Recording room: thermal insulation affecting sound??

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Recording room: thermal insulation affecting sound??

Postby Nuuk » Sun Dec 26, 2004 11:37 pm

My room has two concrete walls with Styrofoam attached to it, which then was plastered.
the ceiling also has some kind of styrofoam with a thin layer of plastik on it. but the surface isn't even. both for thermal insulation.
I was just wondering if those two walls and ceiling were good or bad for overall sound.. should I leave it, or should i mount drywall or wood in those walls. or maybe something else?
the room isn't pretty big. It's 4,4 m (14.4') ; 3,3 m (10,8') and 2,2 m (7,2')
I ve got to do some treatment, so i was wondering if i should apply something to those walls or ceiling
Last edited by Nuuk on Mon Dec 27, 2004 11:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Nuuk » Mon Dec 27, 2004 3:39 pm

I've found something that looks like the stuff that is attached to my ceiling:
http://www.heraklith.at/heraklith-eng/p ... hp?nr=1131
should i stick with it, or build a wooden ceiling on it?
removing that stuff seems impossible, besides i would like to, in order to gain ceiling heigth. but it sticks like hell and could only be removed in small pieces, so i ll better leave it there...
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Postby Nuuk » Mon Dec 27, 2004 10:31 pm

seems that the ceiling eats up a lot of highs. I've removed everything i had in my room (some self made absorbers and, yes, a lot of carpet.. shame on me )
now there are lot of flutter echos, and that standing wave at about 80 Hz that i ever had. but the room isn't too bright. probably because of the ceiling. would be glad, if someone could agree to that, or decline it.
the plan at the moment is to build a ceiling of profiled timber, with a little rockwool under it. (trying to use as little height as possible)
then i will install 2 superchunks and i'll probably need a helmholz absorber for that standing wave, i think i will still have. afterwards i will take care of the remaining flutter echos with some diffuser.

I've attached a scetch of my room, in order to make thing clearer. floor is wood on some damping material made for floors. don't know what exactly it is.

I would appreciate any comments on this.
Attachments
raum.jpg
raum.jpg (9.11 KiB) Viewed 8468 times
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Postby Scott R. Foster » Mon Dec 27, 2004 11:30 pm

Post some pics and add your speakers, mix desk, etcetera to the sketch.
SRF
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Postby Nuuk » Tue Dec 28, 2004 12:33 am

Scott R. Foster wrote:Post some pics and add your speakers, mix desk, etcetera to the sketch.


emm, sorry, this room won't have a mixing desk, or speakers.. it's where i'll put the instruments i'm recording.. i thought this would be clear with the title. sorry about that.
anyway, i would greatly appreciate if you could comment my actual plans.
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Postby Scott R. Foster » Tue Dec 28, 2004 1:20 am

Dammit.. you need smarter people reading your threads!

OK, now that I'm on the same page [to the extent I ever will be anyway]... pics will still help... to understand the finish you have to work with.. also, how stiff are the platerboard walls?  Do they resonante if you thump em with your fist?  How about the plastered foam on the concrete walls, does this stuff resonate when you thump it, or is it pretty dead?  What about the ceiling?

Also, maybe put a cute flutist in a rubber mini-skirt in the pics?  

Our forum could use a New Year's boost..

TIA

:wink:
SRF
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Postby Nuuk » Tue Dec 28, 2004 1:46 am

i will take some pics tomorrow, getting late here at the moment.
anyway, the shorter plasterboard wall has a definite resonation, it's about the frequency i have the standing wave. the other plasterboard wall seems much better. (strange, they're being build the same way) only if i hit near the corner, i could hear a frequency similar to the other wall.
plasterboard walls are 2 sheet of plasterboard on each side, with rockwool in between. mounted on aluminium beams.

the concrete walls as well as the ceiling, does just "plock". it has a tone, but no real sustain. like knocking on wood, but more like some hollow wood.

if there would be such a flutist in my cellar at the moment, i would surely share with you.  8O  :lol:
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Postby Nuuk » Tue Dec 28, 2004 11:30 am

Ok, here are some pic. i hope they are ok, and help a bit.
hmm, a lot of the stuff i removed yesterday still lying around.  :roll:
Attachments
gyp.jpg
on the left the longer plasterboard wall. on the right the concrete wall.
gyp.jpg (14.86 KiB) Viewed 8432 times
floor.jpg
the wooden floor. both concrete walls again.
floor.jpg (16.35 KiB) Viewed 8431 times
ceilconcr.jpg
the ceiling and the two plastered, styrofoamed concrete walls
ceilconcr.jpg (17.48 KiB) Viewed 8431 times
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Postby Scott R. Foster » Tue Dec 28, 2004 3:00 pm

Is the room OK from a isolation stand point... in other words, are we only concerned with internal acoustics?

