Bought $500 worth of acoustical foam. Now where do i hang it?

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by Singles Forever, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. Singles Forever

    Singles Forever TDPRI Member

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    So I just bought eight pieces of high density foam. They are 4ft by 6ft. Just having them in the room as they are in the pictures has made the sound at least twice as good, without any kind of strategic placement. My main questions are these:

    1. Do I benefit in any way from hanging them lengthwise and having them go all the way to the floor? Or should I put them horizontally and leave the bottom space open this way I can cover more of the room.

    2. Should I use them to cover the corners in order to trap some of the base? Or is that completely futile oh, and I should just put them flat on the walls leaving the corners open.

    3. Should I put one on the ceiling?

    Any other suggestions on where to place these would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     

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  2. Norris Vulcan

    Norris Vulcan Tele-Holic

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    It might be worth putting one on the ceiling above the monitors, to get a truer sound.
    Its good to leave some 'live' areas as well, don't want to deaden the whole room !

    How is the room pre-treatment ? Is it very lively ?
    To do the corners properly you'd need bass traps. I didn't bother in the end as I'm not building Abbey Road :D just a music room that I can record and play in.

    https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advice/beginners-guide-acoustic-treatment
     
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  3. galaxiex

    galaxiex Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    We used to have a jam place that was 4 concrete walls.
    Carpet on the floor and drywall ceiling.

    Sounded horrible in there.

    We completely covered 3 of the walls with acoustic foam, floor to ceiling.
    Left one wall and the ceiling bare.

    Huuuuge improvement!

    Really anything you do will help to stop the echo.

    We now jam/practice in a finished basement.
    Carpet on floor and all drywall ceiling and walls.

    We hung a few 2ft X 4ft box frames on the walls (6 of them) with foam inside the frame and upholstery fabric to look nice.

    3 on one wall, 3 on the other.

    Not as "dead" as our previous place, but works well.

    .
     
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  4. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hang em where they improve the sound ... Other than paying a pro to figure it out, thats all i got ...
     
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  5. jimash

    jimash Friend of Leo's

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    Get at least one piece on the ceiling
     
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  6. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Gold Supporter

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    Foam is mostly useful for controlling highs and mids, so I wouldn't try to trap with them. It's hard to see exactly how the mix station sits in the room from those pics, but besides the ceiling, I'd place a couple at the "first reflection" spots, which are usually at ear level on the side walls between the speaker and the mix station.

    A 4' x 6' foam panel is huge. Bear in mind, as you're moving them around to find your trouble spots, there's no reason you couldn't slice a couple of them in half and double the number of trouble spots you condition. It's all about finding the spots of greatest need. There's a wealth of material online about sound conditioning. Google is your best friend! :D
     
  7. 2 Headed Goat

    2 Headed Goat Tele-Afflicted

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    Up...cue drum/cymbal crash.
     
  8. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    Got a very effective near-dead room in my house, and a very effective controlled-resonance room. Worked on this with a friend who's produced two albums of his own and several with/for others, and had an acoustic engineer look it over. So my creds is, well, effectively mediocre, anyway!

    You want to break up any surface that's flat and fairly hard, such as a wall--especially if you've got plaster walls/ceilings. These bounce sound around like crazy compared to drywall/gypsum walls, which absorb some sound/are more porous.

    I suggest cutting your foam pads into smaller pieces--say, six even sections each--so you can irregularize (that should be a word!) your room's surfaces.

    E.g., yes, four of these smaller pieces on the ceiling--in, say, a widely-spaced triangular pattern, with one in the middle of that. (While this would create its own pattern, said pattern will break up the blank space of your ceiling.)

    Put some on the closet doors near your room's door, and on that room's inner door itself. Such doors are thin or hollow, and can be very boomy both in their frames and in and of themselves. You may want to wedge little shims into your doors to keep them from rattling if you're playing anything of any real volume, or a bass, or drums in there. Check fixtures, too. We had a squeaky rattle when recording bass that we didn't track down until the overhead light fortuitously went out, and we realized that the light fixture itself needed to be screwed down again.

    To maximize your foam's possibilities, just put stuff in your room's corners: a pile of books or a small bookcase with books in it (deep bookcases without books can boom around sound, too), anything you can lean into corners to clutter 'em up a bit. I've got guitar cases in my dead room's corners (with a towel or two draped over them, as those surfaces are pretty hard), and some cabinets with stuff on the shelves in my semi-live room. Kids are always cluttering it up with baseball gloves, muddy cleats, etc., so that works well.

    Be sure to get a big rug or two medium-size ones! It's very important to break up the bounce from your floors.

    Be sure also to close the drapes/curtains. Windows bounce sound big-time, and older ones, especially, can rattle like hell under sound pressures.

    I suggest addition by subtraction on this. Deaden everything you can, and then remove or modify things bit by bit to find the liveliness of the room you like. This can much vary for different instruments, songs, tones, etc. I have a Tele that's pretty piercing, for example. Sounds great in the dead room, but the livelier room is just too lively for it. Some shrill, unwanted reverbs happen. But if I undeaden the dead room a bit by moving the foam panels off the windows a few inches, and leave the room door open a bit, then that Tele really talks to that room well.

    Think of your room as yet another instrument--an encompassing, interacting one--and this can be more fun than burden.

    One last note: Like rugs, foam can soak up ambient moisture, so keep your padded room (!) dryer now lest your foam get ruined by getting moldy over the years. You can always re-humidify a bit if/when you need it, but you don't want to have to throw out the stuff, and have a moldified room, in a year or three.

    Good luck, and post again about your choices and discoveries.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
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  9. Singles Forever

    Singles Forever TDPRI Member

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    Well thanks for all the extremely detailed responses. Especially Roscoe Elegante that was very lengthy and helpful.:)

    I took it all into consideration and watched some videos. I ended up listening to the sound and moving things around a bit bu ear... I cut the foam up like crazy with scissors.

    I only have one thing left to do. The ceiling piece. I have a full 4 by 6 piece of foam that I saved just for that.

    I have a question about this step:

    Should I put that piece of foam directly over the monitors? Or directly over where I sit and listen? Or should I try to somehow make it cover both of those spots?

    Thanks again guys. After this it's just going to be a rug that covers the center floor and that's it for now. I may buy some bass traps eventually but the sound is actually really really good now. Worlds of difference.

    Check the pics.
     

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  10. scelestus

    scelestus Tele-Meister

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    I would place the foam on the ceiling where it will appear to most affect sound reflected from the monitors. So instead of right over the monitors or right over the listener, I'd experiment with the ceiling between the monitors and listener.

    Or if you have enough foam, all three!
     
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  11. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Try the live end vs dead end approach. On opposing walls you have one bare, and treatment on the opposite wall. Don't know what to say about the ceiling.
     
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  12. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Gold Supporter

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    Maybe start with that ceiling piece with the back end just over the mix station. IOW, if you dropped a plumb bob from the back end of the foam, it would hit the floor just behind your chair. Again, it's all about what sounds good in the room, so adjust to taste.
     
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  13. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have studio envy.
    My home recording space is an 11x11 bedroom. It has too prominent a location in the house to put up panels. It has to have some decor. Besides guitars on the wall take up much space.
     
  14. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    Do you record live instruments in that room?

    Guitar amps with mics, vocals, acoustic guitars?
     
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