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Sound absorbers, reflectors, bass traps, and barriers???? What do I need???

Discussion in 'Room Acoustics, Audio & Video Calibration' started by NitrousOxide, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. NitrousOxide

    NitrousOxide Member

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    Hello all, I have been reading online about room sound treatment. It’s clear that there are a few types of sound treatment (absorbers, reflectors, bass traps, etc…) and a blend of all types should be used in the room to create the perfect sound environment!
    I can’t really understand what I should get for my room, it’s too confusing! Was wondering if someone with better knowledge can help me on what to get!
    I attached a picture of the room layout
    My room is 5x5 meters with a height of 3 meters
    2 doors (top one is made out of an aluminum frame with glass windows on it, the bottom door is made out of wood)
    Both windows have regular glass not sound proof.
    And the 5.1 surround system is 1000 watt RMS.
    What I want is to have better sound environment and get as loud as I want without disturbing any neighbors! So can anyone tell me how many absorbers, reflectors, bass traps and so on do I need? And where should they be placed? And is there any recommended brand or make or they all do the same thing the same quality?

    Please help this is too confusing!

    Attached Files:

  2. NitrousOxide

    NitrousOxide Member

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    anyone please?!:lease::lease:
  3. Amioa

    Amioa Member

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    i will take a look for you in the next day or so, im pretty busy today but will try and get a look later
  4. Isco 3

    Isco 3 Member

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    What you are asking requires a complicated answer.
    First you need to isolate as much as you can your room from the rest of the structure, in order to be able to play loud without disturbing anybody. Then you will work on the acoustic treatments.
  5. Amioa

    Amioa Member

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    very briefly then

    to soundproof is different from interior acoustic treatment, that is a fundamental thing to remember, no amount of absorbing panels or bass traps will keep the sound in. The only way to make the room so you can listen as loud as you like is to make a room within a room, with isolated walls, floor and ceiling.

    For interior acoustics, you havent the best sized room! a square room is fairly hard to treat due to the modal issues that a square shape brings, you can approach it 2 ways, you can turn the room layout around so the screen is across a corner, that will work slightly better, or you can treat the bass issues.

    bass is going to be the biggest problem in this case, lots of bass treatment will be required, or at least, lots of very efficient treatment, bass treatment works best in corners as this is the place that bass builds up most and energises the room modes, with the boundary surfaces as the next best place.

    Absorbors can be used to clear up the imaging and general feel of the room, but too much absorption can cause fatigue and make the room sound unnatural, so diffusion is used to help scatter the sound without absorbing it.

    the next question to ask is...what do you want from the room? do you want an acoustically flat room, or do you want just an improved room?
  6. NitrousOxide

    NitrousOxide Member

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    thank you for taking the time and helping out, but im really new to this and cant really get the hang of it, im guessing just improved room, i wont be able to turn the room around since i have doors in 2 corners of the room so im guessing ill go for the bass treatment, wouldnt that also make less noise (sound) leave the room? again thanks for helping out :)
  7. Vai

    Vai Member

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    What sort of house is it you live in? Wall material, thickness, is the house detached or do you have a shared wall with neighbours? What is above and what is the floor made of?
  8. NitrousOxide

    NitrousOxide Member

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    I’m living in a 4 story building; I am on the 4th floor, and the walls are made of cement concrete bricks, there is nothing upstairs, I got neighbors downstairs, and the right side wall of the rooms is the shared with the building stairway  the bottom wall side is the rest of the house. The bricks are 20 cm deep with air holes in them. The floor is made of concrete covered with stone tiles, and the ceiling is concrete as well.
  9. Vai

    Vai Member

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    It's the bass from the subwoofer which is your enemy.

    If you have neighbours below you then you are going to have to float a second floor on the existing one. (as well as secondary walls/ceiling).

    This is extremely expensive and you need to get the calculations right for the mass-spring-mass system.

    If you get it wrong you will make things worse.

    This is not meant to demoralise you but as far as sound isolation goes, I would save your money and get gear with it.

