Author Archives: John Calder

  1. Installing Fabric-Wrapped Acoustic Panels

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    Whether you’re treating an office, a professional recording space, or a home entertainment room, acoustical treatments involve only two types of acoustical panels: absorbers and diffusers. Combining absorption and diffusion results in clearer, more satisfying acoustic experiences because it maintains some of the reverberation that is key to our ability to form accurate sound images.

    The key to good room acoustics is finding the right mix and placement of acoustic diffusers and absorbers. By diminishing some of the reflected sound energy – but not all of it – our ears and brains are better able to focus on the direct sound while the remaining reverberation complements our highly-developed perception of depth and location.

    Fabric-Wrapped Acoustical Panels

    As illustrated in our video, “How Sound Works (In Rooms),” you can use sound absorbers to reduce the strength of the reflected sound energy that would otherwise cause more destructive interference. Acoustical Surfaces offers many customizable, affordable, and highly-effective absorber panels to fit any acoustical treatment strategy.

    NOISE S.T.O.P. FABRISORB™ fabric-wrapped acoustical panels are affordable fiberglass sound absorbers that deliver high-performance value at an affordable cost. You can install them on nearly any wall and ceiling surface to reduce echo and reverberation. They come in many color and size combinations and do a great job of taming overly-reflective rooms.

    CFAB Cellulose Sound Absorber Panels are also cost-effective, offering great performance at a low price. They absorb and control noise and reduce airborne sound transmission. In addition, they are Class A Fire Rated, resist mold growth, and are easy to install.

    Sound Silencer™ acoustical panels are also Class A fire rated with STC and NRC ratings alike. These panels provide high-performance sound blocking and absorption.

    Installing a Fabric-Wrapped Panel

    fabric wrapped panelNow that you’ve done your research and decided how many acoustic fabric panels to use, as well as where to locate them, here’s how to install them. For further visual reference, please watch our video, Fabric Wrapped Panel Install.

    You can choose either of the two following installation systems:

    • Rotofast Snap-on Mounting System, or
    • Z-Clip System

    Method 1: Installing a Fabric-Wrapped Panel Using Rotofast Snap-On Mounting System

    Equipment and Materials:

    • NOISE S.T.O.P. FABRISORB™  Decorative Fabric Wrapped Custom Acoustical Wall Panels
    • Snap-on mounting hardware (optional at extra cost – must be specified when ordering)
    • Power drill
    • 1 ½” wood screws
    • Measuring tape
    • Marking pencil

     

    Measuring

    • Measure from the edge of the nearest boundary (wall, window, or door) to the side-edge line at the desired location of the first panel.
    • Measure and mark the distance from the floor to the desired top location of the panel.
    • Mark the horizontal top line for the panel location using a level.
    • Mark the vertical edge line for the panel location using a level.

     

    Attaching T-Handle to Back of Panel

    fabric wrapped panel t-panel

      • Attach red T-handle into back opening of orange snap anchor.
      • Place snap anchor center point 2-3 inches inside edge of fabric wrap-over in first corner.
      • Screw into panel until tight.

    NOTE: Do Not over-tighten! Snap anchor collars should be flush with panel.

    • Remove T-handle, add red marker plug into opening after snap anchor is tight/flush with back of panel.
    • Repeat steps 1 through 4 for the remaining 3 corner snap anchors.

     

    Attaching Panel to Wallfabric wrapped panel

    • Position panel at side vertical and top horizontal lines on wall.
    • Lightly hit panel at corners to indent wall at marker plugs.
    • Remove panel from wall, remove marker plugs from back of panel.
    • Indents from marker plugs indicate wall anchor locations.
    • Screw wall anchors into the indentation marks from Step 2.
    • Screw black anchor ratchet inserts into wall anchors.
    • Position panel snap anchors at ratchet inserts.
    • Press panel firmly onto inserts at each corner.

    Method 2 – Installing a Fabric-Wrapped Wall Panel Using Z-Clip Mounting System

    Materials and Equipment:

    • NOISE S.T.O.P. FABRISORB™  Decorative Fabric Wrapped Custom Acoustical Wall Panels
    • Power drill
    • 1 ½” wood screws
    • Measuring tape
    • Marking pencil
    • Z-Bars (optional at extra cost – must be specified when ordering)
    • Z-Clips (optional at extra cost – must be specified when ordering)
    • Level

     

    Attaching the Z-Clips to the Back of Fabric-Covered Wall Panel

    • Beginning at the Z-Clip center holes, screw each of the 4 Z-Clips into the round center holes of the 4 pre-installed square metal plates in each corner on the back of the panel.
    • Position the 2 Z-Bars snugly into each of the top and bottom pairs of Z-Clips to ensure the top and bottom pairs of Z-Clips are aligned with each other.
    • Add a 2nd screw to each Z-Clip at the outside hole location.
    • Measure from the top of the panel to the top of each Z-Bar to ensure they are parallel with each other and the panel top and bottom edges.
    • Leave the Z-Bars positioned in the Z-Clips for the next set of measurements.

     

    Measuring and Marking the Wall

      • Measure from the top edge of the panel to the bottom of the top Z-bar, and write down that measurement.

    Note: You’ll need this value in Step # 6, below.

      • Measure from the top edge of the panel to the bottom of the bottom Z-bar, and write down that measurement as well.

    Note: You’ll need this value in Step #7, below.

      • Remove the Z-Bars.
      • On the wall, measure and mark the side-edge position for the desired location of the panel.
      • On the wall, measure and mark the top-edge position for the desired location of the panel.
      • Use a level to draw both vertical and horizontal lines at the measured positions on the wall.
      • Starting at the top horizontal line on the wall, measure down the wall to locate the top Z-Bar placement location.

    Note: use the measurement from Step # 1, above.

      • Starting at the top horizontal line on the wall, measure down the wall to locate the bottom Z-Bar placement location.

    Note: use the measurement from Step #2, above.

    • Mark the top and bottom horizontal Z-Bar lines on the wall using a level.
    • Mark the centers of the top and bottom Z-Bar lines from the side-edge line on the wall.
    • Place the top Z-Bar on the scribed horizontal line, positioning the center hole at the marked center of the line; repeat for the bottom Z-Bar.
    • Punch an indentation into the wall surface at the center and side holes for both top and bottom Z-Bars.
    • At each wall indentation, drill in the center and side wall anchors for both top and bottom Z-Bars.
    • Screw in the center and side screws for both top and bottom Z-Bars.

     

    Attaching the Fabric-Wrapped Panels to the Wall

    After attaching the Z-Bars to the wall, simply position the Fabric Wrapped Panel on the wall centered on the Z-Clips. Press down gently on the top of the panel until it fits snugly into the Z-Bars. Measure from the panel edge to the nearest boundary to check for plumb and level. Adjust the panel with light side taps to position it as needed.

    Conclusion

    Congratulations! You’ve just made one of the best investments toward improving the sound quality of your home, office, or recording environment.

    For further blogs, tutorials, and product descriptions, please visit us at AcousticalSurfaces.com or contact us directly, and one of our representatives will be happy to help you with any questions you may have.

