5 advices to improve your room acoustics

Simple tips to fix the acoustic problems of your room.

In this tutorial we’re going to explain how to fix the most simple acoustic problems a room may have.

How to improve the acoustic quality of your room.

Almost every sound improvement technique moves towards a goal: to eliminate reflections.

Reflections are nothing but altered versions of the initial signal, that are going to mix up the final result, eventually ruining the audio quality.

Standing waves are another major problem, but they are way too complex to explain for a basic tutorial.

  • Don’t let any corner to be empty

    From an acoustic point of view, corners are quite peculiar: if they’re empty, they may cause troubles.

    You should try to cover them, for example using medium density mineral wool panels (do not choose them with density above 100 kg/m3).

  • Don’t have bare walls

    Bare walls create reflections.

    There are many ways you can cover them: fabric, composite mineral wool panels (one panel with density not above 50 kg/m3 along with another underlying panel with density between 70 & 80 kg/m3), foam rubber…

    Your goal is to prevent frequencies to bounce between the walls.

    Keep in mind that, the higher the frequencies, the lower the density of the cover material should be. We will show you in another article how to roughly calculate this ratio.

    Don’t overdo, otherwise you’ll have an excessively dry room. Usually, it is advised to leave at least one wall without any treatment.

  • Don’t have an empty ceiling

    As well as walls, even the ceiling can create reflections.

    Treatment methods are the same as wall ones.

  • Don’t let the room to be empty.

    Couches, armchairs, bookshelves… Anything that fills the room is able to improve its acoustics, dampening the sound waves and preventing them to frantically bounce off the walls, creating reflections.

    As always, don’t overdo, otherwise you’ll have no room to move around.

  • Use scientific methods to analyze the room, so as to understand what the issues are

    Do not rely on your hearing alone: to properly understand which frequencies are causing troubles in your room, you should make use of scientific devices for your measurements.

    For the brave ones, we’ll publish an article in which we’ll explain how to carry out a basic room analysis.

 

This tutorial is a brief guide aimed at solving some minor sound problems: in case of serious sound issues, the situation becomes extremely difficult, and the treatments required happen to be very expensive and intricate.

In the event that this tutorial is not sufficient to help you achieve a suitable room acoustics, our suggestion is to get in touch with an acoustic treatment specialist.

If you want to know the reason behind the realization of these tutorials, you’ll find it here:

Our first post.

Also, on our website you’ll be able to listen to the products of our expertise.

Let us hear from you!

If you have found this post to be useful, share with us your experiences on our socials!

Maybe you could also add a link of what you’ve created, and by using the hashtag #lmkmprod we’ll be able to find all of you.

We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Guide: 7 rules to choose the right computer for audio recording purposes

Clever tips to choose your next computer for recording purposes.

Computers are the cornerstone of every modern recording studio.

From the smallest home studio up to buildings able to record whole orchestras.

In this tutorial we’ll explain how to choose the right computer for your recordings.

This tutorial is aimed at non-extreme situations (no more than 30-40 channels all together).

  • Don’t worry about CPU.

    Recording is a duty that modern CPUs are perfectly able to handle, even when processing multiple tracks at one time.

    With modern CPUs we mean anything above 2.5 GHz dual core.

  • RAM

    You’re not going to need a lot of RAM. With just 2 GB you’ll be able to easily operate in the most typical modern situations (recordings up to 20 channels).

    If you want to be sure, especially regarding the chance of using your computer for multichannel recordings, 4 GB are a very good choice.

  • Don’t worry about Hard Disk.

    Modern SATA HDDs (Hard Drive Disks) are able to handle multi-track recordings up to an enormous amount of tracks.

    There’s no need to buy specific gear such as 10.000 RPM HDDs or even SSDs.

    Also, in terms of HDD capacity, it’s almost impossible to fill an 80 GB one in one session only.

  • Don’t worry about operative system.

    To record, any OS that supports your audio card will do.

    Even the legendary Windows XP.

  • Do worry about it being noisy (if it’s in the same room in which you record).

    PC fans are noisy: make sure that your computer doesn’t produce enough noise to alter recordings, or that you have the possibility of placing it in a room different from the recording one.

    A closed door is enough to isolate the sound.

    If by chance it’s going to be in the same room, make sure to place it at an adeguate distance from the microphones (you’re going to need some long cables for that).

  • Mac, Linux or Windows?

    It’s irrelevant.

    Operative systems do not affect recording quality.

