Acoustic Treatment For Home Studios


Image: Pexel

Before you get started on applying acoustic treatment to your home studio, let's cover some basics of acoustics 101.

How Sound Travels And Why The Room Shape Matters

Starting from the audio source, sound will project outward in all directions of the room. Direct sound travels in a straight line to the microphone, and the reflected sound bounces randomly between the surfaces of the room. When sound doesn't interact with the room, the frequency balance remains with its tone unaltered. When you have reflected sound, each new reflection has the potential to change the original sound depending on the size of the room, and the reflective surfaces bouncing off within it.
Have you noticed how a bathroom can sound amazingly good? Even a cathedral, or an uneven room? That's because sound is naturally reflected off the walls,. Unlike with a room that has with four of the same vertical and horizontal walls, a room will have many acoustic problems when trying to get a good mix or even a vocal recording.

Image: Logic Pro X

Room Tone

Having a reverb plugin helps audio engineers be able to mimic the reverb of a room, other than from where an instrument or vocal track was originally recorded. Applying a digital reverb, you are able to virtually simulate.
While soundproofing is intended to minimize the level of sound that travels in and out of your room, you can simply fix this problem by sealing any air gaps from any door and windows. By then applying acoustic treatment, this will aim to control sound reflections that are within the room to make better sounding recordings.

Three Elements For Acoustic Treatment

When creating your acoustic treated room, there are three important elements that you will be needing.

• Bass traps to absorb the low frequencies
• Acoustic panels to absorb the mid/high frequencies
• Diffusers to scatter the remaining frequencies

1.) Bass Traps

Were you position your bass traps has a huge impact on how well they perform. The standard starting points to mount your traps are the trihedral corners of a room. When applying bass traps, there are two types of bass traps you can apply when adding acoustic treatment. Both treatments when adding bass trap works effectively no matter which option you choose to go with.

• Corner bass traps have the advantage of more mass, which is one way to effectively tame low-end frequencies. 

•Panel bass traps can be used for low-end absorption. Doing so, you leave an open air gap between the panel and the wall itself. With this strategy, you can cover more surface area, using less material.

2.) Acoustic Panels

Acoustic panels are ineffective at absorbing the lowest bass frequencies, therefore, they should be used as a supplemental tool after the bass traps are applied. Acoustic panels can often cost less money. They are thinner, and offer more surface area with less material. Acoustic panels are able to provide greater wall coverage, These panels are able to kill any standing waves that may exist between the opposite parallel walls, which is the one thing that bass traps can’t really do.

3.) Diffusers

The effectiveness of diffusion can be reduced if it's not neutralized. Diffusers help with echoes in the room, creating a sound absorption by reducing the distance in the reflections and echos. This helps out by balancing the energy in the room leaving the mid end, and high frequencies. Simply installing panels will help determin the direction the reflected energy is coming from.

In some cases, studios may even address the ceiling and upper portion of the walls when a room has higher ceilings. Applying treatment doesn't always work for a smaller recording space, compared to as it would for a larger one. Treating your ceiling creates an absorption to absorb any initial reflections.

Setting Up Your Acoustic Treatment

There are three key areas to your room to consider placing your acoustic treamtent in. This will help you get the best results in the areas that have the greatest impacts.

Below is the perfect guide to help you get a floor plan on how to set up your room treatment.

Trihedral Corners

Using bass traps to address your trihedral corners (grey) will help with the widest range of absorption. Mounting each bass trap to every corner of your room will help absorbe the mid-high range frequencies. Bass traps cannot treat the low end, which is what many audio engineers have problems with.

Dihedral Corners

This is where addressing the low end comes in. Covering the dihedral corners (grey), you want to leave an air gap in between the wall and the acoustic panel. This will create an absorption for the low end.

Surrounding Walls

When you have walls that are parallel to each other (purple & orange), you will have sound waves reflect back and forth. This causes frequencies to be cancelled out and amplified. By placing acoustic panels on flat walls, this will help you avoid those problems.

Acoustic Treatment Alternatives

Applying acoustic treatment to your home recording studio space can be costly, however; you may have some alternative laying just around your house that you can use for a cheaper and even at free of cost.

Some DIY alternative acoustic treatment is using things like egg crate foams, mattresses, and other household absorbers such as blankets and pillows.

Image: Pexel

Now, if you are looking to record vocals, reflection filters can also be a cheaper alternative. They work decently, and saves on money and space. Reflect filters are a semi-circle absorption panel that wraps around your mic and mounts to a stand.

Great Reflection filters That Are Worth The Buy:

CAD Audio AS32: Read More / Buy Online

LyxPro VRI-20: Read More & Buy Online

Monoprice 602650: Read More & Buy Online

Pyle PSIB27: Read More / Buy Online

Image: Pexel - Seej Nguyen

Applying a pop filter to your mic will also help with noise protection when it comes to reducing any popping causes that is caused by the impact of fast moving air when you're recording vocals. You may often here this problem occur with letters such as b's or p's. Having that gap between the filter and mic helps disperses the air pressure. The great thing also about havign a pop filters, they won't hit you in the pocket big time

Recommended Pop Filter Products At Low Cost:

Aokeo Professional Microphone Pop Filter: Buy Online

Neewer NW(B-3): Buy Online

Earamble: Buy Online

Your acoustic treatment is applied, your alternatives are set in to place; now, you're all set and ready to record your the next big hit!

Click here to read more on how you can build your very own recording studio right at home!