Making Your Home Theater Sound Better – Part 1: The role of the room

Making Your Home Theater Sound Better – Part 1: The role of the room

This article is divided into two parts. In the first part we discuss the importance of the home theater room parameters like room dynamics that plays no less role than the acoustical equipment that are installed in the room. In Part 2, we will be discussing how to absorb unwanted sound and tackle reverberation and echo as well as some tips for guidance.

When manufacturers of cheaper stereo products began assembling cassette players, amplifiers, record turntables and radio tuners all in a single plastic box, the frank audiophiles would flaunt the supremacy of component systems. In a component system, each different part could be chosen based on its quality and ability to merge with the other components to produce a great sound system. But what was overlooked to bring to the knowledge of the users happens to be the fact that the room itself is one among the top most single components of a good sound system.

The layout, size, and the several items inside the room also will affect the quality of sound of your home theater system. The paint used for the walls, the windows, the furniture and all the other items in the room will influence the room acoustics. Most potential users do not take tis into consideration when they pay in thousands for the equipment box seats, huge screens, and other accessories of an ideal theater. If you are looking for the finest fidelity as well as sound experience, you have to be knowledgeable about how acoustic panels are able to enhance the experience of your home theater.

Room dynamics

Today’s modern home, having hard surfaces and high ceiling, presents a bad acoustic environment.  Then there are the sound reflections to content with, as also the effects of dampening (sound deadening) caused by various materials. Also present are entities known as standing waves, which are actually distortions of sound  that are present like unseen swirling statues in the theater space due to the specifications of the room size, arrangement and internal reflective surfaces. It can really cause an acoustical nightmare.

Now, there are other treatments like soundproofing that are connected with this topic but are not dealt with in detail in this article. Soundproofing is done to make sure that the sound produced in the room is not leaked out, and also that sound coming from outside is not able to enter in. But, few of the fundamental steps of soundproofing are inevitable parts of the design of your basic home theater. This may be of help to you right from the beginning in facing the challenge of constructing a room-within-a-room, that is, the sound-controlled, isolated space of your home theater.

 

 

Get Relief of Disquieting Noise with Soundproofing

Get Relief of Disquieting Noise with Soundproofing

There exist several reasons for carrying out soundproofing. The most important reason among them for soundproofing being creation of a peaceful environment. You may be troubled by the traffic noise outdoors or the noisy neighbors in the flat above or adjacent door in a multi-residential building or office building. You may also wish to carry out the soundproofing of a juvenile’s bedroom for keeping away the clamor of the stereo, or the baby’s room for keeping noises out. Whatever may be your reason for desiring a quieter and lesser noise; there exists a definite soundproofing method for doing the particular job right.

In case you have taken the decision to take up the soundproof job yourself, first you have to determine where the source of the noise is. This will help you to plan how to approach the issue of soundproofing. Sound can originate from a very large number of sources both internal as well as external and therefore you have to start by switching off every one of the appliances and other electrical items at home and listening to track the source of the sound. You are aware that noise can pass through even the tiniest of gaps or cracks in your room and so you will start checking the windows, walls, doors, ceilings and the corresponding sealants. Also it is advisable to carry out this test on several occasions and different days as well as different times during the day.

Soundproofing can give more Privacy:

The uniqueness of soundproofing of an area like a wall is judged by sound transmission class (STC). Normal private conversation can be heard and comprehended on the other side of a wall of STC-25 rating. When you improve the soundproofing to STC-60, not a difficult one to achieve, a loud shouting will be audible but not comprehended. For a good outdoor wall only adding thermal insulation like cellulose or fiberglass, will save energy, but that alone will only marginally help in soundproofing it. If you make the wall totally airtight it might have a larger impact in stopping external noise from neighbors and traffic.

Inner walls in most of the homes are not thoroughly insulated.  A single drywall layer nailed to 2×4 studs will have a STC of about 34. This would mean that loud talking can be heard and understood on the other side of the wall. In older homes, there can be openings and gaps in walls making things much worse. A minimum of STC 48 is specified for a normal bedroom wall when the adjoining bedroom is normally not noisy. In the case of a bedroom wall adjoining a noisy living room or a kitchen, the minimum recommended is STC-52, STC-58 being considered optimal. The level of noise tolerance also varies according to individuals.

Spray Foam Insulation In A Nutshell

Spray Foam Insulation In A Nutshell

 

Spray foam insulation functions for any house, be it a recently built one or an ancient one. It assists keep pollutants and allergens outside the house even as also decreasing the stress on the cooling and heating system of the structure. Although the insulation is ideal for providing general effect throughout the house, specific areas are present that could require it the maximum, for example the basement, the walls, and the attic. In these areas it can be applied letting you to experience until 50% better conservation of energy and also better control of moisture in your house.

