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Does hanging carpet on walls to dampen room really work?

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  • Does hanging carpet on walls to dampen room really work?

    i have more of a basement project studio and more the hobbyist than the professional. i know im not recording grammy award winning albums and definately not spend money on acoustic treatments. does hanging carpet really offer any means of cleaning a room up even a lil bit? i mean not so much as isolation either. or is it a waste of time.
    -"Who is John Galt?"-

  • #2
    It's not nearly as effective as proper treatment, which will work to combat early (side) reflections as well as to minimize standing waves resulting from room resonance (which often result in booming resonance in the bass range in some spots while other spots cancel out in the same range -- making the room potentially a mine field for mixing in).

    Carpet will tend to absorb some frequencies while bouncing others while proper anti-reflection materials will be more effective across a wider range.

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    • #3
      The answer to your question though is yes - carpet would help. Proper treatment would help more.
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      • #4
        Hanging a carpet or two will definitely deaden things in the higher frequencies (which may or may not be a good thing, you'll have to figure that out for yourself by experimenting because every room is different). The result will sound less 'live', though any low end and midrange problems (which any room in a typical house will have) will not be fixed. The uncontrolled low end will cause monitoring problems mainly, though your recordings will suffer if you set up room mics too. Low end/midrange issues can be treated somewhat effectively with bass traps, though that is somewhat expensive and/or time consuming (I have made a few) and they rarely solve a problem completely. To really stop these problems, you need a room designed with acoustics in mind.

        Acoustics are one of the most important aspects of recording (all the rack equipment in the world won't help if you record/mix in a ****************ty room) and one of the most difficult/expensive to get right. Not trying to sway you from setting up a home studio though. Looks like you already have realistic expectations.
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        • #5
          I don't know if this is valid, perhaps someone here could comment, but I've thought about hanging carpet a bit out from the wall so the sound wound be dampened a bit as it passed thru the carpet before reflecting off the wall, then attenuated a bit more as the reflected sound passed thru the carpet again.

          As mentioned above, this would cut down on the reflections but not provide proper 'treatment'


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          • #6
            I don't know if this is valid, perhaps someone here could comment, but I've thought about hanging carpet a bit out from the wall so the sound wound be dampened a bit as it passed thru the carpet before reflecting off the wall, then attenuated a bit more as the reflected sound passed thru the carpet again.

            As mentioned above, this would cut down on the reflections but not provide proper 'treatment'


            Yes, this is the best way to do things. With carpet, an inch or two should be fine. The result is an extended (lower) frequency range that can be absorbed. It'll be more significant with thick bass traps though.

            One other thing to mention... If you're going to hang carpets, make them the thickest carpets you can find. If you have a lot of them, rolling a few up and placing them in the corners of the room can make for a decent on-the-fly bass trap. It is usually more important to deaden the lower frequency range than the highs. High end resonance in a room just sounds like reverb. Low end resonance can create huge comb filtering problems.
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            • #7
              hey thanks guys, appreciate the advice. rolled carpets in the corner to simulate some sorta bass trap is genius. never thought of it.
              -&quot;Who is John Galt?&quot;-

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              • #8
                I played with a band who carpeted their entire practice space, floor, walls and ceiling. I think it might have been more than one layer, but I'm not sure what was behind it. They did it in an effort to "soundproof" the room. It was only about a 12'X12'X7' room.

                It was a really weird room to play in. Aside from not really being big enough and the problems that caused, it was like a black hole for any high and high-mid frequencies and very dead. It resulted in everybody doing the volume war thing, turning up so you could hear yourself, then the other guy turning up so he could hear himself, repeat, repeat...

                Based on that experience, I would look at some kind of sound treatment (even DIY) before I would just hang big chunks of carpet. You don't want things too dead.
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                • #9
                  IMHO, Wrong answer: bigtime. You'll be sorry.
                  !. It's a dust/bug trap more than a sound trap.
                  2. It has the distinct effect of deadening ALL frequencies, not exactly what you want. Especially for recording.
                  3. Carpet is ugly as hell as a wall covering, if you're going to use anything at all similar, at least use a tapestry so that it at least adds to the aesthetic of a room.
                  Hang it from a ceiling and it makes a somewhat effective
                  High Frequency dampener.
                  4. Carpet will generate/collect mold and mildew in the winter, it collects moisture from a room and can cause health problems, especially breathing related issues.
                  Not to mention what a dry room will do to guitars and drums...
                  A better idea is to treat the room's modes, Like Low frequency build up {standing waves}, High frequency flutter echoes and the like...If you are attempting to SOUNDPROOF a room, there are no easy, quick, or cheap answers. You will have to spend real money to do that ...

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