[This article was originally written in July 2014 for a previous blog of mine. I’ve updated it to publish it here because I feel no one is talking about this alternative.]
Let’s talk acoustic treatment and safety. I’m in a different situation than most, in that I’m caring for my 18 year old twin daughters who live with autism. They don’t understand hazards in their environment, which is why they require 24/7 supervision. I work at home full time so I can be close to them.
When I had a studio, I had rigid fiberglass panels on the walls. One day, one of my curious kiddos jabbed a drum stick through a bunch of them when my back was turned, which left fiberglass exposed and left visible damage in the acoustic treatment of my control room. This tells me that fiberglass on the walls in their home is not possible. Auralex can be picked apart and ingested, so that was never even considered as an alternative to fiberglass.
So I started looking at treatment options. I had to find something that’s safe to touch, doesn’t smell, isn’t easily picked apart, isn’t too expensive, and is easy to remove. I found a company called “Bonded Logic” who makes insulation out of recycled denim. It’s safe to touch, and it’s tough as nails. You could use it as a pillow if you wanted. I’m not worried about my girls around it because they won’t be able to destroy it! It’s apparently 33% more absorbent than fiberglass, and they sell it at the hardware store down the street. They have regular bats of insulation that you can put in your walls, with R13 being 3.5″ ad R19 being 5.5″. They also sell “Unfaced Panel Packs” with 6 pre-cut single square foot panels that are 1″ thick. I found these locally on sale for about $20-box at Menards.
I got 8 boxes of the Unfaced Panel Packs, and they worked quite well. They are only 1″ thick, but they are supposed to be more absorbent than fiberglass. If that’s true, that makes up for it slightly. These were placed on panels that are hanging off of the wall, and not flush mounded with the wall itself.
I came upon some DIY bass traps on craigslist recently, and I replaced the fiberglass inside of them with a bat of R19 Ultratouch from Bonded Logic. This stuff is kinda hard to cut by hand, so if you use it for bass traps you may want to buy a carpet knife and be patient. But the sound of the room improved dramatically with the bonded logic treatments in place. After ensuring the monitors were properly placed, the room was properly treated, and everything was sounding great, I finished my control room off by calibrating it with ARC 2. This is now one of the best sounding spaces I’ve ever worked in.
I wanted to share because I know that many of us are in non-typical situations. Solutions for people like us aren’t widely known. Hopefully this will be just what some of you were looking for. Learn more at http://bondedlogic.com.
Check the spec sheet below to see how it stacks up against other products.