We’ve all been in studios where the owner spent a ton of money on the speakers yet it still doesn’t sound that good. That’s because they’ve neglected to treat the room, and as a result, aren’t hearing what’s accurately going on. I’ve written a lot about this in the past (including a book with Dennis Moody called the Studio Builder’s Handbook) and developed a conference presentation and a lynda.com room acoustics course that show that it doesn’t take much money to improve the sound of your room a great deal.
That said, sometimes it’s difficult to visualize exactly what’s going on when sound interacts with the hard and soft surfaces around us. Here’s a video from my friend John Calder that provides an excellent representation of how sound behaves, and how to tame it.
By the way, if you want to see how you can build you’re own acoustic panels, watch this video. It will cost you a lot less than you think (way less than a pair of speakers).