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Five Top Tips – Improving Studio Acoustics

Many broadcasters spend a fortune on equipment, ignore acoustics and then wonder why their ‘on air’ sound is so poor. Acoustic treatment is a professional way to improve studio acoustics. However it helps to understand the problems first:

  1. The two key factors affecting studio acoustics are ‘isolation’ and ‘reverberation’. Without altering the structure of the building there is little that can be done to improve isolation – the extent to which sounds occurring outside the room can be heard inside.
  2. Reverberation describes the time it takes for a sound to die away – a bathroom would typically have a high reverberation time due to it having hard & flat surfaces, which causes the sound to bounce around, each time the reflection has a slight time delay, which we perceive as an echo.
  3. Reverberation can be controlled with internal treatments.
  4. Acoustic foam panels, often ‘sculptured’ in triangular patterns, do not work particularly well. There are better alternatives using materials with greater absorption over a wider range of frequencies. Clyde CATS Panels, for example, offer a more cost-effective solution.
  5. Carpets over thick underlays help considerably, as does the inclusion of a suspended ceiling, using ‘acoustic’ ceiling tiles, ideally suspended between 6” and 12” from the structural ceiling.

And a bonus tip:

Heavy lined curtains on walls is a fairly inexpensive way to ‘deaden’ the sound over voice frequencies and improve studio acoustics. At all costs, you should avoid having opposite walls ‘untreated’ in some way.

Contact us to discuss requirements of your radio station and our team can offer their knowledge and advice to help you.

2 Responses

  1. Tom Everett

    Hi Clyde,
    Great article on sound acoustics. We are starting a new community radio station in a slum in Nairobi and are currently fitting out a sea container for our studio. Personally, I don’t know anything about sound acoustics, so this has definitely helped. Thanks!

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