Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Discussion on Improving the Sound of a Room

I had a question come in through You Tube on essentially deadening up a room that was to live...Here's the video he was referencing...The video was shot with no external mic on either segment and no sound editing, simply a live shot of the room through the camera mic.

"Hey, quick question! I'm playing in a small space (maybe10'x20') in my basement. It's not a room so much as a just a tucked away area. Anyhow, my question is this, Would this stuff help with the volume I am experiencing? Secondly, I've seen drummers place their kits facing a wall and was wondering if they do that for any acousitcal reason. Thanks, home-bro!!"

"Yes, this stuff will absolutely help with your volume inside the room.It'll help some w/ the volume level outside the room, but inside it'll make it sound 10x better.It has to do w/ standing waves, flutter echo, and the likes...the acoustical foam just helps to disperse those waves.Facing the kick to a wall that is treated w/ foam would def bring the volume down and help to control the sound.However, facing it into a bare wall doesn't do much, makes for easy access to the kit tho."


Him again:
"Cool! You're probably the most helpful and responsive YouTube drummer I've seen!

Oh, and by any chance do you know the brand name of the foam?"

Me again:
"Here's some links to where you can pick up the foam...some of it can be a bit pricey. Unless you're planning on making it a top of the line studio, the basic and cheap stuff will work for you.

Option 1

and here

Option 2

These are your cheaper bets.

Also, you don't have to treat all four walls for it to help significantly. You just need to treat 2 of the 4 walls...i.e., if you treat the right wall, you don't have to necessarily treat the left wall, if you treat the front wall, you won't have to necessarily treat the back wall. Putting a rug or carpet on the floor also helps, as does hanging a blanket from the ceiling (pinning one end up and then draping it across the ceiling, leaving a bit of a dip in the blanket, and then pinning the other end to the ceiling)...these are all cheap fixes, btw. If you're wanting to really deaden the room, you can put carpet or a rug down and put the foam on all 4 walls.

Hope that helps bro."


Now, before any of you write in and tell me that this isn't proper sound treatment...I know that. These are, however, simple and cheap fixes to make a practice room sound decent, which is what he was looking for. Cheers.


Sean Appel said...

Awesome info as usual Stephen. If you search Foam Factory Inc store on ebay they also sell studio foam at discount rates. If you have seen the Mikeslessons studio that is the where Mike gets his foam.


Steve Boze said...

Hey I wanted to let you guys know of another option for acoustic treatment. Fiberglass insulation has terrific sound deadening properties. There is this stuff that is compressed rigid fiberglass insulation commonly known as "duct board" and goes for about 25-30 dollars for a 10'x4' sheet. You can buy this stuff from your local heating and air conditioning supply store. This stuff is commonly used in professional level recording studios by wrapping it in a wood frame and/or a cloth or tweed fabric. In fact, there is a company called "real traps" (GREAT COMPANY) (no i don't work for them) that use this material and apply there own process. Videos can be found of these bass traps that express exactly how much more affective this material can be than common studio foam. Cheers Stephen, and thanks for all you do.

Stephen said...

@Sean...thanks man...and thanks for chipping in w/ the info...I really like it when I'm just able to facilitate conversations and everyone else jumps in w/ extra info!
@Steve...I actually used similar stuff to make my corner and tri corner traps...with a wood frame and covered in fantastic! Thanks so much for chiming in...and you're more than welcome, I really enjoy hangin' with you guys on here!


Anonymous said...

How about egg flats? They must be the cheapest solution. You might even get them for free by combing local restaurants and groceries.


Stephen said...

I've never used egg flats, so I honestly don't know how they would work out. I think they would def work for sound dispersion in the room...not as much for sound absorption...or at least I wouldn't think so. But in theory, yea, they could be used in some way.


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