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Acoustical Materials to Go


A cornerstone of any great studio design is its acoustical treatment. While the best option is to build the treatments into the walls and ceilings, manufacturers continue to design and develop highly effective products for easy installation that can address myriad acoustical issues in a variety of commercial and personal studio spaces. This month, Mix looks at the latest product offerings, including foam, panels, isolation products and complete treatment kits (bass traps, diffusors, tiles).

Auralex SonoLite

At the 2011 NAB Show, Auralex Acoustics introduced its SonoLite fabric wrapped StudiofoamPro panels; this product reaches out to smaller and affiliate broadcast production facilities. SonoLite ($29.99 per panel) is a fabric-wrapped StudiofoamPro panel that measures 2×2 feet x 1 inch. SonoLite is available in black or beige with squared edges, and provides an overall Noise Coefficient Rating (NRC) of 0.75.

Acoustic Sciences Corporation’s Wall Panels provide treble absorption with built-in reflectors. They can be used for primary and secondary sidewall reflection control, or paired with diffusors for home theaters. Wall Panels are available in a Foss finish with three choices of color; they measure 14×36.75×2 inches (190 Hz) and are packaged 12 per box at $119 each MSRP. Diffuser Panels turn hard-treble reflections into gentle ambience. They can be used to “move” walls away or enhance surround effects. The membrane bass trap enhances dynamics. Diffuser panels are also available in a Foss finish with three choices of color. They measure 14×36.75 inches (40 Hz); six are included per box ($229 each MSRP).

Acoustical Solutions Sonex Audio Tiles are sound-absorbent foam tiles to control HF noise in broadcast and recording studios.

Acoustical Solutions has an exclusive agreement with Pinta Acoustic to sell Sonex Audio Tiles ($60 MSRP), which are sound-absorbent foam tiles designed to control HF noise in broadcast and recording studios. They come in a 1×1-foot x 1-inch size to treat exact points of reflection. Sonex Audio Tiles are Class-1 fire-rated and 100-percent fiber-free for safe installation. They are available with beveled edges, and come in both gray and white. They are also available in a unique sculpted pattern or flat-face finish.

Acoustical Solutions’ PolyPhon acoustical panels are made of 100-percent polyester (rather than Fiberglas), comprising 60-percent PET-recycled fiber and 40-percent PET-virgin fiber. The company says they are 100-percent recyclable, have an NRC of 0.75, and are free of formaldehyde, with no odor or risk of skin irritation. PolyPhon panels are also Class-A fire-rated, dust free, have no binding agents and offer no risk of respiratory problems. PolyPhon panels are also said to have a higher tackability and degree of resiliency than traditional Fiberglas panels; they can be mounted without a fabric covering and painted to match a room’s wall color.

Acoustical Surfaces‘ newest Acoustic Geometry offering is the Voice Curve, a cylindrical diffusor designed to enhance the sounds of voices, promising better speech recognition and articulation. It features an asymmetric (tapered) vertical profile for diffusing critical voice-articulation frequencies, recycled cotton sound-absorption backfill, and two-point mounting brackets for easy wall and ceiling placement. The Voice Curve diffusor measures 48×9.25×4.5 inches (HxWxD), is available in many fabric choices and includes mounting hardware.

Auralex’s Sustain Bamboo Sound Diffusor Series is made from 100-percent bamboo and comprises the WavePrism, WaveLens, QuadraTec, Peak Pyramid Diffusor and KeyPacs. The WavePrism eliminates flutter echoes and other acoustical anomalies without removing acoustical energy from the space. Its closed-box design configuration disperses sound evenly. The WavePrism is sized to drop into a suspended ceiling grid or can be wall-mounted using mechanical fasteners. WaveLens’ open-boxed design scatters and redirects acoustical energy, and can create a “large sound” in a small room, as well as optimize existing absorption panels. The QuadraTec’s tiered design offers excellent scattering properties, resulting in a warm, musical character to the dispersed sound. The nested pair offers two diffusion tools that, when used together, can result in a more spacious feel in any room. The lightweight design allows QuadraTec diffusors to be placed in suspended ceiling grids or attached to wall surfaces with mechanical fasteners.

