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Question about sound board...
Old 7th January 2003
  #1
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guittarzzan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Question about sound board...

Have any of you "high end" dooodz used sound board on your walls to deaden a studio room or your home studio?? I bought some this weekend and plan on putting it up next weekend with 2" studio foam over it. When I was getting the stuff, I soon realized it smelled like a cross between wet socks and a turd on a skillet. This is not the preferred scent for creative inspiration I want for my home studio.
First of all, does it do a very good job of deadening the room and keeping out sounds from the outside world? I was thinking that putting a coat of paint over it might seal in the stink. Anyone done that? It's ugly. It reaks and it falls apart easily. It damn well better do it's job.
Thanks,
Steve
Old 7th January 2003
  #2
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Jules's Avatar
It is a common error for folks to put up deadening material all over a control room. The life gets sucked out of the room and it makes for:

1) An uncomfortable place to work

2) A ****ty monitoring environment from an acoustical standpoint

Better to learn up on acoustics first, EVEN sound absorption at ALL frequencies is desirable, not just the high frequencies that foam crap can suck out of a room.. Getting even sound absorption at low mid & bass frequencies is a MUCH harder task..Foam alone wont do it, and you dont need the awful imbalance all foam use will cause you.

Good you asked, DONT DO IT!

You might find you put up a few squares of it in strategic places but covering the whole place = A 100% NO NO.

tut
Old 7th January 2003
  #3
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guittarzzan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I should add that I will be recording vocals in the same room. So, now what?
Old 7th January 2003
  #4
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subspace's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Think of soundboard as insulation. It's to be used between your sheetrock and your studs to dampen the wall, not as a wall surface treatment. That's why it doesn't matter if it stinks or crumbles when abused, it stays inside your walls.
What should you do? Finish the room normally, concentrating on keeping inside sound in, outside sound out (seal everything, maybe use that soundboard as a sandwich under an extra layer of sheetrock.) Then "voice" the room using surface treatment that's as broadband as possible. If you use foam, get the deeper 3" or 4" stuff and mount it with an air gap between it and the wall. Try covering both sides of a sheet of 5/8" plywood and hang it from the ceiling using eyehooks so that there's a 3" air gap between it and the wall. This will extend it's absorption efficency to lower frequencies. Stagger another panel on the opposite wall so they aren't facing eachother, they should both face an untreated section of wall. The exception to this is the section of wall between your monitors and your ears, which should be symetric in treatment.
Owens-corning 703 fiberglass actually works a bit better than foam, and you can cover it easily by stretching fabric on a frame in front of it. In most cases, the wall behind your speakers should be completely covered, while the wall they fire at shouldn't use absorption. Use something to randomly scatter reflections instead, a professionly made diffusor, or on the cheap, a bookshelf, or even a curved piece of pegboard.
Corners provide the oppurtunity to improve the efficiency of your low end absorption. You can hang a pair of the absorption panels so they meet in the corner, and then hang a third panel across it so they form a triangle. This can act as a simple bass trap, improving your low end absorbtion efficiency where it counts the most.
Those are some simple things to try, with the emphasis on trying to keep your treatment even at all frequencies. As for how much treatment you need, let your ears be your guide. Put some up and listen, if it starts sounding unnatural, take it down and try something else. That's why I advise easily moved/ undone methods of treatment, not to mention you might just get bored with one sound over time and want to try something liver or deader. HTH
Old 7th January 2003
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Re: Question about sound board...

Quote:
Originally posted by guittarzzan
...First of all, does it do a very good job of deadening the room and keeping out sounds from the outside world? I was thinking that putting a coat of paint over it might seal in the stink. Anyone done that? It's ugly. It reaks and it falls apart easily. It damn well better do it's job.
Thanks,
Steve

Steve, what kind of "Sound board" are you talking about? I thought at first you might be talking about Homasote, a hard board made out of compressed paper, which I have used in studios past. But you say it falls apart easily (Homasote is practically as hard as wood). Is it some kind of fiberglass?

Without knowing what you have, I can still tell you that any material that falls apart easily will not keep much sound out (as in sound proofing).
Old 8th January 2003
  #6
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
A easy first step would be to look at Aualex website and look at what they market as studio accoustic 'kits'.

You will see they mostly consist of strategic patches near the monitors . some for side walls and corner 'bass traps'.

http://www.auralex.com/sound_control...rol_alpha1.asp

Start there and embark on a accoustics learning journey...

Either get a kit, or learn how to do it yourself, but at the risk of sounding like a 'nag', the old 'foam everywhere' route - is the road to audio ruin!

Good luck!

Old 8th January 2003
  #7
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guittarzzan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks for the info guys. My main problem is that my space is real limited. Half my bedroom is a bedroom and the other half is a studio. It's about 9 1/2 feet by 17 1/2 feet. The reason I was planning on doing the very dead thing is because my house sits on a fairly busy side street and I don't want to have to keep redoing vocal takes because some kid in a lowered civic with glass packs just vrroooomed by. When my roommate decides to move out, then I'll have the entire room for just recording, but now it has to have a big bed, dresser, desk etc so I am limited on what I can do. The air gap between the wall and the sound diffusers sounds great, but I simply don't have the square footage to do that.
If I do the bass traps etc and make the room fairly dead to the outside world, is that going to make it more difficult to do my mixes with any accuracy? I have a lot to learn about this, but I know that the "best" ways to do it simply aren't an option right now. My gut feeling tells me that most of all, I need to have a quiet room to work in. My guitar cab is in the living room so I can get a fairly live sound for that part of the equation. I've been told that since my room is not designed to be a good vocal room, I would be better off recording vocals very dead and adding a little ambience so that is why I decided to go dead. Plus the issue with outside noise.
The sound board that I bought was from Home Depot and I would definately say it is designed to be put in the wall and not outside it. It does look like it is made of compressed cardboard.
So now that I have better described my sitsuation, what do you think? I need a dead room to do vocals and to block traffic noise and I have a minimal amount of square footage I can spare to accomplish this. The sound board is 1/2" and I bought some 2 1/2" , 2lb density studio foam. I think I may be limited to just adding some bass traps and hoping for the best unless you guys have a better idea.
Thanks again for all your feedback.
Steve
Old 9th January 2003
  #8
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
The problem with most absorbtion is that it doesn't do much to bass frequencies, so you end up dampening all your highs and having problems with bass and low mid frequencies.

