Dips Not Welcome – Recording Studio Design and Room EQ Wizard
There is no advantage to having the best studio monitor pair in an audio recording space that sounds like crap. Think about it. Do you really want to accurately capture a poorly sounding home studio? Probably not, unless that is the sound you’re aiming for. And to that I say, “to each his own.” But assuming this is not the case, the room needs to be acoustically treated with corner bass traps and broadband absorbers… at the minimum. DIY bass traps and DIY broadband absorbers have made a world of difference in my audio recording studio. They have drastically improved the sound of my recording space. It is noticeable to the naked ear. And that is enough for most people. But to dig a little deeper and find specific problem areas in the room, measurement software is needed.
When I set out to acoustically treat my audio recording studio, I didn’t know exactly where to start. Thank gosh for the internet.
Although, with all the conflicting opinions on how to go about this process, it was still not easy to determine where to begin. So with a bit of study, I decided to get a nice condenser mic and use the Room EQ Wizard (REW) software to perform the task. The measurement condenser mic I purchased is the Behringer ECM8000. It’s a great versatile microphone that I also use in my overhead drum condenser mic setup. It was definitely a great purchase. The Room EQ Wizard software is a program for specifically measuring the sonic qualities of a room. The directions are very easy to follow. Setup is a cinch. The graphical representation of the acoustics make it easy to understand what you’re trying to achieve. I spent a few weeks on my room, tinkering… and more tinkering. But at the conclusion of my experimenting, I was able to achieve a frequency response of within 3db across the entire spectrum. There was one small dip at about 113hz that was impossible to account for. I decided to just avoid it. So now, whenever I am tracking with my recording program, I just use a frequency analyzer plugin and adjust the microphone placement accordingly. It seems to work. That obnoxious dip has not yet caused me to overcompensate for any frequency loss.
So that was where I concluded my room measurement process. The computer audiophiles out there insist there are many other steps needed: measuring impulse responses, generating spectral decay plots, creating group delay plots, calculating reverberation times, etc. The list goes on. All of these processes can be performed with Room EQ Wizard. And if you want to bury yourself in the measurement process, go ahead. But I found no need to. I fixed the problem frequencies by experimenting with acoustic treatment and monitor placement, and in the process I’m sure I also unknowingly took care of some other issues. To my ears and everyone else who records in my audio recording studio, it sounds great. I continue to be satisfied with my recording studio design and the resulting room measurements obtained with Room EQ Wizard.
Download REW Room EQ Wizard.