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Do we really need to EQ the room?

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pasi123567

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I already had a discussion on this with some people but I still don't really get it. Now I am also not that deep into audio to really understand everything but this is what makes sense to me.
Lets say we have a speaker that measures perfectly flat in an anechoic chamber. This means that the speaker can produce sounds naturally, as all frequencies and therefore instruments will have an even volume output.
Now lets put this speaker in a bad room with reflections and maybe there is even a wall next to one of the speakers. Now if the measure the response of that speaker there will be all kinds of whacky things going on, especially in the bass but also possible in the treble. Lets take my speaker measurement of the iloud MTM for example.
1683974763302.png


There are clear dips in the bass response but also treble has issues at 2khz specifically.

Now I would argue this is better than if we EQd it to a room curve. Why? Well if we take the instruments themselves and put them into my room, they should measure similarly wonky, right?
And in my mind the goal is to make the instruments sound as real as possible on a speaker, so as long as the speaker is flat in an anechoic chamber, this will result in a natural sound to my ears in any room.

If I understand anything wrong here please help me out.
 

DJBonoBobo

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I already had a discussion on this with some people but I still don't really get it. Now I am also not that deep into audio to really understand everything but this is what makes sense to me.
Lets say we have a speaker that measures perfectly flat in an anechoic chamber. This means that the speaker can produce sounds naturally, as all frequencies and therefore instruments will have an even volume output.
Now lets put this speaker in a bad room with reflections and maybe there is even a wall next to one of the speakers. Now if the measure the response of that speaker there will be all kinds of whacky things going on, especially in the bass but also possible in the treble. Lets take my speaker measurement of the iloud MTM for example.
View attachment 285251

There are clear dips in the bass response but also treble has issues at 2khz specifically.

Now I would argue this is better than if we EQd it to a room curve. Why? Well if we take the instruments themselves and put them into my room, they should measure similarly wonky, right?
And in my mind the goal is to make the instruments sound as real as possible on a speaker, so as long as the speaker is flat in an anechoic chamber, this will result in a natural sound to my ears in any room.

If I understand anything wrong here please help me out.
Speakers are not instruments.

To elaborate:
- The wonkieness of the room where the instruments were recorded is already part of the recording
- You don´t arrange 20 speakers like an orchestra in front of you
- and so on...
 

Sokel

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I already had a discussion on this with some people but I still don't really get it. Now I am also not that deep into audio to really understand everything but this is what makes sense to me.
Lets say we have a speaker that measures perfectly flat in an anechoic chamber. This means that the speaker can produce sounds naturally, as all frequencies and therefore instruments will have an even volume output.
Now lets put this speaker in a bad room with reflections and maybe there is even a wall next to one of the speakers. Now if the measure the response of that speaker there will be all kinds of whacky things going on, especially in the bass but also possible in the treble. Lets take my speaker measurement of the iloud MTM for example.
View attachment 285251

There are clear dips in the bass response but also treble has issues at 2khz specifically.

Now I would argue this is better than if we EQd it to a room curve. Why? Well if we take the instruments themselves and put them into my room, they should measure similarly wonky, right?
And in my mind the goal is to make the instruments sound as real as possible on a speaker, so as long as the speaker is flat in an anechoic chamber, this will result in a natural sound to my ears in any room.

If I understand anything wrong here please help me out.
What's the distance of this measurement,highs seems way to hot.
Except it's near field...
 

sergeauckland

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This is exactly why I don't apply any 'room correction' I have EQed the 'speakers to be flat anechoically, so they reproduce everything as accurately as they're capable of.
The room is then what it is, for everyday domestic living, with all the attendant resonances, modes etc etc. EQing for the room would then make the sound from the loudspeakers sound unnatural compared with speech or other everyday noises. That's not what I want, I want a flat source in the room, just as if I was playing an instrument in that room. I wouldn't EQ the instrument as then it wouldn't sound natural, so why should I EQ a flat source?

I accept that my room is reasonably benign, having sufficient absorption and diffusion, but to me the answer to a less benign environment isn't to EQ the room, but to improve its natural acoustics.

If a room sounds good for conversations and normal domestic living, it will sound good for reproducing sound provided the sound source (i.e. loudspeakers) is flat.

