| Recording Studio Design
Recording Studio Design
Commercial recording studios cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to
construct and one of the most costly procedures is often the soundproofing
of the studio. Many studio are sited in noisy, city environments and
so it is essential that no external sound enters the studio. This is
perhaps less important where the music to be recorded is entirely electronic,
but if real instruments and microphones are involved then soundproofing
is essential. Other important considerations when designing a studio
are the electrics and the layout of the rooms. Poor electrics, apart
from being dangerous, will often be a source of unnecessary noise. The
extent to which you choose to plan your wiring systems is ultimately
up to you, but whole books have been written on the subject dealing
with detailed issues such as electrically separating analogue and digital
equipment, avoiding certain wires crossing or running in parallel etc.
Certain types of recording require a different sonic environment (e.g.
vocals) and so separate booths etc. will need to be incorporated.
Some understanding of the properties of sound is useful when planning a studio. Sound can travel through any medium, but wil travel better
through liquids and solids than it will through gas (i.e air). The intensity
of a sound is also reduced when it passes from one medium to another
(e.g from a solid wall into air) and this is a property that is often
made use of in soundproofing. The amount of reduction is dependant on
the density of the two media so, in studio terms, it is the density
of the wall that is of concern.
Unfortunately wall are inevitably slightly flexible and this flexibility
will tend to reduce the effect as movement on one side is radiated on
the other side (this is known as coupling).
If the sound reaches a resonant frequency (every material has a resonant
frequency at which it vibrates), the wall will boom.
In terms of theory, therefore, the main aims in designing the acoustic
properties of a studio are to reduce coupling and eliminate resonances.