Acoustics can make or break a performance. Whether it’s live or in a studio, you may hear different audio distortions and echoes without the right setup. Luckily, though, you can use your studio to your advantage — no matter the type of space or the size you have to work with.
Typically, smaller rooms are better for recording music. Big, open areas tend to lead to distortion in the recording. Sounds have too many places to bounce off of and cause echos, reverb and noise. You can still make bigger rooms work, but ideally, you can find a smaller space to record in.
To avoid all the annoying feedback, you’ll need acoustic treatment. This process involves getting panels to make your recordings as optimal as possible. That way, when you get to the mixing process, you won’t have to agonize over all the unwanted sounds and distortion.
To get the best quality for your recordings, you can use these types of treatment. Make sure to combine them into one system, or else you’ll likely get disruption.
You’ll need to cover your bases by dealing with frequencies, high and low. Start with reflection panels. These are thinner that you place vertically on the wall. They stop mid- and high-range frequencies from disrupting your recordings.
As the name suggests, these panels diffuse sound. If a noise bounces around, it will inevitably cause some distortion. When these panels diffuse the sounds, though, you’ll get a crisper recording. Keep in mind that these should go on opposite walls in the room, usually in the front and back. You’ll want as much distance from the sound source as possible.
Ceiling clouds are easy to overlook, but they’re just as important as the other acoustic treatment options. You’ll attach these panels to the ceiling horizontally. If the soundwaves try to bounce from the walls, these “clouds” will catch and diffuse them efficiently.
Lower frequencies can cause sound distortion, too. Here is where bass traps come in. They are either foam or fiberglass and go in the corners of the room. Then, you’ll have a foolproof and soundproof studio.
Of course, soundproofing can involve other tools to improve your studio’s overall sound quality. Floor mats, wall fixtures and barriers will do the trick no matter where you are. When recording vocals, you’ll especially want to soundproof the area.
Taking It Live
When you go to a venue to perform live, you don’t want any audio issues. You want the same level of sound quality that you’ll get from a studio recording. Luckily, you can apply acoustic treatment options to venues as well. Again, smaller venues work best with acoustic treatments. Larger areas or stadiums will often have their own forms of sound mixing.
Keep an eye on the floor, walls and ceiling of the venue. The construction of the building should match the needs of performers. If not, you can use panels and soundproofing to increase the quality.
Then, focus on your speakers, instruments and microphones — you’ll kick feedback to the curb, and your sounds will improve.
These tips for using acoustics to your advantage can help you create a professional studio wherever you are. You can then enjoy the music-making and mixing process and not have to worry about any form of audio feedback.