Recording Studio Design Elements at Bad Racket Recording Studios
There are many factors to consider when designing and building a recording studio or even selecting a recording studio to record at. Some things you might not think of, like is the heating and or cooling sufficient to keep everyone comfortable, even during the quietest sections of your music. Or is the lighting too harsh, or would a more relaxed setting be better for getting the tracks recorded right. The first things that people usually think about are usually about acoustics and isolation.
Acoustics are important to the sound of the record. If the sound doesn’t sound very good in the room, the recording won’t be the best it can be. There are several concepts to understand before we begin to address how acoustics of a room can be improved. The first is the concept of of how different sounds react in a room.
Acoustic Response of the Room
A sound moves outward in all directions from its source at a high rate of speed into a room and continues slowly losing energy as it goes, if it bumps into things it is reflected back at an opposite angle away. Different frequencies of sound are just different rates of compression and expansion.
These periods of expansion and compression at different times fit differently into the room than others depending on frequency. So some frequencies are louder than others in a room. This is not necessarily a good thing. A good recording room should have a flat frequency responses over the whole spectrum of highs and lows. When sound bounces off of things, it sometimes doubles over itself, resulting in a build up of one frequency.
The absolute worst type of room for sound is a perfect cube, because one frequency that corresponds to a certain length between the ceiling and the floor or in between parallel walls is dominant over all others. This is why parallel surfaces are your enemy. Unfortunately its going to be hard to have a ceiling that is not parallel with the floor unless you do an A frame or a vaulted ceiling. The best thing to do is put something to absorb the sound energy. Which brings us to our first concept of acoustics: absorption.
Absorption for Dampening
When a sound hits a surface it is absorbed a little and reflected a little. Some materials like concrete reflect a lot, others like rock wool or mineral wool insulation absorb a lot. Most acousticians recommend as much ceiling treatment as possible. Any parallel walls will be your next enemy. Sometimes the sound can be broken up or scattered randomly about when it hits a rough reflective surface. This is called diffusion an it is our next concept.
Diffusion to make more open and live sounding
Diffusion is when a sound hits something that has different lengths. This effectively randomizes the dimensions of the room and yields a more flat frequency response in the room.
Diffusion in the studio
Our diffusers have many different sized wood blocks spaced at a scientifically determined spacing and depth. The frequency response is tailored for our live recording room to be ideal for a variety of material.
Check out our recording studio rooms or our articles about layout and acoustics.