Anyone working in a home studio knows that achieving a level frequency response is mostly impossible, and the only way to get closer to solving the problem is to use some sort of electronic or physical acoustic treatment. One of the companies I’ve used in the past is Auralex, a company operating since 1977 that offers a line of acoustic treatment products such as absorbers, diffusers, bass traps, even full on room systems. Those new to music production may ask the question why do we need acoustic treatments, and what are they used for? So firstly why do we need acoustic treatments and secondly how do they work.
The issue in a nutshell is when you listen to music in your studio the sound waves bounce, reflect, and move around the room amplifying some frequenting and almost eliminating others making the sound you hear actually a product of the room your sitting in. For example if your room is prone to amplifying bass frequencies, when you mix your songs they sound bass heavy, so you lower the bass levels to compensate. When you play that same song on your friends stereo the bass has mysteriously vanished, how can that be? It’s because you were deceived by your room which was amplifying the bass frequencies. If you had mixed that song in an acoustically treated room the bass frequencies wouldn’t have been amplified, and you wouldn’t have lowered them taking them out of your mix. So what are some solutions to help solve the problem? One of the ways is to use products which absorb, diffuse, and trap.
Auralex offers several products such as absorbers, diffusers, and bass traps. Absorbers are used to absorb a specific range of frequencies in order to prevent them from bouncing and reflecting throughout your studio space causing such issues as phasing. Diffusers are used to break up the sound waves so they don’t reflect around your studio. Bass traps are used to do exactly what it sounds like, trapping the bass so that your studio doesn’t produce a high bass response. When these products are combined they can help your studio to achieve a more level frequency response making your mixes more professional and your mixing job much easier.
The complexity of how acoustic treatments work and the best way to use them is outside the scope of this particular post, however you can find out more information on acoustic treatments on the Auralex website.