Posts Tagged acoustics first

Introducing the Aeolian™ Diffuser

Production Unit – Photo

Acoustics First® is pleased to announce our latest creation: The Aeolian™ Sound Diffuser. In some ways a simplified version of our popular Art Diffusor® Model D, the Aeolian™ is the latest in our line of ‘Organic Quadratics’. Part of the Aeolian’s™ unique design comes from its use of “implied symmetry”. Although the edges are all asymmetric, the height variations are just subtle enough to create an illusion of symmetry when installed in a standard 15/16” grid, or spaced appropriately on a wall. The lack of a uniform edge also has added acoustical benefits in the way of “randomness”.

3D Development Model

Simulations are compared to final test results before production. (Test result by NWAA Labs.)

The development process for the Aeolian™ was similar to that of our ‘Model D’. Various 3D models were created and refined, after which we ran acoustical simulations. Once we settled on what we considered the optimum design for what we were going for, a full scale 3D model was printed for lab testing. With the ‘real world’ test results in hand, confirming our predicted results, we set about making the final mold, and this new diffuser was born.

Pre-Production Prototype printing on the Gigabot

Aeolian Mold.

 

First batch of Aeolians!

 

The Aeolian™ Diffuser is class A thermoplastic, and 4 lbs. per unit.
Nominal size is 23-3/4” x 23-3/4” with a depth of 5.1”.

Download the Aeolian™ Diffuser Data.

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Phones and Scones? I mean… Phons and Sones!

Since it’s been a while, I have received approval to write about phones and scones – yummy! Oh, I misread that… I can talk about phons and sones? Oh boy. I mean… hmm… uh…

Every so often, you get exposed to a term that you’ve never heard;  it seems like someone just made it up – and the more you learn about it, the more made up it seems.
(Disclaimer: I swear I didn’t make these up.)
Today, I will introduce you to two of these amazingly real terms, and do my best to explain why these terms exist… prepare to be amazed!

OK. Phons and Sones are two related terms in Psycho-acoustics that refer to how humans perceive the “LOUDNESS” of sounds. These are actual real concepts. (Stop laughing.)

Don’t we all perceive sound differently? YES!

So how can you have an actual measurement based on something that everyone perceives differently? EASY!

Take a bunch of people.
Play a 1Khz sine wave.
Play another frequency.
Ask them if it sounds just as loud.
Repeat. (No kidding.)

OK, this is over simplified…  Let’s start by setting some rules that make this a little easier.

For reference – whatever dB level that 1KHz wave is will be the reference for the whole group… compare a bunch of frequencies at different levels to 1Khz at 40 dB – and we’ll call all the ones that sound just as loud the “40 PHON Equal Loudness contour.”

Why? Because they sound just as loud as the 1kHz wave at 40 dB. (I’m not joking!)

Then compare a bunch to a 1KHz wave at 50dB and call all of those that sound as loud, (wait for it)
the “50 PHON Equal Loudness contour.”

Then 60dB, 70dB, 80dB… etc (see a pattern?)
Now, plot all of these from a bunch of people who hear pretty well… take an average and WHAMMO!!!

The PHON Equal Loudness contours!

Equal Loudness Contours.

ISO 226:2003 Equal Loudness Contours.

(To be fair this is the data from a bunch of 18-25 year olds who still have reasonably good hearing…)

Remember this is PERCEIVED LOUDNESS. The average of what the test subjects said “yeah, uh, that’s just as loud, Dude.”

It seems strange doesn’t it – that these aren’t nice straight lines? That’s because the human ear is constructed in such a way to be more sensitive to certain frequencies than others.

So according to this chart – a 1KHz wave at 40 dB sounds just as loud as 125 Hz at ~60dB and 3150 Hz at ~35 dB. (All on the 40 Phon contour.)

That’s Psycho-acoustics for you. (Wow.)
So if you’re an average person with average hearing, your bass perception is terrible and over 16KHz you’re basically – well… deaf.
But you hear really well from 2kHz – 5kHz!

Anyway… what’s the point?

Phons measure how loud the human ear perceives sounds at different frequencies. (TADA!)

FINE! –  then what are Sones ? To make this simple – Sones are relabeled Phons.
You start with 40 Phon being 1 Sone then double it every 10 Phon.

40 Phon = 1 Sone.
50 Phon = 2 Sones.
60 Phon = 4 Sones.
70 Phon = 8 Sones.
80 Phon = 16 Sones
90 Phon = 32 Sones
100 Phon = 64 Sones
Etc.

