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  • What's a good cheap foam we can use for our rehearsal studio?

    Not that I'm an expert, but I've had good luck with RealTraps for my studio. It works well.

    What I know even less about is cheap foam stuff that we can use to make the sound a little better in our rehearsal studio. We have no need to soundproof, just to reduce the reflections a bit and "focus" the sound a little bit more. A friend of mine sent me this:

    http://www.foambymail.com/Pyramid.html

    At any rate, if you have any suggestions, please let me know. The room is long, probably about 12 feet across, and about 24 ft. long, and has a suspended office-style ceiling and drywall. It's in a rehearsal studio, along with a bunch of other bands.

    I appreciate any helpful tips or links to foam / sound deadening / diffusion manufacturers, mineral wool, bass traps, etc. that are inexpensive. Thanks!
    Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

  • #2


    www.guslozada.com

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    • #3
      I use Auralex. I'm not sure if you'd consider it 'cheap', but it's not terribly expensive. You can get a 24 pack of 2x2' 2" thick wedgies for about $100 online. You don't need to cover the entire wall surface really, just enough of it to get to a level of dampening you feel is good for you.

      For traps, I was going to get some RealTraps, but then someone pointed me at ReadyAcoustics.com. They sell DIY versions of the traps and the 703 insulation for way less than you'd pay for pre-fab ones. For a couple hundred bucks, you can put together either 2 6" or 3 4" thick ones. You just have to put them together yourself, which is no big deal. RealTraps doesn't even sell 6" ones I don't think. But a single 4" one is $300 plus shipping.

      So I did one set of 2 6" ones and one set of 3 4" ones. That'll cover the two corners behind the speakers, the side wall/ceiling corners, and one for use somewhere else that it provides the most benefit, probably the wall/ceiling corner behind the speakers. I'll do some more as I get the funds. I've got about 50% coverage of the rear and side walls with Auralex, which doesn't completely deaden it but it helps a lot.
      Dean Roddey
      Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems, LTD

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      • #4




        Apparently you've made a full recovery, ya damn troublemaker!!!!

        Dean, thanks for the Auralex idea. That seems purty cheap, actually. I'm thinking that we'd blow maybe up to $200 on the foam so we can make it sound decent. I'm not expecting miracles, but if we can tame those damn cymbals and some of the mids, I'd be purty happy with the results.
        Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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        • #5
          Ken - I'd buy Owens Corning 703 or Roxul AFB or Johns Mansville

          Any of the above are better than auralex.

          cheers
          john
          Recording Studio Design Forum
          Design Site

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          • #6
            I know you know all the info on 703 board etc. So... since you're not mentioning that, I take it you want really cheap. If that's the case, try Markertek's cheap stuff. It's not great but will work for what you're intending it to do.

            http://www.markertek.com/SearchProduct.asp?item=MF%2D3&off=45&sort=prod
            __________
            Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
            Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
            Jesus

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            • #7
              Cross post with John. Actually maybe you could swing the 703 with these...

              http://www.readyacoustics.com/index.php?go=products.products&cat=10

              Low cost bags for the 703. They say bass traps but they're full bandwith absorption depending on placement.
              __________
              Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
              Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
              Jesus

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              • #8
                With regard to the egg boxes, cardboard ones work much better than styrofoam.
                "Now you've opened a whole sheetload of pain on everyone here, with all your black pudding insaneness." - Zygoat2

                "I'm excited. Nothing turns chicks on more than a fat guy with a flying V playing Monkees songs!" - Sydfan

                "Phuck you and your pseudo toaster." - Silas Dean

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                • #9
                  For traps, I was going to get some RealTraps, but then someone pointed me at ReadyAcoustics.com. They sell DIY versions of the traps and the 703 insulation for way less than you'd pay for pre-fab ones. For a couple hundred bucks, you can put together either 2 6" or 3 4" thick ones. You just have to put them together yourself, which is no big deal. RealTraps doesn't even sell 6" ones I don't think. But a single 4" one is $300 plus shipping.

                  Not to bash Ready Acoustics - those bags look cool and I'm sure they're useful, and I'm even considering buying some myself... but in fairness to Real Traps, there IS a significant difference between the two products. I'll let Ethan Winer know about this thread so he can fill everyone in on the specifics / details if he wants, but it is my understanding that the Ready Acoustics bags are merely fabric bags that you insert OC 703 / 705 fiberglass into. Yes, they recommend using packing tape to hold the two (or more) sheets of 4'X2' fiberglass together to make insertion into the bags easier, and that tape probably also helps a tiny bit with the rigidity of the sides / corners of the completed traps, but it's still fiberglass in a cloth bag. And the prices for DIY bags are definitely less than if you have them (Ready Acoustics) assemble the traps for you.

                  Real Traps are not DIY - they're pre-assembled. Additionally, they have metal reinforced side edges. Also, they're not just constructed solely from compressed fiberglass - they also include a membrane absorber, which should (in theory) increase their effectiveness at taming low frequencies.

