also, if that's with the speakers pushed way back, it *may* not be the optimum place for mid range clarity. Can't really know without taking more measurements.

However, given you've shown some data, let me amend my steps from above ...

1. Buy a measuring mic and install REW.
2. Remove all the room treatments.
3. Measure and optimize your listening and speaker (including sub) placements.
3a. If a sub or two is needed, buy sub(s) and a way to crossover and eq.
3b. Optimize sub(s) placement, crossover, and phase settings.
4. Reintroduce your treatments stepwise and measure each change to confirm the treatment had a net positive impact. If it doesn't, leave the treatment out
5. Apply eq particularly in the bass and low mids where the room has the most impact.
 
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mightycicadalord

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That does look good, would like to see the scale on the db axis to be sure. Also, if that's with the speakers pushed way back, it *may* not be the optimum place for mid range clarity. Can't really know without taking more measurements.

However, given you've shown some data, let me amend my steps from above ...

1. Buy a measuring mic and install REW.
2. Remove all the room treatments.
3. Measure and optimize your listening and speaker (including sub) placements.
3a. If a sub or two is needed, buy sub(s) and a way to crossover and eq.
3b. Optimize sub(s) placement, crossover, and phase settings.
4. Reintroduce your treatments stepwise and measure each change to confirm the treatment had a net positive impact. If it doesn't, leave the treatment out
5. Apply eq particularly in the bass and low mids where the room has the most impact.

Well I already have a mic, that's how I took that measurement :p

I mean my issue isn't really with bass, like if you heard this room you'd be annoyed at how echoey it is in the mid range not the low end. If I clap I hear a lot of flutter. I'd really like to just knock that all out first.
 

TurtlePaul

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If clapping sounds bad, then you probably should be thinking in percent room coverage instead of localized specific absorbtion. I would add carpet for 90% of the floor space with an underpad. Also, can you try bringing a sofa into the back of the room?

Are you sitting equadistant between the front and back of room? You could also try to move both your desk and speakers 4 feet further back.
 
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mightycicadalord

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If clapping sounds bad, then you probably should be thinking in percent room coverage instead of localized specific absorbtion. I would add carpet for 90% of the floor space with an underpad. Also, can you try bringing a sofa into the back of the room?

Are you sitting equadistant between the front and back of room? You could also try to move both your desk and speakers 4 feet further back.

Yeah I'm thinking I need a lot more coverage, I just don't have endless funds to do it and I'd much rather try to source large panels to cover more surface area than try and build a bunch of smaller ones that won't reach floor to ceiling. I might just see if my father who works in hvac can go grab me a two 4x8' sheets of 705frk from a local distributor, cost has gone up a lot though.

I have a futon at the back of the room.

As far as seating I'm more towards the front wall but can try to move back a bit.

A big carpet that spans nearly to the edges of the room is definitely something I'm considering.
 

bo_knows

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I'll have to take some measurements later when I get home, but here is the room visually. Kind of dark picture that was taken at night, oopsy.

View attachment 186474
Hi, You can make this room work but you will need way more treatments if you want to do it without subs and eq.
As you already know, Eq can only be used on peaks and not on dips. If you only listen to the stereo, I suggest you use an absorber panel between the speakers (you already have sidewalls and ceiling covered :cool:). Essentially, you need to create RFZ which means absorption to the side, front, ceiling, and back. Also, extend the traps from floor to ceiling. Bass pressure is the highest at the bottom and top of corners. Porous traps will not be efficient below 80Hz and I would suggest you try using the MLV on the back of the traps. Measure the room and maybe build some membrane absorbers. With all those traps that you need, the ones that are not used for RFZ, you can add a plastic sheet to reflect the high/mid-frequency back in the room so you don't end up with "dead" space. Or, you could add some wooden slots. Speakers should be moved 1/3rd (1 meter) or 1/4 from the front wall and you should be sitting 1/3 or 1/4 from the back wall. Unfortunately, if you are really serious about sound quality, you shouldn't have anything between you and the speakers. Even if you implement what I suggested, you will still have some issues in the lower frequency range but it will sound much better than now. I've attached the picture of my room so you have some idea what I'm talking about. PM me if you need any additional advice. Btw, all my side panels are 4 inches thick with one-inch space between them and the wall. Bass traps have 6-inch insulation in a 7-inch frame with the MLV on the back. My TV is hidden and sits behind the panel when I'm listening to the stereo (the front center channel is removed as well). Good luck and don't give up! :)
 

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bo_knows

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I can never tell what is the right distance to the front wall. Up close I get more even bass but something about the mid bass suffers a lot, and pulled out the mid bass improves but I lose all my low end :(
The only way you will lose bass is if you are sitting in the middle of the room or wherever the sound waves clash. The closer you sit to the back wall, the bass should be louder.
 
