Clarification of advice on mix position/room treatment

Hi John, thanks for doing this, I had the pleasure of experiencing the rooms you designed at Rue Boyer last year, it’s a wonderful studio, the rooms are amazing.

I’ve read a few of the questions from others that are on a similar vein of treating listening spaces, I was wondering if I could get some clarification on some of the answers you’ve given people? I also have a separate question slightly related to one of your answers.

For clarity, here’s a reply to one of the questions asking about mix position and room treatment:

a. No excuse for non symmetry - around a room acoustic centerline about the x axis (front to back).
b. make sure you have fully identified your room programming - i.e. what are you trying to accomplish in your room. I like the Buckminster Fuller term - “bare maximum”
c. Try not to then place your “sweet spot” (prime listening position) in the center of the y axis - get in front of the room center or behind - depending on exact layout. that location will b e a null in the y axis.
d. do NOT over dampen your room. Use broadband absorption (velocity absorbers (i.e. foam, fiberglass, carpet, etc.) only where you need it - i.e. first reflection side wall would be a good starting place. Remember, every Sabine of absorption you are adding in the mid frequency range (while not accomplishing anything at low frequencies) is contributing to creating a RT60 response that is unbalanced.
e. introduce some diffusion on the rear surface.
f. make sure nothing is rattling (no brainer)y
g. if there is run-away" low frequency" response - try to introduce some targeted “low frequency only” absorption. If you do not have software to help you or you cannot get some advice, go to the corners - this is where pressure build-up is usually the highest (rule of thumb).
h. Try for ear level monitoring - avoiding console reflections (which of course create unwanted comb filtering (usually effecting speech frequencies
g. Try to avoid putting near field monitors directly on a console bridge - again that often (not always) but often causes comb filtering. Push them back about one foot on speaker stands.

I’ve attached a few drawings, but,

Am I assuming that x axis is horizontal and y axis vertical as in standard maths?

A. So I read that as x axis is your front to back dimension, so your Length axis? and “no excuse for non-symmetry about the X-axis” so, speakers equidistant from this line, so an equal distance from side walls/this line? fig. 1 attached

If x is front to back, that would indicate speakers firing down the x axis?

C. And this is where a little confusion arises, (I’m absolutely sure it’s the way I am reading it BTW).

I understand not having listening position in exact centre i.e. where x meets y due to nulls, no problem there, but if Y is the width axis, and you say “avoid placing sweet spot in centre of Y axis” would that not mean your head’s no longer equidistant width wise between your speakers? Fig. 2

Also, in one reply you mention “get in front or behind it b y at least 1/8" front to back distance”, is that correct? Or did you mean 1/8 of the room dimension or 1/8’?

Is x then the short dimension and y the long dimension and speakers always firing down the short dimension? Or is it the other way round?

I currently have it setup the other way as in fig. 3.

Maths isn’t my greatest skill, so forgive me if there’s no real reason for me being confused or it’s just a matter of nomenclature

D. What kind of effect can working in an overdamped room have on the way audio is reproduced and thus how we mix in there? I only ask as I sometimes work in a room that is full of treatment with rock wool behind celenit/novolit wood wool cement boards which feels like it could very well be overdamped, and I often feel like top end is (unintuitively) very prominent, and the monitors seem far louder than any other place I mix with the same monitoring, the room just seems very direct, very loud and as a result I tend to have problems with fx and I mix quite dull in there, does this track with your experience of overdamped rooms?

Given that this isn’t my room but that I’m good friends with the owner, is there anything he can do to er…. I guess de-damp it?

And Finally

E. Is there a distance from the back wall below which you think adding diffusion would be a problem rather than a benefit? And conversely, what kind of diffusion treatment would you recommend QRD? Space Coupler? Etc…. I realise that’s a bit of a “how long is a piece of string?” Kind of question.

Sorry the question’s so long.



Hi @Russell2 ,

Thank you for your post.

The submissions for the Q&A with John Storyk are closed since May 8th.

We will do our best and try and have John reply to this great and detailed question,

Thank you for your understanding.

Hi @Russell2 ,

Hope you are well.

John will not be able to answer the question, however we are able to set up an exceptional Zoom call for 10-15 mins with him.

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