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VigilantSound
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27th March 2011
Old 27th March 2011
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Cheapest Studio foam?

Ok, so I need a whole lot of foam and bass traps..

What the cheapest brand or cheapest place to buy it?

I was looking at the arouralex roominator kits and they seem extremely over priced....

Any ideas?

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27th March 2011
Old 27th March 2011
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Years ago I bought some cheap generic studio foam and some name brand foam. Now, the cheap foam is disintegrating, the name brand foam is as good as new.

There is a GS forum dedicated to this topic. It's called "Studio Building / acoustics".
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27th March 2011
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27th March 2011
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27th March 2011
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You'd be better off making Owens Corning 703, 4" thick traps. Mine cost me about 70 bucks to make (I used nice wood), but cover 2'x4' and reduce the bass frequencies, where foam typically doesn't.

I have some of the foambymail stuff, which is well made foam, but doesn't do much for acoustics. I've tried playing around with it and testing, barely a difference, no difference in the bass regions. I put my three OC703 traps in my room, huge difference, it's pretty flat now.


Seriously, read up in the bass trap forum. It'll save you money and make you happy

Bass traps, acoustic panels, foam etc - Gearslutz.com
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27th March 2011
Old 27th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tha]-[acksaw View Post

Sorry, but my experience with foambymail is that it is acoustically useless. Maybe they have changed their ways in the past few years, but I have my doubts.

Torea, on the other hand, is spot on. Make your own traps with OC 703/705 or Rockwool. Way cheap, way better. Lots of good advice on this in the Studio Building/Acoustics forum. I've found ATS acoustics to be a good source of material, btw... but there are lots of possible sources.
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27th March 2011
Old 27th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VigilantSound View Post
Ok, so I need a whole lot of foam and bass traps..

What the cheapest brand or cheapest place to buy it?

I was looking at the arouralex roominator kits and they seem extremely over priced....

Any ideas?

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I think that you many want to read a little more about room treatment before you invest in foams at all. Foams have very poor performance in the low end, whish is where small rooms need treatment the most.

Buy in haste, repent a leisure.
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#8
27th March 2011
Old 27th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torea View Post
You'd be better off making Owens Corning 703, 4" thick traps.
Don't waste your time with foam. OC703 or 705 will definitely do the trick. Order it from your local ac/heating supply house for about $125.00 for a case of 6 24”x48”x2” and wrap it with nice burlap fabric. You will get much better results for way cheaper than buying pre made traps. You can also use Roxul mineral wool. Very close to the same results as the Owens Corning rigid fiberglass. Below is a link to a supplier.

Good Luck

Wirenut.

Owens Corning 703, Roxul Mineral Wool, and Other Acoustic Materials
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27th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BudgetMC View Post
Sorry, but my experience with foambymail is that it is acoustically useless. Maybe they have changed their ways in the past few years, but I have my doubts.

Torea, on the other hand, is spot on. Make your own traps with OC 703/705 or Rockwool. Way cheap, way better. Lots of good advice on this in the Studio Building/Acoustics forum. I've found ATS acoustics to bee a good source of material, btw... but there are lots of possible sources.
why thank you. And not just foambymail. Pretty much all that stuff (ie Auralex) isn't very effective. Plus, where the cuts are for the wedge or pyramid shape, it can be as thin as .25". Only the points of the wedges are actually the height stated.

Also, try these guys - General Insulation Company &copy 2011 - they have local places around the country, I got my Roxul RHT-80 cheaper than anywhere online. Though ATS Acoustics is pretty good price-wise, shipping costs on insulation is brutal, so if you can find a local distributor (not Home Depot, they won't have it), you can probably pick it up for a good price
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27th March 2011
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If you take the 'just wrap insulation in cloth' a step further, you can improve the performance and push in down into some really useful frequencies. Build something like a sealed panel trap. You can get the directions from ethanwiner dot com (he is one of the owners of realtraps). I hired two carpenters with a shop to build the basic boxes for me, I sealed them, stuffed them with the insulation, capped them and finished them, and built enough boxes, plus some wrapped panels, to do my whole main room (about 15x30) for about $1600 and some sweat equity. You could do some more reading and come up with other answers, but this is true... half a job or a poor job here could be wore than no treatment at all.
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27th March 2011
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I already have made 4 6' by 4' of the home traps/baffles.... they work great, bass isn't my concern its high end stutter. I'm trying to cut out.. I want my room completly dead....

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27th March 2011
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I was considering making a bunch of smaller ones to hang instead of foam, but its outta my budget at the moment, plust it would make my already small room smaller...

But I will head over to thededicated acousticsforum for some more ideas... thanks to all...

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27th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VigilantSound View Post
I already have made 4 6' by 4' of the home traps/baffles.... they work great, bass isn't my concern its high end stutter. I'm trying to cut out.. I want my room completly dead....

