Old 05-09-2021, 08:36 PM   #81
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With my recent re-purchase of a new ECM-8000 [because I needed the CAL file]

I compared it to my old 8000 curves [mic is 10-15 yrs old], the response
curves were quite similar ... taking into account the CAL correction.

So ... the 'quality' of the mic seems the same .... EXCEPT, with the new
one, you do not get a nice Case, nor a windscreen or mic clip :|

So, yeah ... they have gone cheap.
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Old 05-09-2021, 08:45 PM   #82
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Mine was from 2001. The thing to remember is the worst of ecm8000 issues are in the high end. That doesn't mean the low end couldn't be more accurate but those using it with REW for bass traps are probably are not suffering as much.
Thanks Karbo, I didn't know this and in all honesty I can't hear the really high stuff, so probably wouldn't hear the difference anyway.
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Old 06-05-2021, 05:45 AM   #83
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After comparing a lot of settings and techniques since my last post in this thread, I think I'm now fully able to answer the initial "question": Sonarworks Negatives.

My room isn't perfect, and there's only a limited amount of acoustic treatment I can put up (door/window/full-length built-in wardrobe on the back wall), and that amount I've likely exhausted if I still want some space to work in here.
So room correction software to the rescue. I started with Sonarworks some 2 years ago and felt, in comparison, that the sound in the room had improved significantly. Suddenly it was more fun to mix and compose. Yet something didn't feel 100% right. A/B'ing on other systems still presented me the flaws of my efforts which I thought sounded good in the studio. At least that's why you buy Sonarworks in the first place, right?

Then I got new headphones and a new headphone correction software, which again painted a completely different picture of what was going on sonically. I was totally confused to say the least and demo'd ARC3 out of interest. Not only did it sound tighter, but it also introduced only 32 samples of latency in the monitor FX chain. Bought this, sold Sonarworks including the microphone.

That last part in italics is the crucial one, which makes me come back to the "Sonarworks Negatives" question: the downside of Sonarworks, in my opinion, after testing hundreds (exaggerated) of measured profiles, is their measurement approach. You point the (cheapish) microphone horizontally and angled at the center between the speakers.

In ARC3 the only requirement is the (approximate) position of your respective measurement point. The mic shoots horizontally 90° at the front wall or - and this exactly was my revelation - it is simply angled 90° upwards (as "usually" those measurements were and still are made.). Furthermore, ARC3 builds its measurement/profile upon a room size/geometry template, which you need to choose at the beginning. In my case, I selected "project studio", the smallest room with a shorter distance between the measurement points.

I was shocked when I first heard the profile created with a Beyerdynamic MM1 (with cal file) pointing upwards. I never heard such clarity and such details in this room, no, not even on those speakers (Tannoy 10" dual concentrics with sub). Seriously, I was almost crying.
Opening the mix project from the day before finally broke the Sonarworks camel's back. I immediately knew what to change and what to do, I questioned not a single mix decision! Rooms, distortion, filters, compression ... incredibly easy and, above all, fast to dial in. EQ steps of a fraction of a dB: night and day. Let alone the choice of plugin (or outboard) colour: before it was "OK, A is nice, but B is also not bad, and C as well". Now it's "A definitely is the wrong tool. B? Perfect - let's go for it!"

So the next time you wonder why your mixes don't come out the way you'd expect them to - consider room treatment and a correction software which allows you to use 3rd party mics at 0° or 90°. It's the best spent money EVER!
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Old 06-05-2021, 05:53 AM   #84
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After comparing a lot of settings and techniques since my last post in this thread, I think I'm now fully able to answer the initial "question": Sonarworks Negatives.

My room isn't perfect, and there's only a limited amount of acoustic treatment I can put up (door/window/full-length built-in wardrobe on the back wall), and that amount I've likely exhausted if I still want some space to work in here.
So room correction software to the rescue. I started with Sonarworks some 2 years ago and felt, in comparison, that the sound in the room had improved significantly. Suddenly it was more fun to mix and compose. Yet something didn't feel 100% right. A/B'ing on other systems still presented me the flaws of my efforts which I thought sounded good in the studio. At least that's why you buy Sonarworks in the first place, right?

Then I got new headphones and a new headphone correction software, which again painted a completely different picture of what was going on sonically. I was totally confused to say the least and demo'd ARC3 out of interest. Not only did it sound tighter, but it also introduced only 32 samples of latency in the monitor FX chain. Bought this, sold Sonarworks including the microphone.

