Wow, just wow.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by turtlejimmy, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    For anyone who followed the Practice Heaven thread, you may have read that my practice and recording space is lively, bright, boomy and reverby, depending on what direction you're facing. It's terrible for recording (bass builds and gets boomy, weird reverb, mixes get muddy) and excessively bright for practicing, which means volume is not so easy on the ears.

    So, I made an acoustical change, mostly for the recording. Bass traps from Auralex. I had gotten a free analysis of the room from Auralex (through Sweetwater) and it included these bass traps (8) and actoustical foam in 2 foot by 2 foot squares (12) and diffusers that make the room sound like big space. Since it's all expensive, I started with the bass traps.

    Amazing difference. It's like night and day. What it does for the sound of my Olds Recording is just hard to believe. I loved the sound of this trumpet in my old practice room and on campus at the University where I was taking lessons. But, in the new space, it lost some of this great sound. Now it's back, and sounds better than ever. Simply put, the bass traps made the Recording sound less broad, more focused with a solid core. It not only sounds better by a lot, it's easier to play (probably because suddenly I can hear so clearly).

    For anyone with a BRIGHT practice space, or a bad recording space, these bass traps are amazing.


    Turtle
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I'll bet you never thought that the trumpet had bass to be trapped! It doesn't. The problem was the low frequency standing waves that modulated the trumpets sound. Congratulations!
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  3. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    Thanks Robin! I've somewhat given up trying to figure out the physics behind it all ....... But my ears are happier than they've been since building the Shed. :-)

    And, I know I'm getting the best sound out of these products, because the Auralex guy gave me a detailed guide as to exactly where to put it all. The absorption stuff, bass traps and panels, dry up the sound and, according to the expert, the diffusers will make a (let's face it) TINY BOX sound like a much larger space. Theoretically, after all the stuff goes up, it should sound like a large, professional recording studio. What that means for me is that my recordings will sound like RECORDS, rather than home done independent stuff (which is often engineered badly if you listen to public radio like I do) .... like it was done in a basement or worse.


    Turtle
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  4. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    I have to say, it's a cool ego boost because it just suddenly sounds like you're playing better. After all, it IS the player, not the acoustics .... right??? :lol:


    Turtle
     
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Turtle,
    if the room has a 10Hz standing wave, your concert 440Hz A will also be present as 430 and 450Hz. Everything sounds smeared.
     
  6. BustedChops

    BustedChops Mezzo Forte User

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    Hey now...don't be knocking the basement. Rudy Van Gelder recorded the greats in his parents basement :)
     
  7. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    :lol:


    Yeah, no disrespect to basement tapes intended ...... some of my favorite Bob Dylan comes from the basement(s). And, if I'm not mistaken, Motown was recorded in a basement. Now, that's some good company.

    And yes, "smeared" is a great way to describe the way things were sounding in there. The Auralex guy, in his analysis, essentially said it was a good and bad situation. BAD, in that the way the shed was set up, it couldn't really sound WORSE unless it was absolutely square (it's close). A truly terrible situation to start with ........ but ..... GOOD, in that it's such a small space, it wouldn't take a lot of material to make it sound GREAT. Take the same awful shaped room, ten times the size, with the same hard surfaces all over the place and it would cost ...... well, ten times more to make it right. :shock:

    In my estimation, the sound treatments for the shed cost about a sixth of an old used Monette trumpet. Since the shed itself cost, in the same fairly random estimation, about 2/3 of an older used Monette trumpet ..... let's see, now it's around 5/6 of an older used Monette .... Still, when all is said and done, a great sounding room to practice and record in HAS to be worth more than 5/6 of a used horn, which probably wouldn't sound good (missing that last bit). :dontknow:


    Turtle
     
  8. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    After the first recording, the results are even more dramatic. The "smearing" that Rowuk describes comes through the headphones as ...... really, it's hard to describe what all this extra noise is in the recordings, but it builds up with each new track. NOW, with the bass traps, there is near SILENCE, apart from what is being recorded. So ... It sounds clean, like a studio.

    I was enjoying the recording process, but getting discouraged because all my recordings sounded smeared and muddy. This is a dramatic example of what I've read about sound engineering; Expensive mics are secondary to a good sounding room. If the room sounds like crap (like mine did before the traps), then better mics are only going to pick up the awefulness of the acoustics in greater detail. Now that the Shed sounds good (to soon sound great), my cheap mics are sounding very professional. :thumbsup:


    Turtle
     
  9. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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    SCHEMATICS??!! I :thumbsup:wanna do my shed too!!
     
  10. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    You will be amazed at the sound improvement. Without all the extra crap from sound waves bouncing off a close flat wall (and floor and ceiling), coming back fast and from several directions, you mostly only hear what's coming out of the instrument. You can hear more clearly and every instrument (except my out of shape voice :-() sounds better.


    Turtle
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012

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