And then there are items that people might mistake for good soundproofing materials when infact they can have the opposite effect altogether. If you think you'll be trapping more sound by nailing thick boards together and clustering them one by one, you'll be in for an unpleasant surprise. Wood actually helps sound travel by way of sensory vibrations; it's certainly not going to make a good candidate for soundproofing materials or help your cause whatsoever, (although thin wood paneling has been known to trap bass sounds.)
Sound diffusers--while technically not labeled soundproofing materials--are used to break up echoes and disperse standing sound waves. Porous sound absorbers on the other hand allow for sound waves to enter the absorption materials by way of airflow. Once inside, the energy of the sound is then converted to heat. The density and mounting of the absorber plays an integral role in its effectiveness.
As mentioned earlier, there aren't exact soundproofing materials that must be used, or a single "correct way" to acoustically treat a room. Here are some factors that determine how you should go about treating your room and what materials should be used:
1. The type of music you'll be recording
Absorption soundproofing materials are usually the most cost-effective way to acoustically treat a home studio recording room. Acoustical foam can be used strategically throughout a room to soak up sound and minimize flutter and decay. (Although we've mentioned it in several other soundproofing articles here, we'll reiterate that your goal should be simply to contain sound produced in your room, rather than "deadening" the room or making it lifeless. You should use your soundproofing materials to effectively make your multi-purpose recording room sound neutral so that instruments and vocals are recorded without being enhanced are degraded by the room itself.)
Acoustical foam is perhaps the most popular of any home studio soundproofing materials because of its ease of use and relatively low price. The great thing about foam soundproofing materials is that basically the customization options are endless; if a piece of foam is too large to fit in a certain space in your home studio, you can cut it down to size and place it right where it's needed. You don't really have that luxury with a lot of other soundproofing materials, (although obviously high grade acoustical materials oftentimes sculpt sound far more effectively.)
With all the generic soundproofing materials readily available today, you really don't have to go with a name brand company that markets their soundproofing materials exclusively for recording or home studio use. (The fact is, you can find a lot of the same soundproofing materials online for a lot less money rather than purchasing materials from a company that distributes solely for recording purposes. Of course you'll have to be willing to assemble some stuff on your own.)
So if you have the time and the interest in assembling your own soundproofing panels, Home-Studio-Recording.com recommends the following companies for quality soundproofing materials: