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RECORDING STUDIO ACOUSTICS

Recording Studio Acoustics. The desired acoustic properties of a recording studio are in many ways the opposite of those of an auditorium. Instead of enhanced reverberation, it is usually desirable for the recording studio to be acoustically “dead”, having a very short reverberation time.

A recording studio is a facility for sound recording and mixing. Ideally both the recording and monitoring spaces are specially designed by an acoustician or audio engineer to achieve optimum acoustic properties. acoustic isolation or diffusion or absorption of reflected sound that could otherwise interfere with the sound heard by the listener. Recording studios may be used to record singers, instrumental musicians, voice-over artists for advertisements or dialogue replacement in film, television or animation, foley, or to record their accompanying musical soundtracks.

The typical recording studio consists of a room called the “studio” or “live room”, equipped with microphones and mic stands, where instrumentalists and vocalists perform; and the “control room”, where sound engineers, sometimes with record producers, as well, operate professional audio mixing consoles, effects units, or computers with specialized software suites to manipulate and route the sound for analogue recording or digital recording on hard disc. The engineers and producers listen to the live music and the recorded “tracks” on monitor speakers or headphones.

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Isolation Booth

There will be smaller rooms called “isolation booths” present to accommodate loud instruments such as drums or electric guitar amplifiers and speakers, to keep these sounds from being audible to the microphones that are capturing the sounds from other instruments and/or voices, or to provide “drier” rooms for recording vocals or quieter acoustic instruments such as acoustic guitar or fiddle.

An isolation booth is a standard small room in a recording studio, which is both soundproofed to keep out external sounds and keep in the internal sounds, and like all the other recording rooms in the sound industry, it is designed for having a lesser amount of diffused reflections from walls to make a good sounding room. A drummer, vocalist, or guitar speaker cabinet, along with microphones, is acoustically isolated in the room. A professional recording studio has a control room, a large live room, and one or more small isolation booths. All rooms are soundproofed such as with double-layer walls with dead space and insulation in-between the two walls, forming a room-within-a-room. A gobo panel achieves the same idea to a much more moderate extent; for example, a drum kit that is too loud in the live room or on stage can have acrylic glass see-through gobo panels placed around it to deflect the sound and keep it from bleeding into the other microphones, allowing more independent control of each instrument channel at the mixing board. All rooms in a recording studio may have a reconfigurable combination of reflective and non-reflective surfaces, to control the amount of reverberation.