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 Post subject: Acoustics action group
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:43 am 
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As everyone knows, the acoustics on the main room are very bad: harsh, rattling, shrill and tinny. Every scraped chair on the floor sends a piercing shriek through the room. Kim Tebble doesn't want to do another 78 set until it's improved. I had to leave at 9pm because my ears were hurting so much. I've been talking with a few people about what to do, and I think we should form an acoustics action group. Are there any sound technicians out there, or anyone with any experience of this, who would be willing to help? I think we should meet for discussions this weekend, or early next week. Current suggestions are:

- Dampening on the ceiling: egg boxes or sound-proofing tiles;
- Heavy curtains and wall-hangings;
- Wooden floorboards over the existing tiles;
- Heavy rug carpets.

Obviously these things have to be discussed generally because they will change the aesthetics of the room, but I think we should meet first to work out the possible solutions.

Get in touch if you're interested.

Richard


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:45 pm 
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There's a bundle of egg trays in the basement Richard and there's blacks in storage. That should help. I'll keep my eye out for non-cranial rugs.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:15 pm 
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what you need is the "BBC guide to accoustic practise". Commissioned back in the days when BBC engineering was the world standard


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:47 am 
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Awesome document from the BBC - cheers Ken! I'll enjoy reading this.

Thanks for the pointer to the egg boxes Keni. Pogo said he thought that the main culprits are the ceiling and the windows. An initial solution would seem to be to paste the egg-boxes on the ceiling and put up the blacks as curtains on the windows, which we'd leave open in the daytime of course. I'll be in today to check out the egg boxes.

R


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:28 pm 
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I talked to a girl the other day who does fine art textiles who saw the space and wanted to do something with it, could be good, would help with acousticas,

agreed it needs doing, the floor will be an issue, i think, maybe wood flooring is a way to go, rugs and beer and wet feet = manky pretty quick.

One other thought is fire proofinf of egg boxes and the like? will the fire dept get upset about this?


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:55 pm 
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All good thoughts and points. That fire-retardant spray stuff should help prevent the egg boxes and any textiles turning into fuel. Sure it's not very environmentally friendly, but then neither are fires, and we are definitely obliged to try really hard not to set the tenement ablaze. I would like to see textile artists getting the chance to create the curtains. However, if you want a quick and dirty solution meantime, I have a sewing machine that I can lend to the cause, though not much time to help operate it. I am imagining curtains on metal poles, with curtain rings - strong and easy to open, close and swap?

One other thing: at least one of the blacks in storage was mouldy beyond help, I hope the others have survived, but it's not guaranteed.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:39 am 
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Yo

I would think going for bass traps would be the way forward as suggested by Robin Schlochtermeier on facebook. It looks the most efficient way of dealing with the problem with the visual impact being minimum. I suspect other methods may be a bit hit or miss

martin

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:17 pm 
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Yeah, the artist-made curtains sound great. I'm not convinced about the bass-traps: after all. the problem is not the booming bassiness, it's the harsh rattly high-end. I think there's alternative than a load of soft stuff, or weird stuff like egg-boxes. Curtains I guess no-one will object to, but when and how can we have a general discussion about putting up the egg-boxes? Some people might be against them...


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:23 pm 
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There's also this piece of (what seems to me) great advice from my sound-technician friend in Sheffield. I posted it on facebook, but here it is for anyone who doesn't go there:

It's good that you're having tinny, harsh acoustic problems, because they're the easiest to solve! Basically, it's caused by surfaces reflecting the harsher high fr
equencies, which are much easier to treat than unruly low frequencies.

Everything you've suggested makes perfect sense. Basically anything soft will dampen that harshness, and the more of it the better. The tiles and windows are likely to be more troublesome than the concrete, so if you're at all worried about aesthetics, leave the ceiling until you've tried treating the other surfaces.

One thing to bear in mind is that parallel surfaces are more troublesome than non-parallel surfaces. For example, if the windows you described are on opposite walls, the reflections will have chance to bounce back and forth several times before being dampened. Also if the ceiling is horizontal, that will have the same effect in conjunction with the floor.

Wood is better for absorption than tiles, but any kind of carpeting is better still - even thin carpet tiles. Better still, a thick rug on a carpeted floor!

And yes, for the windows, heavy drapes or curtains would be best. The more of the glass you can cover, the better.

For the ceiling, there are a few options if it's necessary to treat it. You can get a company to carpet it (quite a few night clubs have their walls carpeted for a more immediate sound). Alternatively, you can attach rockwool or anything soft - old duvets etc. - to the ceiling and cover it over with fabric. We did this in our studio, and it worked wonders. Acoustic tiles work brilliantly, but they look a bit industrial. Egg boxes are not the best solution, but they're free, easy to fit and will make some improvement on the concrete.

All these solutions will also shorten the reverb time of the room. If the reverb tail is nice at the moment, you might not want to over-do the acoustic treatment. But if the decay isn't worth keeping, then do as much as it takes to temper the tone of the room.

Every room is unique, so whoever takes the lead with the work will learn a lot about the room and about the effect of the materials he or she uses in their experiments during the festival. I'm by no means an expert, but you're most welcome to share my email address with anyone who might find it useful.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:21 pm 
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perhaps the great Dan Gorman could put us in touch with the genius who fitted the "parachutes" in the Roxy?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:38 pm 
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Hi Guys,

I am a recently graduated textile artist just about to set up my studio down at Superclub studios and I would like a project to knock out the kinks in my new operations!
I have put in a rough proposal to Stephen for some screen printed industrial felt installations to help with the acoustics and we had a meeting with a few Forest people who were around on Thursday.
Stephen said to post here so that people can get involved; see my finished proposal with samples, sketches and models.

If anyone has any questions or if there is a good time next weekend or the week after to have a meeting about this then that'd be ace!

Mo :)


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