Monday, November 16, 2020

Acoustic Panel Calculator – Find How Many Sound Absorbing Panels You Need

You may find yourself wondering, “How many acoustic panels do I need for a ______?” You fill in the blank — studio, conference room, home office, you name it! We can help you lower reverberation in any space.

At SoundAway, we are committed to excellence, not only in the products that we provide but also in our service. Ensuring that you are satisfied with your purchase and even the process leading up to it is a top priority for us. Our team of experts is here to help guide you in making your selection by performing an acoustical analysis using our very own acoustic panel calculator, free of charge to you! The calculator is designed to determine the number of sound-absorbing panels recommended to lower the reverb in your application.

To get started, please:
1) Provide the room dimensions
  • Width
  • Length
  • Height
2) Provide a description of the finished surfaces (drywall, wood, concrete, tile, glass, carpet, etc.)
Include photos, if possible, from opposite corners of the room(s).
  • Walls
  • Floor
  • Ceiling
3) Select up to three products to include in the analysis
This may include:
  • Ambience Panels - These are typically ceiling or wall-hung, perpendicular or parallel to the floor. These panels are made to order, in custom sizes if required, and are available wrapped in any of the acoustic fabrics. The most popular fabrics are the FR701 and Anchorage.
  • SONEX Panels - These are typically ceiling or wall-hung, perpendicular or parallel to the floor. These panels are made from an acoustic foam with limited options in terms of size and colors. 
  • Whisperwave Products Line - These are made from an acoustic foam with limited options in terms of size and colors. Options in:
    • Clouds – typically ceiling-hung, parallel to the floor
    • Baffles - typically ceiling-hung, perpendicular to the floor
    • Panels - typically ceiling or wall-hung, perpendicular or parallel to the floor
Some additional items to consider while selecting the product types to include in your analysis:
  • For rooms where the height is less than 10’, consider Ambience Panels mounted to the ceiling or suspended as Clouds.
  • For high ceilings, Baffles or Clouds are recommended depending on the customer’s preference. 

Once you have gathered this info:

Submit an email to our team at that contains your responses to these three things, which, as a reminder are: room dimensions, description of the room’s surfaces, and three products you would like included in the analysis. From there, you can expect the results of our professional analysis to be emailed to you within one to two days. Contact us with any questions you have in the meantime – we’re happy to help!

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Tips for Soundproofing a Home Theater Room

These days, you may be planning to finally make your dreams of a home theater come true. When you love movies, television shows and video games, a home theater will definitely improve your quality of life. As great as home theaters are, they tend to be quite noisy, which means that you’ll probably want to soundproof the room. To reduce noise in a home theater room, be sure to:
  • Develop a strategy (select room, establish budget, select contractor)
  • Consult Soundproofing and Acoustics experts
It is important to understand that while soundproofing any space can greatly reduce the noise transmission, you should not count on complete silence. Even in the most well thought out and professionally designed movie theaters, sound travels into the halls. An STC higher than 65 can be challenging to fully soundproof so be sure you are setting proper expectations and not placing your theater right next door to, say, a nursery, bedroom or office.

Develop a Strategy

Every home theater is unique, so you will need to develop a strategy to soundproof successfully and avoid reverberations. Spacious homes with large rooms that are spread out require a different type of soundproofing than theater rooms in smaller, cozier homes.
Consider how much space you have to dedicate to your home theater as space or height constraints will limit your soundproofing options. If building your home theater from scratch, plan the soundproofing in advance. Dedicating time and thoughtful consideration when developing this strategy will be a game changer in the end. This allows you to plan for all the gaps where you need them and to avoid them where you do not.

Soundproofing - Reduce the Sound Emitted From Your Theater Room

Option 1: Reverberations are a major cause of noise and can often be the most frustrating. Isolating walls lowers sound transmitted through the structure. When you have ample space, consider utilizing the room-within-a-room method for optimum sound isolation performance within your theater room. 

Option 2: We understand that not everyone has a space large enough to accommodate building a room within a room. When you are working with a more moderate size space, a great option is isolating ceiling and walls using isolation clips and Drywall Furring Hat Channel. An especially effective way to soundproof a wall is decoupling. When an interior wall is constructed using traditional methods, drywall sheets are attached to the studs. This method causes a sound problem because the interior wall’s sound vibrations are transferred to the studs, which allows the noise to reach the exterior wall. With decoupling, the studs are separated from the room’s interior walls. This decreases the transmission of sound because it reduces the amount of contact that the walls have with the studs.

