Remember that when we moved to our new home our dialogue was echoing within the walls of empty rooms. As time passed furniture, curtains, shelves and pictures, or other home accessories were placed at their final position thus the acoustics of the room changed as well. The importance of acoustics treatment can be observed during ordinary conversations however it comes into greater focus if we have a dedicated room for home theatre in our flat, run a home theatre or a Hi-Fi audio system in the living -room.
What does acoustics mean?
The word acoustic is derived from the Greek language, acoustic is the science of sound that deals with the generation and transmission of sound. The term acoustics is the sound characteristics of a room.
Why should I care about the acoustics of the room treatment?
In case we would like to achieve the best sound with our carefully selected audio equipment we cannot neglect the acoustics of the room. The location of the impeccable equipment within the room is an important aspect however it is not enough in itself in most cases.
Room acoustics play a key role in designing auditoriums, recording studio, concert and theatre halls. With a well-planned design and specific tools one can achieve the same acoustic characteristics for an empty as well as for a crowded auditorium. For this purpose, already in the building process for example drop ceilings are formed in such a way to direct the soundwaves towards the audience, while other architectural solutions reduce echo.
Also, the building process of movie theatres is carried out in line with the given specification since even the most expensive equipment cannot offer the perfect movie experience if the acoustics of the room is not adequate.
Implementation with the existing feedstocks
If we design a home theatre or a recording studio for sound recording in one of the rooms of our family house, we can implement it taking into account the existing parameters and feedstock tims. In such cases the acoustics of the room is given which we can measure and improve the sound in the room with the proper acoustic panels.
Why does the same equipment sound differently in two different rooms?
In physics sound is a vibration that propagates in the air as a mechanical wave. If we switch on the home theatre system the sound that is emanating from it vibrates the particles of the air and this vibration is transmitted from particle to particle travelling as a soundwave until it reaches a solid surface within the room. Depending on the surface being it the wall of the room made of bricks or plasterboard, the window or the curtain, the route of the sound continues in different ways. Depending of their density some materials absorb while others reflect the sound that reaches them. This is why it may happen that we hear the same equipment in a different way if we use it in another place.
What are the frequent problems regarding acoustic treatment for which our customers contact us?
Most of the problems are caused by the reverberation time, reflections, the echo in a room, or recording studio or rather the D.I.Y. or acoustic foam treatment of them which causes secondary problems i.e. the over-dampening of the high frequencies. Many people use styrofoam or acoustic foam if they notice some kind of anomaly in their room or studio.
Very often they cover a large area of wall by one of the materials mentioned above but they experience sadly that it became even worst. The reason is that these materials – acoustic foam and styrofoam – are not suitable to absorb the bass however they absorb the high frequencies by which they have an opposite impact on the sound: low frequencies become even more dominant.
The first task should be to attenuate bass frequencies
Another common problem in room acoustics is over dampening. If somebody picks up some information about the treatment of echo and purchases some bass absorbers, he or she can easily over- dampen the bass which also makes the listening to music or watching movies unpleasant.
The sounds not only need to be absorbed but also to be scattered in order to get a clean dynamic sound without echo, we will need also diffusers to achieve this. It is unnecessary to pack the whole room with diffusion elements and accessories, we place them only at the reflection points.
What steps should be taken to the room’s acoustics in such cases?
If the quality of the carefully selected and pricey equipments and accessories is deteriorated by the bad acoustics of the room then as a first step, we need to identify the parameters and the areas which should be improved based on acoustic measurements in the room. During the measurement we do not focus on the sound or the performance of the equipment these are not that we are evaluating. We measure the acoustic properties of the room or studio by which we can point out essential weaknesses of the room or studio from acoustic aspect and make recommendations how to solve these issues.
How do we improve the acoustics of the room?
The sound of the room or studio can be improved by placing acoustic panel, accessories into it. Upon our measurements we can tell exactly what type of panel should be placed at which point of the room in order to reach the desired result.
Acoustic panels – stylish, unique design elements of the flat
Most of the people – especially the ladies in the family – are getting worried about that they will need to show a major compromise for the sake of good sounding. However, it shouldn’t be the case. Acoustic panels can be prepared in various colours and patterns, even with unique – e.g. Family – photos. Depending on the type of the panels they can be placed on the floor or mounted on the wall. Their cleaning doesn’t require a special care either as the panels are wooden, covered with imitation of leather or acoustic velvet therefore they can be wiped with a wet cloth.
Sound diffusion, absorption and isolation are the most important tasks in the acoustic treating of recording and mixing studios. Professional bass traps have excellent sound absorption and isolation properties, they can trap the deeper frequency range. We start developing acoustics by treating the corners. The diffusion product scatter the sounds evenly in space. Audio recording can only be perfect with professional treating. Bass traps can not only be used in recording and mixing studios to handle the deep frequency range, they also work well in a home studio in terms of sound absorption and isolation. The acoustic foam and the product made with DIY methods will not be able to trap the left sounds, the acoustic foam will not have favorable results. If you live in a noisy environment or work in an open-plan office, sound absorption is also required in this type of space. If you feel dead beat or have problems in your privacy, there may be a constant noise about it all.
Written by Róbert Polgár