Acoustic Design: More on the Floor

Thinking outside the box is where the magic happens. That’s especially true not only in music, but in the places where it’s tracked, mixed and mastered.

In the case of BB4, that out-of-the-box thinking applies to what goes into the box -- our finely honed control room, to be exact. The extreme accuracy of our critical listening environment stems from long-standing studio science, together with a few twists that may seem unconventional at first.

One of the most eye-popping aspects of our room is the pair of floor-mounted diffusors that you see alongside our PMC speakers. In a compact studio such as this one, you have to look for every advantage to hone the sound and assure the best possible translation. At BB4 diffusors on the floor -- along with the traditional wall treatments -- proved to be an important part of the puzzle.  

“The area around the speakers is just as important as the room,” explains Christos Tsantilis, designer of BB4 Studios. “Obviously, the diffusion on the walls on the back of the room is essential, but once you start implementing diffusion around the speaker, it opens it up more as well. With floor-mounted diffusors, you get an additional level of control that means sound is bouncing back less directly into the sweet spot. The result is increased clarity.”   

Tsantilis was inspired to design BB4’s floor-mounted diffusors by studios he saw in Japan and China, where floor-based diffusion techniques have been employed for decades. “In Asia, they often use grated flooring so there could be both sound diffusion and absorption, without actually taking away any floor space,” Tsantilis says. “A more efficient way to do that is the floor-mounted diffusor solution we have at BB4, which is centered around 1kHz in the frequency spectrum.”

As with everything at BB4, the floor-mounted diffusors were subjected to rigorous testing by Tsantilis and BB4 founder Rafael Planten before their design was finalized. As with all woodwork at BB4, the units were built by Ken Capton of Solar2Studios. “As we tuned the room, we listened to it with and without diffusors on the floor, and measured the reverb time,” notes Tsantilis. “The stereo imaging became extremely sharp once we had them perfectly in place.”

“People don’t always think of the floor as something that can be treated in a studio, but it’s a part of the room,” Planten adds. “These diffusors were an addition that helped us to realize our vision at BB4: highly detailed sound that’s lush, exciting and translates precisely in the outside world.”

Experience the difference by listening at BB4.


David Weiss