Acoustic Treatment? … In my studio?? … Could it be??

Hello All!

I’ve recently been doing a lot of audio mastering lately. This has opened my eyes to a little something I’ve heard about from other mixers and mastering engineers….acoustic treatment. What is this you say? Well, I’m not entirely an expert, but in a nut shell, acoustic treatment is treatment you do to your room (adding absorbers and diffusers on the walls) to keep audio frequencies from bouncing back and forth and altering your ability to hear correctly what is happening in the mix. For a more in-depth explanation go here.

All’s I know is that I’ve recently been realizing how much trouble I’ve been having trying to “hear” my processing on a song I’m mastering. I get it sounding great only to take it out to the truck or play it on my CD player in the room and…..I’m hearing all sorts of strange things that weren’t there previously. So, I’ve heard others talk of this mythical thing called “Acoustic Treatment”, saw a little cash lying under the pillow (thanks tooth fairy) and took the plunge.

I’ve yet to use them, you see I’m actually opening the box tonight (10/25). But, it appears that these things should really do the trick (alongside my new headphones & monitors). I’ll get back to you with pictures and let you know how it’s going. It may take me several weeks to get this stuff up…not because it’s hard, but because I’m lazy. True story.

At any rate, upon researching these suckers I’ve also been reading A LOT about digitally altering your room. Yep. Using a “plugin” to “correct” the frequency problems in your room. You can read about that in more depth here.

I happen to have mastering software that let’s you utilize this feature. I’m not interested in using it, but out of curiosity I thought I’d see what a Pro has to say about using digital correction over acoustical treatment.

Bobby Owsinski is pretty darn renown for producing/engineering and nowadays for all the books he puts out on said topics. I follow his blog religiously and have read many of his books. I emailed him and here is what he said:

David,

None of these (referring to several digital room correction products I mentioned) are the cure to a bad room. The better the room sounds, the better they work. I think ARC (IK Mutlimedia ARC System) is a more comprehensive than the ones built into the speakers, but I think you’re still better off to treat your room first. It costs less to treat your room than to try to electronically fix it, and it’ll sound more natural as well.
Personally, I’d rather just determine the deficiencies in the room then learn how to live with them.
Bobby

So, there ya have it. I feel much better about my purchase now. Looking forward to opening the box and will be posting pics soon. Do you use acoustic treatment? Tell me about it below.

Till next time…
David (Cali Dingo)

3 comments

  1. [...] ask me. I guess I was trying my hand at eccentric interior design? Not sure. Plus, I had no acoustic treatment, which didn’t affect the layout, but it did affect the “sound” of the room. As a [...]

  2. [...] home studio, we come to the final piece of the puzzle which happens to be the stuff of legend…acoustic treatment. Yes, I’ll admit, in the beginning of all of this I was looking at the big box holding all [...]

  3. […] stands for Advanced Room Correction and a while back I wrote a post where I touched a bit on it while discussing room treatment for my home studio. At the time of […]

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