We all know that most of the spaces that we call our home studio setups are really not fit for purpose, acoustically. And many of us have been guilty of hastily throwing up a few 'acoustic panels' in the hope that they'll do the job.
In reality, it soon becomes abundantly clear that this is not the case and quite a bit more thought is required.
Of course, there'll be the inevitable cries of "I can't afford proper acoustic treatment!", or "what's the point, I don't record much in here anyway?"
To help dispel any doubts, the Thomann brand, t.akustik has cleverly refined its website to give you an easy shopping experience when choosing the right acoustic treatment set up for you.
We recently got hold of a set of acoustic panels and we'll take you through the install process, principles and results in our video tutorial, below.
No more nails
t.akustik's Room Concepts menu holds the key to identifying the right package for your audio space, be it a rehearsal room, control room, or cinema room. Of course, those three scenarios might not speak for everyone, but you can easilyconsider them 'playing', 'recording', or 'listening' rooms instead.
For our particular scenario, the rehearsal room option fitted best. We were hoping to treat a room that caters mostly for video and testing some of the gear you see here, in our MusicRadar reviews.
Assembly of the small rehearsal set in the premium finish is very easy and installation even easier with the aid of seven tubes of glue. In fact, not requiring tools for installation meant that all we needed was a rule, pencil and spirit level for measuring purposes.
All ranges, bar the top-level Pro series, feature lightweight panels that don't require handling a drill. Despite the wooden finish, the Premium series here is decked out with a very lightweight Silver Spruce laminate, whereas the Pro range features more substantial Birchwood components that will require drilling.
Everything in its right place
For placement of the individual panels, a simple understanding of what absorbers and diffusers do goes a long way in getting the most out of your purchase.
As it turns out, using too many absorbing panels in your space can be of detriment to the acoustics. An overabundance will cause the room to sound too dead and therefore all sense of space is lost, so careful placement is required.
On the flip side, there's no such issue with the diffusor panels. Theoretically, you could go nuts with them and encounter no problems with acoustics. However, there isn't actually a need to entirely line your room with them, so having the four panels supplied worked out fine for our room.
We took the approach of copying the layout from the website as best we could, considering the slight abnormalities to the room's shape.
The finished article
When comparing the before and after video, it's abundantly clear the improvement the Pro series treatment has on the acoustics in our multi-purpose space. The huge echo and slapback derived from the room's narrow design has disappeared leaving us with far less work to do on the audio in post-production, not to mention that it now looks far better - result!
If you want to price up your own studio for acoustic treatment, then check out the t.akustik website for more info.