LONDON 12 ROOM KIT
AVAILABLE TO ORDER
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|Complete recording studio in a box|
Live-end, dead-end (LEDE) room design
High performance fabric covered acoustic panels
Includes easy-mount hardware and screws
The Broadway London 12 room kit is designed for rooms up to 150 sq ft (13.9 sq m), or can be combined with other products to treat larger spaces. Ideally suited for studio control rooms and home theaters, these easy to use kits can be a single box acoustic treatment solution.
The London 12 contains Broadway panels that tackle problems affecting any room, such as primary reflections, flutter echo, standing waves and excessive bass. In addition to acoustic panels, each London 12 room kit includes the corresponding mounting hardware and instructions for easy installation.
Broadway panels are made from high-density 6lb per cubic foot fiberglass, offering nearly five times greater absorption than typical low cost foam alternatives. This means that you get more absorption with less panels, while assuring an even absorption curve throughout the frequency range. The London 12 room kit is available in three fabric colors. 22 panels included.
Science of London Room Kits
The single most important goal when treating the acoustics of a room is to create a neutral listening space so that decisions made during the recording process will translate well to the car stereo, home entertainment system and on the radio.
Most residential or commercial rooms are rectangular with parallel walls. This means that these rooms will suffer from powerful primary reflections, flutter echo, standing waves and resonance.
The good news is that since we know that these problems exist, we can predict what will occur and develop solutions to address each one.
Does this mean that with a London room kit you can turn a bedroom into a million dollar studio? No, this would be impossible. But what we can do is turn a bad sounding room into a very functional recording space that will enable you to get work done. This page explains how the London room kits work.
The London 12 - A LEDE Room Variant
Today, most studios employs a LEDE variant where absorption is more evenly distributed around the room. The London 12 employs 60% of the absorption at the source end.Early LEDE room designs employed drastic shifts from complete absorption at one end to none at the other. This created a completely unnatural sound to the room.
For the past 20 years, studio control room designs have evolved to where today, most employ variants of the LEDE or live-end, dead-end room concept whereby the source end of the room tends to have more treatment while the receive end of the room has less.
The ‘idea` behind the design is that with more treatment at the source end of the room - where the primary left, right and center speakers are located - the engineer will be better equipped to make critical decisions such as spatial placement of the instruments, percussion, voices and effects in the mix. The rear or receive end of the room is intentionally left more ‘live` to better replicate a ‘real` listening environment such as a living room. The London 12 employs this same approach whereby the majority of the absorption is applied to the source of the room while the balance is positioned behind the listener.
Direct Sound Primary ReflectionsWithout treatment, the amplitude of the reflected sound is almost as loud as the direct sound.
Direct Sound Primary ReflectionsControl Columns reduce the amplitude of the primary reflections making recording easier.
Primary reflections are powerful reflections that echo off the nearby walls and ceiling that compete with the sound coming from the studio reference monitors.
Since the sound reflecting off the walls will arrive slightly after the original sound, these will invariably conflict, causing phase cancellation. Because the effect happens at multiple frequencies, the resulting effect is known as comb-filtering.
The London 12 room kit comes with eight (8) Control Columns. These long panels measure 12"x48"x2" (30x122x5cm) and designed to be positioned at the source end of the room at ear level where primary reflections are most prevalent. By reducing the intensity of these reflections, one immediately enjoys a more defined listening space. Because the brain is no longer trying to discern what is ‘real` versus what is reflected, it does not have to work so hard. This reduces ‘ear fatigue` making recording easier.
Flutter echo in all directions cause excessive reverberant field and ringing which makes localization difficult
Scatter Blocks work with other Primacoustic panels to tame flutter echo and help reduce standing waves
Clap your hands in an empty room and you will hear a trailing echo as the sound ricochets off the walls, ceiling and floor. This is known as flutter echo or high frequency room chatter.
It is particularly noticeable in rooms with parallel surfaces whereby it will echo from front-to-back, side-to-side and ceiling-to-floor. When a room is too lively, there is no way confidently introduce reverb or echo to the mix.
The London 12 solves the problem with 22 absorptive panels. These are strategically distributed around the room and bring the ambiance under control. Side-to-side flutter echo is subdued by the Control Columns while front-to-back problems are managed using the combination of Broadband Absorbers, Control Columns and Scatter Blocks.
Scatter Blocks are a series of 12`x12`x1" (30x30x2.5cm) panels that are typically distributed behind the listening position. Theses amazing devices play a critical role in a LEDE room design by randomly absorbing energy while allowing some of the energy to reflect back into the room to retain a sense of air and space. We call this effect Soft Diffusion™.
Direct sound from monitors.Strong untreated primary reflections from rear wall.Direct sound from monitors.Primary reflections from rear wall are reduced.
The London 12 employs a variant of the LEDE room design whereby the source end of the room tends to be more absorptive while the receive end is left more lively. This creates a sense of air or space in the room which makes the room ‘feel` more natural.
Broadway Scatter Blocks provide an effective alternative to the high cost of diffusers and produce an effect we call Soft Diffusion™.
