Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC
What happens behind the fabric stays behind the fabric. You can mix and match absorption, diffusion, or nothing at all. That was the case in this project. Covering the entire wall with fabric panels or floor to ceiling fabric is more for looks.
In this case portions of the wall have one inch, some have two inches mounted two inches off the wall and some even have scrim reflectors on the surface. There are sections with nothing but primer. Damelon used Bpape to design his acoustical plan.
Wow beat me to it just a minute before I logged in Biggie. Like BIG mentioned, the full wall fabric is done for looks. The treatments are behind them and they vary depending on where on the wall they are.
Your statement in general is also incorrect in almost all cases. People usually use far less treatments than they need to. Throw a few panels on the walls and maybe corner bass traps and call it a day, regardless of exactly where they need to treat the walls.
The two major things every home theater needs to deal with (Yes I know there are more than two) when it comes to treating the walls are reflection points and bass absorption.
If you actually calculated where all of the panels needed to be to treat your reflection points you would have panels in all sorts of odd places that as far as looks go, would seem very weird looking. If you hide them behind a wall of fabric, you can make the wall look any way you want it to, rather than a jumble of panels.
As far as bass absorption, this can be done on any surface. It's hard to determine exactly how much one needs but bass will seem very boomy without it. People like bass punch. You can get the best subs in the world but if your absorption isn't there it will be muddy. We can treat the walls in any place, adding absorption where we can anywhere where the fabric allows us to hide the material.
Other than those things there are of course things like dead spots, high frequencies, difusing, etc... all of which are additional treatments you may or may not employ.
There are 1", 2", 4" treatments in the room, some with air gap treatments, bass trap treatments, high frequency treatments, cotton and fiberglass material treatments. If you just saw the final pictures of the theater, you would have no idea what treatmets were where, what walls are how deep, what thickness treatments were hidden. That is the beauty of full fabric walls.
The whole room acoustical plan was calculated by Bryan Pape, who does it for a living.