Home Theater Sound Paneling... any ideas???

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by tonyGar, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. tonyGar

    tonyGar Agent

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    I am installing a dedicated home theater....any good (inexpensive) ideas on the sound protecting the walls, like sound paneling or fabric for the walls (like a real theater!).... where should I go?

    I really dont want to get hosed by a high-end contractor...

    PLEASE HELP!

    Tonygar
     
  2. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    If you want to see the range of fabrics for "real theaters", I always recommend checking out Rose Brand.

    I do have some cautions for you, though...

    1. Cost.
    2. Keeping them clean. Walls are hard to vacuum.

    Leo
     
  3. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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  4. tonyGar

    tonyGar Agent

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    I guess I could either put the material on the whole wall or do panels. Panels seem better since they are easier to put up and maybe more economical????

    Just wondering if there is a cheap provider of sound absorption panels to slow the noise in the room....going to have a rug and silk plants and my seating is micro-fiber and not leather......
     
  5. Bud Huey

    Bud Huey Stunt Coordinator

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    I am still in the construction phase of my HT, so this is an unproven theory, but I plan to glue some old carpet squares to the walls for sound control. Then I plan to cover them with some type of fabric for a finished look.

    I am lucky in the fact that my father-in-law has access to some used carpet squares that are coming out of an office building. Most companies throw them away when they replace the carpeting, so a few phone calls might prove fruitful. You could also use roll carpet if it has a thin nap - no 60's shag. The carpet squares also have a rubber backing that I think will help control the sound.

    I am also going to put some carpet squares up in the ceiling above the sheetrock for sound control upstairs.

    Good Luck,
    Bud
     
  6. Blaine_M

    Blaine_M Second Unit

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    There are all kinds of do it yourslef wall pannel links out there. Do some searches on things like 'Do it yourself accoustic pannels' or something like that. Most of them are a simple wood frame with fiberglass in the middle. Carpet might help a little, but it won't do what these will do. They usually use burlap over the outside because it doesn't reflect sound like other fabrics.
     
  7. Scott_Vonhof

    Scott_Vonhof Agent

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    Blaine, the burlap may work, but it also may not fit the needs that people have for the interior look they are going for. That is where the Guildford of Maine fabric starts to really make a difference. It is made so that it is acoutstically transparent, that way, it doesn't reflect, but allows the stuff behind it to do it's job.

    Bud, I have heard many people say that carpet, especially the low pile carpet won't be good to put on walls for acoutstic controls in a room, since it will allow too much reflection of the high frequencies and not enough absorbtion at most frequencies. There are cheap alternatives, such as sound-board (can be found at Home Depot or Lowes) or even duct-board which is basically the same thing as the insul-shield which many people have used for their walls.

    Tony, if you are not going to treat the whole theater, then the next best thing is to treat all the first reflection points. The way to find these is to sit where you seats will be and place mirrors on the walls, Where you can see the speakers in the reflectoins is where the first reflection points are. Put absorbtion panels there as well as in the back of the theater and you should do pretty well. Beyond that, you can hire some people that can do some caculations based on the room and equipment to get more accurate results.
     
  8. Steve Isern

    Steve Isern Auditioning

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    I have to be one of the kings of cheap. I said to myself... self how about all those people in those cubicals at work? they block the conversations. so I found a place that was getting rid of office supplies and found some small cubicals and opened them up and used one cubical for two sound panels. I must say it worked pretty good. Inside it is basicaly sound board with a thin layer of foam and fabric over that. Like I said I am cheap. it does work and it's a thought!
    Steve
     
  9. Bud Huey

    Bud Huey Stunt Coordinator

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    After reading Scott's reply I rushed out to Home Depot - like I needed another excuse to go - and I looked for 'sound board'. I could not find anything on my own, so I asked an associate about it and he said they carry a line of sheetrock that is suppose to deaden sound, but that it is designed to deaden sound being transfered to other rooms, not reflected sounds within the room. Do I need to try Lowe's?

    Does anyone have any suggestions for a "low cost" alternative that is athestically pleasing? I called one of the websites specializing in sound control solutions and they wanted $9500 + S&H just for the material to do my HT. I am not going to spend that much on my projector and screen!!! Any help would be appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Bud
     
  10. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    You could try - though I don't know how successful it might be, though it'd be cheap to experiment - getting those nasty fiber-glass ceiling tiles - 2'x4'. Wrap them in your decorative fabric, and then attach to the wall, fiber-glass side out.

    One thing you can also do this way is the 'mirror' trick. The full 'trick' is to place a light bulb at your speakers, sit in the listening area, and have someone move along the walls with a mirror, flush to the wall. When you see the light, mark it as an area that needs to have the reflections deadened. (This'd be for reducing primary reflections.)

    The big advantage of this whole concept is, if it works at all, those tiles are pretty cheap.

    Leo
     
  11. Scott_Vonhof

    Scott_Vonhof Agent

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    Bud, sound board is kinda strange as it comes in 4x8 foot sheets, is about 1/2" thick and gets damaged easilly, so HD and Lowes don't alwasy have it where the normal customer can get to it easilly. The material is almost like carboard pulp that is not fully compressed. It is a fiberous material that can be broken by bending and compressed by adding pressure to it. It is typically either a light brown or beige color. Sometimes soundboard is installed behind sheetrock (contractors know it for doing this) to help sound-proof between walls. Of course, that is the easy way and doesn't do the job as well as staggered studs and multiple layers of sheetrock do.