  2. Installing Poly Max™ Polyester Acoustical Wall Panels

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    acoustic wall panel poly maxIf you’ve decided to acoustically treat a room, you can use absorptive acoustical wall panels to reduce some of the excess energy of reflected sound resulting in clearer and more-accurate sound.

    By removing some of the reflected sound energy – but not all of it – our ears and brains are better able to focus on the direct sound while the residual reverberation complements our highly-developed perception of depth and location accuracy.

    As illustrated in our video, How Sound Works in Rooms, you can use sound absorbers to reduce the strength of the reflected sound energy that would otherwise cause more destructive interference. Acoustical Surfaces offers many customizable, affordable, and highly effective wall panels to fit any acoustical treatment strategy.

    Use Poly Max™ Polyester Acoustical Wall and Ceiling Panels

    Poly Max™ Polyester Acoustical Wall and Ceiling Panels are tackable, acoustically absorbent, non-allergenic, non-toxic, and they contain no chemical irritants or formaldehyde. These decorative acoustic tiles can also be printed with custom graphics to work with any design scheme.

    Made of 60% Recycled Content (Polyethylene Terephthalate), Poly Max panels are impact resistant and Class A Fire Rated as well.

    Installing a Poly Max Wall Panel

    In this section, you’ll find a step-by-step set of instructions showing you how to install a Poly Max™ Polyester Acoustical Wall Panel. For visual reference, you can also view our instructional video, Poly Max Install – Polyester Acoustical Wall & Ceiling Panels.

    You can use either of the following two methods to mount your Poly Max™ Acoustical Wall Panels:

    • Using adhesives, or
    • Using Z-clips and Z-bars

     

    Method 1 – Mounting Poly Max Wall Panels Using Adhesives

    Materials and Equipment

    Determine the area where the panel is to be installed on the wall surface.

    Measuring and Marking the Wall to Place your Panel in the Desired Location

    • Measure and mark distance to top of panel from ceiling – OR – from the center of the desired panel location
    • Measure and mark distance to one edge (side/horizontal) of the panel location from nearest boundary (door frame, adjacent wall, etc.)
    • Mark horizontal line at the top mark with a level (line length should be slightly shorter than the panel dimension)
    • Mark the vertical line at the edge distance with a level (line length should be slightly shorter than panel dimension)

     

    Applying Adhesive to the Back of the Panel

    • Use a caulking gun to lay a bead of adhesive around the entire perimeter, about 1-1/2” from the edge with Titebond GREENchoice Panel & Subfloor Adhesive on the back surface of the panel.
    • Lay a bead of Panel adhesive from corner to corner within the previously-applied rectangular adhesive perimeter creating an “X” pattern in the center.
    • Apply Noise S.T.O.P.™ Contact Adhesive Spray inside the 4 empty spaces between the adhesive lines of the perimeter and “X” adhesive beads you just applied. Note: DO NOT allow Contact adhesive to overspray Panel adhesive bead lines!
    • Allow the spray adhesive to set for 4 minutes before attaching the panel to the wall.

     

    Attaching the Panel to the Wall

    • Align panel edges to side vertical line and top horizontal line.
    • Apply even and firm pressure on the side & top to set edge adhesive.
    • Apply even and firm pressure to set adhesive for remaining area.
    • Ensure that the panel is flush with the wall and that the adhesive is evenly seated.

    Method 2 – Mounting Poly Max Wall Panels Using Z-clips

    Materials and Equipment

    • Poly Max™ Polyester Acoustical Wall Panels
    • Power Drill
    • ¾” Z-Clip screws (supplied)
    • Drywall anchors (supplied)
    • 1 ½” oval-head screws (supplied)
    • Measuring tape
    • >Marking pencil
    • Level
    • 2 Z-Bars (supplied)
    • 4 Z-Clips (supplied)

     

    Attaching the Z-Clips to the Back of the Poly Max Wall Panel

    Installing acoustic wall panel poly max

    • Beginning at the Z-Clip center holes, screw each of the 4 Z-Clips at the top edges of the 4 pre-marked squares on the back of the panel with ¾” screws.
    • Position a Z-Bar horizontally in each of the top and bottom Z-Clip pairs (with Z-Bar hole-side facing down) to ensure the two Z-Clip pairs are level and aligned with each other.
    • Screw in the remaining ¾” screws on the 4 panel-mount Z-Clips.
    • Leave the two Z-Bars positioned in the Z-Clips for the next set of measurements.

     

    Measuring and Marking the Wall

    • Measure from the top edge of the panel to the bottom of the top Z-bar and write down that measurement. (Note: You’ll need this value in Step #6, below.)
    • Measure from the top edge of the panel to the bottom of the bottom Z-bar, and write down that measurement as well. (Note: You’ll need this value in Step #7, below.)
    •  On the wall, measure out and mark the side position for where you want the edge of the panel.
    • Measure and mark the top position for where you want the panel on the wall as well.
    • Use a level to draw both vertical and horizontal lines at the measured positions on the wall (the lines should be slightly shorter than the panel dimensions).
    • Starting at the top horizontal line on the wall, measure down the wall to locate the top Z-Bar placement. (Note: Use the measurement from Step #1, above.)
    • Again, starting at the top horizontal line on the wall, measure down the wall to locate the bottom Z-Bar. (Note: Use the measurement from Step #2, above.)
    • Mark the top and bottom horizontal Z-Bar lines on the wall using a level (the lines should be slightly shorter than the Z-Bar dimensions).
    • Mark the centers of the top and bottom Z-Bar lines on the wall.
    • Holding the Z-Bars level with and centered on the marked lines, punch the center and side drilling-guide holes for both top and bottom Z-Bars.
    • Drill in the center and side wall anchors at the drilling-guide holes for both top and bottom Z-Bars.
    • With the Z-Bar in position, screw the 1-1/2” center and side screws into the wall anchors for both top and bottom Z-Bars.

    Hanging the Poly Max Panel on the Wall-Mounted Z-Bars

    • Now that you have attached the Z-Bars to the wall, position the Poly Max panel on the wall with the panel edge at the side mark location.
    • With the Z-Clips above and “resting on” the Z-Bars; press downward firmly but gently on the top of the panel to seat the Z-Clips into the Z-Bars so that the Z-Clips fit snugly into the Z-Bars.
    • Check the alignment of the panel and, if needed, tap sideways to adjust the panel left or right at the top or bottom to achieve level and plumb.

    Conclusion

    Whatever your acoustical project, we can help you with know-how, experience, design ideas, and a wide range of leading-edge acoustical products.

    For further blogs, tutorials, and product descriptions, please visit us at AcousticalSurfaces.com or contact us directly, and one of our representatives will be happy to help you with any questions you may have.

  3. Installing a Standard Acoustic Panel

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    If left acoustically untreated, the acoustical properties of spaces can be significantly diminished. Sound travels so fast that it fills a room almost instantly. It can also propagate from sources in up to 360 degrees, so it’s easy to imagine how a room with flat, highly-reflective surfaces will create a nearly infinite number of sound waves all reflecting in infinite directions and colliding and interfering with each other.

    acoustic panel poly max

    All that reflected sound interferes with and distorts direct sound, generating further patterns of destructive interference – all serving to noticeably diminish your listening experience. Nonetheless, many cost-effective solutions exist to help you shape and control the acoustical properties of any space.

