Audio Minutiae - by Ethan Winer

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valis
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Audio Minutiae - by Ethan Winer

Post by valis » Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:28 pm

Ethan posted up an article he wrote in 2014, that might be worth a review:

Audio Minutiae - by Ethan Winer

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spacef
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Re: Audio Minutiae - by Ethan Winer

Post by spacef » Sat Nov 23, 2019 12:57 pm

Hi there,
I understand the article is about a lot of stuff, but I wanted to chime in in relation to acoustics,room sound etc.

About placement and absorbing panels, the article is both true and wrong at the same time. It takes the issue in reverse way, which is the way that is explained by many, and that i used too, until i realized it does not help. There is a huge difference of context between a pro studio and a home studio. the article assumes that we are in a pro studio with non-proximity monitors, and that there is a acoustic guy able to do measurments to reach the best acoustic. this is not the right context for most people, including pros.

Most "small home studio" monitors do require reflections on the walls behind them, and adding absorbers randomly will be actually worse than nothing.

I have been through all these stages and I sold the acoustic panels and bass traps because my mixes were going worse and worse (as you might have noticed if you followed my recent youtube posts). When i've put them, i was happy, because i could "physically" feel where the sound came from, and the room was totally free from any reflection. But it made things worse in the long run.

There are two approaches:
1/ you "fight against" the room with loads of acoustivc treatments and measurments: this is 99.9% of the cases because you want you desk here or there, and then you build your studio from that first requirement, which is generally dictated by confort or obligation, not by acoustics (for example, you can put your desk only here, or only there, but not anywhere you want in the room).
So you after installing your studio, you "fight against" the acoustics that is perceived at this location. .

2/ you "play with" the room by precise speaker placement and relatively low acoustic investments and no measurment at all (home studios).
You first find the best placement for the speakers without any acoustic treatment (or a minimal one).
This trick comes from Pascal Garnon, a french sound engineer who has mixed a lot of top charters, including a lot of reaggae/dancehall/hip hop with a lot of bass, as well as rock stuff. so I guess the technic is good enough, and might be known to many of you already. http://pascalgarnon.com/sample-page or here is a cool video with micheal brauer http://pascalgarnon.com/videos
I have mixed something that was reviewed by him recently , that's how we got to chat about that, but unfortunately, it is confidential-not yet-released songs for a reaggae band (he found my mix too underground for charts but he found that the relationship between all instruments was just right ;-) (the levels of instruments in that genre - and let's note that all was done in SpaceF Modular Mixer :-) . he noticed the defects due to room sound and so we began to talk about what could be done in this respect.

a) 2 people needed.
b) one person move one speaker around the room and the other tells when the sound is best (clearer sound, what you prefer etc). There might be manyu points were it is good, and they should all be marked precisely.
c) after doing b, you take the other speaker and place it to form the triangle wich specifications are explained in the speakers' manual, and mark the point where the sound is best when the 2 speakers are connected.
d) now, you know where the sweet spot is located, and you placeyour mixtable or pc or whatever in this location.
e) yes, it can be a very weird placement but apparently, , it has proved good over the years for many pros.
f) not everybnody has the luxury to place his desk in weird locations in a room, and in such cases, you are back to "fighting against"' the room acoustics (see 1) ) .

that's my two cents because i did not do the above technic, but just removed all acoustic panels and now i sound better. because my speakers are made to use room reflections and are less good in a mat room.
So i beg to disagree with the graphic 'acoustic domine", because eventhough it is scientifically correct, it will never guarantee that your mixes are better than before!

now on the issue of jitter, i don't know, i never sample down from 24bits to 16 bit, but from wav 44.1 / 24 bits to mp3 320 kpbs ;-)
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valis
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Re: Audio Minutiae - by Ethan Winer

Post by valis » Sat Nov 23, 2019 2:09 pm

Thanks spacef, he posted that article on facebook as a repost of the time of the original writing and I had hoped it would get some reads. Appreciate that you're still reading along at least :D

I agree about speaker placement, especially with my sub I have found this beneficial. I do this when first entering my new space, and place my desk and then monitors accordingly. With my subwoofer I do this by placing myself at the position I intend the sub to be, and then the sub at the position I intend my chair to be. I then walk around and listen (and clearly I'm much taller, so we can account for this) until I hear the tones I have chosen to loop being as even as possible.

I do my acoustic treatment as more or less the last step of making my rooms. That means my record shelves (which usually covers most of at least 1 wall, quite the diffusion effect there), bookshelves, other gear racks and computer tables are all in place. This of course helps with the aesthetics of placing my treatment, but it also acts AS treatment of sorts. Especially when I had a couch at the back of my studio, that was the best 'bass trap' I've had in here so far.

Also note that my take on studio treatment is to even things out a bit without completely dampening the room, since it's harder to tame below 300hz my take is that overly treating a room makes the top too 'dry' and leaves your low end boomy, thus resuling in mixes that are brittle and undefined on the bottom (at least in my experience).

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