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LightninBoy

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Well I already have a mic, that's how I took that measurement :p

I mean my issue isn't really with bass, like if you heard this room you'd be annoyed at how echoey it is in the mid range not the low end. If I clap I hear a lot of flutter. I'd really like to just knock that all out first.
Hey, I'm happy to be wrong about the bass, but the steps are for sound optimization, not just bass optimization.
 

bo_knows

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Yeah I'm thinking I need a lot more coverage, I just don't have endless funds to do it and I'd much rather try to source large panels to cover more surface area than try and build a bunch of smaller ones that won't reach floor to ceiling. I might just see if my father who works in hvac can go grab me a two 4x8' sheets of 705frk from a local distributor, cost has gone up a lot though.

I have a futon at the back of the room.

As far as seating I'm more towards the front wall but can try to move back a bit.

A big carpet that spans nearly to the edges of the room is definitely something I'm considering.
I know carpet is cheaper than a wood floor but I don't like the carpet for sound. Just take a look at the recording studios and see what they use on the floor. A small rug between you and speakers is recommended just not the whole floor (if you can help it). I know and I'm sorry, pushing your budget further and further. ;)
 

bo_knows

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I've wanted to this from the beginning but those materials are just crazy expensive. Anything for commercial spaces had such a massive markup.

I think my low end is pretty decent, I only have this on my phone at the moment, missing the db axis but still. Is that not flat? I've got that dip there but as I said my problem is really with everything else, like this space just feels crazy reflective.

I'm not ruling a sub out but I really don't have any complaints with the low end, it's really tight and goes low.
Just saw this measurement. Your bass is looking great!
A dip in the 90Hz range can definitely be fixed with treatments (or with a sub(s)). Please show the full spectrum graph.
 

Descartes

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Is it possible to make small rooms sound anywhere near decent? I've been trying to get good results in some of my rooms but no dice.

I've got an 11'x14' and a 12'x13' rooms and man, I cannot get anything good out of either of them. I've got a good chunk of treatment I can utilize but it never seems to be enough. The 12x13 room is really lively so I scratched that. The 11x14 sounds a little better so I went with that. Ceilings are 8ft.

My treatments are as follows.

2'x4' 10" deep triangle bass traps in the corners covering the middle of the corner mostly, not going from floor to ceiling. I may build two more and stack them.

4'x4' 4" thick ceiling panel above my head

2'x4' 2" thick panels on the left and right, there is room to double up on the thickness with these and I just might do that.

I have more materials sitting in the garage and can order more if need be. Just wondering how much you need before a room starts to get better. I think my left and right needs to just be a a big 4'x4' x 4" on each side because there are nasty phasy things going on when you move left to right. Should I just abandon this small space?
Treat the ceiling it made a world of difference in my room! With so much better sound!
 

Descartes

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Hi, You can make this room work but you will need way more treatments if you want to do it without subs and eq.
As you already know, Eq can only be used on peaks and not on dips. If you only listen to the stereo, I suggest you use an absorber panel between the speakers (you already have sidewalls and ceiling covered :cool:). Essentially, you need to create RFZ which means absorption to the side, front, ceiling, and back. Also, extend the traps from floor to ceiling. Bass pressure is the highest at the bottom and top of corners. Porous traps will not be efficient below 80Hz and I would suggest you try using the MLV on the back of the traps. Measure the room and maybe build some membrane absorbers. With all those traps that you need, the ones that are not used for RFZ, you can add a plastic sheet to reflect the high/mid-frequency back in the room so you don't end up with "dead" space. Or, you could add some wooden slots. Speakers should be moved 1/3rd (1 meter) or 1/4 from the front wall and you should be sitting 1/3 or 1/4 from the back wall. Unfortunately, if you are really serious about sound quality, you shouldn't have anything between you and the speakers. Even if you implement what I suggested, you will still have some issues in the lower frequency range but it will sound much better than now. I've attached the picture of my room so you have some idea what I'm talking about. PM me if you need any additional advice. Btw, all my side panels are 4 inches thick with one-inch space between them and the wall. Bass traps have 6-inch insulation in a 7-inch frame with the MLV on the back. My TV is hidden and sits behind the panel when I'm listening to the stereo (the front center channel is removed as well). Good luck and don't give up! :)
No need for that much treatment seems like GIK acoustics loaded you up with tons of their products!

