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studio foam

Discussion in 'Recording' started by newkidtothis, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. newkidtothis

    newkidtothis Active Member

    First of all my I have to say Im new to this and my sole objective is to get the best possible quality sound w/ my limited resources. I have a home studio where i use a bedroom about 9' wide and 6' long very small, inside that room I built an even smaller booth with a window about 4' wide and 6' long, the room itself has a window and my apartment is located in a noisy NYC neighborhood the room seems to have a lot of echo and reverb but then again its kinda empty. Im using decent equipment mac pro w/ 2 tb hard drive, 8 gb ram, Neumann tlm 103 mic, avalon 737 sp, apogee ensemble, yamaha hs 80 montitors, and headroom headphone amp.. Given these factors is it a good idea to fully cover the booth w/ like say 4" foam, I also need ideas on how to treat the room I'm thinking of foam tiles behind the monitors and im building sound panels 4' high 2' wide and putting them on the adjacent wall are these good ideas??, if not care to share what has worked in small rooms?
     
  2. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    Lots of DIY room treatment info on the web, google is your friend.
     
  3. newkidtothis

    newkidtothis Active Member

    @gdoubleyou I did but all I really find is websites selling acoustic treatment and not enough literature on how, when, and where the sound foam should be placed I have an idea of the basics but im looking for specific advice based on the layout of my studio.
     
  4. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Flutter echo due to the parallel walls, this room volume is too small to have any appreciable reverb. First thing I would do is to remove the booth. The room is so small that the sound is already cramped, so adding the additional wall barriers and angles does not help.



    None of that matters. The best equipment in the worst room will reveal...the worst room attributes. The booth has to go.

    What works in a small room looking to be a monitoring room is as few simple things.

    And none of them have to do with foam...where is this foam coming consideration coming from, I mean, what are you basing it on? You have to spend more time then a few searches @ google to get to the bottom of this. Foam, in general since we have no description of what it is you are considering (but foambymail.com is garbage), is not part of what it is people with small rooms should be considering.

    Matter of fact, it is the direct opposite of what you are thinking.

    You biggest issue, with small rooms, is the bass build up since the bass frequency is the larger of the waves that the musical frequency spectrum will produce. For your room with the longest dimension of 9 feet, speed of sound = 1,130 fps (at sea level, on a clear day, etc. etc.) divided by 9(feet) /2 (full cycle of the wave)= 62.8 hZ.

    What does that mean to you as the owner of this room? It means that all the true bass frequencies are going right thru the wall barriers, they are invisible to this frequency and every frequency below 62.8 hZ. So the hunt for an "as best as I can get room" does not pivot around the treatments, per se.

    What it does mean is that you will be boosting and cutting the bass response due to these properties of this particular room, never seeming to get a handle on then.

    Had you asked about how to isolate this room we would be talking about something different entirely, but you didn't...so that's like eatin' cheese grits...it's pretty good, but that isn't what you came here for.

    A small room in general wants to have, first, the booth removed.

    Second you want to have a symmetrical environment for you and the speaker placement. Since you have included no details, except that you are in much need of foam, and you are not, we have to assume you at least have an speaker placement separation that is of the same distance apart as your ears are from this speaker arrangement.

    That means there is a triangle, one point is the left speaker, one point is the right speaker, and the final point is approx. where your ears are. Once you achieve this, you want to search "RFZ" or reflection free zone, either of the two. This is basically placing absorption at the first reflection points, about where your head is in relation to the left and right walls.

    Then you want to make the back wall as absorbent as possible, all of it or most of it, 3-4 inches deeps.

    Then you want to, after you make certain that you have also removed the carpet on the floor, search for an "over head cloud". This is in effect turning the listening environment upside down. You make the floor a hard reflective surface, and the ceiling absorbant. The ears can tell the difference since it is a rare occasion that there is a hard floor (not as rare) with an overhead soft ceiling( rare...stick a fork in me, I am done ;)
     
  5. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    You can check to see if the Auralex rooom analysis kit is available in your region.
    Auralex Acoustics - Product Application Support
     
  6. Flagg Audio

    Flagg Audio Active Member

    Here's some tips:

    -The blankets they use for sound treatment are actually the same blankets they use for shipping. If you buy them as shipping blankets from shipping suppliers they cost a lot less.
    -Same thing with acoustic foam. If you buy it as acoustic foam, there's a huge markup. Buy it as shipping foam, and buy it from say, a chinese wholesaler and you can cover your whole house in the stuff on the cheap.
    -Break up any parallel surfaces/walls.
    -Use big couches and area rugs.
    -Re-plaster the ceiling with texture.
    -Use foam or baffles to block sounds from entering the mics from 2 directions.
    -Blankets can be hung slightly off the wall and be removed when not used.
    -Likewise, homemade baffles can come out during recordings and stored easily when not.
    -Corners of a room need treatment as they’re the worst for bass. Bean bag chair maybe?
    -Google. :)

    Hope that helps!
     
