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Setting up a drop ceiling
Old 10th October 2014
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Setting up a drop ceiling

Hi! I am setting up a new control room with measurements 4.95 meter (16.3 feet) long, 3.67 (12 feet) meter wide and height 2.60 meter (8.5 feet). You can see picture of the room attached taken from the terrace outside, so the mixing position will face the glass sliding door. There are 3 wooden doors in the room, one at the rear left , and 2 at the left side, except that the rest is all concrete. So the question is how to treat this room?

1. I have these perforated gypsum ceiling tiles I can put up to create a drop ceiling, enough to cover 2/3 of the room (Picture attached)
a) Is it a good idea to use these to create a drop ceiling? What distance from the original ceiling? Should I leave the space between the two ceilings empty or should I fill it completely with fiberglass, or maybe leave a little space on the top of the fiberglass, how much? Or maybe only have fiberglass in the area around the walls, the corners in particular? Should I try and tilt the ceiling a tiny bit (can anyway only do a little bit with the system I have), highest ceiling (from the floor to the drop ceiling) in the front or at the rear?

2. As this room is quite small should I simply cover all the corners with as much bass absorbers as I can? And cover the remaining walls with absorbers? Or maybe I should use some diffusors as well, if yes where are they most efficient? But basically cover every available space except the doors with bass traps, absorbers and diffusors?

3. The floor is marble. Should I use a carpet or not? As much as possible or just part of the area, where?

4. How far should the back of the speakers be from the glass sliding door ideally?

5. Is the doors an advantage where it could be better to mix with all 3 doors open to "let the bass out"? Or is that not given and is something that need to be tested before one can conclude?

6. Could this be a decent mixing space, or is the space really to small to be great whatever way I treat it?

For everybody that takes the time to answer these questions thanks a lot!

Per
Attached Thumbnails
Setting up a drop ceiling-ceiling.jpg   Setting up a drop ceiling-room.jpg  
Old 10th October 2014
  #2
Gear Guru
Numbers

1 A suspended ceiling can be a very effective treatment. I wouldn't use hard tiles though, go for more absorbent ones. I would definitely leave a foot or so of space above it, filled with low density insulation.

2 Your room has a lot of acoustically hard boundaries so it will need deep corner traps, the square SoffiTrap type. Treat the side walls near the speakers and listen zone. Back Wall benefits from deep treatment. VPR's are interesting, there are a few threads here on that.

3 I would use carpet or rugs.

4 There is no guessing that, test using measuring software.

5 Open door will let the bass about but they might cause a secondary decay for hallways or other rooms.

6 That room can be made to sound great by using extensive treatment.

DD
Old 10th October 2014
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Hi DD, appreciate you taking the time to answer.

Regarding not liking hard tiles, you still think so taking into consideration how perforated it it? Please have a look at the picture attached here that shows it clearer. Could you provide a link to a product of yours you think would perform the same task better?

Per
Attached Thumbnails
Setting up a drop ceiling-bilde-2.jpg  
Old 10th October 2014
  #4
Lives for gear
 
adrumdrum's Avatar
 

You can have the perforted ceiling in the back part(back 2/3 from the speakers way) of the room as long as it not cause audible flutter echo. This might help yo avoid the feel of a hevy absorbed room(to avoid too much high frequency absorption)
The front of the room, where you have speakers, should be broadband absorbers, fiberglass absorbers with a thin non reflective covering(the usual whithe absorbers).
Old 10th October 2014
  #5
Gear Guru
Holy

They look very perforated. Probably fine although I would rather see something absorbent there. It would be good to get their specs, do you have name/brand. It is possible to buy batts of 705 with a white facing. This would be the best option IMO.
Armstrong have Optima and Ultima I think, go for the one with max absorption and no blocking layer. There may be a local product wherever you are.
You could use different types of tile, fully absorbent over you and the speakers, perf elsewhere.
Given your hard boundaries, I reckon this thick cloud is essential and a great idea. Apart from killing overhead reflections and the height mode, it will provide a way up and out for the horizontally travelling waves.

DD
Old 10th October 2014
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Thanks Dan & Adrumdrum! The solution is getting closer for sure. This is so useful...
I don´t have the brand name on those perforated panels, I bought them many years ago and I thought I might reuse them again in my new room. I tried to find something about VPR, wasnt easy to get a grasp on it. Is it a 2 sentence layman term explanation on the concept?
Old 10th October 2014
  #7
Gear Guru
Steel

The VPR is a sheet of steel say 1mm thick, 1x1.5 Metre or larger. It is placed or glued or sandwiched onto a 100 special foam by Basotect or Caruso Isobond.
Easy to get the latter in Europe, not so easy elsewhere.
It has peak absorption at 60-70Hz. Thicker steel will lower that, but with a decrease in efficiency.

