New house, odd room-- wondering what to do about sound absorbtion, etc.

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by John Parris, May 22, 2003.

  1. John Parris

    John Parris Stunt Coordinator

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    When I say odd, I do mean odd... not in shape or dimension, really, but it is indeed odd... I did have pictures of this room, but my computer crashed recently and I lost almost every digital picture I have ever taken... I did happen to have two pics of my new furniture for the room on my webspace, so they'll have to do-- I think they will serve the purpose I need them to for these questions.

    The room is relatively small, so I'm going to be saving floor space and cable length by placing all of my equipment outside of it.

    In this first pic, you can see these odd pillars behind the couches... for some reason, half of the wall opens up into the central large room (living room/great room) of the house... I think whoever built/added-on to this house was doing some odd drugs.

    [​IMG]

    In any event, this does have its advantages-- my equipment rack will go directly behind those pillars into the great room. My projector will sit on top, proving the perfect screen size aprox. 14 ft. from the wall in question. Also all of my equipment/video game systems will be accessible without getting up. A big plus. [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, this also presents a huge problem with light and sound. Not only will it be a problem through those pillars, but also from the doorway (I was standing in the doorway when that picture was taken)... there is no actual door there at the moment...and I'm content to never put one there if I could arrange for some other solution like curtains, etc.

    Also, you can see that there are three windows in this room (it's an old house-- windows EVERYWHERE)... this is also a big problem as far as light as conscerned.

    I'm mostly worried about light, but I'm also worried about sound... what kind of aesthetically non-offensive options do I really have? I really want to block out the windows as much as possible for light and sound (neighbors aren't TOO close, but I don't want to cause trouble), and I really want to block out the pillar and doorway areas for light and sound as much as possible.

    The other thing I was conscerned about was general sound absorbtion... I'm not exactly sure how to go about preping my room for this... any general pointers? I have quite a full setup between my DIY Tempest ported sub and JBL S-312 towers... I was thinking about putting absorbtion blocks behind the speakers or at any places nessasary (or on an entire wall if nessasary, if cost remains low enough, etc.) and draping most of the room in dark, inexpensive fabric for light control...

    Any suggestions would be helpful...
     
  2. John Parris

    John Parris Stunt Coordinator

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    Bump, in case anyone missed it. Still looking for suggestions...

    Best option I've come up with thus far is to build some DIY panels for the windows and pillar area and the main points of reflection on the side walls and then drape the whole room in cheap dark fabric.

    I'm just not sure what panel design would be best... any suggestions?
     
  3. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    John,

    I don’t have a projector, so I will leave the darkening aspects to others here.

    Regarding “sound absorption,” it’s clear you’re freely mixing and matching (and therefore confusing) “sound absorption” (aka acoustical treatment) with “sound proofing.” The former is intended to dampen and/or deaden an overly “live” room; the latter prevents sound from leaving a confined area. The former is easy to accomplish, the later can be expensive and invasive, depending on how effectively you want to sound proof.

    I have to wonder why you’ve decided you need acoustical treatments before you even fire up the system to see if any is needed. If the floor is carpeted that’s all the treatment most rooms need, as typically it is adequate to eliminate that “live” echo effect.

    Nevertheless, you will be able to kill two birds with one stone with the coverings you end up using to black out the windows. If they are a soft material they will also function to absorb sound. The pillars will help diffuse sound waves (I assume the front speakers will be aimed their direction?), and the open room behind it will tend to improve bass response by minimizing the bad room modes you would get with a rectangular room.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  4. John Parris

    John Parris Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow. Interesting thoughts, Wayne. Thanks.

    After doing quite a bit of research, I was well aware of the difference between proofing and acoustic treatment, but I obviously didnt separate the problem as such when explaining it.

    You really think I won't need any acoustic treatment? I figure that sound absorption panels on the side walls at the main reflection points would (at the very least) make a noticible improvement as far as imaging goes...

    Also, because this is and old house and because of the cheap wood paneling in the room, I'm going in EXPECTING rattles... anyone know how to find and fix or at least minimize rattles?
     
  5. KenA

    KenA Stunt Coordinator

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  6. John Parris

    John Parris Stunt Coordinator

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