Auralex’s Peak Pyramid Diffusor is optimized to provide high-quality sound diffusion while doubling as an effective bass trap when filled with absorptive material. These lightweight, sturdy, pyramid-shaped diffusors are sized to be easily dropped into a suspended ceiling grid or installed onto wall surfaces using mechanical fasteners. Auralex designed KeyPacs to be mounted to the face of absorptive panels, such as the company’s ProPanels or Studiofoam, and to tune existing absorption treatment to be more effective in the low and midrange while not killing off the higher frequencies for a more acoustically balanced space. KeyPacs are available in three configurations: 9 Hole, Bubble and Star.

RPG Diffusor’s FlutterFree-T is a wooden plank made of acoustical hardwood molding designed to diffuse sound and control flutter echoes in studio applications. It uses RPG’s patented technique called “Aperiodic Modulation of a Single, Optimized, Asymmetric Base Shape,” and features a folded-well configuration at the junction of two planks. FlutterFree-T converts rooms with flat parallel surfaces into functional spaces with good speech intelligibility, sound quality and a natural, comfortable ambience, as well as expand flutter-control finish treatment options beyond fabric-upholstered surfaces.

Auralex’s MudGuard is the newest member of the company’s ISO Series to help isolate monitors, amps, microphones and stands from hard surfaces and sound reflections. Auralex recommends MudGuard for voice-over booths, radio applications, ENG trucks and on-set ADR. It features the company’s Studiofoam sound-absorbing acoustical foam to reduce excessive room ambience and off-axis sound. It mounts easily to most microphone stands and clips, and has an adjustable height. Included hardware allows the mic to be moved closer to the MudGuard for a more controlled sound; moving the mic away from the MudGuard can achieve a more open sound.

GretchKen Industries has introduced the GK Professional Model Sound Isolation Booth. It offers the same features as the GK Standard Model (choice in acoustic fabric, a 1×2-foot window in the door, ventilation system with a low noise fan, silent fluorescent lights, wall-to-wall 2-inch-thick convoluted acoustic foam interior and free custom features) while adding a plush fabric interior. With the Professional Model, 2-inch-thick flat acoustic foam is wrapped in a choice of acoustic fabric.

GretchKen also offers Deluxe and Double Deluxe upgrade options for its full line of sound isolation booths. The Deluxe upgrade adds the company’s SoundBlocker1 Mass-Loaded Vinyl Barrier (1 pound per square foot) to each panel, while the Double Deluxe adds SoundBlocker2 Mass-Loaded Vinyl Barrier (2 pounds per square foot) to each panel. The Sound Booth panels are manufactured as a composite of five different layers of materials in five different densities; the Deluxe and Double Deluxe upgrades offer a sixth layer of density for maximum sound reduction in a single-walled booth.

RealTraps MegaTrap corner bass trap

RealTraps is offering a new version of its MegaTrap corner bass trap, which has a new membrane material and a higher-density fill for greater bass absorption. MegaTraps are nearly three feet wide to be effective to below 40 Hz. They are designed for studio live rooms and control rooms as modular units measuring two feet tall; they can be stacked up to 12 feet without permanent mounting or wall damage. MegaTraps blend into a room and are available in white, wheat (off-white), gray or black. An optional rigid top made of ¼-inch-thick Masonite is available where a shorter stack (one or two MegaTraps) will serve as a corner table, counter surface or speaker stand.

The RealTraps Diffusor marries a high-performance bass trap with a genuine QRD diffusor deep enough to diffuse down to low-midrange frequencies. The RealTraps Diffusor can be placed on a wall like a picture or hung from a ceiling using supplied hardware. It can also be mounted on an optional stand or placed atop a 2×2-foot MondoTrap for additional bass trapping in the wall-floor corner. The RealTraps Diffusor is offered in white or black. The “far” version has diffusion wells six inches deep and is recommended for rooms where the rear wall is at least six feet behind the listener’s ears. For smaller rooms where the listener is closer to the rear wall, the “near” model has wells measuring three inches deep, and the bass trap portion is correspondingly thicker.

