Great Wall of Acoustic Foam - It's Gonna Be YUUUGE

Jankowske

Senior Member
Hey guys and gals! Long time no Drummerworld.

I may or may not have come into a bit of foam. Not your regular old two-foot-square 2" thick panels you can get for $15-20 a pop at guitar center, but, maybe it's like two-by-two 12" and 18" spikes. Like the stuff they use in anechoic chambers and acoustic testing labs. Maybe I have a few hundred square feet of it.

I may or may not be in the process of lining the entire ceiling of my basement/ tracking room/ practice space with them to see how it works out. So far my hypothetical problems are twofold; first, I have a feeling that my foam placement might be sub-optimal, so I'll put up some pics here of the first installation or two once it's done and hopefully those here with understanding can guide me in the right direction.

Second, I have no idea how much this foam that, um, a friend of mine might have is worth. I googled around for about five minutes and I could only find one site with 12" thick wedge foam that wanted $200 a panel. That's stupid, right? This hypothetical mountain of foam in my basement is also definitely not new; it has wear and tear from obviously being installed at some point with the old adhesive on the back and the occasional torn-off pyramid point. It's not rotten or crumbling or anything but it is pretty dense and easy to cut with a knife. I'm not exactly sure how supple it's supposed to be and I don't know if its efficacy gets reduced with age.

So any input is welcome and I hope this thread will hold me accountable to make reasonable progress on the new Föam Zöne™©® and also the rest of the recording studio which is long overdue.
 

andtfoot

Member
Just keep in mind you can have too much absorption in a room for music recording, especially as higher frequencies are usually attenuated more than the low frequencies. Without a bit of reverb, I've heard it can sound somewhat unnatural.
It's probably best to take a rough frequency response and reverb time measurement of the space before applying anything. You can then better target the frequencies that may be an issue. Knowing room dimensions and wall materials would help too.

Regarding most efficient use of the material; you are betting off having a scattering of blocks, rather than one continuous sheet. This way the edges of the material contribute to the absorption, not just the face.
You can also space it off the wall; this usually helps with the lower frequencies which are generally hard to target.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Instead of trying to line all the walls, look at some pictures of studios. They don't do that. They typically want a bit of the rooms' sound, and will usually just put up acoustic material in a fashion that prevents too much bounce of the sound waves, but allows some as well... "traps" I think they tend to call them.
 

Mozart1220

Senior Member
I worked at a mattress factory, and when they threw out rolls of quilted material I grabbed a bunch. I cut the strips into aprox 7 foot lengths and my wife sewed them into curtains. by hanging them in my old garage leaving the ceiling and aluminum door exposed, I get a GREAT drum sound when recording. I can also transfer them to my 100 year old stone basement. I have some old cubicle sections for the garage as well. Those are placed in "L" shapes in front with the PA speakers in the corners facing us. Not exactly "professional" but you'd never know from the sound. This pic taken the day I got my kit ($100 at a garage sale believe it or not) and had just set it up to see if all the parts were there. Yes, they really did make leopard skin beds. LOL.
 

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Tone Laborer

Senior Member
I'm trying to imaģine what you mean by two by two 12" and 18" spikes, but the thickness is the critical spec.

Tightening up a small, square room is not the same as tuning a larger studio room. GOOGLE GIK Acoustics, and trust the info there.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Tightening up a small, square room is not the same as tuning a larger studio room. GOOGLE GIK Acoustics, and trust the info there.
thanks for that, a good vid on that site, including myths on sound.
The 'myth' of egg cartons - they actually do nothing to absorb sounds :)
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
My experience of 'improving' a room may echo (fner fner!) what somebody else has already posted.

My band used to play in a long narrow room in the downstairs part of my house. The room was carpeted, and had a double bed and base leaned up against one of the walls. The room sounded just fine for playing music in.

Then the room was done over, the carpet ripped out and replaced with laminated timber flooring, and everything cleared out. Playing drums in the now empty room made my ears bleed.

Putting the mattress and bed base against a wall totally tamed the room and made it once again suitable for music use. The point that I am making is simply that you will not need to cover every surface with acoustic foam.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyP7i1B_QNk
 

Tone Laborer

Senior Member
thanks for that, a good vid on that site, including myths on sound.
The 'myth' of egg cartons - they actually do nothing to absorb sounds :)
They are eggscellent for transporting eggs, though. Absorption, reflection, and diffusion, a nice balance of the three equals Concert hall.

I made a sound investment with GIK,not just as a drum room, but as part of a home studio. 2 --4" ceiling clouds, 4- corner bass traps, and a thicker monster trap, or whatever they called it. It's slick what clouds and, especially corner traps can do. When you clean up the bass build up, the rest of the frequencies come through clearer. It's more dead, but not completely dead, it's just a good simple approach that works.

The OP is missing in action, but if I acquired a load of 3" foam, rather than covering the walls with it I would make 12" to 15" traps, either gluing it together, or using string--and secure those in the corners.
 
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