HT PROJECT - ACOUSTIC FOAM (WHERE & HOW?) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-12-2012, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi fellows!!!

I have been working on a Home Theater project for several months and I'm finally finishing it. I bought a Denon AVR-2312ci and Infinity's Primus P363 floorstanding towers &  the Primus PC351 center. I also bought some foam acoustics. This room has a huge amount of reflection/echo.

I drew some sketches in Paint (yes, Paint) to have an idea of what would be the outcome of my ideas. Here are some pictures of those drawings and the changes I had to make during the process and at the last moment.

First, I started drawing how I wanted the hole system to look like. Designed 2 separate furnitures with shelves according to my equipment and their sizes.

This is the first drawing I made:
HTPattern9.jpg
  

Then, I bought these acoustics I for the room:
IMAG1911.jpg


This is how it looks like right now with the front wall completely covered with acoustic foam. (Also made in Paint)
FinishedMainWall2.jpg


I have been talking to Paul Scarpelli, who has been kind enough to give me some pointers about placement and acoustics and, now I decided to get rid of the 2 furnitures and go with 2 separate adjustable shelves in order to get better sound from the room. We believe this will help sound acoustic, and also make it more spacious. Here is how it should look when finished: (But with the acoustic wall foam layout shown on the 3rd picture)
IMAG2126.jpg


Ok, now that almost everything is set, I need to take care of 2 things:

1) Surround speakers selection & placement. (5.1 setup)

2) Acoustic foam placement for the rest of the room. 

**** NOTE: In order to avoid any issues - by mixing different aspects in the same thread - I will use this thread to discuss issue #2 - (Acoustic foam placement). I will also post a different thread with this same information, but to discuss issue #1 - (Surround speakers selection & placement). (5.1 setup) - on the corresponding forum. 

This is the link to issue #1 - (Surround speakers selection & placement. (5.1 setup) - in order to help those with the same situations: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1429116/ht-project-which-surround-speakers-and-how

Ok, back to the issue. I want to finish the acoustic treatment the best I can. The room measures 10' wide x 11' long x 9' tall. It is not a big room, and it has a huge amount of sound reflection/echo. So, take a look at the following drawing (yes, made in paint again):
3063C25E-6C02-422E-82C2-8E48B6BCD04A-6762-000005F6FB20AAF9.jpg
On the right wall I have a window in the center. I bought wood panels to fully conceal that window. Also, I will cover those wood panels with acoustic foam. And then, I will cover them with a curtain made of cloth to give the room a better look and of course, better reflection absortion.  I'm also going to put some acoustic foams on some of the remaining areas on that side including some acoustic foam panels adjacent to the right speaker. Paul suggested me to use the "mirror trick" on both front speakers. So, lets consider that side has been taken care of. 

The next wall to deal with is the back wall. My couch is against that wall. I took some measurements and I bought a big 4' x 6' acoustic foam to put in the center of that wall leaving not enough uncovered space. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I suppose that should be enough.

The last wall to deal with is the left one. That is the most I worry about because I think it is "almost" impossible to treat of to deal with. It is a big closet which covers that side almost completely and which doors are made of 2 big mirrors.

My questions are:
1) Will I need more acoustic foam for the back wall?
2-a) How can I treat the left side and also be able to put acoustical panels adjacent to the left speaker having 2 big mirror doors on that side? 
2-b) Is a big curtain my only option?
- Will I need to put some acoustic foam on the roof?


All suggestions/help will be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-12-2012, 11:11 PM
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Hello!

First and foremost, are you familiar with screen shots, or saving JPEGs? Curious as to why you took pictures of your screen instead of just posting the actual pictures you made.

Second, to answer your questions:
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Originally Posted by JOMV View Post

1) Will I need more acoustic foam for the back wall?

