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  #1  
Old 01-05-2019, 12:57 PM
lukegard22 lukegard22 is offline
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Default Foam for at-home?

Quick question, ya'll... found a great deal on some studio foam panels locally on Craigslist. ($60 for a boatload of panels.)
For simple fingerstyle guitar tracking, is this a worthwhile investment? I'm setup in a bedroom with a queen bed (dampens some sound, I think) and a desk.
My follow up question would be, how would you utilize these panels?
Thanks, AGF!
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Old 01-05-2019, 01:07 PM
Doug Young Doug Young is offline
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It's difficult to know without knowing exactly what it is, but in general, "foam" just absorbs high frequencies. The issue in most rooms is low frequencies. Foam can look nice, but it usually does either nothing, or can even make the problem worse. For effective room treatment, you need broadband absorption, and most foam products won't do that. There are tons of sites with info about this on the web, just do a search and prepare for hours of reading. Here's a reasonable high level introduction:

https://ehomerecordingstudio.com/aco...treatment-101/

and another:

https://www.soundonsound.com/techniq...stic-treatment

These are just basic starting points.
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Old 01-05-2019, 01:52 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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It's mostly a waste of money. As Doug said, in most rooms the issue is going to be controlling the low end. Foam does nothing for that. Corner bass traps would more likely be a better investment if you want to improve the sound you get when recording in a bed room.
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Old 01-05-2019, 06:33 PM
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gwlee7 gwlee7 is offline
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The bass traps can be made easily enough too. Some simple cheap framing, breathable fabric, and owens corning 703. I made all what you see in this picture myself.
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Old 01-06-2019, 07:18 PM
Gordon Currie Gordon Currie is offline
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Foam is useless for sound control. Egg crates too (although there could be a tiny amount of diffusion due to bumpy surfaces).

The absorbers like those in the preceding picture are made with insulation like rockwool or fiberglass which can actually attenuate sound. I've made my own absorbers from Roxul, plywood and fabric. These days I just purchase products from GIK Acoustics and they look and work great without being ridiculously expensive.
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:27 AM
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What they all said ^^^. also check out ATS: https://www.atsacoustics.com/
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Old 01-07-2019, 10:01 AM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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Yes, ideally you need corner treatment and bass trapping and broadband absorption. But if you have, say, parallel walls roughly 10' apart (a bedroom, in other words) you may have flutter echoes, where a sound basically ricochets back and forth. Clap your hands and it goes "Blaaaamp." Putting up foam panels can reduce or eliminate that. And the good news is, you only have to treat two of the four walls (one side and one end) to do it.
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Old 01-07-2019, 10:38 AM
lukegard22 lukegard22 is offline
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Super helpful, everyone! Any knowledge I retain is from helpful people like yourselves!

The panels are mainly flat, wall or floor panels, so as you all said, not worth it. There are two corner bass panels, so I may see if I can buy just those for a few bucks.

More questions to come, I'm sure, as I continue the journey of at-home recording...
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Old 01-07-2019, 12:35 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lukegard22 View Post
There are two corner bass panels, so I may see if I can buy just those for a few bucks.
If those corner bass panels are made of foam, they're not worth buying. Bass traps that actually absorb bass frequencies are not made from foam.
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Old 01-07-2019, 01:24 PM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim1960 View Post
If those corner bass panels are made of foam, they're not worth buying. Bass traps that actually absorb bass frequencies are not made from foam.
Breaking up bounce in corners is still worth doing, even if no real trapping happens. Those dense-foam corner dealios take up a lot less room than a trap would. And don't forget that, in acoustical terms, the places where the walls meet the ceiling and the floor are corners, too.
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Last edited by Brent Hahn; 01-07-2019 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 01-07-2019, 01:48 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Breaking up bounce in corners is still worth doing, even if no real trapping happens. Those dense-foam corner dealios take up a lot less room than a trap would. And don't forget that, in acoustical terms, the places where the walls meet the ceiling and the floor are corners, too.
Have you seen the foam they sell and call "acoustic treatment"? I fell for it once a long time ago. I put those cheap foam "bass traps" up in my room and they provided no noticeable relief from the problem. The density of the bass foam was no different than the diffuser foam. It's the same foam just shaped differently. I bought the hype and spent about $200 and my room sounded no better. The OP need not repeat my mistake.
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:32 PM
Monsoon1 Monsoon1 is offline
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I'm going to go ahead and disagree with the majority here.
Lookup "Live end, dead end" room treatment. It is the defacto standard for recording studios, and you'll be just fine with your panels.
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Old 01-07-2019, 10:24 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monsoon1 View Post
I'm going to go ahead and disagree with the majority here.
Lookup "Live end, dead end" room treatment. It is the defacto standard for recording studios, and you'll be just fine with your panels.
I suspect that becomes harder to pull off the smaller the room is. And since this was about the the value/efficacy of foam, I'm not sure how it's relevant. Foam isn't going to convert a room in your home to a LEDE studio.
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Old 01-07-2019, 11:07 PM
Doug Young Doug Young is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monsoon1 View Post
I'm going to go ahead and disagree with the majority here.
Lookup "Live end, dead end" room treatment. It is the defacto standard for recording studios, and you'll be just fine with your panels.
It's not a question of live end vs dead end, the issue is that if you use foam for the dead end, you'll only be absorbing the highs, not the lows where the issues are. The room may sound muffled, but bad...

Live/dead rooms are nice if you have the space and the need for them. But it's a different issue from how to treat that part that is non-reflective.

That said, whatever works... If you put up foam and it sounds good in your room, then it's good!
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  #15  
Old 01-08-2019, 08:46 AM
Monsoon1 Monsoon1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim1960 View Post
I suspect that becomes harder to pull off the smaller the room is. And since this was about the the value/efficacy of foam, I'm not sure how it's relevant. Foam isn't going to convert a room in your home to a LEDE studio.
Done correctly, it absolutely will work well using simple foam panels.
It will make a huge difference.
The OP also needs to realize that placement is crifical as well. Playing close to a wall is worse than being a few feet from it. This is because short reflections muddy the sound, and our brains ignore longer ones. Which just happens to work within the math of live end dead end rooms.
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