I’ve done a lot of microphone comparison reviews, but never had an article on Acoustic Sound Treatment! It’s a dilemma that comes up a lot, and today I want to cover some techniques that you can use to get that optimal sound out of whatever mic you may have!
Before we get started though, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..
You’ve come to the right place!!!!
What I will bring you in this article
Some video examples
Employing Acoustic Sound Treatment isn’t as difficult as I initially thought. When I first started building my home studio, I was overwhelmed and intimidated a lot of the time. “Sampling from vinyl!?, How am I ever going to figure that out?!” “Sound treatment?! That must cost thousands!” LOL. (Well I’m exaggerating but you get the idea) 🙂
Giving your microphone the best possible environment also intimidated me a little. I was convinced that I’d have to spend thousands of dollars to get it done. Ever seen those ridiculous looking studios with like a million knobs on this seemingly never ending mixer? Complete with sound proof glass and the whole 9 yards, these things are unnecessary when starting out.
Ensuring that your little beast (the mic) records the most optimal sound comes down to only a few things:
In setting up your booth, you want to deaden the sound as much as possible. As we all know, condenser microphones are hyper sensitive by design. They pick up EVERYTHING!! This is a common complaint from people in reviews. A condenser is meant to be placed in a proper setting to get the most out of what it has to offer.
A lot of mics will sound optimal when they are placed in a specific way. It takes a bit of experimenting to find that sweet spot. If you’re having trouble with sound quality, it may just be a small adjustment of where you are standing in relation to the microphone. Every mic is different. Try to stand farther away, then closer, and somewhere in between. What happens if you are offset just a little from the front of the mic? All of these are different ways of seeing how the mic performs best.
Good XLR cables
This is a forgotten concept that many people gloss over. Low quality XLR cables will have a profound effect on your sound! As the old saying goes “You get what you pay for.” This is evident when it comes to choosing a cable. If you want to know exactly why a good cable is mandatory, check out this article, An XLR cable is just a cable, right?
Some basic things that the majority of people are aware of involve some accessories that will help deliver an optimal sound as well.
A pop filter. This not only minimizes plosives, but also keeps the diaphragm inside of your mic from getting damaged over time. Being sensitive to spit, germs, and other undesirables, it will break down faster if a pop filter isn’t used.
A shock-mount.These prevent unwanted noise. It’s used topartially isolate the mic from vibrations that might otherwise be transmitted through the mic stand, causing unwanted sounds to be added to the output signal. It prevents vibration traveling up the mic stand from getting to the diaphragm of the mic.
Just know that not all mics necessarily need one.
Proper wall treatment & enclosed space
This is a big deal, and could be one of the main reasons why you’re getting those unwanted extraneous sounds in the background. Condensers are known for picking up a lot of ambient noise, white noise, toilets flushing, cars passing outside of your window, and the guy in the next apt. taking a massive dump. Lol.
It’s important to try and work in an enclosed space if possible. Some say closets are good, others claim that they make your recording sound as if it was recorded … in a closet haha.
The fact of the matter is that you don’t want sound echoing and bouncing off the walls. Some good remedies and techniques for this:
Bass traps are the most important component. Ideally you need 4 for each corner, but 2 also works in a pinch.
Use Egg crate foam. While not the best option, it will do in a pinch. Just be aware that the material is a little thinner than actual studio foam, and won’t absorb the sound quite as well.
Record away from windows, fans, computers, and the crapper. 😀
If all else fails, you can actually record under a blanket! It sounds crazy but works. Check out this hilarious demo 🙂
Also check out this DIY booth!
I hope you’ve gotten some valuable information out of this article on Acoustic Sound Treatment! If you have further questions, need some recommendations, or think I left something out, let me know! Leave a comment below or Contact me! I look forward to hearing from you..
Stu is determined to provide the truth about all things audio, and strives to deliver excellent content to you the reader! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, attend church, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His attention to detail and perfectionist attitude are what allow him to excel, but it can be both a blessing and a hindrance at times.