    Using Acoustical Wall Panels to Absorb Sound

    You can use acoustical wall panels to absorb some of the excess energy of reflected sound along with diffusers that help even-out the sound, resulting in clearer and more-accurate sound imaging in our minds.

    By removing some of the reflected sound energy – but not all of it – our ears and brains are better able to focus on the direct sound while the residual reverberation complements our highly-developed perception of depth and location accuracy.

    Absorbers

    As illustrated in our video, How Sound Works in Rooms, you can use sound absorbers to reduce the strength of the reflected sound energy that would otherwise cause more destructive interference. Acoustical Surfaces offers many customizable, affordable, and highly effective wall panels to fit any acoustical treatment strategy.

    Here are a few for your consideration:

    fabric wrapped panelNOISE S.T.O.P. FABRISORB™ fabric-wrapped wall panels are affordable fiberglass sound absorbers that deliver high-performance value at an affordable cost. You can install them on nearly any wall and ceiling surface to reduce echo and reverberation. They come in many color and size combinations and do a great job of taming overly-reflective rooms.

    CFAB Cellulose Sound Absorber Panels are also cost-effective, offering great performance at a low price. They control and deaden noise and reduce airborne sound transmission. In addition, they are Class A Fire Rated, resist mold growth, and are easy to install.

    Sound Silencer™ acoustical panels are also Class A fire rated with STC and NRC ratings alike. These panels provide high-performance sound blocking and absorption.

    Installing a Standard Acoustic Panel

    In this section, you’ll find step-by-step instructions showing you how to install a standard acoustical wall panel. For visual reference, you can also view our instructional video, Installing a Standard Acoustic Panel.

    Materials and Equipment

    Determine the area where the panel is to be installed on the wall surface.

    Measuring and Marking the Wall to Place your Panel in the Desired Location

    • Measure and mark distance to top of panel from ceiling – OR – from center of desired panel location
    • Measure and mark distance to one edge (side/horizontal) of panel location from nearest boundary (door frame, adjacent wall, etc.)
    • Mark horizontal line at top mark with a level (line length should be slightly shorter than panel dimension)
    • Mark the vertical line at edge distance with a level (line length should be slightly shorter than panel dimension)

     

    Applying Adhesive to the Back of the Panel

    • Use a caulking gun to lay a bead of adhesive around the entire perimeter, about 1-1/2” from the edge with Titebond GREENchoice Panel & Subfloor Adhesive on the back surface of the panel.
    • Lay a bead of Panel adhesive from corner to corner within the previously-applied rectangular adhesive perimeter creating an “X” pattern in the center.
    • Apply Noise S.T.O.P.™ Contact Adhesive Spray inside the 4 empty spaces between the adhesive lines of the perimeter and “X” adhesive beads you just applied.

    Note: DO NOT allow Contact adhesive to overspray Panel adhesive bead lines! Allow the spray adhesive to set for 4 minutes before attaching the panel to the wall.

    Attaching the Panel to the Wall

    • Align panel edges to side vertical line and top horizontal line.
    • Apply even and firm pressure on the side & top to set edge adhesive.
    • Apply even and firm pressure to set adhesive for remaining area.
    • Repeat steps 1 through 3 for the rest of your wall panels until complete.

    Conclusion

    Whatever your acoustical project is, we can help you with know-how, experience, design ideas, and a wide range of leading-edge acoustical products.

    For further blogs, tutorials, and product descriptions, please visit us at AcousticalSurfaces.com or contact us. One of our representatives will always be happy to help you with any questions you may have.

  4. Installing Echo Eliminator Wall Panels

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    If left acoustically untreated, large, open spaces like some restaurants, school gyms and cafeterias, shopping malls, or sporting venues, to name a few, can generate tremendous volumes of echo and reverberation, making individual as well as public communications very difficult if not outright irritating and hazardous to our health.

    Public address or speaker systems often exacerbate the problem by pumping more sound energy into highly reflective acoustical environments, thereby only contributing to the cacophony.

    Even small spaces with highly reflective surfaces can have too much echo and reverberation, causing similar problems, with similar solutions.

    Using Echo Eliminator Wall Panels to Absorb Excess Sound Energy

    stacked echo eliminator

    Whether you are working on a small, large, domestic, or public project, you can realize fantastic benefits by installing Echo Eliminator Wall Panels to absorb excess sound reflections. They are available in both wall panel and hanging baffle formats.

    Made from recycled, Bonded Acoustical Cotton (B.A.C.), Echo Eliminator is currently one of the most cost effective acoustical absorbing material on the market.

    Ideal for noise control applications, Echo Eliminator is typically used to treat school gyms, classrooms, lunch rooms, or any situation in which high-performance noise control is needed. Echo Eliminator panels also qualify for LEED™ credits, and they’re non-flammable Class A fire rated as well as 100% recyclable.

    Installing Echo Eliminator Wall Panels

    Below, you will find step-by-step instructions on how to install Echo Eliminator Wall Panels. For visual reference, you can also watch our video, Installing Echo Eliminator Panels.

    Materials and Equipment

    Determine the area where the panel is to be installed on the wall surface.

    Measuring and marking the wall to place your panel in the desired location

    • Measure and mark distance to top of panel from ceiling – OR – from center of desired panel location
    • Measure and mark distance to one edge (side/horizontal) of panel location from nearest boundary (door frame, adjacent wall, etc.)
    • Mark horizontal line at top mark with a level (line length should be slightly shorter than panel dimension)
    • Mark the vertical line at edge distance with a level (line length should be slightly shorter than panel dimension)>

    Applying adhesive to the back of the panel

    installing echo eliminator

    • Use a caulking gun to lay a bead of adhesive around the entire perimeter, about 1-1/2” from the edge with Titebond GREENchoice Panel & Subfloor Adhesive on the back surface of the panel.
    • Lay a bead of Panel adhesive from corner to corner within the previously-applied rectangular adhesive perimeter creating an “X” pattern in the center.
    • Apply Noise S.T.O.P.™ Contact Adhesive Spray inside the 4 empty spaces between the adhesive lines of the perimeter and “X” adhesive beads you just applied. Note: DO NOT allow Contact adhesive to overspray Panel adhesive bead lines!
    • Allow the spray adhesive to set for 4 minutes before attaching the panel to the wall.

    Attaching the panel to the wall

    • Align panel edges to side vertical line and top horizontal line.
    • Apply even and firm pressure on the side & top to set edge adhesive.
    • Apply even and firm pressure to set adhesive for remaining area.

    Conclusion

    Whatever your acoustical project is, we can help you with know-how, experience, design ideas, and a wide range of leading-edge acoustical products.

    For further blogs, tutorials, and product descriptions, please visit us at AcousticalSurfaces.com or contact us. One of our representatives will always be happy to help you with any questions you may have.

  5. Installing a Soundproof Door

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    Whether at home or work, you may need or desire to soundproof a room.

    Doctors, legal professionals, and business executives, for example, all require speech privacy and confidentiality as well as freedom from external noise which may interrupt their work and conversations. Hotel owners often want to soundproof room doors to provide their guests complete acoustic privacy. Alternatively, if you’re building a home or professional recording studio, you also want an acoustically sealed room.