Not likely. Foam is usually used to help with high frequency reflections and is especially useful treating flutter echo. Flutter echo is the annoying "ping" sound you can hear when you clap your hands in an untreated room. It is simply the reflections bouncing back and fourth off of parallel walls (or more accurately any two parallel hard surfaces). So, if none of your walls were parallel - you wouldn't have much flutter echo. If you were to completely treat one of the two parallel walls, you would have NO flutter echo between the two at all. Since your front wall is completely absorbed, you don't have to treat the back wall at all to combat flutter echo. However, there will still be some reflections coming off the back wall since the speakers are aimed at it. So, your idea of just covering the reflections that would come back to you in the listening position while keeping the front wall fully absorbed will be fine.
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2-a) How can I treat the left side and also be able to put acoustical panels adjacent to the left speaker having 2 big mirror doors on that side?

I take it you want to keep the mirror doors? You can still attach foam to those doors if you wish.
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2-b) Is a big curtain my only option?

I wouldn't really recommend it - you want both the speakers AND the acoustic treatment to be pretty much symmetrical for an even balance of left and right channels.
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- Will I need to put some acoustic foam on the roof?

Trapping first reflections is important on every surface - side walls, floors, and ceilings. So, in the area of first reflections on your ceiling I would recommend it. If the room is carpeted, I wouldn't recommend it elsewhere. Though if your floor is hard, it will probably be beneficial to add some wherever the floor and ceiling are parallel with no furniture in the way. (For example, you probably won't need any right above the seats or anything)


Now, I'm curious as to why you have and want to use so much foam? Foam works great for the reasons I listed above - treating flutter echo and high frequency dampening. Chances are, with the amount you are using, you will make the room really dead on the treble side but foam will not do much for treating low frequency problems (which are usually the larger evil). Do you have any ideas in place for treating problems in the bass ranges? For example, check out our tests we did on our 244 traps compared to foam bass traps: http://www.gikacoustics.com/news_020912.html - you can see how foam only deadens high frequencies, but hardly has any effect on low frequencies.

Alexander Reynolds
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-13-2012, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey, thanks for the fast reply. I really appreciate any help I can get from you.

To answer your 1st question... I made those drawings in Paint on my pc. I took some photos of them with my iphone just to show them to one of the guys here. I was on the road working and I decided to open both threads. I was unable to get the ones at home on my pc. So, I used the ones from my phone in order to get help faster and not having to wait to get home. I made both threads on my iphone and I guess that is why all the text got so mixed and difficult to read (SORRY!!!). It did not let me separate the sentences and paragraphs when I tried at home. But this one will be good as I'm home.

About the mirror doors on the left wall, you are right. I want to keep them (or I must say, I have to). This is a rented apartment and I can't make that kind of modifications. What would you suggest me to do without damaging the mirrors? (Specially the one adjacent to the left speaker). I have been told to start by putting some foam on the mirror adjacent to the left front speaker. Right?. If yes, then that left side will not have any more treatment. Will the rest treatment be enough to make the room really dead on the treble side?. That is why I wanted to work the other areas. Is it still too much foam I'm using? The right side will have only (2) - 24"x36" acoustic foams. One adjacent to the front right speaker, and one close to the couch. I also made a drawing of that wall if you need to see it in order to make a better suggestion.

Side note: I wanted to use wood panels on the front wall and everywhere I use foam to be able to remove them and take them with me if I move later to another place (so I don't loose the inversion) and without damaging the walls. Then, I would have to repair the wall and leave it the way they gave it to me.

I have heard about how hard is to deal with low frequencies. I haven't figured anything just yet. I can't move the couch so and I'm going to need another idea. Any suggestions?

---- I can post the drawings of the right and back wall ---- Let me know!

Many thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-13-2012, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOMV View Post

Will the rest treatment be enough to make the room really dead on the treble side?. That is why I wanted to work the other areas. Is it still too much foam I'm using?

