They make it possible to surf on the wave of preconceived ideas which, in the collective imagination, tends to make people believe that egg boxes have an acoustic efficiency… Of course, this is false. So, in the background, spikes, waves, triangles… none of these shapes add any performance to a flat foam. On the contrary, the total thickness is often lower.
And, as specified above, thickness means better absorption of low frequencies. It is a foam that is often sold as Basotect. Its enormous advantage lies in the fact that it has a good reaction to fire. It does not burn or melt. By absorbing resonances, they provide a certain listening comfort and promote immersion in the game. The acoustic treatment of a recording studio is essential for the quality of music reproduction. Acoustic foams can, therefore, be an inexpensive solution to improve the acoustics of your studio.
Living rooms, especially bedrooms, can have significant reverberations. An acoustic treatment of your bedroom may therefore be essential. If the decorative side is not a priority for you, acoustic foams can be a good solution to remedy these echoes. Because they are less effective, their use is not recommended for businesses receiving the public.
Indeed, the number of people being relatively important, the sound volume is too loud to obtain a correct acoustics. Acoustic foams can be attached to the wall or ceiling, often with the help of glues. This will create damage to your walls if you wish to remove them. An acoustic panel has the same function as a foam: it tries to absorb.
The main difference is that it tries to do so in a more aesthetic and integrable way , hiding the absorption materials. Engineering also makes it more efficient. Its cost, on the other hand, is higher. The choice of an acoustic panel is not always easy. We review, below, all types of products on the market. These acoustic panels work with acoustic foams, mineral wools, natural wools, textile fibers or other types of fibers. The function of these materials is to absorb sound.
These absorbers are placed in a wooden or metal frame and covered with a fabric for the most part. An acoustic panel is relatively technical. The fact of integrating a wooden or metal frame allows it to give the panel solidity and to be installed with or without an air plenum.
This frame will modify the absorption capacity because these materials do not absorb sound and are of structural interest. Then, a finishing fabric will be added to the complex. It will modify the behavior of the product because it can block the absorption of certain frequencies, especially high frequencies. These panels often work with semi-rigid materials. They can be made of natural materials that have been post-formed under heat, such as wool felts.
They can also be made of compressed cellulose fibers. This is particularly the case of the famous ceiling tile. Compressed rock wool panels knauff type are also very popular due to their relatively low cost. In the acoustic objects, we will find foam cubes with a fabric. These can be hung or used as a totem pole.
Their main advantage lies in their large volume of contact surface with the air. Moreover, all surfaces add up. A cube of 40cm side has therefore a contact surface of 0. This is almost the equivalent of a 1mx1m acoustic panel. They are often made of veneer or wood, with holes of different diameters that are more or less close together.
Their performance is determined by the number and size of the holes. If they are few in number, the absorption surface will be low and the performance will be just as low. If there are a lot of holes, the performance will be better , especially on the treble. This resonator makes it possible to accentuate the performance in certain frequencies.
Design and decorative acoustic foam for wall and ceiling. Design and decorative acoustic foam for wall and ceiling 01 Jun. Category: Uncategorized. Acoustic foam derives its effectiveness from 3 main elements : Its porosity Its density Its thickness A foam is a basic material.
To make the search easier for you, we put together a list of some of the best acoustic foam panels with various benefits. Finding the perfect acoustic foam panels is a challenge, but our list is sure to save you time searching for the best out there. This article includes affiliate links, which may provide small compensation to Dot Esports. Skip to content Image via Getty Images. Specifications The Pro Studio Acoustics is one of the best acoustic foam panels, designed with a multicolored blue and charcoal surface.
Out of the box, the foam will be uncompressed and in excellent condition for immediate installation. Also, each of the 12 panels covers up to 12 square feet, with each tile being 1 square foot of 2-inch thick premium acoustic wedge foam. Unlike other brands, it also boasts vacuumed packaging to avoid warping the foam and comes with an installation and datasheet for DIY beginners and veterans alike.