Acoustic Sciences Corporation’s SmartTrap Full Rounds family of products can be easily mixed and matched for a clean, uniform organized look. Full Rounds are the basic building block, providing full-range absorption and treble diffusion in a corner-loaded bass trap. Full Rounds come in a Foss finish with three choices of colors and three available sizes: 11×36.75 inches (90 Hz, two per box at $338 each MSRP); 13×36.75 inches (70 Hz, two per box at $389 each MSRP); and 16×36.75 inches (55 Hz, one per box at $488 MSRP). Half Rounds work on open walls and ceilings where Full-Rounds won’t fit. Half Rounds also come in a Foss finish with three color choices. They measure 11×36.75 inches (90 Hz), with four in a box for $289 MSRP.

Acoustical Surfaces Voice Curve cylindrical diffusor

Acoustic Geometry’s Curve System comprises diffusors, absorbers and corner traps. The Curve Diffusor offers an improved version of the classic polycylindrical designs used in recording, broadcast, and film studios since the 1930s. In addition to minimizing flat-surface reflection problems by broadly and evenly scattering sound energy, the Curve Diffusor also acts as a diaphragmatic mid-bass absorber and includes a built-in mass-loaded vinyl (MLV) membrane low-bass trap, diffusing mid- to high frequencies and controlling low frequencies. Three stock Diffusor widths integrate perfectly with two matching models, the Curve Absorber (mid- to high-frequency absorption) and the Curve Corner Trap (a Curve Diffusor with an additional corner bass trap).

From Acoustics First, the 1014 AcoustiKit provides the necessary acoustical treatments for a studio control room or a critical-listening environment with dimensions up to 10 feet wide x 14 feet deep. This package contains Cutting Wedge studio foam for the front wall and first-reflection points. The 1×1-foot blade design allows users to create an anechoic pattern or an aesthetically tailored pattern. The Bermuda Triangle Traps provide broadband absorption and prevent bass buildup in room corners. Acoustics First states that this is the only kit to include the patented Model F Art Diffusors.

MSR introduces a new line of acoustical tuning solutions for home cinemas, media spaces and 2-channel music environments. Dimension4 features four systems—Sonata, Symphony, Melody and Concerto—designed with an exclusive combination of absorbers, diffusers and bass. Cloud panels control the detrimental vertical ceiling reflections, and diffusors enhance sonic immersion. Bass traps eliminate muddy room resonances for a tighter and punchier bass. Each system offers a variety of configurations to accommodate all room sizes. Sonata ($4,500 to $14,500 MSRP, depending on configuration) and Symphony ($7,350 to $19,700 MSRP, depending on configuration) are performance-quality tuning systems best suited for more complex rooms with fabric dress, while Melody ($1,250 to $4,900 MSRP, depending on size configuration) and Concerto ($6,680 to $15,500 MSRP, depending on configuration) are two architectural-quality systems comprising surface-mounted panels and components that are architecturally shaped and designed for rooms where aesthetics are as important as sound performance.

Based on the original London 12 Studio-in-a-box, Primacoustic has developed three new London room kits incorporating Primacoustic Broadway panels. All Broadway panels are made from premium 6-pound glass wool. Edges are resin treated and the surfaces are encapsulated in micromesh. The panels are then covered in a durable acoustic fabric and offered in a choice of three colors. Broadway panels are further tested to meet stringent Class-1/A requirements for safe use in commercial buildings. Each London kit comes with hanging hardware, screws and wall anchors.

The London 8 includes the fundamental tools required to treat a home recording studio for $199, and allows for expansion with more Primacoustic panels.
The London 10 room kit increases the panel count for more control and adapts to larger spaces, such as a project studio, game audio facility or post-production suite. The London 16 is designed for larger rooms, assembled from 38 high-performance Broadway panels, promising even absorption throughout the audio range to ensure that mixes translate better from room to room or when listening in the car. Broadway panels are also Class-1 fire-rated for safe use in residential and commercial buildings. The London 16 comes with 12 Control Columns measuring 12x48x2 inches to control primary reflections; six Broadband Absorbers measuring 24x48x2 inches for LF bass control; and 24 Scatter Blocks measuring 12x12x1 inches that introduce soft diffusion while also reducing flutter echo.

Matt Gallagher is


’s assistant editor.