Assuming that's true, these are my initial thoughts:

1) The room is small, so I am inclined to start with an absorptive ceiling... I can't imagine the one you have is very absorptive across the band, and it looks like hell in the pics... how does the idea of a grid and tile suspended ceiling system with track lighting strike you?  If you have enough ceiling height to drop the grid about 300 mm from the current ceiling you should have enough room to slip some rockwool batts on top of the tiles for a nice broadband absorption layer from wall to wall across the ceiling that works fairly low in the band?  If you can't drop the grid that low then you need to try and get the tiles themselves to work as low in the band as possible... maybe buy some very thick tiles, or make your own out of cloth covered mineral fiber... I'd try to go at least 50 mm thick on the ceiling tiles/panels.  Either way you get an absorptive ceiling and a nice new finished look.

2)  I like tight rooms.. nothing sounds crappier to me than a room that ratlles and hums... how to tighten up that plasterboard wall  that resoantes?  More screws?  Another layer of drywall?  Both?

3) If you are buying factory made treatment, I'd look for foam corner wedges like the Auralex ML's and some thick foam panels for the side wall and such diffusion as you can afford for the rear wall - also, if you go factory made, there are drop in diffusers for grid ceilings which might be fun to play with [and look cool].

4) If you are going DIY I see no reason to vary from my standard advice... I like the Superchunks in all four corners, thick mineral fiber panels at the side wall reflection points [mirror trick], and polys on the rear wall.

Good Luck!
SRF
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Postby Nuuk » Tue Dec 28, 2004 3:44 pm

yes, isolation is ok. it's all about internal accoustics. but room height definitely is a concern. i just want to give up as less as possible. at the moment height is 2,2 m (7,2')
the ceiling doesn't look good indeed. When i build that room a few years ago, i wasn't concerned about accoustic treatment too much, so i put some carpet to the ceiling. but at some point it sounded far too dead. especially in the high frequencies.

you think i should put 50 mm mineral fibre and cloth onto the existing ceiling, hope i understood that right?
what do you mean with tiles. i couldn't find the right word to translate it. sorry, english isn't my native language.
having an absorptive ceiling, i fear the room coud feel too dead again, but maybe i'm wrong here.

i thought the frequency i hear wenn hitting the wall, had to do something with room modes. but maybe i might be wrong here, too. but will try the screws now. i could add another layer afterwards, if it won't help.

treatment will be as DIY as possible.

thanks a lot for your answers
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Postby Nuuk » Tue Dec 28, 2004 8:26 pm

I've been putting some more screws in my walls. seems to get a bit better, but if i strike the wall at a place where no beams is, the tone is quite there. So, i will get some plasterboard tomorrow. i think the thick ones might just be right, aren't they??
I also just had to place that bassdrum in there again, to see if something has changed. i think it now depends more on the place where you stand in the room, if you have that frequency hum.

what do you think about a checkerboard pattern ceiling? having one board with mineral fibre and the next with wood or mdf. i then could probably mount lights on, or in the wooden ones.. or would it acoustically be better to stick just with fibre mineral all the way.??
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Postby bert stoltenborg » Tue Dec 28, 2004 9:55 pm

Nuuk,

Sorry, I'm a bit late stepping in, but I have to make jokes with Ido, Rod, Mark etc

Heraclith is, as far as i know, cemented wood curls (don't know the propper english word).
When not painted it absorps quit a lot of highs and mid highs. Over here (holland) it is used to tamper reverb in auditoria, our tweede kamer (senate) and, YES IDO, parking garages.  :mrgreen:
It does work, but not for mid and low mid treatment.
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Postby Nuuk » Tue Dec 28, 2004 10:15 pm

Yeah, i know that stuff isn't quite what i would like to have on my ceiling. i mentioned earlier what you are now confirming. it takes a lot of highs. i think that it is cemented on to the ceiling, i read about somewhere. when i was building that wall some years ago i had to remove some of that material from the ceiling. it was an really awful job, despite it wasn't that much to be removed. it took quite a lot of time. so removing it isn't quite an option i think. or should i? any advice in removing technique for that awful stuff? i would gain ceiling height at least.  :bang
But i think it is heratekta, which is made for cellar rooms, mainly as thermal insulation. there is a simliar produkt called heraklith that's made for accoustical purposes and some other stuff.
now what's to do whith that ceiling. if i had more height everything would be cool. but i haven't, and i still don't like moving that heratekta or what ever it is. this would also mean heaving a could ceiling. it's the garage that's over my room, and winter is cold here... will think about that later on tonight..


anyway, tomorrow will be strengthening that wall..

by the way, any comment by anyone is shurely appreciated.. I'm quite unsure about a lot of the things i plan to do. so, every post will help.



