When people are first getting into the idea of home recording, one of the things that they fail to take into account is acoustics. Room acoustics are far more important than you might think for getting good results.
To fully understand acoustic treatment, you need to have an understanding of acoustics and how sound works in general. While that’s a field that you could get a degree in, you don’t need a degree to make good recordings.
These ESSENTIAL CONCEPTS from auricl will help you to get the best possible results:
1. Understanding Sound and How it Travels
When a sound is made, it will start at a source, and project outward. Some sound will travel towards the microphone in a straight line while other sound waves will bounce around hitting surfaces in the room, being reflected back towards the microphone.
The sound that was reflected may sound very slightly different from the sound that hit the microphone directly. Depending on the size of the room and the objects in it, the change to the sound could be good or bad, small and imperceptible, or enough to ruin the recording.
In most rooms, any change that happens to the sound as it bounces around is not good, because:
2. Most Rooms Do Not Have Good Acoustics
Cathedrals and churches sound stunning. Organ music was made to be played in places like that. Or, perhaps more accurately, those places were designed to sound amazing when filled with music. The design of those buildings wasn’t just about looks.
For a building to have great acoustics, it must be designed that way. It requires space, lots of space, and lots of money too.
Assuming you don’t have the resources to build a cathedral to record music in, what can you do? Well, you can fake it.
3. Making Your Room Sound Better
There’s this cunning invention called the Echo Chamber, which allows sound technicians to simulate the reverb of any room. This means that you can record a sound in a small room, then use software and a technique called digital reverb to make the recording sound like it was made in a different room.
Soundproofing and acoustic treatment are other options for people who want to make recordings sound better. These terms are often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to different things.
Soundproofing minimises the level of sound that comes in and out of a room, blocking the sound using heavy, dense materials such as acoustic matting. This makes a soundproof ‘pod’ for you to record things in without annoying your neighbours and without your recording being ruined by sounds from outside.
Acoustic treatment is slightly different in that it relates to the sound reflections occurring inside the room. If these can be reduced, the sound should be less distorted.
Both types of sound treatment are important, and they do different jobs. Soundproofing is a vital part of any acoustic treatment plan, but soundproofing is not acoustic treatment, and that job still needs to be done.