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Topic: Calibrating your speakers to a room?

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  1. #1

    Calibrating your speakers to a room?

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    Hi, I was wondering how to best go about calibrating our equipment to the environment we mix in? For example I know from experience that my speakers lack sparkle around the 8-12k region and have to compensate for it in my mixes.

    Do I;

    send test tones through the speakers,
    record them through a mic,
    run the files through a spectral analyzer,
    and compensate with EQ?

    Wouldnt the mic color the sound though?

    What is the correct way to do this?

    Thanks.

  2. #2

    Re: Calibrating your speakers to a room?

    I only know enough about this to be dangerous, so I\'m not going to answer and risk steering you astray. But I will say that anything above about 700Hz isn\'t an architectural problem, it has do do with other stuff sitting in your room: equipment, etc.

    ...assuming it\'s not just the speakers themselves, of course.

  3. #3

    Re: Calibrating your speakers to a room?

    By the way, you\'re on the right track. You have to \"zero\" out the mic, i.e. you have to know what its response is. Or you can use a very flat mic, such as some of the Earthworks omnis.

    The reason I\'m not going to try and answer is that you have to measure more than one position, and the reading you get at one instant is likely to be different from what you get at another instant. It\'s tricky.

    And whether or not to eq your speakers is also a tricky question. Do you just learn to compensate, or do you eq?

  4. #4

    Re: Calibrating your speakers to a room?

    Thanks Nick. I think I\'ve only read enough about this to be dangerous! [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  5. #5

    Re: Calibrating your speakers to a room?

    The major problem of using eq to correct room response, is that if the room have frequency responce problems, that problems will change from place to place. You can correct the frequency response for one point, but agravated the problem in another spot.

    Most people use pink noise to test the rooms (You can generate pink noise using several wave editors). The idea is that pink noise have the same energy in all frequency bands, so if you play it on your speakers, and then record the response using a flat mic, you can analise the frequency of the recorded sound and know where are the problems.

    The bad news are that the frequency problems will not be the same in all the room - you can have a 1KHz cut in one place and a 1 KHz boost in another. If you use EQ to compensate the 1KHz cut, you will increase the 1 KHz boost in the other point. The best way to resolve the problem it\'s by using acustical materials (like auralex).

    Regarding flat mics, the best way is to use measure mics. Earthworks or Bruel are some of the best.

    I confess that i order the behringer ones ($50) just to play a little with that...

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Re: Calibrating your speakers to a room?

    The variability of frequency responce across the room is due to the combfiltering effect of reflected sound. The change in frequency response caused by preferential frequency absorbtion by furniture etc. doesn\'t vary that much.

    But why is it necessary to test in more than one position? It\'s only the listening position that matters?

  7. #7

    Re: Calibrating your speakers to a room?

    You can have one frequency response in one place, and a different response just 30cm aside.

    If you considered only one point, then EQ would probably resolve all the problems - in that point everything would sound great, but with 2 hears and some movement, everythinngs became a little more complicated...

  8. #8

    Re: Calibrating your speakers to a room?

    The variability of frequency responce across the room is due to the combfiltering effect of reflected sound. The change in frequency response caused by preferential frequency absorbtion by furniture etc. doesn\'t vary that much.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Maybe, but we have all kinds of junk in our rooms that has a huge effect on the sound. Desktops, mixers, and computer monitors have an enormous effect on the sound, for example. All you have to do is tilt the speakers forward or back to hear just how radical the difference is from one spot to another!

    And yet our brains are able to compensate for a lot of that really well.

    You can have one frequency response in one place, and a different response just 30cm aside.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">The point at which the argument gets trickier is whether you should eq to compensate for the speakers themselves, though. Up until recently I\'ve been opposed to that, but now I\'m starting to believe that it\'s not such a bad idea - within reason.

  9. #9

    Re: Calibrating your speakers to a room?

    Of course EQ can help - all monitors at the moment include EQ, not the usual graphical or parametric, but in a form of some switches.

    EQ can correct problems that are homogeneous in the rooms, and help a little with other types of problems too...

    It\'s almost the same in recording - EQ can help the recorded sound to compensate the mic response or the room enviroment.
    Of course, everyone prefers a wonderful mic and a lovely room...

  10. #10

    Re: Calibrating your speakers to a room?

    Hehe Nick, in case you\'re wondering why, you used (CODE) instead of (QUOTE) and therefore no word wrap is allowed in your quote... [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

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