 

Usually the spray foam insulation is generally divided into three groups. The first kind is retrofit by which it is not used for anything else other than insulating and renovating the house. The second kind is addition which is utilized for extending the present system as suggested by its name. Then a custom type is present that is utilized for insulating a recently constructed home. Spraying of the foam is done on the insulation for filling the gaps and supply an airtight barrier that lets your home to remain as it should.

 

There are many benefits that spray foam insulation has in comparison other methods of insulation like fiberglass and cellulose insulation. Fiberglass insulation is somewhat out-of-date and hence a lot of people favor using spray foam insulation which has been proven and tested to work efficiently and has been about since the previous decade or two. Also people consider the difficulty level for installation, and installing spray foam is a lot easier in comparison to other methods of insulation like fiberglass.

 

One more benefit of utilizing spray foam insulation is that it isn’t susceptible to attack by pests, termites, and remaining rodents as it applies to other methods like cellulose insulation. Also it provides good soundproofing capabilities, it is energy efficient and cool and hence your monthly bills for utility will be considerably lessened when you are utilizing it. Usually it is applied in form of liquid, and subsequently it expands by as much as hundred times its existing liquid size in only a few seconds. It complies with and fills each tiny gap while it expands for creating a sealed thermal envelope. In turn this creates a defensive wall against wind and also a protection against leakage.

 

This insulation is further divided into two types, called the open and closed cells. The basis of this subdivision is the location of various places in the house and also the climatic conditions. Each system has its benefits based on some factors. Open cells are reasonably advantageous when considering providing better rejection of sound while the closed cells are inferior when considering sound rejection. The cost of open cells is moderate in comparison to the closed cells. By nature the open cells have more flexibility while the closed cells are more inflexible and hence it is quite hard to move them around. The closed cells will though be the superior option in an area that is flood prone because they do not allow water in.

Soundproofing Your Garage for Band Practice-Part: 2 Further improvements

Soundproofing Your Garage for Band Practice-Part: 2 Further improvements

In Part 1 we discussed about how to build a soundproof room inside your garage. Now will look into some further improvements.

Now there are a few more decisions to be made. If you find that the sound produced by your band is too bassey or the vibration from your bass guitar or acoustic drums is too much, you may like to float the ceiling and walls by using furring channels and sound clips.

Use of MLV

Suppose you have decided that it is not necessary to have a float, then the next thing to do will be to fix up a mass loaded vinyl layer directly to the ceiling joists and the studs. It would be ideal to use a mass loaded vinyl with 1lb per sq. ft, density for this purpose. MLV works with best efficiency when it can move or resonate with the sound. Hence it is recommended that stapling the MLV straight to the joists and studs of your ceilings and walls is the best. It is also advisable to overlap the seams unless for some reason, all your seams end upon joists and studs. If the seams land straight on the studs, abut the seams and apply caulk on them.

After fixing the MLV, you will have to apply caulk on all of the seams and also the boundary of the vinyl. The recommended caulk is the OSI-175 which is excellent for this purpose. After applying the caulk liberally on these areas you will have to tape the butted MLV seams with either good quality seam tape or a lead foil tape.

Now we are almost completed the job. Now that the soundproofing is done and so is the sealing, the time has come for installing the last layer of drywall of 5/8″ fire code. This will help to sandwich in the MLV and add considerably to the general soundproofing system. After fixing the drywall, you just have to tape, mud, and paint according to the normal practice.

The method, as explained above, of soundproofing a garage is also suitable for a basement as well. You will find that the experience of soundproofing from the concept of ‘room within a room’ will produce some very remarkable results. You have successfully overcome the obstacles of soundproofing in your garage and finally you have a wonderful place to practice or play even at 2:30 in the early morning, which is the time when most musicians usually get inspired without disturbing your neighbors.

It is hoped that this article helps those who are in the quest for a perfect garage set up for a studio. It has helped many musicians throughout the world. Moov Group has developed the necessary expertise and products in soundproofing and can guide you in your endeavors related to noise control and soundproofing.

Soundproofing Material – The 3 Best Types

Soundproofing Material – The 3 Best Types

 

When you plan to soundproof a home or a specific area or room, it is vital to first pay attention to the difference between soundproofing and sound absorption since these two terms are usually confused and interchanged to imply the same thing. For improving the sound in a room sound absorption is required. This is utilized when making a home theater or a recording studio. Alternatively soundproofing aims for blocking off sound from leaving or penetrating a particular space.

