Archive for category Customer Feedback
John Bullard Live Room – Tuning a Live Room for Classical Banjo
Posted by Acoustics First in Absorption, Customer Feedback, Diffusion, HOW TO, Music Tracking Room, Product Applications, Products, Recording Facilities on May 3, 2023
When you think of classical music; what instruments come to mind? Piano? Violin? Cello? …What about Banjo?
In the summer of 2022, classical banjoist John Bullard reached out to Acoustics First for assistance with his newly renovated home-studio. John is one of a select group of classical musicians aiming to showcase the versatility of this uniquely American instrument. The banjo, with John’s expertise, lends a very distinct, melancholy sound to contemporary and traditional compositions.
Having recorded a number of albums already, John knew he wanted his live room to be catered specifically to tracking solo, classical banjo as well as small acoustic ensembles. Acoustics First analyzed John’s live room and came up with a treatment design that would achieve an “ideal-as-possible” acoustic environment for recording classical instruments.
The largely reflective live room had walls comprised of unfinished, reclaimed wood planks over plywood, a drywall ceiling, stone fireplace and a polished concrete floor. The parallel, hard surfaces contributed to a poor tracking environment; with standing waves and “flutter” echoes adding unwanted coloration to recordings, inhibiting music definition.
Spaces used for rehearsing and recording classical music often benefit from elevated levels of reverberation, which add a sense of warmth and ambience to acoustic music. Although the reverb in John’s untreated room was only slightly excessive when measured, it was far from “diffuse”, with the majority of energy coming from early reflections.
The primary challenge in the live room was to address the early specular reflections and standing waves without taking too much “life” out of the room. To achieve this delicate balance, wide band diffusion was recommended as the primary ceiling and wall treatment with selective sound absorptive treatment with fabric-wrapped Sonora® panels.
Double Duty Diffusers™ and Aeolian® sound diffusers were recommended as they would also provide some much needed low-frequency absorption in addition to broadband diffusion.
After the treatments were installed, John got right to work on experimenting…
“…ready to start doing extensive test recordings to locate the best spot and rug configuration for solo banjo… It sounds really good to my ear – now to see how the microphones hear it!”John Bullard
Please check out John Bullard’s music!! – https://www.johnbullard.com/
Sonora® & Sonora® Lite – together in Michigan
Posted by Acoustics First in Absorption, Customer Feedback, Product Applications, Products, Worship Facilities on November 30, 2022
Here are a couple of fresh install photos – courtesy of SLS Productions in Michigan. For this fellowship hall at Kalamazoo Missionary Church, a mix of standard Sonora® Panels and Sonora® Lite PVC encapsulated panels were used. The Steel Grey Sonora® Panels, installed on the wall, are the standard 6-7# density panels that have become ubiquitous in so many churches and schools throughout the country for improving speech clarity and taming harsh reverb times.
For the ceiling of the room, Sonora® Lite Panels were used. Notice how the white PVC covering and clear washer plates help the panels blend aesthetically into the ceiling. These lower density (1.65#) PVC encapsulated panels could be thought of as a ‘direct mount’ cousin of our Cloudscape® baffles and are an excellent budget friendly choice when treating ceilings. The final results turned out great and all were pleased.
Taming the Cube with Cloudscape®
Posted by Acoustics First in Absorption, Classrooms, Customer Feedback, Manufacturing, Media Room, Product Applications, School & Educational Facilities, Teaching Rooms, Universities on October 21, 2022
When the University of the Pacific reached out to help tame the acoustics of their makerspace called “The Cube”, many different concerns were underlined about the space, its uses, and the problems they faced.
These concerns covered more than just the room dimensions – size, height, HVAC, glass walls, etc…. there were functional requirements for collaboration, classes, and workshops. The overwhelming acoustic problems involved the near constant noises generated by the vast array of equipment in this space – sewing machines, large format printers, plotting cutters, 3D printers, scanners, and every other modern tool for allowing the creative minds at their school to create. It was a cacophony of stepper motors, fans, and moving parts – which made collaboration very difficult.
