It is a common misconception that acoustic foam is soundproofing. It is time to put that myth to bed;
Acoustic foam will not soundproof your room.
Acoustic treatment products treat the room the absorbing materials are placed in. The materials treat the room by reducing reverberation, echo and standing waves etc. Absorbing materials such as acoustic foam and mineral wool do not stop sound from leaking out of the room. Acoustic tiles will cut down the liveliness of the room making it more suitable for performing music, recording music and even listening to music in.
Soundproofing is the isolating of the room from the outside world. It also reduces sound leakage between rooms. So, for example, if you have two recording rooms together you will need sound proofing to reduce studio A being affected by Studio B.
At Advanced Acoustics we have a wide range of both sound deadening and soundproofing materials offering you the complete the solution to your problems.
Acoustic foam and mineral wool will improve room isolation but only very slightly. To be able to soundproof properly involves a little planning, time and cost. To gain perfect sound isolation you ideally need to build a room inside a room. This doesn’t have to be expensive if you use the systems we have put together for you. We have wall Systems, Ceiling System and Floors Systems as well as individual materials. The SoundSense System for example is the best system we think there is available for soundproofing. We use this system for building studios, cinema rooms and listening rooms.
The purpose of acoustic foam is to reduce reverberation time and to generally improve the acoustics of the room. By installing products such as our acoustic tiles recordings are defined and tightened.
Acoustic treatment is also needed in a room where mixing is going to take place. If the room has too much echo and too long a reverberation time then mixes will be out of time and poorly judged.
However, caution must be taken when acoustically treating a room. It is possible to install much acoustic treatment in a room. This can result in unnatural recordings. The results will show a lack of colour and can create a very difficult room to work in. This is why we would never treat a room with total acoustic foam. We work on percentages. Many have found it easier to start with the minimum and keep adding little by little until they get the perfect sound they are trying to acquire. By leaving some of the walls and ceiling bare there are still some reflective surfaces, which helps to keep the room a little bit live but under control. Every room is different and every room takes a little planning and forethought. The construction of a room, its width in proportion to its length and height all has a bearing on how the room sounds and the amount of acoustic treatment that is necessary.
When it comes to treating a room that is going to be used for recording music it is not just a case of sticking foam you bought from the local upholsterers and sticking it here and there. Acoustic foam has properties that differentiate it from any other type of foam. The cell structure and make up of acoustic foam is very different from upholstery foam. While it will have some positive effect on how the room sounds upholstery foam or packaging foam will never be able to treat a room in a way that specially produced acoustic foam can. And while duvets and curtains will only treat high frequencies, acoustic foam will treat the mid and low-end frequencies too.
When a person does the handclap test in a room they are only hearing the reverberation of high frequencies. If they have installed upholstery foam a person could come to the conclusion that their room is fine acoustically. However, if they were to test the room for its mid and low frequency responses a totally different result will be exposed. So what’s the answer? Professional acoustic foam and professional room analysis from Advanced Acoustics.