Pyramid foamWell, actually, thinking about the box… the box you work in… your studio.

Most of you understand that you need some kind of acoustical treatment on the walls, but there are a lot of misconceptions. Let’s try to clarify things a bit.

“Sound Proofing” implies that you want to prevent outside sounds (traffic, etc) from coming into the room, or you want to keep your own sound from making it to the outside world.

Simply putting some bumpy foam rubber on the wall will not make a room “sound proof.” To prevent sound from transferring through a wall (or floor, or ceiling) usually requires planning at the construction stage. Staggered studs, floating floors, rubber membrane sheets, and more.

Detailed information about those materials is available here.

Studios made for recording a live musical performance, or listening to music, need an environment that has some amount of sound reflection from the walls, but not too much. Covering about 50% of the wall surface with absorbent material is usually appropriate. Dense fiberglass panels and sculptured foam are popular for this purpose.

A large room is actually easier to condition than a small one. As the room size decreases, more pesky “hot spots” occur, requiring more aggressive conditioning. General reflections and certain bass frequencies need to be tamed, in order to have a pleasing yet uncolored environment.

Studios made specifically for speech (radio and voice-over) want the fewest reflections of all. Ideally, there should be no noticeable “room sound” present in the voice recording.

The voice will almost always be mixed with music or some other audio before it is heard by the listener. If the spoken voice has an identifiable “room sound” attached to it, it will not match the acoustic signature of the rest of the  program material. The goal is to hear the voice accurately, with virtually no reflections or other contributions from the room. A voice studio typically needs the highest percentage of wall coverage, and the most bass trapping.

BSW carries acoustic treatment solutions by Auralex, Acoustics First, and Primacoustic.

There are also several “instant booth” types of products. From interlocking panels mounted on stands, to wall-mounted enclosures, to portable mic isolation boxes (here, here, and here), we have a wide selection of acoustic treatment options for you.

Give us a call. We’ll help you tame that room.

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