A little of both is probably going to give the best results.
Unless you've spent big $$$ to get your room designed professionally it's not going to be perfect acoustically, assuming there is such a thing anyway.
The prevailing wisdom is that you should have some acoustic treatments (carpets, curtains, etc) to help with the dynamics of the room. Once you've done that software can handle the rest to the best of its ability.
I view electronics acoustic calibration equal to (in recording) "fix it in the mix", or (in photography) "shoot RAW and fix it in Photoshop".
Of course in anything, you virtually can't get it right in pre-production (or in this case, room acoustics), but these things are called a "fix" because it is essentially a band-aid for the problem you encounter.
The better you start with the room acoustic, the less electronic fix needs to be done, the better the end result will be.
Some of the problems such as first-reflection can not be cured with any room calibration system other than acoustic panels positioned properly in the room.
hadn't given it much consideration, but it is apparent to me now that room acoustic does play a significant role.
i notice audio irregularity, a feeling or sense that something isn't quite right, or is missing.
interestingly, i stumbled upon this acoustic irregularity while relaxing to music in a adjacent room. particular instances, in specific songs, i could hear what i can only describe as echo, or reverb.
the room is an acoustic "clean slate" .. (a real bachelors pad ..!!) one wall mounted framed art only .. bare walls otherwise. hard wood floors, single area rug only. french doors with no curtains. main window covering, vertical blind (plastic i think) ... another entrance into the listening area, open to the kitchen. audio is escaping.
i will work on this over time, will update as i progress with images ..etc. between .. the playoffs !! and spring/summer shannanigans !!
question: room has vaulted ceilings ..what is the acoustic affect or result of this feature ?
Hey, pharsyde, you have an opportunity to set up your "bachelor pad" to serve the sound and picture without having to negotiate endlessly. That's a good thing and allows you to balance both issues. A good sounding room doesn't need to look horrible.
The first things to consider are the liveliness of your room and first reflections. We evolved on grassy plains so humans don't perceive closed spaces with pronounced echoes to sound "natural". If you've got troublesome allergies to dust, carpeting will be an issue so if possible, use a more absorptive flooring than hardwoods. Try cork. If not, get some area rugs to knock down echoes caused by floor reflections. Windows should have curtains over the hard blinds. That's also a decent way to inject a little style and colour into your space. Don't worry too much about a vaulted ceiling unless the room is huge.
First reflections are the sounds that bounce off surfaces close to you and retain sufficient energy (loudness) to interfere with the direct sound coming from your speakers. The echo will generally muddy the sound and obscure small, low-level details. These are easily tamed with curtains, furniture, bookcases etc. The way to find a first reflection point needs two people. One sits in the listening position while the other person slides a mirror along the walls at ear height of the seated person. Do that to the floor as well. When the seated person can see a speaker reflected in the mirror then, voila! You've just found a first reflection point. Stick something there to absorb or deflect the sound waves.
There are ways to go all obsessive but if you pay a bit of attention to these first steps, they will improve your room immensely and make room correction more effective.
have been browsing for addiitonal information, acoustic basics ..etc. I like realtraps.com website. discusses many of the ideas offered here, which is encouraging.
love the mirror procedure, and is discussed in one of the how-to videos on realtrap. you reminded me of a conversation i had with a bud of mine, explaining the same process. i like it.
visited a friend yesterday, gaming, music listening. he briefly outline similar experiences, feedback as here. coupled with the information from additonal sources, am getting ideas how i can move forward, with pleasing aesthetics.
my friend also has lots of, in this case, oversized plants for acoustic treating.
additional reading on the subject (having rummaged around here (past threads), and other canadian) ..
i was (am) pleasantly surprised to find, well, what i can only describe as a company that is very professional and passionate about acoustics; providing customers with a very thought out and detailed (informative) website.
this slipped my mind previously .. had stumbled upon this while perusing primeacoustic .. a division of Radial Engineering ..
..who are holding seminars in the GTA area this month ..Ottawa, Montreal in April
How to solve acoustic problems in your studio
• Dealing with primary reflections, flutter echo, and standing waves
• How to tune your room and remove excessive bass
• How to make critical listening easier with less fatigue
• Using Primacoustic bass traps, diffusers, clouds and IsoTools
here's the schedule .. (call ahead to book your seat) ..
Am getting excited again now - must be the time of year. I have on order, London 12, acoustic room kit. (please see primacoustic)
This should be interesting indeed. Also enroute are their IsoTools (speaker isolation) ..I have for the CC as well as having ideas for my sub. Decoupling from the floor - reduce the vibration travelling throughout the room, as it (decoupling), improves LFE affect.
