All good things must come to an end at some point. “All good things are ending,” as Charlie from “Always Sunny in Philadelphia” might say.
We’ve been in the thick of it, audio-wise, for a good number of weeks, touching on each important trait of a serious home audio system. From adding a subwoofer to choosing the right cables to making space behind speakers and behind the listening position, we’ve covered some of the most important tasks for someone looking to graduate their music playback system to the next level.
Oh, and don’t forget last week’s topic about using spikes and isolation feet. We’ve hit on most of the important stuff, so this week I’ll wrap things up with the remaining, but perhaps most important, thing you can do to hit the next level.
With all of this talk about how sound waves interact with each other, we’ve yet to discuss how they interact with each other in a room. Unless your stereo is parked 30 feet off the ground outside, the dimensions and makeup of the room you listen in is going to have the last word about how music sounds in there, period.
Serious audio system builders use two methods to deal with all the stray waves bouncing around the room: absorption and diffusion. At certain places in the room you want more absorption than diffusion, and vice versa, but using both at most points of sound reflection is not a bad idea either.
The main hurdle for folks contemplating what we call “room treatment” is the tweaky look of audio diffusers and absorbers on the walls. While fully treating a room requires a commitment to the look of it, you don’t have to go all out to reap big benefits with a little bit of treatment in the right places.
And with companies like Artnovion out there providing stylishly designed panels and “bass traps,” it’s possible to match your decor and still sound great.
I used to be quite connected to the local music scene when I was doing recording and mastering for area bands. But alas, things change and my focus has moved closer to the technology side of things, in recent years. I’m still mastering, but most of the work has been outside the Front Range.
Still, I keep tabs on my favorite local musicians, and last night when I ran across mention in an Instagram story of a newly released track featuring local players, I had to fire it up on Spotify and have a listen. A friend of mine, one of the stankiest and nastiest keyboard players in the whole state, happens to be on it, so I listened with eager anticipation.
After my wife requested we hear it again, and again, we listened to it one more time and it’s been thoroughly stuck in my head ever since.
Do yourself a favor and look up the group Manycolors on Spotify or what have you, and peep what we’ve been digging. My dude Eric Luba lays down a mean keys backing to a straight ear worm of a guitar hook, and the pacing of the track is relaxed and perfect for many listening moods. Well done, boys.