Do you have an unused guest room or attic at home that you’d want to convert into your very own home studio? If you wish to make music yourself, you must consider isolating, or in more trendy terms, the acoustic treatment of your home studio.
From open facility to isolation cell
The first question for you is what your primary application area will be. Are that vocals and/or acoustic guitar parts? Or do you want to arrange your studio so that you can get the most out of your mix? It is less important to optimize your space acoustically if you are simply planning to record guitar parts with a microphone positioned immediately in front of an amplifier cabinet. This is due to the fact that the microphone only takes up the signal directly in front of the diaphragm and so barely picks up reflections from the environment. However, if you’re planning to record voices, you’ll need to alter the space accordingly.
Isolate the problem
Recording and properly recreating musical instruments is a complicated process in which everything impacts each other. Moving your studio monitors, for example, by a few millimeters has an instant influence on the overall sound. Analyze the positioning of your displays and workstation in relation to reflecting surfaces as a first step. For example, if you place your monitors in a corner where two walls are perpendicular to each other, you will experience a buildup of low frequencies. As a result, it is no longer possible to objectively determine if low frequencies are balanced during recording or mixing.
If you operate in a confined environment, you will notice that bass build-up and incorrect reproduction of low frequencies are issues. To mitigate this, a number of so-called bass traps can be installed. They are typically placed in the top corners of your studio, where the walls and ceiling meet. Excess basses are so trapped and do not travel farther through the air, causing no issues. A diffuser is another useful approach. Instead of collecting low frequencies, a diffuser causes the wave to “shatter,” splitting it up and making it less intense as it “travels” across space.
Additional measures. No, egg cartons do not work!
Placing your monitors atop mopeds, which are specifically designed isolation panels for studio monitors, helps to isolate the sound from the surface on which they are mounted. Additionally, while recording voices, a reflection filter can be used to absorb direct reflections. If you primarily mix music, it is advised that you address the ceiling directly above you with an absorber panel in addition to the remedies listed above. If you have ‘flutter,’ you may also connect these panels to the walls. You may test this by clapping your hands and listening for a series of brief echoes. In addition, the idea that using egg cartons to prevent reflections is absurd. This is a craft discussion. Egg cartons do nothing since their bulges are all identical to each other and so do not absorb unwanted reflections. Reflections have no chance with real absorbers since they all have different depths. Don’t waste your money on egg cartons if you’re serious about acoustically treating your area. All it will take is your valuable time!