Is A SoundProofed Music Studio Without Walls The Future?

Could a revolutionary new material mean the end of conventional studio design? It sounds far fetched, but the future might come sooner than you imagine...  

The tools for making music have become more accessible and affordable thanks to complex DAWs that run on phones, tablets and computers. But when it comes to recording, mixing and mastering, the physical space continues to play a massive role. A badly soundproofed room can cause sonic havoc when recording a band or mixing down your latest track. There’s also the concept of being a considerate neighbour by not blasting your music late at night just so you can correct the EQ on that kick for the 100th time.

So what if you could cut out up to 94% of the sound coming from a loudspeaker using a specially designed 3D printed ring? Boston University researchers have discovered a new acoustic meta-material that cleverly catches specific sound frequencies and propels them back towards the source. Not only could this mean that recording studios could forgo foam treatments designed to prevent noise spillage, but it would also mean physical walls / sheets of sound proof glass may become a thing of the past.

The new object allows air and light to pass through it! Potentially that could mean the engineer and mixing desk could be in the same room as the band. Alternatively it could facilitate using all kinds of interesting buildings and spaces as the base for a recording session. The trick would be to create sufficiently large versions of this new soundproofing material.

Naturally this technology has used outside of the music industry too. Those living in small apartments close to neighbours could really benefit. Creating truly quiet library spaces or environments near busy road works could also be possible. Designing any work or leisure oriented space could be completely revolutionised. The rule books for architects may need to be rewritten. And the idea of being able to setup a well-sound-proofed recording studio in almost any building or location sounds too good to pass up.

This tech isn’t the finished article yet and will likely require further development and research. While those looking to create a soundproofed environment will be happy, producers looking to treat a room for better and more even sound will need to wait and see exactly how this would work in a practical sense. Indeed if, while sending the cut frequencies back to source, this would work at all.

Rounik is the Executive Editor for Ask.Audio & macProVideo. He's built a crack team of professional musicians and writers to create one of the most visited online resources for news, review, tutorials and interviews for modern musician and producer. As an Apple Certified Trainer for Logic Pro Rounik has taught teachers, professional... Read More


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