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Carpet for Acoustics

music room

There are a lot of questions on how to improve the acoustics of a control room or recording space for guitarists and musicians. A common idea is to place carpet on the walls of a room in order to dull and help with the sound vibrations and acoustics in a room. So, is carpet good for acoustics?

It depends. You are 100% fine in installing carpet or rugs on the floor of a recording studio or music room in your home or apartment. If possible, leave the carpet loose on the floor. This will provide versatility for you to either leave the carpet on the floor to dull acoustics or lift it from the floor and provide better sound for drums and other instruments.

This way you won’t have to pay for professional carpet installation however you should still schedule regular carpet cleaning for aesthetic purposes. I know the owners of Hello Carpets & Floors in Beaverton, OR and they’ve cleaned the carpet in my music room several times. I would recommend finding a local service you trust and scheduling an appointment every year.

The other option is to hang carpet from the walls of the recording studio or the music room. This method for improving acoustics is not worthwhile, in my opinion. The problem is that carpet on the walls is not thick enough to dull a low or mid-level frequency. The thin carpet will likely only absorb very high frequencies but other frequencies will still bounce around the room.

This will not create an appealing sound. Instead, there will be a very boxy and dull sound you won’t want to record.

Instead, I recommend crafting a cylinder trap for sound. This is a pretty easy project that can be done in just a couple of hours. All you need to do is purchase a roll of carpet and roll it into a cylinder and stand it on its end. Then you should fill the center of the roll with Rockwool loft insulation. This insulation will then trap the sound and create a much better affect than the thin carpet on the walls.

You should place one trap in each of the four corners of the room. If that doesn’t produce the desired effect you can place the traps closer to the instruments in the room for greater impact.

If you prefer hanging materials from the walls for more space in the room I would recommend sheets of rubber or rubber-backed matting. The rubber is much heavier and thicker than the carpet backing and will do a much better job of absorbing all levels of frequencies.

So, to answer the question, carpet is fine for the floor of a music room or recording studio. You can also strategically place area rugs across the floor of a room too. But carpet won’t provide much benefit if you hang it on the wall. Instead, either purchase heavier, industrial rubber materials or consider the cylinder traps I mentioned above for the room. I use cylinder traps and so far I’m very happy with the results.

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