It doesn’t how matter how good your studio monitors are. No matter how good your equipment is, you won’t be getting the best out of it if your recording studio lacks acoustic treatment. Even if you have a budget studio, you still need some acoustic treatment done to it.
But doesn’t acoustic treatment cost a lot of money?
It doesn’t have to. There are tons of specially made products out there that cost money. They do work but they just aren’t worth it and you don’t need them. Another less expensive but still costly option is to buy foam kits and working out common problems (we’ll explain this later). However, the most cost effective way to acoustically treat a recording studio. This is best for home studios and we will be fixing the common problems ourselves.
First off, I want to mention that sound treating a room is NOT sound proofing a room. They’re totally different things.
That being said, we should first consider how your room affects sound. Most rooms have hard and shiny surfaces such as walls, tables mirrors etc.. and sounds reflect and bounce around these things. What we want to do is tone down the reflections and somehow use those reflections to our advantage.
These are waves that reflect around the room and interact with each other. This can cause frequency response dips and/or boosts at certain listening positions. These are extremely noticable for the lower frequencies. These are problems because your listening area isn’t balanced.
Plan out your studio treatment
The first step you should take is to draw out your room in a blueprint type view. Try doing this as accurately as you can and don’t forget to add the height of your home studio. With your room measurements, go to mcsquared.com and enter down your measuremeants. This calculator will tell you where certain spots in your room have problems as well as what frequencies you need to tone down.
There is a very high chance that your room will have problems with the lower frequencies especially if your studio is pretty small. You will need a lot of absorption for this. We’ll cover more of this in part 2.
Find your listening position in your room. From there, pay attention to the higher frequencies that slap back to your from the surface of the wall. These frequencies bounce around a lot and will kill your stereo perception.
Most budget recording studios are usually small rooms. The biggest problem with small rooms is the bass. This isn’t exclusive to small rooms though. Bass is also a problem in large rooms too.
What exactly is the problem?
Take a look at your low frequencies from your monitors and subs. If they are producing frequencies as low as 50Hz, those frequencies will be bouncing around and reflecting against themselves which will then result in nodes and anti nodes. These are when waves either double up resulting in an increase of volume or they cancel each other out which then results in lower to no volume in ceratin areas around the room.
If you haven’t already, you should measure your room. With your measurements, use this calculator to figure out what frequencies are causing problems.
If you are serious about tuning your room, you should download this program to help look at where your issues are. You’ll notice that the bass frequencies tend to cause the most problems.
We need these to help solve our bass problems. Since this is a budget guide, we will be doing a DIY bass trap. Check out this guide on how to make your own bass trap. Once you have your bass trap finished, you’ll have to position your bass trap in your recording studio and experiment around to see which position will yield the best results.