"Acoustic Fields" - Mystery? Myth? Legend? Scam? Valid? You decide...

Maybe you've heard of "Fake News"? The same happens in the world of acoustics! Here's a place for discussing acoustic myths, legends, mysteries, "questionable" treatment, scams, hoaxes, and just plain old bad information about acoustics, sound, and audio.

The information and products promoted by the place mentioned in this post are:

Questionable: Sounds strange. Not convinced.
0
No votes
Mystery: I can't even understand him!
0
No votes
Myth: From the Twilight Zone! Not believable.
0
No votes
Snake-oil: Just out to make $$$. Not real acoustics
2
29%
Fake Acoustics!: Pure garbage. Total bunk.
0
No votes
All of the above.
5
71%
Fantastic! This is valid, solid, good acoustic stuff: Best place on the web! I plan to do everything they say when I build my studio, and I'll buy all of their products.
0
No votes
Undecided: Hard to say. I really don't know...
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 7

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Soundman2020
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"Acoustic Fields" - Mystery? Myth? Legend? Scam? Valid? You decide...

#1

Postby Soundman2020 » Thu, 2020-Jan-16, 16:56

Let's just throw this one out there, to see what people think.

https://www.acousticfields.com/

Suffice it to say that this is not held in high esteem by experts in the industry. I would say it's a good example of advice that you probably should NOT follow. Take a look around that place, and see how much actual valid real acoustic test information you can find on the products and videos. For example, see if you can find actual technical reports of tests done in reputable, independent acoustic test labs, that show how the devices work (or even if they work!). And see if you can find references to recognized research principles and established theory, regarding their advice and products. If you do find any of that, then post a link here: I'd be intrigued. I've looked and looked, and haven't found anything remotely like that... but maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places! :D




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Re: Mystery? Myth? Legend? Scam? Valid? You decide...

#2

Postby Starlight » Sat, 2020-Jan-18, 09:52

Trying to list all the web sites and videos that contain bad science could drive you mad as there will be a never-ending stream of them. Debunking myths and mysteries in general is a positive thing.

John Brandt said, "I used to have a page on my site called the VooDoo page where I would expose bullshitters. The list got too long and it took too much of my time so I left it off the latest version of my website."



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Re: "Acoustic Fields" Mystery Myth Legend Scam Valid You decide

#3

Postby Soundman2020 » Thu, 2020-Feb-06, 22:17

Jamesufus wrote:Sorry Stuart… pestering you for further advice here; and Ive only been on there forum for a day or so

You mention that my room has:
Soundman2020

? Your post seems to be incomplete!

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"Acoustic Fields" - Mystery? Myth? Legend? Scam? Valid? You decide...

#4

Postby Wheresthedug » Mon, 2020-May-18, 14:01

I have tried to watch a few of his videos but have never made it the whole way through any of them as they always sound like total BS.



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"Acoustic Fields" - Mystery? Myth? Legend? Scam? Valid? You decide...

#5

Postby Soundman2020 » Thu, 2020-May-28, 00:18

Wheresthedug wrote:I have tried to watch a few of his videos but have never made it the whole way through any of them as they always sound like total BS.
Can't argue with that! I think you'll find a lot of people that share your opinion. :)

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"Acoustic Fields" - Mystery? Myth? Legend? Scam? Valid? You decide...

#6

Postby SoWhat » Tue, 2020-Jun-09, 17:05

Reminds me of that great line in the Marx Brothers film Duck Soup:

Chico (on trial for treason) to Groucho (prosecuting him): "Who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes??!!"



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"Acoustic Fields" - Mystery? Myth? Legend? Scam? Valid? You decide...

#7

Postby terminator1987 » Mon, 2020-Jun-15, 05:22

Great news - they're hiring: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwU_Hh5RItk
you can bring in some "fresh ideas", like real acoustic know-how for example :idea:

I was going to try and defend them a bit that, aside from marketing BS ("our technology is the best", "we didn't get a single return in 14 years" and "building insulation is unequivocally bad for your health unlike our organic carbon tech"), there are some truths and good advice from their videos, at least that I couldn't see A MAJOR hole in what they were basically saying through most videos (because small errors and inonsistencies were evident).

And then I encountered this recent video explaining their take on a $ 2M build of a home theater: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAIN3xTv8BI
There is so much wrong in this design both regarding desired sound isolation (the wall design ca. 3:30) and even the basic room dimensions (40x20x60' !!!). And those amroc room modes calculation shown without any knowledge about it on different frequency scales and those clueless answers to people pointing that out in the comments... I am instantly cured and disillusioned :mrgreen: However many people there in the comments still aren't... :? And that poor rich bastard who's gonna spend 2 mln dollars on that shit. Furthermore - with such amount of treatment, channels and space it will probably work decent enough so that most people won't know it could've been better (and cheaper).

Aside from all that - what do you all think about using activated carbon in bass traps? For me it of itself makes some sense - such an absorber would be of relatively high density (ca. 1/2 of the water, about 5 - 50 times more than fibrous insulation), while retaining low airflow resistivity and porosity (idk the actual number here, but we know you one breathe or vent air through activated carbon filters).

