My partner, Jane, decided she didn’t like the curtains in our lounge. We’ve two big double patio doors so this is a lot of curtain. None the less, she bought some new ones and then asked me if I wanted the old ones to use as dust sheets. Being a bit of a thinker, I thought about an alternative use for them – far too good for my paint splots!

“Yes please, I’ll use them in the Sanctuary”.

Why, you might ask, would I need about 12 feet of curtains each over 7 feet in height? Well, for acoustic reasons! I’m going to divide the podcast studio away from the other half of the room with these curtains on a rail going wall to wall. The result would be that during recording sessions, with the curtains dividing the room, the acoustic resonance will be dramatically reduced resulting in a flatter recording sound.

That’s the trick with recording good sound. Reducing the ambient resonance of the recording location. A microphone picks up sound, not just from your voice directly into the microphone, but also from all the solid surfaces bouncing that sound back into the mic. That is why your recordings often sound echoed.

It’s a good tip for anyone doing recording, choosing a location where there are loads of fabrics to absorb the sounds. Even if you drape a thick coat or similar over your head and forward over the microphone area, the resulting recording will sound so much better. Have a go with your phone. Go into the bathroom, normally the worst room to record in because of all the ceramic areas, and do a little recording. Then do it again with a towel draped over your head and the phone. The difference will startle you.

So, what can you use an old pair of curtains for?

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