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How should I apply acoustic foam to my small room? Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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How should I apply acoustic foam to my small room?

I've got a pretty small room that I use to record and mix music, I've ordered a bunch of acoustic tiles and bass traps but not sure how I should put them up. I also have a feeling I should move my desk, pretty sure it's not ideal to have it in the middle of the room (it's been out of convenience so I can use my bed as a chair lol), should I move it to the window or something?

The floor is carpeted but the ceiling has no treatment, I could put some blankets or whatever up though

Here's a diagramof my room, I tried to measure it up as accurate as possible (the square thing in the top-left corner by the window is some sorta weird vent thing)

Any help would be appreciated, I'm gonna have about 80 tiles and 6 bass traps for now so I can figure out if it's necessary to buy more bass traps or whatever
Old 1 week ago
  #2
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Your desk should face the window with your listening (seat) position 38% into the room.

Google/youtube "the mirror trick for finding first reflections," and those are the most important spots to treat after mucho bass taming.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g.t. View Post
Your desk should face the window with your listening (seat) position 38% into the room.

Google/youtube "the mirror trick for finding first reflections," and those are the most important spots to treat after mucho bass taming.
By face the window do you mean I should be looking out the window or the speakers should be pointed towards the window? Because right now with the limited space it's convenient to sit on the edge of the bed (so I'm looking out the window), I measured it up and I'm pretty much 38% into the room already
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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It is a complete waste of time and money to use foam anywhere in a recording or mixing environment.
Save your cash, get real, and get some proper bass traps before you do anything else.
Control the low end of your room, and the rest is pretty simple.
IE: First reflections are next, then back wall, then a cloud last.


YYMV

Light

Temple
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Temple of Light View Post
It is a complete waste of time and money to use foam anywhere in a recording or mixing environment.
Save your cash, get real, and get some proper bass traps before you do anything else.
Control the low end of your room, and the rest is pretty simple.
IE: First reflections are next, then back wall, then a cloud last.


YYMV

Light

Temple
Would it be cheaper to DIY my own bass traps and acoustic panels? I've been reading about rigid fiberglass and it isn't too late to return the foam, I figured foam would be fine temporarily (eventually I'm going to be doing my mixing in a different, larger room and was planning to keep this room strictly as a recording space), is it just not worthwhile whatsoever? Or should I return half the foam and just use it in between custom-built panels and bass traps?

EDIT: Two of the walls (the one with the door and the one opposite the window) are pretty weak and might not be able to hold large framed panels, could I use foam on these and then build bass traps and add a couple of panels to the left wall?
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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+1 on return the foam

Most expensive product available on a cost vs performance standpoint.

Cheap fluffy fiber is best bang for the buck.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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I'm gonna be the party pooper here and suggest that with a room that small you will probably be better off monitoring with headphones. As for recording, the amount of treatment you would need to even partially lessen the boxy sound of a room that small would mean there would be little room for anything else!

If it were me, and that's the only room I can use, I would cover the ceiling with rockwool or something like OC 703; put thick bass traps in all the corners, and put 4 - 6 inch thick panels of rockwool or fluffy on as many wall surfaces as you can.

The point is, there are no acoustic "plusses" in a room that small - so the more you can make the room "disappear", the better.

P.S. . . . I agree with Jason Foi - return the foam . . . . except it might work to use it to cover the ceiling. You won't get any bass absorption from that, but you will help kill the inescapable flutter echoes between floor and ceiling. Plus, it won't make your ceiling seem like a cave the way thicker material might.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Foi View Post
+1 on return the foam

Most expensive product available on a cost vs performance standpoint.

Cheap fluffy fiber is best bang for the buck.
Thanks for the recommendation, I've been reading about rockwool and figured I'd go with this design:

DIY Acoustic Traps << Irish Acoustics
Best DIY Trap EVER

I can put these on the wall too (maybe try to figure out a way to create an air gap behind) and they'd work better than foam, right? I plan to use 60cm*120cm fiber which won't fit on the window walls, so I was thinking of either cutting some down or simply using foam, because at least I'll have probably 3 full-sized fiber panels on the left wall (horizontal I think), 2 on the right (not sure between horizontal or vertical yet, does it make much difference?) and 2 in the corners by the bed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
I'm gonna be the party pooper here and suggest that with a room that small you will probably be better off monitoring with headphones. As for recording, the amount of treatment you would need to even partially lessen the boxy sound of a room that small would mean there would be little room for anything else!

