Over the past few months, we have had the chance to add new acoustic treatment at the recording studio at Overneath. It’s always amazing to me how much everything in our world of audio costs! We are always asking ourselves “How should we spend our money this month? Microphones? Preamps? Acoustic Treatment? Music Stands? Hard Drives?”. It feels like the expenditures are never ending. Never-mind the inevitable repairs that will be needed! This summer thanks to a friendship with major film music engineer Jack Weaver and our friends at GIKacoustics.com, we were able to completely overhaul a couple of our spaces. First, our Mixing room:

 

MISSION CONTROL

When we first moved into the facility in 2014, we could only work with the items we inherited, along with a limited budget to slowly improve the space. So for the first years, we worked with this:


Now don’t get me wrong, some great audio occurred in this place. As you can see we had some decent items – A few 2x4 2″ absorbers (some we built). Some short white foam step diffusers that really only had any effect on the high end, and of course our first attempt at making a grid diffuser – a 2x2 labor of love that took way too long and really only functioned as decoration. We did some good things; treat the corners to help stop that building bass; diffuse directly behind the monitors (even if it was somewhat ineffective). But ultimately, the room was a little “honk-ey” and had LOTS of bass build up along the edges.

When we acquired the GIK treatment from Jack, we consulted with some acousticians at GIK and were able to completely redress the room like this:

The GIK Corner traps in the front of the room and on the left and right sides (both front and back) really did alot. We added the GIK Monster diffusers to the back wall on either side of a step diffuser. We also hung a monster diffuser at an angle at the top-back of the room as well. Then the two huge rectangular Bass Soffit traps sit on either side of our couch. Finally, we threw on a series of LENRD Corner traps along the side wall. These all combined to finally tame the bass in the room and allow the mix at mix position to translate beautifully to the back couch. Then we used the standard absorbers at the first reflection points and behind the monitors to tame those reflections from bouncing around the room. Finally, a few different sized step diffusers to occupy our back-wall-center and on the sides of the back of the room as well.. This has done wonders to stop that silly slapback flutter that would often occur back there. We are still working to tame the bass when sitting in the chairs on the side, but the room is now officially a GREAT listening space for mixing and mastering!

 

ISO DRUM

Our engineer Garrett Gagnon was tasked with treating the drum room with whatever we had left. Our drum room was quite bare. Some simple absorbers along the walls did little to tame the low mids from building up and the general reflections off the solid drywall.

Well, Garrett took this bull by the horns and tamed this room to be one of our best recording spaces! Check out what he did:

 

Garrett combined more LENRD traps with mounting our 2x4 panels over the vertical corners to create a smooth low mid response in the room. Diffusers were placed in key locations where reflections build up and some large absorbers on the big wall kept the reflections from bouncing everywhere. The ceiling was a unique example of using only the items you have on-hand to make an effective solution. By bending out our thin foam sheets so they protrude at an odd angle, the absorber stays mostly off the wall and extends its range of effect down slightly as well. We had our first session with drums in there and they sounded clear as day and quite beautiful. In fact, it may be our most isolated space now – so we have started tracking solo vocals and even audio books and voiceovers in there. Maybe we are big audio nerds and we are overstating this… but everyone should drop what they are doing right now and come check it out!