It's a long story that I won't bother you with but I've basically got to do some action-heavy sound design (hand-to-hand combat, etc) in a room that:

  • is almost completely bare (no furniture, just basic appliances)
  • has tiled floors
  • bare walls
  • is really reverberant right now
  • is rectangular
  • is roughly 27 feet in length and 12 feet in width

There's virtually no padding at all in here.

I have a pair of nearfield monitors (KRK Rockit 5's) and speaker stands but no acoustic foam.

I realize this is basically about the worst setup possible for clear mixing but it's what I've got.

There are a few smaller rooms, a hallway and a bathroom as well - also all empty. Maybe I could set up in there? I mean, the hallway is probably 5.5 - 6 feet in width and i could stack a few queen size mattresses on either side around me and a twin mattress in the back to create a little enclosure.

Also, I was thinking of stacking a few mattresses around me, up against the wall. Maybe hanging some blankets as well. If I HAD to, I could probably create some kind of enclosed space around me just by hanging blankets over various lamps and such.

Options? Thoughts?

3 Answers 3


Headphones. You will sacrifice dynamics but considering the sound of the room, it may be worth it. How many mattresses? Anything less than 5cm thick will only tackle high frequencies.. Record a slow sine sweep or pink noise then look at your room modes. You might get away with corrective EQ? Nothing will help the flutter other than wall treatment or throwing a sofa in there..

  • Any recommendations on which headphones to use?
    – parametric
    Sep 24, 2013 at 0:37
  • 2
    spend some time on this site..
    – georgi
    Sep 24, 2013 at 0:39

How about trying, if you could use sound effects libraries?

Or go outside to record (somewhere where traffic or environmental noise wouldn't be much of a problem)?

Or then record inside but so that the reverbation doesn't sound nasty. Or it can be cut out by fading out the tails of the sounds. You can record sound effects in non-treated rooms, but you need to pick the places well by trying where it sounds okay and fade out / gate out the tails if they're too reverbant.

  • Well, I don't have to do any recording - so that's a non-issue. I just have to create a SFX stem for a 1 minute video that's really action heavy. I want to make sure it sounds good.
    – parametric
    Sep 24, 2013 at 0:35
  • Ah well, I misunderstood that you were going to record in the room. But the question was about laying out the soundtrack and mixing. Headphones in that case.
    – mavavilj
    Sep 24, 2013 at 0:42

Old foam mouse mats are pretty good at minimising contact based sound transfer - just put as many as you can between the surfaces you're trying to isolate. Blankets and duvets are pretty good at deadening mid and hf reflections. For lf reflections you really need to look at changing the shape of the room - since you can't change the architecture, scatter tall furniture around at random (don't forget to cover them in blankets and duvets). Adjust the arrangement of furniture if you find a standing wave.

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