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It's setup time and I have several options as to where/how to set up my freshly acquired pair of Adam A7. Three rooms in my house have interesting characteristics but not one is perfect and I am seeking advice/suggestions from you guys. They are all quiet and have carpeted floors. Now I'll give specific details.

Room 1:

[youtube]1VLHMdw9Iy4[/youtube]

  • square room (3.88m * 3.72m)
  • well furnished
  • heavy curtains
  • ceiling beams
  • bed
  • marble fireplace (of course it's not in use anymore). I figured it's the best stand for my monitors but then I can't really put them away from the wall.
  • my drumkit is likely to be in the room, though I believe the resonating toms have a distinct sound that is unlikely to influence my mixes... what do you guys reckon? Muffle it?

Room 2&3:

[youtube]1LsoeyfmYUw[/youtube] [youtube]7YoIDr5Ts3A[/youtube]

  • under the roof/non parallel walls, intricate geometry
  • hard walls
  • second floor, hot in summer and thin floor
  • smaller than Room 1 (3.20m wide), tunnel shape

I am very keen on Room 1 since it's cooler, more furnished and the marble fireplace seems an ideal stand (hopefully not too close to the wall: the membranes are 40cm from the wall, after the monitors may fall off). Is the drumkit an issue?

Cheers!

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2 Answers

Generally speaking, I would suggest you put your monitors on decent stands. That way you can put them wherever you want without being limited to what objects are in the room(s) to put them on.

Not only the distance from the wall, but also the height and the spacing influences the sound at your mixing position and stands will allow you to optimise those.

If you have the time: put up your best omni mic on ear height at the expected listening position, play back pink noise, watch the frequency response on a spectrum analyser and start moving around the speakers and the mic. If you experiment with the placement (also in the other rooms) while noticing the low frequency response in particular you can find the better and worse locations to put your speakers throughout the house.

The bigger the room, the less likely it will cause problems with uneven bass response. High frequency problems can be easily corrected with foam/absorbers. Low frequency problems are much more difficult as they require absorbtion of more mass and volume.

You could also try calculating the room modes (google for room mode calculator), but this will only give you a theoretical idea of the problems. Listening with your ears (play a stepped sine sweep starting at 20 Hz and increasing in semitones, listen for tones that are clearly louder or quieter than others) and watching the response on spectral analysers will give you much more useful real-world information about your particular setup.

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I'm considering making PVC/sand (concrete?) DIY speaker stands. Is that too much? –  Justin Huss Jul 11 '10 at 21:25
    
If you trust your construction skills enough to put your precious Adams on something you built yourself, and things don't fall or break into pieces when you inadvertedly bump into them then that's fine. Fixing the pvc pipes to the upper and lower mounting plates will be the bottleneck. When that connection is not super-rigid your monitors will start to wobble. Buying metal stands and filling them with sand is a ready-made alternative. If the stands are not height adjustable you should consider getting Auralex Mopads to aim the speakers at your ears –  EMV Jul 12 '10 at 10:05
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Room 1 is the better choice. Those angled ceilings in room 2 are going to cause big problems. I should know, I have them in my room and they've taken a lot of treatment to fix.

You also want the coolest room. When you have all your gear running, you room will get hotter. That drumkit will be a problem, sound will resonate through it, move it out, or it will annoy you and cause problems in your mixes.

Keep in mind that any room you choose will require some treatment. It you are handy, look on the net for plans to build your own bass traps and panels. It you are not handy, look into pre made panels from a company like ghs acoustics.

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Thanks Chuck, I can feel the experience :) Yeah I'm planning to make some rockwool clouds anyway. Placement-wise, I reckon they should cover an area, on the wall, around the critical point from which come the early reflections? I'd appreciate confirmation on that one. –  Justin Huss Jul 11 '10 at 21:23
    
@Justin Huss Take a look at this site, a lot of good acoustics info: realtraps.com/info.htm. For the basics, you want put bass traps in as many corners of the room as possible, cover as much of the rear wall as you can with traps, and put thinner panels at the primary reflection points on the ceiling and side walls. –  Chuck Russom Jul 12 '10 at 0:13
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