If it were me, and that's the only room I can use, I would cover the ceiling with rockwool or something like OC 703; put thick bass traps in all the corners, and put 4 - 6 inch thick panels of rockwool or fluffy on as many wall surfaces as you can.

The point is, there are no acoustic "plusses" in a room that small - so the more you can make the room "disappear", the better.
I've mixed in this room with monitors and headphones and the mixes done with monitors usually sound better on difference devices and speakers, I'm not doing anything hugely professional (mostly just working on stuff for myself + local friends for now) so I don't mind it not being absolutely perfect. Like I said, I'll eventually be switching all my mixing over to a larger room anyway.

I'm more concerned with recording honestly, and even with just a reflexion filter I can get takes that sound decent enough (it used to be better though before I rearranged my room), so do you think what I wrote earlier in this post will work? I also plan to install some type of ceiling cloud.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TylerCB View Post
Thanks for the recommendation, I've been reading about rockwool and figured I'd go with this design:

DIY Acoustic Traps << Irish Acoustics
Best DIY Trap EVER

I can put these on the wall too (maybe try to figure out a way to create an air gap behind) and they'd work better than foam, right? I plan to use 60cm*120cm fiber which won't fit on the window walls, so I was thinking of either cutting some down or simply using foam, because at least I'll have probably 3 full-sized fiber panels on the left wall (horizontal I think), 2 on the right (not sure between horizontal or vertical yet, does it make much difference?) and 2 in the corners by the bed.



I've mixed in this room with monitors and headphones and the mixes done with monitors usually sound better on difference devices and speakers, I'm not doing anything hugely professional (mostly just working on stuff for myself + local friends for now) so I don't mind it not being absolutely perfect. Like I said, I'll eventually be switching all my mixing over to a larger room anyway.

I'm more concerned with recording honestly, and even with just a reflexion filter I can get takes that sound decent enough (it used to be better though before I rearranged my room), so do you think what I wrote earlier in this post will work? I also plan to install some type of ceiling cloud.

Indeed, great, simple design and off a great man's website as well.

703 and other rigid panls have too high a GFR to be useful as bass traps unless you take advantage of the membrane effect from having a large surface area and a closed airgap. I havent looked at your floor plan so im just making general recommendations here, but THICK (12"+) fluffy fiber on the entire ceiling and back wall will go a long way. You may want to consider pressure traps or utilize the helmholtz effect in non first reflecion points by adding slats.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Foi View Post
Indeed, great, simple design and off a great man's website as well.

703 and other rigid panls have too high a GFR to be useful as bass traps unless you take advantage of the membrane effect from having a large surface area and a closed airgap. I havent looked at your floor plan so im just making general recommendations here, but THICK (12"+) fluffy fiber on the entire ceiling and back wall will go a long way. You may want to consider pressure traps or utilize the helmholtz effect in non first reflecion points by adding slats.
This is what I was thinking of using as fiber (RW45kg 100mm 4 per pack 1200x600mm), would these not work for bass traps along with wall panels? This site doesn't list any that are 300mm thick but I could triple them up for the ceiling, unless you know of a cheaper equivalent (I'm in the UK by the way)

Acoustic Mineral Wool - Dense Fibre Matting

I'll definitely look into your last point too and will be reading up on the helmholtz effect, thanks.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
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Look for cheap insulation rolls from a big local hardware store. Like unfaced attic insulation, and yes, add layers to acheive your desired thickness. My back wall is 900mm thick.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Foi View Post
Look for cheap insulation rolls from a big local hardware store. Like unfaced attic insulation, and yes, add layers to acheive your desired thickness. My back wall is 900mm thick.
I read that regular fiberglass isn't as good when it comes to sound as "rigid" fiberglass because rigid is more concentrated, does it not make a big enough difference to matter in a setup like this?

And I'm returning half the foam as I have another place I'd like to lightly treat anyway which won't need much, so would it be worth using some wherever a large fiberglass panel won't fit? Or even just to compliment the panels on the walls? I've always heard that it's good to keep a bit of the natural room sound but I can imagine this room doesn't exactly have the type of ambience worth recording lol

If you look at my diagram there's an awkward little square in the corner by the window that covers a vent I think, do you have any suggestions on ways to deal with that? I was originally planning to just put bass traps on both protruding faces of the square, maybe I should cut some fiberglass down to a size that will totally cover up the whole thing, or even just keep it 60cm wide and secure it at a sorta skewed angle?
Old 1 week ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TylerCB View Post
I read that regular fiberglass isn't as good when it comes to sound as "rigid" fiberglass because rigid is more concentrated, does it not make a big enough difference to matter in a setup like this?