So the question is: Is it worth to invest in activated carbon absorber to treat axial modes of low frequency (30-50 Hz; the concept being of DIY'ing a MAM MDF cabinet of a desired resonance frequency and filling it partially, lets say 4" thick with carbon and the rest with low GFR insulation instead of filling the whole cabinet with insulation)? Comparing my local prices for materials it would be ca. 10x more expensive (for a volume of a 4" thick sheet - $10 vs. $100, even more for larger volumes).

Any thoughts on that?



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"Acoustic Fields" - Mystery? Myth? Legend? Scam? Valid? You decide...

#8

Postby Soundman2020 » Mon, 2020-Jun-15, 16:21

aside from marketing BS ("our technology is the best", "we didn't get a single return in 14 years" and "building insulation is unequivocally bad for your health unlike our organic carbon tech"),
Yup. If somebody would make blatantly false claims such obvious things, it's hard to trust them on anything else either! The only organization who never got a single return in 14 years, is probably the KGB... :)

Or maybe what they actually mean, is that no customer ever returned for a second purchase? That is rather more believable. Maybe I was just misunderstanding it...

...small errors and inonsistencies were evident
Very much so. A company that sells acoustic products and states on their plans that "MDF" stands for "Multiple Density Fiberboard" (I kid you not....) is likely going to be inconsistent about other things too.

And then I encountered this recent video explaining their take on a $ 2M build of a home theater
You made my day! I needed a good comedy show to watch this morning, and there it is...

There is so much wrong in this design both regarding desired sound isolation (the wall design ca. 3:30)
That was fun, wasn't it! And despite their claim that they never use building insulation, that curious "sandwich" specifies Owens Corning Sound Absorption Batts ("SAB") in the middle. Hmmmm...

And those amroc room modes calculation shown without any knowledge about it on different frequency scales and those clueless answers to people pointing that out in the comments... I am instantly cured and disillusioned
Congratulations! :) It doesn't take long for that to happen, when you start "looking under the hood", so to speak.

However many people there in the comments still aren't...
Unfortunately, there are a lot of misinformed people out there that just don't know enough to realize what the issues are here... it's not their fault: that's why the go to "acoustic" places! They WANT to find out stuff they don't know. It's just sad that the first place they find, they get mislead by such incredibly wrong information, instead of find the place that provide good, solid, correct information.


Aside from all that - what do you all think about using activated carbon in bass traps? For me it of itself makes some sense
Activated carbon actually does have some useful acoustic absorption properties. That much is true. Somewhere I have a couple of papers and some research on that. It is even used in some types of "ear defender" headsets, for industrial hearing protection. It's better than foam for that. However, in studios, it does not perform better than more traditional bass traps, and doesn't even get to the same level of efficiency. Then there's the cost, and the weight... it would have to be much, much better than other types of bass trap to be justifiable.

Comparing my local prices for materials it would be ca. 10x more expensive
And there you have it! It mostly certainly will not be ten times better, nor five times, nor even twice... To justify an increase of ten times in the cost, one would expect to have a rather substantial increase in performance. That isn't the case. There are already very good bass traps that can do the same job for a fraction of the price, and at a fraction of the weight: panel traps, limp membrane traps, Helmholtz resonators, even plain old porous absorption. All are proven to work at low frequencies, and to work effectively, at lower cost and lower weight. So there's no real benefit here... except to the pocket of the manufacturer!

Most home studio builders are looking for the lowest cost methods for implementing their studios: activated carbon is not in that category.

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"Acoustic Fields" - Mystery? Myth? Legend? Scam? Valid? You decide...

#9

Postby rspaghetti » Thu, 2020-Oct-01, 21:08

100% SCAM! Here is a summary of my experience with Acousticfields (Dennis Foley).

Firstly, I would like to mention that I was stupid and lazy enough NOT to do a simple google research on Acoustic Fields / Dennis Foley. I urgently needed assistance with the design of my room prior to building it, to get things right and not find myself in a situation where I had already built the room with some non advisable dimensions and situations. So, I saw a bunch of his videos (not even until the end), and with that really annoying jingle at the beginning. It seemed to me that this guy was making sense, so I enquired about a design cost.
He promptly answered that a full design would cost 2000$. I stupidly sent the money, and this is what happened in a chronological sequence:

- A few back and forth emails providing proof of payment (which took 24hrs to arrive), and I had to send proof for 5 days in a row before he would acknowledge my payment.

Summary of the first call with his suggestions and requirements:
- Since I can't make the room any longer, I have to make it as wide as possible, no matter what the length is
- I cannot consider in-wall speakers, unless I make the ceiling a minimum of 5 meters high, otherwise they would sound horribly!
- He will provide calculations based on his carbon, therefore I must buy his carbon in order for the acoustics to work. Any other material would not perform as well, and he can't provide precise calculations for any other materials
- I give him the maximum room dimensions
- He estimates a total of 10,000$ expense on materials for a full no compromise treatment, and will have "Steven" send me the quote.

