All the building is complete and I now have a fully treated mixing and recording studio. Let me just say that if you ever choose to invest in one thing for your studio, let it be acoustic treatment! When mixing clarity is many times better and all mixes are translating much much better as a result. For recording the nasty room sound has been killed and there are more options to control the balance and tone of microphone recordings.
Here it is in all its glory:
If you want to find out how I did it see the previous articles:
- Part 1 – Planning the studio
- Part 2 – Building Bass Absorbers (Room corners)
- Part 3 – Building More Absorbers (Ceiling-wall corners)
- Part 4 – Cloud absorbers, Wall and door Panels
A Mixing and Recording Studio Space
For tracking the room is perhaps a little bit too dead, but given the acoustics to begin with it is probably preferable that its too dead than too reflective or “nasty” as I have the option of adding some reverb later. I still have some character available and movable treatment for controlling the tone and wetness of sounds. It’s been hard making the treatment work for a single-room mixing and recording studio and in the end I think I’ve got a better room from a mixing perspective but still retained a very usable recording space.
For mixing the treatment is priceless. Coupled with some new monitors (Adam A7X’s) it is so much easier to hear mix details and adjustments and mixes are translating a lot lot better onto other systems from hi-fis to iPod headphones to built in laptop speakers.
I’m also really pleased with the feel of the room as well as the improved acoustics for mixing and tracking. All of the musicians who have recorded here so far have commented on the comfortable atmosphere. Many also seem to prefer the one-room studio as it allows for better communication between myself and the performer rather than having to use talkback.
The Acoustic Tests
I’ve finally gotten around to testing and comparing the acoustics from before and after. So apparent were the results of treating the room that I’ve been listening and listening to tracks non-stop rather than looking at numbers and graphs! I’ve run several recording and mixing sessions so far and they sounded considerably better than before the treatment.
Here are the charts for before I treated the room. All the measurements were taken from the listening position.
Using this waterfall you can see the resonant low frequencies clearly. You can also see a lot of jitter in the mid and high frequency ranges. Some “jitter” is good but this seems like too much.
Here are the same tests from the same position post-treatment:
As you can see, the response is much more even now across the board. I’m really impressed with how much the low frequencies have been controlled and evened out.
Now open for recording and Mixing!
Since taking these pictures and measurements I’ve made a few more improvements. Some basotect from thomann and attached to the ceiling has helped sort out some flutter echo in the middle of the room and above the drum kit. I’ve made a curtain which I use to block off the entire fireplace if I want a less wet sound when tracking.
Overall this project has cost me a little over £1000. Not a bad price considering the results and definitely cheaper than any of the quotes I received for far less treatment. I’ve learned an incredible amount doing it as well as some very practical DIY skills. I recommend the DIY approach to anyone thinking of treating a room. It is well worth the time and effort and you’ll pick up many skills along the way.