Acoustic treatments are one of the most essential parts of a music studio. An untreated room will color the sound produced by your speakers, voice, and instruments in various ways, which means the tracking, mixing and mastering decisions you make may be misinformed.
The best mic in the world is useless in a room that doesn’t sound good. Here’s some more information from Ethan Winer – one of the industry leaders:
Over the years, Bob has had the opportunity to build out several music spaces. Studio mixing/mastering rooms, tracking/live spaces, and practice rooms are the most popular and effective places to put acoustic treatments.
Bob typically uses a 1 dimensional “fractal” type diffuser for most rear and side wall applications, while often implementing a 2 dimensional “skyline” type for ceilings and corners.
Sub/Low bass is typically tamed with sealed and tuned membrane absorbers. After measuring a room’s frequency response and delay times, the amount, size, and frequency of the bass trap can be calculated and built.
Lastly, usually most of the wall space is treated with dense broadband absorption. Be weary of “studio foam” and other cheap fixes sold by big box stores and major guitar centers. These really only absorb the highest frequencies. Most of the time we spend good time and money bringing these very frequencies back into a space after the low end has been tamed.
The goal in every space is a flat frequency response and a flat decay time across the frequency spectrum. If the high end decays too fast, you’re left with an unnatural “coffin” type sound. If the low end decays too fast (this almost never happens), your brain will have a very hard time placing the distance of a sound. This is quite confusing and unpleasant to our sense of space.
Not only do these treatments help to tame room modes, but they are also very useful in combating comb filtering – that “boing” sound characteristic of small rooms.
Few things compare to the simple peace and stillness of just listening to the silence in a well treated room. Nothing has never sounded so good!
If you’d like to to talk to Bob about making a custom set for your home theater, studio, or listening room. Shoot a message down below. Also, subscribe to the newsletter – we’ll be walking through a build in the near future!