Whether you're recording the next hit band in your studio, or building a restaurant, or converting a gymnasium into a conference hall, you need to think about acoustics. There's is nothing worse than having the state senator visit your community to deliver a speech in the local community center, only to find that no-one can hear it through the booming echoes reflecting off the stone walls and polished wooden floor. Or having a nice meal out with your partner and being unable to hear what they're saying through the din of the crowded restaurant.
Acoustics play a huge part in our comfort with our surroundings. No one feels at ease when baffled with a barrage of sound. Acoustic panels are designed to minimise unwanted sound reflections. This is important in both social situations and professional studio recording.
Acoustic Foam Panels
Foam panels are the cheapest and most widely used type of acoustic tiling. Made from poly-urethane filled with air pockets, they are attached to walls in sheets to absorb sound. They are the preferred method in most many studios, as they look professional, and they tend not to clash visually with the rest of the black equipment, mic stands, speakers, amps, black clothed musicians etc.
Different densities of acoustic foam are used for different situations. A dense, thick, broadband foam will be better at reducing bass reverberation in a room, while a thinner foam can be used effectively to reduce high frequency sound reflections in a room, particularly when applied to ceilings in high rooms.
A Bass Trap is a segment of acoustic panel that is designed to fit into the corners of a room at a 45 degree angle to the adjoining walls. They are much more effect than flat wall panels because the corners of a room receive the highest amount of sonic reflections per area. Even just fitting out the corners of a room with bass traps will make a huge difference to the room sound.