How to Make an Acoustic Barrier

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An acoustic barrier is intended to separate one instrument from another. Make an acoustic barrier with tips from an acoustics specialist in this free video on soundproofing.

Part of the Video Series: How to Soundproof a Room
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Arthur Noxon, president of Acoustic Sciences. Right now we're going to talk about how to make an acoustic barrier. Now the purpose of this barrier is to be inside of a home studio. And now the second purpose of a barrier is usually to separate one instrument from another instrument, so that the mics associated with recording one instrument aren't picking up bleed from the next door neighbor, these are typically called gobos. And so now, a gobo is, there's different kinds of gobos, and so the first and most common one would be a sound absorbing gobo. So this is 2 inch air conditioning duct board. This is a sound absorbing panel, 2 inches is the minimum thickness that we use in our company. And this absorbs treble but not bass. And so if you're just trying to isolate treble, it's a very good product. Notice that this side of it (check, check, testing, 1,2,) you can hear it's fairly dead, as far as reflecting treble. This side (check, check, testing 1,2) you probably can hear that it's got a little sizzle factor. So if you use this product, even if you covered it with some fabric or something, one side would be treble reflective, the other side would be treble absorptive. Okay. Now the next version of a gobo, or sound barrier, is a sound absorbing barrier. Now this is- has a little fabric on the face of it, but this is a same sound panel, but instead of tin foil on the back of it, like that, we have masonry board, the type that you use for doing tile work, and it's been glued down. Now this product is very- what happens with this product is the bass can't get through it. When you're using just the light weight sound panel, the bass just blows through the sound panel, there's nothing to keep the bass from going through, so you have a bass bleed, but no treble bleed. When you're using a product like this, you have bass isolation, because of the weight, and you have treble isolation, because of the glass. Now the bass is isolated, but it's reflected back into the area that it came from, because this amount of material is not enough to absorb much bass, 2 inches of fiberglass only absorbs down to about a half an octave below middle C. So a gobo that reflects bass, remember, it keeps the bass inside of the recording space where the bass was coming from, so it causes more bass to be inside the gobo space. Okay. This is an interesting version, this is more of a finished product, but it's a form of a gobo. A hard heavy interior core, but with absorption on both sides. Now you have an instrument here, and an instrument here, you've got a bass barrier between the instruments, and you have a treble range absorber on either side. So that is the typical gobo assembly. And in our case, we take a piece of 2 by 4, we make a little notch here, and a little notch here, take a piece of medite, or we can take a piece of hardy board, or backer board, glue it into the notch, and you have a frame with a bass barrier in the middle that's holding it all together, and then you have absorption on either side of it, and then cover it with fabric, staple the fabric on, and you're done.

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