Egg boxes - no, not a joke.

rob aylestone

Well-known member
I know we all laugh at the egg box acoustic treatment, but has anyone tried it recently because it is not the same.

In an attempt to reduce landfill and promote sustainability they have changed whatever egg boxes are made from. They now have very similar performance to the common 1" thick purpose made foam tiles. We know the thin foam is an HF control product, but next time you have a pile of the supermarket cardboard type egg trays - they actually do work - far better than the old egg boxes which were hard and quite dense. The new ones contain much more air and are softer. I'm not sure if the angles help or hinder, but they are much more useful now than the old ones we used to laugh about.
 

Folkcafe

Active member
And where is the acoustical lab testing data to support this "similar performance"? As to "better". Better than what? There are more than a couple of conditional statements in this post that have made me chuckle a bit. Like "much more useful" in comparison to nearly useless?
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
There seems to have been confusion over the precise point of egg boxes in studios as the years have rolled by. In the 80s I recall a friend telling me about putting egg boxes on the walls. The idea behind this was soundproofing. In Peter Bursch and Klaus-Dieter Keusgen's 1988 book "Home recording ~ how I record my own music" they offer this advice:
It is worth striving for a room with a light but balanced reverberation. To achieve this you can put different coverings on different walls. Try experimenting ! Firstly you should cover the ceiling with a soft material. Sonex pyramid sheets are made for this but you can achieve the effect in a much cheaper way by using egg trays....You can cover the other walls with sonex boards {or egg trays} or with long curtains.....
And Keith Richards states in his autobiog:
Most of our early stuff at this time was recorded at Regent Sound studios. It was just a little room full of egg boxes and it had a Grundig tape recorder, and to make it look like a studio, the recorder was hung on the wall instead of put on the table........So the first album and a lot of the second, plus "Not fade away," which was our first big chart climber at no.3 in February 1964 and "Tell me," were made surrounded by egg boxes.

Me, I just chuck the egg boxes away and put the eggs in the fridge.
 

bluesfordan

Member
at this point, I'll try anything if it doesn't cost more money :D Just bought eggs yesterday. but I think they were in a foam box. There were cardboard boxes, though. Given that it might be a year plus until actual construction of the room takes place, I've got some time to build up a supply.
 

bouldersoundguy

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There's no doubt egg cartons, old or new, will have some kind of acoustical effect. The question is whether that's a useful effect. It would be interesting to do some actual tests with a reference mic and acoustic analysis software.
 

bluesfordan

Member
surely somebody has done that already. However, in the unlikely event it has not, I'll gladly accept a grant for, say 300,000 USD to build a proper studio and use egg cartons and test it thoroughly for a white paper. Now, where do I apply?
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
There's already another thread here linking a video of someone testing egg cartons and foam vs rockwool/condensed fibreglass. The egg cartons did not do well!
 

Folkcafe

Active member
Ron Sauro is a former NASA acoustics scientist runs NWAA in Washington. He has been working with John Brandt in addition to the work he is doing to update the testing standards to make them more accurate to real world results. I see some positive test data from him, I'll take this a bit more seriously.
 

TAE

All you have is now
LOL we get so snobby about the best, the most perfect way to go about things...truth is a great song recorded in a not so perfect studio is still a great song....and a not so great song recorded in the "best" studio in the cosmos is still going to be a not so great song.... I find myself going down the rabbit hole of minutia of "Maybe if I had this or that, or I should get that" Trying to go minimal and just get songs recorded if I happen to cath that genie and get him in a bottle...if the acoustics weren't perfect I still have the damn genie...

The original aforementioned egg crate recording of the stones..... a little rough but a good song

 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
You guys make me laugh or cry sometimes. You’re so dismissive of A and so receptive to B and never seem to try things out. We have people join who have no gear bar a laptop and a cheap usb mic and we spend ages trying to help them make this kind of gear sound better. They have no money. That cheap foam we slag off so much DOES do things. It can solve some problems. I bought 25 of the one inch thick ones for fifteen pounds on ebay and used them on one wall in my studio behind the keyboards because the wall was a real mess where I’d removed some sockets and panels . I tried the usual fillers and with paint they just looked horrible as plastering is not a strength. I put the tiles on the wall for decorative purposes and the thing that hit me is the HF fluttery zinginess when sitting and playing the keyboards had gone. I have bought some more and put them behind the guitars on another wall and that too has madd an obvious difference. Guessing, I’d think it’s 3k and above. these soft egg boxes would perhaps even be useful behind a mic where the hard surfaces are close and people can’t afford one of those acoustic shields.

