Looking to reduce echos in family room - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 03-01-2012, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello,

I live in Phoenix, AZ, and we have several rooms in the house that echo. We have hardwood floors throughout and 16' high ceilings. I'm looking for a way to reduce the echos and still not have the room look like a recording studio or theater. We eventually want to get a grand piano but with the echos I don't think the grand would sound very good.

I'm ok with not doing it myself. I thought about acoustical consultants but wasn't sure if they'd be able to meet the WAF, and I'm not sure if Interior Designers would be knowledgeable on the acoustics side. Any suggestions on who/what type of people might be able to help me?

Thanks,
David
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post #2 of 17 Old 03-01-2012, 03:49 PM
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If you did lower profile treatments (absorbing panels) on the ceiling that were covered in fabric that is the same color as the ceiling you would probably not even notice them if they were that high. Treating only the ceiling would not solve all your problems but would help. There are some "designer approved" options like rugs, and there are also "Art panels" that can be used for wall treatments that would not look like treatments. Getting rid of the echo is an easier issue to solve than having a great sounding room for the piano. Either way you go there is likely going to have to be some compromise between the interior designer and the acoustic consultant - both are going to have their own biases.


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post #3 of 17 Old 03-01-2012, 03:57 PM
 
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If you look at recording studios, they have a single comfy couch, or padding on the walls. It is a science to build and tune a recording studio, and homes are usually not either. If you have large panes of glass on a wall, the glass will not only bounce sound waves, but can also rattle causing other problems. Same with doors, floor and ceiling vents, lighting fixtures.
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post #4 of 17 Old 03-01-2012, 08:32 PM
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It might be useful to post pictures of the room. Might help pinpoint areas that could be treated while avoiding too much visual impact.


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post #5 of 17 Old 03-01-2012, 08:58 PM
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Yes, as Stock suggested, pics would be very helpful.

If reducing some of the echo is the only issue, you actually have lots of options. Even adding some tall potted indoor trees, for example, can help. Furniture will help, curtains will help, a folding screen (not projector screen, like an Asian Shoji screen) will help, etc...

In my last home we also added a large tapestry on a wall instead of a painting. That wasn't done to address any specific sound issue, but I noticed that it had a good impact and realized that it was directly where we had an echo and was hanging about 2 inches off the wall.

You have lots of choices.

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post #6 of 17 Old 03-01-2012, 09:27 PM
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you need soft stuff.... soft furniture, pillows, rugs, etc... the more soft the better it will get
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post #7 of 17 Old 03-01-2012, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

If you look at recording studios, they have a single comfy couch, or padding on the walls.

I didn't think the couch had anything *ahem* to do with room acoustics in any Hollywood-related setting...


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post #8 of 17 Old 03-02-2012, 05:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

I didn't think the couch had anything *ahem* to do with room acoustics in any Hollywood-related setting...

I said nothing about hollywood. Read again. Even in sound booths for movies, they use treatments such as foam, carpet, sound absorbing panels to kill echo, and deaden the room. Ever been in a booth for hearing tests? Same type of room that is used when doing the vocals for movies. As for recording studios for music, etc., most have wood floors, but will have a shag type rug on the floor, a soft or large couch, a plant, etc. to help kill echo's.

If you ever want to see how much echo a room has, take and clap your hands once very hard, then do it as you walk around.
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post #9 of 17 Old 03-02-2012, 06:23 AM
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Quote:


As for recording studios for music, etc., most have wood floors, but will have a shag type rug on the floor, a soft or large couch, a plant, etc. to help kill echo's.

Actually, the couch in a recording studio is just for sitting on. In properly designed studios, fabric faced acoustic walls are used, the walls are not parallel, and windows are angled. The acoustics are typically modelled before the room is built. They don't rely on a couch for this and the rug is just for looks
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-02-2012, 11:03 AM
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Oh, boy, y'all missed my joke (apparently not a good one)... (think Casting Couch)


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post #11 of 17 Old 03-02-2012, 01:11 PM
 
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No, i did not miss anything. I just chose to ignore it and move on with my life. Hence the more mature comment that I made, compared to yours.
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post #12 of 17 Old 03-03-2012, 06:57 AM
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lol
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post #13 of 17 Old 03-04-2012, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dslee View Post

Hello,

I live in Phoenix, AZ, and we have several rooms in the house that echo. We have hardwood floors throughout and 16' high ceilings. I'm looking for a way to reduce the echos and still not have the room look like a recording studio or theater. We eventually want to get a grand piano but with the echos I don't think the grand would sound very good.

I'm ok with not doing it myself. I thought about acoustical consultants but wasn't sure if they'd be able to meet the WAF, and I'm not sure if Interior Designers would be knowledgeable on the acoustics side. Any suggestions on who/what type of people might be able to help me?

Thanks,
David

I'd recommend panels on your ceiling custom painted to match the color that is there now. Primacoustic have a DIY paintable panel 2ft x 4ft x 2" that is not on their website yet but is available through dealers or Golterman and Sabo have a painted Pinta panel available. PM if you need more info.


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post #14 of 17 Old 03-05-2012, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your replies. Attached are some pictures of my rooms.

If I wanted to bring in a consultant, what kind of person should I look for? Acoustical consultant? I have no clue.

David
LL
LL
LL
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post #15 of 17 Old 03-05-2012, 02:23 PM
 
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Start by placing some large area rugs in front of the couches. Then go from there. A large area rug can do wonders with cutting down on floor echo.
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post #16 of 17 Old 03-05-2012, 02:42 PM
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You may want to take a look at the attached thread on an acoustical cloud done by an AVS member, hifisponge, a few years ago. I go back to it often when trying to come up with ways to tame the echo in my family room. I've already upgraded the carpet and added curtains, but the room is still pretty lively - better, but still a bit lively

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1047573

Dan

My set up

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post #17 of 17 Old 03-10-2012, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyal Mellor View Post

I'd recommend panels on your ceiling custom painted to match the color that is there now. Primacoustic have a DIY paintable panel 2ft x 4ft x 2" that is not on their website yet but is available through dealers or Golterman and Sabo have a painted Pinta panel available. PM if you need more info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dslee View Post

Thanks for your replies. Attached are some pictures of my rooms.

If I wanted to bring in a consultant, what kind of person should I look for? Acoustical consultant? I have no clue.

David

Contact Nyal Mellor. He posted right above your post. He's an acoustician. And I'm sure he won't tell you that a rug and a couch are enough to tame the reflections/echos in that room.

Craig

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Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."


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