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Acoustic Treatments Explained

IndiePulse Music Magazine has been speaking with it’s readers that are performing musicians, and in learning about their music, found that one thing was unilaterally the same with all artists, the development of the Home Base Recording Studio.

Today’s Independent Artist has many options for creating and recording sound, from the traditional analog style settings to high tech digital, but the foundations of recording are the same, how to get the right sound in mall spaces without spending  lot of money, and without stress.

customer image 1 - acoustic foam in studio

So, IndiePulse Music set out to connect with industry leaders and professionals to get the right info to share with you, and of all the pros we spoke with, the people at SoundAssured had the science of Sound and Acoustics set to a method that is fool proof and easy to understand, as well as providing high quality products that meet any and all budgets.

So, lets get the the “Meat of the Matter”, we worked with SoundAssured Representative Phil Butera who explained everything to us.

Acoustic foam is often called “soundproofing foam” or “soundproof panels”. This is very common among musicians and in acoustics class chats. However, acoustic foam does not soundproof.

SoundAssured foam converts sound energy to heat by absorbing and slowing the movement of molecules in the air. Acoustic foam is soft and fluffy rather than dense because soft, light, porous materials will ABSORB sound. Dense, heavy and airtight materials will BLOCK sound.

You can use absorbent acoustic foam to solve many problems in your studio, rehearsal space or any room!

  • Eliminate annoying flutter echoes
  • Prevent standing waves
  • Decrease reverberation time (T60)
  • Get rid of first reflections

Eliminate annoying flutter echoes – Flutter echoes occur when a room has reflective surfaces like drywall. If your mic picks up these echoes or if your band has trouble rehearsing because of too much echo then adding some absorptive material like acoustic foam will help eliminate these echoes and increase the sound clarity.

Prevent standing waves – Standing waves are a natural phenomena that occur when there are parallel reflective surfaces in a room. This very common situation creates a comb filtering effect in the room because certain frequencies will cancel out based on how big or small your room is. Adding acoustic foam to the walls will help eliminate these standing waves so that you can hear the full frequency response coming from the sound source.

Decrease reverberation time (T60) – Reverberation time is the time it takes for the reverberation to decay by 60 dB. The abbreviation is T60. You would want a lower T60 for a recording room especially a vocal booth. A recording or broadcasting studio needs a T60 of 0.3 to 0.7 seconds. A rock band performing live sounds best with a T60 of 0.8 to 1.3. A lower reverberation time is also crucial for mixing and control rooms. The below chart shows recommended reverberation time.

reverberation time chart rt60 t60 for different rooms and venues

Get rid of early reflections – Direct sound is the sound that travels from your sound source (monitors) to your ears. Early reflections are the first reflections you hear when the sound bounces off a surface and makes its way back to your ears. Early reflections are very noticeable to the human ear and can cause confusion. By placing acoustic foam at the reflection points you can eliminate these early reflections making it easier to mix tracks and play your instrument!

benefits of acoustic foam

How to determine your needs?

Thickness and NRC – Acoustic foam comes in different thicknesses. The thickness determines which frequency bands the acoustic foam is effective at absorbing. Thinner foams are good for absorbing high end frequencies while thicker foams absorb mids and highs. SoundAssured bass traps are ideal for absorbing the low end frequencies.

The Noise Reduction Coefficient, commonly known as the NRC, is simply a measure of how much sound, or acoustic energy, a material can absorb. The NRC will be in decimal format. The higher the NRC, the more absorptive the material. Materials will often have different NRC ratings throughout the frequency spectrum. The overall NRC is calculated by averaging the individual NRC’s for each frequency range measured.

The table below shows the NRC values for our acoustic foam panels.

soundassured noise reduction coefficient (nrc) ratings - acoustic foam

Room Characteristics & Size  – The characteristics of your room play a big role in determining how much acoustic treatment you need. If your room has all drywall, hardwood floors and hard furniture, you will need more acoustic absorbers than if your room has shag carpet, tapestries on the walls, bookshelves and big soft couches. Keep in mind that what you will use the room for plays a big factor. If you are recording, especially voice, then you will want more acoustic absorption in order to kill the reverb and get a crisp clean recording. If your room is used for more live purposes then you can get away with less absorption.

Here is a link to an acoustic foam room calculator to help you out:

Style and Function:

Sound Acoustic Panels are available in many styles, shapes and colors and can add to the creative process by making the space comfortable and fun to work in, Bright Colors and Fun Forms can make even the smallest spaces seem larger.

Styles & Sizes: Wedge, Pyramid, Bass Traps, Eggcrate, Corner Blocks

Colors: Blue, Brown, Burgundy, Charcoal, Forest Green, Kelly Green, Orange, Plum, Purple, Red, Rosy Beige, Teal, Yellow

Technical Specs:

SoundAssured acoustic foam is cut from polyurethane open cell foam specifically formulated for its sound absorption properties. Our foam is made in the USA and available direct from our website. We offer the standard charcoal color as well as twelve other colors! We also offer many shapes and sizes! Feel free to reach out for help with anything at all!

soundassured logo with foam background







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About Joseph Timmons (9869 Articles)
I am the Father of 5 and a "Would Be Philosopher of Idiocy" - Author and Writer for several Blogs and Online Magazine. Review Journalist, Musician and Audio Buff. Follow Me and I'm Sure to Entertain.

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