05-27-2013 06:15 PM
Doing my first home-brewed CD, and decided for several reasons to use sound-absorbing blankets. My bass and guitar tracks will be recorded line in. I need sound blankets for vocals and anything else that requires a mic. Drums will be recorded elsewhere. I'm on a shoestring budget. I'll likely hang them from room partitions. I can move them into position that way. Will also keep the landlord happy; no holes in the walls. Any final words of wisdom from someone who has successfully used this technique?
I'm also uncertain as to whether I need to treat these (Producers Choice) with fire retardant?
Solved! Go to Solution.
05-27-2013 07:18 PM
05-27-2013 07:42 PM
I'm not really familiar with that particular product, so I went looking to see what I could find. Are these what you're using?
They look like they're basically somewhat thicker moving blankets. As such, they're going to give you some decent absorption at mid to high frequencies (but not much in the low frequency range), and should work fine for a DIY vocal booth to help reduce the amount of "room sound" you get in your vocal mic.
I have no idea if their products are fire-treated or not. Sorry.
As far as its effectiveness, that will depend entirely on how loud things get, and what your expectations are. If you're expecting it to eliminate 80% of the sound reflections (which some of the material on that site might lead you to believe), then you're bound to be disappointed. As long as the guitars and bass are going direct, and you're going to be using their products as baffles to go around you to reduce the amount of sound from the source that bounces around the various room surfaces, then you'll probably be happy with them.
How to mount them? Well, they seem to have a lot of different frame and hanging options listed on that site. You might be able to use your "room partitions", although I'm not exactly sure what you're referring to there. Got any pictures or links to something similar we could see?
Are you going to set those partitions "around" the vocalist, so that they create a small "room" within the main room? That's the approach I'd recommend taking. Create a frame somehow, and then drape the blankets over and around the framework to create a "tent fort" type of structure, with the mic and vocalist inside that. The frame could be practically anything... office space partitions, boom stands set up in a "T" configuration... I've even seen guys who made frames out of PVC piping, and used large clips to attach the moving blankets to the frames.
The nice thing about using moving blankets is they can be moved and reshaped as needed. I've used moving blankets and chairs to create a "tunnel" in front of a kick drum (for distant miking purposes) many times. You can put a small guitar amp under a table, then drape some blankets over that to create an area with fewer room reflections for recording a small guitar amp with a live mic, then use those same blankets and some mic stands to create a mini vocal booth, then reconfigure them again when you go to overdub the acoustic guitar parts.
But what they won't do is "soundproof" a room or area. But they should make the recordings done within them sound "better", or at least "drier", with less of the sound of the room and its reflections being picked up. That can be very helpful if you're working in an overly reflective or otherwise problematic sounding acoustical environment.
05-27-2013 07:43 PM
BTW, great suggestions from witesol.
05-27-2013 07:56 PM - edited 05-27-2013 08:03 PM
Thanks so much for the detailed replies! I'm on my way, armed with extra info.
Yes those are what I'm planning to use.
Holy cow my third edit ... I've emailed the vendor to ask if I need to apply a fire retardant. I will post their response, unless someone who already knows replies in this thread.
Also known as "privacy screens" or "panel screens." Examples at Amazon:
05-27-2013 08:43 PM
Yes, please do let us know what they say. And remember, depending on where you live, the fire codes / treatment standards may vary. I think they're pretty darned strict here in California, but they may not be as stringent elsewhere. Still, safety first - unless they tell you there's some reason NOT to further treat them, I'd recommend doing so, if for no other reason than your own safety.
05-28-2013 12:26 PM
Sound or packing blankets are one of my favorite effective acoustic solutions. Space them out from the wall a bit. Mic boom stands work ok, but don't span enough.. PVC can be made into almost anything. A few 2 x 4 vertical posts with a "v" shape notched into the top and screwed to a plywood square plate..then, a closet dowel or piece of PVC ... Zip ties or squeeze clamp the blankets.
Reddened sentence is key. This broadens the absorptive range downward. i would go at least 3 inches from the wall.
And Phil may be right, but personally, I don't fireproof everything in my studio. I just don't burn incense, candles or "creative enhancement materials" in it.
05-28-2013 05:22 PM
Thanks for emphasizing an important point.
The Producers Choice vendor has replied that they are not sold with fire resistant chemicals applied. This option is left up to any customer who wants to increase safety, or who is required to under local laws. I have not done any comparative shopping on consumer-oriented fire resistance treatments, but I did find the following link in a recording forum ...
05-28-2013 05:33 PM
Spacing acoustically absorbent materials out a bit from the reflective surface behind them is almost always a good way to increase their effectiveness at lower frequencies.
The flame retardant product you linked to looks interesting, but I have no idea whether or not it meets your local fire code requirements or not. I'd recommend checking with your local zoning and planning commission and / or the local fire marshal for the specific requirements for your area.
HarmonyCentral.com is the leading Internet resource for musicians, supplying valuable information from news and product reviews, to classified ads and chat rooms.