Whether you are following option one or two, plan to incorporate three things: absorption, mass, and damping. 
  1. For sound Absorption, use UltraTouch Denim Insulation or mineral wool within the walls. This is an ideal choice to contribute to sound absorption. 
  2. For Mass, we typically recommend utilizing a combination of Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) and one or two layers of drywall. 
  3. For Damping, Green Glue is highly recommended as a damping compound between layers of rigid construction material such as plywood and drywall or sandwiched between two layer of drywall.
Additionally, If your home is multistory, consider adding a carpet or tile underlay. This should be done in the room above the theatre room. On a ground floor, a floating floor will reduce structure borne noise.

Windows and doors are a prime spot for sound to seep through. Properly sealing these areas is critical and, in most cases, often overlooked. Beyond sealing the gaps around your doors, most standard doors invest in studio doors – they’ll do wonders in reducing sound transmission and preventing noise from traveling through and around the door. If your audio setup is on the modest side and your home has plenty of square footage, you may be able to soundproof an existing door using a solid-wood door combined door seals along the perimeter of your door.

Acoustics – Reduce Reverberations & Improve Sound in Your Home Theater

Acoustic treatment within the theater room will lower the reverberation, which, in turn lowers sound level outside of the room and improves the sound within your theater. Consider installing materials over your drywall that will allow for clean kinetic sound such as the SONEX One Acoustic Panels or the SONEX Acoustic Pyramid Panels for a classic look. Alternatively, for a classier finish consider Ambience fabric-wrapped Acoustic Panels. Not only are these additions affordable, but they’re great at reducing those reverberations that tend to seep into nearby rooms, allowing you to enjoy your entertainment with a clear, crisp sound and without bothering family members or neighbors.

Consult an Expert - We’re Here to Help!

Our team is dedicated to providing the best products, and we’re always here to help guide you through the purchase process and beyond. Get in touch with any questions while you tackle your home theater project.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

3 Simple Solutions To Improve Conference Room Acoustics

While the quality of room acoustics typically gets plenty of attention in venues where music will be played or recorded, and where stage plays or other theatrical presentations are performed, its importance shouldn't be overlooked in places like offices or conference rooms. Below are just a few of the many methods that can be used to improve the sound quality in offices and conference rooms to allow for improved audio during phone calls and meetings.

It's Not Just the Music

Just as room acoustics in a concert hall can make or break the presentation of a symphony orchestra, the acoustics in a meeting or conference room can make or break an important conference, conference call or video conference. When there's difficulty hearing and understanding an oral presentation, it's hard to take care of business as usual.

Speech is best heard and understood in rooms with a minimum of flat, hard surfaces that reflect sound. There are a number of ways to restore clarity in conference rooms, two of which are sound absorption and sound masking. The strategy used will be dependent upon the makeup of the room being considered.

Ceiling tiles and industrial-grade, thin carpet are often found in a typical office or conference room. A combination of one or both may be adequate for an individual or a small group to achieve an acceptable sound level. In a larger group setting, it is best to add Ambience acoustic ceiling tiles, wall panels, baffles or clouds suspended from the ceiling to tune the room acoustics. The benefit is an increase in productivity, creativity, and comfort.

Sound Proofing vs. Acoustics Improvement

If your meeting room is next to a noisy hallway, improving internal acoustics to make presentations easier to understand will have to work hand-in-hand with soundproofing the room from exterior noise. The same goes for noise that may be outside of the building the meeting room is in, especially if there are windows on the exterior wall.

Soundproofing windows doors can either be replaced with special soundproofing doors or, alternatively, you can enhance a solid wood door by using door frame seals.

3 Simple Solutions To Improving Conference Room Acoustics

Here are a few simple ideas to consider when trying to improve the acoustics in your conference or meeting room:
1. Counteract hard, flat surfaces with the addition of softer furniture and d├ęcor. Swap out hard chairs and install soft, cloth-covered ones. Add rugs or carpeting and sound-absorbing curtains or drapes.
2. You can mask external noise by incorporating “white noise” created by the use of a small water feature or a recording of soft background sounds.
3. Acoustic baffle panels hung from the ceiling or walls can act to reduce echo or reverberation in your meeting room. These hanging baffles can also add an aesthetic touch to the space. Acoustic panels can also be placed on doors to enhance noise reduction in your room.

Our team of experts are always happy to answer any questions that you have and help to guide you to the products needed to get the job done right. Get in touch!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Creating a Professional Recording Studio in Your Home

Music recording in a professional studio can be an expensive proposition, with studio time ranging anywhere from $50 to $500+ per hour at high-quality studios. Even if you're fortunate enough to find a budget studio offering low rates yet passable quality, it doesn't take long for the dollars per hour to mount up. This can cause you to rush when recording, leaving you with a less than enviable finished product.

