I’ve talked about acoustic treatment a lot here on Home Studio Corner. Why? Because it’s one of the most important components of your home studio (if not the most important).

Everything you do in a studio is centered around audio waves, right? We’re in the business of capturing, manipulating, and reproducing audio waves.

While we audio cowboys are in the process of wrangling in these unruly audio waves, they’re bouncing all around our room. The more reflective surfaces your studio has, the more unwieldy the audio becomes.

Acoustic treatment is like Ritalin™ for your studio. Audio waves have ADD. They bounce around the room like crazy until they finally run out of energy…then they do it again.

Okay. Enough analogies. :-)

An Undercover EQ

Regardless of your involvement in audio, whether your a casual hobbyist or a full-time professional, your music has a slim chance of sounding decent if you don’t have acoustic treatment.

As these waves bounce around the room, certain frequencies are boosted. Others are cut. If your studio is untreated, the room itself acts like a graphic EQ gone crazy. 100 Hz might be cut by 19 dB while 250 Hz might be boosted by 6 dB.

Every room is different. No room is perfect. You can never have a perfectly flat frequency response, but you can “flatten” it out with acoustic treatment and tremendously improve the sound of your room.

Reflections Galore

Another big reason to treat your room is to improve the sound of your recordings.

Let’s say you’re recording lead vocals. You could have a $1,000 microphone running into a $1,500 preamp, but if the microphone is in a room with a bunch of bare walls, your recording is going to sound like it was made in a room with bare walls. (Shocking, right?)

The microphone will pick up the direct sound of the vocal, but it will also pick up all of the early reflections as the sound waves bounce off the walls and ceiling and race back to the microphone. By treating your room, you can cut down on these reflections and capture a nice, up-front vocal without building a vocal booth.

Auralex Roominators Project 2 Kit

I’ve been a big fan of Auralex for quite some time. I was planning to purchase a set of their LENRD bass traps and extra foam sometime this year, so when they approached me about reviewing some of their products on HSC, I jumped at the opportunity.

They sent me a few things to review, but today we’ll focus on the Roominators Project 2 Kit.

[Disclaimer: Yes, Auralex gave me the Roominators Kit in return for a review. However, I only review products I believe in. I've turned down similar offers from other manufacturers.]

What’s included?

The Roominators kit comes in two gigantic boxes. It includes the following:

  • (8) LENRD Bass Traps
  • (24) Studiofoam 2′x2′x2″ Wedge Panels
  • (5) tubes of Tubetak Pro Liquid Adhesive

LENRD Bass Traps

I think I was most excited about these. I already owned some Auralex Studiofoam panels, so I had a fair amount of absorption in my room, but I didn’t really have adequate bass trapping. Bass frequencies are the hardest to tame in a studio, because they’re such large waves. Bass traps like the LENRDs go in the corners (where bass likes to build up) and helps absorb them.

Studiofoam Wedge Panels

Like I said above, I had some acoustic foam in my room, but not nearly enough. With these 2-foot by 2-foot panels (each 2 inches thick), I was able to liberally treat my entire studio, rather than cutting corners like I had done before.

I applied them in the following areas (in order of importance):

  • Directly to the left and right of my monitors – This is probably one of the most important applications. Without treatment here, the sound from your monitors bounces off the side walls and reaches your ears at a slightly later time than the direct signal from the monitors. This slight delay causes the monitors to sound undefined. Placing studiofoam here immediately tightened up the sound of my monitors. They sound tighter, and the stereo image is much wider. (It sounded almost mono before.)
  • Directly behind my monitors – To prevent sound from reflecting off of the rear wall and interfering with the direct sound of the monitors.
  • Directly above my monitors – Sound waves bounce off ceilings, too!!
  • Dispersed evenly throughout the room – After thoroughly treating all the areas above, I still had a bunch of panels left, so I applied them evenly throughout the room.

