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We have a small radio studio that is essentially in a hallway. When on air, you can definitely hear the room coming through the mics. It sounds like there is a lot of standing wave.

Our budget is small, but we can get money to fix it if I can come up with a solid plan.

Here is our studio:

Studio floor plan

Sorry about not having exact dimensions, but I believe these are close. I'm open for any ideas to make this room work better for us, but am guessing if I can treat the walls up to the top edge of the closet door with some sound absorption panels, it will help somewhat.

My ultimate goal would to make the room very dry, not unlike you hear when folks speak on NPR. However, I'll take what we can get, given a small budget (likely

Ideas? Thoughts?

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First of all, standing waves (i.e. flutter echoes) are your worst enemy. To figure out if you suffer from these guys: make the room silent and clap your hands. Can you hear a nasty tone, or does it just sound like regular accoustics? Try at different places. Flutter echoes normally come when two parallel stone walls are against each other. If you find a spot with flutter echoes, try covering one side of the wall with a blanket or some other damping material, and see if the flutter disappears.

Generally, soft material is a good damper. If you need a really dry room, consider hanging curtains covering all the hard walls.

A very difficult issue could be the floor. If you happen to have a wooden or--even worse--stone floor, this is really bad for the acoustics, since basically every sound reflects once to it. Carpets are highly recommendable in these cases.

After you've done that, and the reverb / acoustics are more or less gone, check the frequency balance of your room. It might well be that you want to boost or eliminate low frequencies. Build some kind of a Helmholtz resonator or Helmholtz absorber for this. You can make these quite cheap from pieces of plywood and foam. Measuring is important, since it specifies the frequencies that you boost or eliminate.

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Thanks for the advice Pelle. We definitely have standing wave going on. I will take your advice and experiment with some stuff. On the floor... we have carpeting, so that is a good start. –  Brad Dec 12 '10 at 5:05
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Please keep us posted with your experiences! My advice is purely on a theoretical bases, so the outcome of the experiment is definitely worth sharing. –  Pelle ten Cate Dec 12 '10 at 8:23
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