How to Acoustically Tune Your Room

For homeowners who want to record their own singing

Updated on June 30, 2017 10:06 am

Alexis Wang


Before you start to treat your room, here is a fun fact on how sound travels in a room. According to Stanford University, when a sound is made, one part of the wave called the "direct sound" reaches the receiver directly, followed by other parts of the waves called "the early reflections" that bounce around the room.

A good sound recording is not just about having an expensive microphone and software. The most important factor that will make or break your recording is your room acoustics.

1. Three elements of acoustic treatment: According to E-Home Recording Studio, a good acoustic treatment requires a combination of three elements: bass traps to absorb the low frequencies, acoustic panels to absorb the mid/high frequencies, and diffusers to scatter the remaining frequencies.


2. Absorption and diffusion: These two work best in the right combination. By installing foam panels, it absorbs all sound reflections, leaving only the direct sound from the source but it makes the room sound dead.

3. There are two types of foam used in a recording studio: for soundproofing or sound absorption. Foam intended for sound absorption are usually soft and light, and are used to soften the surface to reduce the echo.


4. Control the diffusion of the sound by using multi-faceted surfaces made of wood, plastic, or even polystyrene. Diffusion also helps to preserve the natural tone and maintain the natural frequency balance.

“In the case of affordable treatment, we need to control the energy of the sound first. Then we can take care of the sound quality. With small spaces, bass frequencies are always a problem and we should control the low frequencies as much as we can,” said acoustic design specialist Andy Munro in an interview with Sound on Sound.

One of the projects of dbAcoustics: Designing the recording studio in MediaCorp

5. Soundproofing: Minimise the amount of noise that goes in and out of your room by sealing up all window and door gaps. Curtains will help to reduce the sound, too. If you have more budget to spare, professionals such as dbAcoustics can do an assessment of your requirements and design your soundproof rooms accordingly.

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