 

Soundproofing aims to decrease or devalue the sounds coming into or leaving an area through the application or installation of noise and sound barriers. This can be done by many materials in the market. Soundproofing materials are used for many reasons. Also with the technological developments, more simpler and cost effective installations can be made now. Prior to making any decisions for soundproofing, ensure to consider many factors – the area in which your home is situated, the origin or kind of noise, and certainly, the budget you are agreeable to pay out for the soundproofing.

 

One excellent thing for knowing is the STC of sound transmission rating. This denotes the amount of soundproofing; higher indexes have higher ability to take in sound. A standard wall would have a rating for STC 20 or 25. You can hear normally through it. But, if you would like speech suppressed to a murmur, you will need a rating for STC around 42.

 

One very beneficial method is using foam insulation. Lead-lined foams and sheetrock must be installed through constructing the home. Or else, installing these would need tearing down present sections of the wall or sometimes the complete wall. Spray foam is extremely suggested for any space having thickness from 1/2 inch to 2 inches. It has a rating for STC 40 to 50. Spraying of foam is done into the walls devoid of having to remove drywall pieces and hence will not need any major rebuilding.

 

Vinyl soundproofing or what is known as mass loaded vinyl, alternatively has an STC rating of around 42 to 55. It is extremely lightweight and has mass higher than what you can expect from a material having such thinness. It is precisely this feature that gives MLV its capabilities of soundproofing.

 

Also rock wool is one more good choice for insulation. On pressing this material into rolls or sheets it has the ability to efficiently absorb and insulate sound.

 

Just keep in mind that whatever soundproofing material is selected, the ultimate advantage shall be quiet and peace. Whether it is for work nights without noise at home devoid of having to worry regarding noisy children or only to suppress the city noise from the bedroom, the suggested materials above will function just fine in bringing a big change in the extent of noise entering a particular area.

Rubber Molding: Different Choices for Different Applications

Rubber Molding: Different Choices for Different Applications

 

If you find that only rubber products can deliver benefits that you need, then you have to know a little more about what is possible by using rubber molding.

 

The process of molding can be used to make almost any kind of component or part, from exceptionally small pieces to extremely large ones. Rubber molding can offer a solution to fulfill many of your specific needs including insulator pads, cylindrical isolators, conical isolators, strip mounts, bumpers and feet, torsional mounts and many more.

 

Kinds of Rubber Used

 

But, there are two main considerations in the field of molded rubber – neoprene and natural rubber. Both provide vibration control and dampening, and also slip resistance and remaining benefits. Alternatively, materials such as these are not suitable for the same applications.

 

For instance, natural rubber must not be utilized in applications where the temperature will exceed 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Besides, if immersed in oil natural rubber will start to breakdown and degrade. Suppose your application doesn’t need the rubber to be submerged in oil and has a lesser operating temperature, subsequently this material can be a great choice.

 

Neoprene is little tougher than ordinary rubber, at least when considering oil and heat resistance. Neoprene has the ability of withstanding temperatures nearing 180 degrees Fahrenheit, and opposes the corrosive effects oil has, as well. Apparently, oil resistance and temperature are both very vital qualities, whether for consumer automobiles you are making a rubber mount or looking for control of vibration for industrial machinery.

 

Other Considerations

 

Obviously, finding the ideal material for molding of your rubber requirements is more complex than just oil and temperature resistance ratings. You should know the compression required in the scenario of installation, and also the presence of disturbing frequency in case you are creating a product for vibration isolation. Also rubber molding will require that for your application you utilize the right durometer – the resistance of material to indentation.

 

Remaining considerations when utilizing rubber molding for creating pads, custom mounts, or isolators include resonance, static and shear deflection, all of these have a role to create the optimum product for your particular needs. Also transmissibility and spring rate are considerations that you have to make.

 

Finding the Right Firm

 

For making certain that the needs of your rubber molding are met, it is advisable for you to work with a company renowned for quality and innovation. The right firm for rubber molding can help you identify the diverse requirements for strips, mounts, isolators, and pads, and subsequently create an exclusive design on the basis of those requirements and the rubber material working best for you.

 

Not being able to work with the correct molding firm can have detrimental repercussions, hence making the right decision here is important to ensuring the best performance, highest quality, and highest longevity feasible in your rubber products.

How to Acoustically Treat a Gymnasium

How to Acoustically Treat a Gymnasium

 

Due to their typically reflective and hard surfaces, gymnasiums usually have inferior acoustics making it hard to understand speech due to the reverberations and echoes in combination with the high activity level that generally occurs within them.

