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Help me explain to the bosses why we shouldn't have carpet on the walls!
Old 9th February 2009
  #1
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Savernake's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Help me explain to the bosses why we shouldn't have carpet on the walls!

We are about to have major upgrades to a studio I am working in. As it is a community recording studio, they have carpet covering all the walls - this was fine for making it sound less like an echo chamber, but considering the high quality equipment we're getting soon, I don't think carpet on the walls is very suitable at all, if not unimpressive to professional clients visiting.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to explain the negative points of having carpet up without describing a full course in acoustics. It's one thing saying it kills the high end and does nothing to the low end, and it will skew all mixes, but its another that it gets effectively understood.

The reason they are cautious about taking the carpet down is because it apparently cost a lot of money. But since we are about to spend £3000 on proper acoustics, I need help to convince the management of why carpet on the wall is a bad idea, and that it is worth removing for the greater good.

So I ask you to contribute your opinion on this in this thread, as I offered to print a post from other music professionals from a well informed forum as evidence of why carpets are a no. And here we are!

- Why shouldn't carpet be up in a studio?
- Would knowing that carpet is on the wall decrease the rate you would pay for a studio, or put you off completely?
- What is the best alternative/solution?

If I am somehow completely wrong, and you actually think carpet is good to keep up, please contribute also. Ultimately I want this place to sound amazing, because otherwise, it really will
Old 9th February 2009
  #2
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Lightbulb

The problem with carpet all over the walls etc is it absorbs only higher frequencies, and leaves the lows and low-mids untouched. One important goal of a "music" room is to have a uniform decay time versus frequency. If you absorb only the highs the room sounds dead and lifeless, yet boomy and muddy at the same time.

It's hard to tell this with hand claps because hand claps don't create low frequencies. But if you have a program that can measure the room it will be obvious to everyone that the sound and decay times are unbalanced.

--Ethan
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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Weasel9992's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Would it put me off from recording at your place? Yes. Aside from the acoustic mess it makes, it really doesn't look terribly professional.

Frank
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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Crash's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Tell them what a bitch it is to vacuum a vertical surface....
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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Glenn Kuras's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Weasel9992 ➡️
Would it put me off from recording at your place? Yes. Aside from the acoustic mess it makes, it really doesn't look terribly professional.

Frank
Yea but if it is gold shag it sure does look funkadelic (I am not hip enough to know how to spell that word).
Old 13th February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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Savernake's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks guys, if anyone else can chip in it's still appreciated but it's hard for anyone to argue with someone like Ethan on the subject!
Old 13th February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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Washington's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Try to explain that the problem is not really in what they have (they're happy with their carpeting, apparently, so don't start by telleng them they plain wrong), but much more in what they DON'T have (a proper acoustic treatment adressing bass and midrange before highs).

Very simply, playing a simple sine sweep while explaining them that they should hear the whole file without any pikes or cuts is something hard not to understand. Even playing a simple fix 100 or 200Hz sine wave and walking around the room is the best crash course in acoustics you can get in 5 minutes...

The acoustic and aesthetics concerns of yours, both valid, are two very different aspects of your message... try not to mix them.
Old 14th February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Print out a copy of this thread and hand them each a copy.

I haven't been on here for very long but the three most knowledgeable people on acoustics and acoustic treatments (Ethan, Frank and Glenn) have given you their response.

By the way guys, your insight and commentary has been invaluable in my research. Keep up the great work!!
Old 14th February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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Rod Gervais's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Show them acoustic info straight from the carpet association - and believe me - these people want to sell you carpet.......

Refer to the attached document.

Understanding NRC is easy—you take the average sound absorption coefficient measured at four frequencies: 250, 500, 1,000, and 2,000 Hz expressed to the nearest integral multiple of 0.05. So it’s easy to see that you aren’t getting any great ratings at those requencies if your NRC is only 30 to 40.

I would also provide them with this quote (also from the Carpet and Rug Institute) regarding the placement of carpet on walls:\

“Carpet is manufactured for use as a floor covering, and installation on other surfaces, such as walls, is not recommended. Many carpet manufacturers will not assume any liability, real or implied, when carpet is applied on surfaces other than floors.”