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have you examined this idea with a critical eye? It was tried in big studios in the 70s and didn't work very well. You could probably google a lot of data about it, the pitfalls, the pluses.
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27th March 2011
Old 27th March 2011
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Misleading Generalizations

Actually, foam can be very effective, but not so much for the lower
register. That's why "bass traps" were developed.

There are some charts floating around other threads that show the
"foambymail" eggcrate type to be about 1/2 as effective as the
auralex products. What they leave out is that the price is about
10%. So, buy twice as much, and still only spend 20% as for the
"name brand".

Also, just because no one is promoting a way to use foam for bass
traps, doesn't mean it can't be done. There are many subtle effects
that occur in acoustics, such as attaching a thin, flexible layer to
the surface of the foam. Something that simple can improve bass
attenuation by as much as 60%, IIRC.

How about attaching a thin, viscoelastic layer to the flat side of
eggcrate foam, and rolling it up like a jellyroll? You end up with a
sequence of attenuating layers, with irregular air gaps, that the
low pitches have to pass through, being partiallly converted from
sonic energy to thermal energy, at every stage.

Disclaimer: I'm much more favorable of foam than fiberglass,
because foam doesn't cause cancer, and otherwise destroy
your lungs, if you breath in minute particles.

HTH,
Emmit Sycamore

Last edited by EmmitSycamore; 27th March 2011 at 11:16 PM.. Reason: typo
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27th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VigilantSound View Post
I already have made 4 6' by 4' of the home traps/baffles.... they work great, bass isn't my concern its high end stut ter. I'm trying to cut out.. I want my room completly dead....

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Then just do 2" panels. It'd be the same size as foam, yet more effective.

EDIT: just saw the other post. Wouldn't the smaller traps be just about as expensive as foam? Plus more effective?
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27th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmmitSycamore View Post
Actually, foam can be very effective, but not so much for the lower
register. That's why "bass traps" were developed.

There are some charts floating around other threads that show the
"foambymail" eggcrate type to be about 1/2 as effective as the
auralex products. What they leave out is that the price is about
10%. So, buy twice as much, and still only spend 20% as for the
"name brand".

Also, just because no one is promoting a way to use foam for bass
traps, doesn't mean it can't be done. There are many subtle effects
that occur in acoustics, such as attaching a thin, flexible layer to
the surface of the foam. Something that simple can improve bass
attenuation by as much as 60%, IIRC.

How about attaching a thin, viscoelastic layer to the flat side of
eggcrate foam, and rolling it up like a jellyroll? You end up with a
sequence of attenuating layers, with irregular air gas, that the
low pitches have to pass through, being patiallly converted from
sonic energy to thermal energy, at every stage.

Disclaimer: I'm much more favorable of foam than fiberglass, because
foam doesn't can't cause cancer, and otherwise destroy your lungs,
if you breath in minute particles.

HTH,
Emmit Sycamore


Could you post this in the acoustics forum? I'd like to see what the pro guys say in response and they're more likely to see it there.

In the Bass Traps forum, there are several posts about safety concerns. I believe I saw a post saying that tests done in a room with 50 (yes, fifty) 2'x4'x4" bass traps had only a fraction of the amount of dangerous particles known to cause cancer. So if that's true, it's fairly safe. If you're still concerned, Knauf has a newer line of insulation that is made without the things that cause cancer, and is greener to make. So that's an option.
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27th March 2011
Old 27th March 2011
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Well, we could wander down the halls of science... the cubbys in offices are made with standard 700 series insulation or equivalent from other manufacturers, covered with architectural cloth. The ceiling tiles in hung ceilings (like in garde and high schools, colleges, commercial buildings, ...) is mostly insulation. The wrapping of most HVAC systems is insulation. Can breathing fibers from insulation cause cancer? I don't know. But we've all been doing it for a long long time.

Meanwhile, a sealed panel trap is sealed. No fiberglas in the room. And if you wrap the panels using a spray adhesive (I used 3M spray 77) to adhere the cloth to the panel, you effectively 'seal' the outside with a layer of glue... again, no fiberglass in the room.
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27th March 2011
Old 27th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VigilantSound View Post
Ok, so I need a whole lot of foam and bass traps..

What the cheapest brand or cheapest place to buy it?

I was looking at the arouralex roominator kits and they seem extremely over priced....

Any ideas?

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I like when people think things are overpriced. There is a reason for the cost.

The best bang for the buck is the Primacoustic line. All of those packages are not going to be stellar below 100Hz.
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27th March 2011
Old 27th March 2011
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Fiberglass = glass fibers

Torea:

"newer line of insulation that is made without the things that cause cancer"

The stuff in fiberglass that causes cancer is, uh, glass fibers.

