There is a saying in our industry: When it comes to designing a space, acoustic consultants are blind and architects are deaf. In reality, it is in both parties best interest to consider the other side when designing a space, so visual form meets acoustic functionality.
Let’s be real, standard acoustic treatment is far from sexy. Typical 2’x4’ panels, while fully functional, don’t present the architects with much in terms of visual interest. This is where Acoustics First can supplement the design goals of the architect/interior designer with our technical expertise to find a custom solution that sounds and looks great.
Recently, Acoustics First® was asked to provide the custom panels for the cafeteria at Kramer Middle School in Washington DC. It was settled that hexagonal ToneTiles™ would be suspended as clouds in a geometric pattern around the ceiling. The resulting “honeycomb” effect is not only visually appealing, but the treatments effectively cut down the overall reverberation; increasing speech intelligibility and making the space more comfortable for a variety of activities.
Acoustics First® enjoys the inherent challenge in making these custom panels a success. We have plenty of experience in fulfilling the design goals of architects and interior designers. Interested in seeing more of these custom projects?
Visit http://acousticsfirst.com/installations-education-school-museum.htm to see some more examples.
Feel free to give Acoustics First® a call to discuss your custom treatment needs!
As the summer of 2015 winds down, we here at Acoustics First thought we’d share our latest acquisition with our readers.
Meet the Gigabot™
(or as we call him “Gigglebot”).
This amazing large format 3D printer was developed by re:3D, an outstanding company whose principals come from varied backgrounds which include experience working at NASA, among other things.
The eight cubic foot build volume of this beast makes it ideal for the rapid development and prototyping of our industry leading sound diffusers! We look forward to using this wonderful device on many projects in the years to come.
Watch this short video we made during one of our trial runs. For this calibration test we chose to print a scaled down version of our patented Model D Art Diffusor®.
Who said manufacturing was boring?!?!
- Acoustics First
Posted by Acoustics First in Absorption, Animal Shelters, Auditorium, Broadcast Facilities, Classrooms, DIY, Fitness, Government, Gymnasium, Home Entertainment, Home Theater, HOW TO, Media Room, Multipurpose Rooms, Music Rehearsal Spaces, Music Tracking Room, Product Applications, Recording Facilities, Recording Studio, School & Educational Facilities, Sound proofing, Studio Control Room, Teaching Rooms, Teleconferencing, Theater, Uncategorized, Vocal Booth, Voice Over on July 16, 2015
On many occasions, we get asked about common ways to treat a wall (or walls) either for broadcast, podcast, or other voice recording scenario – where they not only want to tame the reflections within the room, but also block a certain amount of sound coming into – or leaving the room.
Budget is frequently an issue, major construction is usually unwanted, but effective results are always required.
We’re going to show you how to handle a room upgrade – cut down on the sound transmission and cut the room reflections – all with the same skills required to hang high quality wall coverings! Let’s see how you can cover a wall with BlockAid® vinyl sound barrier to block unwanted sound, then go back and cover that with an absorptive layer of Sound Channels® wall covering to finish it off!
This treatment is not recommended for renters, as this is not an easy upgrade to undo. However, if you have an extra bedroom you are using as Podcast studio, this is a great way to treat it… Let’s get started!
Good job! Now, take a breather while that dries, and notice how much less sound is passing through the walls. This is when you will notice that the sounds are now coming from under the door, and through the leaky old window. These can be taken care of in different ways…. but the easiest way is the same way you deal with keeping the cold out! Get some weather strip, a door skirt, seal the gaps around the frame of the door, and windows, maybe go out and buy some heavy curtains for the windows… if you have some leftover BlockAid®, you can always get some Industrial Velcro and temporarily stick a piece over the window!
Installing Sound Channels®
This treatment is a common first step in treating many professional broadcast studios – it gives you extra isolation with the barrier and takes the edge of the sound reflections. Many professional environments then go back and add some additional treatments such as bass traps, diffusers, and broadband absorber panels – especially if these studios are planning on bringing in any musical guests.
This isn’t just for home studios. It works great for kids play rooms, bedrooms, home theaters, home gyms, and any place you want to block sound and tame the sound inside the room.
Customize your space as you will, but this treatment is a consistent winner for cost and performance, and is a great way to get started without breaking the bank!
While acoustic diffusion has become a common acoustic treatment, many people still struggle to explain exactly what diffusion does, or what it sounds like – and because how we hear is subjective – we at Acoustics First feel that the best way to explain it, is to let you experience it.
We have created a demo to let you compare what a room sounds like with no treatment, good diffusion treatment, and extensive diffusion treatment.
The setup is as follows:
- A small office with no windows and one solid door (6′ x 8′- 8′ ceiling)
- Standard office carpet over concrete.
- Drop ceiling with standard 2’x4′ tiles and one 2’x4′ flourescent light fixture.
- Drywall over metal studs – no insulation.
- A binaural head in the center to capture the audio
The demo uses different noise makers to help you hear the room:
1. A Balloon Pop
2. Bang-Snaps (Pop-Its)
3. Slamming a Book Shut
The space is configured three different ways:
While the Demo is best experienced with a pair of reference headphones – earbuds or decent speakers should work as well. The headphones allow you the ability to hear the room just like it sounded when the test was run without hearing your own room – Think of it like auditory immersion. This is the best way (we’ve found) to compare the results of adding high-quality diffusers to an inferior space.
The test is run in rounds, you will hear the same noise (a Balloon Pop, for example) in each room configuration (First Untreated, then with Good Treatment, and finally Extensive Treatment) before progressing to the next round. The image will show the room configuration (and the noise producer in the upper corner) while the sound is played.
The Demo is as follows:
1. Balloon Pop (1 Round)- Untreated, Good Treatment, Extensive Treatment
2. Bang-snaps (3 rounds) – Untreated, Good Treatment, Extensive Treatment
3. Book Slam (2 rounds) – Untreated, Good Treatment, Extensive Treatment
Note: ArtDiffuser® Model D units were the only acoustic treatments used in this demo.
While we would rarely treat a room only with diffusers, the results of treating this space with just diffusers was interesting…
The diffusers reduced the SPL from 89 dB down to 87dB according to a pink noise test with the handy-dandy Radio Shack SPL meter…
Cut the RT(60) from about .7 seconds down to about .4 seconds…
Sometimes hearing is believing.
– Acoustics First®.
Acoustics First understands that the Do-it-Yourself spirit in the audio world is alive and well, and here is another one of our contributions to that community.
The personal mic shield… all you need is…
- Foam safe Glue
- a One inch thick, three ring binder
- two 1 foot x 1 foot pieces of foam
- 2 Minutes
Got everything together?
Do you have 2 minutes?
Let’s do this!
Watch the video…
Or follow the steps…
Open the binder and bend the bottom tab flat.
Spray the Binder and the back of the foam with glue.
Wait for a few seconds for the glue to get tacky, then carefully stick the foam to the binder – be sure to apply pressure to allow for a strong bond.
All Done! Just set up your mic and you’re ready to go!
This DIY project is brought to you by Acoustics First – Be inspired and sound great doing it. Enjoy!