    Regardless of your purpose, a soundproof door is critical to the complete success of any soundproofing project. If you’ve invested in soundproofing the walls, ceiling, and perhaps, even, the floor of your room, you will likely be disappointed if noise is still being transmitted through a non-soundproofed door.

    A Studio 3D™ Soundproof Interior Door is one of the soundest investments you can make toward achieving the highest quality of soundproofing for your room – with an STC value as high as 56. Our Studio 3D™ soundproof doors are ideal for recording studios, offices, band rooms, hotels, conference rooms, or any other situation for which you require a soundproof interior door.

    Below, you’ll find step-by-step instructions on installing our Studio 3D™ Soundproof Interior Door. You can also view our tutorial on line.

    Installing a Soundproof Door soundproof interior doors thickness

    Your soundproof door assembly is very heavy, so ensure that you have several people (4 to 5) to help safely handle and position it throughout the installation process.

    Materials and Equipment

    Preparing the Door Assembly

    • Lay the door kit on the floor inside the room.
    • Carefully remove the bottom shipping plate.

    Shimming the Hinge Side of the Door Frame

    • Measure and mark the 4 hinge positions on the hinge-side of the door opening.
    • Fasten a shim at the highest hinge mark of the door opening.
    • Use a vertical level to establish a plumb line
    • Fasten the other three shims at the remaining hinge marks.

    Note: It’s critical to install the door jamb along a perfectly plumb frame opening, so double-check that the shims are plumb and level with each other.

    Placing the Door Assembly in the Shimmed Frame

    Note: At this point, the door assembly is fragile and heavy, so move slowly and carefully.

    • Position the door at a right angle to the wall and with the bottom close to the edge of the opening, carefully raise the door assembly and place it into position within the door frame opening.
    • Slide the door assembly into the door opening until the interior door trim frame is flush with the wall.
    • While holding the door jamb assembly against the wall, open the door to a right angle.
    • Carefully shim the door into place – while keeping the jamb flush against the wall.
    • Remove the inside two of the four installed, short hinge screws from the top door frame hinge.
    • Drill deeper pilot holes through the two empty holes.
    • Screw the two long hinge screws (supplied with the kit) into the door frame – maintaining the jamb flush with the wall.
    • Repeat the above process for each of the remaining three hinges.
    • Note the door opening reveal (gap between the door and jamb) and shim the remaining jamb and lintel so that the reveal is evenly spaced around the entire door assembly.
    • Shim behind the three strike plates and replace the short screws with long screws in each of the strike plates.

    Sealing & Trimming the Exterior Door Framesoundproof door

    • Apply blue painter’s tape on the door jamb and lintel to protect them.
    • Insert the backer rod (supplied in the kit) into the gap for the acoustic caulk. (For wider gaps, twist two backer rods together to double its thickness)
    • Apply the acoustic caulking to completely fill and seal the gap. (Note: Ensure the gap is completely filled – leave NO air spaces or gaps.)
    • Place the pre-mitered trim frame over the caulked gap to show an even reveal
    • Attach the trim frame with the screws (supplied in the kit)

    Sealing & Trimming the Interior Door Frame

    • Remove the screws holding the pre-attached trim frame on the other side of the door.
    • Remove the trim frame and carefully place it off to the side.
    • Fill the jamb and lintel gaps (between the door jamb and the wall) with backing rod.
    • Caulk and seal the space using the acoustic sealant (supplied with the kit) – completely fill the gaps.
    • Replace the trim frame over the caulked gap to show an even reveal.
    • Screw the trim frame back into place with the supplied screws.

    Setting Up the Door Handle

    • Place the door handle levers, spindle, and plates on both sides of the door.
    • Screw them into place, being careful not to scratch the powder paint coating/finish.
    • Tighten the door handle with the hexagonal wrench.
    • Check the latches for any binding.

    Note: All 3 latches should work smoothly and in unison when you turn the door handle.

    Adjusting the Threshold, Side, and Top Seals

    • Adjust the bolt on the automatic bottom seal so that it contacts the frame plate to lower the seal completely to the threshold when the door is closed. (You may need to adjust several times until you’ve got it just right.)
    • Adjust the side and top seals to ensure a snug fit with the surface of the door.

    Completing the Exterior Frame Trim

    • Remove the glue strip protective coverings from the pre-mitered door seal trim pieces.
    • First, firmly press the top piece into place.
    • Firmly place the side pieces into place.

    Conclusion

    Congratulations! You’ve just installed one of the best soundproof doors available.

  6. Installing Envirocoustic Wood Wool Panels & Envirocoustic Wood Wool Hexagon Panels

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    In our blog and video, Your Brain On Sound, we discuss the nature of sound and human hearing. We look at how our brains interpret subtle differences in timing and tone to construct accurate sound images of our environments. In much the same way that our binocular vision enables us to perceive the world in three dimensions, our ears similarly enable us to locate and determine the sources of sound.

    Whether for a theatre, sports arena, performance hall, restaurant, factory, gymnasium, office, boardroom, bedroom, or home entertainment space, the same principles of acoustic design and human hearing apply. Depending on how reflective the surfaces of the walls, ceilings, and floors are, unwanted reverberation and echo can severely compromise the acoustical qualities of any space.

    A sound wave, once emitted, will continue to reflect off hard wall, floor, and ceiling surfaces until it loses energy and dies out. In an open space with hard surfaces, we hear a high degree of echo (early discrete repetitions), and reverberation (multiple later blended echo repetitions). Typically, we prefer acoustical environments that don’t generate too much echo, but reducing reverberation too much will also make a room sound “dead,” so we need to find the right balance of absorption and diffusion.

    Allowing too much echo and reverberation, on the other hand, compromises our brains’ ability to form accurate sound images. Reflected sound arrives at our ears from multiple directions and interferes with direct sound.

    Reducing Echo and Reverberation Through Sound Absorption

    To mitigate echo and reverberation, you can treat the hard surfaces of rooms with wall and ceiling panels that absorb the energy of reflected sound. Each room’s size, layout, and construction materials combine to determine that specific space’s acoustical properties as well as the appropriate acoustical treatment strategies for it.

    If you’ve opted to treat your room with sound absorbing wall panels, our Envirocoustic™ Wood Wool Cementitious Wood-Fiber Acoustic Ceiling and Wall Panels now lead in the eco-friendly, high-performance, acoustical-panel products category.

    Cost-effective and manufactured from 3 simple ingredients – wood fiber, cement, and water – Envirocoustic™ panels are durable, Class A Fire Rated, and they provide thermal insulation in addition to absorbing sound. They are also available in both wall and ceiling applications.

    Installing Envirocoustic™ Wood Wool Wall Panels

    The following provides you step-by-step instructions on how to install our Envirocoustic™ Wood Wool Wall Panels. For further visual reference, you can also view our instructional video.

    Equipment and Materials Envirocoustic Wood Wool Office

     

    A few general tips to help you achieve the best results:

    • Pre-paint the heads of the screws so they match the color of your panels.
    • Check level on your panels often as you progress through the installation process.
    • Work carefully at all times because panel edges and corners can be damaged.
    • Panels can also be heavy, so ask someone to help you if you need it.
    • Always ensure that the panels are all seated flush against the mounting strips.
    • It may sometimes be necessary to back-out and re-seat screws to ensure that the panel is seating flush with the mounting strips.
    • Always ensure that screws have a minimum ¾” spacing from the edges of the panels.
    • Drive screws slowly to avoid damaging or mis-aligning the panels.
    • Careful layout yields best results.

