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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Reverberation can be controlled with internal treatments.
- 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.
- 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.