    Actually, no software affects that. It only depends on the audio equipment.

  • It must be extremely reliable.

    Recordings do not admit errors: your computer should be rock solid.

    Every error is going to be irreparable.

    Only use a computer that you’re 101% sure about its software and hardware stability.

    Choose it as if you were choosing medical equipment.

If you want to know why this tutorial was made, you’ll find out more in this post:

Our first post.

And you got our entire website to hear if we’re talking about something that we can do.

We want to hear about you!

If you found this post useful, please: share your experience with us on our social pages!

Maybe together with a link to what you’ve created, and using our official hashtag #lmkmprod to let us find you all.

We’re looking forward to hear about you!

Tutorial: 9 steps to place well your studio monitors

10 minutes to properly place your studio monitors.

In this tutorial we’re going to give you 9 simple tips to accurately place your studio monitors.

This is a tutorial for near field monitors.

Premise: you’re going to need a 2 meters long rope/wire, a laser level and a microphone stand.

Any laser level will do the job: you can one for little money in any tool shop.

Like this one, for example.

www.bricoman.it

www.bricoman.it

  • Choose a room with the features listed below.

    The more of these features it has, the better your studio will be

    • Thick walls
    • Walls composed of dense material
    • Uneven walls (for example, natural stone ones)
    • No bare walls (wardrobes, bookshelves, armchairs, couches)
    • No bare corners (corners are, from an acoustic point of view, quite peculiar)
    • Far from bedrooms / highly populated areas
    • Far from noisy public transport systems (underground, tram, train, rocket launch base…)
    • No noisy neighbors
    • Dry
    • Not excessively high or low temperatures
  • Choose and place the workbench

    You should favour a workbench that’s solid and full (that is, without room for legs): they have a better acoustic output.

    Place its rear close to the widest wall, leaving 30-40 cm of empty space between the bench and the wall itself.

  • Place the monitors in line with the workbench edge

    Anything you put below the monitors is going to create reflections. And reflectioins alter the audio signal.

    Try to keep the space in front of the monitors as clear as possible, but there’s no need to overdo: a keyboard, for example, is not going to cause any harm.

    And yes, you got it right: placing the speakers behind a huge mixer with a gazillion of faders is not a good idea.

    Try to put a notebook below your chin while you’re speaking, and listen to the difference. And remember that the human voice has much less frequencies than an audio signal.

    Giusta posizione casse bordo.

    Correct monitor position.

  • Place the monitors so that their tweeters are at the same height as your ears.

    High pitched sounds are extremely directional: to hear them well you need to point them exactly at your ear height.

  • Set up the triangle

    Place the speakers so that they create, more or less, an equilateral triangle with your head as one of the vertexes.

    A rapid method is to use your arms as guides: open them out so as to form an equilateral triangle, having the speakers in front of the palm of your hands.

  • Refining the triangle

    Vertically extend the microphone stand, and place it where your head is going to be.

    Take the wire, measure the distance between the stand and the tweeter and, holding your finger on the rope marking the measured distance, use it to equate the distance between these points:

    • Tweeter 1 – Tweeter 2
    • Tweeter 1 – Stand
    • Tweeter 2 – Stand

    This way, you will obtain a perfect equilateral triangle.

    Like the one in this picture.

    Monitor da studio posizionati correttamente.

    Properly placed studio monitors.

  • Laser pointing.

    Place the laser level upon the monitor, exactly above the tweeter, turn the speaker until the tweeter is aligned with the microphone stand.

    Of course, don’t move around neither the stand nor the monitors: turn the speakers so that their tweeters are pointing towards the stand.

  • Success.

    Pop a bottle of champagne, turn up the volume, and play Lateralus by Tool in your now perfectly positioned system.

At this point, your system is going to be flawlessly positioned.

In other tutorials we will explain how to acoustically prepare the room in which you placed your speakers and how to solve possible sound problems that may ruin the reliability of your audio monitors.

If you want to know why this tutorial was made, you’ll find out more in this post:

Our first post.

And you got our entire website to hear if we’re talking about something that we can do.

We want to hear about you!

If you found this post useful, please: share your experience with us on our social pages!
Maybe together with a link to what you’ve created, and using our official hashtag #lmkmprod to let us find you all.

We’re looking forward to hear about you!

10 rules to buy the right headphones

Clever tips to find the right headphones for you.

Headphones are a quite peculiar piece of audio equipment and, in most cases, also essential.

Both for professional (live recordings)

…and nonprofessional reasons (flatmates that want to sleep).

