ACOUSTICS 101

Blocking Sound

DEFINITION:

This is what people usually mean when they use the term ‘soundproofing’. If you are trying to stop the transmission of sound from one area to another, you need sound blocking materials.

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Absorbing Sound

DEFINITION:

Spaces that create an echo, or are noisy even when very little sound is being made, need sound absorptive materials. These spaces are probably large, open, or have many hard surfaces. Absorptive treatments will help contain sound energy rather than reflect it, lowering reverberation.

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Vibration Isolation

DEFINITION:

When the sound energy from your television reaches your ears, it traveled through the air to get there. When vibration occurs, that is the same energy using a solid structure as a medium instead of the air around you. Vibrational noise is usually caused by very low frequencies or direct impact (A subwoofer vibrating your wall or footfall that can be heard through the ceiling). In order to stop structure-borne vibration, you need to use isolation products.

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Diffusing Sound

DEFINITION:

Diffusion occurs when acoustic energy is scattered in many directions by a complex surface. Diffusion is an excellent complement to sound absorption in performance spaces and sound studios because it won’t remove sound energy from the room, but will reduce standing waves and echo caused by direct reflections.

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