    Contact us for more acoustics and soundproofing help here.

    Preparing your wall

    • Remove previous wall surface.
    • Install ¾” × 4″ horizontal mounting strips on 23¾” vertical centers. (Note: Use 1″ × 4″ strapping if you also wish to install 1”-thick acoustic backing.)
    • Draw horizontal lines using a level on the 23¾ vertical centers. (You’ll be able to use these lines as visual references when you attach the panels horizontally.)

     

    Measuring, cutting, and placing your panels

    • Measure the height of the first panel from the floor to the previously-drawn horizontal line.
    • Cut the first panel to the exact width of your first measurement.
    • Carefully position the panel, horizontally, at the bottom corner of the wall.
    • Make sure the panel is flush with both mounting strips.
    • Slowly drive a screw into the top corner.
    • Screw in the rest of the panel at 24″ intervals. (For high traffic ceiling installs, screw in on 12″ centers.)
    • Ensure screws have a minimum ¾” spacing from the edges of the panel.
    • Double check that the newly-installed panel is level because it will set the alignments for all the following panels. (Note: We recommend that you drive the screws slowly to avoid damaging or mis-aligning the panels. Ensure that the panels are all seated flush against the mounting strips.)

     

    For staggered panel designs

    • Transfer the end mark to the next-higher mounting board.
    • Measure half the panel length, and mark the mounting board.
    • Measure half the length of a panel, and cut the panel. (Note: Depending on the configuration of the wall, you may need to cut a notch in the end of the panel to accommodate the adjacent corner wall mounting strip.)
    • Ensure the panel is flush against the end wall, both mounting strips, and sitting snugly and level above the first-installed panel.
    • Check for level.
    • Drive in top corner screw.
    • Drive in remaining screws at recommended spacing. (see #6 in Measuring, cutting, and placing your panels)
    • Ensure screws have a minimum ¾ spacing from the edges of the panel.
    • Continue this process until you have completely covered your wall with panels. (Note: Carefully measure each panel’s width (and height, if relevant) carefully – walls ceilings, and/or floors may be out-of-plumb or out-of-level, and there may be other non-standard construction issues.)

     

    Installing Wood Wool Hexagon Panels

    You can apply our Wood Wool Hexagon Panels directly to bare wall surfaces using our Titebond GREENchoice Panel & Subfloor Adhesive to create innovative finished designs. Below, you’ll find a step-by-step guide to installing our Hexagon panels, and for visual reference, you can also watch our instructional installation video.

    Equipment and Materials

    • Envirocoustic™ Wood Wool Hexagon Panels
    • Titebond GREENchoice Panel & Subfloor Adhesive
    • Finishing (16 ga. or similar) nails and finish-nail gun
    • screws and power driver – Tip: Pre-paint the heads of the screws so they match the color of your center panel.
    • Caulking gun
    • Utility knife
    • Tool to puncture inner seal of adhesive cartridge
    • Measuring tape
    • Marking pencil
    • Level

     

    Preparing your wall

    • On a bare wall, measure and draw a level, horizontal line along the center of the wall. This will serve as your guide for positioning your center panel, so make sure it’s level.
    • Ensure the wall surface is smooth and free of irregularities that could prevent a flush contact between it and the hexagon panels.
    • Apply firm and even pressure to the panels to ensure that they are making flush contact with the wall and that the adhesive is firmly seated while you are screwing or nailing them into place.

     

    Installing your Wood Wool Hexagon panels

    • Trace the perimeter of the back of the first panel with a bead of adhesive about 1-1/2” from the edge.
    • Lay two more perpendicular beads of adhesive to mark an X on the back of the panel.
    • Using the line you drew as a guide, carefully position the glued side of the panel on the wall.
    • Apply firm, even pressure on the panel, ensuring that it is making flush contact with the wall and that the adhesive is firmly seated.
    • Screw in the first panel, spaced at least ¾from the edge of the panel, at all six hexagon corners.
    • Align the second, pre-glued hexagon panel with one edge of the previously-installed panel, applying slight pressure toward the previous panel’s edge.
    • Apply firm, even pressure while attaching the second and subsequent panels with finishing nails spaced at least ¾” from all six hexagon corner edges.
    • Repeat steps 6 – 8 until you have completely covered the desired surface area of the wall.
    • Good panel alignment yields good-looking results.

     

    Conclusion

    Envirocoustic Wood Wool panels, both rectangular and hexagonal, look great, help to absorb sound, and they’re easy to install.

    Let Acoustical Surfaces help resolve your noise problem today! Learn how by submitting your noise problem here.

  7. How to Install a Door Seal Kit: Soundproofing Doors

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    How to Seal Doors: Blocking External Noise and Ensuring Privacy

    Generally speaking, most of us prefer our private conversations to remain private, but even more importantly, speech privacy and confidentiality is an un-questioned requirement in medical, legal, and business settings – just to name a few.

    Whether for personal or professional discretion, discussions behind closed doors should remain behind closed doors. And as much as we might wish to protect the privacy of our conversations, we also want to keep unwanted noise from intruding on and interfering with our hearing while we’re inside those spaces.

    Simply put: we want to keep unwanted noise outside the room, and we want to keep our own sound inside and private.

    Each and every room or space has its own unique acoustical signature – depending on its layout, dimensions, and the nature of its interior surfaces. For as many different possible room designs, therefore, there are at least as many, if not more, strategies that you could employ in soundproofing and treating them acoustically. A quick and cost-effective place to start is with your doors.

    Soundproofing: Sealing Door Frames

    door seal kitIf you’re on a budget, your best bet is to start by soundproofing your doors. You’d be amazed how much a small gap between a door and its frame can compromise a room’s ability to block sound. According to an article in Forbes, a 1 percent opening in a wall or doorway will reduce the sound blocking effectiveness of that barrier by as much as 50 percent.

    An Acoustic Door Seal Kit is a great way to start soundproofing a room because it seals the air gaps around a solid-core door with a smooth level threshold (the self-leveling bottom seal does not work well with a carpeted threshold). It’s easy to install, highly effective, and very durable.

    Installing Your Acoustical Surfaces Door Seal Kit

    Equipment you’ll need:

  8. Measuring tape
  9. Right angle
  10. Marking pencil
  11. Power miter saw with a sharp, carbide-tip saw blade
  12. Screw driver with standard variety of headsSafety glasses
  13. SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
    Ensure that you always wear safety glasses when cutting the door seal pieces because cut ends or particles can fly in the cutting process – so protect your eyes!

    Always keep your hands and fingers well clear of the blade when you are cutting the door seal pieces.

    1. Measuring the vertical height of the door frame

    You need to accurately measure the door frame before cutting the seals. A good rule of thumb is to “measure twice, cut once.” It’s helpful to note these measurements as you progress – whatever works best to ensure that you get the right measurements and don’t accidentally waste materials should you make a mistake once you start cutting.

    i. Measure the height of the hinge-side door stop (the part of the frame that the door stops against inside the jamb) from the threshold up to the inside edge of the upper door stop.

    ii. Measure the height of the latch-side door stop from the threshold up to the inside edge of the upper door stop.

