For a poor musician, it’s only natural to want a cheap alternative to commercial acoustic treatment.
And that’s fine. Because there are plenty of DIY options that work wonders.
But there are also many that don’t work at all. Some make the problem even worse.
Imagine spending all day working on your room acoustics, only to discover that your $1000 vocal mic sounds even more awful than before you started.
Care to avoid this fate? Then avoid these 3 things:
The 3 Common Traps
Home recording studios all across the world have carpet nailed to the walls.
And few if any of them manage to create good recordings.
The reason carpet doesn’t work as acoustic treatment is that it can’t absorb bass frequencies.
The high frequencies get absorbed, the low ones don’t.
The result is a dull, unpleasant room tone.
Combine that with the fact that used carpet is usually soaked in red wine and cat piss, and its a poor solution all-around.
For proper broadband frequency absorption, you need a combination of acoustic panels and bass traps.
So don’t use carpet.
2. Cup holders
Ever seen the movie Hustle and Flow?
In this film, the aspiring music producers staple cup holders to the walls of their make-shift studio.
Think it would work? Nope.
It wouldn’t work for the same reason carpet doesn’t work: Not enough low end absorption.
And anyway, how on Earth is someone supposed to steal that many cup holders from McDonalds?
3. Egg Crate Foam
Everyone has tried egg crate foam in their studio at one time or another.
At first glance, I admit…egg crate foam looks promising. It looks almost exactly the same as professional acoustic foam, just a little cheaper.
Except it’s not.
When you compare egg crate foam to a real acoustic foam panel, you notice one big difference: Density.
The real stuff is dense, while egg crate foam is much lighter. And the result is the same as in the other two examples: Not enough low end absorption, and a poor overall sound.
Do yourself a favor and avoid it.
So What’s the Alternative?
If you want quality acoustic treatment in your home studio, you have two options:
Option 1: Spend the money and buy commercial acoustic foam. For the vast majority of us, this is the best option by far.
Option 2: If you’ve got some carpentry skills, grab your tools, roll up your sleeves, and build them yourself.
And in this post I explain both options: