If you’re recording in a reverberant room, regardless of whether you’re recording a song or a podcast, echoes are going to become a huge problem.
A few years back, my brother and his band decided to start recording at my uncle’s home studio. (Only back then, it wasn’t really a studio. It was more of a spare guest room used to store tools.) However, one of the major challenges they faced were unwanted echoes in the room.
Luckily, there are several effective methods for reducing echo, and I’ll explain these in detail below. You can even implement these tips on your own, without having to pay a professional! And you might not have to spend a single dollar, if you already have the materials at home.
How to Reduce Echo in a Room For Recording
1. Install Acoustic Foam Panels
Using acoustic foam is one of the most effective (yet cheap) methods to achieve sound-deadening in your room. This type of foam is great at absorbing sounds with both high and low frequencies. In fact, a lot of recording studios use acoustic foam to help balance and absorb sounds.
This foam is pretty easy to use, because it comes with adhesive. Therefore, you’ll be able to easily install each piece by simply pressing it up against the appropriate wall. By using acoustic foam on the walls alone, you’ll notice a significant reduction in the number of unwanted sounds and echoes you hear.
There are many different types of acoustic foam to choose from, but I personally recommend these amazing Foamily Acoustic Foam Egg Crate Panels. These panels make excellent sound absorbers for people who are serious about improving their acoustics.
2. Use Bass Traps
Bass traps are great at absorbing the velocity of sound waves. They do extremely well when it comes to reducing echo because they’re primarily meant for dealing with mid-to-high frequencies. You should keep in mind that they don’t have the ability to deal with lower frequencies, because of the structure of the foam and the fact that they’re thin.
However, you can start the installation process by attaching the bass traps to the corners of your wall, and you should notice a significant reduction in echoes and vibrational noise (click here to check the current price of bass traps). These are a wonderful choice for those on a tight budget as well.
I believe this solution is worth trying since it’s not an expensive option. You literally have nothing to lose. If it doesn’t solve your problem in terms of acoustic, do not worry, you can try these additional solutions.
3. Add a Noise-Reducing Curtain
If there’s a window in your room, there’s a good chance that sound is bouncing back from it. To solve this problem, you’ll need to invest in a noise-reducing curtain to soundproof your windows and thereby prevent echoes from occurring.
There are several different noise-reducing curtains available that will get the job done, but I recommend that you use the NICETOWN Thermal Noise Reduction Curtain (check out the current price online). Because these curtains have a thick design with multiple layers, they’ll be able to absorb many of the echoes in your room.
4. Get Some Sound-Absorbing Plants
If you love nature as much as I do, using plants to absorb sound and echo may be something you’ll find interesting. I haven’t tried this yet, but I know a few people who have, with excellent results. For optimum results, you should combine this strategy with some of the other methods above.
5. Carpet the Entire Floor
My uncle recently installed carpet throughout his entire home recording studio, and by doing so, he was able to get rid of most of the echoes he was facing. He started out with rugs, but that didn’t allow him to achieve the result he was looking for.
To achieve the best result possible, check out your local home supply store and ask for recommendations in regard to sound-absorbing carpets. While this method can be a bit pricey, it’s one of the best options to try, especially if you don’t want to anger your landlord or make any permanent changes to your room.
If you aren’t a DIY person, it would be best to hire a professional to take care of the installation for you, since it can be quite a difficult job.
6. Try a Microphone Isolation Shield and Shotgun Microphone
If you’re looking for a quick fix, using a microphone isolation shield and a shotgun microphone is a great idea. You can simply use the microphone shield to cover the area around your microphone without having to go through most of the other steps above.
The Shotgun microphone is the perfect microphone to have if you’re serious about keeping unwanted sounds at bay. These mics are designed to do a better job of reducing echoes than other microphones.
Other Free Methods
If you can’t afford to invest in acoustic foam or soundproof blankets, then the best thing you can do is attach thick blankets to your walls. This might not be visually appealing, but I can guarantee that it works.
Reposition Your Furniture
This is very simple and possibly cost-free, since you’ll be using your existing furniture. Having bulky furniture in the room in which you’re looking to reduce echo is always a good idea, as it’ll interfere with the path of sound waves.
For example, bookshelves filled with books and couches decorated with throw pillows will help soak up some of the noise.
Create a DIY Window Plug
You can simply create your own soundproof window plug to use on your windows. These make a great temporary solution for spaces like bedrooms, home theaters and recording studios, since you can plug them in when needed and pull them out afterward.
These are some of the most effective steps you can take to combat echoes. As you can see, these methods are extremely affordable and shouldn’t take much time. To learn more about controlling the sound within certain spaces, you can also check out my guide on how to stop sound from leaving a room.
If you have any questions, feel free to let us know by leaving a comment down below!
image: Dejan Krsmanovic