    2. Cutting the vertical door seal pieces

    i. Measure the hinge-side door stop seal on the aluminum channel, i.e. not on the rubber gasket.

    ii. Mark a perpendicular/90° cutting line on the channel, and set the rubber seal side against the saw back-stop.

    iii. With the saw blade set for 90°, carefully cut the piece.

    iv. Repeat Steps i-iii for the latch-side door stop piece.

    Now that you have cut your two vertical door seal pieces, install them.

    3. Installing the vertical door seals

    i. First, install the hinge-side, vertical door seal.

    ii. Pull any extra rubber on the non-cut end back into the channel so that none is left hanging over the end.

    iii. Place the hinge-side door seal, with the cut edge down and the rubber gasket facing the door.Check for fit: ensure the rubber gasket meets the surface of the door when it is closed, but make sure that it doesn’t interfere with the door’s ability to open and close without binding.

    iv. Drill and screw the center mounting hole into the door stop first, then drill and screw the remaining holes.

    v. Repeat Steps i-iv on the latch-side, vertical door stop.

    4. Installing the top/horizontal door seal

    door seal kit
    i. Accurately measure the width between the vertical door seals at the top of the door, and cut the next piece of door seal to those measurements
    (see Section 1., “Cutting the vertical door seal pieces”)

    ii. Place the top/horizontal seal piece into position at the top of the door, with the rubber gasket facing the door. It should fit tightly into place within the vertical door seals.

    iii. Screw and drill the center screw hole first, then drill and screw the remaining holes.

    5. Adjusting the Vertical and Top Door Seal Gaskets

    i. Place a sheet of paper between the top surface of the door and the upper door seal gasket at various places between the seal and the door to determine where the seal needs to be tightened.If the seal is good, the paper should be held in place by the seal.If the seal is not snug enough, the gasket needs to be adjusted so that it makes better contact with the surface of the door.

    ii. Turn the gasket adjusting screws clockwise to move the gasket closer toward the surface of the door.

    iii. Continue until all the seals are lightly seated against the door, with no binding when opened and closed.

    If you complete the above steps correctly, a sheet of paper should be held in place when placed between the door and the seal.

    6. Installing the Automatic Threshold Seal

    Finally, attach the automatic self-leveling threshold seal directly to the face of your solid-core door. Please note: Door threshold seals are not designed to seal directly on carpet. For best results threshold seals should seat onto a solid surface. The solid surface should be positioned above the level of the floor covering on either side of the door.
    i. With the door closed, measure the distance between the insides of the two vertical door jamb seals at the bottom of the door.

    ii. Measure and mark the cutting line on the end of the threshold piece seal away from the “actuator screw” end and place the aluminum channel side against the saw back stop.

    iii. Gently pull back the rubber gasket material from the aluminum frame at the end to be cut (away from the adjustment screw) so the saw will cut ONLY the aluminum material (do NOT cut the rubber with the miter saw!).

    iv. Cut the threshold piece on your miter saw.

    Be careful to keep holding the rubber gasket away from the saw blade.

    v. Push the rubber gasket straight back into the threshold seal inner channel, then with a pair of sharp scissors, trim the rubber gasket to leave an overhang of 1/8” beyond the channel on both ends of the piece – ensuring to keep the cuts clean, straight, and at precise 90° angles.

    vi. The bottom seal must clear the floor covering – i.e. carpet, tile etc. – but NOT by more than 3/8” when the door is opened.

    Note: the actual door threshold must be solid, smooth, straight, (as with aluminum or wood, for example),and nearly level (the threshold seal will self-level onto the threshold by up to +/- 3/8”), so use appropriate height spacers on the floor when you place the threshold door seal. A carpeted or other irregular threshold will not work.

    vii. Place the bottom seal on top of the spacers – with the actuator screw towards the hinge-side of the door – and check that it fits snugly.

    viii. Screw and drill the center hole to the door first, then drill and screw the remaining holes.Note: Be careful NOT to tighten the mounting screws too much – if they are too tight, the automatic gasket will not drop or self-level correctly.

    Adjusting the Automatic Threshold Seal

    i. Adjust the actuator screw so that the gasket drops completely to the threshold when the door is closed. (Maximum gasket drop = ¾”)

    You can use a strong light source behind the door when checking your threshold adjustments. If no light shows through, you’ve sealed the threshold from sound as well.

    Conclusion

    When properly installed, the Door Seal Kit will effectively seal the gaps around your door.

    For more information and a wealth of resources, please visit https://www.acousticalsurfaces.com/.

  14. Soundproofing a Wall

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    how to install green glue in walls

    Soundproofing a room or an office is all about keeping unwanted noise out and keeping sound inside. Like thermal insulation, soundproofing a space means structurally isolating it – separating the outside from the inside.

    There are any numbers of reasons why you may want to soundproof a room. You might require professional confidentiality – such as in a lawyer’s or doctor’s office. Perhaps you want

    to create an entertainment room in your home, or maybe you’d like to seal the wall of sound in your teenager’s bedroom as they blast their tunes.

    In any scenario, you can structurally and acoustically isolate rooms by soundproofing internal walls. The goal is to increase the mass and the density of a wall, and ensure that all gaps are properly sealed. Below, we’ll show you at least one method of soundproofing an internal wall.

    Soundproofing an Internal Wall

    We will assume that you have already completed a wall frame using standard 2″×4″ studs spaced on 2′ centers.

    Determine the square footage of drywall you will need based on the measurements of the wall you’ll be soundproofing.

    Note: you’ll need a double-order of the 5/8″ drywall.

    A Few Notes on Soundproofing Materials

    Soundproofing Insulation

    For great sound blocking insulation, we recommend our UltraTouch™ Denim Insulation. It’s made of 80% post-consumer recycled denim, it doesn’t itch, and it’s easy to handle. It’s also a Class-A building material which offers maximum R- and high NRC values to reduce noise.

    Another option for wall insulation is our CFAB Cellulose Insulation Soundproofing. A first of its kind in our industry, we make our CFAB panels with a cellulose-based material consisting of 65-75% recycled content. CFAB cellulose products also represent a very highly environmentally-responsible solution for acoustical materials.

    Sound Blocking Gypsum Board

    If you’re seeking the highest value on your soundproofing investment, we also recommend that you use our SOUNDBREAK® XP® Acoustically Enhanced Gypsum Board. This innovative gypsum drywall achieves high STC ratings and lets you construct walls that are thinner, more cost effective, and very reliable. In addition to deadening sound, it’s also resistant to mold, mildew, and moisture.

    Inter-Layer Sound Blocking

    In this application, you’ll be creating a double layer of drywall, so we also recommend that you use Green Glue, sandwiched between the two layers of drywall. It’s easy to apply with a standard caulking gun, and it delivers additional damping levels as high as 30%.

    Acoustical Gap Sealant

    acoustical sealantFinally, every system is only as strong as its weakest link, so make sure that you completely seal all gaps at the edges of your new wall – walls, floors, and ceilings included. Did you know that even a 1 percent gap in a wall system can decrease its sound blocking ability by as much as 50 percent?