Image via SoundAssured. Specifications With a wide selection of colors from Teal to Rosy Beige, the Soundproofing Acoustic Studio Foam ensures optimal sound absorption with an aesthetic to match your own. Also, its two-inch-thick foam can control mid to high frequencies and eliminate echoes thanks to its wedge style — comparable to eggshell foam for absolute sound deadening. Image via TroyStudio. Specifications Next is the TroyStudio Acoustic Studio Absorption Foam Panel, with dense and thick open-cell foam — perfect for canceling room reverb, echo, standing wave, and general noise.
You'll notice that all absorption panels are open on the front and back, and will be covered with a medium-weave cloth material. This is so that sound waves can pass into the panel, but insulation fibers can't escape. For sound absorbing foam, it doesn't need to be covered in cloth. Again, it matters on the type of panel. For the type that are designed for absorbing, deadening, and dampening all synonyms for the same activity performed by the panel , what happens is that the sound wave passes into and through the panel.
Remember, this type of panel is made out of either insulation or foam and packed together at a high density. This means there are more fibers packed together in one square inch than there would be in a non-acoustic insulation or foam. Insulation and foam that's meant to maintain warmth in your house or to cushion the contents of a package you ship in the mail will not be this dense.
So, sound passes into and through the main material and is disrupted on it's journey. It encounters the material and is "slowed down. We know from our schooling and studies on the conservation of energy that energy can't be destroyed, only changed from one form to another. The energy that is sucked out of the sound wave thereby making it quieter is converted into heat when the wave encounters the insulation or foam and vibrates it. Which leads us to this word of caution:. Caution: The insulation, cloth, and foam used in your acoustical treatments should be fire-rated to reduce the risk of a tiny flame burning down your entire studio.
Fire-rated does not mean fire-proof, but that it is resistant to flashover quick ignition , flame spread, and smoking. This can be achieved through the application of flame-retardant sprays. Please keep this in mind for safety reasons, and if used in non-residential commercial settings, it is likely legally required. Please consult your local area's building codes for more information.
Wooden panels that are meant to be sound diffusors also called deflectors do not absorb or dampen sound, but "break up" the sound wave by scattering it in as many directions as possible. These diffusors creates a highly randomized, omni-directional spread of sound, which reduces the amplitude of any given wave and reduces it's ability to interfere with the primary sound wave coming from the speaker monitors or instrument.
So now we know how these things work, but the question becomes why? Why should we even be concerned with sound waves? Here's the reality In terms of dealing with sound wave reflections, being outdoors in an open field or better yet floating in the sky would be fantastic. There's nothing for sound to bounce around off of except the ground. However, that doesn't solve the isolation problem, unless you're purposefully looking to record chirping birds and crickets and big gusts of wind.
The second best option then is to record inside a room. Most of the time that means we're in a cube or a rectangle. Don't get all clever and start thinking about spherical rooms! That'd be an acoustical nightmare due to the focal point created. But box-based rooms also create "focal points" and have a host of other problems.
That's why we use sound treatment. Well I'm glad you asked! Remember the guys I talked about in the introduction who spend thousands to get the world's flattest, most pristine preamplifier in existence, but don't treat their rooms? Or the guys who scored the industry's most coveted microphone ever, only to record with it in between their summer and winter clothes in their closet?
There's zero point in having nice equipment if what they are recording sounds like a hot mess, and that's what acoustic treatment solves. The goal of solving all of these issues is to provide clarity in the stereo imaging when listening and isolation of the source when recording. That's it. Sounds simple, but there's a lot of science to it. Fortunately some geniuses already worked all that out and we can now simplify it again into general panel placement suggestions that make life easy for us knuckleheads.
Let's look at each type of acoustical problem so we can understand exactly why each is harmful to our professions and hobbies. Standing waves are exactly what they sound like There are two ways to understand this that all of us have encountered. Remember that one time when you were drinking a cup of coffee and when you put it down, one magical drop literally jumped out of the mug and landed on whatever important documents you were working on?
That's because when you put the mug down, you created a set of waves that spread out from the center of the mug and moved outwards. Because the mug is so small, those waves of liquid bounced off the edges of the mug and came back towards the center.
