Acoustics can make all the difference when you are recording music. Whether you are playing guitar, singing, or making electronic beats, if the acoustics are off it can make your whole song sound a little off.
When talking about music, acoustics are the properties of the room that effect how sound is transmitted in the room. For example, depending on the material of the walls, they may absorb or bounce off too much sound.
There are a few things you can do to “acousticly treat” your room, or help improve the acoustics. The first thing you can do is limit the amount the sound waves will bounce by getting rid of any unnecessary furniture. You also want to be careful not to place your speakers near a hard surface. Hard surfaces are known to interfere and add low frequencies to your sound if you are too close. These are some examples of things you can do that cost no money. However, if you have the budget and you are serious about making music, there are a few extra things you can invest in to greatly improve the acoustics of your room. Bass absorbers are a good investment and a great way to reduce low frequency resonances in the room. Some people choose to only put a couple of bass absorbers on the walls in their recording studio, while others choose to line their studio with bass absorbing pads. Some people go a step further and even line to ceiling of their studios with bass absorbing foam. The end goal of all of these is to get a perfect recording space where the room will not interfere with the sound.
How many bass absorbers you use may be determined by your budget. Some sell for as low as $50 per piece While others are closer to $200 per piece. Price is usually determined by the size and shape of the bass absorber, as well as the quality.
However, absorption is not the only thing to consider. Another thing to consider is diffusion, which works to make a space sound much larger than it actually is. It prevents sound waves from building up, making a space sound larger and more open, and does so without removing any of the acoustic energy. Products such as space couplers are used for diffusing sound. Space couplers can be up to several hundred dollars, but definitely help optimize acoustics.
Before buying anything though, you should do more resesrch. This article doesn’t cover absorption and diffusion in depth and it is important to understand both so that you know how it will effect the sound of your music. There are tons of resources online to help you along the way, all of which can be found with a simple web search, and don’t be afraid to use YouTube either. Videos may be able to explain the information to you in a way that just reading about it can’t. There are also a few good free online music distribution website such as One Way Distro.
If you are new to recording and still figuring things out, bass absorbers may not be necessary right now. Just do what you can to improve the acoustics of the room without spending any money. But, if you are a seasoned pro and you are ready to make your music sound even better then it may be time to invest in some acoustic treatments for your studio. Even as a pro though, take whatever steps you can to optimize the acoustics of your studio before spending hundreds of dollars. By taking these steps first,you can save money and only get the stuff that you really need.