That last part in italics is the crucial one, which makes me come back to the "Sonarworks Negatives" question: the downside of Sonarworks, in my opinion, after testing hundreds (exaggerated) of measured profiles, is their measurement approach. You point the (cheapish) microphone horizontally and angled at the center between the speakers.

In ARC3 the only requirement is the (approximate) position of your respective measurement point. The mic shoots horizontally 90° at the front wall or - and this exactly was my revelation - it is simply angled 90° upwards (as "usually" those measurements were and still are made.). Furthermore, ARC3 builds its measurement/profile upon a room size/geometry template, which you need to choose at the beginning. In my case, I selected "project studio", the smallest room with a shorter distance between the measurement points.

I was shocked when I first heard the profile created with a Beyerdynamic MM1 (with cal file) pointing upwards. I never heard such clarity and such details in this room, no, not even on those speakers (Tannoy 10" dual concentrics with sub). Seriously, I was almost crying.
Opening the mix project from the day before finally broke the Sonarworks camel's back. I immediately knew what to change and what to do, I questioned not a single mix decision! Rooms, distortion, filters, compression ... incredibly easy and, above all, fast to dial in. EQ steps of a fraction of a dB: night and day. Let alone the choice of plugin (or outboard) colour: before it was "OK, A is nice, but B is also not bad, and C as well". Now it's "A definitely is the wrong tool. B? Perfect - let's go for it!"

So the next time you wonder why your mixes don't come out the way you'd expect them to - consider room treatment and a correction software which allows you to use 3rd party mics at 0° or 90°. It's the best spent money EVER!
Am I reading this correctly, ARC3 is great? Preferred to Sonarworks?
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Old 06-05-2021, 06:00 AM   #85
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Am I reading this correctly, ARC3 is great? Preferred to Sonarworks?
That's my experience, yes.
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Old 06-05-2021, 06:13 AM   #86
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That's my experience, yes.
Excellent, thanks for the detailed feedback, really appreciated.
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Old 06-05-2021, 08:58 AM   #87
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Excellent, thanks for the detailed feedback, really appreciated.
You're welcome. Finally, I think it's a combination of a) the better mic with b) the 90° upwards measuring and c) the basic design of the software itself.
I haven't had the chance to make the same measurement with the new ARC microphone, but I seriously doubt it can touch the Beyerdynamic in terms of quality and reliability of the recording.
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Old 07-15-2021, 06:49 PM   #88
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Default Better mixing on headphones with Acustica Sienna Free

Another option. Free until October 1st.

https://www.gearnews.com/acustica-sienna-free/
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Old 07-16-2021, 04:07 AM   #89
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Another option.
Not an option for improving room acoustics/speaker response though.
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Old 07-16-2021, 04:20 AM   #90
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Not an option for improving room acoustics/speaker response though.
Yeah, hence the headphones bit in my post. Tho I didnt pay too much attention tbh, as I'm only using this stuff on headphones atm
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Old 07-20-2021, 10:05 AM   #91
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There was a time not long ago when buying the best monitor speakers you could afford was the way to go for the bedroom producer. Has calibration software made this a game changer? --Because what's the difference if you have great monitors but then inside your listening room you're not getting a flat response anyway?

Is it fair to say whether you use ARC System 3 or Sonarworks SoundID Reference (regardless of a valid way of determining which one is "better" ) either one is likely to flatten the listening curve of your monitors for your specific room, making it more likely your final mix/master will translate on other systems better? --even if you've got mediocre monitors and a room that can't be fixed acoustically?

In general, someone put it like this:
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With all my experiences of speaker calibration technologies considered, I truly believe that this tech has really come of age, however, it doesn't always seem to matter how good speaker calibration technology is these days. The choice to adopt it or not comes down to whether or not you trust the sound of your monitors. When it comes down to choosing whether or not you are going to get into speaker calibration you have to ask yourself a simple question; Do I truly know the sound of my monitors in my room well enough to trust myself and my abilities to mix great sounding music consistently? If the answer to that is yes then speaker calibration may not be for you. If you do have your doubts about your monitors then it's not going to hurt to try a speaker calibration product to see if it helps you to improve the quality and consistency of your mixes.
https://www.pro-tools-expert.com/pro...ation-software



Tod's experience of being able to get rid of a 27-band EQ after using Sonarworks in his studio is intriguing.