When that circular pressure front met back in the dead center where it began, it exploded and blooped out that mystical droplet. Now change that from liquid waves to sound waves, and from a coffee mug to your studio room. That's what standing waves are, except they don't turn into a coffee drop. They keep on keeping on because your speakers are still pumping, versus just blasting out one note and turning them off like putting your coffee cup down once.
Another way you've experienced standing waves is when you've found that weird spot in a room where suddenly one frequency gets a lot louder than the others. You walk down this hallway and stop in the center of a cylindrical room with the perfectly sculpted ceiling and suddenly every sound is amplified by an enormous amount.
I remember rubbing my hands together and getting my mind blown, and then hearing the rustling of my clothing as I put my arms down. Of course I then started making fart noises and what not. One of the best ways of visualizing standing waves is through Cymatics, the study of visible sound helped out with a liquid or granule substrate. Depending on the frequency and amplitude, you'll see the various harmonics and number of standing waves that appear. Get ready to have your mind blown:. The quick video above just shows the standing waves on a two-dimensional vibrating plate.
Imagine how complex it gets in a three-dimensional room! The static nodes of standing waves are bad news, especially if one happens to appear right in your mix position or where you decided to set up the singer's mic stand, for instance. Room modes occur all over the place in your room and are very much like standing waves.
If you want to be technical about it, they are standing waves. Axial modes are your typical and most strong type of room mode, while tangential and oblique modes are far more plentiful but less problematic singularly. However, add up every small instance all over the room and that's a ton of modal ringing that only further disrupts your prime sound wave. They not only occur at every frequency in the spectrum of human hearing, but occur in differing dimensions, as pictured below:. What you end up with is first, second, third, and more reflections constructively and destructively interfering with one another.
What happens is you get boosts and dips at various frequencies, destroying the beautiful flat frequency response you were hoping to capture. When it's spread across the entire spectrum, you end up with the problem of comb filtering , which thankfully can be almost entirely solved with an absorption panel at the first reflection point that reduces energy and introduces dissimilarities in phase.
So basically, if you let sound bounce around your room in full force, you're filling up your space with octaves of harmonics as those waves keep pinging around your room looking for surfaces to deposit their energy into. These countless reflections bring us to the next type of acoustical problem you're likely experiencing If you walk around in life making a loud clap in every room you enter you'll look like an idiot, but you'll get a real good idea of how many rooms have feature the problem of long reverb times and flutter echoes.
The smaller the room is and the more reflective surfaces it has, such as a bathroom full of tile, granite countertops, and shower surrounds, the more you'll hear these long reverb times. In a small room your hand clap doesn't stop immediately after the sound. It slowly fades away, and if you're standing in the right spot, you might hear a higher frequency grow in loudness and disappear after the rest of the frequencies do.
That's long reverb times while standing in a room mode, which creates flutter echoes too. Think about how people stand on the edge of the Grand Canyon and start yodeling or whatever it is they do I've never been. You might yell "Yo! That's a delay. It's an exaggerated version, but explains a problem that is experienced in larger rooms where the reflections have to travel across a larger volume of space, so they don't quite become reverbs. They are echoes.
Take a look at this 3D waterfall graph created with the FuzzMeasure software. The normal frequency response is graphed with amplitude vertically, frequency horizontally, and then the length of time of the reverb tail is the 3rd dimension coming out towards you. That's a quick overview of the main types of problems anyone involved in capturing or creating sound encounters when working indoors. Who all needs acoustic treatment and for what applications?
Sound treatment is for any one who is involved with critical listening for enjoyment or with creating a product or service who's end result is critical listening for enjoyment. What's interesting is most everyone has encountered acoustic treatment in their lives more times than they realize, but never knew what it was for!
You know those thick curtains hanging on the sides of movie theaters? You know the soft walls in the college lecture hall? You know those colorful rectangles all along the upper walls of the school gymnasium? Yep, it's all for sound absorption and diffusion. Remember our discussion on standing waves, room modes, and reverb times?
Those are the problems we want to cure, but why do we care? What are the actual practical reasons that someone would go through the trouble? When recording, you want to capture the most pure version of whatever it is you're recording. The best thing you can do pre-processing is to have a dry and "true" version of the instrument that's being recorded through a microphone. By "true" we mean the most accurate version of the frequency response coming off the instrument, not one that's being butchered by the acoustical problems we discussed before.
