Recommend an EQ solution

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by kfowler8, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. kfowler8

    kfowler8 Senior Member

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    I have a buddy of mine who's a sound engineer where I work. And I mean very high tech professionally trained guy. He came over the other day to do an analysis on my studio room. We used Room EQ Wizard. Really fascinating. I ended up have a big spike around 100.

    One of the solutions has been to add a parametric EQ to my monitors within Reaper. Works really well and has really helped with my mixes. Problem is it only affects audio coming out of reaper. Any other audio that comes through my PC or interface is outside of the EQ. My interface is a Focusrite Scarlet 18i20.

    Ideally, I'd find a way to add a VST EQ to Focusrite's MixControl program. Then any audio that comes out would be affected by the EQ. As of right, it doesn't look like this is possible. Or I haven't found a way to do it yet.

    An alternative solution I thought of was to add a stereo EQ in between my Focusrite outputs and my monitor inputs. Think this is viable? I even thought about a graphic EQ like the Behringer Ultragraph Pro FBQ3102 EQ all though the reviews on this were pretty mixed.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    The problem with inserting an EQ in the mains in order to fix a room response is that it's just a band-aid. The room response still has a problem at that freq. So while the EQ will reduce the volume of that freq, it doesn't change the "quality" of it....meaning it will still propagate and bloom and all that fun stuff....so it will still be smearing. If the EQ is just for very subtle adjustments that's a different thing....

    The real solution is acoustic treatment.
     
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  3. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    To address this part of your question....If you're going to use an analogue EQ between the interface and monitors I wouldn't even consider it unless the EQ was really high quality.

    Something like this would be fine:
    https://reverb.com/ca/item/5367160-meyer-cp-10-parametric-eq
     
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  4. kfowler8

    kfowler8 Senior Member

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    Thanks Freddy. Acoustic treatment is on my agenda.
     
  5. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    That big spike around 100 Hz, How much of a spike, 10 dB, 20dB??? can you hear it? These peaks and valleys are a function of the room you're in, the geometry of which you can't change. If you can get those peaks and valleys to within 10 dB from each other then you have close to a perfect room. Within 20 dB is still decent, we're talking low end response here.
    If not, change the listening position and speaker setup. Experiment.
    Personally I wouldn't worry about spikes and dips nearly as much as I would worry about ringing. Ringing is far more detrimental than a few peaks and valleys in freq response, IMO.
    Generate a waterfall graph of your measurement in RWE and you'll get a better idea what needs fixing. I just did a RWE measurement of my room at work, a room that I mixed tons of TV docs in, it rings horribly below 300 Hz while my basement room shows a near perfectly even decay across all frequencies. That's because at work some idiot spent money on diffusors and thin absorption panels while at home I spend most of my home recording budget on Broadband absorbers and plenty of bass trapping of various kinds. Funny thing is my basement is way more live (nothing's worse than mixing inside a marshmallow/ super dead room) and more fun to listen in despite plenty of well designed treatment (Thanks to Glen Kuras/ GIK) Yes , there are still considerable peaks and valleys across the frequency response, which I can learn, but the rooms sounds great, no need to EQ anything, since EQ's create more problems than they solve unless you spend tons of money on Monitors like Genelec 1032-A-SAM or similar. Throwing a Behringer EQ at it will make it worse.
    Contain the ringing with real bass traps, not some thin panels made out of who knows what. That will get you much closer to an honest picture than EQing the monitors.
    In the meantime I'm waiting for Neumann to release their control software for our new KH 80DSP monitors that will calibrate themselves to a room.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
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  6. kfowler8

    kfowler8 Senior Member

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    Thanks guys.

    The room is probably 9x15 with the desk against the short wall. Problem was I was getting large rumbling sound on the low end. I'd mix that out to where it sounds good and then as soon as I played the song outside of my basement, all the low end was gone. After looking at the read out from REW, I see why.

    REW was telling me to do like a 16 db cut. I think I only did like 10. I've added an eq as a band-aide to the monitor FX in Reaper. This has really helped until I can get some proper treatments up.
     
  7. spitfire

    spitfire Senior Member

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    I swear I've seen something like you're talking about. After all it would just be some sort of software that would have to sit between the default sound output of your PC and the actual sound card. Unfortunately I don't remember any details.

    FYI, my JBL monitors have a room adjusting feature built it. One of those things where you connected a special mic to it and it whoops and chirps a bit. But in the end, I found I did better without than with it.

    Room treatment is key, but keep in mind that as far a room treatment goes 100 Hz is getting pretty low. For typical room treatment, like rock wool bats, etc. They need a thickness on the order of 1/4 the wave length of the sound. If not actually that thick, they need to be mounted that far off the wall. At 100 Hz, 1/4 wavelength is bout 2 1/2" feet.

    But something is better than nothing. It's on my list to do my room and I'm planning on something like this. Note making use of the wall to ceiling corners to help trap the bass. I won't actually do all this at once, I'll sneak up on it so I don't over do it.

    MusicRoom Panels 1.png
     
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  8. John Scrip

    John Scrip Senior Member

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    The problem with EQ'ing is that you're taking an already messed-up space and making it EVEN LESS ACCURATE by inserting that EQ. It isn't fixing THE PROBLEM at all. It's HIDING it. And not even really hiding it. It's "masking" it.

    EQ'ing monitors and rooms is no new thing - Happens all the time to make a *system* sound "more pleasant* -- but always at the cost of accuracy.

    (1) You will only ever hear as accurately and consistently as your monitors allow you to hear. End of story, no exceptions.

    (2) Your monitoring chain will only ever be as accurate and consistent as the space allows them to be. End of next story, no exceptions.

    In a 9x15 space, I'd bet that 100-ish (you're actually going to have a "crowd" of points between 90 and 110 in there) peak (and I'd also bet there are null points in the 30-40dB range) might only be a cubic foot in space and the null might be in the next cubic foot. You can't EQ those out. You certainly can't destroy the null by adding 30dB of 101.3Hz... Except in that cubic foot of space.

    Broadband trapping and plenty of it. If it isn't already there, it's not even worth shooting the space.

    IMO/E, YMMV, etc., etc., yada, yada.

    [EDIT]

    Now after all that is said and done and the room is reasonably consistent -- If you find that no matter where you are in the room, it's a bit "wooly" or a bit too bright or there's just a bit too much 2.5kHz to deal with, or you can feel the crossover(s) staring at you, then grab an EQ - Because then, it might be the speakers.
     
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  9. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    hahaha....I love that. I have felt the crossover stare.
     
  10. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    Audio is a visual art after all.
     

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