Acoustic foam

Have you decided to set up a recording studio or rent a rehearsal room? You’ve no doubt been briefed on the various elements to be taken into account. Acoustic foam is one of them.

Indeed, to guarantee optimum comfort and sound quality, it’s important to design the room properly. Good acoustics require the installation of absorbing and diffusing materials. It’s important to understand why acoustic foams are not the most interesting products for a music room.

What is acoustic foam?

Mousses acoustiques - Caractéristiques
Acoustic foam – Characteristics

Acoustic foam is a product specially designed to absorb sound. It limits reflections and attenuates parasitic noises that impair sound quality.

There are 2 types of acoustic foam: open cells and closed cells. Open-cell foam more easily captures mid-range frequencies, while closed-cell foam acts effectively on low frequencies.

Which type of acoustic foam to choose?

Mousses acoustiques _ choix
Acoustic foams – Choice

Your choice of acoustic foam will depend on the configuration of your room and its intended use. For small rooms, it’s best to choose open-cell foams, as they absorb mid-range frequencies more easily. On the other hand, if your studio is large, you’re more likely to opt for closed-cell foams to attenuate bass frequencies.

What are the main acoustic problems to consider?

Mousses acoustiques - Problèmes
Acoustic foams – Problems

Before considering solutions to improve room acoustics, it’s important to understand the main acoustic problems that can affect sound quality. The main problems to consider are: reflections, reverberations and excessive noise.

  • Reflections cause an increase in sound level and unwanted distortion that alters the clarity and precision of sounds.
  • Reverberations are a “full” or “cavernous” sensation that can occur if the space is too large or made up of energy-reflecting materials.
  • Excessive noise can come from outside (e.g. traffic noise) or be generated by electronic devices transmitting vibrations that can be picked up by the microphone.

Some examples of acoustic foams

Mousses acoustiques - Exemples
Acoustic foams – Examples
  • StudioFoam Wedge: This foam absorbs up to 95% of noise and offers a simple, affordable solution.
  • Akusto One foam: Made from honeycomb foam, it’s perfect for absorbing low frequencies and eliminating parasitic resonances.
  • Akustik Pro plate: With its composite panel, it’s ideal for treating the walls of your studio.

Bass traps, an alternative to acoustic foams

Bass trap is another flagship product for soundproofing work. It’s a soundproofing panel that absorbs low frequencies and enhances sound quality. Generally made from mineral wools such as ocean rockwool, bass traps are fixed to the corners of walls to absorb sound waves.

There are two main types of bass trap: wall-mounted and free-standing. The former feature an aluminum profile that allows them to be hung on the wall. The latter can be placed directly on the floor.

Combining acoustic foams and bass traps

For optimum results, we recommend combining acoustic foams and bass traps. The former absorbs medium and high frequencies, while the latter acts on low frequencies. These two products complement each other perfectly, helping to create excellent acoustics in your room. The use of bass traps is therefore essential to maximize room acoustics.

How to install acoustic foams and bass traps?

Mousses et bass traps - Installation
Foams and bass traps – Installation

Once you’ve found the products that are right for you, the next question is how to install them. Here are a few points to consider:

  • Wall surface: If possible, choose a smooth, flat surface. This will facilitate panel mounting.
  • Wall height: Ideally, products should be installed between 80 and 120 cm from the floor.
  • Spacing: A minimum of 10 cm should be maintained between each acoustic foam and bass trap.

A few additional tips

In addition to using acoustic foams and bass traps, here are a few additional tips you can implement to achieve better acoustic quality:

  • Insulate the floor and walls of the room with suitable materials.
  • Place objects such as sofas, armchairs or plants in the room to absorb sound.
  • Use heavy curtains to block outside noise.
  • Avoid placing instruments near walls or corners to minimize reflections.

Improving a room’s acoustics may seem very complicated. But, as it turns out, with the right products and techniques, you can easily make considerable progress. Acoustic foam, bass traps and the other tips mentioned above are simple, effective ways of ensuring that your music room has a rich, powerful sound.

In any case, the installation of foam and bass traps can be done by yourself, but it’s advisable to call in a professional to ensure impeccable results.

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