Acoustic Foam Use and Placement
Acoustic foam is a vita addition for any room where music is going to be recorded. or rehearsed. or mixed or edited. this acoustic foam guide will help you get started on treating your room.
The control room the room has to be made free of any distortion in order that the signal can be judged with accuracy. Therefore the main areas such as around the mixing desk will need the most coverage of a combination of bass traps and acoustic foam tiles. Also acoustic foam may also be required on the rear wall although this depends on how short the room is.
Inside a live room the sound waves within the room must be controlled, but with a difference in order to sound natural some reflections may well be needed in the room. As a guide a live room may call for around 20 to 40% coverage of acoustic foam tiles and some corner bass traps. Live rooms will need to be flexible as the use of the room can vary greatly in terms adapting to genre of music that is being recorded or rehearsed so effective acoustic tiles and bass traps are a must to achieve the best results.
In a vocal booth acoustic tiles are the only requirement bass traps will not be needed in this space. The amount of coverage in vocal booth depends greatly on how ‘dead’ you wish the space to be. So if a vocal booth’s recordings are to be used in music then around 50% coverage of acoustic foam tiles are required. If the vocal booth is to be used for voiceovers then the acoustic tiles need a heavier coverage this will give a tighter recording. However never will 100% acoustic tiles be required in a vocal booth or any room for that matter. Some reflective surfaces will always be required in a room. As without reflective surfaces the recordings will sound very unnatural and claustrophobic. and during mix downs then reverb may need to be added to give the recordings air to make them sound natural.
A room without any acoustic treatment will be overly reflective. The absebnce of surfaces in the room where sound waves can be absorbed will cause the recorded results to be out of control. By the carefull and often gradual installation of acoustic foam the ‘liveness’ of the room can be brought under control, improving the response of the room. By the addition of acoustic treatment you will get a clearer and more accurate result of the music you are recording. editing. mixing or monitoring. Acoustic treatment will give you the added ability to record and monitor accurately letting you take more control. Whether you want the room live or dead. acoustic treatment is the only way to tame your room in order to keep it under control.
Traps and Tiles
Acoustic tiles are only one part of your acoustic room treatment. The acoustic tiles primarily will absorb the mid and top end of the frequency range with outstanding accuracy. and while acoustic tiles make up the largest means of coverage of acoustic foam in the room. there is also the need to treat the low end frequency. Low end frequencies are nuch stronger and have longer wavelenghts than mid and high end frequencies.this means it takes more foam mass to absorb these stronger frequencies, this is where 2 factors come into play using foam as a way of dealing with this. the mass of the foam product and the placement. The way in which to treat low end frequencies is with the installation of bass traps. The placement for bass traps is in the corners of the room. low end frequencies tend to congregate in the corners. And as the sound can be 6 to 12dB louder in a corner than in any part of a room is why corner bass traps need to be installed there. The wider the bass traps the lower they can absorb.