In this guide we’ll show you which rules to follow to choose the right ones for you.

  • First, you should read our basic guide on how to choose proper audio equipment.

    We’ve laid out some rules to follow when choosing audio tools.

    You can find them at this link: 11 rules to buy the right audio gear.

  • It would better if they were foldable

    It’s almost impossible for headphones to always be left in your studio.

    For this reason it is strongly suggested to buy a foldable model.

    Foldable headphones.

    Foldable headphones.

    If you choose to buy rigid ones, you won’t be able to find suitable cases, and they’re going to be quite bulky.

  • They should be sturdy.

    As stated above, headphones rarely get left in the studio. To the contrary: they’re going to experience quite a lot of rock’n’roll, jumping from one head to another during your nights.

    So, try to pick models with a solid structure. Preferably, with replaceable ear cushions: they’re the part that’s most subject to wear and tear.

  • Headphones don’t have reliable frequency response graphs: only trust the listening test.

    It the most peculiar feature of headphones: their frequency response graphs cannot be interpreted.

    Therefore, you won’t be able to understand which are the most accurate ones by simply looking at those graphs.

    This is due to a particular method applied during their design: the imprinting of an HRTF in their frequency response.

    For those who wish to venture in the explanation of this topic, we’ve prepared this tutorial: *articolo*

  • Don’t buy headphones for the purpose of fixing sounds or mixing.

    Another consequence of the above point is that headphones, no matter their quality, are quite unreliable.

    Given the way they’re designed, linear headphones are almost impossible.

    Depending on the user, they’re going to be more or less linear.

    The proper way to use headphones is for monitoring. That is: sheer project supervision, with no particular demand for sound fidelity or audio editing.

    Experience is going to teach you what you can and what you cannot do with your headphones during audio editing.

  • Always try them out.

    Unfortunately, many headphones (high range ones too) do have a low sound quality.

    Which, in addition to the fact that their frequency response curve cannot be interpreted, makes the selection of a pair of reliable headphones quite empirical.

    There aren’t many scientific methods to declare which ones are the best: you have to try them out.

  • Do not expect isolation from external sounds.

    Even the most majestic headphones aren’t going to offer great isolation.

    So, get ready for some “audio intrusions” from outside.

    Headphones for drummers are the only exception, as they’re specifically designed to lower the dB of outer sounds.

  • Don’t worry about the cable.

    If it’s short you can buy an (extremely cheap) extension, if it’s too long you can simply keep it rolled up.

  • Pay attention to comfort.

    For short usage periods, no headphones show particular inconveniences.

    However, if you plan to wear them for many hours (a not so rare circumstance), be sure that they properly fit your head.

  • Good headphones aren’t flashy: they’re made to reproduce music, not to look cool.

    If the headphones you’re browsing are particularly flashy, it’s likely that their technical aspect has been overlooked: professional headphones are work tools. Their appearance is irrelevant.

    This trend is especially recurring in these last years, as headphones have also become a fashion accessory.

    But, if you’re reading this, your purpose is not to pretend, but to do.

If you want to know why this tutorial was made, you’ll find out more in this post:

Our first post.

And you got our entire website to see if we’re talking about something that we can do.

We want to hear about you!

If you found this post useful, please: share your experience with us on our social pages!

Maybe together with a link to what you’ve created, and using our official hashtag #lmkmprod to let us find you all.

We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

8 rules to choose the right audio monitors

Smart tips to choose the right equipment for your passion.

Another crucial step when creating music in a professional manner is the purchase of a pair of studio monitors.

Unfortunately, studio monitors are quite a complex piece of equipment, and in most cases it won’t be possible to take advantage of all its potentiality.

This guide is just a basic tutorial on how to choose your first studio monitors: for the ultimate audio setup, it is necessary for sound professionals to step in, as well as a good amount of money to spend in acoustic treatments.

  • Near field? Mid field? Far field?

    Absolutely near field.
    Mid field and far field monitors are extremely expensive and, even when affortable, they’re pretty hard to use for a basic setup like a home/project studio.
    Moreover, if you ever have to deal with monitors of such quality, there will be other people to set them up for you.

  • Room size.

    The size of your room is going to be crucial for a good sound quality: the bigger the monitor, the larger the room should be, otherwise they will not operate properly.

    If your room size is higher than about 4x4x2.5 m, you’ll be able to afford 8” monitors. A room that’s 5x5x3 m in size is perfect for 8” monitors.

