AES Section Meeting Reports

Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences - December 11, 2016

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We assembled at CRAS instructor Gerald Schoenherr's new house, where he is in the process of converting a portion of his new house into a mixing room. Gerald was gracious enough to open his doors to six interested students. He had knocked down a wall which had been put up by one of the previous owner, and now he has a rectangular space in which to treat acoustically. This is where Alex Otto (Otto Projects) came in with his expertise.

Alex spoke at length about how to make the best of a small space. Increasingly, audio professionals are working in smaller rooms. Thus, there is a demand for acoustically treating them. Alex noted that most if not all home studios suffer from similar problems: reflection and room modes. Spaces built for critical listening and spaces for living have quite different specification requirements, such as non-parallel walls. Some frequencies could be boosted or cut by up to 30dB or more in a non-treated room! The drywall may help some in mitigating very low frequencies by absorption. Alex stressed that any volume that can be gained is positive, since low frequencies cannot develop appropriately otherwise.

Absorption and diffraction are the two tools that a small studio owners have to combat reflection and room modes. By strategically implementing a combination of the two throughout the room, Alex plans to combat the challenges of accurate critical listening in a home studio. Before anything is built, Alex will make careful measurement of the frequency response of the room using a specialized software (REW) and a measurement microphone. First, a tone sweep from 20Hz to 20kHz is measured to get a measurement of the peak and dips in the room frequency response.

We look forward to the finished studio build. Most importantly, we look forward to hearing the before and after treatment!

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