 

The standard gymnasium has a time of reverberation of about 3 – 7 seconds. This results in a series of identical, non-directional reflections that are far inferior to only a single echo. This is able to give the feeling of sound present everywhere that can cause distraction even in the most favorable circumstances.

 

Fighting gymnasium reverberations

 

An excellent way for tackling these reverberations would be acoustical hanging baffles or acoustical wall panels. Hanging baffles having two sides with their edge uncovered to the noise can absorb it. This makes it possibly the optimum way to deal with gymnasium reverberations.

 

At double the surface dimension of a wall panel, a 2 feet X 4 feet hanging baffle also has the additional edge area giving an instant advantage of adjacently-mounted wall panels. These 2 inch baffles have absorption of a remarkable 18 square feet along with a coefficient close to a theoretical limit of 1.00. Wall panels can absorb sound only through their front surfaces so these can be great additions that have also immense value for investment.

 

After installing the baffles, you can subsequently add wall panels for regulating any side-to-side reflections. This contends with any troublesome echoes from reflections that are direct. For gymnasiums, panels such as these must be high-impact in the instance of damage (footballs etc.). Also there is a breakup of direct reflections by seating or remaining objects the room has, so lesser wall panels could be required.

 

For sure, a gym will most probably still sound like a gym, however when treated acoustically it will sound clearer and better – not very dry. If a gym sounds excessively ‘dead’ it can produce what is referred to as a sonic detachment with the accessible visual space – think of lip-synched or dubbed music when presented to a live gathering. Not actually enchanting, is it? The acoustics should go with the surroundings for the purpose of creating a comfy place to train; hence striking a balance is vital.

 

Conclusion

 

Hanging baffles are extremely efficient, slightest intrusive choice for soundproofing gymnasiums; they are also generally the optimum value for cash, and are installed concealed above the lights, hence you do not have to bother about the general finish. With the additional surface area, fewer pieces are there to install. With inclusion of wall panels, your gymnasium that is treated acoustically is complete.

 

Foam Insulations

Foam Insulations

Foam insulation in the form of spray expands when injected into the cavities of walls filling the gaps and providing insulation. Though there are several insulators like fiberglass and non-fiberglass, foam insulation is widely used by homemakers, because it fills the cavities in wall completely. Foam insulation is able to reduce infiltration of air via cavities considerably reducing air circulation inside cavities thereby avoiding the necessity of vapor barrier. A coating of foam is combined with different types of insulation inside wall cavities to facilitate energy efficiency and air sealing at a lower cost. Insufficient insulation and leakage of air are the main reasons for energy wastage in homes mostly.

Insulation against sound waves

Spray foam insulation is also found helpful in keeping out undesired noise. It comprises the application of open cell-spray foam that penetrates neatly through cavities in the wall as small as a dime. The foam after entering the space at the rear of the sheetrock, expands considerably, successfully sealing even the tiniest nooks and crevices.

The drywall is unaffected in this technique of pumping sound-blocking foam into tiny holes and does not have any invasive effect on your living area. It also fulfills the four important features like mass, decoupling, absorption, and dampening (silencing the bass music), ensuring a soundproofing having the maximum possible Sound Transmission Class rating.

How it works and advantages

The liquid of polyurethane, a foaming agent is injected into ceilings, walls, and floor cavities with a nozzle. It chemically reacts after spraying, and expands to become a hard cellular plastic, having millions of minute air cells occupying every nook and fissure. Foam insulation can be used with best advantage in insulating borders of steel frames and other outlets as it expands to seal the areas tightly. It works as an air barrier eliminating the necessity for air-tightness measures. This increases energy savings and minimizes the need for bigger cooling and heating systems. Foam insulations generally help to maintain air quality indoors by preventing off-gassing of explosive organic compounds. More importantly it does not shrink, settle, sag or biodegrade.

Foam insulation can be compared with insulating your home with a material as safe as pillows. Most of foam insulations contain materials similar to what mattresses and pillows are filled with. It can be easily installed, it is environmentally safe, and compared to traditional insulation, it saves more energy. It can be used wherever traditional insulation is used, but it need not be stuffed and crammed inside, just sprayed into the required area.

As for its disadvantages, some foam insulations contract while curing. Next, they are combustible (other than Cementitious foam) and need to be protected from sunlight and solvents. Foams are not all that open. “Open cell” type is much better than closed cell type, but still, its performance is not as high as mineral fiber or fiberglass.

