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insight - Your Studio, Your Sound

September 25, 2012

We’re all on tight budgets these days, so studio investments are often painful exercises in prioritizing. Do you splurge on a new microphone or upgrade your workstation? Do you add a new outboard effect or a suite of emulations? Maybe it’s time to take a hard look at your room.

In the quest for the ultimate production tools, it’s easy to overlook the fact that your listening environment has a huge impact on the accuracy and translatability of your mixes. Of course, the ideal way to optimize that environment is to hire a professional. But this pricey solution can be out of reach for musicians and engineers working in project studios. Sometimes, a more realistic option is to study up on acoustics and apply some simple, proven techniques yourself. The complex science of sound can be daunting, but a little math can go a long way—your solution might be as simple as correcting your monitor placement.

In our “Extreme Studio Makeover” feature, we pick the brains of three top studio designers to find out simple, practical tips for improving your space.

Ready to dig in deeper? In our “Acoustic Materials” Roundup, we investigate DIY options ranging from foam panels to portable iso booths.

There’s no “one size fits all” solution, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Show us your results! Send before-and-after pics to We’ll publish our favorite makeover in an upcoming issue.

Sarah Jones

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