House of Hacks

Friday, August 24, 2018

How effective are moving blankets for sound deadening?


Description

They're cheap but are they effective? Today at the House of Hacks, Harley investigates if it makes sense to use moving blankets for acoustic treatment. People have tried different sound absorption techniques to remove room echo from recording spaces. Acoustic foam panels and a sound blanket are two popular items. Moving blankets appear similar to sound blankets and are considered DIY sound absorption materials, but how well do they work in a recording studio for sound absorption? Today we're going to measure the difference between having them and not having them actually makes.

Affiliate links:
12 Moving blankets
1 Real acoustic blanket

Resources:
How to measure echo in a room

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Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
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Transcript

[Door bell]

Oh, FedEx. Thanks!

Do you need to reduce echo in a room for recording?

Today, we're going to look at these moving blankets and measure how well they actually work for this application.

[Introduction]

Hi! Harley here.

I'm down here in the workshop which is in the unfinished portion of our basement.

It's got concrete walls, concrete floors, and from this app we can see we've got 0.65 seconds of decay time.

To try to get that down, I got some moving blankets from Amazon, very cheap, and I want to see if this is actually going to make a difference in the echo in this space where I can hang them from the ceiling, drape them around the workshop, as I'm recording to try to get the echo down.

Let's open it up and give it a try.

[Opening package]

There are twelve blankets for less than $60 from Amazon.

I'll leave a link in the description below.

By comparison, you can get an acoustic blanket that's marketed as such for $75 for just one.

But the question is: does this inexpensive option really make a difference?

I haven't spent the money to compare the difference between the moving blankets and the one that's really designed for the purpose, but I can compare the difference between with and without these moving blankets.

First, I installed an application on my phone to actually measure the echo.

And as we saw in the opening, without the blankets, the echo is 0.65 seconds.

I'm going to use some spring clamps to hang the blankets around the workshop.

[Hanging and draping blankets]

So, I'm really impressed!

Depending on the test, it was between 0.19 and 0.43 [sic] seconds delay after adding the blankets.

That's between...

...about a third on the high end and not quite half on the higher end.

So, yeah, these blankets really do make a difference.

How that compares to an acoustic blanket? I don't know.

I'm not going to spend that much money, but they do make a difference.

That's a good thing.

I'll certainly be using these in the future when I'm recording to reduce the echo in here.

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