I made some new pictures. i think they are better then the last ones. and please don't laugh about the lights. i know that this wasn't a good way, when i installed them. but at that time i just didn't want to spend any more time building, but using the room. hope somebody understands that, but none of them has fallen down until now. but now it's time to redesigning the ceicling, so get rid of them  :lol:
Attachments
hera.jpg
that awful stuff that's on my ceiling
hera.jpg (30.27 KiB) Viewed 8398 times
leftcorner.jpg
standing outside, viewing left corner
leftcorner.jpg (21.47 KiB) Viewed 8398 times
middlecorner.jpg
standing outside, facing corner in front of me
middlecorner.jpg (17.71 KiB) Viewed 8395 times
rightcorn.jpg
standing outside, viewing right corner
rightcorn.jpg (18.88 KiB) Viewed 8395 times
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Postby bert stoltenborg » Tue Dec 28, 2004 11:02 pm

Scotts advice sounds pretty good, as always.
You could  also do a quickfield-like thing, absorp a piece of wall, leave a piece bare or diffuse, etc.
works fine for recording IMO
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Postby Ido » Tue Dec 28, 2004 11:23 pm

bert stoltenborg wrote:Nuuk,


Heraclith is, as far as i know, cemented wood curls (don't know the propper english word).
When not painted it absorps quit a lot of highs and mid highs. Over here (holland) it is used to tamper reverb in auditoria, our tweede kamer (senate) and, YES IDO, parking garages.  :mrgreen:
It does work, but not for mid and low mid treatment.


Bert, you mean just the heraklit itself, right?
heraklit on construction with ~ 5 cm airgap filled wool should be good.
I should have specs somewhere.
to those who don't know it, heraklit, or tectum, is perhaps the most durable of absorbers, suitable for gyms with kids etc.
some even like the way it looks.
now there is a smoother version, more finesse.
Ido
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Postby Nuuk » Wed Dec 29, 2004 3:19 am

hmm, is that heraclith now good or bad? maybe i just could make a checkerboard pattern with cloth and wood.
Because i don't have roomheight to spend, i won't probably get good absorbtion from that thin layer of minral fibre.
Applying some wood and cloth to the ceiling would look nice and some frequencies would be absorbed by the heraclith. Then i ve got to get the main absorbtion from absorbers in the corners or walls. Would this cause any problems or negative effects, or could i go for this?
to me it seems like a good compromise, but i might have overlooked something, as i don't have much experience with acoustic treatment. i hope i'm not being unpolite, asking so many questions.
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Postby Scott R. Foster » Wed Dec 29, 2004 3:55 am

Hmmm - I'd head down to a commercial construction supplier that sells acoustic ceiling tile systems for offices and ask about a grid system... something like this:

http://www.armstrong.com/commceilingsna ... ?item_id=8

and consider filling the grid with either stand acoustic tiles covered with insulation batts... or make your own tiles by cloth covering thick mineral fiber panels and setting those in the grid - if you make your own use a grid the same size as the mineral fiber panels you are going to use, so you don't have to cut them [on the order of 2' x 4' most likely], also I'd I'd try and make em at least 2" / 50mm thick, but the the thicker the better.

OTOH you could just build a light wooden frame and fill it with mineral fiber and cover it with cloth using something like 1x liumber to trim the edges and seams.

Bottom line is I'd try and make the whole ceiling a braodband absorber... do this, add corner absorbers, and tighten up that wall and you should get a more balanced room [lows to highs].

Good Luck

PS: What about the back side of that boomy wall??? Does adding more screws there tighten it up any?  If you add another layer, I would think thicker is better, and I would guess that adding it to the interior side would be best.
SRF
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Postby Paul Woodlock » Wed Dec 29, 2004 4:51 am

Scott R. Foster wrote:....
OTOH you could just build a light wooden frame and fill it with mineral fiber and cover it with cloth using something like 1x liumber to trim the edges and seams.


Yeah, much better IMO for those who don't want to make music in an office!! :D :D :D ( I hate the look of standard 'grid' ceiling systems- YMMV :) )

Bottom line is I'd try and make the whole ceiling a braodband absorber... do this, add corner absorbers, and tighten up that wall and you should get a more balanced room [lows to highs].


Sounds cool to me :)


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Postby Ido » Wed Dec 29, 2004 8:07 am

Nuuk wrote:hmm, is that heraclith now good or bad? .


sorry for any confusion.
it could have been good (maybe) if there was airspace+ wool.
since I see you said there isn't , forget it and go along with all the good advice you got.
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Postby Nuuk » Wed Dec 29, 2004 11:44 am

ok, then ceiling will be fully absorbtive. I'm still argueing with the thought of removing the heraclith. I'll try removing some when the wall is strengthened. Just arrived from buying the plasterboard. Will level out the existing wall and then add the new plasterboard layer after lunch.
I need some ideas for lighting, when the ceiling is fully absorbtive. i don't have any good ideas how to mount and what kind of lightning to use at the moment.  :roll:
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