One solution is to build your own home recording studio where you can put down song tracks any time the mood moves you, and not have to answer to anyone for the time and trouble song recording requires. Building a DIY recording studio in your home can be a challenging yet rewarding project, and for anyone serious about recording, it's something that can pay for itself in short order. You'll be able to play and record to your heart's content without having to spend cash by the hour. And, if you get good enough at recording, you may even be able to rent out your services to other like-minded musicians who would love to record on the cheap. Let's get started!

Location, Location, Location
To get started creating a professional recording studio setup, the first thing you'll want to determine is where in your house you'll be setting up your studio. Interior rooms will be easier to soundproof than rooms with exterior walls, especially if you live on a road with lots of traffic. Ideally, you should have a large room with high ceilings and lots of irregular surfaces. This will provide you with the best acoustics.

Noise is the primary enemy you'll have to deal with when setting up your in-home studio. This includes noise entering your room from outside which, when magnified through a microphone, will be LOUDER than you think. Some common causes of these exterior disruptions may include:
  • Cars
  • Neighbors
  • Neighborhood dogs
  • Birds
  • Plumbing
  • Rain
  • Wind
These noises can be effectively dealt with through the use of a variety of soundproofing techniques. Also consider that not only do you want to mitigate any noise coming into your studio room but also prevent the sounds you're making from affecting those outside of your space.

Effective Soundproofing
There's a wide variety of high-quality products available for providing effective soundproofing for your sound studio. If you've read the blog post, “Minimizing Noise Through Walls,” you've learned some of the many ways noise can enter into or escape from an enclosed space. It can travel through windows, doors, floors, ceilings, walls, vents and even through electrical outlets.

If you're setting up a bare bones room without any current soundproofing or acoustical treatments, you'll want to consider ways to handle all of the above-mentioned causes for unwanted sounds in your studio space. Fortunately, you have access to effective, affordable products for doing just this.

The above-mentioned blog discusses a couple of ways for soundproofing walls, both interior and exterior. Adding insulation to interior walls is not typical in the construction of standard homes but it is essential in any wall assembly. Building a room-within-a-room is the best option for optimal sound reduction. Unfortunately, this option will reduce the interior room dimensions at least 12” in width and length. There is, however, a more practical solution that only requires roughly 5” of floor space in each direction. This option isolates the walls by using isolation clips, Hat channel, Green Glue damping between two layers of drywall. There are several variables that determine the best option for each application. Let our team of experts offer the option that is right your studio.

To enhance and allow superior and professional sound, you will need to utilize an isolated ceiling system that consists of sound absorption, mass, isolation and damping materials. Contact our team of experts for a consultation – we are here to help!

Keep the sound from traveling through floors by applying a premium carpet, tile or wood underlay product. Treating floors with an underlay is especially important if your studio is on the second floor or above. Choose between mass-loaded vinyl and closed-cell foam. Keep in mind, the construction of the building will be a major factor in soundproofing, and while it is not always feasible to convert an old building to condo specs, there are always steps that can be taken to minimize the sound traveling through the floors.

It's important to seal doors in order to prevent against transmitting sound through the cracks and crevices that surround the door. This can be done by installing door frame seals to your already existing doors. For optimal soundproofing, consider installing acoustic studio doors, specifically designed for this purpose. Windows are also an important consideration and can be replaced with custom soundproof windows.

Don’t Overlook Acoustics
Once proper soundproofing is implemented throughout your designated studio space, it is time to consider the acoustics of the room. Reverberations can severely diminish the quality of recordings, and acoustics aim to manage it. Sound energy is converted to a quiet kinetic energy that creates a cleaner sound with the use of Acoustic Wall Panels. Consider options such as the Ambience Wall Panels, SONEX Panels or Whisperwave Wall Panels to enhance the quality of sound in the studio. The addition of Whisperwave Clouds suspended from a ceiling will serve to further improve the room’s acoustics and are always an excellent addition to any space, especially when high ceilings have created space for unwanted noise to reverberate.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Kinetics IsoMax Clips Installation Guide - Overview To Install on Ceilings and Walls

Installing the Kinetics IsoMax Sound Isolation Clips and Hat Channel is a simple process, but we all know that instructions can often be a bit tricky to make sense of. Below, we have broken this process down into simple steps for an easy-to-follow guide.

With these simple steps, you can forgo the difficult installation process associated with the standard resilient channels while protecting against inadvertently screwing through the furring channel and into a joist or stud when installing the drywall for optimizing wall and ceiling noise isolation.

