DIY rockwool acoustic panels

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selig
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Posts: 11980
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 10 Jun 2024

Man, so many folks use mineral wool, you just have to be careful. I’ve never heard of anything bad happening in a studio because of rockwool…but the internet is an interesting place with folks getting more and more extreme to attract views!

As for the center of the room being bass dead, it is not going to be dead at every frequency - that’s not how room acoustics work. At any position in the room you’ll have some frequencies that have nulls and some that have modes ringing. Also, those modes and nulls are widely spaced down low, but get closer together and get less intense as you go higher. So unless you’re singing super low, your voice is very likely falling in a range well above the fundamental frequencies of the nulls. Plus, and I’m not exaggerating, but 99% of the time in any popular genre I’m cutting lows and/or boosting highs on vocals. Could be the bass cut is just what is needed, but you’ll need to experiment a bit if you don’t like the initial sound in the first location you test.

As for the sound of the space, your space is bigger than most vocal booths, but still not huge, the lowest modes are around 40 and 60Hz (you didn’t mention the ceiling height, an important factor). So unless you’re singing as low as a bass guitar, the initial modes won’t be an issue. The overtones may affect things depending on overlap if the ceiling height is similar to either wall length.

I love this site btw, as a way to understand potential issues in your space and learn more about acoustics:
https://amcoustics.com/tools/amroc
Selig Audio, LLC

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mcatalao
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Post 11 Jun 2024

RobC wrote:
10 Jun 2024
selig wrote:
07 Jun 2024


What design are you following that has wood on the back, I've never seen that before…

I've been recently reading more folks saying air gap is very minimal improvement. I mounted my panels against the wall, but they have a few inches gap between the back of the rockwool/fabric and the wall (the frame extends further back than the materials inside the frame). So they have a bit of gap built in. For my ceiling I use the same panels but they simply straddle the exposed ceiling joists in my current studio which was a huge improvement over trying to attach them to a concrete ceiling at the previous place (NYC condo tiny studio).

As for how I put them up, I was going to go with a French cleat but my carpenter simply mounted them on two screws and it's been fantastic. As simple as possible, but not simpler FTW (Einstein).
I was simply trying to figure out how to cover the back of a panel, and create sound proofing, cause originally, I wanted to put it in front of the windows.

I saw some videos that actually warned against insulation material. So I might pass on those and go for acoustic foam/sponge - even if I need to wash and sun dry those now and then. Or at least blow it out with a compressor and put it under the sun. Or buy new ones every few years.

Anyways, the videos:




Well, i could send you the videos where the data shows no correlation to respiratory problems ans rockwool

As someone who does have foam, i can tell you roclwhool dyi is far superior. Too much foam, kills the room very easily muting high mids too much.

Ps, recording stuff under 100hz is controllable with eq and hpf on the mic. Imho where you need a better bass response is on the control room for mixing and mastering.

Making your absorption movable is a good idea but I've only did it once to brighten up the control room for guitar recording. I also wanted to do that to record drums in my garage (adjacent to the studio). Tbh, I've used it for rehearsals, not for recording so all the stuff with feet/legs hasn't come off from the studio more than twice in about 15 years...

RobC
Posts: 1896
Joined: 10 Mar 2018

Post 12 Jun 2024

selig wrote:
10 Jun 2024
Man, so many folks use mineral wool, you just have to be careful. I’ve never heard of anything bad happening in a studio because of rockwool…but the internet is an interesting place with folks getting more and more extreme to attract views!

As for the center of the room being bass dead, it is not going to be dead at every frequency - that’s not how room acoustics work. At any position in the room you’ll have some frequencies that have nulls and some that have modes ringing. Also, those modes and nulls are widely spaced down low, but get closer together and get less intense as you go higher. So unless you’re singing super low, your voice is very likely falling in a range well above the fundamental frequencies of the nulls. Plus, and I’m not exaggerating, but 99% of the time in any popular genre I’m cutting lows and/or boosting highs on vocals. Could be the bass cut is just what is needed, but you’ll need to experiment a bit if you don’t like the initial sound in the first location you test.

As for the sound of the space, your space is bigger than most vocal booths, but still not huge, the lowest modes are around 40 and 60Hz (you didn’t mention the ceiling height, an important factor). So unless you’re singing as low as a bass guitar, the initial modes won’t be an issue. The overtones may affect things depending on overlap if the ceiling height is similar to either wall length.

I love this site btw, as a way to understand potential issues in your space and learn more about acoustics:
https://amcoustics.com/tools/amroc
Whichever material I would have gone for, I would have probably used an OSB (wood) slab behind it, because I planned to put the absorbtion in front of the windows, and the door way, which have quite some depth to them here (at least 40 cm). So, basically, I would have built 3 "doors" that I could have opened and closed when needed.
So, slab + panel; or slab + foam. The doors would just have needed some hinges, handles, and something simple to firmly shut it.
That said, prices are barely doable for me, but the transportation is a problem. I don't have reliable help; the construction store has 3 problems: either they don't transport some tools, or the transportation is ridiculously overpriced, or there's no supply in the nearest store. Getting wood material cut, or ordering certain things needs to be done in person (because "cut a slab in half" is so complicated for them, that I would need to be there). And I would have to go back 2-3 times, because they don't do everything right away.
Another thing is, while this buildig can be super quiet, I'm not happy here at all.

So, currently I will probably give up on the recording part and put the speakers away. Thank god I at least have my IEM system, so I have a chance at production and engineering (I'm not saying I will get hired - tough business).

