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Microphone Month 2

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Eq'ing monitors to your room


Im looking to EQ my monitors to my room, doing the basic procedure with running pink noise through my monitors and hitting it with a test mic and a real time analyzer. Problem is, I dont have a test mic or real time analyzer, so I figured Id get some opinions on what would be the best choice. Im lookin at the Samson D1500 and MM01. Theyre made to compliment each other, so it should be pretty flat. Or I could get something more portable like the Phonic PAA3. For anyone who has done this, post what you used, and how efficient it was. Thanks!
June 21, 2005 @02:21am

Before you pull out the eq, play around with altering speaker and listening location. I'm not a big fan of external corrective eqs on control room monitors, btw. Causes more problems than it solves. Just get the monitors into a position you think they sound the best, and refer back to your reference cds often.
Beside that, you can use a RTA plugin on your daw to monitor one of your preferably SDC (and omni, although cardioid works too) mics on a stand in the listening position while outputing pink noise. You have to kind of guess based on the frequency response charts of both the monitors and microphone along with the source as to what "flat" should be on the rta. For greater resolution, you might need to record the source for a time and "frequency analyze" it. You should still find the best (or best convenient) speaker to listener relationship in the room before thinking of adding a corrective eq.
June 21, 2005 @05:48am

I was having some trouble with the control room at the studio I work at now...and started digging around. Found out they had a Meyer eq on the 1031's. Quick un-plug and re-routing of cables fare's me a much better result. The owner said someone "tuned the room". F'n whatever....you can eq it flat all you want..but that dosen't mean it's going to be musically flat or translate well.
Use your ears and install acoustical treatment..not eq's.
June 21, 2005 @06:28am

Well, my room is treated very well with auralex, and my speaker placement is perfect, and I'm using Mopads. In fact, I'm not actually having any huge problems with my monitor setup. But lets face it, flatter is better, and slight use of EQ to flatten it out a little bit will only make life easier when mixing and mastering. Sure, I reference other CD's all the time, but I still have mixes that need to be brought out to the car 35 times before I can get all of the frequencies to be equally represented. The point is, I want to KNOW that I can trust my monitors. And besides, I could use a real time analyzer around the studio anyway, Ive already found myself in many situations where I wished I had one. Thanks for the posts!
June 21, 2005 @07:35am

Oh yea, just another thing Ill add. I dont absolutly have to have an EQ in the signal path of my monitors, BUT knowing the frequency response of them would certainly help. Either way, I still need to to purchase a test mic and a real time analyzer.
June 21, 2005 @07:40am
Ed Belknap

Originally posted by innocence_faded
Well, my room is treated very well with auralex, and my speaker placement is perfect, and I'm using Mopads. In fact, I'm not actually having any huge problems with my monitor setup. But lets face it, flatter is better, and slight use of EQ to flatten it out a little bit will only make life easier when mixing and mastering.

Unfortunately, using an equalizer in your monitor path will NOT insure that what you hear is flat. More likely it will cause more problems than you're currently experiencing...especially if your speaker placement is already "perfect". The reasons for this are twofold (at least):
1) the most egregious deviations from flat response are not the result of the sound coming out of the speaker; they're the result of the room's affect on that sound. This is true even for rooms that are "treated very well with auralex", and it is caused by temporal (time-based) distortions: reflections & standing-waves (room modes). An equalizer can't improve temporal distortions, it can only improve timbral (frequency-based) distortions. An RTA & an equalizer are the wrong tool for the job; the RTA will only show frequency response aberrations without telling you whether they are caused by temporal distortion or timbral distortion, and the eq can't do diddly about the latter.
2) Because the distortions introduced by small room acoustics are physical phenomena that take place as a result of physical dimensions and occur in specific physical locations, if you EQ'd the monitor output for flat response at one location their response would most certainly not be flat at another location...and that other location could be only 6" away from the so-called flat spot. If your left ear is in the perfect location, your right ear isn't. If you lean forward to tweak a knob on your console, you're no longer in that perfect location.
Also note that you need much greater resolution than 1/3 octave filters offer to address most room modes, and that all but the most refined equalizers introduce phase shift between adjacent filter bands, a compromise you most assuredly don't want to introduce in your monitor path.
The traditional workaround is to simply learn how your room sounds & learn how to mix for it. It's not as sexy as "tuning your room" but it's more reliable. And cheaper!
June 21, 2005 @12:56pm

Originally posted by innocence_faded
Well, my room is treated very well with auralex,

That foam crap? That's worse than anything.
It sounds like your room isn't properly treated if you are having problems with it. Not to be a jerk, just giving you the facts.
Try painting the wall's with flat paint, and putting up some acoustical panels. Get rid of the foam.
June 21, 2005 @11:07pm

Well a lot of that makes sense; I am aware of the fact that a lot of the inaccuracies of monitors are time-based and not frequency based. Which is why I use auralex, but Im getting the idea that most people here dont think auralex is the best solution. It has drastically improved my listening environment, but then again Ive never used anything else. djui5, you mentioned acoustical panels, can you expand on that because "acoustic panels" can mean absorbing panels, reflecting panels, diffusing panels, etc. For my purposes, I had problems with flutter echo and accentuated bass, so I bought bass traps and absorbing foam, which happened to be sold by one of the biggest acoustic treatment company, auralex. If you have a better solution in mind for a mid-sized room, let me know because Im interested.
June 22, 2005 @09:15pm

And another thing, I still want a decent RTA to take room measurements.
June 22, 2005 @09:32pm

I'd imagine that absorbing panels are going to be what you'd want, but I'm no acoustician.
I'd highly recommend posting some of your problems on John Sayers forums and seeing what kind of answer you can get there.
I would recommend building some "boxes" yourself. Frame a rectangle with some 1x4 boards, and fill it with Owens Corning model 703 fiberglass, then wrap it with some kinda fabric/cloth.
read this.. http://www.acousticsfirst.com/articles/Yourchurch/PopArt.htm
It's hard to say exactly what to do without knowing what freq's are giving you the most problems, which is where an RTA could come in really really handy. You might also consider bringing in a local acoustician to shoot your room and find out what's causing you the grief, then build some panels or diffusers to suite your needs. There should be plenty of info on John's site about building stuff like that.
Just please don't eq your monitors...that's silly.
June 22, 2005 @11:12pm

June 22, 2005 @11:31pm

Thanks for the links. I actually use the Elemental Audio Systems Inpsector right now. Its good for checking my mixes during mixdown but I wanted an outboard RTA for taking room measurements. I dont really trust a signal thats going through an outboard pre, through my audio interface, and then through my computer; theres a good chance something will be coloring the signal. I couldnt find a price on any of the outboard RTA's you posted, but the samson one I mentioned is really attractive with that price.
Anyway, Ill check out that sight you posted with information regarding the acoustic treatment panels, because I'd really like to get the best I can out of my room. Thanks!
June 24, 2005 @02:20am

If you're going to put an EQ inline with your main monitors (which I certainly don't recommend), it'd better be a friggin' great one. Anything made by Samson does not fit that description.
"Flat" is way overrated. Important (especially in whatever space you're tracking in), but not as important as getting your mixes to translate outside your studio. Lots of great records were mixed in non-flat rooms on non-flat speakers (ever look at the response plot of an NS10?). If your room is reasonably decent, your monitors decent, and your talent level decent, you're most of the way there. All that remains is that you learn the unique character of your speakers and room and mix accordingly. Just like a guitarist adjusting to the unique characteristics of a different guitar. Just takes some practice.
June 24, 2005 @05:09am