I think this notion that experiments are somehow unprofessional is a bit silly. Of course egg boxes, even those new soft ones are not going to make that boomy honky room sound good but lots of people have small spaces that can be a bit bright and sizzly. I’m certain many expensive acoustic foam products are flightcase foam. Thick foam, thin foam, whatever you want for the job.
 

Folkcafe

Active member
You guys make me laugh or cry sometimes. You’re so dismissive of A and so receptive to B and never seem to try things out. We have people join who have no gear bar a laptop and a cheap usb mic and we spend ages trying to help them make this kind of gear sound better. They have no money. That cheap foam we slag off so much DOES do things. It can solve some problems. I bought 25 of the one inch thick ones for fifteen pounds on ebay and used them on one wall in my studio behind the keyboards because the wall was a real mess where I’d removed some sockets and panels . I tried the usual fillers and with paint they just looked horrible as plastering is not a strength. I put the tiles on the wall for decorative purposes and the thing that hit me is the HF fluttery zinginess when sitting and playing the keyboards had gone. I have bought some more and put them behind the guitars on another wall and that too has madd an obvious difference. Guessing, I’d think it’s 3k and above. these soft egg boxes would perhaps even be useful behind a mic where the hard surfaces are close and people can’t afford one of those acoustic shields.

I think this notion that experiments are somehow unprofessional is a bit silly. Of course egg boxes, even those new soft ones are not going to make that boomy honky room sound good but lots of people have small spaces that can be a bit bright and sizzly. I’m certain many expensive acoustic foam products are flightcase foam. Thick foam, thin foam, whatever you want for the job.
What is the value of your time and effort vs outcome? Cause that is the fundamental issue I have with this idea. For bass traps, the cost of R38 is $1 cubic ft. For broad band absorbers R30 is even cheaper. I paid 12 cents a sq ft for colored burlap. Ripped down a few 2x4's and framed an entire back wall 4 ft on center. A 12ft x 6 ft at 2ft deep bass trap for about $2.25 per sq ft. 2ft x 4ft R30 broadband absorber panels that you can mount on the wall or even free stand $25 each. Bass trap effective down to 40Hz and broadband absorbers down to 150Hz. 144 sq ft of real broadband treatment for $550. It would take me a few years to eat that many eggs. I could probably save up $550 in a lot less time. My time is valuable and I'd rather stretch and try for the best outcome I can get for that time and effort.
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
It would take me a few years to eat that many eggs
Whenever I've heard any discussion on egg trays/boxes on the walls, that's the only thing that ever really enters my head, how many egg boxes would one need to cover a whole wall, let alone a room. That's a lot of eggs to eat. And the resultant gas expulsion forces me to conclude that whatever its benefit, do I want to drive everyone out of my sphere ? :unsure: :cautious:
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
You guys make me laugh or cry sometimes. You’re so dismissive of A and so receptive to B and never seem to try things out. We have people join who have no gear bar a laptop and a cheap usb mic and we spend ages trying to help them make this kind of gear sound better. They have no money. That cheap foam we slag off so much DOES do things. It can solve some problems. I bought 25 of the one inch thick ones for fifteen pounds on ebay and used them on one wall in my studio behind the keyboards because the wall was a real mess where I’d removed some sockets and panels . I tried the usual fillers and with paint they just looked horrible as plastering is not a strength. I put the tiles on the wall for decorative purposes and the thing that hit me is the HF fluttery zinginess when sitting and playing the keyboards had gone. I have bought some more and put them behind the guitars on another wall and that too has madd an obvious difference. Guessing, I’d think it’s 3k and above. these soft egg boxes would perhaps even be useful behind a mic where the hard surfaces are close and people can’t afford one of those acoustic shields.

