The moment, when you discover for yourself the acoustic treatment wonder. From that point >
.....your recordings and mixes will never be the same again.
Now it is time to pimp it up. To design a decent setup for your room is definitely not and easy task. If you do it wrong, it is just waste of your time and money. And every room can sound nearly as GREAT as it COULD if done right!
The shape of the room
Firstly, PICK UP THE QUIET ROOM. If possible , avoid square layouts. The worst possibility is a cube . Also, long elongated rooms are not appropriate. It is best to have a rectangular room.
Soundproofing vs Acoustic treatment
Lot of beginners like to use these terms interchangeably. However...
With soundproofing we want to create total acoustic separation, the purpose is the prevention of sound leakage: both “OUTSIDE” sound is not coming in and “INSIDE” sound not seeping out of your STUDIO. Soundproofing is used by the bigger projects, it requires more construction skills, money and time. In a lot of cases you need to rebuild the entire room from scratch.
We use acoustic treatment to change the acoustic within OUR ROOM. In most cases this is very affordable and very "easy to apply" solution for all home recording studios.
Acoustic treatment for a home recording studios
If you really don't have money now, you can always DO IT on the low budget. Your aim will be to reduce reverberation as much as possible: for that purpose you can hang carpets or dense blankets on your walls. However, you will never get too close to nearly GOOD condition. My recommendation is to save some money from partying and drinking. Remember, you can always start with something smaller, and later on add acoustic treatment according to needs of your room.
Question: What is the cost of an AWESOME acoustic treatment setup?
For an average home recording studio there is no reason you would have to pay more than $1.000.
Effective acoustic treatment consist of these key elements:
Basically, you have 2 options: DIY or buy them.
For Do it Yourself see this CASE STUDY.
If you decide to buy ones, here are some tips:
- Avoid cheap options: there is a reason why they are cheap. While they may LOOK similar, they don't PERFORM similar
- Size of the panels: Acoustic panels usually come in 3 sizes - 1'x1', 2'x2', 2'x4'. My recommendation goes to 2'x2'. SMALL enough to easily handle, yet LARGE enough that you won't need many of them. Normal package of 12 is usually plenty for a small project.
- What brands then? You won't go wrong with AURALEX or PRIMACOUSTIC foam. Auralex offers a wide range of products for a very reasonable prices. You won't find the better deal.
With Acoustic panels we have just solved all possible issues with High frequencies. However, to avoid sounding your mixes DULL, we have to deal also with LOW frequencies. To get a natural sound of your room, every ideal acoustic treatment should absorb ALL frequencies evenly.
We can achieve this by adding BASS TRAPS. Bass traps are made from a THICK foam. The reason for that is to neutralize the power of all Bass frequencies - under 200 kHz. Don't want you bother with theory of acoustic, but the fact is that all bass frequencies collect in the corners of the room. Therefore, we have to mount BASS TRAPS in all 4 corners. Once applied, you will hear the immediate improvement in the sound of your mixes and recordings. You will be better able to judge the LOW END frequencies coming from your monitors.
For all of you, who want to have ULTIMATE room sound. Adding diffusers to small rooms is often questionable. Some can say, it won't help and that in LARGER room the benefits are more OBVIOUS.
How they work:
Diffusors help to spreads out the energy in space and time. Untreated reflections often get trapped in one spot, they amplify some frequencies while canceling out others. Diffusers scatter reflections, so nothing gets trapped and only NATURAL tones remain.
Diffusors are often applied, when your ROOM sounds DEAD. They allow you to retain some lifeness in your room, rather than creating entirely "DEAD" room - in the way that it sounds GREAT. This is achieved by using a mix of ABSORBERS and DIFFUSERS. Ideal combination depends on the TASTE of producer, anyhow by adding them, the entirely acoustic of any room can be transformed.
I know that it can sound freaky - on one side applying ABSORBERS like acoustic panels on the other side adding DIFFUSORs to spread out frequencies. However, the aim is to make BALANCE and turn any space into WORLD CLASS RECORDING STUDIO. It is a bit of alchemy.
All IN One Acoustic treatment Packages
Ideal solution for everyone, who doesn't want to be bothered with getting all these stuff individually. The best brands offer several ROOM kits, that can help you to treat your room in a cheap way and save you from "guessing" headaches.
Very popular and affordable.
Well-trusted brand offer acoustic treatment for the whole room in one pretty small package. It would fit for any normal sized home recording studio. Consist of 24 Acoustic panels, 8 Bass Traps and 5 Tubetak Pro Adhesives. Easy, affordable and will improve your sound immediately.
Mid-range London package from another great brand on the market Primacoustic.
Everything you need to set up your room.
With this package you will get:
- complete acoustic treatment for home recording studio up to 150 sq feet. Consist of 2 broadband panels, 8 columns and 12 scatter blocks (diffusors) with various mounting hardware.
Also, very affordable and cheap option.