Archive for category Teaching Rooms

Silent Pictures® goes BIG for Ditch Witch®

This BIG group of Silent Pictures® is made up of 3’x3′ panels for a total size of over 9 feet by 15 feet!

When Ditch Witch® needed to acoustically treat their training room, they had a big and bold idea – take a cool promo photo and use that to make a Silent Pictures® mosaic! The required scale made it easier to break up the photo into a 3’x3′ matrix, which also eased the shipping and installation process! The final product (at over 9 feet tall and 15 feet wide) is imposing, and while it isn’t quite life-sized, the impact is indeed massive!

“Thank you so much for all the help you and your team did on this project. Our training room is complete now.
We are over the moon happy.”

Ditch Witch Midwest

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Little Safari Day Care – creating peace (and quiet), one pyramid at a time.

Little Safari Daycare Playroom

Daycare facilities are inundated with music, crafts, games, learning, and noise!

With more parents returning to the office, we’ve recently received a handful of treatment requests from day-care facilities dealing with an influx of boisterous children.

Little Safari Day care reached out to us in July 2021 for help with their space. Little Safari’s multi-purpose room is used for play, music, reading, arts/crafts, meals, games etc….. lots of moving and laughing = lots of noise! According to the owner “The noise level is deafening at times to the point you can’t hear anything, just noise”

The fanciful mural on the playroom wall looks great, but when you look closer, that glossy painted surface reflects sound like glass! Luckily, Fireflex Pyramid foam can quiet that down!

Technical consultant Cameron Girard settled on a remediation package that included FireFlex Acoustic Pyramid Foam panels distributed throughout the ceiling of the multi-purpose room. Safe to say, they were very happy with the results!!

Foam on the ceiling

The checkerboard install of the foam helped to distribute the absorption over the loudest areas of the room.

From the owner…..“Cameron, Thank you for all of your help and expertise in sound suppression!!! I have had people tell me upon entering the front door “wow, it’s much quieter in here” Such a noticeable difference. You may have saved my hearing and sanity!!!”

Little Safari Hall

There were even a few panels left to help quiet down the hallway. Note how they oriented the panels and trimmed them to work around obstructions – nice clean install!

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DIY – Treating a Wall – BlockAid® and SoundChannels®

AcousticsFirstOn 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!

Installing BlockAid®

Measure the wall for the first panel length. Mark the panel width on the wall.

1. Measure the wall for the first panel length. Mark the panel width on the wall.

Measure and Mark the length of the wall on the BlockAid®

2. Measure and Mark the length of the wall on the BlockAid®

Use a straightedge and a razor to cut the BlockAid® to length.

3. Use a straightedge and a razor to cut the BlockAid®.

Using a trowel, apply vinyl tread adhesive to the wall, covering the whole area where the first panel is going. (You marked the wall right?)

4. Using a trowel, apply vinyl tread adhesive to the wall, covering the whole area where the first panel is going. (You marked the wall right?)

Hang the panel starting at the top, install a few screws to hold it in place while the adhesive sets. (You will probably need a friend to help, as BlockAid® is a pound per square foot!)

5. Hang the panel starting at the top, install a few screws to hold it in place while the adhesive sets. (You will probably need a friend to help, as BlockAid® is a pound per square foot!)

Using your hands and a putty knife, smooth out all the air bubbles from behind the BLockaid® so that you get a good bond when the adhesive cures.

6. Using your hands and a putty knife, smooth out all the air bubbles from behind the BlockAid® so that you get a good bond when the adhesive cures.

Repeat the steps for the next strip. Measure, Mark, Cut, Trowl, Hang...

7. Repeat the steps for the next strip. Measure, Mark, Cut, Trowl, Hang…

Make sure you line up those seams! push them right up agaist each other. Smooth out the air bubbles, cut out any outles, trim any extra... Let dry!

8. Make sure you line up those seams! push them right up agaist each other. Smooth out the air bubbles, cut out any outles, trim any extra… Let dry!

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®

1. Remove the Screws from the BLockAid® - if you didn't already... then same as BlockAid®, measure the wall, mark it, measure and cut a piece of Sound Channels® and start troweling on the Chapco!

1. Remove the Screws from the BLockAid® – if you didn’t already… then same as BlockAid®, measure the wall, mark it, measure and cut a piece of Sound Channels® and start troweling on the Chapco!

2. Well, when you get tired, make your friend finish troweling out the adhesive to cover where the panel is going. (You are going to overlap the seams.)

2. Well, when you get tired, make your friend finish troweling out the adhesive to cover where the panel is going. (You are going to overlap the seams.)

3. Starting at the top, hang the Sound Channels® overlapping the seam of the BlockAid under it. Smooth out the air bubbles with your hands. Make sure it lines up well. No screws needed!

3. Starting at the top, hang the Sound Channels® overlapping the seam of the BlockAid® under it. Smooth out the air bubbles with your hands. Make sure it lines up well. No screws needed!