I'm reading at another forum the Sonarworks software can cause a crackling sound with Windows 10? Not encouraging.

I was favoring Sonarworks because it covers both speakers and headphone adjustment, but since I have no experience with calibration software, and the apparent need for it, not sure if ARC System 3 is a better choice or why.
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Old 07-20-2021, 12:35 PM   #92
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There was a time not long ago that buying the best monitor speakers you could afford was the way to go for the bedroom producer. Has calibration software made this a game changer? --Because what's the difference if you have great monitors but then inside your listening room you're not getting a flat response anyway?

Is it fair to say whether you use ARC System 3 or Sonarworks SoundID Reference (regardless of a valid way of determining which one is "better" ) either one is likely to flatten the listening curve of your monitors for your specific room, making it more likely your final mix/master will translate on other systems better? --even if you've got mediocre monitors and a room that can't be fixed acoustically?

In general, someone put it like this:


https://www.pro-tools-expert.com/pro...ation-software



Tod's experience of being able to get rid of a 27-band EQ after using Sonarworks in his studio is intriguing.

I'm reading at another forum the Sonarworks software can cause a crackling sound with Windows 10? Not encouraging.

I was favoring Sonarworks because it covers both speakers and headphone adjustment, but since I have no experience with calibration software, and the apparent need for it, not sure if ARC System 3 is a better choice or why.
I guess this why I love SW for headphones. There is no room acoustics to have to take into consideration, it just makes the audio flat as can be.

But yeah, my own realisation last year was what a dumb ass I've been not treating my room, but having bought (admittedly lower end) 'studio monitors' and not putting them in a treated room. Pretty much makes buying monitors a waste of time.

So yeah, it seems a bit silly to buy monitors and not take the time to acoustically treat a space, and/or calibrate the speakers via rooms tests with ARC/SW or some other.

On the other hand, plenty of albums have been made in rooms that arent treated, and been successful at achieving their aims.

I bet all those albums are mastered in professional spaces tho.
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Old 07-21-2021, 07:16 AM   #93
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So yeah, it seems a bit silly to buy monitors and not take the time to acoustically treat a space, and/or calibrate the speakers via rooms tests with ARC/SW or some other.
and/or? I think they recommend treating your room as best as possible before running the calibration. My question was still for those of us who can only make minimal acoustical improvements does it really make a significant difference. The consensus still seems to be yes.

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On the other hand, plenty of albums have been made in rooms that aren't treated, and been successful at achieving their aims.

I bet all those albums are mastered in professional spaces tho.
Right, but this is a time when insane technology is available to the home based user willing to suffer through learning to use it. And it looks like considerable work went into making SoundID Reference very consumer friendly. I watched the setup video at Sweetwater.

So, ultimately, neither Sonarworks nor ARC System 3 can actually ensure a completely flat sound but can get you closer than without it?

And I'm still reading about both causing distortion in two ways: Some kind of periodic "crackling" sound (Sonarworks) and distortion of a type in which the software turns your level down (to create headroom for EQ correction boosts) and when you try to turn it up again there's audible distortion (they were talking about ARC System 3). I don't know. The rep said distortion would only occur if after headroom adjustment you turn up the level on the software so high the meter goes into the red. You can still turn up your monitors as loud as they will go.
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Old 07-22-2021, 07:42 AM   #94
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I'm wondering about a potential problem with calibrating your speakers: After setup, if you do a mix to your satisfaction with Sonarworks on, depending on how much correction was necessary to flatten the speaker response you will likely not like your mix if you turn it off.

The software is supposed to be improving how flat your monitoring is, so once you start using it you need to keep it on. Of course, given the whole point is to help you get mixes that translate better to other systems, you should be able to hear a difference between a mix that was created with and without the calibration software. This same "leave it on" principle doesn't necessarily apply to a) speakers you didn't use for mixing, and b) headphones you didn't use to mix.

Also, the use of reference tracks is kind of confusing to me if you use speaker calibration software. Both the reference track and your mix are being sent through the speaker calibration software. Is that a mistake?

