My dream, which I am still pursuing, is to build my own film studio. This involves a super location, high ceilings, constant buying of everything I need and a way to control the acoustics.
What is an acoustic blanket?
An acoustic blanket is the least hi-tech thing in my tech park, yet I'm always impressed by how easy it is to tame the acoustics of a room with a sound blanket. So a sound blanket has become a faithful helper in and out of the studio. And it certainly doesn't stop there.
I regularly use acoustic blankets instead of blinds or curtains in my studio and on projects. They can quickly minimize parasitic light from outside by covering windows or even larger glass surfaces, while improving the reverberation of the room including light insulation from outside noise.
I found that I could just fit two acoustic blankets in a blue Ikea bag. The features of the acoustic blankets are redeemed by their weight, with each acoustic blanket being around 5.5 kg. Two acoustic blankets already add up to an 11 kg package (roughly 70x35x35 cm when folded into the bag). This also makes sound blankets one of the heaviest things I have to lug around on a job. My tripod and head is about 9 kg and just throw it over my shoulder. Acoustic blankets are already quite voluminous - it's good to have a car, or a very strong back.
Who are acoustic blankets suitable for?
After two years of working with acoustic blankets, I can recommend them to all creators who are setting up their own studio or podcast studio at home. To all experienced and aspiring musicians who don't mind egg shells at all, and to all fellow filmmakers who want to scoop up sound in hopelessly small offices.
Improving room reverberation
Acoustic blankets do not serve as a sound insulator, but as a reverberation absorber. As I discovered, there is a difference. An acoustic blanket improves the reverberation of a room and, when placed appropriately, can also contribute to sound insulation – when placed in a window.
What acoustic blankets help with the most is reverberation, so that the room doesn't sound like a cave. It is reverberation that most often spoils my spoken word recordings. It's the sound that reverberates endlessly against the big white walls of the room – the echo/echo.
In this aspect, the size of the acoustic blankets is a key factor. Their 5 m2 is already a decent area through which the sound must pass. Thanks to the acoustic blanket, the sound is largely absorbed and does not return in such intensity and what is even better: the sound that does pass through has to pass through the blanket again after the reflection and is absorbed again. For this reason too, it is a good idea not to put the acoustic blankets directly on the wall, but to leave a gap to increase their effectiveness.
Work in the studio
Bad acoustics are fine for shooting, but the film studio works mainly with sound. I want to be able to change the existing conditions in the studio, just like when working with lights. Recording live music can be different from recording noise or spoken word. So my main requirement for acoustics is the ability to control them, which is why I have been considering acoustic panels for a long time.
Acoustic panels look great, especially when you buy designer pieces, but the installation... I have to be pretty sure I want them exactly where I'm going to stick them.
I just don't want to stick anything anywhere!
Then I found something called acoustic screens. They do the job, sure, but I can move the fridge around the room and it will be the same in the (in)freedom of movement. I'll think carefully about whether I want to move it back and forth, plus they're still not cheap or efficient at all.
Advantages of acoustic blankets
These common ways of dealing with acoustics are not for me. If I also need to record sound while shooting, I need a mobile acoustic panel solution. Panels that can be packed up, rolled over and placed in the space without much delay, or just thrown over the fridge and get rid of unwanted noise in the room.
I found these features in the acoustic blankets from Vocalboothtogo.EU At the time of writing I own five acoustic blankets in sizes 200*243 cm in two colours white/black.
I am Jan Štumpa,
Watch my show on youtube
Different sizes of acoustic blankets can be viewed or bought directly from e-shop by clicking HERE