One of the biggest problems of home recording is how to eliminate unwanted sources of noise, echoes, etc…
On many threads on this forum, many tips and advices have been given on how to avoid some of the most common issues of home recording.
Unfortunately all those advices are spread through too many threads. Since this is a recurrent subject I thought that it would be interesting to concentrate all that knowledge in a single thread and at the end a more resumed compilation of all the tips could be written into a single sticky topic.
Therefore I ask you all to contribute on this and share your ideas and thoughts regarding on how to achieve the best home recording environment, keeping in mind the target audience as the typical home recording user who’s not willing to spend a fortune in building a soundproof bunker.
In a DIY perspective would be interesting to know what kind of (waste) materials are better for absorving sounds, etc. Things that most people have available at home, such as blankets, empty card boxes, etc.
Because sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, it would also be interesting to share pics of your home recoding studios. Not only because could give us the pleasure of a good laugh, but also because some people might not be sure “how the hell am I supposed to hang a blanket on that wall?”
Apparently lining a room with egg cartons has some effect on the acoustics by reducing the echo/reverberation, (definitely won’t soundproof), but doing so may invalidate your fire insurance, (fire hazard).
Yes, totally. That trick is decades old. I did that with a room in my patent’s house when I was growing up back in the Garfield administration. It worked, too. More than you think. If you did it with flat cardboard, it would almost not work at all, but having it rumply and eggy like that helps a lot. It messes up the sound wavefront as well as providing some soundproofing.
It may be noted that the worst problem in that room is also in that picture. Kill the lights. Buzz city. Also no dimmers. They all make noises or cause the bulbs to make singing noises.
I never published the specs of my portable sound booth with sticks of wood and furniture moving mats. I need to do that.
Nice one Trebor
I think egg cartons are a classic and it was the first thing it came to my mind when thinking about echo-cancelling materials… Too bad I rarely eat eggs and the few ones that I get are from parents’ countryside home and those don’t come in carton packages
Looking forward to look at that!
I want to convert my free room into a part-time recording studio. It’s also the guests room for any visits that might show up. It’s also the ironing room and etc. I’d better call it the multi-use room. Anyways whatever I put in there for muffling the sound needs to be easily removed and replaced whenever needed… The room is pretty much outside noises free, but the echoes in such a small square room are a real nightmare.
Here’s an interesting article that I came across a while ago
The rock wool used in that construction isn’t flammable but it reminds me of asbestos.
IARC [International Agency for Research on Cancer] scientists gave mineral wool insulation, formerly classified as a precautionary principle as Group 2B (possibly carcinogenic to humans), a Group 3 classification (unclassifi-able as to its carcinogenicity in humans).
It’s certainly not nice stuff to work with, and precautions should be taken when handling, (in accordance with the Material Safety Sheet, which should be supplied with the material). The same advice applies to solvents, glues, and all other hazardous materials.
Rock wool is nothing like as hazardous as (crocidolite) asbestos.
(“group 3 classification” regarding possible carcinogenic properties is a lower risk factor than class 2b).
ever considered ’ eggcrate mattress padding’? one could get by the roll
That surely is an interesting material (I had to google for it, didn’t know it…)
I wonder where I could get it and how much it would cost though…
Koz, how about those pics of your portable sound booth?
Which material is truly amazing/stunning. They make a small, doorless sound booth out of that stuff on a convention or trade show floor. It has a spiral entranceway and you walk in cold with your identification badge and plastic shopping bag with manufacturer’s literature.
As you turn the corner inside the booth, the convention floor, normally a borderline OSHA health hazard for high noise energy and confusion goes to zero. I don’t mean it gets a lot quieter. I mean if you sit in there long enough, you can hear your heart pump. You see people walking in and out repeatedly wondering what the trick is.
Different companies have been making that stuff for a long time, and if you have very difficult environments and a very athletic cheque-book, that’s the way to go.
I want to say “Sonex” was an early maker.
I have an odd problem with the design. One of the design constraints was there is only one piece of wood, multiplied six times for each wall. Each piece is the same and symmetrical. It doesn’t matter where in the design you put it or which end to.
You can make the walls 6’, 6-1/2’, 7’, 7-1/2’ and 8’ feet tall. The holes always line up.
I did the first one almost by eye in the garden and while it worked, the holes come out aggressively uneven.
“The spacing between these two holes is 6-9/72 inches”. I can’t write that into a design specification, so I found the first stick in the pile of 24 (fortunately I marked it) and I’m normalizing the measurements.