Improve Your Home Recording Studio Sound with Acoustic Panels / Foam Tiles (with no wall damage!)

Improve Your Home Recording Studio Sound with Acoustic Panels / Foam Tiles (with no wall damage!)

September 16, 2019 1 By Kailee Schamberger


Let’s talk about improving the sound of
your audio in your home studio setup! Hello welcome to another Switched On Network
video, I’m paulfp and on this channel we cover a range of topics encompassing technology,
gadgets, the internet, photography and videography, including reviews and tests like this one
– so if you’re new to the channel please do subscribe and stick around! In today’s video we’ll be talking about
improving the acoustics and audio quality in your studio, which is especially useful
if you record music at home or if you record videos like this one. To get professional,
studio-sounding audio, the key thing we want to avoid is lots of hard, reflective surfaces
that sound waves bounce and echo off sounding terrible. We want to deaden all those echos
and make the audio sound really crisp and clear. This room that I’m in at the moment has
laminate flooring in which isn’t ideal, so I’ve already put down a large rug in
the area I stand when recording. The next thing to think about is these hard walls,
and that’s best resolved with special acoustic foam pads like this one here. You can pick these up fairly cheaply from
Amazon or eBay, and there are links in the video description below if you want to buy
some for yourself and help support this channel. They absorb the sound reflections which bounce
off all the hard surfaces in the room, deadening the reverb and giving a much better, more
professional and crisp sound to your audio. The foam comes in 30cm squares and the idea
is that you arrange them on your walls like this, alternating the patterns to catch sound
waves from all directions. To stick them to your walls you can use spray
adhesive like this, but if you stick them straight to the walls then you won’t ever
be able to move them, and if you want to take them down in the future you’ll ruin the
walls! So I’m going to show you how I’m going to mount mine on these poster boards
and then simply hang them up with a hook just like a picture. I bought a back of 24 foam tiles so that’ll
work nicely to have 4 groups of 6, and 6 tiles arranged in a two by three arrangement is
nearly the same size as A1, so I bought a pack of black A1 poster boards (SCREENSHOT)
on eBay for less than £20 – see the link in the video description to see that. Each board is going to be hung with two of
these little D Rings, which again I bought off eBay for a couple of quid. Measure and
mark the points down the edge of the board where the hooks will go, and then use a glue
gun to fix in place. Two of my boards are going to be hung landscape, and two are going
to be hung portrait. Once the hooks are in place on the boards,
arrange the foam squares in an alternating pattern like this, then use the spray glue
to fix each square in place. Now it’s crunchtime – do they make a noticeable
difference to the audio? To test that out I’ll record some audio with the foam in
place and without. Before we get into the audio tests, time for
a very quick shout-out to this video’s sponsor, VideoBlocks. If you produce videos for a living
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a 7-day free trial, and keep everything you download during the trial, too! For these tests I’m going to use 3 different
microphones – a directional mic boomed above my head and pointing down at me and the carpeted
floor, which is a Rode VideoMic Pro…. a lav mic which is a Sennheiser ME2 with wireless
transmitter, and this handheld Flashmic. There are purchasing links for all 3 mics in the
video description, if you’re interested. So first off, let’s hear what the echo is
like by clapping my hands with the foam up and without. And this microphone’s going
to go on the floor at my feet. So, clapping hands now… (CLAPPING) So, clapping hands now… (CLAPPING) So, clapping hands now… (CLAPPING) I then took down the acoustic foam tiles from
the wall – which is very easy to do when you hang them like this on sheets of poster board.
I placed them outside the room in order to conduct the same test with no sound absorption
going on. Then the greenscreen went back up, ready to record the tests with no panels up.
I also do a speaking test next, but I won’t bore you with this sequence all over again
before that! So, now to the clap test with no panels up… (CLAPPING) (CLAPPING) (CLAPPING) I’ll now speak a sentence and listen to
the difference… This is speaking an intro, Hello my name is
Paul Freeman-Powell. You can follow me on Twitter @paulfp and don’t forget to subscribe
to the Switched On Network YouTube Channel, like this video and share it! I’ll now speak a sentence and listen to
the difference… This is speaking an intro, Hello my name is
Paul Freeman-Powell. You can follow me on Twitter @paulfp and don’t forget to subscribe
to the Switched On Network YouTube Channel, like this video and share it! I’ll now speak a sentence and listen to
the difference… This is speaking an intro, Hello my name is
Paul Freeman-Powell. You can follow me on Twitter @paulfp and don’t forget to subscribe
to the Switched On Network YouTube Channel, like this video and share it! I’ll now speak a sentence and listen to
see the difference… or “hear” the difference, I should say… This is speaking an intro, Hello my name is
Paul Freeman-Powell. You can follow me on Twitter @paulfp and don’t forget to subscribe
to the Switched On Network YouTube Channel, like this video and share it! I’ll now speak a sentence and listen to
see the difference… or “hear” the difference, I should say… This is speaking an intro, Hello my name is
Paul Freeman-Powell. You can follow me on Twitter @paulfp and don’t forget to subscribe
to the Switched On Network YouTube Channel, like this video and share it! I’ll now speak a sentence and listen to
see the difference… or “hear” the difference, I should say… This is speaking an intro, Hello my name is
Paul Freeman-Powell. You can follow me on Twitter @paulfp and don’t forget to subscribe
to the Switched On Network YouTube Channel, like this video and share it! Which of those six clips do you think sounded
the nicest? Leave your comment below! To my ears, I can definitely hear more of
an echo on the clap tests without the acoustic foam up. It’s a subtle difference – it’s
definitely not earth-shattering but the extra resonance is definitely there. On both the
clapping and the speaking test, I can hear more of a difference when listening to the
Rode VideoMic Pro boomed over my head. Out of the three microphones, that was furthest
from my mouth so had the lowest signal-to-noise ratio of them all. This test just goes to
show then that position of a microphone is very important, especially so in less than
perfect conditions, for example a room with no acoustic dampening in place. There’s
a noticeable difference with the foam in place as the audio sounds clearer and more studio-like,
that’s to say with no echos and nasty high-frequency resonance. I would say that acoustic foam
is definitely a wise investment, and ideally get as much as your budget allows to cover
as much of the walls as possible. Now that I’ve heard the difference I think I’ll
definitely be getting even more for my little studio! Please give this video a thumbs up if you’ve
found it interesting, useful or both, and take a look at some of the other videos on
the channel which you should definitely find interesting if you’re into video and photography.
For example, you can look at my review and comparison of the NVIDIA GTX1080 graphics
card versus CPU only for video rendering in Adobe Premiere Pro and Affect Effects by clicking
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there. We cover a range of topics encompassing technology,
gadgets, the internet, photography and videography on this channel, so if you haven’t already
subscribed please do click the Switched On Network icon just down there for that, too. Thanks for watching and I’ll hopefully see
you again soon!