Acoustic Control In Your Home Studio
Acoustics, not sexy, but important! If you've recorded something in your home studio and found it indistinct, or it didn't have the low end you heard in the room, acoustics are the problem!
When sound is made it spreads out in all directions. Some of this goes into the microphone (desirable) but the rest bounces into the room. An untreated room will allow sound to bounce off walls and back into the microphone. When combined with the close sound, it will have some nasty side effects (in a bad sounding room).
Most houses are made for living in, not recording(!), and as such the acoustic properties often are not good. When that's the case, the best option is to control the sounds in the room. There's multiple ways to do this:
The obvious choice, acoustic panels vary from basic foam to complex insulation mounted on a frame. This is the best first step (if you have money - I'll come to that later if you don't!)
The best place to start is with bass traps in the top corners of the room, if you've only got a little to spend, start there! If you have a bit more consider the walls of the room, the idea is to stop sound 'bouncing' from surface to surface, so make sure each wall has some level of treatment. In terms of where, trial and error is your friend here! Clapping around the room is a quick way to see if it'll work!
A bit more complex than panels, diffusers allow sound to move, but stop the bouncing straight back which is so undesirable. They are often more expensive! A great alternative is a book case (full of books) that has exactly the same effect (and looks much nicer!)
What If I Don't Have Much Money?
I completely understand the plight of the band with little cash around for such things! Fear not, blankets, pillows, duvets and even mattresses will help soak up sound! A clothes horse carefully placed will help soak up some sound, and a mattress against a wall can have a real change.
The aim isn't to be pretty here, it's to be practical and get the best sound!
What about Reflection filters?
A popular choice for sure, they can be bizarre to sing into! They stop unwanted reflections, by removing the room as a factor entirely! A great choice if you have some cash.
I hope that helps as an introductory guide to controlling unwanted room reflections, any questions please do contact me via the form on my website, I love chatting with musicians!
What are your thoughts? Is there anything I missed you consider essential? Comment below to let me know!