Tubetak Pro Liquid Adhesive

I didn’t use any of the Tubetak adhesive. I simply used a hammer and small nails to place all the pieces where I want them. Once I’m convinced that’s where I want them, I may glue them to the wall with the Tubetak. Until then, the nails are holding up okay…somewhat. :-)

One thing to note about Tubetak. If you decide to glue your foam to your walls, you shouldn’t use standard adhesive, as these oftentimes eat through the foam. (That’s bad.)

See it in action. You can see exactly how I applied the treatment around my studio by checking out my latest Home Studio Tour video.

The Verdict?

There is an IMMEDIATELY noticeable difference in the sound of the room. It feels much more…”tame.” When I talk or clap my hands, I don’t hear the sound bouncing all around the room anymore. It does a little bouncing, but it quickly dies out.

One thing to keep in mind when applying acoustic treatment – don’t try to cover every square inch of your room. If you do, the room will be TOO absorptive and it’ll feel dead. It’s okay to have some reflections, just not an overwhelming amount.

Mixing

From a mixing standpoint, my speakers sound much more clear. I can hear details in my studio monitors that I could only hear with headphones prior to the acoustic treatment. Also, thanks to the bass traps, my studio has a much better low end. It’s not perfect, there’s still some resonance around 200 Hz or so, but the bass is much more pronounced.

Check this out: adding bass traps to my room actually INCREASED the bass response of my room. (See Low End Woes for more on that.)

Recording

From a recording standpoint, I’ve noticed that my recordings sound much cleaner and “tighter.” I don’t hear quite as much room in my lead vocal tracks. The room just seems quieter, which is always nice.

Play some audio already!!

Want to know what a lead vocal sounds like recorded in a completely untreated room versus a treated room? Of course you do. :-)

The bedroom right across the hall from my studio is almost the exact same size as my studio. There’s a bed in there, but nothing on the walls.

I set up a mic in the guest bedroom and recorded a vocal. Then I set up the same mic (with the exact same settings) in my studio and recorded the vocal again. The audio files are 320 kbps mp3′s, and there’s no EQ or compression on either file.

Each was recorded through a M-Audio Luna microphone into a Presonus Eureka preamp into Pro Tools. I was standing 12 inches from the microphone each time.

The Untreated Bedroom:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The Treated Studio:

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What do you think? Pretty big difference, right? And it totally makes a difference in the mix as well. Once you add compression to that first vocal, the sound of the room gets even louder, and you’ll hear it in the mix. The second vocal? Sits in the mix just fine.

The Auralex Roominator Project 2 Kit currently sells for $599 over at Sweetwater. That’s how much you’d pay for a nice preamp or microphone, which are both great, but neither one will help you make better recordings and better mixes. A properly treated room will make your current gear sound much better.

So…what are your thoughts? Let me know by leaving a comment.

If you want to get rid of the frustration of constantly guessing as to how to acoustically treat your studio, join “Understanding Your Room.”
You’ll get the exact training you need to confidently tackle the acoustical issues in your room. Grab your copy here.

  • Joe

    Holy price jump!!!

    • http://www.homestudiocorner.com Joe Gilder

      Has it gone up?

  • LKDolbear

    The difference is so evident. I have some acoustic treatment but this really has shown me that I need to get it properly sorted out right now!

    • http://www.homestudiocorner.com Joe Gilder

      That’s good to hear. We don’t realize how much we need it until we hear how much it helps!

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  • Ian’s Shepherd

    Firstly, I couldn’t agree more about the value of acoustic treatment – it’s far and away the most important improvement you can make to your home studio, if you don’t already have some.

    I haven’t used Auralex, and I’m sure it’s effective – but I just wanted to mention products made by another company, GIK Acoustics:

    http://www.gikacoustics.com/

    These look great, and use a high-density fibre-glass type material, which is generally far more effective than foam.

    Just as an example, I recently installed some of these products in a room I’m hoping to use, and after installing we were able to boost the output level of the subwoofer by an extra 8 dB, without the bass end getting out of control. The difference was huge !

    Definitely worth looking at both options and comparing the costs. And no, I don’t have any connection to GIK – RealTraps make similar products, which are also very well regarded.