Of course, the knowledge isn't lost, so I much appreciate that.
It sucks that I have to give up on dreams that were close to turn into reality, especially thanks to incompetent hardware/construction companies.

RobC
Posts: 1896
Joined: 10 Mar 2018

Post 12 Jun 2024

mcatalao wrote:
11 Jun 2024
RobC wrote:
10 Jun 2024


I was simply trying to figure out how to cover the back of a panel, and create sound proofing, cause originally, I wanted to put it in front of the windows.

I saw some videos that actually warned against insulation material. So I might pass on those and go for acoustic foam/sponge - even if I need to wash and sun dry those now and then. Or at least blow it out with a compressor and put it under the sun. Or buy new ones every few years.

Anyways, the videos:




Well, i could send you the videos where the data shows no correlation to respiratory problems ans rockwool

As someone who does have foam, i can tell you roclwhool dyi is far superior. Too much foam, kills the room very easily muting high mids too much.

Ps, recording stuff under 100hz is controllable with eq and hpf on the mic. Imho where you need a better bass response is on the control room for mixing and mastering.

Making your absorption movable is a good idea but I've only did it once to brighten up the control room for guitar recording. I also wanted to do that to record drums in my garage (adjacent to the studio). Tbh, I've used it for rehearsals, not for recording so all the stuff with feet/legs hasn't come off from the studio more than twice in about 15 years...
Yeah, I probably would have placed a rockwool panel onto my "doors" I described above to Selig.
The OSB slab doors would have closed the doorway and window area, and provide a fair bit of soundproofing; while the rockwool would have been the absorber inside the room.
A pity, because the doorway, and the two windows are aligned in a T shape, which would have been very ideal to get two things done at once. Heck, 3, even because it also could have sealed daylight, if I didn't want it. Sun can be annoying and distracting.

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mcatalao
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Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 12 Jun 2024

RobC wrote:
12 Jun 2024
(...) Heck, 3, even because it also could have sealed daylight, if I didn't want it. Sun can be annoying and distracting.
Actually, my studio is on a basement so i have 0 natural light here. I only wish i had one window, with the years I've become less of a wolf and more bear... :) I'd love to have some sunlight here. Windows are not that bad for audio, the glass has some elasticity and works as a damper. I've been in lots of pro studios with double sliding glass doors for insulation. It works very well.

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selig
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Posts: 11980
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 12 Jun 2024

mcatalao wrote:
12 Jun 2024
RobC wrote:
12 Jun 2024
(...) Heck, 3, even because it also could have sealed daylight, if I didn't want it. Sun can be annoying and distracting.
Actually, my studio is on a basement so i have 0 natural light here. I only wish i had one window, with the years I've become less of a wolf and more bear... :) I'd love to have some sunlight here. Windows are not that bad for audio, the glass has some elasticity and works as a damper. I've been in lots of pro studios with double sliding glass doors for insulation. It works very well.
I've got a skylight, three doors (two are glass, one of them double/french), and four windows in my current studio and love it. That was always the more depressing thing about older studios I worked in, but over the years they started using more windows partly because of improvements in glass tech according to the studio designers I talked to in Nashville (Russ Berger, Tom Hidley, Carl Tatz).
With a windowless room you can work through the night into the next day and never notice the time of day, like working in an isolation chamber!
I'm more of a nature boy, which is why my studio is on 10 acres that abuts with 100+ more wooded acreage around me. I need breaks to do a little "forest bathing" from time to time. It's much nicer than walking out of the studio into a dirty alleyway…

Plus, my first full time job in 1984 was at a studio out in the country on 35 acres with cows around us. The transition/contrast from a room with an SSL, CMI, DX1, Jupiter 8, and digital multi-tracks (as well as a couple of Studer 24 tracks) was perfect for me. High tech inside, low tech outside.
Plus the place was originally built to look like a castle, making it even more interesting and fun! Good times.
https://www.castlerecordingstudios.com
Selig Audio, LLC

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motuscott
Posts: 3498
Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Location: Contest Weiner

Post 12 Jun 2024

I enjoy the occasional Ben Franklin style air bath myself, but getting harder to pull that off here on the lower east side.
I blame the boomers.
Wait! I am a boomer!!
Who’s using the royal plural now baby? 🧂

RobC
Posts: 1896
Joined: 10 Mar 2018

Post 13 Jun 2024

mcatalao wrote:
12 Jun 2024
RobC wrote:
12 Jun 2024
(...) Heck, 3, even because it also could have sealed daylight, if I didn't want it. Sun can be annoying and distracting.
Actually, my studio is on a basement so i have 0 natural light here. I only wish i had one window, with the years I've become less of a wolf and more bear... :) I'd love to have some sunlight here. Windows are not that bad for audio, the glass has some elasticity and works as a damper. I've been in lots of pro studios with double sliding glass doors for insulation. It works very well.
I only would have sealed everything during recording sessions. Alas, won't happen.

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mcatalao
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Posts: 1873
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Post 13 Jun 2024

selig wrote:
12 Jun 2024

Plus the place was originally built to look like a castle, making it even more interesting and fun! Good times.
https://www.castlerecordingstudios.com
Lovely studio!
I think I've seen some photos or your little cove and it seems a lovely place too, from what i remember.

Over here... It's in the basement/garage because it has the space for everything i need. I can leave the studio into the garden wich is on the other side of the garage. But not the same as being flowned from natural sunlight!
TBH, what i have is more than what i imagined 20 years ago, specially when my focus was pulled to IT instead of Music, and i was able to keep investing time and some money in this sucking, more serious hobby!

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