Archive for category Video

Acoustics First® Art Diffusor® Model D spotted in music video for Usher’s “Rivals” featuring Future…

Acoustics First® Art Diffusor® Model D spotted in music video for Usher’s “Rivals” featuring Future…

Watch the video on YouTube here… Usher – “Rivals” Featuring Future.

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StratiQuilt™ Before and After – Graveyard Carz!

AcousticsFirstFor our first post of 2017, we thought we’d share this video produced by our friends at Graveyard Carz! When the reality show had noise issues with their compressors while filming, they solved the problem by using Stratiquilt™ Acoustic Blankets from Acoustics First®. This video shows a before and after comparison and is a great example of the practical application of these industrial sound control blankets.


StratiQuilt™ Before and After – Graveyard Carz! from Acoustics First®.

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Acoustics First® makes sound Visible!

AcousticsFirstAs many of you know, Acoustics First® invests a great deal of energy in the development of the science of acoustics.  Here are three ways that we are making advances that help people learn and actually Visualize acoustics!

Those interested in sound diffusers  have certainly noticed that Acoustics First® has produced a Diffuser Data book, containing all kinds of test data about how our diffusers contribute to the sound in your space.  This information is a great advancement and we have worked closely with the ASTM committee developing this test method. Some people wonder exactly how the test produces the data that we report, and we have developed a simulation to show exactly how the sound energy is sampled during this test.

If you download the Diffuser Data booklet, you can see a picture of the gigantic test arc at NWAA Labs which is used for the real world tests.

Acoustics First – Diffuser Data Test Demo from Acoustics First®.

We have also made leaps and bounds in using simulations to show the different ways that diffusion develops in a space.  Depending on the type and placement of the diffusers you install, the diffuse field will develop at different speeds, at different frequencies.  We can now show a couple of simulations of the development of a diffuse field to help you visualize how sound moves in room without treatment and with two different sets of diffuser treatments.

Acoustics First – Room Simulations from Acoustics First®.

Bonus video! Imagine being able to see the Untreated room and the Model D room from a different angle – To be able to move around the outside of the room and see how the sound field develops from a different perspective.  Imagine no more!  Here it is!

Acoustics First – Sound Field Development Simulation – 3D Panning from Acoustics First®.

If you prefer to use YouTube – you will find the videos uploaded at our YouTube channel here.

We hope these helped you to “look” at acoustics in a whole new way, and stay tuned – more advancements are coming soon!

Contact Acoustics First® for a high bitrate, presentation quality version of the videos – as well as permission and terms of use.

Bonus! Simulations!  Now in stereo – and with absorption! Click Here!

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Demystifying Acoustic Data: Part 1 – Absorption vs Isolation

For anyone new to the world of acoustics, there is a multitude of terms, coefficients and numbers that are thrown around.  This flood of information can seem intimidating, especially to beginners. In this series, acoustician Cameron Girard of Acoustics First® hopes to help you distinguish between what’s useful and what’s not.


Part 1: Acoustic Terminology – Sound Absorption vs Sound Isolation

In order to make informed decisions about acoustical treatment, it is vital to know the difference between materials that are meant to absorb sound within a room and materials that are meant to block sound from leaving or entering it. In an overly reverberant auditorium, absorptive treatment is needed to reduce echoes and improve speech intelligibility. If the problem is sound passing in between spaces, like offices or apartments, then isolation treatment is required. These are two separate acoustic issues which require separate solutions.

In both scenarios, it is important to know which data is relevant and helpful. Also, given sheer volume of information available on the internet, it is perhaps unavoidable that some info will be incomplete or simply incorrect.  It should not be assumed that something which sounds technical is, in fact, backed up by proper testing.

Terms for Sound Absorption

We recently encountered an acoustical ceiling tile which was said to “absorb 50% of sound”. On the surface this sounds like an extremely efficient product.  However, let’s delve in closer and decipher what is actually usable information, and what is just marketing.

When sound waves meet a room surface such as a wall, ceiling or floor, some of the sound energy is reflected back into the room and the rest is considered to be “absorbed”.  The absorbed sound energy has not vanished, it’s actually been converted into kinetic (vibration of a solid material) and thermal energy (heat due to friction within a porous material) or has simply passed right through the material (transmission). The more surface area a certain material has the better absorber it will likely be. “Soft” materials, like heavy blankets, fabric and fiberglass, have loads of nooks and crannies, which sound tries to “fill”. These porous materials are great for reducing reverberation within a room, but will only marginally reduce the sound that leaves it (but more on that later).

