An acoustics gobo is parallel in use to a photography gobo, which is used to block direct light sources, and also shares its name with the stage lighting gobo. The origin of the term “gobo” is obscure, but is most likely short for “go-between.” The gobo was invented by Charles Norris Hoyle, and was originally a product of TayTrix.
Gobo panels are used to control the acoustical properties of a room by absorbing and diffusing sound waves. Some possible uses include the treatment of recording and mixing areas for unwanted reverb, or to separate two or more musicians so they may play in the same room at the same time whilst being mic'd separately. Gobo panels are usually constructed with portability and storage in mind so that they may be stowed and retrieved at will, an advantage over more conventional acoustical room treatments.
A gobo usually consists of a wooden panel covered with foam, carpeting or other materials with sound damping properties. A gobo can either rest on the ground or be raised on adjustable legs made from wood, plastic or metal.
- World Wide Words - Michael Quinion writes about international English from a British viewpoint.