If you’re in need of consultation, I suggest you contact GIK Acoustics.
"We’re all generally used to acoustically untreated rooms, so we don’t even realize what a difference they can make. But when sound bounces off walls before reaching the listener (or microphone, in the case of the studio) it gets muddy. The short delay in the reflected sound causes a subtle echo effect that greatly reduces clarity and distinguishability.
I see quotes around this. So did you write it? Or cut and paste?
Either way, its one tiny little facet of a complex problem. Absorption is easily overdone and should be used sparingly to avoid a "dead" room.
The short delay reflected sound you quoted, we can get a good deal more precise. There is a window of around 3 to 7 ms in which sounds arriving in that time frame will do as you say and muddy the sound and reduce the clarity of the sound stage. Definitely. But beyond that, sounds delayed a lot more will actually add to or reinforce the sense of space we are trying to achieve.
Duke is the master of this, builds speakers designed around this philosophy, and has this down to a science. Me, I know just enough to be dangerous. But I do know you can achieve the same improvement in clarity by having speakers 3 to 5 feet or more out from side walls, because then that first reflection is delayed enough. See here- https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/8367 no side panels, just distance, and the imaging is superb.
Also it is in general a better approach to scatter or diffuse sound and not just absorb it, and for the same reason, diffuse decay is heard as spaciousness. I need to build some diffusers.
You can indeed just pay someone to tell you what to do. Its very expensive and you will find very few who after spending all that money turn around and say it was a waste. But this is also an area where a little understanding and experimentation goes a long way. A very, very long way. So whether quoted or written you are definitely onto something. Which is good. Keep at it.
Aesthetics vs. control seems to have a fine line that visual taste vs. 'appreciated musicality' have to waltz upon. Since most don't have the freedom to have a 'segregated' room for audio or AV, there's a limit to what and how one can apply. GIK is an answer among others, but SAF or even one's own preferences can curtail what one does.
One thought is to develop a taste for tapestries...curtains that extend beyond the edges of a window in an inconvenient location....
One has to be creative in the face of grim reality. Thinking outside of the box is easier if one considers the box having 'permeable' walls...;)
...and DAC helps a lot.*G*
Has anyone considered physical acoustic 'room dividers' ?
@asvjerry I assume you are teasing a bit. We all know that your room is the most important variable in any sound system.
Locally, a company built an entire auditorium for MUSIC ONLY, and the last show I saw there was amazing. Even the artist spoke about it three times during the show...said it was the best room in the business and blew Caesar's Palace (where he was going next) out of the water.
We all remember the pop recordings from the old days when various artists used bathrooms and other strange places to get the sound they wanted. Today, studios and recording gear are much more sophisticated, but your listening room needs serious attention.
I cannot tell you how many times I set up a customer system in a room and improved it 100% with some appropriate changes...moving speakers, using professional sound treatments. etc.
It isn't exactly rocket science, but it helps to know what is available and to play around a bit to get the best possible listening environment. Even mediocre gear sounds better in a well-designed room.
I’m currently awaiting my GIK 244 broadband absorbers for my first reflection points. I bought numerous Quadratic Fractal Acoustic Diffuser Panels made from styrofoam. I’m currently using them in my first reflection points till the 244s arrive in a couple weeks. Next will be corner traps and possibly a couple clouds. I honestly don’t think I’ll need the clouds. My ears are 34” off the floor and I have 10’ ceilings so the delay would be well past the limit for needed absorption. Also my room is not enclosed, it’s a dining room with a 3’x8’ and 8’x8’ passageways. The larger passage way is to my rear, so that is wonderful for my rear reflections. https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/8398#&gid=1&pid=9
As has already been stated, too much absorption can result in a room sounding dead, lifeless. For those rooms diffusion is a good alternative. GIK's wood 1D diffusers are currently out-of-production, but are available from ATS Acoustics and others.
GIK offers 1D diffusers made of EPS, the Gridfuser (a carton of four 2' x 2' panels for $214, white only, though paintable). Vicoustic offers both 1D and 2D in EPS, the Trap Fuser (a carton of six 2' x 2' panels for $499) and the Mulifuser DC2 (a carton of six for $699), both in white, grey, and black.