    Cheers,

    Ian

  • http://www.studioequipment.ch Terry Nelson

    Hi all,

    I think the most important point is that Joe has demonstrated clearly that acoustic treatment works! It is not a black art.

    There are now several manufacturers offering products that both work and look good, with Jocavi/ATP from my side of the pond (www.jocavi.net) and Acoustics First down in Richmond on your side.

    One note of caution: bass traps are generally made out of moving membranes (or resonators) or tuned enclosures, such as Helmholz resonators.Fibreglass/rockwall (say, 4″) will do a good job down to the low mids but bass frequencies (think 250Hz down)require something more substantial and will take up space. Some careful investigation will yield some interesting possibilities.

  • Jim G.

    If I were starting from scratch with just a room and no equipment, the first purchase (or project) would acoustic treatment. Directing one’s first dollars to conquering one’s room is, in my mind, Job #1. It is a sure cure for G.A.S., as well—whatever gear you buy will sound its best.

    Since I was mostly concerned with outfitting a drum recording room in a cinder block basement, appearance wasn’t my first concern. I also needed LARGE treatment panels, which would also withstand a dank basement.(many foams do not)

    In 2010, I constructed free-standing panels using 2×4′s, chicken wire, and Owens-Corning pink insulation, compressed 3:1. I finished panels for only half of the room; they were hastily arranged, half for walls, and half as bass traps. I then suspended 2 Oktava condensers from the ceiling to do a very crude test recording……and the results were virtually suitable for tracking with nothing but a 400Hz cut and a little reverb. Obviously, going further with testing/tweaking will only improve matters.

    I have recorded in this same room since 2000, and you’d never guess it was the same four walls.

    • http://www.homestudiocorner.com Joe Gilder

      That’s awesome Jim. DId you hang the panels or just use them as freestanding? I’ve got a few 2′ x 4′ panels similar to yours, but to really be effective I need to get them up at listening level, which is hard to do with heavy wooden frames.

      • Jim G.

        The bass traps are 26×73″(roughly 2×6′) and straddle the corners, perched on blocks for water protection. (Yeah….we had some water…)

        The remaining panels are 35×48″(roughly 3×4′) and sit on 12″-high movable stands. They are postioned about 6″ from the kit, leaving a 6″ air gap to the wall, which allows them to function as a modest bass trap as well. (The ceiling joists are stuffed with compressed fiberglass, as well.)

        The room is acoustically controlled without being dead.

        Yes, Joe, these panels are heavy, but not unwieldy. I purchased some Penn-Elcom spring-loaded handles to make them a little easier to shift around.

  • Madvocals1999

    I’ve found another site that sells acoustic treatment at about a 3rd of the price of Auralex…check it out!!

    http://www.thefoamfactory.com/

    I just ordered 12 2′x2′x2″, 12 1′x1′x2″, 4 monitor wedges and 2 cans of adhesive spray for $110!!

    • http://www.homestudiocorner.com Joe Gilder

      As long as it is ACTUALLY absorbing the sound, that’s great! Some cheaper foams won’t actually absorb many frequencies…that’s usually why Auralex is more expensive.

      • http://www.facebook.com/petewoj Pete Woj

        Geez, Joe. With the way you commented on Madvox’s comment I think you have PSD (post-traumatic Sweetwater disorder). Ha!! I only kid… But Joe is right on the money with that comment. Crappy aka cheap foam/acoustic treatment will not absorb frequencies. Auralex is a name brand and is a little more expensive, but thats because it WORKS. I record and mix in a sub par room just like everyone else. I recently treated my room AND use a KRK ERGO ( i know Joe is on the fence about these ) but my mixes have been translating ten times better than before. I also don’t think mixing with 32-bit Float in Pro Tools 10 hurts much either (seriously guys, dont walk, run to your nearest whatever and buy it. its a game changer), but Joe’s bottom line is THE GOLDEN RULE: get it right at the source, and get great mixes. Don’t, and well, don’t. Cheers.

