Home Studio Bootcamp in this month’s EQ magazine has some great tips on improving your home studio’s acoustics (or at least making the best of the existing sound.)
… for the truly broke, a rug on the floor, a bookcase on the wall, or even a strategically placed sofa between the source and the walls will help dampen the room. No matter what your budget is, it’s important to do something — anything — to help control these frequency demons.
If you’re unfamiliar with the issues, here are a few must-read articles on studio acoustics.
The definitive paper on the subject is Ethan Winer’s Acoustic Treatment and Design for Recording Studios and Listening Rooms. It’s long and detailed, but covers everything you need to control the acoustics in your space, from measuring the room’s response, to building the appropriate treatments.
Ethan wrote a much-simplified version of his article for Electronic Musician, A New Approach to Personal Studio Acoustics:
However, the behavior of sound waves in small rooms is actually pretty simple, at least for the purpose of addressing problems that are common to recording studios and control rooms. All acoustic anomalies are caused by reflections off the walls, floor, and ceiling… [W]aves bounce around the room much like a cue ball on a pool table
And Sound on Sound’s Acoustic and Soundproofing FAQ is an older article, but physics hasn’t changed:
While it is important to master commercial mixes over full-range speakers, a two-way nearfield monitor that rolls off gently below 50 or 60Hz is probably best for use in the typical project studio. Pumping too much bass into the room will just confuse the sound and may lead to an inaccurate mix.