 

 

Soundproofing Your Garage for Band Practice-Part 1: Room within a room

Soundproofing Your Garage for Band Practice-Part 1: Room within a room.

Part 1 of this article deals with the structural work and technique of soundproofing a garage and in part 2, further improvements are discussed.

Garage soundproofing is more complicated than what you may think it is. When you undertake the job of a real soundproofing job in a garage, you will discover that there are certain obstacles to be overcome as you proceed with your job. One such obstacle is the door of the garage. Even the metal doors that are insulated are not sufficiently soundproof to contain the sound of a rock ‘n’ roll band played in the garage, particularly if there are acoustic drums and a very big bass amplification system.

Room inside a room

The most ideal and effective approach to make your garage really soundproof is to physically build another room inside the existing garage. This means that you should have some knowledge of framing and construction, but really it is not very complicated at all. For framing to be used for the new room you can make use of support structures of size 2 feet by 6 feet instead of 2 feet by 4 feet if the same is feasible, though a frame of 2 feet by 4 feet will be equally effective. The reason for recommending the 2 feet by 6 feet frame, is that it will allow make room for more trapped air space after the room gets completed.

Once the framing work is completed, which includes a new ceiling supported on joists, you are ready to install the time-tested good old fire resistant drywall of 5/8″ size on the external studs and joists. The actual job of soundproofing will be done inside the newly constructed room.

Soundproofing the inside

After you complete the drywalling of the outer side of the inner wall and ceiling, the next step is to start the soundproofing of the inside of the new room. The first job is to stick a ¼” closed cell foam layer to the internal stud and joist cavities. It is to be remembered that we are only lining the cavities, not filling them. The foam mat may be stuck using a good adhesive spray (like the 3M-77 or 3M-80). Of the two opposite sides of the foam mat, one side is smooth and one pebbly, and you must glue it in such a way that the smooth side faces out and the rough side faces the inner part of the cavity. The closed cell foam serves three purposes. One, it blocks and absorbs the sound, next it blocks and absorbs vibration, and the third and most important purpose is that, it seals off the trapped air gaps between the joists and studs. The trapped dead airspace is the natural way of soundproofing, provided the sealing is done perfectly.

 

Building, Design for Sound and Acoustics, Part 3, Understanding Decibels

Building, Design for Sound and Acoustics, Part 3, Understanding Decibels

 

Quick Point # 1 Decibel (dB) = standard unit of the intensity of a sound.

 

A fundamental knowledge of measuring loudness or sound levels is an essential ingredient in the correct design and planning of any public space or room. To completely understand decibels you have to know that loudness devoid of a measure that is standardized is subjective. To you what is loud might not be to another. On aging and experiencing life your ears will be affected by both outside and normal influences. These changes could affect the way we hear and could also affect our sensitivity to levels of sound at particular frequencies. Things are not heard by any two people the same way.

 

In the audio industry the measurement used most commonly is called the Decibel (dB). A (dB) measures the sound intensity, Sound Pressure Level (SPL), volume or loudness level of a sound. The standard measure dB is used in specifications of audio equipment. Also it is the standard used by professionals in construction industry for soundproofing materials and similar applications that involve the treatment or suppression of sound energy. The decibel scale was made to place a measure universally accepted on levels of sound pressure. It is a logarithmic scale of measurement of efficient sound pressure with reference to a reference value.

 

A variation of 1 dB is equal to a (+ or -) 10% variation in level of volume. A variation of (+) 10dB is equivalent to a 100% raise in the level of reference volume. A variation of (-) 10dB is equivalent to a decline of 50% in the level of reference volume. According to logic 100 dB must be double as loud as 50 dB. In reality it is 32 times as loud. Let us look into one of the usual specifications using dB as a reference. Given below is the specification of an ordinary loudspeaker. It displays a frequency response of 38 hZ (bass) to 22 kHz (treble). The ±3dB tells us is that this speaker can differ from this specification to the extent of +30% or -30%. When thinking of it in those terms that difference in 3dB can be reasonably significant in how those speakers perform.

 

“Frequency response of speaker 38 Hz – 22 kHz ±3dB”

 

The scale of measurement can be a little confusing in the beginning but once known becomes a crucial tool in the design, planning, and building of a facility.  A precise way will be given by it for determining the efficiency of any material or equipment used in the building process. If you are concerned about transmission of sound from one room to another or reverberation of sound (echo) inside a room knowledge of the measurement scale in decibels is necessary. You can properly specify the right solution for your project by knowing the decibel scale.

 

Just keep in mind that 10 dB is more than only 10 dB it is = to 2x or ½ of the level of sound.