  7. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    It doesn't...I wish I had more time to explain why, but it just does not help.


    So I edited your post:

    Well, guess I didn't edit your post...thought I could...be I can not.




    So you are free to post things that have no value, no merit. and no verifiable background saving what you say is valid...which is not valid:)
     
  8. Flagg Audio

    Flagg Audio Active Member

    Does not help whom?

    I'll quote and interpret OP:

    "limited resources." <--Needs to be cost effective
    “apartment” <--Not a condo, not a house = renter = no major construction
    "NYC" = Ton of neighbors with shared paper thin walls (not quite 'bama)
    “noisy... a lot of echo and reverb”
    + Foam = He wants to tame this

    Your solution is for him to rip up the rugs and put them on the ceiling and then to throw out his vocal booth? I bet neighbors and his landlord will love that.

    I would think given the location and budget (not to mention him starting a thread about foam) the main idea would be taming the room on the cheap which would make my post not only valid, but applicable. thumb

    citation here
     
  9. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Save it. The thread is about, as a heading "studio foam" as to content:

    "...room seems to have a lot of echo and reverb but then again its kinda empty....Given these factors is it a good idea to fully cover the booth w/ like say 4" foam, I also need ideas on how to treat the room I'm thinking of foam tiles behind the monitors "

    Reverb does not exist in small bedrooms. what you deal with mostly is flutter and room modes, in a small room the modes are the acoustics.

    So while you say nevermind about what I said nevermind about, I would still recommend removing the booth. Why,,, that is your question, right? Why remove this booth that has been known to fix a 5 gallon drums worth of ills?

    Simple. It is not known to do anything but be dead, in respect to this size we are talking about.

    "I have a home studio where i use a bedroom about 9' wide and 6' long very small, inside that room I built an even smaller booth with a window about 4' wide and 6' long,"

    Let's take a look at that:(picture is at the end of the post)

    We have a small and troublesome room...and then divided it in half:) Does that mean anything to you?


    What it means to me is this. The response from the room, left unaltered, would have been better but now we have two small...really small rooms that have low frequency issues. The same issues the whole room would have had, only now it is X2!

    The placement of foam will not correct these issues...the want at this moment is for a larger area for the sound to breath...the room unaltered will fill this want.

    "Your solution is for him to rip up the rugs and put them on the ceiling and then to throw out his vocal booth? I bet neighbors and his landlord will love that. "

    I never said any of that...so it is all on you to present data that suggests why and how I might be incorrect.


    And just so it does not go unmentioned, making an environment that is acoustically pleasing has nothing to do with pleasing the neighbors. That falls under the heading of "isolation".
     

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  10. Flagg Audio

    Flagg Audio Active Member

    Do you know why he has that booth? Because he records in that booth. He loves that booth. You know why he loves that booth? Because it prevents his neighbors from hearing him and because it prevents his recordings from containing sounds of broomsticks hitting the ceiling. How big are vocal booths again? Oh that's right, they're very small. In fact, there's an ad for one on this very page. Maybe we should call the company and tell them to toss their inventory and stock up on upside-down New York apartments.

    Anyway, let's just push ahead with your plan... So he throws out the only place in his apartment he can record. BUT! What luck, there's a carpenter on the internet willing to walk him through every step of his eviction... and he's condescending!?! Awesome!

    Ok, so he treats his tiny apartment following your excellent drawing of a Chinese takeout box. Now he's got a nice sounding room to mix the tracks he can no longer record. All it cost him a bunch of money, his apartment, a few noise citations, and the 7k he spent on the vocal booth that ended in trash on the advice of some random stranger.

    If I create a thread because the bumper of my $600 car is hanging off and ask where to put zip ties so I can safely get home I'm not looking for a self-proclaimed aerodynamic expert jumping in writing a wall-of-text to explain that (not only I'm an idiot for asking about zip ties but) I'm going to add 3 seconds to my 1/4 mile.

    He's not asking what would a carpenter do to covert his apartment into world-class studio if given lots of money and a building permit... he's asking how to get the "best possible quality sound" with "limited resources" in a NEW YORK APARTMENT.