        • Antonio Freitas

          If I may add a couple of bits, I believe that one of the biggest differences between the Auralex (along with specifically designed foams for audio) and many other off the shelf foams may be their FIRE-RETARDANT capabilities. From the mid 80′s into the mid 90′s I used a lot of that ‘dangerous foam’ without any incidents.
          One recommendation I cannot reinforce enough is to give some distance between the absorbing material and the walls. This is because as the (energy) sound-waves which are not absorbed, travel into the wall and bounce back. The gap allows for the sound to be further absorbed as it travels through the material from the back side.

      • Kevin M. Kortsch

        Hi Joe,

        I agree completely. Materials are engineered for specific applications and trying to cut corners in an area like this is a big mistake. It could even produce a placebo effect if you will, “because I hung the stuff I bought, it’s working”, wrong. After having read the article, I realize my room here, though very crowded with stuff on all four walls, could probably use some attention.

        Kevin

        • http://www.homestudiocorner.com Joe Gilder

          Yep. But I’ll take a crowded room over an empty room! :)

      • Nathan

        Hello everyone, I wanted to comment on the foam factory as it has been brought up on here and I have owned some of their foam for a while now. I also have some auralex foam I got for free during a nearby college’s renovation of their audio/video room.

        I got the auralex stuff first. It was 16 2′x2′x2″ panels that they gave me. I made 2′x4′ panels out of them with hardboard as backing and hung them behind and to the sides of my monitors and had 1 2×4′ panel stradling the top of each corner.
        It made a decent difference for mixing but my recordings were still too roomy and flutter echo was bad. So, being on a tight budget, I did some research and bought a 40 sq. ft. sheet of 2 1/2″ thick eggcrate foam from the foam factory for 45 bucks (not the stuff you get for a mattress pad). I cut it in half and placed 1 half on the middle of each side wall, as well as 12 1′x1′x2″ squares of wedge foam and arranged them on the wall opposite my monitors. The recordings sound much clearer, and when I clap my hands in almost every spot in the room, there is no more flutter echo. The NRC ratings of the stuff from the foamfactory.com is actually identical to that of auralex’s comparable products, but I don’t really know how telling that rating system is.
        Maybe auralex is better, all I know is that both products had a very positive effect on my room’s acoustics.

        Just my experience though.

        • http://www.homestudiocorner.com Joe Gilder

          Thanks Nathan! I seem to remember a friend of mine who used to work at Auralex said they bought some foam from that place and actually tested it, and the Auralex was better at absorption and went down to a lower frequency. Again, I have no specifics. I’m sure the Foam Factory stuff is fine. Besides, it’s really only supposed to capture the highs anyway. Bass traps are really where the big differences happen.

          Flutter echo is annoying, and it’s good to get rid of that. All the low end issues in your mix become easier to handle when you put bass traps in your room.

  • Seancrow

    I am just about to kit-out my studio with Auralex and found this really helpful.  Thanks, Sean

  • Dorian

    Great review! Is there a reason you have your setup in the corner of the room and not more out in the middle where the sound can breath more? I did the free auralex room analysis thing they do and they reccomended I move out into room and away from walls and corners.

    • http://www.homestudiocorner.com Joe Gilder

      Gotta balance between that and functionality. Speakers are about a foot off the wall, which works fine. Acoustic treatment is all about compromises.

    • http://www.homestudiocorner.com Joe Gilder

      Gotta balance between that and functionality. Speakers are about a foot off the wall, which works fine. Acoustic treatment is all about compromises.

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  • Anonymous

    hi thanks for the review. the price of the kit is “not high” at all

    I wonder if this kit is suitable for jamming studio also?

    drums + 2 guitar combos + 1 bass combo + PA system + keyboards

  • DogWinder

    Joe,
    Brilliant example. Thankyou for taking the time to do that demo.
    I am in the process of putting a studio together. Given a limited budget, would it be more cost efficent to build a small booth for the recording of vocals etc. Thus reducing the real estate to treat. Would that also be viable for recording a guitar amp, given the sonic restrictions in a built up urban environment.