Bill:

Calling stuff "insulation" without specifying explicitly it's composition is
bound to lead to confusion.

What you describe is scary, at best. Remember, it wasn't that long ago
that asbestos was considered "safe" construction material, and lead
additives in gasoline were considered "cost effective".

If you are truly concerned, Google can help you find out much more
about mesothelioma. My personal opinion is that the prevalence of
lung disease attributed to tobacco smoke is masking an epidemic
of glass fiber induced disease.

HTH,
Emmit Sycamore
#20
27th March 2011
Old 27th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BudgetMC View Post
Sorry, but my experience with foambymail is that it is acoustically useless. Maybe they have changed their ways in the past few years, but I have my doubts.

Torea, on the other hand, is spot on. Make your own traps with OC 703/705 or Rockwool. Way cheap, way better. Lots of good advice on this in the Studio Building/Acoustics forum. I've found ATS acoustics to be a good source of material, btw... but there are lots of possible sources.
I totally disagree. The OP asked about foam, not bass traps. Sound treatment needs to be done in stages, based on the needs of the room. Bass traps are a huge help for sure, but can really kill things fast. Bass trapping corners or hotspots is gonna be a must, but using bass traps to kill flutter echos and stuff that involves the highend, is over kill. You need to use the treatment that woks best for what you are trying to treat. And you don't use bass traps to treat high end problems.
#21
28th March 2011
Old 28th March 2011
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Marketing = 50% + of total expenses

PDC:

"I like when people think things are overpriced. There is a reason
for the cost."

You're entirely correct, of course. The reason poor quality food is so
costly is because the agri-biz MBA geniuses spend fully half, or more,
of total "production" cost in advertising, and "customer relations".

If there is a solution that can't be patented, and or otherwise
protected as a monopoly, and outrageous profits generated therefrom,
you will not find corporate interests promoting that solution.

From medicine, to nutrition, to cosmetics, to education, you name it.

Sorry, you hit a nerve.
Emmit Sycamore
#22
28th March 2011
Old 28th March 2011
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[QUOTE Disclaimer: I'm much more favorable of foam than fiberglass,
because foam doesn't cause cancer, and otherwise destroy
your lungs, if you breath in minute particles.

HTH,
Emmit Sycamore[/QUOTE]

Before you make comments like this you should do some research. Saying that ownens corning rigid fiberglass causes cancer is truley unfounded and obviousley your uneducated opinion. dfegad
#23
28th March 2011
Old 28th March 2011
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Foam does jack shit for low frequencies, but can be useful for controlling high end and flutter. Thicker the better, and from around 4kHz+ the NRC ratings aren't that far off from 2" 703/705.

OP: I know you said you want the room completely dead, but that might cause other problems you're not aware of. Depending on your setup, you might want to look into diffusion as opposed to absorption.
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#24
28th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tha]-[acksaw View Post
I totally disagree. The OP asked about foam, not bass traps. Sound treatment needs to be done in stages, based on the needs of the room. Bass traps are a huge help for sure, but can really kill things fast. Bass trapping corners or hotspots is gonna be a must, but using bass traps to kill flutter echos and stuff that involves the highend, is over kill. You need to use the treatment that woks best for what you are trying to treat. And you don't use bass traps to treat high end problems.

Perhaps I wasn't clear enough... sorry. Not all "traps" are bass traps. A 1" thick panel of OC or Rockwool is going to address high end frequencies. A 2-3" trap works well in the mid-range. 4"+ works for the low end.

And I would caution the OP against going for "totally dead". One of the advantages of using traps is that by not covering too much of the rooms surface you get reflective spots and a bit of diffusion. This can maintain a bit of the room's "size" without it being ringy or dealing with as many troublesome modes.

Lots of good works on acoustics available. I recommend reading up before sticking foam or whatever all over your walls.
#25
28th March 2011
Old 28th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmmitSycamore View Post
Torea:

"newer line of insulation that is made without the things that cause cancer"

The stuff in fiberglass that causes cancer is, uh, glass fibers.

Bill:

Calling stuff "insulation" without specifying explicitly it's composition is
bound to lead to confusion.

What you describe is scary, at best. Remember, it wasn't that long ago
that asbestos was considered "safe" construction material, and lead
additives in gasoline were considered "cost effective".

If you are truly concerned, Google can help you find out much more
about mesothelioma. My personal opinion is that the prevalence of
lung disease attributed to tobacco smoke is masking an epidemic
of glass fiber induced disease.

HTH,
Emmit Sycamore

Glass fibers may be a concern, but once you wrap the material in fabric, that factor is eliminated. Also, unless you're allergic to rigid fiberboard, or are cutting it, you don't really need to worry as there won't be many dust fibers coming from the rigid board.