If you really know what you're doing and want to commit to effects right then and there, you still want a pure signal. If you are going to record to the computer and then apply signal processing effects, you still want to start with a pure signal. It opens up every possibility in mixing and ensures that your end result will sound great, instead of a muddy and blurry version of your art. Now that you've recorded the crystalline versions of your songs, voice overs, podcasts, or whatever you're doing, you're ready to make it better.
The pure, raw product is never the best, but if that product is the product of a horrible acoustic environment, you're placing bandaids instead of polishing a masterpiece. Imagine recording a 15 tracks of guitar, drums, bass, vocals, and percussion in a crappy room.
You're taking the problems of the room and multiplying it by 15! Now imagine playing back the recording into the same crappy room through crappy monitors. You're now hearing a doubly worse version, because the horrid version being played back is bouncing around your room and suffering all of the acoustic problems. Mixing and mastering engineers need to be able to hear the most accurate version of whatever is sent to them. That's why they use all of these treatment options.
They need to be able to hear the precision, scalpel style surgery they are performing on the tracks so they can get it perfect in a neutral, flat, treated environment. If their room has too much of a bass response, they are going to mix in less bass. If their room has too little high-end, they will compensate by EQing in far too much high-end.
If you can't hear what you're doing, you're just making educated guesses and they will be way off the mark. So why are mixers and the like trying to create a super neutral, flat response version of a song? Mixers want to control the acoustics of their studio rooms to provide the best version of a song possible because they can't control the acoustics of the millions of listeners out there! Plain and simple, the better you do during recording, mixing, and mastering, the more damage control you're doing before it reaches the masses.
If you mixed the most amazingly mixed record ever, and all of the magazines, websites, and television shows kept going on and on praising how out-of-this-world it sounded, you can bet a ton of people are going to buy it and listen to it, or at least illegally bootleg it grumble grumble. But guess what happens when they peel the plastic off the jewel case or load the mp3's onto their iPods?
They press play They are going to listen to your magical album in their bathrooms, cars, earphones while jogging, on 25 year old boom-boxes, over the radio waves, on cruddy computer speakers, etc. They'll turn it on in the living room and then go to the kitchen.
They aren't even listening in the same room! You'll have a handful of audiophiles that are listening in the perfect sweet spot in their acoustically treated listening rooms. But They are going to judge and tell their friends. Providing a neutral recording reduces the ability of the listener to destroy their listening experience. This goes for music, movies, radio shows, television, and any recorded medium.
It also goes for live events such as concerts. You want the listeners to hear the violins alone, not the violins mixed in with the first and second reflections in the middle of a room mode that's boosting the bass while producing high frequency comb filtering! We've spoken in very generalized terms. You know what acoustic treatment is, what it's made out of, what it does, what problems it combats, and who and when it should be used.
Next we're going to get specific about the types of panels and foam, how to apply them in your studio, what kind of results you can expect, where you can buy them, and even how to build them yourself! Go grab a beverage refill, take a leak, stretch, and come back, cause it's about to get REAL! It's all about removing energy and distributing it evenly across the spectrum.
Different types of panels get this done on different ranges across the frequency spectrum. As you would assume from the various types of problems that arise in a room, there are various types of treatment designed to handle each problem. You'll see variations on each, but they generally fall into the following categories:.
This goes for professional paneling and hobbyist foam. In this section you'll learn what each type accomplishes and why foam doesn't cut it for professionals, but is a convenient and cost effective option for consumer level hobbyists. The only foam that's actually worth it are foam monitor isolation pads , and that's for decoupling structures and absorbing physical vibrations, not sound wave vibrations.
Reflection panels are a type of absorber, which take the energy out of a sound wave and transform it to heat. This reduces and can even eliminate though that's not always the goal, which you'll learn about in the diffusor section , mid range to high frequency reflections.
These will take care of all of the reverbs and echoes in a room, and help tame most of the various types of room modes that occur. While they can help, and help even more with proper mounting, they won't reach down effectively into the bass response of the room. For that you need Bass traps are traditionally just like your typical reflection panel, only thicker and made with a more dense rigid fiberglass.