Twelve great looking 12`x12` (30x30cm) panels are strategically distributed at the receive end of the room to absorb some of the energy while allowing some of the acoustic energy to reflect back into the room. This helps control flutter echo and makes it easier to mix in spatial effects such as reverb and echo.
Bass Management and Resonance
The red area shows the effect of resonance on the room`s frequency response. The orange shows how one would equalize out the problem to make a recording sound balanced. When the recording is played on another system, it will ‘sound` like the orange curve and likely have inconsistent bass.
Since most rooms are either square or rectangular with parallel walls, sound will invariably echo from one parallel wall to another and echo right back again. At higher frequencies this is known as flutter echo. At lower frequencies, this is called a resonant frequency or a standing wave.
Each frequency has a wavelength and you can calculate the fundamental resonant frequencies in a room by taking the speed of sound (1130 ft/sec) and dividing it by the distance between parallel surfaces.
For example: a 10` x 12` room with an 8` ceiling will have resonant frequencies at 113Hz, 94Hz and 141Hz as these waves and their harmonics will perfectly fit inside the room and resonate. So in this room, not only will you have a resonant frequency at 113Hz, but you will have others at multiples such as 226Hz, 339Hz, 452Hz and so on.
These frequencies will resonate and depending on where you are sitting they may appear to sound louder. Unless treated, you will naturally reach for your equalizer to turn them down. Then, when you play the recording back in your car or at a friends place, you will find that these frequencies are missing. This is one of the reasons why bass management is so important: by reducing the resonance you are essentially creating a more neutral listening environment. And this is the huge advantage Broadway panels have over regular foam: the absorption is even and extends into the lower frequency region.
Two waves collide `in-phase` = Modal PeakTwo waves collide `out-of-phase` = Modal NullAfter treatment there is less effect on room response
Studio owners often complain that their rooms may sound good at the mix position, but as they move around the room, the bass can sound boomy or completely lacking. This problem is caused by room modes.
A room mode can be thought of as a place in a room where two low frequency sound waves collide.
When two waves collide ‘in phase` (point A in the illustration) they will amplify each other creating a modal peak in the room response. When they collide `out of phase` (point B), they create a modal null and will cancel each other out. Although room modes occur at all frequencies they are most audible in the bass range where they can severely affect the bass response of our room.
To address bass problems, the London 12 comes with two full sized 24`x48` (61x122cm) Broadway Broadband panels with special corner impalers that allow the panels to be corner mounted. This creates a 17` (43cm) deep air space behind the panel that will effectively absorb bass to 100Hz and below. By adding a bass trap, you will attenuate the low frequencies in the room and the modal interference will be reduced.
Comparing Foam to Glass-wool
The Broadway panel provides 82% absorption at 250Hz while the urethane panel barely absorbs 30% of the energy. Using acoustic panels with a balanced absorption will result in better sounding recordings.
Room resonance and modal distortion is most audible in the low frequencies where human hearing is most sensitive to phase problems. The lower mid-range region between 150Hz and 400Hz is often cited as the most troublesome as this tends to make the voice sound boxy or bass indistinct.
This is where using higher quality acoustic panels will make a huge difference.
The London 12 employs premium Primacoustic Broadway panels. These have a more professional appearance than foam and they extend evenly down into the lower registers where low density foam cannot keep up. This is the primary reason broadcasters and professional studios use high density glass wool for acoustic treatment.
Adapting To Various Room Sizes
When the room boundaries are close a higher degree of absorption is preferred. As sound expands outward the energy dissipates and less is reflected back into the listening area.
One of the London 12`s most appealing attributes is it`s scaleability or if you wish, its ability to be used in a wide range of room sizes. This is because sound energy naturally lowers in amplitude as it travels further from the source.
In smaller rooms, the walls are close and therefore cause powerful reflections. In larger rooms, the sound travels further. When it hits a boundary and reflects back, it contains less energy.
we can therefore use less panels to control the reflections.
It is however important to note that the `sound of a room` is a matter of personal preference. Some engineers prefer to mix in livelier rooms while some prefer a room with a greater level of control. With more control, you can detect minute differences in your mix while a room with moderate absorption will sound more natural when compared to a typical listening space.
Adding More to Your London Room Kit
One of the questions we get all the time is: if the London is so good, why do you guys build all of these other devices such as clouds, diffusers and high end bass traps? The answer is simple, creating the ideal recording environment is a matter of taste and preference.
Some engineers enjoy mixing in a relatively live environment while others prefer to mix in a darker, more controlled space. The London 12 is a great starting point. Keep in mind that it takes time to get use to recording in your room. This is why most top engineers always go back to the same studios: they know what to expect. They have become familiar with the room, how it sounds, where it falls short and what to listen for.
This takes practice.
A good approach is to start by playing back familiar tracks and mixing them after the London 12 is in place. Then, take your mix out to the car and to friend`s places and listen. If you find that bass is lacking, you may need to turn your sub down or add more bass trapping. If your mix seems to be lacking ambiance, your room may be too ‘lively and you may need to add a few more Broadway panels or Stratus ceiling clouds.
This is all part of the normal process in tuning your room to suit your needs. Have fun!.