I can’t imagine what someone who cares about esthetics would say about that!

Cool front speakers:cool:
 

kongwee

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I'll have to take some measurements later when I get home, but here is the room visually. Kind of dark picture that was taken at night, oopsy.

View attachment 186474
For me, I will pull the main speaker away from wall. 2-3 feet at least, less toe in. Better triangle relation for your back wall chair. From the look you have space to reduce comb filer even you have traps. It is assuming you don't need to do any studio work.
 

GD Fan

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I'm certainly not expert in this (or anything on ASR) but a few things seem like low hanging fruit to experiment on:

- Move the speakers off the wall and position them in the middle of the corner baffles with a little more breathing room behind them.

- An area rug covering more of the floor bounce may be key.

- Is that a desk a couple feet in front of the speakers? The picture makes it tough to tell. If so, get rid of that.

- Move the couch off of the back wall regardless how small you think the room is. Headroom to the back, in my ignorant and limited experience, is way better than distance from the speakers.

- @Doodski may well be right about speaker size. He's usually right.

Best of luck. Dialing in is painstaking. Let us know how it goes!
 

bo_knows

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No need for that much treatment seems like GIK acoustics loaded you up with tons of their products!

I can’t imagine what someone who cares about esthetics would say about that!

Cool front speakers:cool:
I built every single absorption module myself and I do care about esthetics but to get the low frequency in a small room under control is quite a challenge. Acoustics is still part art and part science. I'm not "pushing" my approach on anyone. People who build their home studio will understand the challenges a small room creates.

This is my path and I'm ok with it. ;)

So you like my front speakers but are not impressed with my mini blade surrounds. LOL. Just kidding.
 
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AudioSQ

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My room is roughly 15'x15'.. it took six 4'x2' panels to get rid of the echo clap, but I also have carpet flooring. I have the speakers on sliders and pull them into the room at least three feet from any walls when I critically listen. Have you tried the speakers on the long wall? Maybe get them further from the side walls (perhaps that's where you already have them, I can't tell from the photo). In my case I needed multiple subs and lots of EQ.
 
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krabapple

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What do you imagine your room should sound like? What are you aiming to 'fix'.

Liveliness can mean excess reverb, or excess treble, or both.
 

Hipper

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My room is 14' x 13'. I've got it sounding good to me and measuring well too. I used positioning, copious amounts of room treatment (including 21 bass traps) and careful EQ. Therefore you can do this!

Before I start, I would guess you will be getting reflections off that table which has your screens on it. You could experiment by removing it and having a listen. If the speakers were forward of the table that wouldn't be an issue.

Anyway, firstly let's get the bass as good as possible with the tools you have.

1. Positioning - I used this version of 'The Thirds':

http://www.barrydiamentaudio.com/monitoring.htm

Try it, measure for bass (say only the 0-300Hz region. Look at the measurements using 'No Smoothing' to show things at their worst), then move the speaker (I measure only one speaker to start with) about a little bit and see if you can get better measurements.

2. Use what bass traps you have for the moment. Place them on the floor in the front corners. Measure again. Try them if you wish in other positions (and measure to check) but I think bottom front corners is as good as any.

Remove the panel from the ceiling and place it in the middle of the front wall. Again measure to see if it is better elsewhere - mid back wall being the other good location.

3. Do you have EQ/DSP. If for example you use a PC as source and JRiver, this has DSP. You could measure (again just 0-300Hz) with REW and find the filters you need, then apply them with JRiver. Measure again.

All this could get you a decent bass which is the major issue in your room.

4. Then address the higher frequencies by using the two 2" panels and some EQ. Instead of conventionally putting them on a wall I've got a 2" panel immediately to the outside of my two speakers (my panels are on feet). This prevents side wall reflections which I like. I find it gives a sharper image, greater clarity.

5. Use EQ in the same way you might use tone controls (adjusting with a wide frequency range) until it sounds enjoyable to you.

What other materials do you have in your garage?

Here's a pic of my room. Some would consider it over the top but I like it!

017a.JPG
 
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