    If you’re unlucky and do not have access to such a big room, you should purchase 5” monitors.

    If the room is much bigger than 4x4x2.5 m, you may have reverb issues.

  • 5” vs 8”

    5” monitors are the most convenient ones, but they won’t allow you to work on low frequencies. They’re meant to be used along with a subwoofer.

    8” ones are more expensive, but with them you’ll be able to work on low frequencies as well. They also have a good quality / price ratio.

    If you’re seriously looking to work with sound and music, our suggestion is to buy an 8” monitor.

    A 5” monitor + subwoofer is going to be much more expensive than an 8” monitor alone, and it’s also going to be more difficult to setup.

  • Multiple listenings?

    Useless.
    If you own good monitors, all you have to do is filter the input signal with an equalizer: you’ll achieve the same frequency response of whatever loudspeaker you desire.

    A single pair of great studio monitors is the best choice.

  • Which brand?

    It’s not that important.
    Brand by itself is not going to give much information about the quality of your monitors.
    There are monitors made by unknown brands that sound extremely good, and popular brand ones that sound just… “meh”.

    Speaking of reliability: almost all current monitors are, if properly handled, extremely reliable.

    The real method to understand what the best monitor is, is described in the following step.

  • Frequency response

    A monitor frequency response indicates its audio quality.
    The flatter it is, the better your monitor will reproduce the sounds you’re transmitting to it.
    The choice, in this case, is fairly simple: compare the different frequency responses of the monitors you’re browsing, and pick one with the flattest curve.

    If you’re lucky enough to be able to check it, this is the fastest and most reliable way to verify the quality of a monitor.

    However, if this information is not available, in the following two steps we’ll suggest you other methods to test your new monitors.

  • Music test

    If you really want to put a system under pressure, the best way is to have it reproduce Metal or orchestral music.

    In fact, these kinds of music have large dynamic and timbric excursion (they range from silence to massive volumes, and their sounds are extremely colorful).

    Minimal music pieces such as Blues, Jazz or even solo instrument ones are inadvisable to test sound monitors.
    They’re never going to put enough pressure on the timbric capacity of your new monitors.
    Moreover, given their low timbre (they do not have particularly colorful sounds), they will make the system sound better than it really would.
    This is because, given their low timbric demand, they will (relatively speaking) deliver the whole musical message, instilling in you the emotions they are supposed to.

    Hence, it’s time to pull out Brahms and Periphery.
    Or even LMK solo record: https://open.spotify.com/album/3zoTvDRS0ANwoNp8AFn36d

  • For the brave ones: spectrometric analysis

    The best way to test by yourselves the quality of a monitor, is through spectrometric analysis.
    Music, no matter its tones, is always different.
    Therefore, you should try out all the music in the world to have an accurate test of a monitor quality.

    …or

    send it a signal with every possible frequency (white/pink noise), and analyse the resulting sound with a high fidelity microphone (measurement microphone).

    In technical language: a spectrometric analysis.

    The result of this analysis is going to be a frequency response.
    Which is exactly what we have written about previously (5).

If you want to know why this tutorial was made, you’ll find out more in this post:

Our first post.

And you got our entire website to hear if we’re talking about something that we can do.

We want to hear about you!

If you have found this post to be useful, share with us your experiences on our socials!

Maybe you could also add a link of what you’ve created, and by using the hashtag #lmkmprod we’ll be able to find all of you.

We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

11 rules to buy the right audio gear

Smart advice to buy the right tools for your passion.


With the right gear, half of the job is already done.

So, we’ve collected some good advice to give you a good mindset for choosing the right tools to realize your ideas.

  • Hou much do you love music?

    Are you going to try to make it for a living? Or it’s just a free time passion?

    • In the first case, you must choose your tools very wisely, and don’t be concerned to spend a lot. Preferably after consulting a reliable audio professional or building yourself a flawless knowledge about this job (which means both practical aspect and market analysis): if you make the right choices, you’ll have your money back from your happy customers.
    • In the second one: don’t bother too much. You don’t have any market to being fit within: just enjoy the trip.
  • Are you going to have customers?

    Because, if you’re going to, you must create something that will sound good even on other rooms, on other sound systems and that will satisfy even other people. Many times, other people who have listened to a lot of good music in very nice sound systems, and that they won’t care if you’re just a beginner.

    In other terms: you must respect professional production standards, both artistic and technical.

  • Have you the right place for what you’re going to buy?

