I make films, photographs and electronic music. I build electronic musical instruments

Studio acoustics (part 1)

While working on a new track some time ago I switched from listening over the near-field monitors to my headphone. I was in for a very unpleasant surprise. It was a track with some fast sequencing and delay effects. Through the headphones everything sounded fine but through the monitor speakers the sound became… blurry. It’s hard to describe.

This was the trigger to finally do something about my room acoustics. My studio being a rather small room (2.6 x 3.6 metres) I suspected that the acoustics weren’t that great, especially in the low frequencies.

So i bought a measurement microphone and downloaded the Room EQ Wizard software to measure the room acoustics of my studio. Read the RealTraps Room Measuring Series for more information on how to do the measurements.

Below you can see the results of my measurements.

SPL (1/12 octave smoothing) - untreated room

This is a graph of the Sound Pressure Level (SPL) measurement. Ideally it should be a flat horizontal line but in reality that is impossible of course. The aim is to minimize the fluctuation. The SPL fluctuates over a range of almost 30 dB, that should be brought back to around 5 dB or so if possible.

RT60 - untreated room

This is the RT60 measurement. It displays the “Reverb Time to decay by 60 dB” for all frequencies. Ideally it should be around 150-200 ms. As you can see there are big problems in 20-200 Hz area.

Waterfall - untreated room

This is the waterfall view of the measurement. It clearly shows the long “ringing” of the lower frequencies. This must be treated.

Spectogram - untreated room

This last diagram is the spectogram. It’s basicly the same view as the waterfall only looking from above. Here you can see, just like with the waterfall, that the lower frequencies have a very long decay time.

I did some researching and decided to go for the EQ Acoustics Spectrum product range. I contacted them with some questions about how to proceed. I’ll wait for their answer before I order anything.