S
 

RayDunzl

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Now I would argue this is better than if we EQd it to a room curve. Why? Well if we take the instruments themselves and put them into my room, they should measure similarly wonky, right?

From my experience, if you put the instruments in the room, assuming they are not just decorations, the players tend to EQ themselves (volume of specific fundamentals) as they play to avoid resonances or other obvious problems they hear.
 

sergeauckland

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Speakers are not instruments.

To elaborate:
- The wonkieness of the room where the instruments were recorded is already part of the recording
- You don´t arrange 20 speakers like an orchestra in front of you
- and so on...

Well, yes they are. When reproducing a recording, they should reproduce the recording flat, and then the room's acoustics overlay the reproduced sound, just as it would for real instruments, everyday speech or other domestic sounds.

S.
 

Shadrach

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I already had a discussion on this with some people but I still don't really get it. Now I am also not that deep into audio to really understand everything but this is what makes sense to me.
Lets say we have a speaker that measures perfectly flat in an anechoic chamber. This means that the speaker can produce sounds naturally, as all frequencies and therefore instruments will have an even volume output.
Now lets put this speaker in a bad room with reflections and maybe there is even a wall next to one of the speakers. Now if the measure the response of that speaker there will be all kinds of whacky things going on, especially in the bass but also possible in the treble. Lets take my speaker measurement of the iloud MTM for example.
View attachment 285251

There are clear dips in the bass response but also treble has issues at 2khz specifically.

Now I would argue this is better than if we EQd it to a room curve. Why? Well if we take the instruments themselves and put them into my room, they should measure similarly wonky, right?
And in my mind the goal is to make the instruments sound as real as possible on a speaker, so as long as the speaker is flat in an anechoic chamber, this will result in a natural sound to my ears in any room.

If I understand anything wrong here please help me out.
I don't think so. It's easy to do more harm than good. Buy a speaker that measures well, set them up properly. Measure if you like but it will only give one point where the speaker performs at it's best.
Play some test tones through the system. Discover the worst of the problems and try to address these with speaker placement and furniture/fittings placement.
Major problems in the lower bass region can be addressed with equalization but often the amount of change in the speakers response needed to eliminate the problem undoes much of what the speakers were bought for in the first place.
I prefer to attempt to find a good average over the entire room rather than struggle to get perfection in a single listening position using equalization.

Headphones on the other hand are great for equalization.

Different objectives for different people I suppose.
 

DJBonoBobo

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Well, yes they are. When reproducing a recording, they should reproduce the recording flat, and then the room's acoustics overlay the reproduced sound, just as it would for real instruments, everyday speech or other domestic sounds.

S.
Sure, if you are talking about a direct recording of an single electronic instrument... That's all one needs :)
 

notsodeadlizard

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I already had a discussion on this with some people but I still don't really get it. Now I am also not that deep into audio to really understand everything but this is what makes sense to me.
Lets say we have a speaker that measures perfectly flat in an anechoic chamber. This means that the speaker can produce sounds naturally, as all frequencies and therefore instruments will have an even volume output.
Now lets put this speaker in a bad room with reflections and maybe there is even a wall next to one of the speakers. Now if the measure the response of that speaker there will be all kinds of whacky things going on, especially in the bass but also possible in the treble. Lets take my speaker measurement of the iloud MTM for example.
View attachment 285251

There are clear dips in the bass response but also treble has issues at 2khz specifically.

Now I would argue this is better than if we EQd it to a room curve. Why? Well if we take the instruments themselves and put them into my room, they should measure similarly wonky, right?
And in my mind the goal is to make the instruments sound as real as possible on a speaker, so as long as the speaker is flat in an anechoic chamber, this will result in a natural sound to my ears in any room.

If I understand anything wrong here please help me out.
No.
But if you like endless useless experiments, then yes.
This is not a home technology at all.
 
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pasi123567

pasi123567

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Speakers are not instruments.

To elaborate:
- The wonkieness of the room where the instruments were recorded is already part of the recording
- You don´t arrange 20 speakers like an orchestra in front of you
- and so on...