Materials Needed:

Simple Steps:
1) Determine where you will be installing: wall or ceiling; and keep in mind that these clips are low profile to avoid taking up unneeded space.
2) Use a 4’ level to assess and mark your anchor locations, keeping in mind a few things:
  • Hat channel will be placed perpendicular to studs or joists
  • Vertical spacing between each channel should be 24" on center.
  • Horizontal distance between each clip should not exceed 48”
  • Channels must be overlapped a minimum of 6” to extend the length along long walls/ceiling to accommodate your needs

For Wall Installation:

  • The bottom row of Hat Channel should be a maximum of 3" from the floor to the center of the clip
  • The top row of Hat Channel should be a maximum of 6" from the ceiling

For Ceiling Installation:
  • The clips should be attached within 12 inches of perimeter and at the end of the furring channel
  • The outer hat channels should be a maximum of 6" from the perimeter
  • Secure the clips with a single screw (Tapcon for Masonry), beginning with one end only (reference image at left). Anchoring Recommendations: Wood or Drywall + Studs - #8 x 2-1/2" coarse thread screws
  • Steel - #8, 10, or 12 x 1-5/8" self-tapping Type S screws
  • Concrete or Masonry - 3/16" dia x 2-1/4" Tapcon or equal anchor

3) Insert the hat channel into the clip that is attached and place the other end of the hat channel in place before securing the second end with a single screw or Tapcon (for masonry)

Kinetics IsoMax Clips Product Information:
  • Reduces Structure Borne Sound Transmission
  • Weight Capacity: 36 lbs. per clip
  • Performance Range: STC 57 to STC 64 in lab tests
  • UL fire-rated for wall and ceiling assemblies
Our team of Sound Isolation experts are always happy to answer any questions that come up through the installation process, just give us a call at 866.768.6381.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Minimizing Noise Through Walls

Dogs barking, neighbors yelling, loud music playing and traffic blasting by - these are all things that can be a real nuisance, causing stress and sleeplessness. If you're living in a home where these sound disturbances occur, finding ways to soundproof your living space can add significantly to the quality of your home life.

What's Letting All That Noise In?
Sound travels in waves and is transmitted through the air to our ears. All sound that we hear is classified as airborne sound, such as music coming from a radio, but may also be called structural sound, such as footsteps on the floor above or someone knocking at the door. These structural sounds are transformed into airborne sounds, which is what we hear.

Sitting in our homes, we may be inundated by sounds through a variety of means. They may come from outside through our doors, windows and walls, and from inside through our floors, ceilings, doors and interior walls. Sound waves reach us by following the path of least resistance. This could be around the perimeter of a door or window, through an uninsulated electrical outlet or through an air conditioning or heating duct/vent. Sounds also transfer through the solid structures of your home, such as the actual doors, windows and walls. In the following, we'll concern ourselves specifically with ways to minimize noise coming through walls.

How To Reduce Noise Between Rooms
Anyone living in an area where temperatures drop during winter months knows that the first line of defense against a chilly abode is to insulate the walls against the cold. This will also help keep your house cooler during the summer months. By insulating all the nooks and crannies that exist between the exterior and interior walls of your home, you're helping block temperature transference. The same holds true for sounds that, like heat or cold, travel along and through the paths of least resistance.

Start With Soundproofing Walls
While complete soundproofing should include walls, floors, doors, ceilings and windows, you should start with the walls, both interior and exterior. Soundproofing during initial construction is usually easier and cheaper than with a remodel, but good results can be obtained with either method if properly done. Effective soundproofing of walls can be achieved through several means and some are a bit more labor-intensive than others.

One simple way of doing this is by using our Mass Loaded Vinyl Noise Barrier (MLV). Flexible, limp and heavy, this specially designed material is incredibly effective at blocking, absorbing and deadening sounds. It has numerous applications and is easy to use – especially important for DIYers. This method isn’t as visually appealing as other options but can satisfy your need for quiet. Read more about Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) here .

For optimal soundproofing, the wall cavity should be completely filled with quality insulation, including all gaps and spaces between studs. This will also improve the fire safety rating of your home, serving as a means for slowing fire travel within walls. Properly insulating walls for soundproofing should include filling any gaps that could allow sound transference, such as electrical outlets, switches and even nail holes that may have been made for hanging pictures, etc. If you are building a new home or renovating, taking extra care during construction to ensure proper soundproofing throughout the process will make things easier (and quieter) in the long run.

