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The Schroeder / Transition Frequency Explained

Brent Butterworth, a writer over at Sound & Vision, has written a very easy to understand explanation of what the ‘Schroeder’ frequency is. The Schroeder or ‘transition’ frequency is a critical concept to understand because it explains a lot about how sound behaves in rooms, how we measure / analyze them and how we treat them.

Schroeder or Transition Frequency
The transition frequency varies from room to room but 250Hz is a good rule of thumb!

I’ll just make his perfect prose more complex than it needs to be, so I’m just going to post his first paragraph for you all to read!

You have at least two listening rooms. Even if you live in a studio apartment, you have at least two listening rooms. Well, in a sense. Every listening room is, in essence, two listening rooms when you look at it from the perspective of sound.

To midrange and treble frequencies, your listening room is like a billiards table. Like billiard balls, mid- and high-frequency sounds tend to bounce all around your room, until they run out of energy. Because of this frenetic reflection, midrange and treble frequencies spread pretty evenly — or diffuse — throughout a room.

To bass frequencies, your listening room is like a beer bottle when you blow across its top. In other words, it’s a resonator. Sounds whose wavelengths match the dimensions of the room will resonate — in other words, they’ll be amplified. Sounds whose wavelengths don’t match the dimensions aren’t amplified. Depending on where your speaker is placed in the room, and where you are placed in the room, some of the bass sound waves will reinforce each other, while others cancel each other out. Move to a different spot in the room and different frequencies may be reinforced or canceled.

To read more check out part 1 and part 2 of Brent’s articles. Good work mate!

3 thoughts on “The Schroeder / Transition Frequency Explained”

  1. When I went to an technical institute called harbourside, they explained this without bullshitting me. Fix your writing. We do not need metaphors. Be direct. The exact wavelength of the frequency which matches the dimensions of the room, will resonate the most. Everything else will be more and more effected by phase cancellation. After 250 Hz its different, now you dont change the room size and add bass traps, you worry about adding diffusion. There. Fixed your shit article for you.

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