(Hmm, thought that would be more complicated? It is – but that’s basically it in a nutshell.)

You will almost never see a phon or a sone. Bathroom exhaust fans and blowers are sometimes rated in Sones – to let you know how quiet they are… The problem is that no one actually knew how quiet that was until now!

I guess it sounds better to say –

2.5 Sones! Wow that's Quiet!

Quiet… Only 2.5 Sones!

“This bathroom fan operates at only 2.5 Sones!”

…Than it would be to say…

Quietish... Only loudish in frequencies you can't hear well. So it's not bad... Really.

Quietish… Only loudish in frequencies you can’t hear well. So it’s not bad… Really.

“This bathroom fan resonates at over 80dB,
but it’s in a frequency range that humans don’t hear very well,
so it sounds quieter than it actually is… no… really!”

Human perception of sound is very important to the development of acoustic products – Psycho-acoustics are not a joke.
(Why are you still laughing?)

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DIY: Back Wall Diffuser Array/Bass Trap

Getting more out of your back wall diffuser array with a simple hanging DIY array/bass trap.

One of the big “back wall” questions people have is “If I have a large diffuser array, how can I get the bass trapping I need?”  A great answer to this question is to turn the entire array into a hanging bass absorber.  If you are already planning on getting diffusion for your back wall, here is a great way to use that wall space for more than just diffusion.

Stuff you need:

bass trap foam diffuser -decon- front

Assembly instructionsbass trap foam diffuser - side

  • Screw the two IsoHangers to the plywood, using a fender washer on each screw. These should be about an inch in from each end -drill small pilot holes first. (These will be used to hang the panel, this side will be designated as the back from here on out.)
  • Use Construction adhesive to attach the Cutting Wedge® Foam to the back of the panel in a checkerboard pattern (each panel 90° rotated from adjacent)
  • Use Construction adhesive again to attach the 8 Diffusers to the front of the Plywood (Follow the installation instructions for adhesive placement)
  • Attach the Rings or Wire to the free end of the IsoHangers.

What you have created is a hanging panel that will diffuse mid-high frequencies and trap the lows.  The hanging mass absorbs low frequency energy by moving slightly when pushed by the energy of the Low frequency Waves.  The rear facing fiberglass also absorbs low frequencies by dampening the panel, but it also absorbs any of the waves that happen to get trapped behind the panel.

bass trap foam diffuser - rear

Hanging the Diffuser/Trap Assembly

  • Measure and attach the Closet Brackets to the Wall – Use appropriate anchors!  If you have standard or double wall construction without Resilient Channels, use the studs – The IsoHangers will keep vibrations from transmitting through the wall.
  • Hang the panel on the Closet Brackets using the rings/wire with the Diffusers facing you and that’s it!

bass trap foam diffuser - frontThis simple DIY project is provided as a way for our customers to learn better ways to use our products and get more value out of the products they buy.  For those customers who are planning on purchasing diffusers to make an array, or maybe already have an array and are looking to try a new configuration – this project may be what you’re looking for.

A little History…

If you embark on this little construction project, you will be constructing studio elements that have remained basically unchanged since at least the early 1970’s.  Hanging plywood wrapped in studio foam or fiberglass has been used “behind the curtains” of many of the top studios for effective bass control for over 40 years – just no one has ever seen it, as it has been hidden in walls; masked as a false wall of fabric stretched across wooden louvers!

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Acoustics First Corporation supplies acoustical panels and soundproofing materials to control sound and eliminate noise in commercial, residential, government, and institutional applications worldwide.  Products include the patented Art Diffusor®, sound absorbers, noise barriers, acoustical fabrics and accessories. Acoustics First® products are sold for O.E.M applications, direct, and through dealers.  For more information on acoustical materials and their application, please visit www.AcousticsFirst.com or call Toll Free 1-888-765-2900 (US & Canada).

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DIY: How to quiet down that noisy equipment rack

rackDIY Project – Rack issues

 

Take a few seconds and DIY fix some of the common problems with using equipment racks!

Not too many people think about their equipment racks, but many of us use them.  Usually it’s something like what you see to the right – the great, sturdy, utilitarian box.  Unfortunately, there are a couple inherent problems with these:

  • Ringing – The metal resonates causing a ringing effect – may be masked by program material.
  • Reflections – many times your rack is near sound sources causing reflections off the hard surfaces.
  • Noise – Fans and other devices in the rack can make noises that are disruptive to recording.

Here are a few DIY fixes for these common problems.