4. Measure and cut the next strip, carefully following a rib in the fabric, while your friend, (who is way better at troweling than you are anyway,) preps the next section with adhesive.

4. Measure and cut the next strip, carefully following a rib in the fabric, while your friend, (who is way better at troweling than you are anyway,) preps the next section with adhesive.

5. Best practice is to run the fabric in the same direction every time. Not just with the ribs, but in the same direction it comes off the roll. So find the top.

5. Best practice is to run the fabric in the same direction every time. Not just with the ribs, but in the same direction it comes off the roll. So find the top.

6. After you find the top, start hanging from the top, lining up the seams and smoothing out the bubbles as you go.

6. After you find the top, start hanging from the top, lining up the seams and smoothing out the bubbles as you go.

7. Keep those seams tight as you go. Keep smoothing... almost done!

7. Keep those seams tight as you go. Keep smoothing… almost done!

8. Trim up the extra and repeat as many times as needed.

8. Trim up the extra and repeat as many times as needed.

That’s it!

Don't forget to trim around those outlets!

Don’t forget to trim around those outlets!

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!

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Big Room… Big Boom.

When Pippin Barnett contacted Acoustics First about an acoustical issue he was having with a new multipurpose space that was constructed for the Sabot School, he was in desperate need of a solution.  This space was needed for functions, activities, art displays, music classes, plays, and more, but was almost completely unusable due to the acoustics.

sabot-titleThe large space was well conceived; large open floor plan, hydraulic door to open the space to the courtyard, bathrooms, storage and lots of display space for the student’s artwork and creations.  The building was also efficiently constructed using SIPS (Structural Insulated Panel Systems), which created a grand open space with no support pillars. sabot-baffleBAThis space was ready to be used, but there was a problem – whenever they tried using the space, you couldn’t  understand what anyone was saying.  To say that the acoustics were “not optimal” is like saying that the destruction of the entire universe would be “inconvenient” – an incredible understatement.

Upon arrival, we took some physical measurements of the space to calculate the surface area and volume of the room, as well as got some acoustic measurements.

Click here for a balloon pop before acoustic treatment. 

Whoa… Big Boom! What you are hearing is a 3+ second RT60 time;  That’s more than 3 seconds of time that the sound lingers in your space at a level audible enough to interfere with other sounds.

Which is “Inconvenient,” and “Not Optimal.”

So with some magic calculations performed by Joe Horner over at the quietest office in Acoustics First,(no really – he likes it really quiet,) a solution was developed to create a space that sounded as good as it looked.sabotcalc

Joe prescribed 100 2’x4′ Cloudscape ceiling baffles as well as 157 sq ft of 1″ thick Sonora Wall panels to cover the solid hydraulic door – and we listen to Joe (he’s done this a lot!)

So, a short while later, the Baffles and Panels are installed and we receive an e-mail from Pippin…

“I’d say you were right on the money!”

Click here for a balloon pop after acoustic treatment.

RT60 from 3+ seconds down to right about 1 second. I’d say that’s right on the money too, Pippin!

sabot-doorBA

The Sabot School regained the use of its space and everyone lived happily ever after.

I love happy endings.

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Then and now… Diffusers and Don Juan.

AcousticsFirstVertFour score and seven years ago (1926), movies had just begun integrating sound along with the visuals, as Warner Brothers released Don Juan – syncing a 33 1/2 rpm audio disc to the video as part of the new Vitaphone system.  The era of talkies had arrived, as did a new era of fake accents.

While we still have those fake accents from the days of yore (and Johnny Depp as Don Juan), we have new technologies to bring us our entertainment – high-definition video on big screens with 10.2 digital surround sound, playing in home theaters that rival the best public theatrical venues.

While we have seen (and heard) the technological evolution of movies to what they are today,  we have also seen (and heard) the evolution of acoustics – and the one area I’m going to discuss today is one of the fastest evolving acoustic disciplines – Diffusion.

Diffuser design has come far from the early days of scattering sound by changing the angle of your wall,  or the shape of the room to negate, dilute, or diffuse unwanted or undesirable acoustic waves.  Today, acoustic diffusers are mathematical and scientific wonders, designed to be elements that are inserted into your listening environment to create an acoustic space that is open and airy.

During this evolution of diffusion we have seen the rise of many shapes; The Pyramid, the Barrel, the Binary Arrays, Flat Panel, 1D and 2D QRDs, and more… a veritable cornucopia of geometric shapes and mathematically produced profiles, which are scientifically sound, but fundamentally, inorganic.

The notes on the instruments we play, are based on math and physics, but the music we play ebbs and flows from the pounding of drums to the smooth bass lines, from the intimate vocals to screaming, and from the heavy metal acts to classical symphonies (with or without a heavy metal act).  Diffusers have followed suit, changing their shape along with the changing industry – making advances as new discoveries are made.

Diffusers have become important acoustic treatments in listening rooms, recording rooms, sound stages, and theaters – embrace the diffusers!  Embrace the future Don Juan’s and their terrible accents… ok… just diffusers… fine.

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