With the recent boom in small-room studios and high-end production spaces, either in the home or in a private facility, there has been a concomitant boom in sales for professional acoustic treatments. The following represents a small sampling of what’s newly available in absorption, reflection and diffusion products. For relatively low cost, acoustic treatment can be one of the best investments you will make in your studio.
Acoustics First QuadraPyramid
The QuadraPyramid from Acoustics First is not new, but it has enjoyed a resurgence of late. A variation of the traditional offset pyramidal diffuser, its patented low-profile design presents four pyramids to create 16 angles of reflection on the surface of a single 2x2-foot panel, with each pyramidal quadrant rotated 90 degrees. The QuadraPyramid Diffuser generates a uniform polar response over a broad frequency range. There is very little sound absorption when used as a ceiling-mounted device in a standard grid (15/16-inch) (NRC=0.10). When wall mounted in a specific manner, it becomes a mid-bass absorber in the range of 250 Hz (0.60 SAC) with the skirt of the bell curve extending down to 125 Hz on the low end and 315 Hz at its upper limit (NRC=0.20).
Acoustic Geometry: Pro Room Pack 6, 8, 10, 12
Now in its second year, the most recent release from Chaska, Minn.-based Acoustic Geometry is the Pro Room Pack Series, featuring the 6, 8, 10 and 12. Known for its research and application of curved diffusers and corner absorbers, the Pro Room Packs are designed to combine phase-coherent diffusion, proven low-frequency mode mitigation and broadband sound absorption. The largest package, the 12, features eight fabric-wrapped wall panels (2x4-feet, 2 inches deep; six fabric-wrapped ceiling clouds (2x4-feet, 1-inch thick); 12 medium Curve Diffusors (21 × 42 × 7 inches); and four CornerSorbers.
AirHush ISAT (Inflatable Sound Attenuation Technology)
High-end pro audio distributor TransAudio Group made a big splash at NAMM in January with the introduction to of AirHush and the creation of a 10x50-foot “quiet booth” out of ISAT panels. Touted as a revolutionary advancement in sound isolation technology, ISAT consists of lightweight, transparent, modular and infinitely re-configurable panels that reduce SPL and create isolation in temporary or permanent locations anywhere. At roughly 4 square-feet per panel with sturdy metal frames that hold graphics or lighting, AirHush ISAT panels lock together easily to form any size enclosure, wall or barrier, with no need for professional installation. AirHush panels also reduce freight cost tremendously, as three deflated panels ship in the space of one inflated on-site panel. Essentially ISAT systems replace the mass used in traditional sound control solutions with air and combine it with modern sound attenuation materials.
Auralex Acoustics RLX: Room Layout eXpress App
At NAMM in January, amid a plethora of absorbers and diffusers on poles and in packages, Auralex Acoustics showed the first version of its RLX: Room Layout eXpress acoustical treatment app, an intuitive, automated treatment app designed to give instantaneous recommendations for various small room types and give users the ability to quickly get acoustical treatment suggestions on their mobile devices. To begin, simply select your “Room Type.” You can also use the “Edit Room” function to view multiple results for the same dimensions previously entered. The kit recommendations provided are based on both the type of room selected, and the suggested amount of necessary acoustic treatment required based on your specific square footage. You are also able to input various types of equipment and gear used in your room. The standalone app is available on the Apple App Store and Android App Store.
GIK Acoustics: Impression Series
Released early in 2017 and just now reaching its height, the new Impression Series from GIK Acoustics is a line of acoustic panels and bass traps with decorative plates that deliver a visual statement to enhance any room. Impression Series panels are ideal for creating an even balance of low-end absorption that also helps reflect/scatter high-frequency content in the room, giving the proper balance needed. The panels come in five available designs (Bubbles, Checkerboard, Gatsby Arches, Mod Geometric, 3D Cubes); three standard sizes of Square (24 x 24 inches), Narrow (12 x 48 inches) and Rectangle (24 x 48 inches); three levels of absorption (2-, 4- and 6-inch thick) and three plate finishes (blonde wood veneer, black acrylic, white acrylic).
Delta H Design CAT System
The Custom Acoustic Treatment (CAT) system from Delta H Design is based around multidensity, multilayered absorption that allows control of more frequencies and more amplitudes than previous generations of absorption. CAT panels were originally designed in flexible shapes and sizes to fit any space for architects and interior designers. The thin profile allows for great aesthetics and minimal obstruction while maintaining acoustical performance. The CAT System is available in three categories: CAT 4 (up to 4 square feet and up to 6 sides), CAT 8 (up to 8 square feet and up to 8 sides) and CAT 16 (up to 16 square feet and 10 sides). Panels are a half-inch thick, with a stated NRC of 0.5 wideband response. Custom shapes are limited to convex polygons with no in-cuts. Customers provide detailed, dimensioned drawings for all custom shapes in AutoCAD 2018 or PDF.
IsoAcoustics STAGE 1 Isolators
At NAMM in January, IsoAcoustics introduced a series of isolation feet designed for loudspeakers, stage monitors, amplifiers and subwoofers, giving live sound professionals a solid, low-cost means of reducing vibration. They also work just fine in the studio. The new STAGE 1 Isolators are packaged as a set of four, which can either be screwed directly to the bottom of the amplifier/loudspeaker/subwoofer/monitor or attached to a board to create an isolation platform for supporting the equipment. The rugged aluminum housing features a very low-profile design, with a height of 1 inch, enabling the equipment to maintain a low stance, and allowing them to fit easily inside road cases. The new STAGE 1 Isolators can support a maximum weight of 200 pounds per set of four and are designed for equipment ranging from small bass combo amps to stacked 4-12 cabinets.
Primacoustic: Hercules, London and Bass Absorption
Primacoustic provides a vast range of acoustic treatments, from its Broadway line to its Element Series, from bass trapping and diffusion to ceiling clouds and its popular Recoil Stabilizers. Last year the company, a division of Radial Engineering, introduced Hercules “impact-resistant” absorption panels manufactured from the same high-density (6 pcf/96 kg/m3) glass wool core as Primacoustic Broadway, but the face of the panel is covered with a high-density fiberglass layer. This facing allows the panel to effectively absorb most frequencies, but the protection will prevent damage occurring from accidental contact. Hercules panels measure 24 x 48 x 2 inches, with square edges, and are available in beige or gray acoustically transparent fabric. Meanwhile the company’s London Room Kits, ranging from London 8 to London 16, have enjoyed a resurgence as a complete studio solution. And the range of bass traps, from Cumulus to Max to London, has been on the rise with the surge in small-studio construction.