You guys know me. I have to be experimenting in the studio or I'm just not happy.
For many years, I've been searching for the most effective way to isolate my guitar and bass speaker cabs from the floor for recording. There are a few problems that always need to be solved.
The first problem is the speaker cabinet transferring its vibration to the floor, thereby causing structure-borne vibrations that in turn cause various items in the room to rattle and buzz. This noise gets picked up by the microphones. Ever record your amp and you hear something in the track that sounds vaguely like the phone ringing (usually your electric light bulbs), or a buzzing noise (often your heat registers buzzing against the walls, etc)? That's structure borne vibration. It's a track killer. It's also the thing that makes your wife want to kill you when your amp makes the whole house feel like it's going to shake apart.
The second is getting the amp far enough from the floor to prevent half-space bass reinforcement resulting from sound reflecting off the floor, which causes muddy sound.
And the final one is to use something sturdy enough to hold the cab in a stable position, even while tilted.
I've tried everything from foam platforms (commercial and home-made), speaker stands, tube traps, hockey pucks, milk crates, stools, chairs, you name it. I have yet to find the long-term solution. The foam platforms come with foam attached to wood to stabilize the thing, but the wood itself resonates and has an effect on the tone. And the foam deteriorates over time.
But I just ordered something that looks like it will do the trick and solve these issues. It's made by a company called Isoacoustics, and it's designed to hold very large monitor speakers and guitar cabinets, and isolate them via decoupled pistons from the floor. It also lifts them a few inches. In addition, it can work on a bench or table if I need to lift the amp higher off the floor, and isolate the cab from whatever it's resting on.
And you put your cab on it like this:
Basically, the part that interfaces with your cab is completely isolated from the part that touches the floor via piston-like gadgets that are suspended in special rubber mounts. It'll hold 100 pounds, it raises the amp off the floor a few inches, and the studio monitor versions have been very well reviewed. The amp stand gizmo is a new product for them. From what I gather from the reviews of their similar studio monitor stand products, this company is the real deal, and the isolation really works and results in much clearer acoustics.
This should get rid of most of the mud, and get me more clarity in the all-important midrange, which is where guitars live.
Surprisingly, it's not very expensive for what it is. I will report back once it arrives, and give you guys the skinny on whether it delivers on its promises.