Normally on your monitors you would simply listen to your reference tracks and compare. But the assumption is that the reference tracks already sound good without the calibration software. But then again, the calibration is allowing you to listen to your reference tracks in a flatter monitoring situation. So, it shouldn't matter if you leave the software on? Thoughts?
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Old 07-22-2021, 08:19 AM   #95
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I'm wondering about a potential problem with calibrating your speakers
The misconception here is your assumption that it's the speakers that are corrected. But it's the room response to the speakers' signal.

So once you've installed a room correction software you should correct all your sources (if possible … since there is no "systemwide" option for ARC3, I either download the audio and listen back in Reaper, or I use headphones) and above all your reference tracks!
Funny enough that a well-mastered track will still sound okay-ish without correction, and to A/B both sonic impressions will teach you a lot about your room (if the measurement was done right).
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Old 07-22-2021, 08:26 AM   #96
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I'm wondering about a potential problem with calibrating your speakers: After setup, if you do a mix to your satisfaction with Sonarworks on, depending on how much correction was necessary to flatten the speaker response you will likely not like your mix if you turn it off.
I still haven't tried Sonarworks, but my experience with ARC is that a good mix done thru the "flatterer" processing will not sound egregiously different when it's turned off. Mixes with problems often sound very strange and exaggerated when first put through ARC, but the closer I get to a balanced mix, the more the difference is akin to simply listening back on a different set of speakers.

With commercial mixes, the difference is pretty minimal; you can absolutely hear it, but you don't necessarily prefer one or the other.

It's a little counter-intuitive. But keep in mind that when you render, it isn't through the correction software at all. It's just an illusion to keep you on a path that might otherwise be too warped to see.
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Old 07-22-2021, 08:34 AM   #97
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I still haven't tried Sonarworks, but my experience with ARC is that a good mix done thru the "flatterer" processing will not sound egregiously different when it's turned off.
That only means that your room isn't *that* bad. In my room for example the difference is huge. The 200Hz buildup, despite absorbers, makes it literally impossible to create a good mix.
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Old 07-22-2021, 08:36 AM   #98
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I'm wondering about a potential problem with calibrating your speakers: After setup, if you do a mix to your satisfaction with Sonarworks on, depending on how much correction was necessary to flatten the speaker response you will likely not like your mix if you turn it off.
If setup correctly, the correction is system wide, meaning you hear it for everything that passes through the Monitors. In my setup, I don't like how anything sounds with it off compared to being on - which is what I expect as it is doing it's job.

^FYI: My particular setup, based on how I have all my routing setup, has the SW plugin on monitoring FX in Reaper, and I have the System Wide SW driver running at the OS level - However... this is only because my setup is done in such a way that reaper bypasses the system driver (because it uses different channels on the sound card), hence the plugin. That said, SW will auto disable the system wide driver if it sees audio coming from the plugin so that it never gets processed twice.

Quote:
The software is supposed to be improving how flat your monitoring is, so once you start using it you need to keep it on. Of course, given the whole point is to help you get mixes that translate better to other systems, you should be able to hear a difference between a mix that was created with and without the calibration software. This same "leave it on" principle doesn't necessarily apply to a) speakers you didn't use for mixing, and b) headphones you didn't use to mix.[/B]
Yes, but keep in mind you can setup multiple speaker profiles that you can switch between. IOW, I have 2 sets of monitors I use (Dynaudio LYD-48 and Adam A7X) + Headphones - I created SW profiles for both sets of monitors and use the built-in profile for the **headphones - so I do have to remember to switch it in SW when/if I change monitors I'm listening through.

Quote:
Also, the use of reference tracks is kind of confusing to me if you use speaker calibration software. Both the reference track and your mix are being sent through the speaker calibration software. Is that a mistake?

Normally on your monitors you would simply listen to your reference tracks and compare. But the assumption is that the reference tracks already sound good without the calibration software. But then again, the calibration is allowing you to listen to your reference tracks in a flatter monitoring situation. So, it shouldn't matter if you leave the software on? Thoughts?
What matters is the difference between your mix and the reference track, so you want those on a level playing field when doing comparisons. Meaning you compare them with SW off or SW on for both, as it's the delta between mixes we care about - that said, if SW is setup, calibrated and running, just leave it on and go about your day.

