Digital Sound & Music: Concepts, Applications, & Science, Chapter 4, last updated 6/25/2013
Figure 4.37 Acoustic diffusion tile
If you've exhausted all the reasonable steps you can take to improve the acoustics of the
room, the only thing that remains is to increase the level of the direct sound in a way that doesn't
increase the reflected sound. This is where sound reinforcement systems come in. If you can use
a microphone to pick up the direct sound very close to the source, you can then play that sound
out of a loudspeaker that is closer to the listener in a way that sounds louder to the listener. If you
can do this without directing too much of the sound from the loudspeaker at the room surfaces,
you can increase the direct to reverberant ratio, thereby increasing the intelligibility of the sound.
4.2.3 Acoustical Considerations for the Recording
In a recording studio, all the same acoustic behaviors exist that are described in The
goals and concerns are somewhat different, however. At the most basic level, your main acoustic
concern in a recording studio is to accurately record a specific sound without capturing other
sounds at the same time. These other sounds can include noise from the outside; sound bleed
from other instruments; noise inside the room from air handlers, lights, or other noise generating
devices; and reflections of the sound you're recording that are coming back to the microphone
from the room surfaces.
The term isolation is used often in the context of recording studios. Isolation refers to
acoustically isolating the recording studio from the outside world. It also refers to acoustically
isolating one sound from another within the room. When isolating the studio from the sounds
outside, the basic strategy is to build really thick walls. The thicker and more solid the wall, the
less likely it is that a sound wave can travel through the wall. Any seams in the wall or openings
such as doors and windows have to be completely sealed off. Even a small crack under a door
can result in a significant amount of sound coming in from the outside. In most cases, the
number of doors and windows in a recording studio is limited because of isolation concerns.
Imagine that you have a great musician playing in the studio, and he plays a perfect sequence
that he has so far been unable to achieve. In the middle of the sequence, someone honks a car
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