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This isn't acoustic design for recording, but certainly related to a number of posts I have seen here.

I'm looking to make a dog shelter quieter for their own well-being. It gets very loud around the kennels from dogs barking because the space is basically an echo chamber made from concrete and cinderblock. While I haven't measured the acoustic spectrum, the mid-to high frequencies seem to be the loudest.

Funds are limited, so cheaper is better, and easy is certainly preferred. I would prefer to not just throw a bunch of old towels on the walls because it needs to look somewhat decent. New towels, blankets, etc. might look good enough, however. I cannot put anything on the floors or the bottom few feet of the walls because of sanitary concerns.

The most attractive option I have found so far is to hang the following on the wall directly across from the kennels (starting ~3-4 feet from the floor), and possibly the ceiling as well. The price per sq. ft. seems quite low and it's easy to install. However, it is only 4 mm thick and I'm not confident this will be nearly enough to significantly reduce the noise in the area. If placing it directly on the wall might not work, perhaps installing it a few cm away from the wall would improve absorption?

enter image description here Any thoughts are greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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  • Have a look into rock wool. It is sold as thermal insulation for buildings but it should make a very good sound absorber. Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 7:43
  • I'd appreciate any help I can get! I recently found a reasonably priced 2.5" eggcrate foam that I'm also considering. Of course it's much more expensive per square foot than the 4 mm pad, but I'd naively guess it's far more effective at absorbing the sound, especially the mid frequencies, and help mitigate resonances: foambymail.com/AE2-5-F-CH/2-5-eggcrate-foam.html Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 1:08
  • I don't think that a flat surface will absorb sound as well as a convoluted one. In my limited understanding, the reason that anechoic chambers have wedges, etc, is that sound waves hitting them get reflected in such a way that they don't get reflected back out into the room. You might additionally consider going to amazon.com, doing a search for "sound deadening tiles" and seeing what you find, such as this one for about $1/sf.
    – BobRodes
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 5:57

2 Answers 2

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Moving blankets fixed to the upper walls and ceiling with industrial strength Velcro would do. Given it's a possibly dirty area you may want to be able to take these down and wash them, so might want to sew Velcro on, or use some kind of hook and eyelet approach. But moving blankets are cheap and work real well.

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The floor mats you suggest are good, but based on an experience I had in a parking garage, I suggest that you also look into absorbent ceiling treatments similar to spray foam insulation. A sound absorbent material in the ceiling can reduce the echoes quite a lot.

The parking garage was an all-concrete structure that had elevators and stairs in the center. The ceilings had a kind of thick plastic spray foam on the concrete ceilings from the central elevator/stair well to about 15 feet away. A friend and I were walking to our cars and talking, and there was a very audible difference when we moved out from under the foamed section.

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