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.

Sound Reflection
Sound Diffusion
Sound Absorption

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.

Sound Diffusion

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
  • Diffusers

Reflection Filters

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

1 thought on “Acoustic treatment”

  1. To soundproof, you need to isolate a room, within a room, and maintain a cushion of air which will impedes the transmission of a sound waves. The room must be a floating room, with zero points of contact to the outer room, in fact, totally disconnected and totally disjointed from the outer room. Doubled Doors, Doubled Windows, etc.

    To absorb Soundwaves; the Thickness, Density, Placement, Distance from the substrates (floor, ceiling), and other parameters determine what frequencies the “Treatment” will mitigate (address and cure).

    If you are addressing some Wives Tales fixes, such as those listed under your Budget Soundproofing and Acoustic Treatment list, as most Wives’ Tales’, it is 100% erroneous. You would do your readers a tremendous service by removing them. Alternatively, you can change the title to, “How to Make your Sound Really Boomy in Less Than a Minute!”

    I take it that English isn’t your first language, and that’s quite okay, as far as I’m concerned. However, your diagram with what looks like a KRK monitor, specifically, as a sound source for a mic, is something that isn’t usually found, in such an arrangement, in studios. The only applications I can think of is by using a tiled room to add reverb. Or Tracking a speaker cab for a bass or guitar;
    there are others of course, but not many with a the source being a near field monitor, as illustrated. You would use a mic to capture instruments, percussion and singing. Those are your typical sources and, if there are others looking at that diagram, they could get the wrong interpretation, as compared to a singer or guitar amp there.

    Your Budget Soundproofing and Acoustic Treatment

    1) Eggcrate foam absorbs extremely little bit of a tiny degree of high frequencies, all the other high frequencies, as well as your mids, lows and infrasonic sounds go right through it, unobstructed, and bounces off the substrate (ie wall), as if the eggcrate didn’t exist. The outcome is a boomy room that would be better without the Eggcrates. Accordingly, I don’t agree that it is budget Acoustic Treatments plus it is PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE to obtain ANY DEGREE OF SOUNDPROOFING with it, that I’m aware of.

    2) I do not understand what you are trying to do with plastic cups? As it shares similar acoustic properties as the eggcrates, other than it is closed cell plastic, but you will have an acoustic outcome that is acutely similar to the foam. The closed loops will give you a bit of dispersion, though it will be so minimal, I’m not sure it would be audible, as most of the spectrum will pass right through it and bounce off the substrate. This can cause the possibility of literally each note running into itself, which could augment the notes (build it up, compound it; make it noticeably louder) as well as cancel the note, creating a null – or anything in-between.

    I believe your intentions are in he right place, but I also believe you have been fed some inaccurate theories on both Acoustic Treatment and Soundproofing, and I just want to offer you a corrected fundamentals, of what you are trying to do., as well as see why you believe the cups can help as Acoustic Treatment and, of course, make you aware that it offers zero help Soundproofing. Are you looking for dispersion with the cups because, they are closed cell polymer?

    This is being dictated via SIRI, so forgive any of her erroneous, and often humorous, spelling corrections!

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