RealTraps ceiling Tiles http://realtraps.com/p_ceiling.htm
Perforated Panel with Porous Absorber trap

DD
Old 10th October 2014
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Thanks Dan! It turns out that I actually "buildt" something close to a VPR in my current studio by accident five years ago. I bought a few steel of sheets to put on my wooden doors to secure them better, and was left with one spare one , I simply put in the corner sanwiched between fiberglass material. I was thinking that the vibration from it would kill the bass. And the room was great, I had a professional measure it. Better lucky than smart:-)
Old 13th October 2014
  #9
Gear Addict
 
dariva's Avatar
Hi,

I am about to start transforming a room for studio purposes, that also has a suspended ceiling. It is comprised of hard porous tiles that are very similar to the ones the OP has.

Prior to finding this thread, I though I should just remove the suspended ceiling and put drywall and insulation on the concrete slab that is the true ceiling of the room, but now I understand this might not be the best solution. The suspended ceiling is at 3 meters height and there is about half a meter above it to the concrete slab.

My considerations for removing the suspended ceiling were two:

1) I've always wanted to work in a place with a higher ceiling - makes the space look and feel bigger despite other dimensions and also, wouldn't the bigger volume of the room be better for overall acoustic performance? The dimensions of the room are 3,35 meters by 8,95 meters and the height is 3 meters with the suspended ceiling and 3,5 meters without it.

2) I was under the impression that in order to achieve good isolation, the wall and the ceiling constructions need to be air tight, so I figured that I would need to remove the suspended ceiling in order to be able to cover the whole of the walls with drywall and insulation from floor to ceiling, then put drywall and insulation on the concrete ceiling, and have an airtight connection between the wall and the ceiling builds.

Sorry for hijacking the thread, but since it concerns the issue of suspended ceiling, I decided to post in here vs. starting a different thread.

So keep the suspended ceiling and replace the tiles with rockwool or other absorptive tiles, or get rid of it?

Regards, K.
Old 13th October 2014
  #10
Gear Guru
Caught

You have been snared by the classic trap of viewing insulation and isolation in the same light. They are very different animals.
A sealed ceiling suspended on resilient hangers, with a damped air gap will help diminish sound passing down or up. Such a ceiling will have essentially no absorption, and you will need to construct clouds areas or even a whole second suspended ceiling to to the absorption job.
High ceilings are good but a fully absorbent suspended ceiling makes the room acoustically a bit higher even then the hidden boundary above. Because sound travels slower in fibre.

DD
Old 13th October 2014
  #11
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
For the drop ceiling you can use absorption in the early reflection points and perhaps diffusion in the other areas if need be. Around the perimeter of the room use absorption. Above the drop ceiling though you can use thick fluffy fiberglass to make the ceiling a HUGE bass traps. See the following as guide for your room.
Basics of Room Setup -
Old 13th October 2014
  #12
Gear Addict
 
dariva's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
You have been snared by the classic trap of viewing insulation and isolation in the same light. They are very different animals.
A sealed ceiling suspended on resilient hangers, with a damped air gap will help diminish sound passing down or up. Such a ceiling will have essentially no absorption, and you will need to construct clouds areas or even a whole second suspended ceiling to to the absorption job.
High ceilings are good but a fully absorbent suspended ceiling makes the room acoustically a bit higher even then the hidden boundary above. Because sound travels slower in fibre.

DD
Thanks for commenting, DanDan!



So, you are saying I should:

1)remove the suspended ceiling
2)build isolation on the walls and concrete ceiling (leave airgap between concrete ceiling and rockwool+drywall layers)

and then either:

3a) put the suspended ceiling back, but with absorbent tiles in it

or:

3b) hang clouds from the ceiling and walls

I have 16 bass traps, 0,6 meters by 2 meters, and actually two of those are double in size - all of them are 10cm deep. So I expect to be more or less set up regarding absorption if I go with 3a, at least as a start.

For some reason I want to do away with the suspended ceiling comprised of square tiles structure....mainly because I have all those bass traps ready and don't want to buy additional absorbent products...

How does this sound for a plan?

