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I want to talk today about why you should fill out room form. It’s a free service, it won’t cost you anything. A lot of people take advantage of it. And I want to tell you how beneficial it can be to your situation. Because if we look at your room size and volume and we match it to what you are trying to do in the room itself, we are going to learn a lot about the problems that you are going to face trying to do that.

You may have not enough volume for what you are trying to do. You may not have enough volume for the low frequency energy in the room to fit correctly, and you can know that upfront. So you can choose the correct size and volume to match your usage. If you are doing two channel home theater, control, vocal, drum, it doesn’t matter. The room size and volume must match the usage, and it’s always about low-frequency management (LFM). Do we have enough size, do we have enough volume to match what we are doing? And these are critical issues, because their ramifications control so many things. The amount and surface area of low frequency absorption that you need is the primary one, and that takes the most money, the most surface area. If you choose the right room size and volume in the beginning to match your usage, you will spend less money managing the low-frequency issues. And if you

don’t get the low frequency right in the room, you are never going to have a good sounding room. Middles and highs don’t stand a chance if they are smothered by base booms (so to speak) all the time. Then we have our reflections that we must deal with. And if you are dealing with rooms that have, if you are doing a two channels system or a control system and you have an 8 foot width, than we are going to have these time signatures on these reflections that are going to be crazy. And you are going to need a lot of management. So you want to make sure that you choose the right dimensions from what you are trying to do. And I know that real estate is expensive, and I know people are trying to do a lot in small rooms and I know, greatness occurs in small rooms. But greatness occurs in small rooms because the engineer is great, not the room. The engineer understands the room’s

acoustical issues and he works around them. I am going to tell you, it probably wears him out. He would rather be in a room that didn’t have and eight foot width, that had maybe a seventeen foot width, so he didn’t have to worry about the time signature on all these reflections interfering with the direct sound and it’s mix. So, proper room size and volume is so critical, and I can’t talk enough about that. And then, the low-frequency energy producing sources must be taken into consideration. Home theater size and volume is way different than two channel. Control and vocals are the same, we don’t have the low frequency issue in the vocals, but it’s usage, usage, usage. You’ve got to make sure that the room size fits usage. So, home theater, we have sometimes two or three, and I’m designing a home theater now in San Diego that has four subwoofers. It’s a large room, 1500 square feet, so it just depends on what you are trying to do.

Speaker and listening position: you have to make sure based on the size of the room and the volume that the speaker and listening position are setup correctly. There is a big difference between setting up speaker and volume in a room that is 17 foot long versus a room that is 12 foot long. The same rules do not apply, so you have to be very, very careful. And then you have to locate your low-frequency drivers in a home theater with a two channels situation and even control in the right places. Because there are low frequency pressure producing devices. So you have to know all these things. There is no one sizes that fits all, there are too many variables to try to get together without first doing a sort of blood test on your room. What are the dimensions? What is the volume? What is the usage? What are our problems going to be? Maybe is better to find a larger room. So we have to look all of those things. Usage, usage, usage. I am always going to harp on that because it is always got to be considered. You can’t put an orchestra in a closet, so you have to be very very careful. You must match the usages. Always include photos when you do your room form, because the photos help me a lot with the surface area which helps me with your RT60 or reflection management calculation. It also helps me determine the type of management tool or product that you need based on the ease of installation and things like that.

So fill out the room form, it is a free service, I will be more than happy to analyze it for you. Run it against our database now which is a 121 built and measured rooms. We have our own database, we don’t rely on anybody else’s data. If your room is too small I will tell you. If it is problematic I will tell you that also. These are a lot of reasons why it is a good idea to fill out the room form.

This is an unedited transcript from our video series from Acoustic Fields. There will be some errors in grammar and sentence structure that occur during this translation process.

For complete understanding and comprehension, please view the video which is included in this text. For any additional information regarding this topic or others relating to room acoustics, please contact us directly at:

P: 520 – 392 – 9486

Dennis Foley

I am an acoustic engineer with over 30 years’ experience in the business. My technology has been used in Electric Lady Land Studios, Sony Music of New York, Cello Music and Films founded by Mark Levinson, and Saltmines Studios in Mesa, Arizona, along with hundreds of others.

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