Sonora® wall and ceiling panels are used for absorbing sound within a space.

Sonora® wall and ceiling panels are used for absorbing sound within a space.

When comparing sound absorbing products, there is a particular set of terms you should look for: The Sound Absorption Coefficient (SAC) and Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC). These are used to specify the fraction of incident sound that a material absorbs per 1’x1’ area. An NRC of 1.0 indicates perfect absorption (an open 1’x1’ window) and a value of 0.0 represents perfect reflection (polished concrete has an NRC of .02).

To measure sound absorption, a large sample of the material is placed in a reverberation room with all other surfaces being hard and reflective. The time it takes a test sound signal to decay by 60dB (rough point of inaudibility) after the source of sound is stopped is measured first with the sample in the room and again with the room empty. The difference in decay time defines the efficiency of the absorbing material and thus the absorption coefficients.  Large spaces with low-NRC materials (tile, drywall, etc.) have longer reverberation times, while small rooms furnished with high-NRC materials sound much more “dead”.

Clearly, a single 2’x2’ ceiling tile is not going to reduce the reverberation in a real-world space by 50%. So is the above claim false? Not exactly… The ceiling panels do have an NRC rating of .50, so the tile does absorb 50% of incident sound. However, one might assume a much more drastic improvement based on the “50%” claim. In reality you’d need a large square footage of these ceiling tiles to cut the amount of total reflected sound in half. Always be sure to check the NRC number!

Terms for Sound Isolation

Our customers often call with issues related to neighbor noise or office-to-office privacy and are looking for “sound proofing” treatment. Unfortunately, many do not realize that simply installing acoustic foam or fiberglass panels will not appreciably reduce the level noise entering and leaving their space. These absorptive materials are great at reducing unwanted reflections within a room because they are porous and air/sound energy can flow through them. That being said, they are generally poor sound barriers for this exact reason.  They will help to reduce noise buildup in a room and improve the ‘acoustics’, but will do very little to “block” sound coming in or out.

BlockAid® is a heavy impermeable barrier for stopping the transmission of sound.

BlockAid® is a heavy, impermeable barrier for stopping the transmission of sound.

Sound is like water; it will “flow” into an adjacent space if everything isn’t sealed up. Materials that are air tight and heavy, like our BlockAid® sound barrier, provide the most relief of air-born sound transmission. Continuous coverage of floors/ceilings or walls is necessary to ensure that sound doesn’t ‘flank’ around these barriers. Multiple layers of varying materials, the use of resilient clips or channels, and additional walls will provide even more control.  For a demonstration of how different materials affect sound isolation, check out our video

Like NRC for sound absorption, there is also a laboratory tested figure that can be used to compare the sound “blocking” properties of acoustic barriers and wall constructions: Transmission Loss (TL) and Sound Transmission Class (STC). These describe how much air-born sound is attenuated through a given material.

In the lab, the material to be tested is mounted over an opening between two completely separated rooms, one with a speaker (source) and the other with a microphone (receiver). Save for the open “window”, these rooms are completely isolated with thick and massive walls, so virtually all the sound energy transmitted between rooms will be through the test specimen. The difference between sound levels in the source room and the receiving room is the transmission loss (TL). The TL is measured at multiple frequencies, which is fitted to a Sound Transmission Class (STC) “curve” at speech frequencies (125Hz-4kHz). The STC of the material is the TL value of the fitted curve at 500 Hz. For example, a material with an STC of 27 typically “blocks” 27dB of sound. Keep in mind though, the STC’s of materials do not add up linearly; in other words, adding a material with an STC of 27 to an existing wall with an STC 45 will not result in an STC of 72.

As always, Acoustics First is here answer questions and help you find the best solutions.

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Rapid Prototyping – Designing the future… Now!

AcousticsFirstAs the summer of 2015 winds down, we here at Acoustics First thought we’d share our latest acquisition with our readers.

The GigaBot™ by re:3D. Or as we call it "The GiggleBot!"

The GigaBot™ by re:3D. Or as we call it “The GiggleBot!”

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?!?!

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