Just found out the other day. I’m apparently spreading vicious lies.

First-time commenter “Mike C” wrote (in response to my “Intro to Acoustic Treatment” video):

“this is the second room treatment video I’ve watched today and I refuse to let these lies continue…both were pushing products from their sponsors. sadly, that foam doesn’t work. check out the numbers, they don’t lie…I’m sick of this misinformation all in the name of pushing products from a sponsor.”

So…am I a liar? Let’s take a looksy.

First, is Auralex a sponsor of HSC?

Yep. They gave me some acoustic treatment to review a few years ago.

BUT…I was already a customer long before that happened, and I like the products.

Second, does acoustic foam really “not work”?

It does work. And Mike’s right, the numbers don’t lie. If you look up the absorption coefficients for various Auralex foam products (which they provide for free on their website), you’ll see that foam does a great job of absorbing mid-to-high frequencies.

And their foam LENRD bass traps absorb effectively down to around 150-200 Hz.

Are there better absorbers out there, especially for the low to mid-range frequencies? Sure. Big, massive broad-band absorbers and bass traps would work even better.

But that doesn’t mean the foam panels “don’t work.”

(That’s like saying an $100 SM57 doesn’t work when compared to a $3,000 U87. They both work, but they behave differently and have different purposes.)

Whether you’re into foam, fiberglass panels, or a king-size mattress, just use what makes sense for you.

And it always helps if you have a deeper understanding of how sound waves travel around your room. You can get started here:

www.UnderstandingYourRoom.com

I put this class together with an acoustical engineer buddy of mine.

Good stuff…perhaps something to try out this weekend?

Either way, have a great one.

Joe “Big Fat Liar” Gilder

  • Tony Robinson

    I am happy to hear this, I plan on using the Auralex Roominator Pro Plus kit for my space as that is what Auralex suggested in their free room analysis. While I may not be an acoustic engineer, I have done a lot of research over the last couple of months while planning my studio and their layout and setup make sense (I was actually planning something similar using the same kit before the analysis). Everyone keeps telling me their stuff is garbage, but your Roominator demo, and my Sweetwater rep say differently. I feel better now about going with it. I may add some DIY Roxul panels in the future, but this will be a great start.

    • Yeah, just because there are better options out there doesn’t mean it’s garbage.
      Someone could argue that a $200 preamp is “garbage” because fancy $6,000 preamps are so much better.

  • Smurf

    Don’t sweat it Joe, he just another of the 1000’s of arm chair engineers that are parroting their favorite forums latest line of fodder.

    There are a lot of them out there anymore….

  • Xan

    I’m in agreement with you, Joe.. 🙂

  • I’m definitely a fan of owens corning 703; using them to create bass traps in the corners. Bass traps and panels placed to tame first reflections are priorities. Auralex is overpriced in my opinion, and is inferior to owens corning for bass trapping. In home studios you cannot do too much bass trapping.

  • Gary Cable

    Hey Joe,
    Some people are just unhappy, so don’t sweat the anger of one.
    Like everything else, acoustic foam has its place. I use a lot of Auralex 2″ pyramid in my vocal booth (along with a rock wool ‘cloud’ and rugs over hardwood) as it does a fine job on mid and high frequencies.
    I use primarily Roxul Safe ‘n Sound rock wool in my control room (3″, 6″ and 9″ thick panels), as it does a better job across the full frequency spectrum. There are dozens of videos and articles on how to build broad-band absorbers (if that it what you need), including Inside Home Recording [episode 90].

  • Andrew Bauserman

    I agree with Dan: HRS 156 is a great demo of mid/high absorption. 2″ Auralex egg-crate foam does pretty well for mid/high flutter echo and slap-back. But you definitely need something more to tackle deep bass.

    I’m a fan of Rockboard 60 (from ATS Acoustics). But a feed sack full of the pink stuff as a super-chunk bass trap competes well with the LENRD.

    Do whatever you can afford, works and looks good (spousal acceptance factor). But definitely do something!

  • Letzter Geist

    great post joe! but you don’t have to explain yourself to the neigh-sayers 😛

    when i have a bit of extra cash, i’d love to invest in one of your products.

  • This post kind of sounded like a carry over from the “grumpy old man” post from yesterday Joe, haha. To say acoustical treatment, “Doesn’t work, and the numbers don’t lie…” is just ridiculous. Anyone who has ever acoustically treated their recording or mixing space knows this.

    There is a reason that when you walk into a studio there is a vocal booth that is so acoustically treated that it’s practically dead acoustically, or why EVERY LEGIT STUDIO IN THE WORLD has acoustically treated tracking and control rooms. Just because there is a product out where the company that makes it happens to sponsor people who are actively using it so that potential clients can see/hear it’s results first hand has nothing to do with whether it works or not.

    I feel like someone in Mike C’s position, instead of seeing it as, “both were pushing products from their sponsors” should see it as. “Multiple people are out promoting the use of this product. Maybe this stuff does work,” In fact, if i’m not mistaken, on HSC you can actually hear two samples of recorded vocals, one with the treatment, one without, and in those samples hear a noticeable difference in the amount of room noise and early reflections being removed in the second sample by putting up a few of those panels that “don’t work”.

    Haters gonna hate Joe. Here you are providing insight into low-cost solutions for people who are working on a Home Studio budget and still you get people drinking that Hater-aide trying to cramp your style. Your 57/87 example said it best. Are the Auralex Pannels perfect? No they have their flaws. Are they better than bare walls? You bet your ass they are and anyone with a half way decent ear can hear the difference. But could you also spend 10’s of thousands of dollars re-building your rooms with non-parallel walls and going all out on the best acoustic treatment you can afford. Sure you can, and it may sound better, but most HSC readers could spend a few hundred on some Auralex panels, get plenty of good results and not break the bank in the process.

    If you still feel like Joe evilly promoting his sponsors for no other reason that to lead you astray, and want something that works, while having the satisfaction you stuck it to the man by not buying his products that take advantage of small studio owners. lol. Here is a really cheap and creative way you can build some less-permanent-installation hangable panels yourself and it’s not that difficult. All you need is some 1″x2″ pieces of wood, some roksol, and some cloth. cut the 1×2 and build a rectangle box. insert the rocksol in the middle, cover with cloth. Bingo! hang em up around your studio and hear the difference. If you find yourself scared of a circular saw, home depot, building things, itchy fiberglass, nail guns, etc. THEN BUY THE AURALEX!

  • dan

    HAHAHA!! Joe, the haters will keep on hating. 🙂 Dont believe in treatment? Go listen to the home recording show 156.

    dan

  • Tal

    …I liked you better when you were a “grumpy old fart” 🙂

  • Sal

    Joe,
    Don’t listen to haters and naysayers. You are right. Acoustic treatment is vital. While I would agree the some Auralex products may not be the best treatment products out there, but they still work and are better than nothing, especially for the price. The real value is educating yourself and determining how your particular room sounds and reacts. I use Auralex absorbers and they certainly help. Thanks for all the advice you give us.