Summer Sound Series: More Noise Than Joy…Church Acoustics
We have a large multi-purpose room in our church that we love to use for events, but when it’s full of people, the noise is terrible. The room has a vinyl floor, sheetrock walls and a sheetrock ceiling. Are there any church acoustical treatments that we can put in place to make this a better experience for everyone?
I have two pieces of good news for you:
- You’re not the first one with this problem.
- I’ve got a very straightforward approach that has worked in every instance where it was used, so there is a solution.
As I’ve mentioned in other blog posts, I’ve been asked “How many panels do I need?” enough times that I figured that there had to be a relationship between the size/volume of a room and the number of panels that made people comfortable in that room.
Cubic Volume × 3% = square footage of panels
I would probably start by installing some kind of acoustical panel directly onto the ceiling of the room, for two main reasons:
- In a room like this, there aren’t likely to be objects hitting the ceiling.
- The panels might tend to be a little bit less distracting on the ceiling than they would on the walls.
Another thing that I run into all the time for projects like this is that the budget to fix the problem is quite lean, and understandably so. Building is expensive. I usually send out three product samples for churches in situations like this to consider:
In just about every installation, people end up purchasing the Echo Eliminator panels, mostly because of the price. These are some of the most cost effective, Class A-rated acoustical panels on the market. They are also some of the most absorbent. They are not the most aesthetically pleasing panels in the world, nor are they the most abuse resistant, but if they are put on the ceiling or high up on the walls, you are so far away from them when you’re standing on the ground, that you are not likely to notice anyway.
The Fabric Wrapped Fiberglass panels are MUCH more decorative looking and just as absorbent, but they are probably three or four times the cost as the Echo Eliminator panels. Most people who are sitting in a church board meeting looking at samples REALLY want to go with the Fabric Wrapped Fiberglass option, but when they compare the quotes, it’s usually not in the budget.
Good luck, and we hope that your church is now full of the joyful noise that was meant to be!