Soundproofing Foam – The Common Acoustic Solution
Soundproofing foam by some isn’t really a good noise reduction strategy. It is proven that foams do not work as good as sheetrock or dense walls. Well no kidding! Soundproofing foam isn’t just for soundproofing and completely making something air tight and sound tight, its for controlling early reflections and very small high frequency noises that you may hear.
Typically though when I think of foam, I usually think of it as a way to keep sound out of a certain area instead of keeping sound in. For example, it may be used in the walls of houses, in the walls of apartment buildings, in speaker cabinets etc.
In recording studios foam panels are used to on the face of walls and other flat objects as well as the ceilings. This is very comming in as I said studios, gymasiuums and churches. These open-cell type acoustic foam panels actually end up converting the sound engery into heat as they enter into the small micro-cavities of the absorbtion material.
The main benifit that you can see and hear right away to using foam for soundproofing is that you get a cleaner more crisp and full frequency response in the room. This is because in the frequency domain, the echos that you hear in the room have a frequency and when two or more echos collide they mask or cancell out eachother, this is called masking. A certain frequency range can be completely destroyed here, making your audio recordings very non-clear and not focused.
Another common use for soundproofing foam is to use it inside of your computer case. Computer fans are quite noisey and it is common place now to create a sound tight and soundproof computer case. After awhile the sound of the fan becomes too much for the average person after sitting at the computer for a long days work. If you are worried about heat in your computer after installing sound deadening foam, you can easily create a hard drive isolation box and extend the wires of your hard drive outside of the case. This keeps the harddrive cool and quite.
Most soundproofing foam panels are made from melamine and they come in a couple of different shapes and sizes. You typically see the egg carton shape, the pyramid and the row shape. While many professionals say there is a difference in the different sizes and shapes, I tend to think they all do pretty much the same thing, although it does matter how deep the pryamids stick out in soundproofing foams.
Acoustic soundproofing foam is great, use it where you can, remember that every little bit of sound deadening or sound reflection helps when soundproofing a room or studio.