I agree speakers can not immitate instruments perfectly but the goal is to come as close as possible. If the wonkiness of the room is already part of the recording, EQing my room again would make it worse in a unnatural way though right? Though the goal is to record instruments as directly as possible. For modern digitally produced music this is mostly the case I would think. The problem I had when talking about this with people was if we want to hear the instruments like they are played in our room or played in a perfect room. I would think the goal is to make the sound real in our room.
 

staticV3

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I agree speakers can not immitate instruments perfectly but the goal is to come as close as possible.
IMO, the goal is to come as close as possible to the recording, not to a hypothetical live performance of the song in your room. Because your room sucks and that would be an awful experience.

If room effects distort the recording, and EQ helps correct the distortion, helps to remove your listening environment from the end-to-end audio chain (musicians->your ears), then why wouldn't you?
 

DJBonoBobo

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I agree speakers can not immitate instruments perfectly but the goal is to come as close as possible. If the wonkiness of the room is already part of the recording, EQing my room again would make it worse in a unnatural way though right? Though the goal is to record instruments as directly as possible. For modern digitally produced music this is mostly the case I would think. The problem I had when talking about this with people was if we want to hear the instruments like they are played in our room or played in a perfect room. I would think the goal is to make the sound real in our room.
My goal is to come as close as possible to what the artist´s/engineer´s intention was. I think that´s a pretty common goal in the "HiFi"-world.
I don´t want to hear the boomy resonances and colorations of my room. If you like the sound of your speakers in your room, good for you. But why start a thread like this then?

BTW, a band/orchestra playing in my ****** mancave would sound horrible, too...
 

sergeauckland

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My goal is to come as close as possible to what the artist´s/engineer´s intention was. I think that´s a pretty common goal in the "HiFi"-world.
I don´t want to hear the boomy resonances and colorations of my room. If you like the sound of your speakers in your room, good for you. But why start a thread like this then?
My view is that you should improve the room, not try and correct one failing with another.
Anyway, you hear the 'boomy resonances and colorations' of your room every time anyone talks to you in that room. Should you EQ them too?

S.
 

unpluggged

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Well if we take the instruments themselves and put them into my room
This is the reason why nobody puts the instruments in your room to record them.
 
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pasi123567

pasi123567

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This is the reason why nobody puts the instruments in your room to record them.
No the instruments must be recorded as directly as possible with no room input, but the playback will be room influenced afterwards. This was the point of mentioning this, not to record them in my room.
 

unpluggged

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but the playback will be room influenced afterwards
Yes, and this is exactly why orchestras don't perform in apartments and music halls are being built with acoustics in mind.
 

DJBonoBobo

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My view is that you should improve the room, not try and correct one failing with another.
Wow, I never thought of that!

Anyway, you hear the 'boomy resonances and colorations' of your room every time anyone talks to you in that room. Should you EQ them too?

S.
Yes, if they started to sing something that has 35, 70 or 140Hz notes. Nobody tries that in my room, thank god.
 
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pasi123567

pasi123567

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Yes, and this is exactly why orchestras don't perform in apartments and music halls are being built with acoustics in mind.
Theres a size difference here. Orchestras need big music chambers to ctreate a desired effect of sound size. But again lets say I put a anechoic flat measuring speaker in that hall where the orchestra is playing, that would make the sound more similar to the original instruments that would play there. A recording thats made to be played at an orchestra will never sound the same in my own room. But if I EQ the sound to my room that will make the instruments sound less natural right? and the EQ'd output would not sound like an orchestra either.
 

DJBonoBobo

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Perhaps there is a misunderstanding here. In the OP it is called "EQ the room". When I read that, I only think of meaningful room EQ, of course. For example, room modes that can't be controlled with passive methods, some low Q adjustments above the Scroeder frequency and the like.
I don't think of adjusting every little deviation of the overall frequency response - why that doesn't make sense, there is a lot of literature and thousands of forum threads about that.
 

Sokel

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Instruments analogy in rooms are likely not comparable,radiation patters are not the same,etc.
Lots and lots of houses has pianos that sound from wonderful to crap,depending on the piano,the room and the performer of course.

But this has nothing to do with a chain of events (recording,mastering,etc) and electronics (with all their flaws) played back there.
 
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