Portable Acoustic Foam Panel
Having a studio in an apartment has its drawbacks. Besides keeping the volumes at a certain level while working on tracks, acoustically treating the room has to be done in a non permanent way. There are few options for attaching acoustic panels. You can nail them into the wall, glue them, or apply one of the many forms of double sided tape. Nailing them not only looks bad, it rips the foam too. Gluing them is time consuming both before you apply the foam and after you rip it off the wall. Sanding the wall after removal is usually required. It’s not a good idea unless you have a lot of free time. The last option is to use double sided tape. I’ve tried many different types. Most don’t attach to the foam and causes the foam to fall off within days. It requires constant maintenance to keep them on the wall and they really never line up. The double sided tape that does work will rip the paint off the wall when you try to remove it. This is a problem with most apartments that don’t prep the walls before painting in order to cut costs.
What I decided to do was use a special glue made for acoustic foam and apply it to a very thin wood board. The wood board would have picture frame style mounts and just hang on the wall with a simple nail. This allows for easy application of the foam and perfect alignment of each individual piece. The wood board can then be moved freely without damaging the foam or the wall. There are only 2 nail holes to fill when you decide to move or rearrange the studio.
For the acoustic foam, I went with the Auralex foam. It was easy to find at a good price since their main headquarters is located in Indianapolis and is about 20 minutes from my house. All the retailers in the area had an abundance of Auralex room kits.
Each individual foam piece measures 1′ by 1′. The layout that properly covered the wall behind my monitors and work area measured 5′ by 2′. I went to Lowes and had that exact size cut in thin wood. It cost approximately $10 for the wood and cutting it.
Once the board was cut, I removed a previous acoustic foam project made from cardboard in order to align the nail locations in the wall and attach the picture frame mounts.
After it was perfectly aligned I used the Auralex Tubetak glue that came with the room kit. I glued each piece of foam down and waited for it to dry and properly attach to the board.
I took my time so that everything was aligned and I wouldn’t have to fix it later. After around an hour of letting the pieces dry, I mounted it on the wall.
Now I have an acoustic foam section that can go wherever I move my studio next. It was an extremely cheap and easy project that I’ll probably do for my remaining Auralex pieces.
Thanks for reading and let me know you’ve used this idea for your studio. I’d love to see how it has helped you.