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lary999
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Basic Guidelines for Acoustic Treatment

Please recommend tutorial articles that recommend some basic starting-point room acoustic treatments, for stereo music reproduction. I'm thinking of basic approaches like the "live end / dead end" treatment; opposite-wall treatment to tame slap-echo; area rug placed to absorb first-order reflection from speaker to listening position; using furniture to absorb reflected energy; using bookshelves to diffuse reflected sound. Different viewpoints on "how much absorption is ideal". Just the basics, before one purchases the expensive room-tube treatments.

Here's a specific problem: I'd like to improve the acoustics in my kitchen, but there's not a lot of wall area available for treatment. I'd like to consider some creative approaches. For example: Highly effective ceiling treatments; highly effective panels for limited wall space (less than 10% of wall area).

All suggestions welcome!

Kal Rubinson
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Re: Basic Guidelines for Acoustic Treatment

If you go to www.rivesaudio.com, you can find links to many useful sites for guidelines and products.

Kal

Jan Vigne
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Re: Basic Guidelines for Acoustic Treatment

You have slap echo in your kitchen?!

CECE
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Re: Basic Guidelines for Acoustic Treatment

U need to upgrade your microwave oven and get an audio grade stove and refrigerator..Shubatababing is selling them. Audio grade dish soap too, also cleans LP's. Hang some burnt toast on teh walls for absorption.

jkalman
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Re: Basic Guidelines for Acoustic Treatment

The best singular source IMO is F. Alton Everest's "The Master Handbook of Acoustics." It is very thorough on all topics concerning acoustics and any topics that border that topic with any relevance. If you don't want to do that much groundwork... Then hiring an acoustical engineering consultant would be the way to go. Rives Audio offers excellent pricing for the services rendered IMO.

cyclebrain
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Re: Basic Guidelines for Acoustic Treatment


Quote:
Here's a specific problem: I'd like to improve the acoustics in my kitchen, but there's not a lot of wall area available for treatment. I'd like to consider some creative approaches. For example: Highly effective ceiling treatments; highly effective panels for limited wall space (less than 10% of wall area).

All suggestions welcome!

Some of these questions are difficult to answer. Don't want to make light of real questions, but also don't want to miss out on providing rediculous answers to rediculous questions.
Alright then. First you will have to design around your listening position and speaker location. I can't really imagine having either in a kitchen. Next you will have to tune the cabinets resonate frequency to minimize room modes by adjusting volume, wall thickness and stuffing with absorbant material. Remember when calculating your modes that the value you use for propagation rate of sound is based on air temperature and humidity. So you will need to determine what setting your oven will be at and how many pots of boiling water will be on while listening. You will also need a dedicated power circuit so that your system will not get interference from your food processor.
As an alternative you could buy a Wave Radio and put it on the counter and have a concert hall in your kitchen.

ethanwiner
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Re: Basic Guidelines for Acoustic Treatment

Larry,


Quote:
Please recommend tutorial articles that recommend some basic starting-point room acoustic treatments


Here you go:

http://www.ethanwiner.com/acoustics.html

There's a lot of additional non-sales technical information on my company's site - articles, videos, test tones and other downloads - linked under my name below.

--Ethan

lary999
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Re: Basic Guidelines for Acoustic Treatment

My thanks to everyone who responded.

Thanks especially to Jeff Kalman. I dusted off my copy of F. Alton Everest's "The Master Handbook of Acoustics.", and yes, several chapters discuss the optimization of listening-room acoustics, in excellent detail. I've decided to go with a near-field design, with the speakers near the counter where I do most of the food prep & washing up. I have an open floor plan, so I can locate bass traps in adjacent rooms, or in the drop ceiling. There's no other space in my kitchen for this kind of acoustic "tuning". The windows remain the biggest unsolved problem -- specular reflections plus the resonant plane of glass.

I realize that optimization of kitchen acoustics is an unusual topic, and might even be construed as a joke. However, I've been impressed at the advances in acoustic optimization of automobile interiors -- what a small, nasty space (acoustically), with all that glass, and yet the sound can be surprisingly good (or at least acceptable).

One key realization, I think, is the home-theater (and commercial theater) approach of "driving" the sound field at multiple points. Paul Allen employed this approach to perfection when he specified the sound system for his spare-no-expense world-class restoration of the Cineplex theater here in Seattle. The balcony -- always a difficult acoustic region -- has 37 (very high quality) speakers, spaced at 4-foot intervals. (Yes I counted them, while waiting for the Star Wars premier, years ago). Talk about perfection in a difficult acoustic space!

This approach -- use of many speakers to solve acoustic problems -- is one that F. Alton Everest didn't explore (at least in my edition).

Anyway, thanks again for the ideas!

-- Larry

jkalman
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Re: Basic Guidelines for Acoustic Treatment


Quote:
This approach -- use of many speakers to solve acoustic problems -- is one that F. Alton Everest didn't explore (at least in my edition).

The big issues with adding extra speakers, when they are being fed the same exact signal as adjacent speakers, is going to be comb filtering and multiple localizations of the same musical/vocal elements. Depending on how many speakers you want to use, you might need to design a proprietary device for the room in order to split the signal appropriately as to avoid the multiple localization issue, consequently that would also greatly reduce the comb filtering issue to normal stereo overlap levels. In this way you can split the stereo signal to play appropriately through however many speakers you like without sending the same exact signal to any two speakers (perhaps some kind of elaboration on Trifield, Logic 7 and other algorithms of their nature).

In a situation where you are using any of those preexisting algorithms (Trifield, Logic 7, etc) you would have to in some way adhere to their layout parameters (though they can be rather flexible with the right processor) and stay within their predetermined speaker limits (otherwise you are stuck creating your own algorithm, at least until Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD allow you to use much larger numbers of speakers down the road at some point). The primary problem is, they are designed to make a 2-channel signal sound like surround-sound for a designated sweetspot area, not necessarily designed for use in alleviating awkward room acoustics for two channel stereo on more than two speakers.

You could also use an EQ device like the TACT and just do stereo with digital correction for that room. A combination of that and Meridian Trifield would allow you to do some heavy room correction as well as use three speakers for your two channel stereo signal imaging.

resonance58
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Re: Basic Guidelines for Acoustic Treatment

Clearly low bass is most complicated and difficult aspect of room tuning, but there are some simple steps that you can take that will make a great difference. Check out this video that easily explains this topic:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=xe-phE223vM

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