Reduce Room Reflections to the Mic!

by Mike
(New Bern, NC)

Do something ecconomical to reduce unwanted room reflections to your microphone. I hung 3 of these panels over my drums, 2 over my studio vocal mic, and hung one vertically in a tall corner to absorb bass.

1.Google a supplier of Owens-Corning 703 broadband sound absorber fiberglass.
2. Find a good price and order 6 or 9 pieces of 4'X 24"X 4" thick 703. (I paid $205 for 6 pieces, shipped.)
3. Go to your local fabric supplier or order online speaker grill cloth or burlap (in colors) to wrap the 703. Measure a panel of 703 after you get it, and allow some overlapping of fabric.
4. If you use speaker grill cloth, I found using LocTite spray adhesive worked fine to wrap the panel like a Christmas present. If using burlap, get a good glue gun and some sticks. I Googled the process and found a video of a fella doing this. It's easy!
5. In either case, buy some latex project gloves; the cheap kind at Lowe's works fine. Expect to have to change gloves about every two panels after smoothing seams and holding down corners until they stick.I recommend long sleeves too!
6. You can hang these from the ceiling with 2 ceiling hooks per panel and twine wrapped around each end of the covered panels, or use a heavy duty ribbon from the fabric store, what I used. If mine break, I'll go to Lowes and buy their black fiberglass gutter-guard and cut it lengthwise to hang them.
7. To get the panels to hang at the same height, just wrap the twine or ribbon around the hook until the panel is the same height as the adjoing one. Leave about the same distance from the ceiling to the top of the panel as the width of the panel ( either 2" or 4") to reduce bass in the studio.
8. To get groups of panels -called "clouds"- to allign their edges for an attractive appearance, use velcro on the touching corners.

I can hear the difference just talking at normal levels under these "clouds." Can't wait to try singing under them! The drums sound much cleaner, easier to get a good sound from. Just hanging blankets, etc. won't cut it if you're after more serious quality sounds, but it's a good way to start. I've even hung blankets from mic stands with the booms parallel to the floor. Do something to your recording environment!
Here's a photo of mine before I used the velcro to allign the edges.
They look better now!

Mike

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Mar 28, 2011
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IMPORTANT modification
by: Mike (author of the above)

Hi- I weote the above piece about broadband sound absorbers. Because I have a conscience (dang it!) I feel compelled to tell you about one little modification needed in the construction proceedure: HOT GLUE THE CORNERS! After a couple months my corners started coming loose. I could press them back in place, but they always popped loose. So I hot glued them down. Took 15 minutes to do all visable corners. Seems that Loctite spray works fine on long seams but not on the corners. And the stuff never seemed to "harden." So get a Hi-Lo temperature hot glue gun and a couple sticks of Hi-Lo glue. They're cheap and effective. I don't think you need to hot glue the whole wrap of the fabric, unless you're using fraying burlap; hot gluing just the corners worked for me.

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