**Side note: I'm not entirely sure I like/trust the "averaged" headphone profile for my Senn HD380 Pro headphones, I need to test it again but right now I don't think it is very accurate but could be wrong. That's marginally OK since I wanted SW for monitors more than headphones. I almost/never mix on headphones, I use them mostly for tracking.
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Old 07-22-2021, 08:53 AM   #99
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That only means that your room isn't *that* bad. In my room for example the difference is huge. The 200Hz buildup, despite absorbers, makes it literally impossible to create a good mix.
I mean, it's far from ideal. I've had the same results in a few bedroom setups but here's the current one:



My point was, AFAIK the software's not there to make things sound "better;" just to help your ears make more informed decisions. The closer I get to a translatable mix, the more tolerable it sounds without the processing, so that's how I've been using it and have gotten much more even mixes overall (in various playback environments).

Have you considered tuned traps just for the problem range?
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Old 07-22-2021, 09:13 AM   #100
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Have you considered tuned traps just for the problem range?
Yes, kind of. I thought of additional porous absorbers, as space is indeed an issue, and strategically smart placed rockwool panels on the front wall don't need to be super deep for that frequency. I'd just make sure to cover as much floor-to-ceiling real estate as possible and as necessary.

But honestly, anyway: the ARC3 correction (after the new measurements) is so good, that I might as well continue with the current state of acoustics.

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My point was, AFAIK the software's not there to make things sound "better;" just to help your ears make more informed decisions.
In my world, that's the very definition of "better" (:

btw your graph looks a lot like mine, at least the lower end of the spectrum. Thankfully, and contrary to yours (carpet?), my room is quite good from 1.6k upwards.
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Old 07-22-2021, 09:58 AM   #101
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Yes, kind of. I thought of additional porous absorbers, as space is indeed an issue, and strategically smart placed rockwool panels on the front wall don't need to be super deep for that frequency.
I meant like a resonator or membrane trap just for the 200Hz range. These are more full-spectrum, no? I avoided em cos I move around too much and they're too specific to always be useful.
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Old 07-22-2021, 10:13 AM   #102
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I meant like a resonator or membrane trap just for the 200Hz range. These are more full-spectrum, no? I avoided em cos I move around too much and they're too specific to always be useful.
I think (as I once built a couple for another studio) that these need significantly more space, as you always have to take the air gap inside the box into account. On top of that I can't find the calculator anymore ‒ maybe it proves me wrong!?
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Old 07-22-2021, 09:23 PM   #103
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I meant like a resonator or membrane trap just for the 200Hz range. These are more full-spectrum, no? I avoided em cos I move around too much and they're too specific to always be useful.
Yeah, back in the 70s and 80s I've built two control rooms and thought about possibly building a resonator, but getting it exactly right was more then I wanted to deal with.
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Old 07-23-2021, 12:41 AM   #104
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I think (as I once built a couple for another studio) that these need significantly more space, as you always have to take the air gap inside the box into account. On top of that I can't find the calculator anymore ‒ maybe it proves me wrong!?
I cant recommend shooting GIK an email enough, the UK staff have been incredibly helpful. The monster traps I bought from them, both with and without the extra membrane, are the same size. That being said, the monster traps are pretty damn thick, so I dont know if smaller/thinner traps have to be bigger to accommodate the membrane.

I absolutely love Sonarworks for headphones. Sometimes I confuse myself by not turning it off when I switch back to monitors tho

I do everything on my PC (films, and music, games if I did games any more), so I dont like using system wide, just use the VST version on the main mix track within Reaper when using headphones (which strangely I now prefer mixing on than the speakers).

Going from SW to no SW is always a bit of a revelation, akin to going from mono mixing to suddenly hearing stereo again.

It also shows just how tiring my headphones are to my ears without SW. Def shows how little top end I usually have in track due to my ears getting so tired of the the headphones stock freq response, its so hyped up.
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Old 07-23-2021, 02:45 AM   #105
beingmf
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Originally Posted by maxdembo View Post
That being said, the monster traps are pretty damn thick, so I dont know if smaller/thinner traps have to be bigger to accommodate the membrane.
Yes, I guess anything below 20cm depth is useless:



But then the calculation looks really good. 0.8 at 200 should suffice.

When I tried to address the same frequency with a membrane absorber, I hit a physical limit: the mass of the membrane. In order to resonate at such a relatively high frequency, its weight/m² must be around 1.5kg. The thinnest possible plywood panel I could find is 2.1kg/m², which results in a resonant frequency of around 190Hz, and this only within a really tight margin for error regarding the construction of the box.
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