Emails summary:
- I immediately receive a 10,000$ invoice for the precious carbon. This time I "wisely" do not pay for it.
- I ask for clarifications, and ask about other materials (not only bass traps), and if I should measure the room (acoustically) before applying materials for the mids and highs. Therefore only once the room will be constructed.

- He replies only saying that I should pre-order the carbon, as carbon prices are going up 5% every month. (I'm not even going to comment on that)

Summary of the second call:
- I try to get a little more technical and ask where the carbon should be positioned, and what about diffusion and the rest of the treatment. And what about the ceiling?
- I ask him to clarify what that 10,000$ invoice was, as there's written it's only for carbon, and he had estimated 10,000$ for all materials (not only carbon)

- He tells me that my priority should be to buy the carbon as the prices are going up, and he would very kindly keep it in his warehouse for me free of charge until my room is built.
- He tells me that the 10,000$ are only a deposit for 17,000$ of carbon. He explains how critical it is to fill the entire surface walls with carbon and keep the same amount per square meter on every surface including the ceiling. If I want to do the ceiling, which he says is a good idea, he will calculate the amount needed to cover the surface, then quote the cost.
- He explains that on the walls, over the carbon, I should apply his amazing foam. The more I put, the better it will be for mids and highs. Apparently no measurements needed, and "Steven" will send me a separate quote for the foam.

Summary of the next emails:
- Surprisingly, only 21,000$ total cost of carbon, only 4000$ the ceiling, which surface area is exactly half the area of all the walls. Therefore as per his rule of applying the same amount of carbon per square meter on all surfaces, it would've had to be 17,000$ / 2 = 8500$. Instead he quoted less than half that amount. Maybe he miscalculated. It sometimes happens even to the best!
- I also received a quote for diffusion: 100,000$ !
- He sends me a link to show me a wonderful 2M$ room he just made. I click on the link, and was disgusted by the aesthetics and how incoherent it looked compared to what he was saying to me. There were 4 wooden flat walls (no carbon whatsoever), with a bunch of foam panels randomly placed, the front wall full of diffusers, and 2 expensive speakers. That was it.
- I stubbornly did not pay even this time, and kindly asked if he would possibly consider a DIY solution for the diffusors.

- He replied with a PDF guide on how to create diffusors. The guide seemed from the 1800's and the diffusors were missing an element.
- I scheduled a call to clarify some technical aspects, although I had already lost 100% hope on the seriousness of this method and person.

Summary of the last call:
- I need to really hurry to pay the deposit for the carbon, otherwise I'll regret it, as the prices will increase starting tomorrow. I would only have 1 day left, otherwise he would charge me 5% more on 21,000$ each MONTH!
- I have to fill the rear wall and ceiling with diffusors, and the diffusers must be placed on top of the carbon. (So why put the carbon in the first place if it gets covered with wooden diffusers?!)
- And another bunch of incoherent nonsense...

Last emails summary:
- I receive an email by "Steven" (The email address never changes, be it Steven or Dennis), asking if I will pay for the invoice, as they have a strict policy about clients who don't pay invoices in due time, and he would let Dennis know I have not paid yet, which would make him very unhappy, and probably cancel my design.
Signed "Dennis" (by mistake. Steven probably got confused and thought he was Dennis)

- I reply mentioning that unfortunately, as much as I would love to purchase the best material in the world for acoustical treatment, I cannot afford to prepay 21,000$ of carbon, and 8000$ of foam. And as his design would solely be based on his materials, I will have to sadly accept the cancelation of my treatment design as "Steven" mentioned, and ask for a refund, minus the 3 precious calls. (I gave it a shot, but wasn't expecting any refund at this point).

- Steven replies that refunds on treatment are not granted, and Dennis will delete my information to leave space to other paying clients.

- I then reply that it's not a problem and I'll go through with the treatment design, and once I have the money, I'll purchase the carbon and foam. (Curious to see if there would be a reaction to this)

No answer. No surprise.

My thoughts:
This Dennis Foley person (if that is even his name), does not know what he is saying, is incoherent, has no knowledge on acoustics, and probably does those videos based on someone else's terrible instructions. He is a good actor in his videos, I have to admit that. So good, that he might actually believe he is a very qualified professional. He probably brainwashed himself. The youtube channel has almost 50,000 subscribers. That is quite sad unfortunately. Probably out of these 50,000 people, a bunch got scammed, a bunch got "treatment" and even think it works, and a bunch filed lawsuits, as should I. If he's still around and the youtube channel is still up, unfortunately the people who got scammed and didn't file a lawsuit, and the ones who actually think the treatment works, balance out the ones who did file a lawsuit.
You can immediately understand there's something wrong from these 2 major aspects:
- Incoherenece and illogical proposals on all technical aspects
- Behavior and pressure to pay outrageous unjustified invoices

Many bad disgusting people exist who never will learn any better. Just try to avoid, and create awareness.




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