Much obliged for your assistance!
Cheers, K.
Old 13th October 2014
  #13
Gear Addict
 
dariva's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Kuras View Post
For the drop ceiling you can use absorption in the early reflection points and perhaps diffusion in the other areas if need be. Around the perimeter of the room use absorption. Above the drop ceiling though you can use thick fluffy fiberglass to make the ceiling a HUGE bass traps. See the following as guide for your room.
Basics of Room Setup -
This could be directed to the OP, but I want to say thanks also! Very very informative and useful! This together with Rod Gervais's book should give me plenty of info.
Old 13th October 2014
  #14
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dariva View Post
This could be directed to the OP, but I want to say thanks also! Very very informative and useful! This together with Rod Gervais's book should give me plenty of info.
You are very welcome.
Old 13th October 2014
  #15
Gear Guru
Test

Yes K, either plan is fine. I recommend deciding on treatment based on tests though. Do you have incoming or outgoing sound leakage at the moment? There are two types, airborne and structure borne. You can analyse this by measurement or even by ear. You will need access to upstairs and a loud sound source, a small PA, and a decent Sound Level Meter. REW will do the latter if you use a UMIK or Dayton Calibrated Mic. Mechanics have a stethoscope sort of tool for listening to gears. Ideal for tracing structure borne sound.
Similarly measuring the room response will give real advice on what is needed and where. Simple sine waves can very clearly show where treatment will be most effective.
Treating without fully identifying the issue would be like a bit like taking a collection of medicines in the hope that one or more of them will address the particular aliment.

Measuring Room Acoustics
DD
Old 13th October 2014
  #16
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Measuring is always useful and if you read a lot of my own posts I recommend it. Needless to say all rooms will need low end control so plan on that for sure. Like above the a drop ceiling. After measuring you can start to identify what is best for certain areas. Use the following free program for testing.
Room EQ Wizard Tutorial - GIK Acoustics
If you can figure out how to test then for sure use it to find the best location for speakers and listening spot. At that point all the things in the article I laid out will be needed testing or not.
Old 29th January 2020
  #17
Here for the gear
 

Hey guys, I'm Steve from Suspended Ceilings QLD here in Brisbane Australia. To be honest, I'm not super well versed in stereos, but I do build acoustic ceilings for a living From a ceiling perspective, I always advise spending more on your ceiling tile initially, and supplement with insulation later if the budget is an issue. .60 NRC tiles are cheap as chips and a great start if you're on a budget. If you can afford it jump up to at least a 19mm tile that's going to have a .70 NRC or higher, but you get a significantly higher CAC rating as well. CAC rating is the rating that relates to stopping sound coming in or out of the space in the ceiling. When I still lived at home I did this in my parents garden shed. Considering their bedhead was against that same wall, I could watch a movie bass blaring and my parents couldn't hear a thing.

AMF, Armstrong, USG all make high NRC/CAC ceiling tiles and at least one should be available in your country... hopefully. I have reviews on tiles on my website www.suspendedceilingsqld.com.au if you want some more help with what's out there.

Furthermore, you can carpet any hard surfaces and use sound rated plasterboard which will also help. You can now also buy special green glue to go between the plasterboard sheets which really helps reduce low-frequency sound.

Take care guys and I hope that's of some help to you.
Old 29th January 2020
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Starlight's Avatar
 

CeilingMAN, welcome and thank you, that is useful advice.

John H. Brandt, one of the professional studio designers here, recommends tiles have a NRC of 0.8 or better as part of a ceiling to his specification, eg.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhbrandt View Post
1. Install a dropped ceiling grid and use fiberglass ceiling tiles or equivalent with NRC = 0.8 or better. Install this at LEAST 12 inches from the hard ceiling. Place attic blanket (R-30) on top.
Old 7th February 2020
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Furthermore, you can carpet any hard surfaces and use sound rated plasterboard which will also help.
Hmmmmm... maybe not: Myth: "Carpet is good acoustic treatment"

Quote:
You can now also buy special green glue to go between the plasterboard sheets which really helps reduce low-frequency sound.
True, but it does an awful lot more than just "reduce low frequency sound"!

- Stuart -
Old 13th August 2020
  #20
Here for the gear
 

Hi, guys, I'm Tyson. I'm actually ceilingman's brother. I have a business doing exactly the same thing as him. If you guy's don't need a high CAC value you could go a 15mm AMF thermofon tile (very soft so need services brackets for downlights etc.) that tile has an NRC of .85 You can also get the 19mm version which has.90 NRC it's called the Alpha. (very similar to the Antaris which is now obsolete). Just my 2 cents worth hope it helps someone out. If anyone finds any other good solutions feel free to post on my site www.trimline.com.au I'd love to hear about it.
Regards Tyson
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