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Old 21st December 2012, 12:08 AM   #1
icydash is offline icydash  United States
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Default Separating rooms with a sheet to lower sound level?

Hey all, I'm not really sure where this post should go, so I put it here.

My question is: I have a party coming up in a few days. In one room on the main floor (a large great room) I'll be setting up a PA system for dancing and music and whatever (I have the PA anyway for my band). In the other, adjacent room on the main floor, I'll be setting up food / a place for people to get away from the music. The problem is there is no real barrier between the two rooms (no door, etc...). I was wondering if hanging a sheet or blanket between the two rooms would be a way to (somewhat) dampen some of the sound between the rooms? I mean, theoretically it should dampen the sound a little bit, but would it be anything significant enough to warrant the eye sore of a blanket hanging between the rooms? I don't want the people trying to eat to be bombarded with music like they're in the "club" side of the party.

Any other thoughts or ideas, whether it be ways I can set up the PA system in the main room so it's not as loud in the adjacent room, or stuff to use to separate the rooms, would be appreciated!

Last edited by icydash; 21st December 2012 at 12:11 AM.
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Old 21st December 2012, 06:23 PM   #2
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You can separate the rooms slightly by hanging something like quilted moving blankets... however the bass will still penetrate.

Also set the speakers so that they are not coupled to the floors, and the highs are not aimed AT the opening. In fact it will be quieter with the speakers near the opening side aimed away from the quiet room...

Of course anything hung will need a way for people to move through it, and you will need a *double* barrier, with airspace inbetween, since when a single person opens it (pulls it aside, like a curtain) it will otherwise open a direct path.

A sheet won't do squat.
Most blankets are insufficiently absorptive...

Don't know if this helps.

Also depends on how loud it is, and how big the space is...

The best case would be a temporary, but sealed "room" encasing the entry point, with actual doors on each side... aka: "air lock".

Absorption on/in the temporary room, etc will help too...
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Old 21st December 2012, 10:11 PM   #3
icydash is offline icydash  United States
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Hey, thanks for your response.

This is the general layout of the room:

Click the image to open in full size.

Like you've mentioned, I plan on having my two PA speakers facing away from the openings into the quiet room and entry way, and on stands above head level. Unfortunately, the layout is kind of open concept, so the openings between the rooms are pretty wide (lager than door width). The great room has some curtains around the windows and things, but overall, it's not acoustically great and has hard wood floors.

Maybe I'll hang some kind of a quilt between the great room and the quiet room. If it even drops the volume 10db it may be worth it.
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Old 21st December 2012, 10:59 PM   #4
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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It will cut mostly the highs, some mids and almost no bass. But that's not bad. You can unusually talk over the bass - it's the mids that cover conversation.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 01:02 AM   #5
icydash is offline icydash  United States
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Yeah I figure it probably won't do much for the bass, but as long as people can have a reasonable conversation without screaming, I think it should be fine. If I just use a regular quilt, what kind of difference in volume do you think there will be?
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Old 22nd December 2012, 08:41 PM   #6
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Default Absorption x sound transmission loss

Absorption is the wrong concept here - you want sound transmission loss.

You can get some using these:Barrier Sound Absorbers/Noise Barrier Composites

Remember that flanking transmission will dictate the outcome.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 11:10 PM   #7
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as far as I know, no absorber will do very much if there is a direct transmission path around an absorber.

That leaves a sealed airspace (known to be effective, take a look at a studio door or anechoic chamber), or doing the best absorption in the open space between the two rooms... since this is obviously temporary, that leaves not that many options to the OP...

The material linked to is intended for fixed, permanent use, away from people, like in a roof or wall. Not practical for this application.

In this case pure "absorption" isn't quite the thing wanted, and in fact transmission loss is, but that implies absorption first.

The OP still needs a way for people to get freely from one room to the other...

Regardless, the more layers of "barrier" and "air space" between the main room and the other room, the better whatever system is used will work.

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Last edited by bear; 22nd December 2012 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 11:11 PM   #8
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Yep, no magic formula. In this case, more is simply better. Do all that you can and hope for the best.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 11:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bear View Post
The material linked to is intended for fixed, permanent use, away from people, like in a roof or wall. Not practical for this application.
You would be surprised... this is used a lot in temporary applications such as hotel ballrooms...
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Old 22nd December 2012, 11:14 PM   #10
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I send about half my life in hotel ballrooms and have never seen it. Must be a D.C. thing.
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