I hope that helps.

Rod
Attached Files
File Type: doc Figure 11.2.doc (30.0 KB, 270 views)
Old 14th February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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Weasel9992's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Rod, you're hilarious. Yep...that about says it all.

Frank
Old 14th February 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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Rod Gervais's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks Frank.......

Rod
Old 15th February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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AcoosticZoo's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
carpet for acoustic treatment in recording studios.

Agreed. Carpet for acoustic treatment looks terrible, even if it worked in another alternate dimension it still looks cheap. further more carpet belong on floors not walls.

The value or concern here is one of cost savings maybe. It may be cheaper to use carpet, however, the opportunity cost may be too great. Clients may not consider your recording studios if it looks cheap or ******** with carpets on walls. sorry tutt

peace.
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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The MPCist's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Perhaps telling them that carpet on walls might be a problem with insurance in case of fires..... Safety first, right? heh
Old 16th March 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
I know this is an old thread but...

I don't agree that it is 100% a bad idea to have carpets. For instance, in one of our live rooms we have some carpeting on the walls. This is because we have sufficient bass and low-mid absorption but a lot of bare walls and wood panel flooring. Having that carpet on a small portion of the wall helps to balance the sound out a little. We could have used acoustic foam but we didn't want to lose the live feel to the room which overall has a very nice ambience to it. We are not looking for a dead room (we have one of those on the other side) but a room that gives great character for drums, acoustic guitars, violins etc. The carpet helps absorb the higher frequencies while the room still retains the nice body to the decay.

Acoustic engineers will tell you that carpets are a complete no no but hey, what do they know? If it looks good and sounds good, go for it I say.
Old 16th March 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
take em down because "you don't put furniture on the walls" either.

there's a right way to do it and a wrong way. carpets are the wrong way.
Old 3rd April 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Addict
 
RockDog's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
if you hire austin powers costumes should work fine
Old 4th April 2009
  #17
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Rednose's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Well, I worked at a studio with carpet on the walls.
Mixing was near imposible in there because the mixes never translated.
Talk about guestamating.
Also, carpet on the wall is just plain nasty. I never had allergies before I worked there...
Old 4th April 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
dodgeaspen's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
OK, my question is this. My drum room I have in the house is pretty small and I was thinking about buying a roll of that egg crate foam (you put on your bed as a cushion) on the walls to hamper some of the sound from bouncing off the walls. Good or no good? Will it help when I record?
Old 4th April 2009 | Show parent
  #19
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Lightbulb

Foam that is not meant for acoustics is not good for acoustics. heh Even when you have real acoustic foam, it has to be thick to work well. Typical 1 and 2 inch thick foam is not a good way to treat a room. Much more here:

Acoustics FAQ

--Ethan
Old 4th April 2009 | Show parent
  #20
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Rednose's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer ➡️
Foam that is not meant for acoustics is not good for acoustics. heh Even when you have real acoustic foam, it has to be thick to work well. Typical 1 and 2 inch thick foam is not a good way to treat a room. Much more here:

Acoustics FAQ

--Ethan
Not to mention the packing foam is I believe closed cell, and highly flamable!
Ask Great White how that worked out for them.

I have auralex and I think it does some good to tame the high end.
Its definitely NOT flamable, I did a testimonial for Auralex.
My intern left a sodering iron on a piece spare piece of Auralex for 3 DAYS, right after the Great White incident.
It just left a burn mark, but did NOT catch flame.
I got a free promotional package of Auralex for my testimonial.

BTW, Ethan, your a great player nice vids! I didn't know you had it in you.
Where do you find the time???
Old 5th April 2009 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rednose ➡️
Where do you find the time???
Thanks. It takes me a very long time to make a music video! Typically a year or more since I work slow and only for an hour or two in the evenings. It's even worse these days because a few months ago I restored my two vintage pinball machines so now I play them every day after work to wind down. heh

--Ethan
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