The Room Is Key

The rooms we perform, record, mix, and master in, should be the best they can be for the required role to help us achieve a great sound and performance.

I was accompanying Trinity Guildhall exams today at St.George’s Church in Worcester and it reminded me of how important our surroundings are. I have accompanied a lot of performers over the years in a variety of settings and it is obvious that, in the case of live performances such as these exams, the room has a huge impact on the soloists and how they perform.

In small rooms you can hear a good player perform the piece brilliantly but it doesn’t always sparkle. Pop that same musician into a setting like the church today and I hear the performances come alive, plus the performers also enjoy the experience more. From my perspective it also helps that the church has a lovely grand piano that adds to the overall performance!

Linking this to our studio work, have you listened to the sound of the room where you record or mix and how it affects what we do? I am as guilty as the next musician and admit that I too suffer from G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome), a terrible affliction that must be endured daily. However, it’s no good suffering like this and using high spec studio equipment and instruments if the room we use to record and mix in isn’t treated to give the best results.

There are now plenty of resources available to us to either take a DIY route, or to buy ready made solutions to fit our budgets. A few places to start looking:

Sound On Sound Studio Design | Acoustics Forum
www.soundonsound.com/forum/postlist.php?Cat=&Board=DESIGN
A wealth of information to get you started.

Auralex Acoustics
www.auralex.com/
A huge selection of treatments but probably best none for their foam acoustic products.

RealTraps
http://www.realtraps.com/
Offering a range of acoustic treatments. I have a couple of MiniTraps in the studio.

How to make a Bass Trap Acoustic Panel by killermagnet

www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyYUpkpL0gw

The Studio SOS team build a vocal booth

www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdEYNdzi4kw

The list of places to read up on acoustics, how to treat a room, and what to buy, can be endless but hopefully these links, and this post, will kick-start your journey into thinking about the rooms we work and perform in.

Do you have a favourite acoustic treatment brand? Have you made your own treatment?

As for all the talented performers who I accompanied in their exams today at St.Georges – good luck!

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