Update Monitors, Acoustics and Har-Bal - Ready to go !

Speaker design is Paavo's special interest so post away.

Update Monitors, Acoustics and Har-Bal - Ready to go !

Postby kylen » Mon Jul 12, 2004 3:44 pm

Hi Har-Bal folks,

I have been down for a while as we were moving cross-country and I had to put my studio to sleep for a bit. Now that our plans have changed I am re-assembling my studio and doing some final acoustics tweaking. The good news is it is better than ever as I have replaced the Yamaha RX-V1200 Home theater amp and Alesis active M1's and over-damped acoustic treatments with: Benchmark DAC-1, Event ASP8, bass traps (homemade) and Auralex 3" for mids and high treatment. This time I won't kill all the good 'reflections' and will use ETF software to help me with RT60 and reflections preventing an overly dead room (bad news).

Why am I mentioning monitoring on the Har-Bal forum? Well, I'm a big fan of using visual audio spectrum RTA's as well as any software that gives visual feed back that I can compare to a reference point. But sometimes you just gotta turn all that stuff off and listen - let the 'force be with you' and twist knobs using you ears not your eyes. So that's the piece I was missing - good enough monitoring that worked well in the room and let me accurately hear the changes I was making with Har-Bal.

I am ferociously bad with an EQ so that is what initially attracted me to Har-Bal and other 'curve-matching' EQs. I live for the day when I can walk up to any audio and tweak it to match the reference in my head. Until then I'm having to use Har-Bal to help me out, once I get the EQ art 'mastered' then I imagine I'll keep using Har-Bal like any other tool when appropriate to cobble together songs for a CD or DVD project.

Currently I'm just trying to re-master some older analog tape recordings from a few years ago. All recorded, mixed, and 'mastered' in analog at a home studio with terrible monitoring. I'll be using Har-Bal to rebalance the EQ and Loudness prior to making any dynamics adjustments (upward expansion, compression and limiting) - hopefully with a well balanced EQ curve I'll need to use less dynamics to 'repair' this stuff.

Now that Har-Bal 1.5 has been out for a while and I have my monitoring setup sounding pretty good I'm gonna get started...I'm sure I might have a question or 3...
kylen
 
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Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2004 3:04 pm
Location: Southern WV, USA

Postby HarBal » Mon Jul 12, 2004 7:53 pm

Hi Kylen,

Sounds like your making good progress toward getting a good listening environment together!
I've been doing something similar in the my new house. We've recently moved into our "half finished" rendered straw bale house where I have the luxury of a "music room".

The bare acoustic qualities of the room are pretty good (it's pentagonal in shape) but it was too bright for a long time since it had no carpet or curtains. The curtains are still to be sorted out though it has a rug and home made acoustic absorbers on the ceiling. I just put them up last night and it is sounding a whole lot warmer. I'm looking forward to when I put the curtains up. The ceiling absorbers are just heavy fabric pinch pleat curtains (pleated at both ends) that are hung along the ceiling. I sewed them up myself! Now I have a lot of respect for anyone that sews for a living. It's hard worked and hard on the eyes too!

I estimated how much damping my room required by doing some reverberation time testing. Untreated it was around 500ms in the mid range with shorter times at the band entremes (which made it a bit harsh). I haven't re-measured it since adding the rug and ceiling absorbers. I leave that till when the curtains go in. In any case, it is sounding like it will be just right when the curtains do go in.

As to why the curtains aren't in yet, they are not trivial to securely mount in a rendered strwa bale house. I don't want to mount onto the render just in case it should break it some time in the future. That means making special mounts attached to the window sub-frames. Not hard but time consuming and I haven't had the time yet.

Paavo.
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Postby kylen » Tue Jul 20, 2004 12:29 am

Hi Paavo,

Sorry for the delay...Adobe Audition 1.5 had a disagreement with my VST and DX plugins, hehe, and the session I was home mastering was unrecoverable for a few days.

As far as the Harbal 1.5 part of it - I'm impressed. I actually EQ'd the 12 song project in a single evening - that has never happened before so thanx and hats off to you, Earle and everyone else (anyome else?) !

Now I'm just balancing the dynamics a bit with Soniformer2 - It's a repair job so I didn't want to push the peaks down too hard with Harbal. I think the combination should work out fine. Then on to a mastering limiter if I want to squish it any more...

Your new house sounds fun and exciting! Setting up a new room, besides the work required, is fun since it's usually better that the last room. I'm not familiar with a straw rendered house - I'll have to see what that is on the internet. Good luck with your acoustics - I just had to peel down a strip of Auralex cause it brought my hi-mid RT60 down to 300ms and that just sounded too dead for me so now it's back to around 400ms.

Anyway along with the Harbal 1.5 improvements and my new monitoring/room acoustics I think I'm off mastering for now...thanx again - Take care.
kylen
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2004 3:04 pm
Location: Southern WV, USA

Postby HarBal » Tue Jul 20, 2004 7:34 am

Hi Kylen,

Good to hear that HarBal is helping you to work efficiently!

A friend of mine describes the look of a rendered straw bale house as a gingerbread house. That's a reasonable description owing to the natural uneveness in the walls. The walls are thick too (0.5 metres).

I still need to do another reverb time measurement after installing my home made ceiling absorbers but my ears tell me it's much better. It is a touch strident in the lower mids (400Hz) but that will improve with the curtains which still aren't up.

I ordered an ECM8000 mic to do more accurate measurements with but they haven't sent it yet cos they're concerned about my credit card details. Their security checks flagged me as a possible stolen credit card so they're asking me to fax a facsimile of my drivers license. Oh well. At least they are being thorough and that is comforting to know.

Cheers,


Paavo.
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