Droppin' BASS, not BOMBS!!!!

SOUND 101: The “Golden Acoustic Ratio”



From all the research I have been doing for the past decade,  here are a few ratios that I have found that are suitable room dimensions for recording, they are:

1 x 1.6 x 2.56 (famous golden ratio) – invented by the Greeks &

.62 x 1 x 1.62 – sound engineers use this.

H = Height of ceiling, W = Width of room, L = Length of room

For example, if you have a room that is 8 feet high, you multiply the 8 to 1 x 1.14 x 1.39 (1st ratio) which equals =

8 ft x 9.12 ft x 11.12 ft

I know what you might be saying, what if I cannot build my own room what do I do?  Here are a few suggestions:

1.  If you have a large room where the ceilings are high and the walls are far apart, you don’t have to worry about reflection, but everyone else,

2.  Use false walls and ceilings.  In small studios, like most project studios, builders would make the room to the size they want.  I consulted many sound engineers and they reaffirmed my beliefs that false walls and lowered ceilings can drastically improve room acoustics.

3.  Buy studio foam and room treatments.  Do not use egg cartons or mattress topper, buy studio foam.  What it does is that it absorbs some of the energy from the mid-range and higher frequencies, not bass!  You need at least 2 inch foam,  for the ceiling, side walls, and the wall behind your monitors.  You might say, man I don’t want to mess up my living room with all this sh#t!  That is why make it removable.  Just like a picture frame. Same goes for the ceiling, you can make a dropped ceiling.  Remember, what you are trying to do is slow down the reflections enough so that what you hear is the direct sound without the reflections.

4.  Take your mix-down to a friend who has a studio, or actually pay for studio time.  A proper mix-down is essential to a proper master.  Remember, your master will never be to its fullest potential.

In summary, we have covered having proper monitors, how to set it up in your room, and how to make your room as acoustically friendly as possible.  Next month on “SOUND 101” I will review some recording/mix-down techniques that are used to make EDM (Electronic Dance Music).


9 responses

  1. Pingback: 2 Part VID of 2 Radio Shows on 2 Different Stations, UNIFIED Under 1 MOVEMENT. This is…..”ALLIED AIR.” | RADIOBOMB

  2. Dave Lavender

    In “Diagram C” above I understand the room ratios and the listener/monitor equilateral triangle, but I’m stumped on how you arrived at the .618. Is that based on the room height? If it is, then am I correct in assuming the distance on center from one monitor cone to the other is just 3.64′ with 6.18′ from either side wall to the monitor cone center? Also, 10′ from the front wall to the front of the monitors? Sorry…pretty new at this! 😉

    03/30/2015 at 12:16

    • Yes, the ceiling height is what’s most important. All the ratios are based on the ceiling height first. The ratios I got from other sound engineers, who have done all the calculations for you already. Hope that is helpful. Anymore questions feel free to comment.

      05/31/2015 at 05:39

  3. Roeland Bernaerts


    I have a room in my basement that I want to use for producing electronic music, but also for throwing parties for my friends..
    However, the room does not have any of the perfect ratios. It is (in meters): H: 2,5 W: 4 L: 9,75.
    As you can see, the length is the problem here, but if I would have to compromise in that I would lose almost 4 meters in lenght of the room, which would drastically reduce the amount of people I want to invite for a great party..
    Do you see the dilemma..
    Do you have any more suggestions to me?
    I really want to have great sound..

    Thanks in advance,

    05/30/2015 at 23:47

    • Actually that is a good problem to have, too much space. The ceiling height and width are the most important aspects of recording because that is what you hear as soon as your speakers produce sound when mastering. The back wall is for reflecting and dispersing the sound waves so they don’t comeback to you at your listening position. That is called echo or reverb. Since your room is so long, you probably won’t hear the reverb, but you might get anomalies with the bass. So I see two easy fixes:
      1. Move your table with your speakers and all your stuff for recording 4 meters of wall. Then move it back when you are having your parties, or…
      2. Forget about the length and just use more acoustic foam to control the reverb.

      Remember, measurements of room height and width is most important. Then you must use acoustic foam on side walls ceiling, and bass traps in the corner of your room. Without this, it will be difficult to record the true sound.

      Hope this was helpful, if you need any more ideas feel free to comment.

      05/31/2015 at 06:03

      • Roeland Bernaerts

        Thanks a lot for this info!!

        06/02/2015 at 00:40

      • No problem!

        06/02/2015 at 05:42

  4. reza

    i have a room H 2.95 Meter w 3.05 M and L 4.72M and i want to use it for mix and mastering music /.. please tell me is it possible or i should forget it
    what if i change my position for example i use 4.72 meter side for W. and 3.05 meter for L. ??

    03/05/2017 at 03:51

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