    • http://www.homestudiocorner.com Joe Gilder

      I’m not sure if building a booth would be more cost-effective or not. I record all of my vocals in my control room, and as you can hear from the example, once the room was treated, the vocals sound great. Booths can add a lot of sonic issues, particularly in the low frequencies, so you would need to build it properly. Otherwise, it will hurt more than it will help.

  • http://www.redheadtalent.com Kevin

    Sounds great Joe!

    Any reason why your speakers are pointed at the back wall and not at the mix position? Just wondering.

    • http://www.homestudiocorner.com Joe Gilder

      These particular speakers are specifically designed to point directly ahead and not be “toed in.” Most monitors, though, should be angled in towards the mix position.

  • Frank Adrian

    After reading your column about “12 studio essentials” referenced in your first column, I went out and did something that I was planning to do for a long time – I went out and bought a set of Auralex MoPads for my monitors. Even doing something simple as that helped matters a lot. Decoupling from the desk surface and the slight upward tilt I used seemed to have evened out some of the bass response issues I had.

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  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/marshalloliver Marshall Oliver

    Wow, when I heard the audio examples it was night and day. A few questions: Is it possible to “tighten” a room too much? How difficult is it build your own diffusers and bass traps? Thanks for the site, just discovered thru a SonicState podcast. PEACE

    • DogWinder

      there are some great DIY examples on youtube.
      Check it out

  • about2flip

    What’s difference if you are using 2″ or 1″ or 1.5″ Acoustic foam.

    Thanks

    • http://fire.firepixie.com Sparqee

      The thicker the foam the greater the effect on low frequencies.

  • Mark White

    Joe,

    What a Difference!!! I’ve got to do that A.S.A.P.!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Mark

  • WILLIAM JONES

    Big Difference my friend!! I’ll have to do that to my studio someday!!

  • Harold McFatter

    I agree, acoustic treatment is a must have for any studio set-up, pro or home. I have fabric covered one inch fiberglass panels, plus loads of Auralex foam. I also have floor traps made from large wicker baskets, stuffed with foam and fiberglass. Plain fabric will work on the walls, but it needs an 8 to 12 inch air gap between the fabric and wall, which will reduce the room size. This method needs a good frame work and is not cheap, but works great.
    Harold

  • Kelly

    Da man speaks the truth! Acoustic treatment is one of the best bangs for your buck.
    I’ve recently found that making “super chunks” are cheaper and more effective in much of the low end handling than many of the foam products.
    If you’re OK with some DIY, I built four 8 ft tall, 24 inch wide corner traps for about $250 plus freight and I can hear the difference just walking into my room. I used the Roxul rockboard 60, cut it into triangles, stacked em in the corners, covered with a light fabric and nailed some trim up.
    Easy but time consuming.
    Best $250 (and some time) I’ve ever spent on my studio.
    Thanks Joe.

  • http://www.podcomplex.com/blog Dan Foley

    Great post! I think this also illustrates the art of listening; a casual listener would probably not even hear the difference between the before and after clips, but if you actually pay attention (listening as a producer) then the difference is enormous, and painfully obvious!

    • http://www.homestudiocorner.com Joe Gilder

      Exactly, and a lot of people would probably be “okay” with the first clip, until they hear how much better it COULD sound with some acoustic treatment.

  • http://djgrassroots.com Jules longdin-prisk

    I was using the rhode k2 and getting alot of reflections in my untreated room switched to an sm7 sounds better on my voice and has less probs with reflections…changing mics is always an
    other option…

    • http://www.homestudiocorner.com Joe Gilder

      Absolutely. A nice dynamic mic with a good preamp is an awesome option. It’s less sensitive, so it picks up less of the room sound.

  • GlenK

    Definitely a great posting Joe. My room has so much stuff hanging on the walls already, I’m not sure where I’d hang the panels. Your A/B example is the clincher. It sounded like you even got more volume with the treated room. Nice and clean. Thanks Joe.

  • Mark B.

