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Does room treatment make a difference when mixing at a low volume?

EPC

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#1
If I'm mixing at like 60dB or less, will the room have much impact on the sound?
 

DonH56

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#2
Short answer: Yes, though you'll have to define "much".

Long answer: First reflections and bass modes/SBIR will change the sound at "any" level, though at some point I suppose the reflected energy is low enough you can no longer hear it. You'd have to characterize your room to see if that is the case. But, room modes can cause peaks of 6 dB, so they will "always" be audible. Nulls can be very deep (I've measured 20~30 dB in typical rooms) so again will almost certainly be audible at 60 dB SPL. Reflections vary wildly but again it's hard for me to believe they would not change the sound when listening at 60 dB. Especially if you are mixing using near-field monitors. A lot of engineers position their monitors and damp the control surfaces to reduce reflections.
 

dfuller

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#4
Yes. It always makes a difference.
 
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#5
I second what dasdoing said. Room reflections's volume change linearly with speakers volume. It's always the same ratio unless you change your distance to the speakers. What may change with volume is our perception of frequencies because of the Fletcher-Manson curves. At higher volumes we may hear more bass and, therefore, a bit more of the room modes. But high listening volume is not good for mixing anyway in my opinion.

I consider a minimum of room treatment to be mandatory for serious mixing.
 
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EPC

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Thread Starter #8
Agreed. 60 dB SPL at listening position seems really low to me.
I monitor low when doing vocal rides and stuff, I just didn't know if there was a volume threshold when it comes to the room affecting the sound.
I'm aware of the FM curves, I try and aim for like 80 to 85 dB normally.
 
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