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#959210 - 05/11/12 09:46 AM Acoustic Sound treatment of my basement  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 10,532
Kevin Emmrich Offline
Kevin Emmrich  Offline

Top 10 Poster

Joined: Feb 2007
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Crozet, VA
I am thinking about doing some inexpensive treatment to my downstairs basement (roughly 19 x 24 x 8). I know it is a major science project, but I want to do it on the cheap. The main reason to do this is to have a better chance at "trusting" what I am hearing through my studio monitors (M-Audit BX5a's). When I take my mixes out to my car and listen I hear a lot of bass and kick drum booming through (the car radio has three EQ settings and one is bad, one is medium and one is OK). However reference CD's are not too bad on any setting. One some references, though, the bass/drum does boom on those too! The confusing thing is that I would expect my mixes to be "bass light" and not "bass heavy" (which probably just shows my acoustic ignorance!).

I was thinking about just buying six 24" x 48" x 2" rockwool panels covering them with colored fabric and stick them on the wall where "early reflections" might occur. I don't really hear a lot of bass build up in the corners and when I clap my hands I don't hear any ugly echos. The room is 100% dry-walled and carpeted.

When I look at most pictures of treated rooms, I see panels all over the place and on the ceiling and with bass traps in the corners.

Will putting up six lonely panels make any difference -- or I am just doing the wishful thinking thing. It sure does look like I can can these six panels done at ~ $170 ( http://www.atsacoustics.com/cat--DIY-Acoustic-Materials--102.html )

Any comments or advice?


"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @ FAWM 2017)
#959225 - 05/11/12 10:23 AM Re: Acoustic Sound treatment of my basement [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
Joined: May 2006
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Colin Ward Offline
Colin Ward  Offline

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Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,837
Saint Petersburg. FL

I have a couple of those panels, a few rugs on the wall, rugs on the floor, and a fair amount of furniture in my bedroom studio. It works pretty well and I get the tiniest echo when I clap my hands. I also bought an Auralex microphone stand device that protects the back of the mic from reflections bouncing back (made a big difference).

I think it all adds up. One panel will not make a great difference, but a combination of all that stuff definitely works. I also get the boomy bass on the car radio syndrome. The car radio is not the best however.

My friend with a great sounding pro studio has a room about the size of yours with little acoustic treatment in it. He does have a lot of equipment and furniture in there though and it does not echo much. I think eliminating empty flat walls facing each other does a lot. Bookshelves, couches, carpet, etc. all help that situation.


I try to critique as if you mean business.....



#959310 - 05/11/12 08:16 PM Re: Acoustic Sound treatment of my basement [Re: Colin Ward]  
Joined: Feb 2007
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Kevin Emmrich Offline
Kevin Emmrich  Offline

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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 10,532
Crozet, VA
Colin: Thanks for the response. I would have to say that I don't think I will hurt anything -- but there is no need to do it if I am not helping either.

I just posted this over a GearSlutz and maybe I will get some other comments (that won't be too hurtful -- ha, ha).


"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @ FAWM 2017)
#959323 - 05/11/12 11:00 PM Re: Acoustic Sound treatment of my basement [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,655
Michael Zaneski Offline
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Michael Zaneski  Offline
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Posts: 4,655
I survived for years with just heavy blankets for general sound dampening, egg cartons for echo reduction, and relatively cheap set of nearfield/studio monitors. I never could justify the cost of panels. Now, if I was putting together a pro studio, that's a different story.

I have found that any headset that you are used to works great, once you understand how what you hear in the headphones (in terms of EQ) translates into real world situations. By that I mean, keep in mind that every single listener will hear what you recorded somewhat differently. All you can go for is an "averaged out" sound.

Another great thing about headphones is that there is, of course, no inherent problem with echo, or any other unwanted sounds, for that matter.

Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 05/11/12 11:13 PM.

Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice

-The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon)
from the song "Songs of Love"
from the album "Casanova" (1996)
#959589 - 05/14/12 01:47 AM Re: Acoustic Sound treatment of my basement [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 3,917
Jody Whitesides Offline
Jody Whitesides  Offline

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Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 3,917
Park City, UT, USA
Sometimes we need a little help from those more knowledgeable...

Here's a little article that I was in about my studio: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jul08/articles/studiosos_0708.htm


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
#959614 - 05/14/12 10:11 AM Re: Acoustic Sound treatment of my basement [Re: Jody Whitesides]  
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 732
Andy Kemp Offline
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Andy Kemp  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 732
UK Wales
I'm at the same stage as you so I've been doing a lot of research myself. The bass problem can be cured with some nice bass traps in the corners of your room as the bass loves too go and hide in corners.

The first reflection points from your monitors should be treated as well as the directly behind them. All I really know is that you can spend silly money on acoustic treatment gear. The rule I’m going by is to spend as much cash on the treatment as I have on the monitors.


Work for hire Acoustic/Electric studio quality guitar tracks. I will also produce and master any old/new work tapes up to demo standards. :-)
Just PM or email:

Email -- mork1976@gmail.com

#959618 - 05/14/12 10:26 AM Re: Acoustic Sound treatment of my basement [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 66
James Perrett Offline
Serious Contributor
James Perrett  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 66
Hampshire UK
Not sure what prices are like in the US but the prices for fibreglass look a bit steep on that site - but the fabric is very reasonably priced. Check your local building supply place for fibreglass (but make sure it is suitably dense).

Here in the UK, the last packs of fibreglass panels that I bought came in at around $30 per pack of 8.


James Perrett, JRP Music http://www.jrpmusic.net

Della Perrett's Sweetedge http://www.sweetedge.com
#960616 - 05/20/12 05:03 PM Re: Acoustic Sound treatment of my basement [Re: James Perrett]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463

Top 20 Poster

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463
Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
To do the job properly can cost a fortune and is usually no good unless professionally installed. I use a SE reflection filter that cuts out most of the noise http://www.seelectronics.com/reflexion-filter-pro
any flat shiny surfaces can be covered with carpet, foam, polystyrene sheeting or other such materials. The secret may lie in ensuring thart a reference track EQs and sounds the same on other systems as the stuff you produce.

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