The control room at Kimchee Records in Cambridge, Massachusetts was the only room in the building without windows. To maintain an open atmosphere, they designed an open “A Frame.” This looked great but created serious sound issues.
A single steel beam formed the horizontal element of the control room’s “A-Frame.” When the space was designed, the studio not only chose to keep the ceiling open, but they also wanted to highlight the ceiling with upward-pointing flood lights to make the room feel more spacious. . They also knew, however, that they would have problems with the sloped ceiling focusing first reflections at the listening position, causing anything but a “focused” sound.
Kimchee Records’ Sound Engineer Andrew Hong specified AlphaSorb® Ceiling Clouds from Acoustical Solutions to treat the facility’s sound problems. He ordered four 2” thick, 6 ft. x 2 ft. clouds with the lower face and edges wrapped in Guilford of Maine acoustic fabric and with brackets (suspended-ceiling runners) attached to the upper (hidden) face.
Although AlphaSorb® Ceiling Clouds can be ordered in custom sizes and covered with custom fabric to fit any studio’s specific needs, Mr. Hong specified “stock” sizes and colors for the control room. Turnaround time varies for each order, but this order arrived within two weeks of when it was faxed in to Acoustical Solutions.
Using a system of steel angles, C clamps and 20-gauge steel wire, Mr. Hong installed the panels below the aforementioned steel beam. He angled each cloud to minimize reflections at the listening position. It took him about one evening to install the treatment.
The clouds were just wide enough to treat the listening position while still leaving enough open space around them to maintain a sense of openness in the room.
Sonically, the panels do exactly what Mr. Hong hoped they would do. All the usual words come to mind – tight, accurate, focused – without the room sounding too dead.