    I’m sharing space with our exercise room in our house–we ripped out the carpet in there (it measures about 11 x 15-ish) and it ended up sounding like a gym. i made 8 2′ x 4′ x 2″ @ 8 psf rockwool panels, placed them at the reflection points and back wall, and made 4 4″ thick ones for bass traps which straddle various corners. i could use more bass trapping, but overall it’s a remarkable difference! and rockwool is cheap. for frames i ripped a pc of the cheapest 3/4 plywood i could buy into 4 inch and 2 inch strips. for fabric i used raw burlap @ 60″ width. took about 2 yards to cover each panel front and back so i don’t have to worry about the wool fraying into the air. i definately advocate acoustic treatment!

    • Mark B.

      P.S. google “Ethan Winer acoustics forum”–he seems to be quite the guru on all things acoustic-treatment. (Hope that’s ok to mention here Joe!)

  • http://productionadvice.co.uk Ian Shepherd

    Curtains are better than nothing but nowhere near as useful as foam or rockwool. They basically just deaden down the high frequencies but won’t touch the low end.

    Joe, great post, and great to hear before/after, too. One thing to clear up – the foam on the walls to the left & right and above needs to be half way between the monitors and the mix position, not directly to the left and right/above & below. Because you’re sitting quite close to the speakers, it won’t make a huge difference for you, but in a bigger room it’s important.

    If in doubt, people can use the ‘mirror trick’ – sound bounces in the same directions as light. So, get a friend to hold a mirror against the wall and move it along. When you can see the monitors in the mirror from your mix position, that’s where the foam should go for the best result.

    Cheers,

    Ian

  • Bouben

    Yes, the difference is definitely audible. Second thing is, if it necessarily needs to be Auralex…for example, we’ve got some heavy curtains in our listening (living) room and it makes a huge difference when you cover up windows with them. Sound is accurate too.

    • http://fire.firepixie.com Sparqee

      One thing that and acoustics pro once told me is to use think curtains that are double long so that when they are closed they’re still bunched up (i.e. not pulled flat). Apparently curtains have a better acoustic effect when they are not just another flat surface.

  • http://fire.firepixie.com Sparqee

    Auralex is cool but making your own bass traps & ceiling clouds out of Owens-Corning 501 rigid fiberglass is *way* cheaper. You do have to cover it in fabric and you have to wear gloves while cutting it to size but a simple long bladed serrated knife (like a bread knife) works great. As far as appearance goes… just let your wife pick out the fabric and everyone is happy. :) I picked up several 3′X4′X2″ panels from a local construction supply store for $7 a piece.

  • david.c

    i for one can say that better foam works better. my first purchase of foam was not auralex, it was a rather inexpensive off-brand from ebay. don’t get me wrong, it worked well! however, i purchased a box of auralex foam and boy you can see, feel and hear the difference! auralex makes good quality stuff. it will do you better to just go all the way rather than skimp out on something that can turn your decent sounding recordings into great sounding recording. i can assure you, cheap foam is that…cheap foam.

    before you think anything, joe did not put me up to this. :) I’m just letting you know my experience with foam to save you time and money.

    the cheap foam was not as solid as auralex. with my cheap foam, i would put it up against my monitors to hear how much absorbtion it had, and i could hear almost no difference. it was going straight through the foam! but with auralex, you can tell that foam was absorbing some noise. it was the same thickness, but just fuller, if that makes sense.

    besides, auralex foam looks nicer than the cheap stuff too :)

    that is my .02 cents pertaining to foam in the home studio. its worth it to get quality stuff. i hope this helps somebody!

  • Brian

    Nice to see a post on sound treatment. It is the most overlooked investment in your home studio by far. But, I think the cost for Auralex foam is completely ridiculous. With a little time research and effort you can achieve the same or better results for allot less money. Use the money saved for something else.

    • http://www.homestudiocorner.com Joe Gilder

      It’s not the cheapest stuff in the world, for sure, but there are also other manufacturers out there who make cheap foam that doesn’t really absorb nearly as well as Auralex stuff. Check the specs. Make a good choice. :-)

      • Brian

        I am not talking about foam. Look into other materials with the same or better sound absorption coefficients for less. If your slightly handy you can build panels for allot less that do the same thing. Compare materials and make a good choice.

