Home studio acoustics are of the utmost importance. The sound has to flow naturally throughout the dedicated space, while it should be stopped on the way outside of it. The most common solution to achieve such an effect is acoustic panels, yet they need to be positioned properly – otherwise, you may achieve dissatisfactory results, such as echo or reverb. So, where to put acoustic panels in a home studio? We will answer this question here.
Acoustic Panels for Home Studio – Where to Place Them?
There are several key areas in a home studio where putting acoustic panels is a must. Otherwise, the quality of sound may be dissatisfactory. Where exactly should you place them?
Behind the Monitors
This is a critical area. Whenever you produce sound it is reflected by surfaces such as walls, doors, or windows. But, if it bounces back at the speakers, your monitors may produce unusual, unwanted feedback. Placing acoustic panels right behind them will eliminate the risk of such an outcome.
In the Corners of the Studio
The second place in your home studio where it is crucial to put acoustic panels are the corners. This is the most common area through which the sound may escape the room. Additionally, corner panels will help you record lower frequencies, such as those coming from a bass guitar.
On Doors and Windows
Doors and windows have an especially sound-reflective surface. Therefore, they should be thoroughly covered with acoustic panels.
On the First Reflection Points
Consider where the sound from the speakers would hit the walls, and place acoustic panels there. It is also a good practice to install one panel on the first ceiling reflection point. Make sure that his panel hangs a few inches below it.
Throughout the Room
After covering the most crucial places, you may proceed with covering the rest of the walls and ceiling with acoustic panels. Do not overdo it – too many panels will distort the sound. Opt for 8-12 for an average-sized studio.
When installing the acoustic panels, remember to leave spaces between them. Another good practice is to distribute them at equal distances. Make sure that every wall is equipped with the panels – the lack of them might interfere with the sound.
Does the Quality of the Panels Matter for Home Studio Acoustics?
Before placing your panels, you need to choose the right products. You may build them yourself or purchase them in a specialized store. The latter will usually be of a better quality, although it will depend on the type of foam used during manufacturing. But, does it indeed matter?
Yes. Low-quality acoustic panels might cause issues, such as:
- Quick wear and tear – Off-brand foams often are not durable. As a result, the panels made of them deteriorate quickly – something unacceptable in a home studio environment.
- Sound quality – Home studio acoustics are the main reason why you install the panels, not because you wish to block any sound. Yet, with low-quality products, it is possible to achieve a dissatisfactory level of absorption – it may either be excessively high or low.
Acoustic Panels for Home Studio – Are They Always a Must?
There are some situations in which you might not need acoustic panels. It depends on the type of music that is recorded in your home studio.
You don’t have to worry about where to install acoustic panels if you are mostly working with loud instruments. Due to their volume, they do not suffer from the echo since they are much more powerful than it.
The fact that you do not need to necessarily place acoustic panels in your studio, does not mean that you should not do it. In many cases, with the right positioning of the panels, the quality of the sound will go up significantly, thus putting them might still be worthwhile.
How to Install the Acoustic Panels in Your Home Studio?
Ideally, you should use the help of a friend or two. One person should be fitting the panels to the wall, while the second should test if they perform correctly in such placement. Afterward, all that has to be done is installing the panels with the adhesive. If you wish to further improve the performance of your acoustic panels, create a gap between them and the surface they are attached to.
We have discussed where to place acoustic panels in a home studio. If your room is quite small, or you desire to go low-budget, attach the panels only in the most crucial areas – in the first reflection points. More panels do not always mean better acoustics – be aware of that. If you wish to improve the sound quality even further, leave a gap between the panels and the walls or the ceiling. Remember – better panels last longer and are more effective, so purchasing the most inexpensive ones isn’t always the best option.
Are you interested in ordering panels for your home studio? Read our acoustic panels guide and discover how to choose them.