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Cedar panelling on walls?
Old 8th February 2007
  #1
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Cedar panelling on walls?

I've been considering installing some of that DIY tongue in groove style cedar panelling on the upper or lower portion of my studio tracking room walls to add a little more reflection. This would be going over a standard drywall surface. I would plan on making it uneven by building some of the sections out a bit and/or angling portions to stagger the surface for some diffusive quality. In amongst the panelling I was thinking about building out some framed in "boxes" at various points that would incorporate mineral wool bass trapping. Hopefully, you can visualize what I'm attempting to describe. Anyway...my main question is about the cedar panelling and what folks would think of it's acoustic properties. I've got fairly high sloped ceilings, commercial carpet over concrete floors and a bunch of acoustic panels I can move around as necessary; room is about 23x20 with a sloped ceiling peaking at about 14'. The walls are actually kind of 'split level' too. The upper and lower half are divided by a ledge that runs around the room, so the lower half is about 6" further out than the upper. I could put panelling on the lower or upper half, though I'd be hard pressed to do it on the upper due to the labor involved.

Any thoughts/insight are much appreciated!
Old 8th February 2007
  #2
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Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by centurymantra View Post
I've been considering installing some of that DIY tongue in groove style cedar panelling on the upper or lower portion of my studio tracking room walls to add a little more reflection.
I wouldn't expect much difference in the reflectivity of wood versus sheet rock. Maybe a little more from wood at the highest frequencies if you apply a thick coating of some sort of shiny finish. But not night and day, if that's what you're after.

> I would plan on making it uneven by building some of the sections out a bit and/or angling portions to stagger the surface for some diffusive quality. <

That might help a little to avoid flutter echo, but the irregularities need to be fairly deep to have much effect to a usably low frequency. That is, an inch of offset will do very little, but six inches or more will help.

--Ethan
Old 8th February 2007
  #3
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
I wouldn't expect much difference in the reflectivity of wood versus sheet rock. Maybe a little more from wood at the highest frequencies if you apply a thick coating of some sort of shiny finish. But not night and day, if that's what you're after.

> I would plan on making it uneven by building some of the sections out a bit and/or angling portions to stagger the surface for some diffusive quality. <

That might help a little to avoid flutter echo, but the irregularities need to be fairly deep to have much effect to a usably low frequency. That is, an inch of offset will do very little, but six inches or more will help.

--Ethan
Wouldn't adding paneling stiffen the wall and make it less absorptive of bass frequencies? Doesn't drywall work as something of a bass trap?

-R
Old 9th February 2007
  #4
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Sure it would. But Ethan sells bass traps - problem solved.

If you want to use wood in your studio, the only questions you should ask are:

1 - does it suit the decor
2 - does it smell good
3 - can you afford it

Acoustics are a function of room dimensions and geometry, mainly. Certainly large membrane (such as walls) can suck some bass energy like a resonant bass trap. Generally, you will need more bass trapping in any room anyway.
Old 9th February 2007
  #5
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I'm not sure I totally agree, Kiwi. I'd love to hear more thoughts on how drywall affects low end frequency response. I've added bass trapping to my own control room, which has some very tall drywall walls and a plywood floor (2nd floor), and the traps don't improve the room sound. I'm feeling that my room may in fact be bass-lite from the get-go, perhaps due to the construction materials.

Years ago I helped build a studio where we mounted the drywall on resilient channel, and I swear the walls sucked all the mojo out of the acoustic environment.

-R
Old 9th February 2007
  #6


Typical drywall construction with 16 or 24 inches between studs and insulation inside acts as pannel trap. The wood could act as a pannel trap too, but it would behave somewhat differently.



-tINY

Old 9th February 2007
  #7
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You are probably right in that case. When I think "drywall", I think of it nailed to a solid structure of 2"x4"'s.

If a wall is basically resiliant, then a layer of wood or anything else basically reflective is purely for cosmetics.

My rooms are solid concrete in all directions. I needed a lot of bass trapping, and I achieved most of it with thin hardwood panels, curved into convex surfaces, mounted in the corners into aluminum strips via rubber edging. The things are like damped kick drums - different widths and diameters. I have a lot of foam inside to broaden the Q. Works brilliantly - and the highs and mids get some nice diffusion.
Old 9th February 2007
  #8
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Ya know...

I've got cedar walls in my writing studio, and I think it sounds nice. Not a huge diff from drywall I think, but it is rough hewn, and fairly soft, so it seems less reflective without seeming dead.

maybe I'm a fu**ing hippie, but wood seems some how more musical than drywall.

and it looks cool....if you're a fu**ing hippie.

yours in wood - dave darling
Old 9th February 2007
  #9
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwiburger View Post
You are probably right in that case. When I think "drywall", I think of it nailed to a solid structure of 2"x4"'s.
2" x 6"s in my case, no resilient channel. Adding a layer of wood woud definitely change its resonant absorption characteristics.

I like the idea of those curved traps, though.

