Principles of Sound and Acoustics
What Is Sound
Sound is the result of shifting air pressure over a period of time; it’s a mechanical energy in
the form of pressure within an elastic medium.
According to (http://computermusicresource.com/what.is.sound.html),
‘Changes in air pressure (air being a propagating medium) can be represented by
a WAVEFORM, which is a graphic representation of a sound. In reality, sound waves
propagate through the air in LONGITITUDAL WAVES (and not TRANSVERSE WAVES)’
Acoustics is the science/discipline of sound. There is a large variety of different kinds of
sounds and each one affects our lives in different ways. Sound is our key and most common
form of communication, and acoustics are significant for creating and performing musical
instruments in concert halls, for surround sound stereo and hearing aids.
(Following statement found on, http://www.exploresound.org/home/what-is-acoustics/)
‘Sound is also used to find oil and gas, to study earthquakes and climate change, and to make
sure that the baby in a mother's womb is healthy. Some animals, like bats and dolphins, use
sound to find their food’.
Studio Based Acoustics
A majority of recording studios always suffer the issue of having impressive and expensive
instruments and devices, but not having a good (silent enough) recording studio to record
high quality productions, as it’s hard to remember to focus on buying an acoustic
environment (room), that won’t cause issues such as sound leakage, disruptive monitoring
viewpoint, or disturbing recordings from and by neighbours, and generally affecting the
quality of the production from a listener point of view, when purchasing a recording studio on
a budget. Within the subject matter of recording studios, recording within a controlled
environment/room, that has been built and designed correctly is likely to produce sound that
is more accurate, without using too many special effects or devices to enhance the recording
A recording studio typically consists of a live room (a.k.a studio), this is the room in which
live instrumentals and vocalists perform. This room is the most soundproof room in the
recording studio, as other sound doesn’t leak through or out without the demand of the
control room (This is the room in which the equipment and electronic devices and controls
are kept. There are also smaller rooms called isolation booths, which mainly accommodate
loud instrumentals such as, electric guitars and drums.
Dead rooms are referred to as dead rooms for the fact that they have very little or no
reverberation/echo of their own, these rooms are in almost complete silence, which is why
their referred to as ‘Dead Rooms’, dead rooms may be perceived as a room that consist of in
beats and no interruptions in the background, dead rooms are best used by vocal artists as
they can capture the clearest and best sound as it doesn’t consist of any interruptive sounds
(echo and reverberation).
Studio walls have odd patterns to make it harder for the sound to travel through, its important,
that sound cannot travel through walls, as it cause sound leaking, disruption of recording etc.
this can be tricky as sound waves travel frequently, they eventually hit obstacles,the
percentage of the sound isreflected and the rest is absorbed, and passed through whatever the
material is. An echo or reproduction of the sound can be heard if the sound reflects off a
smoothflat surface, thisis why. It is designed for the sound to be capturedand absorbedin.
Reverberation is the perseverance of sound in a particular area or space a period after the
original sound has been produced. Reverberation is caused by sound being produced in
abounded space or area, resulting to a large number ofechoes to compile up and then slowly
decease due to the walls or air absorbing the sound.
There are numerousand simple approaches to reducing sound for whatever reason, these
Increasing the distance between source andreceiver,
Using noise barriers to reflect or absorb the energy of the sound waves,
using dampingassemblies such as sound baffles
Often incorrectly referred to as sound-bytes, sound bites are short clips of speech or music
extracted or trimmed from a longer piece of audio, often used to advertise or exemplify the
full length piece.
It is extremely important to know exactly where you need to record depending on what
exactly it is you would like to record. For example, if you want to record a scene within a
café you cannot record in the woods as the background atmosphere is different as there are
Unwanted noise is the noise in the background of a recording or audio track, that shouldn’t be
there, for example vocals recorded on the street may be occasionally interrupted by noisy
individuals or moving transport, unwanted noise can be avoided by recording in a controlled
and extremely silent room.
Similar to unwanted noise, unwanted ambience is background sounds, which should not be in
a certainrecording, unwanted ambience is most likely in the busiest environments such as
bars, clubs or motorways.
When recording with a microphone (especially outdoors) the using a wind shield is a key
method to avoiding wind interruptions, the majority of microphones that are specially built
for this are called boom microphones.