What’s With All the Pencils?

by | May 6, 2016 | Home studio, Studios | 2 comments

acoustic pencilsBing Desktop resides on all my computers. 

Because of that, every day a new background presents itself on my desktop.  Usually it’s some gorgeous landscape scene from somewhere in the world.

Earlier this week, it was this:

anechoic chamber
For perspective, notice the yellow staircase on the right.  This is a huge chamber…an ANECHOIC chamber in Copenhagaen, Denmark.

Yeah, I didn’t know that word either, so I looked it up:  “…of a recording chamber, television studio, or the like; characterized by an unusually low degree of reverberation; echo-free…”

I don’t know about you, but this is unlike any TV studio I’VE ever seen!

To me, all those pointed projections look like gigantic pencils.  The whole thing seemed so sci-fi looking.

‘Turns out this room is used for testing microwave antennas for satellites and mobile networks…a room designed to absorb all sound or magnetic reflections.  And the projections were actually painted like that to make the space less depressing for those working inside!

(taken from this article)

Here’s another article on this special room.

The (ahem) point of these projections is to remove reflections of audio waves.

I can only imagine it’s a little bit eery to stand in this room, and hear TOTAL dead sound.  That’s not exactly what you want from your vo recording studio…but close.

Think about it.  The acoustic foam many of us install in our booths looks like this, right?

acoustic foam

See any similarities? 

Uh, yeah, the acoustic foam won’t impale you if you fall on it…but other than that, a design concept with the same goal is at work, no?  That goal is to give no sound wave purchase on a flat surface on which it can rebound.  Do that everywhere, and you’ve got a recording booth that offers no reflection.

Now…all you hafta do is keep the sound of your neighbor’s barking dog on the OUTSIDE!




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  1. Jean Benson

    I enjoyed reading about this very interesting place; but definitely agree about trying to keep the barking of the neighbor’s dog OUTSIDE. Unfortunately my neighbor has multiple dogs….

  2. Peter Drew

    Articles and videos I’ve seen about anechoic chambers explained what and how they’re used, and, additionally, that it’s difficult for some people to spend much time in one. The total absence of sound can cause anxiety, and even paranoia and hallucinations in certain people. All you can hear is your heart beating and blood gushing in your arteries. Pretty unnerving. Some people get sick to their stomach, like motion sickness, because they’re not getting reflective cues that help orient them in space.. An anechoic chamber sounds like (pardon the pun) a good idea for a vocal booth, but probably only for recording a :30 spot in no more than two takes. 🙂 I sure wouldn’t want to try to record War and Peace in one of those chambers!


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