-R
Old 9th February 2007
  #10
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Some interesting replies here.... It would seem that I probably shouldn't expect a huge difference, though I'd be surprised if there wasn't SOME effect upon the acoustics. The question is, of course, would I like the change. It would look nice...even though I'm probably not really a fu***ng hippie I had also thought about throwing a few curved hardwood panels at points in the walls. I guess the bottom line is whether the effort involved would be worth it. For acoustic properties...probably not. Aesthetically...maybe. I've got some food for thought anyway. I do know that when I place 1/4" pine panels underneath a musician playing an acoustic instrument, there is quite a notable difference, esp. when employing condenser mics.

I'll probably start another thread, but I did have one other question. This is a ground level (actually half underground) room with concrete floors and I've thought about pulling up the commercial carpet that's on the floor and exposing the concrete, which could be painted or treated in some way. I could scatter a couple rugs at points to break it up bit. Concrete floor vs. carpeted concrete floor...any thoughts?

Cheers!
Old 9th February 2007
  #11
One benefit is you can store all your wool in the control room, no moths!

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 9th February 2007
  #12
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Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman View Post
Wouldn't adding paneling stiffen the wall and make it less absorptive of bass frequencies? Doesn't drywall work as something of a bass trap?
Yes and Yes. Sheet rock walls built "normally" do offer some amount of tuned bass trapping. What frequency range is absorbed depends on the thickness of the wall material, and how much trapping depends on the wall stiffness and whether insulation is inside the wall.

Generally the frequencies absorbed is a fairly narrow range, and too low to substitute for real broadband bass traps. If you add wood planks on top of the sheet rock, that lowers the frequencies further and also stiffens the walls reducing the total amount of trapping.

I did not expound on any of this because I didn't see that as being part of the original question. I read the OP as assuming / asking if the character of the room would change due to the different materials.

--Ethan
Old 9th February 2007
  #13
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call me a hippie too

one of my favorite rooms had pine wainscoting all the way around about waist high, some traps, some sheet rock and some actual rock.

It may not be very scientific but I always felt the mojo of the room derived the combination of a variety of different materials, with the wood being a big part of it. As one of my friends said, would you rather have a guitar made of wood or a guitar made of sheet rock?

even if the auditory effect is minimal, if it makes a nice element for your decor and if you can afford it, go for it. the placebo effect alone might make it worth it, like a nicely designed graphic for a plug-in compressor.
Old 9th February 2007
  #14
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

A large percentage of my room (including the entire ceiling) is surfaced with redwood boards layed on 1x4's on edge to form traps behind (with 703 and air behind). The boards have gaps between them and were ripped to several different widths. I could have used several things for the planks but decided on rough redwood. Lots of work but the room sounds fantastic.

The basic geometry with multiple angles and the bass traps were in before the final wood treatment went up in my room.....no denying that these are critical.

Given a little thought and some variation in the surface texture, wood can do wonderful things to the diffusion of sound that is very different from any sheetrock treatment.
To me it has little to do with absorbtion, bass traps etc at the stage that you put up the last layer, it's about the diffusion and the esthetics.......nice wood is sooooo sooooothing.
Old 9th February 2007
  #15
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
Yes and Yes. Sheet rock walls built "normally" do offer some amount of tuned bass trapping. What frequency range is absorbed depends on the thickness of the wall material, and how much trapping depends on the wall stiffness and whether insulation is inside the wall.

Generally the frequencies absorbed is a fairly narrow range, and too low to substitute for real broadband bass traps. If you add wood planks on top of the sheet rock, that lowers the frequencies further and also stiffens the walls reducing the total amount of trapping.

I did not expound on any of this because I didn't see that as being part of the original question. I read the OP as assuming / asking if the character of the room would change due to the different materials.

--Ethan
Thanks for the expound. If there is insulation behind the drywall does that raise or lower the absorptive frequency, or just broaden it, or reduce it?

As a side note, when I rolled in a 7'6" Yamaha grand piano sortly after building my studio, it completely leveled out the low end response of my L-shaped control room. No off-axis bass buildup.

I have to admit, though, Ethan's panels are probably a little cheaper.

-R
Old 9th February 2007
  #16
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Sutton View Post
A large percentage of my room (including the entire ceiling) is surfaced with redwood boards layed on 1x4's on edge to form traps behind (with 703 and air behind).....hing.
Sounds very cool, how about posting some pix? I've been thinkg of going woody in my room.

-R
Old 10th February 2007
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by centurymantra View Post
I'll probably start another thread, but I did have one other question. This is a ground level (actually half underground) room with concrete floors and I've thought about pulling up the commercial carpet that's on the floor and exposing the concrete, which could be painted or treated in some way. I could scatter a couple rugs at points to break it up bit. Concrete floor vs. carpeted concrete floor...any thoughts?

Cheers!
Exactly the same situation here too - I'm very keen to hear more about this.

Al
Old 10th February 2007
  #18
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Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman View Post
If there is insulation behind the drywall does that raise or lower the absorptive frequency, or just broaden it, or reduce it?
Both. Adding insulation lowers the resonant frequency of the wall, and also broadens the bandwidth (lower Q).

--Ethan
Old 11th February 2007
  #19
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Ethan - any thoughts on the concrete vs carpet debate?

Al
Old 12th February 2007
  #20
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^ for the bare concrete options

Al
Old 12th February 2007
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worlez View Post
^ for the bare concrete options

Al
I started a new thread...maybe someone will chime in with some experience/insight on this.
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