                  Like I said, I think both are cool products, but comparing the two is not a direct apples vs apples comparison, and IMO, the price reflects (no pun intended ) those differences.
                  **********

                  "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                  - George Carlin

                  "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                  - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                  "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                  - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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                  • #10
                    Ken, if you're on a tight budget, AND if you want something that will last, you might want to steer clear of foam. I've got to redo a bunch of stuff that is crumbling and falling apart on me. Auralex foam seems to do much better in terms of longevity, but the "cheap stuff" seems to crumble and fall apart pretty fast, and I'll never go that route again. Then again, if I hadn't inherited this cheap stuff when we bought the studio, I wouldn't have it to begin with...

                    The other problem with foam is similar to using carpeting - it's not going to do any good at absorbing the low / low mid frequency ranges. Add nothing but foam to the room and the sound becomes very unbalanced, with an over-damped top end and an uncontrolled mid / low frequency range. IMO, not good.

                    The Ready Acoustics bags might be a good solution for you - IIRC, they also have 2" bags, which would do well for helping to control mid / high frequency reflections... add a few of the 4" or 6" bags for the corners / bass end absorption and call it good. Or just buy some Auralex mineral wool (sometimes it's even cheaper than 703) and some permeable fabric (burlap, etc) and DIY. Ethan has some plans for DIY corner bass traps over on his site.

                    Fiberglass and mineral wool are more effective than foam, the absorption extends lower for a given thickness (2" semi-rigid compressed fiberglass vs 2" foam) and will outlast it by a long shot. It might be a touch more expensive, but it's worth it IMHO.
                    **********

                    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                    - George Carlin

                    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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                    • RamyRomio
                      RamyRomio commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I just wanted to add that sound proofing material for floors is critical in an apartment building or condominium complex. I live in a sixteen story high rise in which most of the apartments come with Berber carpeting, however there are some owners that prefer wood floors.

                      According to our condo by-laws wood floors can be installed provided that sound proofing material is used. The owner

                  • #12
                    Yeah, like Phil said, Ethan is your go-to guy on this topic.

                    I especially like his lo-tech traps consisting of rolls of insulation stacked in the corners as deep and high as you like....

                    nat whilk ii

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                    • #13
                      I used carpet in my home studio.
                      Found a good deal on offcuts
                      and leftovers on ebay.
                      Various lengths and different thickness etc etc

                      The carpet had been stored rolled up in a shed for sometime,
                      so the rolls were like, embedded into the carpet.... made it kinda wavey...

                      I just put it up on the walls with the wavey bits going in and out....
                      Stapled it to the walls then hung curtain cloth over it....

                      Works really well

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                      • #14
                        I kind of look at foam and bass traps as addressing two different things. Unless you are going to cover the whole thing in bass traps, you still need to reduce the higher frequency liveness of the room if it's mostly just bare walls. The bass traps will generally just cover wall/wall and wall/ceiling corners, so there's still a lot of wall exposed that will bounce back higher frequencies. So I went for about half and half coverage of the walls with foam (plus curtains on the front/back wall over the top of the foam) and I'll be putting bass traps at the usual intersection points.

                        Between the two, that should make for a pretty good studio room. Not utterly dead, but with pretty good control of both high and low frequencies. Of course I'm not an accoustician and I'm happy to be corrected if I'm wrong.
                        Dean Roddey
                        Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems, LTD

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                        • #15
                          Hey All,

                          Thanks for the props. Just to be clear, Ready Acoustics offers a proprietary frame on our Chameleon Bass Traps. Check them out here:

                          https://www.readyacoustics.com/index.php?go=products.configure-chameleon-bass-traps


                          You can custom build your own using the Bass Trap Builder utility on that page, save LOADS of money and get better performance than traps costing a lot more. Check out our complete report from RiverBank Acoustical Labs on the Acoustic Data page as well.

                          Also, to be clear, you can build you own finish/factory-grade bass traps using our DIY Acoustic Frames. The frames are top quality, proprietary design and powder-coated with 6 colors to choose from.

                          Here is an example of a custom built bass trap (using our frames and the contractor's fabric choice) for James Earl Jones:




                          This 48"x24"x4" Panel cost a total of $50 to make using our Acoustic Frames, OC703 and some inexpensive fabric.

                          Now, if you are going to make bass traps on your own, I recommend making them broadband, and not narrow band.

                          Here is a tutorial for making your own bass traps that mirrors the StudioTips SCA build that was created many years ago:

                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyYUpkpL0gw

                          These DIY bass traps work very well and can be made easily using locally sourced materials.

                          I hope this post is informative and answers some question folks may have about Ready Acoustic products as well as how to truly build your own.

                          Good luck all,

                          ~ Joel DuBay
                          ReadyAcoustics.com

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