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I'm curious as to whether systems like the attractively priced JBL MSC1 are useful in home studio situations. Although I don't do any serious mixing at home I do spend lots of time editing there, and would like it to be as balanced a possible. I can't do any serious modifications to the room as it's rented accommodation, but might be tempted to try a system like this out.

Anyone had any experience with this, or have any thoughts on room correction generally?

My monitors are Genelec 1030A's. I've also been tempted to add a sub to these recently.

Worth checking out the videos here: http://www.jblpro.com/MSC1/MSC1_Video.html

alt text http://mixdownmag.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/MSC1-angle-clear.jpg

EDIT: I was just thinking about this a bit more, and I got to thinking about other spaces like makeshift galleries and temporary cinema spaces. I often visit these kind of rooms and think that just a small amount of eq would really help the overall sound. £200-£300 is not much extra if you've already spent £1000 on speakers. Is this underused technology, and how cost effective is it?

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I currently use IK Multimedia ARC and have used the Genelec DSP system as well. Both are very useful in already treated rooms. Neither of these however will help with time domain issues such as comb filtering, this effects stereo imaging. Also room nodes create frequency anomalies due to waves reflecting off walls and becoming in phase and thus getting louder.

Often with small rooms there is a sweet spot where the lower frequencies are fairly level , using room correction can further improve that spot, but they are less effective over a larger area. That is they do not correct the whole room but a certain point.(Usually your mixing point) As has already been stated acoustic treatment must be your first port of call this will reduce the time domain issues and possibly room nodes. REQ Wizard will be very useful to find out what that is in your case.

Sound on Sound run a monthly studio makeover and these are available online at www.soundonsound.com. Often these are rented accommodation and vary in size.

Here is a special article on room treatment

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb06/articles/studiosos.htm

If you are DIY inclined you can make some very cost effective treatment and there are lots of tutorials online. I followed some of these and they have massively improved my mixing space wich is very small. I also live in rented accommodation and none of my treatment is fixed to the walls.

To put it in reverse room correction is of hardly any value without acoustic treatment.

Hope that helps.

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I never tried these romm correction hardware stuff, but I don't think that they do more than simply applying some kind of EQ to it. So it doesn't actually dampens certain frequencies but simply lowers them. Of course this will work for minor problems, but I think you should invest in some acoustic treatment (which can be removed easily) rather than spending money on these romm correction hardware.

But as I said before: I never actually used one of these, so I may be totally wrong about this product.

Have you already measured your room ? Room EQ Wizard is for free, you only need a cheap measurement microphone (40-50€) and you are good to go.

  • Hi Michael, thanks for your thoughts. I think you're right that the unit only applies eq to balance the frequency response, but how effective is that as a technique and how far can it go? I've got a bit of acoustic treatment in place, but don't really want to drill any more holes! Thanks for the link, REW looks very thorough indeed. – Mark Durham Apr 15 '12 at 22:40
  • @Mark: I'd experiment with REW to see what improvements it can achieve. Personally I think that correcting using DSP is useful only for an already good monitoring, in which case the DSP can push it to be slightly more flat. But correcting using DSP doesn't tackle the physics of sound. You can get more improvement by just rearranging your speakers and furniture. – Internet Human Apr 16 '12 at 11:53

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