Recommended Installation Procedure:

  1. Demo existing walls, if required. You want to have any sheetrock removed and frame exposed.
  2. Install UltraTouch Denim Insulation
  3. Install IsoMax Sound Isolation Clips
  4. Insert Hat Channel
  5. Attach a layer of 5/8” drywall leaving a perimeter gap not to exceed 1/4” 
  6. Fill gaps with Acoustical Caulk Sealant , applying a 1/4” bead of along edges of sheetrock and bevel edges of butt ends. 
  7. Apply Green Glue to a second layer of 5/8” sheetrock, at a rate of 2 tubes per 4x8 sheet. Offset the seams of the second layer from those of the first layer and fasten to Hat Channel, pressing firmly. 
  8. Finish as desired

This is a common sound isolation system for minimizing noise through walls and ceiling and is found to be a highly effective solution to lowering both structural and airborne noise. Our expert team is always happy to help guide you through making your selection – let us know how we can help !

Thursday, December 19, 2019

How Sound Affects Your Sleep Cycles

Waking up from a poor night of rest is all too common in this fast-paced world. Placing the blame on technology and busy lifestyles is certainly valid, but there's another issue that can also impact your rest. Ambient sounds from the surrounding environment can wake you every night of the week. Learn how sound affects your sleep cycles, and choose smart ways to combat this serious problem.

The Stages of Sleep

There are currently four defined stages of sleep. They include two particular kinds of sleep:
  • Non-REM
  • REM 
REM stands for “rapid eye movement.” The first three stages of sleep are non-REM types, during which you're lightly resting. Stage four is deep sleep, in which your eyes flutter underneath the eyelids.

A noise and sleep disturbance usually affects the first three stages of sleep. Your mind is still mostly aware of the outside world, which makes you vulnerable to wakefulness as the sounds ebb and flow.

It's much harder to disturb the mind in REM sleep, but this stage must be reached through a restful period in stages one through three.

Loud Sounds

A loud "bang" outside is enough to awaken anyone from a deep sleep. When stage four is disturbed, a person is rattled into reality. The heart might beat rapidly, which can be detrimental to vulnerable people with cardiovascular problems. It may be difficult to get back to sleep too.

Loud noises occurring during the other stages don’t cause as intense of a reaction, but they still stifle rest as the person opens his or her eyes and becomes aware of the outside influence.

If a loud sound awakens a person on a regular basis, the sleep cycles are greatly impacted. Bouts of insomnia can arise. Restful nights are now difficult to achieve.

Consistent Nighttime Disruptions

Your body needs time to move through all stages of sleep. Ultimately, you want as much time in stage four as possible. Frequent interruptions to your rest, however, stop this progress in its tracks.

If a sound awakens you in stage three, you must start again from stage one and move forward. It's possible to remain restless all night if sounds are constantly bombarding the room. Failing to reach stage four means that your body cannot really rest, and you wake up in the morning with a dissatisfied sensation. Feeling tired the rest of the day is common.

Sensitivity Varies Among the Population

It's difficult to address sleep and how sound affects it because of differences within the population. Some people simply sleep more soundly than others. A person who tends to wake up a lot during the night may be more vulnerable to sounds outside, such as traffic. These individuals would benefit from soundproofing their rooms. Wearing earplugs every night isn't practical.

Heavy sleepers may not wake up from the ordinary sounds found outside. However, loud noises can still startle them. These heavy sleepers might get away with a few hours of good rest, but they're certainly not immune. Consciously noting how you feel in the morning is a good way to ascertain how much the outside sounds are influencing a restful night's sleep.

Short- and Long-Term Effects on Health

The effect of noise on sleep can be considerable and affect your health:
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Cardiovascular damage
  • Metabolic issues
Your body performs a lot of damage control during restful sleep. If it's constantly interrupted, tissues cannot repair themselves. The body reacts with side effects that can be both immediate and chronic.

The short-term effects are usually centered around being sleepy and having clouded judgement. You might be irritable too.

The long-term effects can lead to weight gain, heart problems and other issues. Dealing with the noise disturbances is the best way to stop all of these issues from becoming major concerns.

Solving the Noise Dilemma

To avoid sleep-cycle disturbances, many people turn to white noise. Machines with specific sounds that play all night can help drown out those ambient disturbances.

If you can't sleep with any noise in your room, think about soundproofing your space. Specialized materials can be installed by professionals. Walls, ceilings and floors are all potential areas for soundproofing.

Depending on the materials, several decibels of sound can be eliminated from a home. Discuss your options with the experts because the investment isn't just in the property. Investing in noise reduction will only improve your health too.

Contact SoundAway Corporation today. Our team can help you with your acoustical options so that sounds are largely controlled. Discover a deeper kind of sleep with soundproofing products. The difference is felt in both your mind and body.