  • Composite foam with adhesive backing is perfect for stopping the ringing of filler panels.
  • Use some Composite Foam to line your trays, drawers and shelves to keep items from rattling around inside the case.
  • Make a temporary cover for the front and back with BlockAid® sound barrier with minimal ventilation cut-outs to use during takes if rack-borne noise is problematic.

This simple DIY project is provided as a way for our customers to learn better ways to use our products and get more value out of the products they buy.  If you are looking for more ways to use the products you have, look to Acoustics First for Ideas.  http://www.acousticsfirst.com

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Acoustics First Corporation supplies acoustical panels and soundproofing materials to control sound and eliminate noise in commercial, residential, government, and institutional applications worldwide.  Products include the patented Art Diffusor®, sound absorbers, noise barriers, acoustical fabrics and accessories. Acoustics First® products are sold for O.E.M applications, direct, and through dealers.  For more information on acoustical materials and their application, please visit www.AcousticsFirst.com or call Toll Free 1-888-765-2900 (US & Canada).

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DIY: How to build a Studio GoBo

DIY Project: Diffuser Array/Absorber GOBO

By: James DeGrandis

Mobile DIY option for creating new spaces with GOBOs!

As studio spaces get smaller, and budgets get tighter, we like to find new ways to maximize our budgets and our spaces, without removing quality. One issue with small room recording is getting sufficient separation between instruments – and here’s one DIY project to help you master your space without compromise.

Stuff you need:

4’x 6’ sheet of 3/4” Plywood (This can be scaled up or down depending on need.)

32 sq/ft of 4” Cutting Wedge® Classic Acoustical Foam (Or similar absorber)

4 x Art Diffusors® – Model C (or Model F, Quadrapyramid™, or other comparable diffuser)

Construction adhesive

6-8 Hook and loop straps (To attach to Mic Stands – one option)

2x Mic Stands (unless building frame)

2”x4”x10’ wood for frame construction (optional)

3 x Low profile Casters for rolling frame (optional)

DIY-gobo foam diffuser no frame decon front better

Assembly instructions

DIY-gobo foam diffuser no frame front strapsA simple “no-frame” construction method is first described to give you the quick and easy option of just attaching some straps to a couple mic stands.

Use Construction adhesive to attach the Cutting Wedge® Foam to the back of the panel in a checkerboard pattern (each panel 90° rotated from adjacent.) Then flip the panel and attach the 8 Cutting Wedge® panels to the bottom of the front. (the bottom of the gobo creates a corner with the floor, we want to put absorption there to limit the bass.)

Use Construction adhesive again to attach the 4 Diffusers to the top and front of the Plywood (Follow the installation instructions for adhesive placement)

If you with to attach to mic stands, just attach the hook and loop straps to the panel along the edge, roughly where the diagram to the right is indicating, and you are done…

If you would like to create a simple rolling frame, a design for one is shown in the bottom diagram on the right.  Other frame designs can be used; they can even be hung from the ceiling if you are going to keep reusing the same configuration, or if the configuration is going to be used long term.

One of the great benefits of building gobos is the flexibility you have in your use and placement of them.  They can allow for your space to seem much larger, by creating separation between instruments.  They are easily made, easy and quick to set up, they can be stored away, or just lean up against a wall or corner to provide more acoustic treatment when not in use.

DIY-gobo foam diffuser -new standCreate a mini vocal booth.

Use as a giant corner bass trap.

Enclose your noisy drummer.

Gobos have hundreds of uses.

Make your own today!

This simple DIY project is provided as a way for our customers to learn better ways to use our products and get more value out of the products they buy.  If you are looking for more ways to use the products you have, look to Acoustics First for Ideas.  http://www.acousticsfirst.com

A little History…

If you embark on this little construction project, you will be constructing studio elements that have remained basically unchanged since at least the early 1970’s.  Handmade Gobos have been used in many of the top studios for effective noise control for over 40 years – These versions pay homage to those early pioneers who built what they needed, because it was the only way to get exactly what they needed.

DIY-gobo foam diffuser no frame front

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Acoustics First Corporation supplies acoustical panels and soundproofing materials to control sound and eliminate noise in commercial, residential, government, and institutional applications worldwide.  Products include the patented Art Diffusor®, sound absorbers, noise barriers, acoustical fabrics and accessories. Acoustics First® products are sold for O.E.M applications, direct, and through dealers.  For more information on acoustical materials and their application, please visit www.AcousticsFirst.com or call Toll Free 1-888-765-2900 (US & Canada).

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