    I used to have a picture with the UPC for the soundboard, let me see if I can find it.
     
  12. Scott_Vonhof

    Scott_Vonhof Agent

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    Here it is:
    [​IMG]

    This was the stuff I got from Lowes.
     
  13. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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    A lot of people are making panels from 2x2's or 2x4's and stuffing them with Owens Corning 700 Series (701/703/705) or Roxul and covering them with some acoustically neutral fabric (the Guilford of Maine link provided above).

    Here are some from Chris White:
    http://white.hometheatertalk.com/tips/acoustics.htm
    Chris Tsutsui:
    http://www.angelfire.com/sports/RCca...tic_panels.htm


    For cooefficients for various materials, have a look here:
    http://www.bobgolds.com/AbsorptionCoefficients.htm

    Do a google search for DIY Sound Panel or DIY Acoustic Treatment. AVS Forum has a lot of info as well.

    An interesting article by Ethan Winer:
    http://www.ethanwiner.com/acoustics.html
     
  14. Bud Huey

    Bud Huey Stunt Coordinator

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    Scott,
    Thanks for the great information and the pictures! How do you finishing the Sound Board? Can you finish it like sheetrock with some mud or should I plan to cover it with fabric?

    Should I plan to cover all of my walls with it? I want a consistant look to the room vs. just putting panels up at first reflections.

    Thanks,
    Bud
     
  15. Scott_Vonhof

    Scott_Vonhof Agent

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    Well, I wouldn't mud and tape the soundboard, I don't think that would work. In our situation, soundboard is typically installed over sheet-rock and then covered with fabric and some people (this is they way I did it) also put the polyester batting on top of the soundboard before the fabric. The reason I did that was to get to 3/4" for teh furring strips as well as to give the walls a little bit of a padded feel to them.

    You don't want to use soundboard on all the walls because the room will be too dead. You do want some reflection or dispersion, not all absorbtion which is what soundboard does.

    In a theater room, you typically want to do one of three things:
    1) hire a pro to figure out what treatments go where
    2) do absorbtion below the ear, dispersion above and absorbtion on the whole front wall
    3) treat the first reflection points
     
  16. Bud Huey

    Bud Huey Stunt Coordinator

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    Scott - Thanks for the great advice and "hand holding". Could I do a chair rail around the room with soundboard below the rail and regular drywall above it? Would that create about the correct amount of relection vs. absorbtion? I am trying to make the room look 'uniform' instead of choppy with a hodge podge of sound boards.

    What if I put sound board in the first reflection points and regular drywall everywhere else then covered both in fabric to make it look uniform?

    Thanks,
    Bud
     
  17. Scott_Vonhof

    Scott_Vonhof Agent

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    If you wanted to do soundboard below a chair rail, you will want to do something to help bring the trim back to wall level.
    Typically when any treatments are used and fabric stretched over it, you install furring strips to staple the fabric to and then cover the staples with wood trim. If you don't want to do anything above the chair rail, you need to make some trim to finish off the furring strip and make it look decent.

    FYI, for those thinking about doing soundboard, I forgot that I have to include this link:
    http://www.vonhofs.com/theater/construction.html
    In the link, I talk about the soundboard and working with it. It is not a simple task since nothing really does a good job of cutting it. So, in that link I reccomend other treatments that are much faster and easier.
     
  18. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    Cutting the HomeDepot sound board went silky smooth using an industrial table saw. [​IMG]

    Burlap is very acoustically transparent but if it's exposed to light for 3 years it starts to "fade" and discolor.

    The top parts of my beige burlap wrapped acoustical panels are turning slightly brown... hehe Doesn't mean they don't work like they used to though. [​IMG]

    Hey, MDF does the same thing and gets darker with old age. It's like it "tans".

    Anyways, I thought I'd mention that I actually put up the Home Depot brand sound deadening board in a Doctor's outdoor gym room.

    He had a tiled floor with a glossy white paint job all around which made running on a treadmill really loud. Then to make matters worse he had one wall covered with a mirror so he could see himself sweat. He then wanted me to put in a sound system in there along with speakers outside with some outdoor omni speakers in the garden and near waterfalls etc...

    Anyways, I couldn't stand listening to music in there and the guy was REAL cheap. So what I did was buy Muslim and stapled it over 2'x4' sound deadening board (1/2" thick). I then used drywall screw adapters with metal screws and secured it to the ceiling in sort of a matrix using 6 screws per panel. Cost was cheap since the Muslin was something like $1 a yard + $9 for 4 sound deadening boards plus staples.

    The results were great as it reduced slap echo and I put in some $140 Dayton BR-1s on wall mounts in there and it turned out decent.

    Word of advice, if you decide to go this route you have to put the fabric on perfect. If you put it on too tight the board will slightly bow concave. If you put it too loose you will see slight ripples.

    After a year I checked up because a gardner decided to mess up my underground speaker wire and to my suprise the ceiling still looked decent.
     
  19. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    Um, not to be pedantic or picky, but it's "Muslin", not "Muslim"

    leo
     
  20. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    Spell Check doesn't catch those kind of errors. [​IMG]
     

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