Treating a home studio space (mixing)

Hi John, thank you for taking the time! I think a question on a lot of people’s minds these days is how to best treat a mixing space in one’s home, which might generally be a less than ideal environment. What are some best practices to retrofit a space to improve it’s acoustic quality/solve basic issues?


Indeed a loaded question - taking me most of my life to even ponder this. A few tips - easy to remember easy to implement.
a. No excuse for non symmetry - around a room acoustic centerline about the x axis (front to back).
b. make sure you have fully identified your room programming - i.e. what are you trying to accomplish in your room. I like the Buckminster Fuller term - “bare maximum”
c. Try not to then place your “sweet spot” (prime listening position) in the center of the y axis - get in front of the room center or behind - depending on exact layout. that location will b e a null in the y axis.
d. do NOT over dampen your room. Use broadband absorption (velocity absorbers (i.e. foam, fiberglass, carpet, etc.) only where you need it - i.e. first reflection side wall would be a good starting place. Remember, every Sabine of absorption you are adding in the mid frequency range (while not accomplishing anything at low frequencies) is contributing to creating a RT60 response that is unbalanced.
e. introduce some diffusion on the rear surface.
f. make sure nothing is rattling (no brainer)y
g. if there is run-away" low frequency" response - try to introduce some targeted “low frequency only” absorption. If you do not have software to help you or you cannot get some advice, go to the corners - this is where pressure build-up is usually the highest (rule of thumb).
h. Try for ear level monitoring - avoiding console reflections (which of course create unwanted comb filtering (usually effecting speech frequencies
g. Try to avoid putting near field monitors directly on a console bridge - again that often (not always) but often causes comb filtering. Push them back about one foot on speaker stands.