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Acoustic panels are the major way that reflections are kept from bouncing around the room. This evens out the level fluctuations that can happen at different frequencies due to the room modes. If your walls are hard and there's little absorption, these reflections are going to cancel out certain frequencies from the direct sound of the monitors because of the standing waves. That causes those unwelcome dips and peaks in the room response. You can think of an acoustic panel as a very large picture frame that has sound absorbing material inside instead of a picture. Although you could permanently attach the sound absorbing material to the wall, like most commercial studios do, using a sound panel allows you to move it as needed, or even take it with you if you move.
Since the size of sheets of the typical materials used for absorption in the studio are two foot by four foot, most panels are created to accommodate that size. I'll take a closer look at where to purchase these materials and how to build your own acoustic panels in some upcoming videos.
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