I'm pretty sure the biggest concern is formaldehyde. Knauf ECOSE is made without formaldehyde and phenol, among other things - Knauf Acoustical Board Smooth with ECOSE® Technology


Do you have anything to back up your opinion on lung disease? I can't dispute it as I haven't studied, or seen any studies, on it. But throwing that out there and saying "Google it" isn't a very reliable statement.
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28th March 2011
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Also, big apologies to the OP, looks like I started a fireball of crap with my 703 suggestion. Didn't mean to, but I shoulda known better tutt
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28th March 2011
Old 28th March 2011
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I'm not using OC fiberglass (as it's not readily available where I am), but I'm using the equivalent of it. I have pretty bad allergies and asthma and the whole nine yards and haven't had any problems (yet?). I took extra measures and wrapped my fiberglass in polyester before covering it in fabric.

What I did notice when building my traps was that it was slightly irritating to the skin. It would kind of "stick" to clothing (not as in come apart and stay on my clothes, but kind of catch my t-shirts and stuff like that). Honestly, I wouldn't want that in my lungs... but I never saw it shedding. That combined with the protective layer of polyester has completely gotten rid of any worry.

There's plenty of information about its safe-ness on the net. There are also a ton of resources on acoustics that are out there for free (from respected sources I might add). For my money (including the time it took to make them) broadband absorbers are the best way to treat an existing room.

One thing that I have heard of is this: mold. Although fiberglass is apparently mold-free, what happens is the dust that the fiberglass collects can gather mold. However, I think two layers of fabric will help prevent this.

Another cool thing about broadband absorbers is that you can make them semi-portable. I have most of mine connected with a "poor-man's" french cleat (a way to connect them to your walls), so I can take them down and move them around or to different rooms and what not.

You can also customize the color of your fabric, which is a nice way to spruce up your studio. You're not stuck with white, black, brown, light brown, or royal purple (or whatever the foam companies have to offer) that way.

As far as cheap solutions go... I think one major problem is fire safety. As far as I know glass wool is not flammable.

In fact, I think that considering starting with broadband absorbers is a good idea. After you've taken care of your mid/low end see (or hear I guess) if you even want acoustic foam any more.

Don't take my word for it though... do some research.
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28th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ST. View Post
I'm not using OC fiberglass (as it's not readily available where I am), but I'm using the equivalent of it. I have pretty bad allergies and asthma and the whole nine yards and haven't had any problems (yet?). I took extra measures and wrapped my fiberglass in polyester before covering it in fabric.

What I did notice when building my traps was that it was slightly irritating to the skin. It would kind of "stick" to clothing (not as in come apart and stay on my clothes, but kind of catch my t-shirts and stuff like that). Honestly, I wouldn't want that in my lungs... but I never saw it shedding. That combined with the protective layer of polyester has completely gotten rid of any worry.

Yeah, that's the slag (I think). Mine had little black splinter looking things that I was careful to avoid (I also wore gloves). For the most part, they were a minor nuisance, easily washed off. And with careful wrapping, you won't have any on the outside of the fabric.
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#29
28th March 2011
Old 28th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torea View Post
Yeah, that's the slag (I think). Mine had little black splinter looking things that I was careful to avoid (I also wore gloves). For the most part, they were a minor nuisance, easily washed off. And with careful wrapping, you won't have any on the outside of the fabric.
thumbsupthumbsup

I will note that mine did not have any black splinters in it. It was very clean, as a matter of fact. I was pretty impressed. The panels looked like giant "tamago yaki", if you know what I mean (just white and yellow). I've read posts on forums where people said they vacuumed their wool before they set it up. I don't know how effective that would be... if anything I think it'd be counter productive as far as keeping it all together goes. I do vacuum my panels every now and then now that they're set up. That's just to get rid of the dust that collects on the surface of the fabric though.

Regardless, I did use gloves when I built mine. I think that's a good tip. Not using gloves would be a mistake. If you're going to be doing any cutting, wear a mask and some goggles (and do any cutting preferably outdoors). I also recommend wearing a long sleeve shirt and long pants. I'm sure a little rub here or there would be fine, but if you're making 10+ panels (which use at least 2 layers of glass wool) that's a whole 'lotta rub. Just think of it like anything else that's abrasive, I suppose.
#30
28th March 2011
Old 28th March 2011
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Rigid fiberglass isn't as prone to separate and become airborne as is with regular fiberglass batting. I wore gloves and long sleeves when I handled mine, but that's about it. Definitely used a mask and goggles when I was installing the R30.

My old day gig was installing security systems, so I was crawling elbow deep in the stuff half the time. We wore coveralls, eye wear and respirators, but inevitably a sleeve gets rolled up, and when it's 150 degrees in the attic, you don't care. Not a big deal, just shower right away and you're fine. Wash your clothing right away as well, or at least throw them in a garbage bag for the time being.
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