The Ultimate Guide to Acoustic Treatment for Home Studios

One of the biggest sticking points newbies have when first getting started with home recording is, They grossly underestimate the importance of room acoustics, And assume that just because they have a nice condenser microphone and expensive studio monitors…great sound comes automatically.But the truth is…the acoustics of your room have more-to-do with sound quality

Acoustics 101

Before getting started with acoustic treatment, it’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of acoustics in general.The good news is…you don’t need a degree in acoustical engineering to run a recording studio.

All you need is a few SIMPLE CONCEPTS. Starting with

1. How Sound Travels in a Room

Whenever a sound is made in a room, here’s what happens to it:

Starting at the source, it projects outward in all directions.
A small portion of it (known as direct sound) travels in a straight line to the microphone.
The remainder (known as reflected sound) bounces randomly between the surfaces of the room.
Moments later, some of those reflections reach the microphone by chance.

2.Why Most Rooms Have Poor Acoustics

Have you ever gotten to visit a grand cathedral like the one in this picture?If so did you notice how every sound in there is absolutely incredible?That’s because, rooms like these are not only designed to LOOK beautiful They’re designed to SOUND beautiful as well.The problem is…rooms with great acoustics require a LOT of space and a LOT of money to build.

3. How to Fake a Great Room Tone

Someone invented the awesome machine known as the Echo Chamber.machine allowed engineers to simulate the reverb of a room OTHER than the one where it was recorded.
Over the years, the technology grew more sophisticated, and today.Software programs known as digital reverb can simulate the sound of virtually any acoustic environment imaginable.The only catch is…before you can add FAKE reverb, you must first remove the REAL reverb.

4.How to Remove the Natural Reverb of a Room

Ever noticed those foam panels on the walls of recording studios?While they might look super cool Their REAL purpose is to absorb sound reflections.Normally, those reflections get recorded…But with acoustic absorption, all that remains is the direct sound from the instrument to the microphone…which is exactly what we want.
That’s how it works “in theory”…But in practice, many people find that absorption actually works best in combination with another type of acoustic treatment known as diffusion.

5. How Diffusion Improves Your Sound

When you remove ALL sound reflections with absorption, Many people find that the room sounds uncomfortably “dead”.The solution here…is to allow a few reflections to remain, and to scatter them with diffusors.Normally, untreated reflections create problems because they get trapped in one spot, amplifying some frequencies, while canceling out others.This is how the natural frequency balance gets destroyed.Diffusors work by scattering reflections so nothing gets trapped, and the natural tone is preserved.