    ETA For acoustic treatment you want a bass trap in each corner (look up "superchunk" design on Google) and a few mid/high range absorbers on the side and rear walls.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2009
  10. Amioa

    Amioa Member

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    no need for MSM floating systems with some of todays flooring systems that are available, isolation flooring from Reduc and Isomass are very good, and are quite cost effective for performance flooring.

    superchumks are good for some bass trapping for sure
  11. Amioa

    Amioa Member

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    no, bass traps really wont stop any bass leaving the room, soundproofing required for that.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  12. Vai

    Vai Member

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    What is the structural make-up of this flooring? Is it mass-spring-mass?
  13. Amioa

    Amioa Member

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    If you go for a simple flooring it can be basic mass/damper system, dense mdf or particle board top sheet with an impact absorbing base layer (either damping strips or quilting) to soak up impact noise, granted you would put it down on the existing floor, making an MSM system of sorts, but it wont be a full rebuild, and this method doesnt require static deflection calculations so is less heavy on the brain..

    If the floor is a solid concrete slab with a building going on it, then I would get the calculator out and get a headache working it all out
  14. Vai

    Vai Member

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    Yes but with your damping strips or quilting layer, this method is not going to do much for 30KHz of subwoofer either.

    Precisely my point and a wallet ache also :)
  15. Amioa

    Amioa Member

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    to be fair though, on a wood floor not much will deal with 30hz without a completely new floor, though saying that, the Auralex Mopads significantly reduce transmission when used with these newer floorings, worth a punt before getting the builders in
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2009
  16. Vai

    Vai Member

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    Yeah, that was pretty much my point. Anything less is pointless.



    As far as I know Mopads are designed to "tighten up" the bass on reference monitors placed on meter bridges and the like. (I have something similar under my monitors :)) I don't think they're going to be much for sound isolation.

    Do you use Auralex for home cinema and studio?
  17. Amioa

    Amioa Member

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    mopads do a good job at isolating the speakers from the surfaces, they are not as good as a proper MSM device for isolation but they do stop a fair bit, they are designed to stop the monitors passing vibration to the desk or whatever they happen to be stood on, much like the GRAMMA for larger speakers and subs, put 2 mopads together with a marble slab from Argos and you get pretty good results

    I dont use Auralex no(only the mopads really), most of the wall panel foam is outperformed by making your own traps, I prefer to advise DIY - like the OP has done - and specialist companies for bass traps and diffusers
  18. Vai

    Vai Member

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    Yeah but the effect is to refine what is coming out of the speaker rather than stopping the noise from the speaker passing into the room and through the building structure. A Mopad doesn't reduce the volume of sound coming out of the speaker cone.

    I have a Marshall on synthetic supports much like Mopads in a basement room. The ceiling/ground floor is 30cm thick poured concrete slab on steel beams.

    I chose not to do a room within room for space purposes and you can hear the amp with or without the rubbery stuff.

    Mopads come under the heading of acoustic treatment IMO.

    It would be nice though if the rest of the Auralex stuff worked as well as its aesthetics. :)
  19. Amioa

    Amioa Member

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    we'll agree to disagree on mopad use, ive had some good results using them for isolation in conjunction with other things, though you are right to say there is no substitute for proper isolation...As for the aesthetics of auralex, you are dead right, it doesnt work as well as it looks.
  20. NitrousOxide

    NitrousOxide Member

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    ok... so I got to use superchunks on all 4 corners of the room, will isolate doors and windows, get MoPAD for speakers and sub, and a couple of absorbers on side walls and Diffusers on the back wall.
    This should somehow reduce sounds coming out of the room to a noticeable degree but will not completely block sounds.
    My next project would be isolating the right shared walls and floors, I can’t isolate the whole rooms
    but this is another headache itself
  21. binbag

    binbag Member

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    Surely the first question on the path to improvement has to be "What's wrong?" Are the neighbours actully complaining? Is the dialogue difficult to make out or when it gets busy on screen does it all turn into sonic spaghetti?

    At the risk of upsetting the OP is all this effort really necessary for a HITB on a solid concrete floor? I've just helped a work colleague plumb in one of these and it was running out of puff in a medium sized room.

    Bass can be a nightmare (even with a good sub) and your room dimensions indicate placement issues on the horizon but TBH sticking a sock ball into the port improves these things as much as all the clever stuff we try. (I have a REW mapped Monolith, sat on a Killvibe, sat on a Gramma).

    My 2p: Get the sub off the floor and get a big thick mat. Any more than that is wasted on this level of kit.

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