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Thread: Is acoustical foam a rip off?

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    Is acoustical foam a rip off?

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    These guys are selling the damn stuff and they can't seem to explain why it costs so much for a tiny pad of foam that has had dye thrown on it then been cut:
    The Differences Between Conventional and Acoustical Foam | The Foam Factory

    Surely there's somewhere you can buy a block of 80 ppi foam for quater of the price to cut yourself?
    Quote Originally Posted by Dmitri Shostakovich
    A creative artist works on his next composition because he was not satisfied with his previous one.

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    They forget to mention the most important one: that is about profiles

    Regular foam is usually flat, or slightly curved, without any surface depressions or slots or valleys and mountains.

    Acoustic foam, on the other hand, can have one of many profiles. These profiles help to tune the tile and have an impact on the overall broadband absorption of frequencies
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    Yes but if i bought twice the quantity at a lower price and cut it roughly to shape that would surely out do the added benefit of "profiles".

    By profile do you mean surface texture or shape? I think cutting foam into shape wouldn't be too hard.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dmitri Shostakovich
    A creative artist works on his next composition because he was not satisfied with his previous one.

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    have you ever worked with foam? it is seriously difficult to cut unless using what amounts to a coat-hanger connected to 240v mains current. Putting the types of shapes we see in most acoustic foam profiles is no easy feat.

    as for the suggestion that you could use ordinary foam to do the same job ludicrous at best
    - the density of the foam is the key ingredient in stopping air moving
    - the idea that mass resists movement should be one of the few things that you managed to learn in science when looking at physics and mechanics
    -- the heavier something is the more its inertia is likely to keep it rooted to the spot
    -- acoustic foam is particularly dense in comparison to ordinary cushion or pillow or mattress based foam
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    Quote Originally Posted by bandcoach View Post
    - the density of the foam is the key ingredient in stopping air moving
    Surely there's somewhere you can buy a block of 80 ppi foam for quarter of the price to cut yourself?
    ^^^
    C'mon son, give me some credit i know the density i need. No i haven't ever cut foam, i do not work in a foam cutting factory, honestly i was hoping a hacksaw would have done it, now i feel foolish.

    Out of interest how exactly does it work? I'm guessing the sound waves go into the foam and get trapped bouncing around and because it's denser then it's harder for them to escape back out? I'm speculating here but if it works like that, couldn't i just use half the density of foam and double the thickness to keep the sound waves trapped?

    Or would that be like trying to soak up water with a sponge that is really sparse and the water wouldn't even hold?
    Last edited by Olie; 04-12-2014 at 11:50 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dmitri Shostakovich
    A creative artist works on his next composition because he was not satisfied with his previous one.

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    your sponge analogy is spot on
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    So my only choice is to buy the foam off people at a inflated price because they hold the suppliers and have the infastructure to cut it or spend a unholey amount of time building a fiberglass one and end up spending enough time that i could have just used to work and buy the foam in the first place.
    Last edited by Olie; 04-13-2014 at 02:01 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dmitri Shostakovich
    A creative artist works on his next composition because he was not satisfied with his previous one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olie View Post
    So my only choice is to buy the foam off people at a inflated price because they hold the suppliers and have the infastructure to cut it or spend a unholey amount of time building a fiberglass one and end up spending enough time that i could have just used to work and buy the foam in the first place.
    Do panels. Read up on it. In the long run you'll save time and money.
    Dre The 5th

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    How in the world would that save me time?
    Quote Originally Posted by Dmitri Shostakovich
    A creative artist works on his next composition because he was not satisfied with his previous one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olie View Post
    How in the world would that save me time?
    Big Picture.
    you can run in circles dealing with foam only. Read up on foam and then read up on Bass Traps, OC705 Fiberglass Panels and also Rockwool.

    Foam helps cut echo/flutter/reflections - especially in the mid and high frequency ranges. The bad part is they do nothing for the low end. Now your room is technically full of low end sound and that would cause you to make bad decisions at mixing time and even if you're not mixing it can effect a track your recording like vocals.

    The various bass traps and panels do a much better job of covering all frequencies, and they can do it without covering the entire wall.

    So how does this save you time? If you're looking for a quick fix it doesn't.
    however running away from proper treatment will constantly leave you feeling like your sound can be improved, so you go back and get those items, re-record, and re-mix everything you've already done. Now you've bought all this foam, only to be unsatisfied and then you do the fiber glass panels
    so the money you spent on foam is now a waste because you won't even be using it. If spending a day or two building your panels takes too much time, remember that time is going to pay you back with better recordings. If you don't have time for that, the you don't actually want an improvement and therefore may not be very serious about your productions in the first place. I'm not accusing you of that, but I ran in that circle for a long time and did my panels this year. I wish I would have done it a long time ago. I could have tracked more at home with better efficiency and then only gone to a big studio for final mixing.

    measure once and cut ten times
    or
    measure ten times and cut once
    Dre The 5th

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