Soundproofing and Acoustic treatment for Home Studios
After you choose the right microphone and a studio monitors and all the other stuff, it doesn’t mean that sounds going to be great. Still you have more stuff to deal with.
Everybody knows the science of sound travelling. These are 3 propagation of sound you need to know when it comes to studio building.
Soundproofing Vs Acoustic treatment
Please don’t misunderstand, soundproofing and acoustic treatment are two not one.
Soundproofing is what to block the sound that travels from in to out and out to in. This is like sealing the room, so sound waves doesn’t go outside, and outside noise doesn’t come inside.
Acoustic treatment is controlling the sound reflections inside the room to make sound better.
So, inside a home recording studio, sound can be travel like in below figure.
As shown in the figure, Sound from the source spread all across the room,
- Source to Mic (Direct Sound)
- Source to Mic (Early Reflections)
- Source to Mic (Late Reflection)
The direct sound that come from source to mic doesn’t interact with the room so we no need to bother about it.
But the remainder bounces all over the walls and comes again to the mic so this is the thing that we should control.
When reflection happen, the frequency of that reflected wave is slightly or different from the original frequency. By this, mic captures different frequencies of the same sound source. And this effect is known as reverb.
This effect differs from room to room considering the room size and the material of the surface.
When room space larger this problem will be less (large halls)
When room space smaller this problem will be worst (regular rooms)
So commonly everybody deal with this problem.
How to remove reverb of a room
Now here our target is to remove all the sound expect direct sound that goes from source to mic.
This problem occurs when sound bounce back when hitting surfaces. So, as in the picture above by adding sound absorber to where sound bounce back, we can get rid of this problem. And this is called acoustic treatment. But if you doesn’t do it in the right way, the problem might get worst, but don’t worry it’s so simple.
After we do an acoustic treatment, it doesn’t mean all reflection gets cancelled. If we covered the entire room some reflection occurs by hitting surfaces of other objects.
But wait! It is not necessary to cancel all the reflections, if you did so your room will be like dull and dead.
We should allow some few reflections and we should treat that reflection well to get a better sound in your room. To treat that few reflections we use diffusers.
Diffusion is what sound wave spread equally and evenly in a given environment.
By adding diffusors, we can scatter the few remaining reflections all over the room equality.
With the right combination of absorption and diffusion you can get a pro studio quality sound in your home studio.
3 Elements of Acoustic Treatment
- Bass Traps
- Acoustic Panels
If you don’t have enough money to cover the room with acoustic foam this is a solution for that.
But this isn’t effective than proper acoustic treatment.
Budget soundproofing and acoustic treatment
You might be a kid, or you don’t have enough money for these treatments. But don’t worry, this is not like other studio equipment. You have a chance to make these things by yourself.
These are some DIY methods for acoustic treatments:
- Plastic cups
- Egg crate Foam