The Best Guide to Acoustic Treatments

Sound recording studioIf you are a newbie trying to do a home recording, one of the biggest sticking points is… underestimating how important room acoustics are.

If you want to get started with acoustic treatments, understanding the concept of acoustics is very important.

Here’s the good news… You really don’t need an acoustical or engineering degree in order to use a recording studio.

You simply need a couple of SIMPLE CONCEPTS and ideally a noise survey to assess your starting position. Let’s start with…

1. How Does Sound Travel within a Room?

When sounds are produced within a single room, this is what is going to happen:

The sound will begin at its source, and it will project the sound in all directions outward.
Direct sound, which represents a small portion of the sound, will go in a straight line directly to your microphone.
What remains is called reflected sound which is going to bounce randomly, typically between all of the surfaces within that room.
Moments later, there will be a reflective effect where the microphone will hear some of the sounds by chance.

Sound is not going to directly interact with the room, which means the frequency is going to remain balanced and unaltered.

If it is reflected sound, each reflection will CHANGE the original sound, at least potentially, in a very slight manner.

The size of the room, and the number of reflective surfaces will…

Lead to either GOOD or BAD, or LARGE or SMALL.

Typically, most rooms are going to create sound that is bad. And this is why:

2. Why Most Rooms in Your Home Automatically Have Poor Acoustics

Have you ever been to a large cathedral, like like Cathedral Jakarta?

If so… Did you ever notice how incredible the acoustics are in those locations?

It is because the design of the room is not just about it LOOKING beautiful…

They are actually designed to produce beautiful SOUND as well.

The difficulty is… Great acoustics do require a significant amount of space, and likewise a considerable amount of money.

Since most individuals do not have either extra money or a substantial amount of space to work with… Here is how you can easily fake this effect.

3. How to Easily Fake Exceptional Room Tone

Way back, centuries ago, in the 1960s…

An individual decided to invent something called the Echo Chamber.

Engineers were able to use this machine to simulate reverb from ANOTHER room where it was simply recorded.

Subsequent to this event, this technology became exceptionally sophisticated and today…

There are now software programs that can emulate digital reverb and will easily simulate any type of acoustic environment.

Acoustic Treatment Versus Soundproofing

Musicians will use these terms interchangeably, often mistaking one for the other.

Despite doing this, each one is actually different.

When you do soundproofing, you are minimising how much sound will travel in or out of your room by:

Blocking dense material.
Sealing air gaps such as windows or doors.

Here is the benefit… It’s easy to record, wherever you wish, forget worrying about your neighbours, or even you, disturbing each other.

On the other hand, this is designed to ONLY control the numerous reflections that are WITHIN any room, allowing them to create better sound recordings.

In BOTH cases, these are valuable techniques, but NEITHER one of them actually does the job that the other performs.

Soundproofing can easily be incorporated as part of your acoustic treatment plan, yet it is not technically any type of acoustic treatment in and of itself.

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