This is needed because bass wavelengths are much longer than higher and midrange frequency wavelengths and carry much more energy. What I will show you is an awesome "revolution" in bass traps that the industry is calling Super Chunks.
There are two prime locations that bass trapping is needed, which we'll discuss later, and one of those is the corners of your room. Super chunks are designed to pack the entire corner full of treatment and is extremely effective. You will also see very thick bass traps being used as portable walls for makeshift recording booths for vocalists or to surround a guitarists amplifier, for example.
These are called Gobo's and are just absorbers being used creatively. Clouds don't perform any distinct absorption that other types of reflection panels do, but it's helpful to think of them as unique. They are reflection panels that hang from the ceiling to help stop reflections bouncing from floor to ceiling.
This is needed especially because most studios will have hardwood floors instead of carpeting or rugs. There are many types of acoustic clouds, including drop ceiling tiles. If you notice as you go about your daily life, you'll see all types of "designer" clouds hanging from ceilings.
They may look like decoration or to help hide light fixtures and diffuse the light around, but don't be fooled! They are clouds! You'll see them in fancy restaurants, business lobby's, hotel atriums, and more. Not everything is about absorption! If you were to line every wall, the ceiling, and the floor in acoustic treatment, you'd not only confuse your ears they might even pop or you'd feel disoriented but you'd have the most unnatural recording ever.
Nowhere in reality have we ever stepped foot in a location that didn't have some reflections going on. This is why you see absorber panels only on strategic spots on the wall, so some reflection can still occur. But you don't want high energy reflections all tightly focused around specific frequencies. This is where diffusors sometimes spelled diffusers come into play. They are like a prism that busts light apart into the colors of the rainbow. They scatter sound waves, taking all of the energy and spreading it out in different directions and frequencies.
This way, you'll still have some live reflections but not damaging ones. There are countless styles of diffusors. There are ones like pictured above and way above in the studio entirely using only diffusors and no absorbers that rely on randomization to scatter and break apart sound waves. There are also some that are simply curved plywood with the back packed with insulation to keep it from resonating.
Some people even just fill up bookshelves with different sized books in their studio! The goal is the same, no matter the design: reduce spikes and dips in any one frequency. Now we know what these panels do and what types handle which problem. But we know from our discussion on wavelengths, reflections, standing waves, flutter echoes, and the rest, that this is a science.
If you start slapping treatment all over the place willy-nilly, you'll get results. But they might be negative results, doing more damage than good. Here are some considerations once you've acquired or built acoustic treatment and are ready to mount them:.
We can overcome all three of these challenges by using our brains and ears as we mount our wall panels. While there are certainly pieces of software you can use to calculate positions, the best way to approach your panel placement is by using your ears. If you're absolutely determined to measure everything, you'll want to use an omnidirectional microphone and a pink noise full spectrum signal to capture the influence of the room on this signal.
You can take measurements as you continually hang more panels. But in all honestly there's no need to go that in-depth. Note: We're going to look at this from the viewpoint of a mixer who wants to create a "sweet spot" in the room that has the flattest frequency response possible.
If you follow these guidelines, this will be a great spot to record from as well. If you're recording entire bands spread around the room, this is still one of the most advantageous methods to start from, and then fill in more wall space with more panels later. I'm going to tell you where to place the panels on your walls. Please read this part in it's entirety before you begin, because I haven't told you how to hang the panels yet setting up proper air gaps!
Also, please continue to the Do-It-Yourself discussion below for examples on how to physically mount the panels or foam to your wall. We'll get there! Above is a general preview and guideline to give you an idea of the discussion to come, but not all rooms are the same so make sure you read so you know why we choose each spot so you can customize it to your specific situation. The first problem to tackle is early reflections. If you take care of these, you're stopping a lot of other problems from developing because there's less sound bouncing around the room.
Take a look at this image:. What you're looking at is a single reflection panel placed in the first reflection zone on the right to compare what happens without one on the left. The red arrows represent unwanted sound waves moving and bouncing in directions and areas that are harmful to us perceiving clarity in the stereo field.