        • http://www.homestudiocorner.com Joe Gilder

          That’s the problem. I don’t think I’m even SLIGHTLY handy. :-)

      • DV

        anybody familiar with these guys?:

        http://www.usafoam.com/acousticfoam/acousticfoam.html

        at least the specs seem to look pretty good, at a much better price than the Auralex.

        • Mike

          I just ordered some foam wedges from this company, they are coming in on 10/7. They are a lot cheaper than Auralex. I will post again once I have them up.

  • http://www.myspace.com/dreamsilent Vinnie

    Wow Joe, those audio examples are the final proof I need! I’ve heard loads and loads about treating rooms but I’ve never had the opportunity to hear the difference in a before/after scenario. Here I was, recording vocals in my rooms and thinking they sound fine, “I can’t hear the room in these!” I say to myself. My Vocal tracks sound a lot like the first example you had there, which again I thought “Hmm…nothing really wrong with that” when I heard it.

    But then move on to the second example in the treated room…WOAH! Clear, balanced and definitely a lot nicer sounding. I can only imagine how much better recordings of my Acoustic guitar I’d get with a treated room as well.

    You’ve definitely sold me on this being the very next thing I get for my home studio. The only obstacle I can see is that I’m still renting houses, so I’m a bit limited in nailing things to walls and ceilings, but I’m definitely gonna put some panels around in the corners once I set it all up. I’ll probably end up DIY’ing some Rockwool ones though…as nice as those Auralex ones are, they’re pricey…especially here in the UK.

    • http://www.homestudiocorner.com Joe Gilder

      I know EXACTLY what you mean. The first recording doesn’t sound awful by itself, but then you listen to the 2nd one and, as you said, WOAH!

      Another secondary benefit to treatment is that you can stand farther away from the microphone. This gives a much more balanced (less bass-heavy) response. As I mentioned, I sang both of these clips 12 inches from the microphone.

  • nerfherder

    I know my room needs this in a serious way but I’m stuck in the ” I could buy some foam or I could buy a new bass!!!” Of coarse the bass or any other gear is a more fun thing to buy but I can’t play with the acoustic treatment but I can sure as hell waist hours on end playing with some new gear that I probably don’t really need!

    In reality, I already own everything I need to make great recordings, I just have to realize that the best things in life are not always that sexy piece of gear everyone will fawn over, it’s the little things, the glue if you will, that holds it all together.
    If I could only convince myself of that I would be a better man for it.

    Great job Joe!

  • Mike

    Definitely changes the sound! I understand it’s value, but the look isn’t necessarily the best (wife acceptance factor – very low). So I’m curious if putting something like fabric over the panels harms the sound qualities? Would the fabric have to follow the ridges or just putting it over the top work? I’m thinking along the lines of “pictures”.

    • ViscoelasticMan

      Put some music. Listen to it. Now put a fabric over your ears. Do you hear a difference?

      If not, then it makes no difference, it’s safe to cover the panels with it (you don’t have to follow the ridges).

      If it does, look for another fabric.

      PS. Between hearing with and without the fabric, DO NOT move your head, as it could make artificial differences due to comb filtering and HRTF.

      • ViscoelasticMan

        Sorry, brain fart, where I wrote “music” I really meant “pink noise”.

        Those things should always be tested with pink noise.

    • http://www.homestudiocorner.com Joe Gilder

      As long as you use fabric that “breathes” you can cover your foam with it. It needs to allow the audio to pass through to the foam itself.

      If you’re looking for something that looks nicer, check out these SonicPrint panels from Auralex. You can actually upload your own photos to them, and they’ll print them on these panels. Pretty cool idea.

    • http://glamoursound.com Larry

      I made frames for the 2×4 panels of Auralex, and hung them from the ceiling using steel wire. You can remove them when not in use, and re-hang them as needed, thereby solving the issue of how they look to your wife.

      • http://www.homestudiocorner.com Joe Gilder

        I’ve always wanted to hang some stuff, but just never gotten around to doing it. Good idea.