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Acoustic Foam for room

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Anyone know where to get good looking acoustic foam for room dampening?

 

I've found a few online that looks decent, but none that really makes it not look like foam but rather a design, if you get my drift.

 

Examples:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-Thick-Studio-Acoustic-Soundproofing-Foam-Tiles-30-x-30-/251333894679?pt=US_Acoustical_Treatments&hash=item3a84aae217

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-Thick-Studio-Acoustic-Soundproofing-Foam-Tiles-24-x-48-/251334489660?pt=US_Acoustical_Treatments&hash=item3a84b3f63c

 

Any way to mount it without damaging the wall? Would double sided tape work?

 

Room has a slight echo, so i'l trying to remove it as much as i can.

Microphone recordings don't sound too good either.

 

:wink:

post #2 of 14

Most foams look like foams.  Better solutions would be Owens-Corning 703 fiberglass board covered with fabric.  There's a huge selection of fabrics from Guilford, and many companies supply both. Or you can pick your own fabric, so long as it's a fairly loose weave.  There are mounting brackets and clips available.  Google Owens-Corning 703 to find sources for all the bits and pieces in your area.

 

Double-sided tape doesn't work to hang foam.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post
 

Most foams look like foams.  Better solutions would be Owens-Corning 703 fiberglass board covered with fabric.  There's a huge selection of fabrics from Guilford, and many companies supply both. Or you can pick your own fabric, so long as it's a fairly loose weave.  There are mounting brackets and clips available.  Google Owens-Corning 703 to find sources for all the bits and pieces in your area.

 

Double-sided tape doesn't work to hang foam.

 

Thank you for your generous reply.

 

In terms of room dampening, is the Owns-Corning 703 better than foam or is it just better in the case of being able to mount easier and having better aesthetics? Looking at it, one wouldn't think fiberglass and mineral wool to do better than acoustic foam.

 

It also looks to be fairly thick. I don't think i can go anymore than 3" thickness.

post #4 of 14

If anything, 703 is somewhat more effective than most foams.  In a pinch I've built absorbers out of rolled fiberglass insulation in a box faced with fabric.  Sort of a lot of work and it's no better than 703, but if materials are hard to get, insulation usually isn't. 

 

The thickness of an absorptive material determines the lowest frequency at which it will be effective.  Thicker works lower.  The "1/4 wave rule" indicates that an absorber's lowest frequency for full absorption is at the frequency where it's thickness is 1/4 of a wave.  For example, your 3" 703 or foam sheet works well down to 1100 Hz, then quickly gives up.  For 2" 703, figure 1700 Hz.  You can improve that somewhat by spacing the material off the wall, but you'll never get bass absorption with a sheet of anything, you have to use other products.  And we don't really want a totally "dry" room, we want a balanced room.  Your reflections and echoes are not just high frequency, so you should be ready to do some other types of treatment as well.

 

Here's the thing, this is a way-involved topic, far too much to type away in a forum, it's more like book-level information. But we have an expert here!  Ping EthanWiner, he's in the business of acoustic treatments.  He's on the forum too, and I can recommend his treatment products.  Give him a try, might start with a PM.  He literally "wrote the book".

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post
 

If anything, 703 is somewhat more effective than most foams.  In a pinch I've built absorbers out of rolled fiberglass insulation in a box faced with fabric.  Sort of a lot of work and it's no better than 703, but if materials are hard to get, insulation usually isn't. 

 

The thickness of an absorptive material determines the lowest frequency at which it will be effective.  Thicker works lower.  The "1/4 wave rule" indicates that an absorber's lowest frequency for full absorption is at the frequency where it's thickness is 1/4 of a wave.  For example, your 3" 703 or foam sheet works well down to 1100 Hz, then quickly gives up.  For 2" 703, figure 1700 Hz.  You can improve that somewhat by spacing the material off the wall, but you'll never get bass absorption with a sheet of anything, you have to use other products.  And we don't really want a totally "dry" room, we want a balanced room.  Your reflections and echoes are not just high frequency, so you should be ready to do some other types of treatment as well.

 

Here's the thing, this is a way-involved topic, far too much to type away in a forum, it's more like book-level information. But we have an expert here!  Ping EthanWiner, he's in the business of acoustic treatments.  He's on the forum too, and I can recommend his treatment products.  Give him a try, might start with a PM.  He literally "wrote the book".

 

Thank you for the quick lesson.


I decided to listen to you a go with a more balanced approach.

Will do with some fiberglass insulation covered in Microsuede/Regular fabric.

 

So i should have them in different thicknesses and materials correct?

I found this website: http://www.overtoneacoustics.com/

 

My room is fairly small and im not sure which to get.

Maybe a some 1", 2", 3" thickness fiberglass wall paltes and few bass traps?

 

Your advice is greatly appreciated.

post #6 of 14

I couldn't really say without a whole lot more info, sorry.  When I tune rooms, I start with floor plans, then I do acoustic measurements in the room.  Pretty hard to do that over the internet.  You know, the Doc won't prescribe medication over the phone...same thing.

post #7 of 14

Best thing you can do is download REW. Take measurements. Know which frequencies are problematic.since it's a small room you'll likely end up bass trapping alot.  Like Jaddue pointed out I also recommend you to do the measurements and find out what thickness, height, position etc is best. Also in terms of listening position and speaker position etc.

