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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Theater project is unique.....It is not 100% dedicated.....It is a larger room (think great room) with multi-purpose.....The dilemma is in the acoustics. It will be used for LIVE MUSIC as well....


Would the preferred methods of home theater acoustics - ie insulshield, batting & fabric create problems with the desired acoustics of Live Music?



I have created a somewhat compromised plan....


--- Layer of 5/8" Drywall all around the room

--- Acoustically treated screen wall

--- Tight weave carpet 42" up wall (this could be acoustical treated instead)

--- Paneled top half of wall
 

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What type of live music? I ask because live chamber music normally requires more reflections to sound good in that same room (IE. no digital mods to the signal such as reverb). If it is going to be something that will be amplified such as electric guitar, who cares, the amp will push the sound anyway. Piano is another that sounds good with reflections.


Take a few CD's of similar music to what you will be using and try different DSP modes on your amplifier. Get one that has a lot of reverb and one that makes it sound like you are in an acoustically controled chamber (anochaich is not the way it is spelled, but I cannot figure it out right now!) and switch from one setting to the other and back with the different CD's. This will help you figure out if you should have absorbtion or reflection as a major part of the acoustics in the room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good Question, that would matter....


Blues Band - Electric Guitar, Bass, Drums, Harmonica, Vocals.....Of course in these situations, feedback with vocals is a huge problem......It seems to me, most of the acoustical treatments would help this a great deal.....


At this point, I am nearly done with the Drywalling and the acoustical & wall treatments will be upcoming soon.....With a WAF and a budget, this is what we came up with as a compromise to try and create a decent multi-purpose room....But we are not a point where we cannot change.....The dedicated Theater concept is possible for another part of our basement. But right now, we have this room in our project budget and are trying to create an attractive and functional theater in a multi-purpose room.....Hopefully, this isnt an effort in futility.....


If there are huge problems in what we have decided or a better route to take, we are open for that idea.....It does seem that a full fledged wallboard, batting & fabric is a cost prohibative solution to a room of this size - approx 25 x 22......


Thanks,

Dave


Thanks,

Dave
 

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I think you will have to try the room and see.


As always there are two concerns:

sound transmission to outside the room

sound reflections inside the room


How worried are you about the music leaking into other parts of the building or neighborhood? If that is a concern you may want another layer of 1/2" gypsum board on the walls, and ceiling to limit sound transmission.


The sound reflections in the sound room are a bit of personal taste. It is easier to add more sound absorbing coatings than to tear them down.


I agree that covering the screen wall is probably a good idea.


If the carpet on the walls doesn't work, you could replace it with InsulShield at a later time.


If I were you, I would not use panelling. It is a hard surface which will reflect much of the sound, and may rattle unless very well glued to the drywall. You may need to put additional sound aborbing materials such as batting on the upper part of the wall if the sound reflections are objectionable. Try just painting the upper part of the wall for now. You can always put batting or something else over that later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Its a basement so likely between rooms not a problem


Neighbors - not a problem, there are none for over a 1/4 mile in distance


Upper floor noise - pretty important, but already well isolated. Due to the depth of the basement there is about 18" between the ceiling and the joists of the upper floor. So it is decoupled. Already you can run a receiver to pretty high levels and not hear it upstairs. Unfortunately, due to the design here, a suspended is the only solution we have discovered. I am familiar with some of the precautions I must take with this to minimize rattling, etc.......I also decided to NOT run duct work off the main ductwork to the upper floor after realizing this was basically creating a route for sound to travel between floors.......Will have to figure out an alternative plan for heating the room in the Michigan Winter.....


I figured the paneling idea had holes in it.....Its more of a WAF compromise for me, but I will discuss it further with her, she has been very receptive to most of the ideas I have had, even if it took some convincing :)
 

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Hello to all.


Just a guess:


Asumming the same kind of music, if you have the speakers and the amps, a large room should be great for 2-channel music and live music. Optimations made (and required) for live musicians would translate to the reproduction of recorded sources. Roughly, recorded music would sound as if they are there, whether that makes acoustical sense or not.


Movies and multi-channel music would be horrible in a large lively room. Deadening a large room is possible but it would cost a lot of money. And it would be absolutely inadequate for live music.


As a reference, recording studios have control rooms and actual recording halls. Different spaces, completely different requirements.
 

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Having done a similar thing in a San Francisco nightclub, that needed to accommodate live bands as well as disco as well as solo performers, here's my $.02:

(1) If you have wallcovering off, definitely install Acoustiblok sheeting ( www.acoustiblok.com ) or some similar type of semirigid absorptive material. It's much better to HAVE this isolation and NOT need it, than vice versa. I would especially consider it in the ceiling space, so that upstairs activities don't disrupt yours, and vice versa.


(2) Make the interior walls & ceiling as absorptive as you can, within decor limits: Cloth over fiberglass batts, or similar rigid acoustic panels; heck, cloth over Sonex foam if you can get away with it! At this stage you want the place to be almost anechoic.


(3) You can add in brightness and reflections with clever placements of artwork, pictures (with glass fronts), plexiglas shapes, etc. The nice part about this approach is that you can tune the brightness AFTER you've got the room built and are actually working and listening in it. You might want to move certain items to a certain location when the band plays, and to other locations when you listen to music or movies. Basically you probably want your band to be set up where your screen is (retractable screen almost a must for this), and that area should be fairly live, with DIFFRACTION, not just reflection (do a search on "Live-End-Dead-end" and you can learn some more about what I'm talking about here). THe opposite end (where you park your ass for those DVDs!) can be deader, but must still have enough reflection so that your surround speakers (which you are going to bounce off the back walls, for disffuse realism) need to have SOME scattered areas of wall where some good highs will be reflected. Again, pictures, posters, or flat art made of metal or plastic can all accomplish this nicely, with a little careful listening and moving things around.


(4) Probably most folks will tell you to build your room absolutely square or rectangular, and to watch out that certain dimensions are not multiples of each other. The latter advice is still good, but I still believe in skewed room dimensions. The argument is that it makes the modes harder to predict; however, it also makes the modes more blurred spectrally, and in fact produces a more musical sound by avoiding a bunch of sharp (but highly-managed!) peaks. Just a 1/2" to an 1" out of square /plumb will do the trick. There's been lots said on this topic, and I encourage you to do your own research on it. The thing to consider: Are there any standing waves inside a perfect sphere? I believe theanswer is no. So the more your room approaches a perfect sphere, the more your problems with standing waves will subside (unless you room is a partial parabola or elliptical section, which will cause focussing of sound where it is NOT desired!


Good luck,

George
 
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