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Cheap and easy room reflectors
Old 5th July 2005
Cheap and easy room reflectors

I'm recording drums in a room that's too dead. My problem is, I need to keep the room dead for other uses.

What's my cheapest and best option for getting some reflection going? I've heard that that peg-board like stuff works well--it's 4" x 8", light but quite dense, and inexpensive. I plan to put some under the drums and haphazardly around the drum area, propped up against sofas and chairs.

Any other recommendations?
Old 5th July 2005
Lives for gear

Good question! I've been wondering the same thing lately, as I'm in a similar situation. I'd love to hear people thoughts!
Old 5th July 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear

I've had the same problem, with a carpeted floor. So I'm taking off the carpet in the middle (only) of the control room, and in certain areas of the tracking room, to liven things up. Then I'm putting 2 x 4 ft. fiberglass-style bass traps in the various wall intersections to quiet things down again, controlling the bass as well as damping the highs. I have the drums on a bare pad of concrete, with a little rug underneath, and hanging sonex to completely deaden them from above. So far so good.

Get your room sounding good, and quiet, and then don't put the mics so close to the instruments. I think a lot of times what you're hearing is too much proximity effect, not so much a dead room. I was shocked when a friend miced his acoustic guitar here from 18 inches away, pointed at the soundhole with a mere TLM 103. Best ac gtr sound I've ever gotten, but the room was too noisy (computers, etc.).

Old 5th July 2005 | Show parent
Gear Addict
peeceebee's Avatar

I had VERY nice results in a room I did using full sheets of 1/4" ply, braced across their short dimension into curved columnar sections (maybe 35 degrees of curvature), then suspended from the ceiling at slight angles- (convex side down, of course.) Put some fiberglass in the concave tops to supress any strange resonances in the cavities between the plywood & the ceiling.

Completely bright surfaces, but very diffusing due to the convex curvature. Made the room sound much bigger, but with good presence and sizzle. Cheap, easy, effective- and it looked very sculptural, too.

In a smaller room I expect smaller pieces than full plywood sheets would be as effective-
Old 6th July 2005
Gear Guru
Ethan Winer's Avatar


> What's my cheapest and best option for getting some reflection going? <

Curved panels and plywood on the floor are good options, as mentioned. But be careful what you wish for. Unless your room is large enough to sound good with some reflectivity, you may be better off leaving it dead and adding all ambience afterward electronically. Especially if everywhere you'll record is close to a nearby surface.

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