And I'm returning half the foam as I have another place I'd like to lightly treat anyway which won't need much, so would it be worth using some wherever a large fiberglass panel won't fit? Or even just to compliment the panels on the walls? I've always heard that it's good to keep a bit of the natural room sound but I can imagine this room doesn't exactly have the type of ambience worth recording lol

If you look at my diagram there's an awkward little square in the corner by the window that covers a vent I think, do you have any suggestions on ways to deal with that? I was originally planning to just put bass traps on both protruding faces of the square, maybe I should cut some fiberglass down to a size that will totally cover up the whole thing, or even just keep it 60cm wide and secure it at a sorta skewed angle?
Youre lucky to learn all this now. Most of us find out AFTER wasting thousands of dollars. I have $2k worth of foam i use as packing material. Return all of it and buy cheaper products that work better.

As far as denser produts working better there is a strong correlation between depth vs GFR at play that is the deciding factor. Theres TONS of incorrect info out there so beware.

Read this thread and wherever it takes you...
Low end response is fine but low mids are horroble. Why why why?
Old 1 week ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Foi View Post
Youre lucky to learn all this now. Most of us find out AFTER wasting thousands of dollars. I have $2k worth of foam i use as packing material. Return all of it and buy cheaper products that work better.

As far as denser produts working better there is a strong correlation between depth vs GFR at play that is the deciding factor. Theres TONS of incorrect info out there so beware.

Read this thread and wherever it takes you...
Low end response is fine but low mids are horroble. Why why why?
The site I was going to order the fiber from doesn't say anything about flow resistivity but I read the thread you linked and also this one I found on Google which says 30kg rockwool isn't too dense ("at 9 kPa*s/m²" according to a poster who apparently used the calculator from the thread you linked), should I try to find that? Or should I literally just go out and buy some standard loft insulation? Sorry I'm just new to acoustic concepts like flow resistivity so just want to be certain before moving forward.


Edit: I just remembered you were talking about bass traps. Would the rockwool still be useful for panels on the walls, with bass traps made out of generic attic insulation?
Old 1 week ago
  #15
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Bass is the hard part to trap. It takes lots of volume to absorb LF energy. HF energy is easy to absorb. If you made everything in your room a bass trap you wouldnt have any HF problems. Cheap fluffy fiber is the way to go. As thick as possible. In a small room, you will need to sacrifice lots of space if you want a useable room.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Foi View Post
Bass is the hard part to trap. It takes lots of volume to absorb LF energy. HF energy is easy to absorb. If you made everything in your room a bass trap you wouldnt have any HF problems. Cheap fluffy fiber is the way to go. As thick as possible. In a small room, you will need to sacrifice lots of space if you want a useable room.
Right I'll build all my panels as if they were bass traps, so basically just frame up as much cheap fiber as I can fit on the walls and then do the same thing for the ceiling. Is framing even necessary? Especially when it comes to awkward walls like the weird square by my window, can I just cut it to size and wrap it in fabric? Also I read that I should wrap it with something so that I don't end up inhaling fiberglass but that like cling film / saran wrap can cause the sound to reflect which makes the whole thing pointless, and that a product called "WeedBlock" is more effective but it doesn't appear to be available in the UK (from what I've seen online anyway), do you have any recommendations on any equivalent material, or should I just use plastic wrap (since apparently food-grade film is 1mm thick which is "acoustically transparent").

Sorry for all the questions I just don't want to go down the wrong road and spend thousands like you mentioned, thanks for all the help.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TylerCB View Post
Right I'll build all my panels as if they were bass traps, so basically just frame up as much cheap fiber as I can fit on the walls and then do the same thing for the ceiling. Is framing even necessary? Especially when it comes to awkward walls like the weird square by my window, can I just cut it to size and wrap it in fabric? Also I read that I should wrap it with something so that I don't end up inhaling fiberglass but that like cling film / saran wrap can cause the sound to reflect which makes the whole thing pointless, and that a product called "WeedBlock" is more effective but it doesn't appear to be available in the UK (from what I've seen online anyway), do you have any recommendations on any equivalent material, or should I just use plastic wrap (since apparently food-grade film is 1mm thick which is "acoustically transparent").

Sorry for all the questions I just don't want to go down the wrong road and spend thousands like you mentioned, thanks for all the help.
If you can cover all walls and the ceiling except for doors with 300mm+, do it.