The other parameter that needed to be maintained was the ability to reconfigure the layout of the equipment without affecting the acoustic treatment in the space. This removed almost all of the walls in the space as possible locations for treatment. This left the ceiling as the only viable space left for treatment, but with an array of lights and exposed HVAC systems, there were few treatments that would be easy to implement and still be effective.
The decision was made to creatively weave Cloudscape® Baffles into all the spaces available in the ceiling. Dodging duct-work and suspended lighting rails was made possible with careful planning and execution – and the results were immediately notable. (Also noticeable was that the baffles had very little impact on the lighting which is vital in any makerspace.)
“…The sound baffles you recommended finally got installed in my makerspace about two weeks ago and I wanted to send a quick thank you since they’ve made a very noticeable acoustic difference to the room, and it’s a lot more pleasant in here now. “Chris Crawford – Innovation Spaces Manager (University of the Pacific)
Sonora® Lite brightens a cafeteria with a splash of color.
Posted by Acoustics First in Absorption, Customer Feedback, Product Applications, School & Educational Facilities on September 16, 2022
Controlling sound in a cafeteria with a corrugated metal ceiling isn’t the easiest thing to do, but the Sonora® Lite panels can be direct mounted using clear mounting pucks. These clear pucks work like big transparent washers, allowing for a clean and easy install to any surface which you can screw in a fastener. Sonora® Lite panels are also an economical choice so you can get a lot of coverage for your budget.
This solution provided immediate improvement, and the students (and staff) were happy to have a better acoustic environment, along with adding some color to the stark white ceiling.
Case Study – St. Francis of Assisi Church
Posted by Acoustics First in Absorption, Customer Feedback, Product Applications, Worship Facilities on May 20, 2022
Historically, churches relied on an abundance of hard surfaces to propagate sound to the rear of the sanctuary, so they benefited from very long reverb time (upwards of 5s). However, Modern sound systems allow for a much more focused sound and equitable listening environment, so these extreme reverb tails are no longer necessary and can actually degrade the “modern” worship experience. St. Francis of Assisi Church is a prime example of how incorporating sound absorptive treatment in phases can “transition” a purely-traditional worship space into one that can accommodate a wider range of worship services.
Over the years, St. Francis of Assisi has expanded their music program to include more modern instrumentation. Drums and amplified instruments have been added to liturgical piano and choral worship music. St. Francis of Assisi’s sanctuary has a lofty ceiling, tile floors, hard wall and ceiling surfaces. These factors contribute to a exceedingly reverberant worship environment in which contemporary music is hard to perform and enjoy and speech is difficult to understand.
Back in 2013, the church had an acoustic study performed to detail the acoustic characteristics of the space and identify corrective measures. Using this study and on-site reverb tests, Acoustics First provided a treatment plan that focuses on improving speech intelligibility and music clarity. We settled on a “two-phase” approach, starting with treatment of the rear and side wall areas with 2” Sonora wall panels. A second round of treatment focusing on the ceiling would be added, If needed, to further reduce reverberation down closer to ideal levels.
To help facilitate an informed decision, Acoustics First provided reverb prediction charts that showed the expected improvement from each round of treatment. Aesthetics were a top concern, so 3-D renderings were also provided to help visualize exactly what the recommended treatment would look like. Acoustics can be subjective, so there was a chance that the church might be satisfied with just the wall treatment alone and would not need to proceed with the second phase of treatment. However, after hearing the improvement that the wall panels made the church immediately gave the go-ahead for the ceiling treatment. Safe to say, they were happy with the end results.
From Mike Staffan at Lighthouse sound who took reverb measurements before and after “I am very pleased with the final reverb times and how it turned out. I think our measured approach worked well”
From the Deacon – “This is fantastic, exactly what we were looking to accomplish! – Deacon Chris
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