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Acoustic treatment for your home recording studio is extremely overlooked by most upcoming artists.
The focus is usually on buying the best microphone for recording vocals, the best microphone preamp, the best studio speakers, and whatever other accessories that allow you to record higher quality music.
While there’s nothing wrong with focusing on that, a lot of artists will notice that after buying good equipment, they’re still left with a recording that doesn’t sound as professional as they expected.
A few common problems include:
- A “wet” reverb sound mixed in with the vocals
- Vocal delays or echoes introduced in the recording
- A mix that sounds good in your home recording studio but doesn’t sound as good in other locations like your car or headphones
If you’re experiencing those issues that I listed above, you’re probably suffering from an acoustic problem in your room.
What Are Acoustics?
Acoustics are basically the physics of sound, which is both confusing and not at all essential to fully comprehend.
However, your voice and any instruments are producing energy and the human ear can only comfortably hear the frequency between 20Hz to 20kHz. What you’re trying to achieve when creating music is to get the frequencies to sit clearly in that range with the high and low frequency sounds distinct and enjoyable to the human ear.
Great room acoustics are generally low-priority tasks when building a home, so most rooms don’t have a layout that is great for both listening to and recording music. In a room where the energy is not absorbed, it bounces around until it eventually dies out.
So basically, the sound and music that comes out of your speakers will bounce around in your room until they die out – which can clash and cause problems with recording and mixing accurately. That’s where acoustic treatment comes in – the ability to create a controlled acoustic environment where you are absorbing the sounds to make the music sound more accurate.
What Is Acoustic Treatment?
Acoustic treatment is the combination of the right materials and the right placement or layout to control frequencies and create the best sounding environment for recording and listening.
How Does Acoustic Treatment Work?
Acoustic treatment works by absorbing frequencies and making sure they don’t bounce around your studio to make sure that you’re hearing the music in its most accurate form.
What To Look For In Acoustic Treatment?
Acoustic treatment is based on the type of room you have. You may already be aware of the acoustics just from speaking or clapping your hands and noticing a sharp, ringing sound (or more ideally a soft reverb). You can assess your room by performing the clap test to figure out where the areas are that need the most help from acoustic treatment and there are also other ways of calculating this. A normal home studio can probably get by with 20-30% coverage so figuring out where your room needs it is really important, instead of blowing a lot of money by covering all of your walls with acoustic foam.
Where To Get Acoustic Foam For Home Recording Studio
In my opinion, the best place to purchase acoustic foam is Amazon. They have several different vendors that carry multiple colors, sizes, and structure (foam panel, bass traps, etc..)
Below are a few different types of acoustic foam that I’d recommend you purchase and test in your home recording studio. You don’t have to purchase each one listed below as a few of them are the same foam but in different colors. However, you should pick up a set of square acoustic foam panels and a set of bass trap foam panels (depending on your current acoustic situation).
Where to buy:
Red/Black Acoustic Foam Panels: http://amzn.to/2oEhV3H
Solid Black Acoustic Foam Panels: http://amzn.to/2oKbKbI
Blue/Black Acoustic Foam Panels: http://amzn.to/2nc5oVe
Bass Trap Acoustic Foam: http://amzn.to/2oKbdX7