    We have two products which you can use for this purpose: AcoustiSeal™ Acoustical Sealant and GREENchoice™ Acoustical Sound Sealant. Each of these products is easy to apply with a standard caulking gun, and contribute to higher STC ratings for your wall(s).

    Materials and Equipment

    Standard carpentry resources: measuring/marking, drywall saw, power drill, drywall lift, caulking gun et

    Installing Drywall On the First Side of the Wall

    1. Install 1/2″ SOUNDBREAK® XP® Acoustically Enhanced Gypsum Board on the first side of your wall frame, using 1½” drywall screws.

    Installing Insulation

    1. Install 3″ UltraTouch™ Denim Insulation or 2″ CFAB Cellulose Insulation Soundproofing.

  15. 2. Cut the insulation so that it fits snugly within the 2″×4″ wall frame leaving no gaps between the wall studs and joints where vertical pieces meet.

    Applying the First Layer of Drywall on the Second Side

    1. On back side of the wall, install a layer of 5/8″ SOUNDBREAK® XP® Acoustically Enhanced Gypsum Board.

    NOTE: Leave a 1/4″ gap around the entire perimeter of the wall.

    2. Use your acoustical sealant to seal the entire 1/4″ gap – including the ceiling and the floor as well as the vertical edges of the wall.

    Applying the Second Layer of Drywall

    1. Once you’ve measured and cut your drywall, generously apply Green Glue to the backside. green glue

    NOTE: Use 2 tubes per standard 8′ sheet of drywall – or 2-1/2 tubes per 10′ sheet of drywall

    2. Screw in the second layer of drywall using 2-1/2″ drywall screws (you’ll have to penetrate two layers of 5/8″ drywall which = 1-1/4″). Remember to stagger the seams when you apply the second layer of 5/8″ gypsum board on top of the first. This will prevent any leakage due to doubled-up seams.

    3. Again, use the acoustical sealant to seal the entire 1/4″ gap – including the ceiling and the floor as well as the vertical edges of the wall.

    NOTE: The 1/4″ gap around the perimeter of the wall, once sealed, will de-couple the whole wall from the frame, thereby “isolating” it.

    4. Finally, tape, sand, prime, and paint your new wall.

    Conclusion

    While you could get even more sophisticated in terms of building fully de-coupled walls, this method will provide you incredible soundproofing quality for your investment.

    Of course, there are many strategies for every budget, so for more information and a wealth of resources, please visit https://www.acousticalsurfaces.com/.

  16. Acoustic Panels – What and Where

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    audiophile

    Acoustical treatments involve only two types of acoustic panels: absorbers and diffusers. Absorbers serve to soak up some of the excess reflected sound in a room. Diffusers, on the other hand, help to spread out the reflections in a room.

    Combining absorption and diffusion results in clearer, crisper, more satisfying acoustic experiences because it maintains some of the reverberation that is key to our ability to form accurate sound images.

    The key to good room acoustics is finding the right mix and placement of acoustic diffusers and absorbers. But just as every space has its own unique acoustic properties, there are likely many different strategies that you could apply to improve their sound.

    In this blog, we offer you several scenarios that we hope will help you to understand the principles that should guide you when determining where you should place your sound panels – as well as determine whether, when, and why to use acoustic absorbers rather than diffusers and vice versa.

    First Reflection Points

    First reflection points are the first points that sound reflects from after leaving your speakers on its way to your ears. They are responsible for the first and worst effects on a room’s acoustics.

    Therefore, to develop an acoustical treatment strategy, you should begin by finding where the first reflection points in your room are located.

    Locating the first reflection points in your room

    In our video, “Acoustic Panels – What & Where,” we demonstrate a simple method that you can use to locate the first reflection points in your room. It involves shooting a nerf gun from one of your speakers and seeing where it hits the wall on the way to your ears. But even if you don’t have a nerf gun, fear not!

    home theater sound set upYou can also use a method that involves another person, a mirror, and your speakers:

    • Ask your assistant to sit facing the speakers at your usual listening/viewing location.
    • While your assistant is facing the speakers in front of them, begin sliding a hand-held mirror horizontally along the wall at their ear height and ask them to tell you when they see the center of the speaker reflected in the mirror.
    • When your assistant says that they can see the speaker’s center in the mirror, you will have located the first reflection point for that speaker.
    • Mark that spot with a tab of painter’s tape.
    • Repeat steps 1-4 to locate and mark the other speaker’s first reflection point on the other wall as well.

    Note: this will also apply to the ceiling first reflection points if you choose to add acoustic treatments to the ceiling.

    Now that you’ve located the first reflection points on your walls, you need to decide whether to treat them with absorbers or diffusers.

    Absorption, Diffusion, and Phase

    When sound reflects off the walls of your room, it reaches you later because it’s traveling farther than the direct sound. It then destructively combines with the direct sound to interfere with your ears’ ability to accurately hear the direct sound from your speakers. As sound reflections fill a room, they also generate interference amongst themselves, and the result is poor acoustics.

    Absorbers sound bounce

    A visual on how sound bounces off from wall panel absorbers.

    It’s a lot like sloshing water around in a bathtub. When you introduce energy to the water, that energy propagates in the form of waves, generating peaks, valleys, and dead zones as the waves amplify, diminish, or cancel each other out.

    Diffusers serve to spread-out sound energy, thereby reducing the potential for the destructive interferences caused by unimpeded reflections. By spreading out a room’s sound energy, diffusers don’t diminish ambience or pitch perception the way absorbers do, but certain types of diffusion can also create problems themselves.

    Diffusers sound bounce

    A visual on how sound spreads and bounces off from curved wall diffusers.

    Some diffusers, like “quadratic residue” designs, work by distorting the timing or phase relationships within the reflections, and that damages the sound image. In other words, the acoustic experience suffers because we rely on the timing, or phase, of sounds to construct accurate sound images in our minds.

    Phase Coherence and Accurate Sound Imaging

    Curved Wall PanelsSince our hearing has evolved as a survival tool, our brains are far more sensitive to timing or phase for the purposes of sound location.

    Think of how quickly you respond when you’re surprised by a sudden, sharp, or loud noise. You instinctively look in the direction from which the sound came as your nervous system primes you either to fight, turn and run, or simply not worry. We may take this for granted, but it really underscores the amazing nature of our brains.

    In the same way that having two eyes enables our brain to construct 3-dimensional representations of the world, having two ears also enables us to hear from where a sound is originating in the same 3-dimensional space. This is similar to the highly-refined echo-location system bats use to “see” in the dark.

    Even though we might only be able to measure the difference in milliseconds, sound emanating from the same source reaches our ears at slightly different times because of their physical separation on our heads. Our brains then interpret those tiny differences almost instantaneously to determine the location of a sound source. But if the timing of a sound is somehow not what our brains expect it to be, our ability to construct an accurate sound image is thrown off. In a word, things just don’t “sound right” to our ears.

    Using phase-distorting diffusers, like quadratic residue types, results in our brain/ear combo being less able to make sense (form an accurate sound image) of the sound it’s hearing. Thus, timing accuracy, or “phase coherence” is essential for both recording and hearing accurate sound imagery.