I think this notion that experiments are somehow unprofessional is a bit silly. Of course egg boxes, even those new soft ones are not going to make that boomy honky room sound good but lots of people have small spaces that can be a bit bright and sizzly. I’m certain many expensive acoustic foam products are flightcase foam. Thick foam, thin foam, whatever you want for the job.

What we try to advise people of is NOT wasting their money on something that they think will fix their issues, but only fix some of them and instead create other issues. I bought a pack of 2" 'acoustic' foam 'seconds off ebay - $20 (shipped) for 20 of them. I use them for my larger wall expanses, but I have rockwool point-of-first reflection panels and corner panels as well.

Here's the thread with the analysis of DIY panels: https://homerecording.com/bbs/threads/diy-speakers-and-acoustic-panels.406960/
 
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keith.rogers

Bobby'); DROP TABLE USER
I'm starting to regret sending all those egg cartons and wine shipping packing (same thing, tho' much larger receptacles, of course ;)) to the recycle place, where I suspect it is just a bank shot to the landfill, from what I read. I might try to find a place to stash the wine packing and see if I can make some use of it.
 

Papanate

Member
I know we all laugh at the egg box acoustic treatment, but has anyone tried it recently because it is not the same.

In an attempt to reduce landfill and promote sustainability they have changed whatever egg boxes are made from. They now have very similar performance to the common 1" thick purpose made foam tiles. We know the thin foam is an HF control product, but next time you have a pile of the supermarket cardboard type egg trays - they actually do work - far better than the old egg boxes which were hard and quite dense. The new ones contain much more air and are softer. I'm not sure if the angles help or hinder, but they are much more useful now than the old ones we used to laugh about.
Egg boxes have neither the density nor the diffusion needed to replace real acoustical treatment.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
No - you have missed the point. I aired the subject because the new egg box material is far softer, thicker (I guess to recover the strength) and does seem to have an impact acoustically. We're not saying it is a replacement for 'real acoustical treatment' - by which I assume you mean wider band, but as a absorber of HF, they do have a impact on the sound. Acoustic foam in the various grades isn't that good a diffuser either - but that's not what we're talking about.
 

Folkcafe

Active member
No - you have missed the point. I aired the subject because the new egg box material is far softer, thicker (I guess to recover the strength) and does seem to have an impact acoustically. We're not saying it is a replacement for 'real acoustical treatment' - by which I assume you mean wider band, but as a absorber of HF, they do have a impact on the sound. Acoustic foam in the various grades isn't that good a diffuser either - but that's not what we're talking about.
Everything has an acoustic impact. What is missing is what that impact is. If not measured, its a guess. In design it is helpful to know what the parameters of that impact and it should be even. I've seen no evidence and none has been provided that this "impact" is evenly distributed across at least a limited range. This makes it less than useless.

Sorry if this doesn't fit your thinking. You are free to use what you wish. There is just too much real data with other materials to make that leap into guessing territory.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Of course - I totally agree. However, I'm not talking about drawing an response curve for the egg boxes - I'm talking about a ridiculous pointless acoustic treatment that always worked poorly - but the new construction indicates it would no longer be totally rubbish for those people who post here who struggle with the cost of a spare XLR-XLR cable when they can't make a mic work. We do have people who want to record, with no money and reflective spaces. I'm not doing any thinking, just floating the idea that egg boxes may or may not be as useless as they were. I don't intend using them - I have no need. I have spare boxes of acoustic products I bought and didn't need. Is a product that is free and might help even a tiny bit worth totally dismissing?

What always gets me on the forum is when people order products by specification alone. You MUST have X and you must NOT have Y - because of Z. If somebody buys a cheap condenser and in the space it's just a little sizzle - then what can be harmed by making a few panels with any product. If it helps, it was a good idea, and maybe it proves more is required, so precious funds can be set aside for better and more predictable treatment. I myself have real difficulty believing some of the claims. In one of my old studios I had some rock wool packages - unopened in their plastic tight packaging. They had an impact on the sound of my bass guitar, just leaning up against the wall. The A string and upwards sounded less boomy - so I put a timber frame around the pack, covered the bag with cloth and screwed it to the wall. I never bothered to measure what it was doing. I see no issues in trying things out - dumping them if useless and keeping them if positive.
 
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