Right from the start of this article, we are going to discard a couple of cliches regarding the way we listen and record sound.
Just because you bought some epic home theater system or some badass high-end microphone, doesn’t mean that you are going to be able to hear or record incredible sound already.
Believe it or not, the right acoustic treatment of any given room can improve the correct representation of the sound waves by 20-30%. This anomaly is explained by the simple fact. Most of the rooms we inhabit while listening to music or any other sound and far from perfect. Hard surfaces like windows, walls, ceilings and even floors are natural “destroyers” of the acoustic environment.
After hitting one of those rough obstacles the sound wave naturally produces a reflection. Which is often way faster than the sound wave itself. This gives us the sensation of a dramatic reverberation. On the other hand, too much treatment of such rooms might make them too deaf and this, of course, makes the problems while working on sound. But don’t worry, there is a simple test we can run. Get some basic understanding of the acoustic properties of a room. All we need to do is clap our hands.
Right off the bat, we notice that by repeating the test on different spots in the same room, we achieve various results. This is due to the different distances between us and the reflecting surfaces around us. In a “hard for listening” environment, the repercussions are so many. That the echo can get as strong as the sound of the original clap, nevertheless, it sounds completely different. In another case, if the room is full of furniture and there are carpets on the floor, we might not hear any echo at all. Both cases, of course, are not suitable for high-quality sound recording and representation and like in so many other areas of life we must find a pleasing middle ground.
The choices that stand before us at this point are many.
High-quality speakers – their placement is crucial. Where exactly you are going to put your sound bodies determines if your listening room will be a very pleasant acoustic place or complete crap.
Acoustic treatment of the premises with a combination of absorbent panels and diffusers.
The absorbent panels take in the sound waves and through friction, transform them into heat. The diffusers are a bit more interesting panels with many forms and variations. They spread the sound waves across the whole room and which is very handy they can be designed to manage with a specific problematic frequency. In any case, my advice for anyone who is about to adapt their room for sound recording or listening is to read a lot of info about all those things, before taking any actual steps or thrusting a certain specialist in the field.
In the end, I will repeat myself by telling you that it doesn’t matter at all if you have expensive high-end sound equipment if your room is not acoustically treated correctly. Furthermore, there is no distinct ruly to guide you on how exactly to accomplish this. You should pay attention to your side sensory holes, which as a good friend of mine once said: ” They are not placed on the sides of your head only for beauty and display.”