Advice sought on room treatment

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bob Sorel, Oct 21, 2001.

  1. Bob Sorel

    Bob Sorel Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi guys,
    I recently built 8 sound absorbtion panels following the recipe on Thomas and Ron's Klone Audio site (a site which I highly recommend), and just threw them around the room to discover the effects on my system. The panels are 48" x 24" and I randomly leaned them against the walls as a starting point. The results are already quite dramatic, with a more even bass response throughout the room (not as many or as drastic modes), with a deeper, punchier sound. My center channel speaker never sounded so good, as dialog sounds even more natural than before.
    I have a few questions and concerns:
    1. Since my room is only 7 feet high, I can not use 2 of the panels one above the other. Should I construct some 3 foot high panels for this purpose?
    2. How do I determine the optimum placement of panels? If I understand correctly, they should not be mounted against the walls, but rather should be elevated 4" off the surface, right? Experimenting with different placement isn't the most desirable approach since I would have to make a lot of holes in my walls in order to mount the panels properly.
    3. Since I have quite a bit of extra materials, should I construct some round bass traps or construct more panels?
    BTW, my room is about 2700 ft^3, "L" shaped, with a fairly plush carpet. The ceiling is a suspended type, with all of the tiles covered in black velvet, mostly for controlling light reflections from my FPTV. The walls are painted sheetrock, with cement almost directly behind them, as my theater is built in my basement.
    Any ideas?
     
  2. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    Hi Bob glad you like how the panels work.
    Yes I'd suggest either making exact height dedicated panels or adding additional 3' ones. Just lean them against the walls until you're happy with the results
    Placement is part trial and error, part science. Software programs like RPG Acoustics 'Room Optimizer' are very helpful if you want to do a professional job. The learning curve maybe a little steep for the newbie though.
    Otherwise get a cheap tall mirror (4' or so is fine), when seated in the 'sweet spot' have someone place the mirror in different places on the walls. Anywhere you can see the reflection of the speakers (start with the mains) is a good place to put a panel. Add or subtract panels until you get a balance between some good reflections, these keep the sound field 'live sounding' and a 'too dead' space.
    One industry standard is a 'LEDE' setup. This is 'Live-End/Dead-end'. Meaning that the end of the room where the L-C-R's are located is the most 'live' and there is increasing amounts of absorption as you move to the opposite end of the room.
    Like most things in audio this is highly subjective, so let your ears be the final guide.
    [Edited last by ThomasW on October 21, 2001 at 02:32 PM]
     
  3. Bob Sorel

    Bob Sorel Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks, Thomas!
    As usual, you have the answers I am looking for [​IMG]
    Should all then panels go from the floor to the ceiling or just some of them? Since I now have 8 of the 48" high panels, should I make 8 of the 36" high ones to mate with them?
    Also, since I have a suspended ceiling which uses 24" x 48" tiles, would there be any benefit to putting some of them up there?
    For anyone considering such a project, these panels are extremely easy and cheap to construct, and the "bang-for-the-buck" upgrade factor is very high. The improvements have been quite dramatic, even with my random placement, so once I get them tuned in, I expect even better results. Thomas' recipe is very easy to follow, and they can be mde to fit into the room decor quite nicely. Another great DIY project from Klone Audio!
     
  4. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    Bob
    I wouldn't worry about placing absorption materials above the drop ceiling unless there are some extreme abnormalities that can be fixed any other way. Some people have put a layer of fiber glass up there.
    I use a mix of panel heights. Some 1/2 wall, some 3/4 wall, and others full wall height. But that just what's needed for my large ESL arrays to work in a my goofy room. So what you will need depends on what the problems are, and what's necessary to fix them. Experimentation is the operative idea.
    [Edited last by ThomasW on October 21, 2001 at 11:18 PM]
     

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