You will need some sort of framng every 900mm or so in order to keep the insulation from collapsing on itself. I used framing studs and chicken wire because it was cheap..

Weedblock is great. Just go to the garden section. There is a really cheap black fabric sold for flower beds. Its nothing special. Any cheap breathable fabric will do if you cant find it.

Ask as many questions as you want. Im glad to help
Attached Thumbnails
How should I apply acoustic foam to my small room?-20180917_175831.jpg   How should I apply acoustic foam to my small room?-20180919_135352.jpg  
Old 1 week ago
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Foi View Post
If you can cover all walls and the ceiling except for doors with 300mm+, do it.

You will need some sort of framng every 900mm or so in order to keep the insulation from collapsing on itself. I used framing studs and chicken wire because it was cheap..

Weedblock is great. Just go to the garden section. There is a really cheap black fabric sold for flower beds. Its nothing special. Any cheap breathable fabric will do if you cant find it.

Ask as many questions as you want. Im glad to help
I see, the images definitely help to visual the framing. In the second pic I guess the design (which looks great btw) is a custom-printed fabric but is there any functionality to the rail-like white slats at the top and bottom other than simply aesthetics? Did you just put the chicken wire along the side edges of the insulation or did you place it on the larger faces and attach it to the framing studs? And did you build the studs yourself?

Will it be safe to use the same method for the ceiling or did you do something different? Did you design something suspended like a ceiling cloud, or will this be too heavy?

Thanks again for the help.

EDIT: I've also read that it's good to wrap the fiber in polyester batting/wadding to keep the fabric from creasing up (just so it looks nicer), can this be done in conjunction with the Weedblock or is it an either/or situation?
Old 1 week ago
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TylerCB View Post
I see, the images definitely help to visual the framing. In the second pic I guess the design (which looks great btw) is a custom-printed fabric but is there any functionality to the rail-like white slats at the top and bottom other than simply aesthetics? Did you just put the chicken wire along the side edges of the insulation or did you place it on the larger faces and attach it to the framing studs? And did you build the studs yourself?

Will it be safe to use the same method for the ceiling or did you do something different? Did you design something suspended like a ceiling cloud, or will this be too heavy?

Thanks again for the help.

EDIT: I've also read that it's good to wrap the fiber in polyester batting/wadding to keep the fabric from creasing up (just so it looks nicer), can this be done in conjunction with the Weedblock or is it an either/or situation?
The wire is to create shelves to keep the insulation from sagging. You would need something similar for the ceiling. How you frame the ceiling will depend on how much weight your ceiling can support. You an always have it supported by the ground with posts if need be. The wood slats on the top and bottom are to keep HF decay times up and keep the room from being too dead. If they were spaced closer it would create a helmholtz resonator which would increase LF absorbtion at targeted frequencies. The design area is a first reflection point and slat free for that reason. Yes, i nailed it all together myself. Im too poor to hire help. DIY is the only way for me.

Either or on the fabric. I left a little gap from the insulation to the framing. That wsy nothing touches the fabric to wrinkle it
Attached Thumbnails
How should I apply acoustic foam to my small room?-img_1644-1-.jpg   How should I apply acoustic foam to my small room?-img_1300.jpg  
Old 1 week ago
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TylerCB View Post
Would it be cheaper to DIY my own bass traps and acoustic panels? I've been reading about rigid fiberglass and it isn't too late to return the foam, I figured foam would be fine temporarily (eventually I'm going to be doing my mixing in a different, larger room and was planning to keep this room strictly as a recording space), is it just not worthwhile whatsoever? Or should I return half the foam and just use it in between custom-built panels and bass traps?

EDIT: Two of the walls (the one with the door and the one opposite the window) are pretty weak and might not be able to hold large framed panels, could I use foam on these and then build bass traps and add a couple of panels to the left wall?
Foam leads to the dark side....

Read and understand this:

The Best (And Only) Insulation Material You Need For DIY Acoustic Absorbers — Acoustics Insider

This type of generic design can be modified and improved by cutting a series of 2" to 3 " diameter holes in the sides of the frames, on all 4 sides. By so doing , you increase the absorption capabilities of the device.
Then mount with a 4" airgap and you have the increase in low end absorption.
Bonus points if you craft a diffusing/scattering panel for the front of it, underneath, or as my taste would dictate, on top of the fabric...pegboard would work, but you could do a lot better...basically the idea is to range limit the panel to a certain frequency band, turning it into more of a bass trap than a broadband absorber...

YYMV

Light

Temple
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