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DIY Studio Acoustics Tutorial

DIY Studio Acoustics Tutorial

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Published by Son of Rizq
A brief class on how Home Recording Studios can improve their sound quality by doing acoustic treatment themselves.
A brief class on how Home Recording Studios can improve their sound quality by doing acoustic treatment themselves.

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Published by: Son of Rizq on Jun 13, 2013
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06/04/2014

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IY Studio Acoustics Tutorial
Creating that pro studio acoustic experience at home is easier than you might think.
Russ Hepworth-Sawyer 
offers some affordable DIY solutions to bring professional studio
acoustics and aesthetics to your home setup…
 
We’ve
witnessed significant advances in music technology over the past 15 years or so which, combined with ever lowering costs, now mean that many more of us can
 –
 and indeed choose to
 –
record at home.
 However, there are changes that you will need to make to your home environment in order 
to get the best sonic results. Fortunately it’s not as difficult –
nor as costly
 –
as you might
think. Over the course of the following tutorial we’re going to detail some of the problems
you might encounter and, of course, the solutions for a perfect mixing and monitoringenvironment.The most immediate aspect
 –
aside from annoying the neighbours (which is not coveredhere)
 –
will undoubtedly be the acoustic performance of your listening environment. This isa subject that coul
d see you tinkering with your setup until you’ve got it absolutely right, but
a detailed and reliable-sounding room is perfectly possible with some simple tools andmaterials from your local DIY store. As we start to improve our lot, we predominately have to address the negative results of sonic reflections. The reflection plays havoc not only with our desired flat frequency
 
response and stereo
imaging, but particularly the bass end, meaning that our mixes don’t
translate to other systems. In this feature, therefore, we explore some budget-busting waysto create a fabulous and trustworthy sonic environment.
On Reflection
 It all starts with the humble reflection. Surfaces, hard or soft, all reflect sound in one way or another. Harder surfaces will typically reflect sound clearly and accurately, whereas softer surfaces will soak up some of it. The problem is that reflections can later reconnect withdirect sound from a monitor or instrument, blurring what we should be hearing via problemssuch as excessive reverb, comb filtering, flutter echoes and standing waves.
Given these problems, you’d be forgiven for thinking it best to place your monitors in a
completely dead room
 –
an anechoic chamber 
 –
where the only sound you hear is fromyour monitors. However, this would sound too artificial. Actually, what we need to do is
maintain an even and low reverberation time across the whole frequency spectrum. There’s
much debate around the precise value, but a reverb time of around 0.3 seconds (known asRT60) is an ideal to aim for.
 
 
Universal Acoustics’ Jupiter Bass Trap is a good example of a foam corner bass trap that 
also absorbs higher frequencies, too.
 
Standing Still
 Standing waves are perhaps the first phenomena to deal with. These are caused by soundrefle
cting off and around your room’s surfaces and if the mathematics are right (see
boxout), certain wavelengths either reinforce themselves or cancel each other outdepending on where you sit in the room. You might be able to hear this most evidently inthe bass end if you move around in your control room. These standing waves are known asroom modes and, once calculated, can be treated. At higher frequencies standing waves can present themselves as flutter echoes, soundingas though a space is resonating at certain frequencies
 –
clapping your hands in a corridor should provide you with the effect if the conditions are right. These also need to beabsorbed and managed.

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