So I'm putting up my cloud tomorrow and wondering which I should pick. I built 2 cloud panels to hang, but after doing the measurements I realize the only using 1 is closer to the room setup guide lines on this forum.
I've got 2 scenarios: Scenario 1 is only using one panel and for that reason I don't see it as as flexible as scenario 2, which not only covers a larger area, but can also be set up with wires, so that I can slide around the two panels from left to right. Doing so with scenario one wouldn't make a lot of sense and if I need to move my speakers I might have to move the panels too.
I've attached some drawings of the 2 scenarios in this post. Keep in mind that the 2 panels in scenario 2 might be too close together, but I can always move them further apart with this setup, so it's more a question of horizontal vs vertical than how exactly they should be positioned.
Scenario 1 Pros: Follows the guidelines. Can use the extra panel some place else.
Con: Have to commit to position
Pros: bigger surface area. Can slide to the sides. More flexible.
Con: Uses more panels. More work and materials to set up.
If "scenario 2" sounds as good or better than 1 and if it is actually more flexible than 1 I'll go with 2. But If "scenario 1" sound better I'll go with that.
Let me know if I left out some information on this
I don't know what Hexspa is telling us either so I'd like to know too.
A couple things you left out is the distance from your speakers and ears from the ceiling. Panel thickness and gap distance would be nice to know too.
Anyway, for my 2cents, I'd say that for that size arrangement, the 1 panel is just sufficient but I would go with the 2 panel design for reasons you mention regarding flexibility plus, in most cases, a little extra absorption is usually welcome and rarely hurts. That goes for RFZ panels on the sides too.
I didn't look close enough. One has more surface area, right?
More surface coverage is usually better but you'll have to take a measurement to compare. Rock is right in that the gap matters - especially for a cloud, I've found. At a certain point, you'll be going beyond an RFZ panel if you don't plan to move your head much.
RFZ is for waves which, above a certain frequency in a small room, will travel 'through' the air as opposed to just resonating in place. So, if you're not at those angles, it's not really RFZ anymore unless you have another use for that. At least, that's how I understand it.
Thanks for the help. Yes, 2 has double the surface area and is not just flipping the panel, which I guess is what you thought
The panels are 10 cm thick and I plan for a gap of 10-15 cm from the ceiling. Can the gap be too big?
Ceiling height is 255 cm. The tweeters are at 122 and the speakers are angled down ever so slightly, so my ears are probably at 116-ish cm. Is this too close to the half-way point in the room? My ear height is pretty much halfway in between floor and absorbers at this height.
It is also worth mentioning that the panels have wooden frames.
A gap equal to the panel thickness (10cm in your case) is recommended because it does not allow a "hole" or dip in the low frequency extension of the panel performance. If you do gap greater than 10cm you can extend the panel LF performance but at the expense of higher freqs so it is a trade-off. You can see that there may be a reason to have a larger than 1x gap but you'll need to experiment and measure to find out exactly where your target frequency is. To keep things simple, just stick with a 1x gap.
The distance between your ears/speaker and the ceiling (not the panel) is what you're interested in, that's what determines the mode. As in front to back wall, 38% (or 62%) is the recommended "starting point for least mode influence. With measurements, you may find other points that can work for you too. Obviously, there are limitations due to your set up so if you can't get to 38%, acoustic measurements may help you tweak your setup.
Wooden frames are great for sharp, neat looking panels and providing a structure to anchor hanging hardware at the expense of loosing absorption on the sides. If you can cut holes or slots in the wood, you can get some absorption on the sides.
BTW, I have made frameless panels using "hardware cloth" on the bottom to support and provide suspension tie points. A stiff suspension wire is skewered up through the panel. A "hook" is bent into the bottom end of the wire which hook onto the "hardware cloth". The wire pushed to emerge from the top is attached to hardware on the ceiling. The thing I don't like is that cosmetically, they are not sharp and crisp as you can see from the picture...oh well.
I have to admit that my overall set up here is focused on a rehearsal/jamming space and only secondarily for recording and mixing. The other side of the room is for TV for the rest of the family and a support post in the middle of the whole room conveniently screws up the possibility of a more practical layout...oh well, even though you can't always have every thing the way you would like it, you can usually make at least some improvements. I can say that I admire and envy all the people here that are so motivated and able to follow all the recommendations Ethan has laid out for us and that many of us who have learned, try to help pass on.
Thanks for clarifying rock. I put up the cloud panels today and they hang 12-15 from the ceiling because of a slight tilt inwards, because of the way the cables were hung. I'm not the best DIY guy, so that is how it ended up. I can probably adjust them later if I experience issues, but it's okay for now and I'm pretty happy with the outcome. 38% and 62% are not possible heights for me to sit or stand at, but I guess I'll just have to get as far away from 50% as possible then...
I admit, the mechanical aspect of all this acoustic treatment stuff does require a certain skill set. I think motivation is a huge factor and we do see some amazing executions from some of the list members here...and the rest of us do the best we can.
I think REW measurements can either confirm you're in the ballpark or point out glaring peaks of nulls that you might want to attack. Sometimes it's a matter of minor tweaks in speaker or listening position.
I agreed good enough is also my goal at this point and I can always tweak down the line. I saw the Amy Winehouse documentary the other day and the studio they recorded at looked like they were breaking just about every rule in the book, and they still managed to make amazing music none the less.
My biggest issue with REW measurements is actually applying the data. Even if there are peaks of nulls I wouldn't know how to fix them except messing around randomly, which is fairly time consuming, but I guess there is always this forum, if I get stuck.
I'll make analyzing REW my next video. Also, I have a few things to say about rules.
The most important thing is the source. Get it right at the source means having Amy Winehouse if you can. However, sometimes people get it 'wrong' at the source but then make it work later. Billie Eilish's effort is that kind of thing with the exception that she's pretty much a contemporary Amy Winehouse in terms of star power.
That's all about the way in. From the speakers to your ears, we can at least orient the listening position and speakers correctly as well as minimize clutter. Past that, your RFZ panels are going to help a ton then there's your bass treatment. Even so, acoustic treatment can be some of the best gear dollar-for-dollar in a studio.