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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tutorial: Sound-Absorbing Art in the Recording Studio

You probably recall from this post that I am suffering from a serious case of creative constipation when it comes to my husband's recording studio (located in our loft). 

We had originally planned for his studio to go in one of the bedrooms, which would have made my design dilemma non-existent (the solution? Close the door. Boo yah.).....but one day a mixer (and I don't mean a KitchenAid), some speakers, a keyboard and the rest of his gear magically appeared in the loft, along with a very insistent Brian, claiming it was "perfect" and "meant to be" and that if I made him move his studio "it would make Baby Jesus cry." 

This is really how conversations go in our house. Honest. 


So, not wanting to upset the Baby Jesus, I conceded (well......I might have scored a dedicated craft room as part of the deal, so we'll just call this one a very mutually beneficial compromise).

Fast forward to the present day. It was just another Saturday like any other, and Brian and I were at (where else?) Home Goods. That place is like candy to me. And no, they are not paying me to say that (but if they want to pay me to say that, I'll take it!).

On this fine Saturday, Brian discovered some most excellent motivational art for the drum kit corner in his studio. And, whaddya know, it was wifey-approved to boot!

Here is the glorious naked corner we planned to dress up with the art. See how it's so naked and naked-like?


At this point, many of you wives out there must think I'm crazy for permitting a drum kit in the house (or maybe you think I lost a bet, or maybe you don't know me at all and think I'm submissive....ha!). And husbands, you must think I'm a saint. But I tell you verily I am none of those things. For, you see, this drum kit is the Pearl E-Pro Live kit (i.e. it's an electronic drum kit....i.e. Brian plays into headphones and all I hear is him tapping on the rubber triggers -- BEST. INVENTION. EVER.). It's pretty much the bomb when it comes to recording, in case you were wondering....cuts the pre-work down by about 80%.

Anyway....that's neither here nor there.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch....we brought our beautiful art home. Each canvas says:

"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."


"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."


"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."




The great thing about using canvas art in a studio (or an echo-y hallway, or a kids' playroom even...honestly, anywhere you want to dampen some of the noise) is that it has wonderful built-in nooks and crannies in the back where you can hide acoustic foam.

Behold the nooks and crannies!


If you have money to burn, your best bet is to hit up your local music / production store and purchase high-end acoustic foam. If you don't have money to burn, then a foam mattress pad will do fine.

We purchased this very convoluted one from Walmart. No, really, it's convoluted. See?


Take rough measurements of the inside back of your canvases.


Using a marker, draw squares on the smooth side of your foam to match the measurements of the inside of your canvas. Use scissors to cut your squares. They don't have to be perfect.


Next, bust out your spray adhesive.


Give the convoluted side of your foam a coat of spray adhesive. Don't go too crazy here, but don't skimp either.


Lay your foam convoluted-side down inside the back of the canvas. The ridges on the convoluted side help to stop sound waves from bouncing around the room, so you want to make sure the convoluted side is facing out when your art is hung on the wall (the sound process a little more complicated than that, but that's another story Brian would LOVE to tell you about...later).


Let your canvases sit for a few minutes so the spray adhesive has some time to dry.


Find yourself a willing helper with strong arms and a peaceful disposition (ok, two outta three ain't bad) to hold the art on the wall so you can eyeball the proper placement.


And, voila! You're done. You now have art that doubles as sound absorption. And the best part is NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW....unless they read this blog, and then the secret's out.




This little stinker kept trying to get in the pictures. :) I love my dog!


Cheers!

P.S. I'm participating in this link party:

 Weekend Bloggy Reading




7 comments:

  1. You seriously need to be on a TV show for cool home improvement ideas/decorating. Love it!

    Martha

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    1. Aww shucks, thanks!! You are a sweetheart, Martha! :)

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  2. Now how about commissioning your artist sister to do some work!! Buy handmade! ;)

    Neat idea though~

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    1. Excellent point sis! Let me brainstorm....I want to replace the art in our master bedroom, and B's studio will probably need more art down the road.

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  3. Creative constipation...hahaha! We, too, have a drum kit in our home, and it's not electronic. You're lucky! Super smart idea for sound absorbtion!

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  4. Hi - did they work to absorb the sound? Even through the canvas???? colleenmacd@gmail.com

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    1. Yes! By adding the textured foam, it stops the sound from bouncing around the room, reducing echo and hence minimizing volume. Music studios do the same thing. :)

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