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DIY – Nouveau™ Home Theater Back Wall

It wasn’t a difficult install, but these Nouveaus made this space sing.

Adding Nouveau wood diffusers to a home theater is not as daunting a task as it may seem, and can be done with a little planning and a few tools.  This install used an ingenious mounting method to ease the final install.  Instead of mounting the z-track to the wall directly, it was mounted to sheets of plywood which were hung with Gorilla/Hercules hooks.

The first task was to pick a stain. You can use the back of a plank to get an idea of how the poplar will respond to the different options.  Poplar has a very interesting and varied structure that will take stain differently than some other woods. Darker stains may be more consistent, but don’t reveal the character and variation in the wood.  This install chose a Smoke Gray which grayed out soft areas and browned the harder heart wood. A semi-gloss clear coat was used to finish.

Using the back of the Nouveau, you can see how the stains will “take.”

While the stain dried, the mounting plywood was cut down to hide behind the planks. Four hanging straps with eye-loops were then added to the top edge of each of the plywood sections, and spaced to avoid studs.

Industrial hanging eyelets were added to the top edge of the sheets to make them easy to level and hang with the Gorilla Hooks.

The Z-track that would normally be installed on the wall was installed on the opposite side of the plywood.  This will make it easy to hang the Nouveaus onto the sheet after it’s on the wall.

Z-Bar track was added to the top and bottom of the plywood sheet to accept the z-bars that are going on the back of the finished Nouveau planks.

After the Nouveau planks are finished with the staining, and left to cure for a few days, they are ready to have the mating Z-bars attached to the back.  They are installed with the same spacing as the Z-tracks on the plywood sheets.  This will make it easy to align them after the plywood is hung on the wall.

The z-bars are measured, marked, and installed at the same spacing as the z-tracks on the plywood.

The Gorilla/Hercules Anchor hooks are rated to around 50-60 lbs each. The Nouveau planks are roughly 25lbs each (at 48 inches) and each section has 4 hooks supporting 4 planks plus the weight of the 3/8″ plywood.  The hooks are installed so that the plywood will hang level – with the weight distributed evenly across all four hooks.

When installed properly and leveled, each of these hooks will hold up to about 50-60lbs each. In this configuration, they should only need to support about half that.

Finally, the Nouveau planks are installed into the Z-Tracks on the plywood, and moved into position.  Because the z-bars were installed square and level, there is no shifting, and they hang true.  The undersized plywood sections disappear behind the planks leaving the impression that the planks are floating slightly off the wall.

The install doesn’t look much different from a direct mount z-track installation, with a small gap against the wall.

While this mounting method may not be ideal for every scenario, this was an effective way to install 8 Nouveau™ planks with only 8 small hook holes in the wall.  These can now be installed in apartments or temporary environments with minimal damage to the existing walls – and once you are done, they’re easy to take down and reinstall somewhere else. You just need a level!

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3 Years of the Aeolian® Sound Diffuser

3 Years of the Aeolian®

It may seem a lifetime ago, but we are celebrating the 3rd Anniversary of the release of the patented Aeolian® Sound diffuser.  During development, our team ran numerous models and simulations, revising the design, and optimizing the performance to create the iteration we have today.

The development workflow of the design included computer optimized geometry, performance simulation, rapid prototyping, and full acoustic performance and validation testing.  This was one of the first uses of this completed workflow, and while we are always refining our development processes, this was a huge leap forward.

We now look back at the release of the Aeolian® as a milestone in our history, where we developed something more than a product… we developed a better way to design a product.

Here was the original blog post about the Aeolian®.

Happy birthday.

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Art Diffusor® Nouveau™ – Limitless possibilities.

ArtDiffusor® Nouveau™ on a wall with a dark stain – framed.

Hey! Here’s another installation of our new ArtDiffusor® Nouveau™. For this install, these four boards were not only stained, but also framed out to enhance the design aesthetic.  From different paints and stains, to mounting techniques, there are limitless possibilities for customization to create your own unique and functional sound diffusing arrays.

ArtDiffusor® Nouveau™ on a wall with a dark stain – framed.

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Make your voice heard! – Treating your home office for conference calls.

The current crisis has forced a large portion of the workforce to operate out of their homes. Daily Zoom and Skype meetings have become a ubiquitous part of our lives. For many of us, this shift is only temporary. However, some companies are seeing the benefits of working at home, and are making plans to move employees to permanent remote positions.

Teleworking Offices can benefit from acoustic panels like the Silent Picture® Panel, which reduces reverb and flutter echo, while appearing to be a piece of wall art.

I’m sure all of you have been on a conference call in which a team member’s audio is difficult to understand. This could be caused by a microphone or connection issue, but a large number of intelligibility problems are rooted in a room’s acoustics. Let’s take a look at some common acoustic issues in home offices and how they relate to conference call clarity.

Background Noise – Obviously, it’s difficult to understand speech when there is a lot of background noise. It is vital that you isolate yourself from extraneous sound sources as best you can. Some sources (TV, HVAC) are easier to control than others (traffic noise, pets, children etc.). Make sure your office is “closed off” from intruding noise. Remember, sound is a little like water; it will “pour in” through any openings, such as gaps around doors. If possible, install full perimeter seals and door sweeps to improve sound isolation in your office. If you have sound transmitting through a wall, ceiling or floor, you can consider adding a layer of mass loaded vinyl to the assembly in order to help block unwanted air-borne noise. You can then cover the mass loaded vinyl  with SoundChannels® like in this blog.

Reverberation – In simple terms, reverberation is the sound energy that remains in a listening environment as a result of lingering reflections. The reverberation time (RT or RT60) quantifies how quickly an impulse sound decays in a space. Reverberation time is dependent upon the volume and surface materials of a given room. Large spaces with hard materials (tile, drywall etc.) have longer reverberation times, while small rooms furnished with “softer” materials (carpet, drapes etc.) sound more much more “dead”. Speaker phone conversations require a very short reverb time, for optimal clarity, somewhere in the .5s range (half of a second). You can reduce reverberation in your home office with the addition of “fluffy” or irregular furnishings, acoustic panels, rugs, curtains and plants.

Flutter Echoes – Flutter echo, which can be heard as an annoying “ringing sound”, is caused by parallel reflective surfaces. In certain critical listing environments, sound diffusers are used to alleviate flutter echo. Flutter echoes can greatly degrade conference call clarity. This phenomenon can occur between two walls or floor-to-ceiling. To control flutter echoes in your office, you should break up any parallel surfaces with furnishings and/or sound absorptive treatment.

Silent Picture® Tone Tile® and Sonora® Panels are all great ways to attractively incorporate sound absorption into your work space!.

Reach out to Acoustics First® for a treatment recommendation for your home office!

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Sonora® Corner Bass Trap – Low Frequency Control

Sometimes a simple solution is the best solution. That is the guiding philosophy behind our new Sonora® Corner Bass Trap. Take one 4” thick, 6-7pcf sound absorbing fiberglass panel, back bevel to fit in a corner, front bevel for a nice finished look, throw in a few corner clips for mounting, and done!

The Sonora® Corner Bass Trap was born.

This bass trap lives up to the design aesthetic and functionality of the Geometrix® Quarter Round unit, but at a lower price point with reduced weight for an easy installation. Available in widths of 24” or 18”, standard length is 4’ with custom lengths available.

The Sonora® Corner Bass Trap is a great option for studios, theaters, or any critical listening environment where broadband absorption with enhanced low frequency control is desired.

Bevelled front & rear for a clean, finished look when installed.

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