Acrylic Nails and Acoustic Treatment

I recently got around to doing something I have been meaning to try for years and got a set of acrylic nails put on my picking hand. We were out eating a lunch and a nail salon was next door, so I decided to pop in and do it. They looked at me a little weird till I explained what I wanted. Turns a few others players have come in for the same thing. I had nails put on my index, middle and ring finger. Took all of 20 min, and the nail tech was very nice about answering all my questions. Once I got home and fine tuned the shape there was not much of a learning curve. I feel my tone is thicker and warmer, though I perhaps lose a bit of brightness.

In conjunction with this I finished up five acoustic panels. They are two feet by four feet by four inches deep, and a simple wooden frame covered by speaker cloth. I used Rockwool that I got for free from a friend. Owens Corning 703 would be easier to work with, as it is more rigid. There are alot of instructions online, I used these as a rough guide.

acoustic panels

I placed two in a V behind the mics, and scattered the other three in the corner of the room. Here are two audio samples. The first is unprocessed, on O’Carolans Welcome I raised the overall level, cut everything below 50hz, boosted the high end slightly, and added a bit of reverb. The ADK A6’s are in a spaced pair as pictured, and I am using a Presonus interface and Logic Pro.

I think O’Carolan’s Welcome is the best result I have gotten recording at home. I would like to add a bit more high end to my tone, but I think that is a matter of adjusting my attack and getting used to the acrylic nails. If nothing else I feel the panels cut down on the computer noise picked up by the mics, at least compared to previous recordings. I am really happy with them and the acrylics, look out for more recordings.


Comments 4

  1. Anton, your panels appear to have cut the unwelcome recording noise considerably.

    I’ve got an untreated room and I’m using a similar mic setup to yours. I’ve got an old electric guitar amp quad box as a baffle between the computer box (an old XP PC) and my recording space. The ‘floor noise’ on my recordings, the audio scurf that seems to come from the room and computer fan before and after playing, is about 40-50db. I’d love to cut this down.

    What level of floor noise are you experiencing before and after your acoustic panels have been introduced?


    1. Sorry, misreading the meter on the DAW and getting my positives and negatives mixed up, the floor noise I’m getting at the moment is actually between -60db and -50db when I have the gain on the preamps set to peak at about -15db

      1. Post

        Hi Kym,

        I dont know what the noise floor was before this. I probably should have measured..

        My very uneducated guess is that the noise that was being picked up by the mics now has to pass thru the panels setup behind them in a V. This causes the sound to be converted to heat, and not being picked up by the mics.

        If it is possible you could move the computer completely out of the room and use longer cables. I have an iMac, and with everything being built into the monitor do not have that option. Another if you are technically inclined is to replace the fans in your PC with quieter ones, or better yet, a water cooling system, which is totally silent. Stock PC’s are usually quite loud.

        Let me know if i can help further.

  2. oh wow I’ve never even considered something like acrylic nails. This is on my bucket list of things to try when playing guitar. I’ll share this with my fellow guitar enthusiasts on my social media accounts like facebook and twitter. Thank heaps for the info – Cheers

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