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Profile picture for user rainsong23

I'm trying to do some sound treatment in the room I'm using for my home studio on little to no budget. I was given a piece of this acoustic foam from a friend that had some left over. It's 2.7 metres by about 1 metre. Anybody who has done acoustic treatment for audio recording have advice in whether I'd be better off to put the whole thing on one wall or cut it into 2 or 3 parts and spread it around. Maybe a bit on the ceiling above the drums?

So far I've got a queen mattress in one of the corners and reasonably thick curtains over both windows.

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Profile picture for user kmetal

kmetal Fri, 03/06/2020 - 10:59

Id place the entire piece over the drum kit since the ceiling is bare. Either a single piece, two, or three would be fine. If you can mount is so its spaced off the ceiling a few inches, the air space between foam and ceiling will help the foam grab lower frequencies.

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Kurt Foster Fri, 03/06/2020 - 11:32

that skinny piece of foam isn't going to have any effect in that room regardless where it is placed. foam should be at least 2 or 3 inches thick to do anything and even 4" foam won't do much of anything for low frequencies. the mattress in the corner isn't going to do much for you either. go find some fiberglass or rock wool.

Profile picture for user rainsong23

rainsong23 Fri, 03/06/2020 - 21:28

Kurt Foster, post: 463529, member: 7836 wrote: that skinny piece of foam isn't going to have any effect in that room regardless where it is placed. foam should be at least 2 or 3 inches thick to do anything and even 4" foam won't do much of anything for low frequencies. the mattress in the corner isn't going to do much for you either. go find some fiberglass or rock wool.

Thanks for the input and advice. I'd read about rock wool and fibreglass. Haven't seen rockwool here in Brunei where I'm living. Might look into fibreglass down the road if I have money to spend.

I can however actually hear quite a marked difference. I recorded samples with each addition and it has cut out quite a lot of the echo. Don't have any budget to buy anything at the moment. The accoustic foam was leftover foam my friend had from doing his room and the mattress was one a guitar player friend was getting a new mattress. It's actually some kind of special mattress from Japan and is very dense and heavy. If I come into money I'll try to buy some actual bass traps but just don't have it to spare.

Profile picture for user rainsong23

rainsong23 Fri, 03/06/2020 - 21:32

kmetal, post: 463528, member: 37533 wrote: Id place the entire piece over the drum kit since the ceiling is bare. Either a single piece, two, or three would be fine. If you can mount is so its spaced off the ceiling a few inches, the air space between foam and ceiling will help the foam grab lower frequencies.

Thanks for the input. By the time I saw your message I'd already glued it all to the wall as I had a rare window of time to get something done. I'll try to look for something to put on the ceiling if I can find anything that's a good DIY free giveaway, I get some extra cash, or something. Would styrofoam on the ceiling suspended like you mentioned be worth trying? I've got a big sheet or two that came with a flat screen TV.

Profile picture for user kmetal

kmetal Sat, 03/07/2020 - 09:19

rainsong23, post: 463531, member: 34145 wrote: Thanks for the input. By the time I saw your message I'd already glued it all to the wall as I had a rare window of time to get something done. I'll try to look for something to put on the ceiling if I can find anything that's a good DIY free giveaway, I get some extra cash, or something. Would styrofoam on the ceiling suspended like you mentioned be worth trying? I've got a big sheet or two that came with a flat screen TV.

Styrofoam won't do the trick. Moving blankets are a classic guerilla recording tool for taming mids and highs. Around here they are 5-7$ usa, and fairly large.

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Kurt Foster Sat, 03/07/2020 - 12:30

bed foam isn't acoustic foam. it's different stuff. all the things you are doing only affect the upper mids and highs. those things are easy to hear in a recording but there are other things happening that we don't hear so much that affect our ability to record and mix things that will sound the same on all playback systems or even in different places in the room. the smaller the space the worse the problems are. moving blankets are great but still won't address lo mid & bass issues. you need proper absorbers and bass traps and those things cost a bit to build or a lot to buy. foam is not going to do it. you need absorbent mass or some kind of mechanical attenuation like a diaphragmatic or helmholtz absorber.