 

For more info also have a look here: http://gikacoustics.com/articles/ (Ethans site?)

 

And here are plenty of DIY threads http://www.gearslutz.com/board/bass-traps-acoustic-panels-foam-etc/

 

REW: http://www.hometheatershack.com/roomeq/

 

It's totally worth investing time/money on it! Good speakers need a good room!


Edited by durkk - 9/7/13 at 7:44pm
post #8 of 14

The above links are fine. Don't bother with REW, the learning curve is WAY to steep, you'll need a good measurement mic, preamp, etc.  REW never "solves" anything, it just raises many more questions until you not only know how to drive it, but what it's really showing you.  You can get lead down a really winding path without a clear end, unless you plan to study up.  I've got 30 years of time domain measurements behind me, and REW is still frustrating. 

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

To be real honest and straight forward, i have no idea of how do these measurement/recordings and pick out whats bad.

 

I do have a few studio microphones. Do i use it to record from where i would be listening or buy an actual measurement tool and go around the room?

As for the whole absorbers thing. Just buying a few and putting them on side wall/back wall should do more good than not doing anything right? Could harm be done?

 

Sorry for the rubbish questions. I've only recently got into this room dampening subject because i recently moved into a dorm room that has a slight echo problem that is messing with my enjoyment of studio monitors and vocal recordings.


Edited by Curse - 9/7/13 at 8:04pm
post #10 of 14

Let me suggest a low-tech way to solve your.  If you have a small room, you should have no problem experimenting with things you have on hand to see if they help your problem.  Blankets, heavy coats, pillows, cushions, all of that can be tried at no cost and no commitment, and no measurements other than your own listening.  You can cover up big, flat, hard surfaces, but you can also start with the mirror trick.  Temporarily stick a mirror to your wall, moving it around so you can see a reflection of your speaker(s) in it from your listening position.  When you find that position, put a chunk of fuzz there.  You'll usually find those spots on at least 3 walls, possibly 4, and the ceiling if you try it.  Fuzzing those spots takes care of the largest and most prominent reflections.  Listen to the result, see what you think, then make those temporary test positions more permanent by placing absorbing panels there.  This won't deal with the low end, but from what you say, it may just take care of your problems.

 

You can't use studio mics for reliable acoustic measurements.  Taking useful acoustic measurements you face several hurdles, one of which is a good test mic, and preamp.  Then, learning how to operate the software, then interpreting the resulting data. The first two are easy, interpretation not as much.  

 

You can get 80% or more of the way to your solution using my low-tech method.

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post
 

Let me suggest a low-tech way to solve your.  If you have a small room, you should have no problem experimenting with things you have on hand to see if they help your problem.  Blankets, heavy coats, pillows, cushions, all of that can be tried at no cost and no commitment, and no measurements other than your own listening.  You can cover up big, flat, hard surfaces, but you can also start with the mirror trick.  Temporarily stick a mirror to your wall, moving it around so you can see a reflection of your speaker(s) in it from your listening position.  When you find that position, put a chunk of fuzz there.  You'll usually find those spots on at least 3 walls, possibly 4, and the ceiling if you try it.  Fuzzing those spots takes care of the largest and most prominent reflections.  Listen to the result, see what you think, then make those temporary test positions more permanent by placing absorbing panels there.  This won't deal with the low end, but from what you say, it may just take care of your problems.

 

You can't use studio mics for reliable acoustic measurements.  Taking useful acoustic measurements you face several hurdles, one of which is a good test mic, and preamp.  Then, learning how to operate the software, then interpreting the resulting data. The first two are easy, interpretation not as much.  

 

You can get 80% or more of the way to your solution using my low-tech method.

Woah. This has got to be the best advice yet.

 

Since this isn't a PRO studio or anything, i'll use that low-tech method you've given me to the best of my ability.

 

As for the mirror trick, what i should do is sit in my listening spot and have someone nearby the side walls holding a long mirror moving it left/right until i can see the reflection of the speakers in the mirror? That would then be a good spot to hang fiberglass absorbers? As for low end, do you have any low tech advice for that too? How thick does an insulator have to be in order to absorb that low end frequency?


Edited by Curse - 9/7/13 at 11:54pm
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curse View Post
 

As for the mirror trick, what i should do is sit in my listening spot and have someone nearby the side walls holding a long mirror moving it left/right until i can see the reflection of the speakers in the mirror? That would then be a good spot to hang fiberglass absorbers?

Exactly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curse View Post
 

As for low end, do you have any low tech advice for that too? How thick does an insulator have to be in order to absorb that low end frequency?

Do the high end first and see what you think.

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

All right, thanks.

 

I'll go get some long thick Pillows and temporarily place them on the wall and see if these mini echo's go away.

Will report back sir aye captain.

post #14 of 14

I need all the absorption you've got in five seconds or we're all dead!

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