    Check out our blogs and videos, Your Brain On Sound and How Sound Works (In Rooms), for further explanation and illustration of these ideas.

    Phase-Coherent Diffusion

    Phase-coherent diffusion enables us to better preserve the timing (phase), loudness (amplitude) and tone (harmonics) information in reflections by smoothly spreading-out those reflections and reducing ‘hot spots.’ It also enables us to use less absorption, thereby retaining a level of reverberation that’s agreeable to our ears. RCA Studios in New York, for example, used this method as early as 1941.

    Phase-coherent diffusion helps preserve accurate sound imaging and location, and provides us overall crisper, clearer sound as well a wider, stereophonic sense of space.

    Treating Walls and Corners

    In this scenario, we imagine a rectangular room about 15′ long, 12′ wide, with a standard ceiling height of 8′. To begin, we’ll treat it using 4 Medium Curve Diffusors and 4 Absorber Panels.

    Walls

    While the conventional wisdom has been to use absorber panels to treat first-reflection points, we believe that our Medium Curve Diffusors offer a more effective option in treating these highly problematic spots. Your stereo field will sound wider, yet the details will be clear and focused because our Curve Diffusors are phase-coherent.

    Start by placing Medium Curve Diffusors vertically on the first reflection points. Next, add a vertical one to the back wall, and place one horizontally on the front wall – beneath and parallel to the center speaker below the TV.

    silk metal cornerCorners

    Because corners exaggerate sound reflection even further, place a Noise-S.T.O.P. Fabrisorb panel in each corner at the front of the room to reduce side-to-side repeating reflections (also called “flutter echoes”). And finally, place two more fabric-wrapped absorber panels in the corners of the back wall to reduce front-to-back reflections along the length of your room.

    These 8 panels combine absorption and diffusion, and they will definitely improve the acoustic quality of the room. Since all rooms are unique, the above solution may work very well for one room, but your room may still require further treatment.

    Treating Ceilings

    Ceilings, like walls, are large, flat surfaces, and, as such, they should be acoustically treated. For really challenging rooms, you can also incorporate ceiling absorber panels, typically called “clouds.”

    Our Ceiling Clouds provide exceptional acoustical control across a wide range of frequencies while reducing echo and reverberation. They’re lightweight, easy to install, and suspended on ceiling-mounted cables using corkscrew-type hangers.

    For best effect, place two clouds on the ceiling at the first reflection points, and two above your seating area.

    For drop-in ceiling grids, our Silk Metal Acoustic Panels provide superior echo and reverberation reduction with an excellent NRC rating of 0.80. These state-of-the-art panels incorporate cutting-edge micro-perforation technology at a great price.

    Adding more panels

    You can also add two more Medium Curve Diffusors on each side wall at a right-angle to the seating position. This will serve to eliminate the most annoying “flutter echoes” from the viewer/listener’s perspective.

    Conclusion

    You don’t need to treat every square foot of your room to have great acoustics. A strategic combination of absorption and diffusion targeting the problem spots in your room – the first reflection points, corners, ceilings, etc. – can make a bad-sounding room into a fantastic-sounding one.

    Our Acoustical Surfaces sales staff is always happy to talk about our products with you. For more information and a wealth of resources, please visit https://www.acousticalsurfaces.com/.

  17. How Sound Works in Rooms

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    Introduction

    Most rooms have highly-reflective, flat walls, ceilings, and floors, and they can be a lot like echo chambers if left acoustically untreated. If you’ve ever been in an empty apartment or house, you’ll be familiar with the way sound reverberates in empty spaces.

    We know that too much reverberation or echo makes for unsatisfactory acoustic experiences, but without some of it, our brains are equally frustrated in forming accurate sound images.

    Why is Reflected Sound Bad?

    fabric wrapped panel
    Our video and blog, Your Brain On Sound, illustrate how acoustic environments contribute to—or detract from—our brains’ ability to construct accurate sound images. In the same way that binocular vision enables us to perceive depth of field in 3-dimensional space, the separation and orientation of our ears also enables us to accurately locate sound sources in a similar way.

    Reflected sound arrives at our ears later than original, direct sound – even though both started out at the same time. Not only that, but sound travels at about 1,130 feet/second, so in a room about 18long, for example, a sound wave will travel back and forth between the walls about 60 times in 1 second.

    In other words, sound travels so fast, it fills a room almost instantly. And considering the fact that it also propagates in 360 degrees, it’s easy to understand how a room with bare, highly-reflective surfaces will create a nearly infinite number of sound waves all reflecting in infinite directions and colliding and interfering with each other.

    All that reflected sound interferes with direct sound. While it distorts direct sound, it also generates further patterns of destructive interference – all serving to drastically diminish our listening experience.

    How Can We Make Our Rooms Sound Better?

    We can use absorbers to soak up some of the excess energy of reflected sound along with diffusers that help to even-out the sound – resulting in clearer, crisper, more-accurate sound imaging in our minds.

    sound absorbers bouncing off wallsAbsorbers

    As illustrated in our video, How Sound Works (In Rooms), you can use sound absorbers to reduce the strength of the reflected sound energy that would otherwise cause more destructive interference– but not all of it. Too much absorption makes a room sound dull, dead, and unnatural, and, typically, we don’t like overly sound-absorbent rooms.

    We offer many customizable, affordable, and highly effective absorbers. Here are a few for your consideration:

    NOISE S.T.O.P. FABRISORB™ fabric-wrapped wall panels are affordable fiberglass sound absorbers that deliver high performance value at an affordable cost. You can install them on nearly any wall and ceiling surface to reduce echo and reverberation. They come in many color and size combinations and do a great job of taming overly-reflective rooms.

    CFAB Cellulose Sound Absorber Panels are also very cost-effective, offering great performance at a low price. They control and deaden noise and reduce airborne sound transmission. They have a Class A Fire Rating, resist mold growth, and are easy to install.

    Sound Silencer™ acoustical sound panels are also Class A fire rated with both STC and NRC ratings . These panels provide high-performance sound blocking and absorption.

    sound diffusors bouncing off wallCurved Surface Diffusers

    Diffusers reduce the strength of flat-surface sound reflections by spreading out the sound energy, which smooths out and mitigates destructive interference patterns throughout a room. Every room presents unique acoustical challenges, depending on its size, layout, and purpose, but judicious deployment of diffusion is a critical component of any acoustical treatment strategy.

    For a great demonstration of how profoundly an acoustical treatment can impact sound quality, watch our video, How Sound Works (In Rooms).You’ll notice how the acoustically-treated room maintains enough reverberation to “make sense” to our ears and brains. As we illustrate in our blog and video, Your Brain On Sound, the timing/phase of the reflected sound agrees with how and where our brains “expect” to locate the source of sound.

    The CURVE System™ consists of an array of diffusers, absorbers, and corner traps that simplify the creation of professionally-accurate and natural-sounding acoustic spaces. We can help you to determine the best configuration for your work, residential, or home-entertainment rooms.

    Conclusion

    The right combination of diffusion and absorption will mitigate and decrease unwanted sound interference – while maintaining suitable ambience and tone. The result is much clearer, more natural, and better overall sound. Your ears and your brain will love it!

    For more information and a wealth of resources, please visit https://www.acousticalsurfaces.com/.