Tag Archive: acoustic panels

  1. Installing Sound Silencer Panels

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    Noise levels in large spaces with highly-reflective surfaces can quickly become overwhelming – especially if they are left acoustically untreated. The best strategy is to use acoustical absorber panels to reduce some of the energy of reflected sound as well as acoustical diffuser panels to help even it out.

    By diminishing and spreading out the reflected sound energy, our ears and brains are better able to focus on the sound that reaches us directly from the source.  It also makes it easier for people to speak with and hear one another. To learn more about how manipulating sound energy works, you can read our blog, How Sound Works in Rooms.

    Rigid Porous ARPRO® Acoustical (P.E.P.P.) Planks for Walls and Ceilings

    Our unique Sound Silencer™ Rigid Porous ARPRO® Acoustical (P.E.P.P.) Planks for Walls and Ceilings deliver high performance with both STC and NRC ratings, and they’re Class A fire rated. They work well in both interior and exterior applications; they’re lightweight and cleanable; and they resist moisture, impact, bacteria, and fungi. These sound absorber/sound blocker panels look great and are easy to install in either wall or ceiling applications for effective sound control.

    Installing the Sound Silencer

    You can easily install Sound Silencer™ panels (also referred to as ‘planks’) either by screwing or gluing them to walls or ceilings. Below, you’ll find step-by-step instructions, and for further visual reference, you can watch our video, Sound Silencer Install – Acoustical (P.E.P.P.) Planks for Walls and Ceilings.

    Method 1 – Mounting Panel With Adhesive

    Equipment and Materials:

     

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

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

     

    Applying Adhesive to the Back of the Panelsound silencer acoustic panel

      • Using a caulking gun, lay a bead of TitebondGREENchoice Panel & Subfloor Adhesive around the entire perimeter, about 1-1/2” from the edge 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 triangular empty spaces between the adhesive lines of the perimeter and “X” adhesive beads from Step 2.

    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 and top to set edge adhesive.
    • Apply even and firm pressure to set adhesive for remaining area.
    • Also apply pressure toward the seam when panels abut each other.
    • Repeat steps 1 through 3 for the rest of your wall panels until complete.

    sound silencer acoustic panel

    Method 2 – Mounting Panel with Screws

    Equipment and Materials:

     

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

    • Measure and mark distance to one edge (side/horizontal) of desired panel location from nearest boundary (already installed panel, door frame, adjacent wall, etc.)
    • Measure and mark distance to top of desired panel location from ceiling – if you are adding a panel to a previously-installed one, you can mark the top edge horizontal line using the installed panel as a guide.

     

    Attaching the Panel to the Wallinstalling sound silencer

    • Pre-set screws 2” from sides and corners. Note: dark decking or dark finishing screws work well.
    • Align panel with side and top marks.
    • Carefully drive in pre-set screws.
    • Set screw heads flush with panel surface.

     

    Conclusion

    Congratulations – you’ve just improved the acoustics and décor for your application.

    For more information on our wide range of acoustical products, please visit Acoustical Surfaces online or call us. One of our representatives will be ready to discuss your unique acoustical requirements.

  2. 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.

  3. 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/.