Profile picture for user rainsong23

rainsong23 Sat, 03/07/2020 - 16:53

kmetal, post: 463533, member: 37533 wrote: Styrofoam won't do the trick. Moving blankets are a classic guerilla recording tool for taming mids and highs. Around here they are 5-7$ usa, and fairly large.

Oh that's pretty cheap. Not sure about here but I'll try contacting the movers to see where to get them. I actually had a contractor come yesterday to give me an estimate on security gates being installed and I asked him if he had Rockwool and he said he does and one roll is $60 so I think I'll try to pick up one to make some bass traps for the corners as it's not too expensive.

Profile picture for user Kurt Foster

Kurt Foster Sun, 03/08/2020 - 15:41

a guy named Barry Hufker posted this on Electrical Audio's site a while back;

TRASH CAN BASS TRAP

1) take a plastic trashcan

2) fill the bottom with a layer of R-13 fiberglass insulation


3) roll a sheet of R-13 around the inside of the can.
4) place three pieces of R-13 so they stand vertically in the can. placing a 1" stick across the top of the can to hold the R-13 is one way to do it. the pieces should reach the bottom insulation and should extend almost to the top
5) make another round piece of R-13 and place it flat over the vertical pieces (this helps hold them in place). this piece should be parallel to the can's bottom.
6) purchase some porous weave material like burlap or Gulliford and stretch it over the can's mouth.
7) pull the material taut. hold the fabric in place using whatever you want, but it should be tight. bungee cords work great or you can fashion a ring from the cans lid. trim the excess fabric.

the trap's resonant frequency is based on height and not the width of the mouth. A 3' can has a resonance of about 100 Hz. For best effect, place them in corner's of the room.

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Tony Carpenter Mon, 03/09/2020 - 06:55

@Kurt Foster amazing find. Would love to know if that actually worked properly or sort of. Does the science match the theory. Not an attractive solution in of itself of course lol.

Profile picture for user Kurt Foster

Kurt Foster Mon, 03/09/2020 - 09:47

i'm pretty sure the science is sound. it looks to me to be the same technology as the ASC Tube Traps. Barry Hufker is an instructor at a college for audio arts in Minnesota or someplace and this got a write up in MIX magazine many years ago. that's how i knew about it to Google it.

you can paint them if you wish. stuck away in the corners of a room i don't think they would be that much of an eyesore. certainly no worse than a mattress leaning against the wall.

the main advantage i see with these things is they are portable. you can take them where ever you want and they aren't attached to the walls so no damage. perfect for a rental space or an apartment or maybe a room at Mom and Dads where they won't let you mark up the walls. in the end, 4" rigid fiberglass panels across the corners of the room will work even better.

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audiokid Mon, 03/30/2020 - 08:35

Cool find , Kurt.

To add one more example to the other good posts and examples, Terry from Auralex has a good tutorial on foam and the mirror effect here:

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Myobius Mon, 03/01/2021 - 08:33

rainsong23, post: 463531, member: 34145 wrote:
Thanks for the input. By the time I saw your message I'd already glued it all to the wall as I had a rare window of time to get something done. I'll try to look for something to put on the ceiling if I can find anything that's a good DIY free giveaway, I get some extra cash, or something. Would styrofoam on the ceiling suspended like you mentioned be worth trying? I've got a big sheet or two that came with a flat screen TV.

Styrofoam on the ceiling definitely not.
It is quite dense and at the same time lightweight material that will resonate and only worsen the acoustics.
Such materials are only suitable for the floor, working with impact noise, but even in this way I would not advise its use, it is not designed for acoustics.
If you have limited finances but enough free time you can build a diffuser, but again it will work with midrange frequencies, for low frequencies it should be very big.
here is a link to the calculator (http://www.mh-audio.nl/Acoustics/DiffusorCalculator.asp)