Take care to note that the panel completely stops the first reflections, but only in the mid-range and high frequency range. As pictured, the person is seated in a proper listening position at the peak of an equilateral triangle, where his head and ears are in alignment with the monitors. While seated in this future sweet spot , have another person take a mirror and sweep it up, down, left, and right on the wall. Anywhere you can see the respective monitor right monitor for the right wall and left for left is the first reflection zone.
Kill it with a reflection panel! In the same vein, find the second reflection zone. The second reflection zone is where the opposite monitor bounces sound off the wall where the left monitor hits the right wall and right monitor hits the left wall. Again, sweep the mirror around and find this spot. Kill it with another reflection panel! After having done this, you should take a break and listen to your favorite album that you're most familiar with.
You're already going to get your mind blown. You've never heard such clarity! You've only dealt with the first and second early reflections on the side walls. Don't worry about a third. Unless you're sitting very, very far from your monitors, it doesn't exist or is already covered by the second panel.
Now you want to use the exact same process to deal with the first reflection zone on the ceiling for both monitors. You can handle this with two reflection panels spaced together to form one large cloud. You'll likely want to create one more cloud further behind you as well on the ceiling of course especially if you're on a hardwood, tiled, or linoleum floor. Carpet will zap some high frequencies out, but if you want to dip lower, go ahead and hang a second cloud.
At this point, your room sounds really frickin' good compared to how it was before. If you didn't know any better, you'd stop right here and be very happy. But you'd be producing anemic, thin sounding mixes that lack bass. That's because you've not done any bass trapping and your room is still a booming, muddy mess.
Bass wavelengths are much longer than mid-range waves and a whole lot longer than high frequency waves. Knowing this and how standing waves form, it becomes obvious that the main problematic areas are going to be in the corners of your room and the front and back walls in the long-direction of the room you are oriented down the long direction, right?
You have options in dealing with these trouble areas. You can use bass trap panels that are just thicker and denser reflection panels or you can combine in super chunks, as we mentioned before. I'm a fan of super chunks myself and will explain how to do both set-ups. The bass trap discussion usually goes something like this: "I've only got one bass trap panel. Where should I put it? The first place you should mount a bass trap absorption panel is on the front wall centered vertically and horizontally.
This should cover the area that's at the height of your ears and will help kill off bass, mid-range, and high frequency axial modes, reverbs, echoes, etc. It's the most beneficial spot for taming your rooms bass response too. Now, whether you're using bass traps or super chunks, the second most beneficial spot to cover are the front corners behind your monitors in the direction you're facing.
Super chunks are rigid fiberglass insulation cut into right triangles that should fit snugly into any degree room corner. They are stacked from floor to ceiling, filling the entire gap. Bass be gone! If you have bass trap panels, hang them centered vertically straddling the corners. There will be an air gap behind them, which is not only fine but beneficial because the bass waves will pass through, lose some energy, and bounce back through for a second time. If you have enough panels or insulation, hit the back corners of the room.
If you still have enough panels, double stack them in the front corners and then the back. That's the order to follow to receive the most benefit. After this point, you can consider trapping the ceiling and floor corners as well, but it's not always necessary. Don't be afraid to add more and more bass traps to your room. It takes a lot to tame the bass response. You won't ever achieve a perfectly flat frequency response. What you're going for is to minimize any peaks and dips.
Acoustic foam panels typically suppress reverberations in the mid and high frequencies. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Open celled foam used for soundproofing. Acoustic Fields. Retrieved Audio Visual Bend. Sound Studio Construction on a Budget. New York: McGraw-Hill. Categories : Acoustics Foams Noise reduction Noise control. Hidden categories: Articles with short description Short description is different from Wikidata.
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With acoustic panels, you can build your own sound barrier wall for your bedroom and sleep in peace. Lab tests on certain models establish a noise reduction. High efficiency sound absorbing material for noise reduction in various applications such as: Acoustic lining for compressors, blowers, generator set enclosures. The acoustic foam products we sell are designed to control reflections and frequency response within a room, not soundproof it (prevent sound from.