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acoustic treatment for a small room with carpet floors
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques  
Author acoustic treatment for a small room with carpet floors
So I've been wanting to buy a decent sent of monitors for a while, and acoustically treat my room to get the best out of my space for mixing.

The problem is my room is just about 14 X 11 feet, and is carpeted. I've heard carpet isn't ideal because it absorbs high frequencies, and in turn makes bass harder to deal with, along with other issues.

But I rent, and have roommates, so I'm stuck with the small room and the carpet. The entire house is carpeted.

I have several concerns, such as:

Do I need to treat my ceiling (10ft height) if my floors are carpet? Do I need to add bass traps to make up for the loss of high end frequencies due to the carpet?

Is diffusion or absorption better for a small room like this?

I will only be using this room for mixing. No live recording will be done in this room.

If anyone has any advice or tips for someone in my situation, I would really appreciate any feedback you have.
I read a reddit post a couple of days ago which very clearly explained the basic guidelines to follow while investing and deciding on a small home studio. not sure if I can post reddit links here but you can go ahead and search it in the WEARETHEMUSICMAKERS Sub. could be helpful!
I've also worked in a less than audio-perfect domestic set-up - came to the conclusion that a little pair of speakers for general listening (I settled on the i-loud micro monitor thingies) and a decent pair of headphones for detailed listening was going to be a far more manageable solution than trying to treat a space that would always be pretty poor.
Soy Sos
I can't do the math for you, but your issues are not the carpet.
It is the room resonances created by the distance between the parallel walls and ceiling to floor plus the reflections. I have a really well designed and treated room now, but I worked
for many years in a pretty bad room and kind of got used to what the room was
doing to what I was hearing. That said, mineral wool, wood and fabric are pretty
cheap and the plans are out there. It's worth it in my opinion.
thank you all for the replies, definitely going to check out that reddit sub.
as lastlocal pointed out, from what I understand I'm working with a room that's always going to be pretty poor, so I'm worried any treatment wouldn't be worth it in the end. Maybe my room dimensions are just too awful to get a good sound out of.

On the other hand, Soy Sos says some mineral wool pannels would be worth it, and I'm open to that possibility as well.

I have a huge window directly behind me, and if I were to do any treatment I think I would like to cover the whole thing with one big pannel instead of putting 3 - 4 separate panels over it.

Still not sure about ceiling treatment, since that is usually used to treat reflections off of the floor, but my floor ins't reflective lol.

Sorry, I'm just speculating on what I've read, I really have no idea what I'm talking about.

I tried to research as much as I could so maybe I wouldn't have to post here and bother you guys, but most threads I've found involving the topic of acoustically treating small rooms end up in huge arguments. It seems as though acoustic treatment is a lot more subjective than I thought, everyone seems to have different and even conflicting opinions on just about everything lol. That's the way it goes with most things I suppose.

I do appreciate the community on this forum, everyone is always super helpful!
scanningthemirror wrote:
It seems as though acoustic treatment is a lot more subjective than I thought, everyone seems to have different and even conflicting opinions on just about everything lol. That's the way it goes with most things I suppose.

Part of the issue is how much you can do to your space, how much you want to spend and how much you are prepared to compromise (as in - is your room multipurpose; for example does it double as a living room or bedroom, etc). Those things vary with the room and the individual, so one size solution doesn't fit all.

As starters I would consider:

try to get your monitors arranged such that the listening position is in a symmetric environment.

Get thick, heavy curtains for that big window. A highly reflective resonant membrane behind you is.....a bad thing.

Don't have big expanses of flat surface to left and right - get some bookshelves, put books on some of them (different size ones), break up those flat areas.

Don't just throw in loads of absorbent material - you want your mixes to sound good in realistic environments (most likely similar to your room!) so you don't want to turn it into an anechoic chamber.

Listen to a wide range of recordings in your listening environment, listen to those recordings elsewhere, try to get an idea of what your room "sounds like".

Don't try to override the sound of the room by monitoring loud, don't fight it, work with it - check your mix with your monitors at low levels - shit sounds (misleadingly) better louder! And it is really easy to focus on some small element of a mix at the expense of the "over-view".

Now I am starting to ramble....

For what its worth my feeling is good monitors in a bad room sound better than crap monitors in a great room.
Soy Sos
All great points above by MarcelP...
Also, use a comparison tool to help get your works into a similar zone
of some of the music by artists working in a like minded area:
What does other material sound like in your space?
This will help you put your recordings side by side with more well established artists.
First of all, your room's dimensions aren't bad to begin with. You want to avoid dimensions that are integer multiples of each other (i.e. 8' x 16' x 8'). 11' x 14' x 10' should avoid reinforcing many (if not most) bass standing waves, which puts you ahead of the game.

In most cases having a carpeted floor also makes the room a better listening space precisely because it reduces higher-frequency reflections coming from the floor, which are just as troublesome as reflections from any other surface.

One thing you can do to lessen your room's effect on what you're hearing from your monitors is to place the monitors as far away from the room's walls and ceiling as is practical, and sit as close to your monitors as is practical. Sitting close increases the amplitude of sound you hear directly from the speakers (before it's had a chance to hit one of the room's surfaces) while reducing the amplitude of sound you hear after it's contacted the room in some way. Sitting close reduces the room's influence on what you hear from your speakers, so you get a truer picture of what's actually in your recording (assuming that your monitors are reasonably accurate).

Soy Sos's recommendation above to listen to other material through your monitors in that room is well-taken. Before you attempt to fix your room's problems you need to determine what those problems may be, and listening to familiar music in there is a great way to zero-in on any problem areas that need immediate fixing.
You guys have been extremely helpful and I really appreciate your replies.
Lots of useful advice in here I'll be able to use to get my room ready for mixing!
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