Quick Sound Field

The Quick Sound Field is a powerful upgrade for all acoustic recording environments. It was initially developed by ASC in 1987 as a reference sampling booth for Syclavier, and endorsed in 1988 by Pete (The Who) Townshend after he installed a QSF sampling room in Eel Pie Studios.

The QSF was released as a free standing gobo-like setup in 1989 and was discovered by premier recording engineer Bruce Swedien in 1990. He has used the QSF setup for all his recording work since and he provides carte blanc “you gotta hear it to believe it” endorsement for the QSF sound in recording to this day.

The QSF is the acoustic technique which adds abundant, clean, low level early reflections to the direct signal at the mic. This creates reverberant free, very life-like and robust, natural sounding tracks. It is the same “sound fusion” recording technique recommended by F. Alton Everest in his Critical Listening workbook in 1982, who later discovered the QSF in 1991 and endorsed it in his 3rd edition of The Master Handbook of Acoustics in 1993.

The Quick Sound Field is created by an arrangement of Studio Traps, whose number varies between 8 for vocals and up to 20 for large trap sets. Recording engineer Bruce Swedien uses 14 StudioTraps in his QSF, and he “never leaves home without them”.

The StudioTrap is a two sided acoustic cylinder. The front half is live, treble diffusive and the back half is dead, treble absorptive. The silver dot marks the center of the live, the treble diffusive side. The StudioTrap is a free standing, adjustable height, portable studio acoustic, useful in any room to form gobos or to soften walls and corners.

But set them up in the middle of a room, any room, in that classic horseshoe pattern, and you will have created a whole new acoustic space, a nearfield mic space. The sound inside the QSF can easily be changed between the new-school Live Space and the old-school Dead Space (LSDS) by rotating the diffusive side of your StudioTraps either in or out.

Ask your talent to step into the opening at the base of the QSF setup and drop your mic into the middle. The mic becomes decoupled from the room. That means that you can finally free your tracks from that close mic, proximity sound effect. Dig out your good figure 8 or omni, don’t be afraid to back it off the talent, up and away into that dense set of early reflections that live, alive and well, inside the QSF.

And then, ask your talent to project, to play into and fill up the QSF space in front of them. And also, to feel free to move around, because the sound inside that space doesn’t change at the mic, it just stays there, rock solid. Best of all is that what the talent hears is what it sounds like on playback. And, yes it pans, mixes and runs through the effects rack just like ay other dry signal, except better. Remember: “you gotta hear it to believe it.” So, call us now for an audition.

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QSF Applications

The multiple early reflection pattern from the Quick Sound Field produces a saturation of early reflections, all inside the Haas effect window, which effectively produces acoustical compression. The StudioTraps accommodate almost any microphone placement while the reflectors mask any variation or movement of the script stand or talent. The alternating pattern of absorption, reflection and venting eliminates flutter. Mic boom connector kits for the top of the StudioTraps are especially useful when recording drums. The Quick Sound Field will give you a solid recording every time.

Why do You Need a Quick Sound Field?

The QSF is a nearfield acoustic environment that improves the quality of the signal at the mic. It uses StudioTraps to surround and separate both mic and talent from the room. The QSF creates a controlled and very stable acoustic workstation and completes the missing link, the acoustic part of the mic environment in todays digital studio. Sonic structure inside the QSF is so consistent, you can break the kit down, put it away, days later you can casually set it back up anywhere and get the same sound you had before.

Quick Sound Field History

We're proud to announce that the June '07 issue of EQ Magazine features an article by Mr. Noxon covering the history and development of our Quick Sound Field system. Here's a link to EQ's online version. Or download the PDF of the full unedited version. We've also created a web version of the full unedited article.

The article contains all our secrets, everything you need to know about how QSF works as well as a comprehensive history behind its development.

New Travel Bag Now Available

After all these years, ASC has finally come up with a nifty nylon carrying bag for our famous StudioTrap. For folks with the Quick Sound Field setup or anyone with StudioTraps, this bag makes portability a snap. It's also a great way to store your Traps and keep dust and dirt out.

It's a slip cover with a convenient carry handle, placed to perfectly balance the StudioTrap when lifted into a horizontal position. We used durable 240 oz. black coated cordura nylon fabric and super tough nylon webbing for the handles. Plus it comes with a drawstring at the base to keep the cover from slipping off during transport.

If you do a lot of travel and don't want to leave your StudioTraps at home, consider picking up some travel bags, bargain priced. Contact us for details. Made in the USA.