I'd imagine the worst traffic noises you deal with right now are from trucks rolling by or people with the kilowatt subwoofer systems. The typical solutions for bass problems involve mass and decoupling the acoustics, like leaving dead space between two walls that are not interconnected. I doubt you have the space to do this, so I would focus on more passive bass trapping techniques, such as the ones mentioned above.

If you can get rigid fiberglass sheets, they are pretty easy to work with. An easy way to use them is to cover them with fabric and place them standing up in the corners of the room, and you have a slacker's bass trap.

Also, if you need to minimize room leakage on vocals, try hypercardioid pattern mics, and hypercardioid dynamics if it's really bad. Not as satisfactory a fix as a good room, but it'll do the job in a pinch.

Bear
Old 10th January 2003
  #9
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
"So now that I have better described my sitsuation, what do you think?"

you need to bone up more on the subject!

Dont rush in!

Think 'accoutic treatment' rather than 'dead' - you might get what you wish for, and 'dead' = rotten to work with.

Old 11th January 2003
  #10
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guittarzzan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Ok, now after "boning up" a bit, what I think I will do with my limited space is take back the sound board, buy drywall and some 1/4" spacer boards to have a 2 walls with a pocket between them. I don't have room for a bigger gap, but from what I read, that should be better than nothing and will help with the lower freq. In addition, I'm going use some of the diffusers designed for corners and use a more limited amount of foam on the walls.
Ok, now does that sound like a better, albeit not perfect, plan than my first one?

Thanks,
Steve
Old 11th January 2003
  #11
Gear Addict
 
mdbeh's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
It is a common error for folks to put up deadening material all over a control room. The life gets sucked out of the room and it makes for:

1) An uncomfortable place to work

2) A ****ty monitoring environment from an acoustical standpoint

Better to learn up on acoustics first, EVEN sound absorption at ALL frequencies is desirable, not just the high frequencies that foam crap can suck out of a room.. Getting even sound absorption at low mid & bass frequencies is a MUCH harder task..Foam alone wont do it, and you dont need the awful imbalance all foam use will cause you.

Good you asked, DONT DO IT!

You might find you put up a few squares of it in strategic places but covering the whole place = A 100% NO NO.

tut
Word, word, word. I made this exact mistake in my first glorified-rehearsal-room-of-a-"studio". I knew nothing about acoustics--diffusion, what's that?--and put foam up everywhere. I ended up with a dead-sounding room that still had massive standing waves in the low end and low mids.

If you're doing any sort of room design or modification, you should check out F. Alton Everest's "Master Handbook of Acoustics." It can save you much grief later.

I learned this the hard way.
Old 11th January 2003
  #12
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
"Ok, now does that sound like a better, albeit not perfect, plan than my first one?"


MUCH better!


heh
Old 11th January 2003
  #13
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
First thing's first.

1. Sound proofing

2. Room acoustics


Two very different problems.
Room acoustics are subjective, so I will address Sound proofing here. Soundproofing is like the speed of light - you can get close, but you can never totally get there. Steve, If the soundboard is 1/2 inch, and you can cover the WHOLE room with what you have, including the ceiling, keep it. After it's painted it won't stink, and it has some amazing sound properties, but I think it's also a fire hazard! If not, take it back and get the much less expensive 5/8 inch sheetrock (unless your room already has 5/8, in which case you get 1/2 inch). The 1/4 spacer boards will work, but be sure you cover every surface in the room completely, and use sound caulk to seal EVERY seam. If air can get in, so can sound. If you have a window, and you can't cover it up, put an inch of foam around the entire frame, and put another window on the inside and air seal it. You can put up all the heavy wall and ceiling material in the world, but all that noise will still go through a regular window like an X-ray.

Better (for sound-proofing) than the 1/4 spacer would be to get that window/door insulation they sell at Home Depot. It's green and made of plastic, about 1/8 thick, and it's got air in it. It's 3 1/2 inches wide, and comes in a roll of like 20-30 feet. It's real cheap. Glue it (or use contact cement) to the sheetrock around the outsides and a couple strips in the middle, and then glue that to the existing wall. Better yet, put the green stuff on the existing wall first, straddle 2 pieces of sheetrock over it, so their seam is over it.

There will be no screws to mechanically couple the 2 wall layers together, and the green stuff will also air seal the second wall.

R
Old 11th January 2003
  #14
Lives for gear
 
guittarzzan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
If I'm going to do the spacer and then another wall surface, would I be better off using the sound board as my inside wall or taking it back and just using drywall. Drywall is a lot heavier and more dense so as a 2nd wall, I would think it would do a better job of keeping the outside noises out.
Should I stick with the soundboard or use the drywall instead?
Thanks again for all your feedback,
Steve
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