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The first acoustical issue that must be addressed in all rooms no matter existing or new construction is low frequency energy control. In existing rooms we have a predetermined size we must deal with. Those room dimensions will dictate what low frequency issues we will be faced with. Since we can’t make the room larger to minimize low frequency issues, we make it smaller. We make it smaller by using powerful bass absorbers that absorb at high rates and levels of low frequency absorption in the appropriate room positions. In new construction and design, we have the flexibility of making the room dimensions more favorable from the beginning and can minimize low frequency issues by choosing the correct width, height, and length.
Reflection control from the room’s boundary surfaces or walls is our next acoustical concern. The direct sound from our loudspeakers is the sound we want to hear the most of. The direct sound is the sound that leaves our loudspeakers and travels in a straight line from our speakers to our ears. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on which school of thought one subscribes to that wanted, direct, sound has to be produced in a room and then the direct sound strikes all the room walls eventually and now we have direct sound and room sound. We want a balance of both room sound and direct sound. This balance can be achieved with time and patience, blended with current diffusion and absorption technologies.
Speakers and Amplitude
Choosing the correct speaker size for the room is also critical. Bigger is not necessarily better. More energy introduced into a small volume room, will only make our low frequency issues larger. Side wall reflections will cause difficulty at the listening position and the reflections will cause acoustic distortions at the listening position by confusing our brains with the reflected/direct sound mix. Controlling and choosing the correct speaker size is especially critical when one is dealing with low frequency drivers such as a sub woofer. One must choose the correct sub woofer diameter to “match” the volume of the room. We don’t need a 12″ diameter driver in a small room where low frequency issues are always a concern.
Low frequency control can be managed with the appropriate room size. Speaker size should match “room size”. make sure all side wall reflections are managed correctly for proper sound stage focus and clarity.
Ever noticed those foam panels on the walls of recording studios?
While they might look super cool…
Their REAL purpose is to absorb sound reflections.
Normally, those reflections get recorded…
But with acoustic absorption, all that remains is the direct sound from the instrument to the microphone…which is exactly what we want.
That’s how it works “in theory”…
But in practice, many people find that absorption actually works best in combination with another type of acoustic treatment known as diffusion.
Here’s how it works:
The first and most important element of acoustic treatment to add to your room is bass traps.
If you can only afford 1 thing now, get these.
And here’s why:
Though commonly thought of as specialized tools for absorbing bass frequencies…
Porous bass traps are actually broadband absorbers, meaning they’re good at absorbing mid/high frequencies as well.
Which is why sometimes…bass traps alone can be enough to get the job done.
In small home studio rooms especially, where bass frequencies can be particularly problematic, bass traps are a MUST-HAVE.
While many people think of acoustic panels as the primary “go-to” weapons to combat problems with studio acoustics…
The truth is, they’re almost completely ineffective at absorbing the lowest bass frequencies…
And should therefore be used as a supplemental tool…AFTER the bass traps are taken care of.
But here’s what they can do that bass traps can’t:
Because they’re thinner, and offer more surface area with less material, acoustic panels can provide greater wall coverage, for less money.
What that does is kill any standing waves that may exist between opposite parallel walls. Which is the one thing that bass traps can’t really do, since they’re primarily located in the corners of the room.
Most folks today believe that for smaller rooms…
Like those of most home studios…
The effectiveness of diffusion is greatly reduced, if not neutralized.
For project studios, that’s good news, because it eliminates the need for expensive diffusers.
Many people don’t use them at all. Yet others disagree completely, and use tons of them.
Optimising the listening experience inside the home, studio and business
Acoustic design isn't exclusive to recording studios. The home, school cafe and library all benefit from cleaver and efficient acoustic design.
The contemporary lifestyles we lead mean mixed acoustic environments are growing in popularity as too is the demand for an immersive home audio experience. The importance of this design is often over looked throughout the design and construction of most properties. The development of non-disruptive acoustic installation techniques is key to developing efficient room design.
From increasing staff efficiency and boosting consumer revenue to developing unique customer experiances Ascot London has found the importance of acoustic design to home and businesses of a growing concern.