I'm not sure if, at the time of my commencing this thread, had purchased the Anthem MRX500 w/ it's room correction technology (Anthem Room Correction). Point being, I am expecting tremendous improvements balancing room correction software, with acoustic room treatment. really looking forward to that.
I have also begun installing French doors between the HT room and the room adjacent (Kitchen) - idea being containing (and taming) the audio within the HT room.
For further reading and a pretty good expose on how to achieve proper room sound there is a good series of blogs here: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/blogs/mitchco
Scroll down and start on page 1 ...there are, so far, 5 pages to follow.
Lots of examples, links and references.
The thrust of this is that with proper measurements, software and corrections we can achieve a better listening space. Using equipment and software to create filters that essentially fix room problems, this can be done without tubes, traps and rugs. Pretty cool.
Nicely integrated bass really elevates the audio experience for sure. Am looking forward to spending more time when I can get more serious about it. I do need to get a sub first though I sold the velodyne, VDR12. Have my sights on JL Audio now.
Thanks for the heads up. Although aware of the site, haven't dug too deep into the blogs. I'll probably revisit when settled in some evening. Looks like an interesting read.
Well folks. The London12 is installed ! I will relay more information later with usage (pictures and stuff). The kit is very easy and forgiving to install. I won't beat around the bush too much regarding setting it up. It's a pleasant task.
Equipment used for my brief time-in since installation.
Sade, Greatest Hits
Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon. latest remaster
Radiohead, Ok Computer
My first impression ?
I wasn't expecting such a dramatic improvement in the music. Seriously. The London12 has really cleaned up the audio.
I am hearing instrument background much better, some for it unheard before, I think. Audio that escaped my ears, or rather, were there previous - maybe "mashed" in there before, but inaudible ? Am hearing musical notes to completion. Better timing and cleaner, defined bass.
The music is easier to listen to as well. There is no physical strain. I hadn't noticed this before. For me, and now having realized after install, previous listening came with some unnoticed discomfort. I guess I became accustomed to all the echo and reflection (in my room). I was (subconsciously?) working to process the bombardment and reflection (?)
One of the best purchases in my HT setup to achieving much better and pleasing audio results. Be interesting to hear after I run ARC again. Am leaning toward the idea that, as good audio correction is these days, particularly referring to ARC, it doesn't bend the physical environment, of less than ideal acoustic setup, around the physics of sound created by that environment, as well as it can be done. (going out on a limb here !) : p
What I mean, IMO, to get the most out of great room correction, such as ARC, give it good room acoustic (attribute) to begin.
If you run DSPeaker 8033s before running ARC, the room response will even be that much smoother. I run both the 8033 for my sub before running the ARC on my Anthem, the mid frequencies become very very smooth.
First i work in construction...levels arent that cheap even on clearence...atleast that ive seen. perhaps i just dont look for one that cheap as i use them for profesional use. Your probably looking at more like $50 on sale. Mine (more mid-class) cost me $200. I assume your buying a laser to get your speakers mounted at the same height. a tape measure will work just as well...honestly. measure from the floor up. Lasers arent acctually perfectly accurate anyway. Then again if you dont need one but have some extra money and just want a toy they do come in handy from time to time.
Second, i noticed you moved your sub from the first post of pics. Did it help? I dont have many options for placement of mine but have been looking to better improve the bass throughout.
Lastly, am impressed how that acoustic kit looks. Gives a sexy character to the walls. Is it a paintable surface or do they come in certian colours?
You can buy these particular brand of acoustic panels in black, grey or beige. I was going with the black until I was over ruled. The beige is much better.
I wouldn't paint these particular brand panels, however if you wanted to DIY other panels you could screen print the covers. The kit I have was/is better value compared to the DIY alternative, and much less hassle. The neat thing about screen printing acoustic panel covers is you can customize the image applied.
Acoustic treatments has made significant improvement in the audio.
Second, i noticed you moved your sub from the first post of pics. Did it help?
Its very good as is. I will follow through on sub placement tips have been reading, see what happens from there.
The laser level or pointer isn't a big deal for me. It has come up briefly in general conversation with other hobbyist. I wouldn't mind trying it out when playing around with the setup some evening. They're just laser pointers mounted on a little stand. The idea being to "point" all speakers accurately to the listening position. They have at Canadian Tire, and Princess Auto for $ 15 to $ 20 each (thats what shows on their websites). Have some Canadian Tire money burning a hole in my pocket.
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