We live in a time where convenience is king–which is why a lot of home recording artists are drawn to all-in-one packages for their home studios. But are these all-in-one panels right for you?
Does the cost work within your budget and does the performance match the price? Let’s take a closer look at all-in-one acoustic treatment packages, break down the pros and cons, then see if you should consider them as an option.
What Is an Acoustic Treatment Package?
You may have all the equipment you need for your home recording studio, such as a digital audio workstation, microphones, mic stands, multi-track recording equipment, studio monitors, closed-back headphones, open-backed headphones, bass traps, control room, speakers…the list is almost endless. However, you also have to consider the sound the room creates.
That’s where acoustic treatment comes in. First, before you can decide if an all-in-one acoustic treatment is right for you, you need to know what they are. All-in-one packages can vary from brand to brand, but generally, they include the essentials needed for a complete starter setup in a studio: diffusers, bass traps, and acoustic panels.
In addition, all-in-one packages will sometimes be marketed for certain room sizes and applications. This makes it very easy for someone setting up their home recording studio for the first time and takes out a lot of the guesswork.
Can you see a theme here? All-in-one packages are often geared toward people new to home recording who want a simple, convenient package to get up and running. That’s not to say experienced professionals can’t make use of these packages, but the target market is typically a newer recording artist.
What Makes these Packages Great?
If you are going to buy everything yourself, you have to consider many things. You have to think about the walls, the ceiling, and how the sound will work. You need to think about sound absorption panels made of foam or rigid fiberglass panels, the frequency response created, as well as the early reflections, the sound waves, the flutter echo, and so on. Therefore, it is often better to start off with all-in-one acoustic packages.
Let’s start off with the pros of an all-in-one acoustic package. We touched on it above, but one of the best reasons to choose these packages is if you’re a beginner who has little to no experience in setting up a recording studio of any size. Setting up a home studio can sometimes be a frustrating experience. You may have to make multiple trips to the store or make multiple online orders as you discover new needs.
The cost of buying an all-in-one package can often be lower than buying all pieces individually. This is not unique to all-in-one treatment packages. Many products offer a discount for buying entire sets or buying in bulk. That’s the same idea at play here. If you are starting from nothing and looking to build a home studio then an all-in-one package is a great way to save a little bit of money.
If you’re worried about the appearance of your home studio then an all-in-one package can be a great way to get a consistent, clean look throughout. Every component will typically be from the same line of products and look great when paired together.
Why Look Elsewhere?
All-in-one packages are awesome solutions for building a home recording studio. With that said, they are not right for everyone. There are some downsides to choosing an all-in-one acoustic treatment package that may make buying different parts individually a better option for some people.
All-in-one packages are made to be a one size fits all solution. The problem with that is that not all rooms and uses are built the same. Some rooms may need more coverage while some rooms may need less. An all-in-one package tries to cut things down the middle.
For many rooms and amateur uses, this will be fine to begin with. However, the package could be too much coverage for some rooms while leaving other rooms with inadequate coverage, which could force you to spend more money on top of the all-in-one package.
For home studio users who have some more experience and specific needs, an all-in-one package may not be the right solution. These packages don’t allow for much flexibility. If you want customization, you either need to spend more money for the parts you need or forego the all-in-one package to pick your pieces yourself. This method, of course, is going to be more expensive.
Finally, all-in-one packages may be a good option for some budgets, but there is another way to save even more money. If you have the time and the willingness to learn, then DIY acoustic panels are going to be a better option for your budget. Pair those with some additional components purchased separately and you will have a very good home studio setup that fits your budget and offers more customization when compared with all-in-one packages.
Shop and Compare Your Options
It’s impossible to say definitively that all-in-one acoustic treatment packages are good or bad. Their suitability largely depends on the room you plan to use and the budget you have to spend.
If you are looking at setting up your first home studio then an all-in-one package might be a great place to start.
These convenient packages take a lot of the guesswork and confusion out of the setup process and allow you to get down to recording faster. However, a more experienced recording artist may find that an all-in-one solution is too rigid with no customization options.
At the very least, you should look at some all-in-one solutions for price options while shopping. Who knows, an all-in-one package may meet most of your needs and allow some leftover money for customizations you would like to buy. Don’t write off the all-in-one acoustic treatment packages before you have taken a look.
Most importantly, you should make a list of the essential features you need in your home studio. Having a list of features to look for will make shopping a lot easier and help you determine if the all-in-one package is right for you.