    Your hatred for foam and booths has blinded you from seeing the true nature of the question. You've missed that crucial detail that would've otherwise made your answers not only relevant, but so glorious that people from all corners of the internet would log in to thank you, validate your level of expertise, and perhaps bestow upon you the ultimate power to edit other people's posts. You feel guilty, confused. Falling back on your defense you ask me to provide references for things that are self-evident when you provide nothing yourself. Still consumed with anxiety you don't even have the time to appreciate the irony, to run spell check, or even to provide a solution outside criticizing things that you believe won't work according to your unrealistically high standards and narrow world view. I don't blame you. Listen I was there too. I hated booths. I hated foam. But I... Well... I got through, man. I put down the hammer... and I got help.

    (877) 515-1255
     
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

  12. Flagg Audio

    Flagg Audio Active Member

    Those are nice! Sign me up for a diamond one as well.
    I think I'd go into it periodically throughout the day just to scream.

    I was researching those awhile back when I making my own apartment studio. Was well out of my budget at that time. Instead I ended up making a sign that said, "Recording. Please don't call the cops." which worked well.
     
  13. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    AWESOME!
     
  14. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    "Do you know why he has that booth? Because he records in that booth. He loves that booth. You know why he loves that booth? Because it prevents his neighbors from hearing him and because it prevents his recordings from containing sounds of broomsticks hitting the ceiling."


    I love your spunk, but your still off the mark. The isolation booths you are attempting to compare to this room in this thread are built completely different...with mass as the main component(isolation)....not treatments. And the dimensions used work for their product...and they are dead...was that a requirement? That was not a question :)

    Let's assume that this fight is worth fighting which it is not since neither of us know to WHAT degree the work was done...and all I concern myself with is what math and the giants of acoustics tell me.

    They tell me small rooms...that is a room less than 1500 cubic feet in volume will have mode issues that are farther apart in spacing and create troublesome peaks and nulls across the acoustical spectrum. Get that room down to 432 cubic feet...and you have a real problem as far as sound is concerned. The modes become farther apart and become ALL the loud passages of the room response...you cannot fight that with foam in a 9X6X8 room effectively, and you shoot yourself in the foot when you effectively cut the room in half in an attempt to have (A) a recording booth, and (B) a mixing room.

    The best thing to do is to ask questions before you do the work...not as a means of putting out a fire and the second is to remove the questionable built wall. Fact is it is not a booth, it is a wall that separates two areas of a room, it is coupled to the room, gives no isolation, what you suggest is that the simple inclusion of the booth will fix all the ills...sir, it does noting of the sort.


    Seals on doors, windows, massing the overhead, massing the floor...it's just a wall and I bet a weak wall at that, a wall that more than likely reinforces the troublesome low frequency areas and actually makes these sounds more available to the neighbors.
     
  15. Flagg Audio

    Flagg Audio Active Member

    I know, the OP is gone and we're left debating two different hypothetical goals for two different hypothetical rooms.

    On a practical level, I don't see the purposes of fixing up a room if there's not enough isolation to be able to actually use it. It's a cart before the horse-type thing.

    On the other end, let's imagine I could care less about the neighbors... treating the room without working on isolation first still leaves me with the sounds of passing cars, honking, gun fire, toilets flushing, neighbors TVs, etc. This means it's still not an ideal environment for much of anything.

    My thought is that isolation needs to come first. Anything more would be gravy. Anything less is not functional, otherwise known as useless.

    Thus: Rugs, foam, blankets, puffy couches and an iso booth, which I believe he already has when he describes an "even smaller booth"
    For the noise coming from the outside he need isolation and dampening. The uncontrolled sound inside is because it's an empty room. Well, fill it with crap.

    You can record quite well in a small, dampened booth. You can also get a great listening environment in a small dampened room as well. That's why my car stereo sounds good.

    I mean, there's not a live concert going on here. It's recording and mixing. With recording, he's never going to get a nice room sound so it's a waste trying. Instead, he'll use the iso booth to record and put reverb in in post.

    For mixing, you want everything as flat as possible. You don't want a live room because it would color the sounds as you're trying to mix them.
    They don't mix records at venues and they don't mix on high end bass-boosted consumer speakers. They mix in small, flat, dry rooms with small flat speakers.

    Home Studio; Not Home Theater.

    What you're saying is 100% correct I just think it's being applied to the wrong question. As you pointed out, the actual question isn't entirely clear (and the OP appears long-gone) but I'm going to side with my version of it. I may be slightly biased in that.

    "making an environment that is acoustically pleasing has nothing to do with pleasing the neighbors"

    I love that line. It would be a good opening to movie or a book.
     

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