    Drums and guitar amplifiers are loud, audio monitors needs acoustically treated rooms, real pianos are bulky…

    Keep always extreme attention to where are you going to use your gear: the wrong place can nullify the right gear.
    If you have an awesome pair of 8″ audio monitors in a 2x3mt room, they will be completely useless because of acoustic reasons.
    Same thing for a cheap microphone who can sound good in studio, but it will crack like hell in a live environment with a lot of humidity.

    Don’t be egocentric or short sighted, or you won’t enjoy your new gear.

  • Don’t think first about how to do it: think first about what you want to do.

    You’re buying an instrument: you’re buying something that will only be a way to obtain a goal.
    It’s within its meaning: “instrument”. Not “purpose”.

    Don’t focus too much on the instrument.
    In fact, it’s better to don’t even think about your instrument: focus only on what you must realize.

    Think about your instrument only if you’re absolutely sure that your skills are completely covering any field that you’re dealing with, and you still don’t have success.

  • They‘re only instruments: they won’t play for you.

    Don’t buy anything with the mindset “it will do the job”: -you- are going to do the job, with the aid of an instrument.

    If you don’t have a clear idea of how to get done something, you don’t need a new instrument: you need to be more skilled.

  • And, even if they somehow can, it won’t have any sense.

    Art is expression.
    What makes it so special and beautiful is the variety in it. The fact that we put our soul in our art.

    What’s the point in just clicking a button? You’re not making art: you’re playing a button, and listening to something done by others. You’re not being yourself: you’re being a surrogate of someone else.

    Are you sure that you want to spend your time being a surrogate of someone else?

  • Don’t use only your ears: use even your brain. (A little introduction to psychoacoustics)

    We don’t have spectrometers and hard disks: we have ears and a soul.
    We’re not machines that memorizes data: we are humans that remember emotions.

    We don’t memorize data: we memorize feelings. Not “110db, 80Hz”: “a loud low tone”.
    Which is the reason because we can make art: we have feelings.

    And even because we can say that we’re alive.

    …and even because we are not incline to memorize precise data, like acoustic characteristics or frequency responses.

    For example, in your early years of mixing, it will be quite common to being extremely happy for your last mix only to find out, on the next day, that it sucked really hard.
    It’s absolutely normal.
    You will get rid of this with years of good practice and study.
    It’s the difference between being a pro or not.

  • DON‘T LISTEN TO TESTIMONIALS (...unless you’re long term friends)

    They have plenty of production money: they can afford to buy something only for its aesthetic purpose (what do you think the purpose of a Marshall amplifiers wall is?), and they have plenty of audio professionals ready to correct any sort of trouble due to this “choreographic” modus operandi.

    And, more important: they don’t care about you. They’re paid to advertise. They won’t go broke if you can’t make the music that you wanted to.
    And you won’t know what tools they are effectively using until the day that you will work together with them.

  • DON‘T LISTEN TO FRIENDS/PARENTS (...unless they’re well established audio professionals)

    The fact that you spent a lot of nice days together doesn’t mean that they’re trained audio professionals.

    There’s nothing wrong about it: music isn’t a joke. It’s serious business.
    Your passion is a serious business. And it must be dealt only by skilled professionals.

  • Don‘t listen to anyone that doesn’t give you strong theoretical facts.

    The faster way to understand if it’s a good advice it’s pretty simple: ask why.
    If you’re doing this because you want it to be your job, don’t accept anything pre cooked: always ask “why”. And don’t accept “because it’s good”: ask for a plausible scientific explanation.

    Because, with tools, we aren’t talking about magic: there is always a strong scientific background for any audio tool.
    A frequency response plot and a polar pattern for a microphone, for example: is this microphone as good as they said? Well: let’s see the charts. Show me.

  • But never forget that you‘re not doing math: you’re doing art.

    Scientific knowledge about your instruments is only a way to find a clearer path to know how to realize your ideas. It’s not a “bigger number competition”.

    A perfect instrument for situation A could be the worst choice for the situation B: it’s art. It’s all about the context.
    It’s all about what do you want to create.
    Never forget it.

If you want to know why this tutorial was made, you’ll find out more in this post:

Our first post.

And you got our entire website to hear if we’re talking about something that we can do.

We want to hear about you!

If you have found this post to be useful, share with us your experiences on our socials!

Maybe you could also add a link of what you’ve created, and by using the hashtag #lmkmprod we’ll be able to find all of you.

We’re looking forward to hearing from you!