Music Studio Setup and Acoustics
Illustration by John Hersey

Music Studio Setup and Acoustics

with Bobby Owsinski

Video: Treating the corners

Bass frequencies bounce around the room but eventually find their way to the You can build bass traps yourself as we've outlined in a previous video.

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Watch the Online Video Course Music Studio Setup and Acoustics
1h 20m Appropriate for all Nov 08, 2013

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Learn how to set up and tweak the sound of your music studio. From basements and garages to standalone buildings, all music studios can benefit from the techniques shown in this course. Music engineer and industry insider Bobby Owsinski strips away the mystery behind a great-sounding space and introduces some acoustic principles and hands-on techniques for getting the best sound from your studio for the least cost and effort. Learn isolation techniques and acoustic control methods, plus practical, step-by-step instructions for building your own acoustic panels, bass traps, and diffusers. Bobby also shows you how to determine the best listening position in your room and create a reflection-free zoneā€”the key to getting great audio.

Topics include:
  • Design ideas for your studio setup
  • Understanding what soundproofing materials don't work
  • Increasing isolation in your space
  • Timing a room's reverb
  • Purchasing acoustic materials: what and where
  • Making your own soundproofing elements
  • Do-it-yourself acoustic panel construction
  • Creating a reflection-free zone (RFZ)
  • Buying pre-made acoustic treatments
Subject:
Audio + Music
Author:
Bobby Owsinski

Treating the corners

Bass frequencies bounce around the room but eventually find their way to the corners, which then act as wave guides to focus them back into the room. They're the greatest culprits for bass build up and require treatment in order to tame the low frequency peaks that every room has. That's why if you've ever built an effective RFC, you still need as many bass traps as you can get to even out the low frequency bumps that will inevitably occur. The good news is that the more bass traps you have, the less it matters where you place the traps. There are twelve angles in a rectangular room, and all of them are candidates for trapping.

The front low corners are usually the easiest to treat because no one walks there, and you don't lose any space as a result. The idea is to fill them with floor-to-ceiling bass traps. But the eight corners where the walls and ceiling, and walls and floor come together should suffice. The traps don't all have to be the same size since bass is non-directional. As a result, the total surface coverage is more important than symmetry. This is not the case for mid or high frequency absorbers however, where symmetry is important. That being said, it's best if the traps are spread around the room in as many corners as possible.

When acoustic panels are placed strutly in the corners, there's an inherent air gap that makes the trap more effective because it helps their ability to absorb low frequencies. It's even better if you can fill up the space with regular insulation like R13 batts. Thicker panels are always better for corner traps, although lighter weight ones make them easier to hang. Bass traps that extend floor to ceiling work the best, because they maximize the way they absorb low frequencies. You can build bass traps yourself as we've outlined in a previous video. Or you can buy them pre-made from a number of suppliers like Real Traps, Gik-acoustics, Prim-acoustic, Ready-acoustic and MSR acoustics, among others.

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