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Hello all!

I am looking to build some acoustic panels and a small sound booth. At first I thought about buying Owens Corning but am unsure about how safe it is. I would be installing them in my home so my housemates and I would be around them 24/7. As for the booth, well, I would be locked in there for long periods of time. I have thought about getting Acoustical cotton batts instead so that I don't have to worry about health risks.

If I were to get Owens Corning do I need to wrap it in a special material? One of my instructors said he wrapped his in burlap but would this be sufficient if I were to get it for my small house?

Are cotton panels just as good or better?

Thanks in advance,

Jocé

  • Go with Owens Corning 703. I'd recommend wrapping in Guilford of Maine fabric...it's supposed to be acoustically neutral and used in a lot of studios. OC 703 should be fine after you wrap it, but I'd wear gloves and a respirator while you're handling it. Google "Ethan Winer," who is a great resource and expert on home acoustics. I'm pretty sure he has his own forum as well. – Justin P Mar 28 '13 at 20:35
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Any kind of mineral wool and such is usable. I made panels from 10cm (4inch) thick Rockwool batts, put them in a frame made of 1x4 inch fir boards, and stapled some cotton cloth (bed sheet material basically) to front and back. This keeps any fibers contained - just make sure you use acoustically transparent material; meaning that if you hold it up to your mouth, you can easily breathe through it.

Guildford of Maine is "The" material to use - but bed sheets are a lot cheaper. And if you buy it by the yard, you can get it in pretty much any color you like.

And yeah - read up on Ethan Winer and John Sayers. With just a few panels, I made some very dry recordings of various props in a rather small room. DIY panels are not just cheap to make, they're also pretty much the best way to go.

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The main concern with 703 is when you're actually physically handling them. Otherwise them sitting behind fabric should be okay. In my room I use Roxul AFB. Rather than it being rigid fiberglass, it's a mineral wool. All my panels are 4' x 2' x 4". I went to the fashion district in my city (Los Angeles), and picked up a few rolls of cotton fabric to place over the panels.

Cotton doesn't have the same absorption coefficients that the Owens Corning 703 has. But Owens Corning can be pricey, so consider Roxul AFB.

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This could help:

Fiberglass, Rockwool, Polyester, Cotton, and Sheep Absorption Coefficients
http://www.bobgolds.com/AbsorptionCoefficients.htm

Also

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/bass-traps-acoustic-panels-foam-etc/347314-comparative-safety-rockwool-fiberglass-organic-fibers-review.html

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