The problem is that typical broadband solutions that help with bass typically absorb high frequencies as well. Usually, if you have enough bass traps to tame the bass, the highs end up getting taken care of as well. If you do bass traps AND foam, your room will probably be too dead. I'm just letting you know to don't go crazy with foam - a lot of people do and eventually end up taking it down and putting absorbers that affect a much wider band. For example, check out the test we did of foam "bass" traps vs. our GIK 244 bass traps..you will see that the foam hardly touched the bass region, but deadened the highs only, where our 244 had pretty balanced absorption even at lower frequencies: http://www.gikacoustics.com/news_020912.html
Quote:
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Side note: I wanted to use wood panels on the front wall and everywhere I use foam to be able to remove them and take them with me if I move later to another place (so I don't loose the inversion) and without damaging the walls. Then, I would have to repair the wall and leave it the way they gave it to me.

This is suggested often. If you built a stand for a few of them, you could use them in hard to reach areas (like in front of your mirror)
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---- I can post the drawings of the right and back wall ---- Let me know!

This would be helpful, hard to understand over text.

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post #5 of 9 Old 09-14-2012, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GIK Acoustics View Post

The problem is that typical broadband solutions that help with bass typically absorb high frequencies as well. Usually, if you have enough bass traps to tame the bass, the highs end up getting taken care of as well. If you do bass traps AND foam, your room will probably be too dead. I'm just letting you know to don't go crazy with foam - a lot of people do and eventually end up taking it down and putting absorbers that affect a much wider band. For example, check out the test we did of foam "bass" traps vs. our GIK 244 bass traps..you will see that the foam hardly touched the bass region, but deadened the highs only, where our 244 had pretty balanced absorption even at lower frequencies: http://www.gikacoustics.com/news_020912.html
This is suggested often. If you built a stand for a few of them, you could use them in hard to reach areas (like in front of your mirror)
This would be helpful, hard to understand over text.


This is the right wall sketch:
HTPattern6.jpg
Those 4 foams are just possible positions. I don't expect to put all four foam panels. Also there is a window behind that curtain a - (the actual curtain is longer than the one you see there) - and that window is going to be concealed with wood panels and foam on top of it. The gray square in the center is the air conditioner. As for the 4 foam positions, I was considering the lower ones because they are adjacent to the front right speaker. The foams are 24" x 36". I would like to do the same thing with the fiams on the left side if that lower position is the right one. I only need to figure out how to do it without damaging the mirror walls.

As for the rear wall, I was thinking about putting the other 4' x 6' panel I have. I have nothing planned for the roof because I have a carpet covering most of the floor.

And the last thing do deal with is bass or los frequencies. I really have no idea how to deal with it. Another issue is that I can't move the couch forward.  If I move it, it would be too close to the front speakers (IMO). 

Any ideas?
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-18-2012, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone care to help?????????
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-18-2012, 10:22 PM
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Hello again!

If you are looking into treating the bass ranges of the room I would look at broadband bass traps. There are many companies that make commercial solutions, but I'd personally stick with one that provides actual lab test results for their product so you know they will work, and how well they will work. We can work with you one-on-one (for free, of course) to determine the best uses and placements for bass traps in your room, as well as using the existing treatment you already have to maximize the potential of your space with your budget. If you'd like, you can fill out our room assessment form here: http://www.gikacoustics.com/room_setup.php and we'd be happy to help you out.

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post #8 of 9 Old 09-26-2012, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GIK Acoustics View Post

Hello again!
If you are looking into treating the bass ranges of the room I would look at broadband bass traps. There are many companies that make commercial solutions, but I'd personally stick with one that provides actual lab test results for their product so you know they will work, and how well they will work. We can work with you one-on-one (for free, of course) to determine the best uses and placements for bass traps in your room, as well as using the existing treatment you already have to maximize the potential of your space with your budget. If you'd like, you can fill out our room assessment form here: http://www.gikacoustics.com/room_setup.php and we'd be happy to help you out.

Just did it!!!
Thanks a lot!!

Jose Munoz
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-26-2012, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOMV View Post

Just did it!!!
Thanks a lot!!
Jose Munoz

No problem Jose. Glenn or Bryan will likely get back to you tomorrow. wink.gif

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