Carpet, Ear fatigue, removed, now what.

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Carpet, Ear fatigue, removed, now what.

Postby david17 » April 13th, 2017, 1:59 pm

Ok my room with full shag carpet on floor was starting to fatigue my ears after 5 minutes. Couldn't stand it. I believe it is because I had to install so much bass trapping on rear wall that it was killing everything. My bass traps are super chunk in corners and all others are 4" rockwool. I have nothing on front wall since in front of a window but curtains and in corners super chunks. The room dimensions are 11.3 x 13.5 by 9ft ceiling. My setup is on the 13.5 wall facing window. Originally my room with just super chunks and a few front reflection panels still had bad bass in the back of room. The couch and the rest of the traps made the back more equal now but really deadend the room. So here I am.
Question is do you think I have enough or too much bass trappings on the walls.Ears don't feel as bad but still my ears ring abit more. I listen at low volumes.
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Re: Carpet, Ear fatigue, removed, now what.

Postby MASSIVE Mastering » April 13th, 2017, 11:37 pm

The thing about broadband absorption (unlike foam, curtains and other soft goods) is that you literally can't have too much. All you can do is get incrementally closer to "perfect" --

I have the equivalent mass of around 3 dozen 2'x4'x4" traps in here and it's "quite decent."
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Re: Carpet, Ear fatigue, removed, now what.

Postby J-Bot » April 14th, 2017, 3:08 am

Another thing you could do aside from getting more panels, is if possible, try mounting the panels on spacers so there is an air gap behind the panel at least the same thickness as the panel. This will not only help further tame lower frequencies (at least a little bit), but some reflections will bounce into the exposed back of the panels when they're mounted so they're not flush with the wall.

If 4" panels, then try using a spacer so there is a 4" gap behind the panels.

I can't really advise much more without being in the room myself or seeing some frequency measurements and decay times. (like a sine sweep with REW and a good measurement mic at the listening position)

Other things to think about or try, that are simple, and don't cost anything:
You could also try adjusting your listening position or your speaker positions slightly forward or back by an inch at a time. Also, the speakers should be pointed slightly past your ears rather than firing straight down the side of the listening triangle. Remember the 38% is a guiding point; a start, but not a concrete rule.

And yeah, things should sound quite a bit more dead in there, but it should be relatively balanced. If the pressure is uncomfortable or giving headaches, you might need to consider adding back a little bit of upper mid to high end reflections. Some very thin reflective strips across the panels might help. Maybe diffusion panels to help spread/diffuse the sound? But I'm not sure they'll help much in a room that small.

And, as I said, I'm not an expert in this, and without experiencing the room myself or seeing some reliable measurements, I'm basically trying to shoot at a moving target while blindfolded. However, I definitely think you are on the right track.
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Re: Carpet, Ear fatigue, removed, now what.

Postby david17 » April 14th, 2017, 10:50 am

I would love to try the REW but I do not have a measuring microphone. I only have condensor vocal mics. I am sure this would not help any would it? Or is there any other ways to perform this?
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Re: Carpet, Ear fatigue, removed, now what.

Postby J-Bot » April 15th, 2017, 7:02 am

Well, to get a relatively accurate measurement, you need an omni mic. Preferably an omni SDC. Measurement mics aren't too expensive. I use a Dayton EMM6, which IIRC is about $50 + shipping from parts express. I think Behringer also makes a ECM8000 knock-off version of the Dayton mic at about $60.

LDC mics probably won't be flat enough. You could see if your any of your mics have a .cal (calibration) file that you can import into REW, but without an omni, you're really only getting a small part of the whole picture, I'm afraid.

I will say, it's relatively inexpensive as far as mics go, and REW can go a long way in helping you analyze what exactly is happening at your listening position with the frequency response, waterfall plot of decay times, and impulse response in case something is causing some early reflections like a piece of furniture 3 ft. away from the mic. It certainly helped me get my room sorted out along with one of our forum member's advice.


Also, I may have misunderstood something, so I'll ask: Are you still experiencing ear fatigue, or was that with the carpet, and you took the carpet out? Are you still having listening fatigue?

I had a though: if you had fatigue before the carpet, but removed it to add back liveliness, and it's better now, it's likely the treatments are lowering the decay times in the mid to high frequencies, but the low frequencies are having a longer decay time. I'm betting a waterfall plot might reveal this. That could potentially cause some fatigue/pressure feeling in the ears. If that's what you are feeling, then you might need more/deeper corner bass trapping. You could straddle some panels across the existing corner chunks, and that might help a bit. When it comes to bass trapping in a small room, it's hard to have too much trapping.
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Re: Carpet, Ear fatigue, removed, now what.

Postby david17 » April 15th, 2017, 8:40 am

Thanks J-Bot. I am going to be running a borrowed ecm8000 today so I will have some details for everyone. The only thing I can't do for REW is a loopback through my presonus audiobox usb. It doesn't have 1/4 ins and outs on the back. Just outs for speakers. Interesting thoughts on the bass traps though. I don't feel as much pressure but I do have some flutter in the upper corner of the middle of the room now. Will be back with a REW test.
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