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By Mike Thomas
July 5, 2021
Providing acoustic design solutions in a noisy world for more than 20 years, Primacoustic has worked with and been an integral part of many of today’s most recognizable artists, companies, and events: Motley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee, Sony, Target, and the NBC Olympics—the list is long and distinguished.
From T-bar ceiling tiles and acoustic clouds to baffles, bass traps, and diffusers, Primacoustic’s lineup of acoustical wall and ceiling treatments provides maximum performance at an impressive value.
The experts at Primacoustic recently shared their tips for what to consider before you overhaul, or design from the ground up, your next space
Envision Your Space
The first step to acoustic design is determining how your space will primarily be used. Intimate recording sessions? High-decibel concerts? Board meetings that include teleconferencing? Primacoustic has the materials and know-how to realize any vision. And there’s no guesswork involved when you use the company’s online Room Designer tool to help visualize your layout and create a custom acoustic solution for your room before installing a single product in the actual space.
Sound From the Top Down
“The easiest and cheapest way to treat a room from an architectural and design perspective is to install a drop ceiling,” says Primacoustic Product Manager Juan Carlos Bolomey. The company’s StratoTile T-bar panels—made of high-density, six-pound glass wool—are a perfect blend of form and function.
Or maybe it’s just one portion of a ceiling that needs acoustical enhancement. If a room has interesting exposed concrete or HVAC systems that designers don’t want to hide, Bolomey says, the company’s paintable or Nimbus “cloud” products are ideal.
Essentially localized drop-ceilings and customized cloud panels can be placed over a specific area (say, a conference table) and hung at different heights and angles. Depending on ceiling height, Saturna hanging baffles can also be deployed. “Those can be very effective,” Bolomey says, “because as sound travels through the room, it has a lot more velocity. When you install baffles within areas where sound is moving fastest, they can help to reduce the energy of that sound as it moves through a space.”
Placed horizontally or vertically and at different heights, baffles can be even more effective than tiles because sound is mitigated as it’s traveling and before it reaches the ceiling or walls. Complementary in their acoustical functions, clouds and baffles are often used together.
Walls of Sound
Along with the proper acoustical ceiling treatments, wall panels are key to mitigating refractions, or echoes and reverberation that can muddy music and render dialogue unintelligible. “And there’s another thing that happens called resonance,” Bolomey explains. “A room will resonate at a natural frequency, which tends to be at the lower end of the spectrum, depending on its size. But voices in the lower range can actually activate those frequencies—what’s called a resonant node—and cause the room to sound boomy.”
Primacoustic’s fully sealed and ecologically sustainable wall panels are made from high-density glass wool and typically 2 inches thick. While customizable paintable/printable panels are a bit more functional from a design perspective, Bolomey says, the company’s line of fabric-covered Broadway panels and extremely durable Hercules panels (great for athletic settings like gymnasiums) have a wide array of applications, too.
Then there’s the TelaScapes Fabric Track System. A modular PVC track system suited to almost any surface, it houses easily mounted panels (also made from glass wool) that are covered with durable stretch fabric. “If you don’t want to hang individual panels on the wall, the TelaScapes System allows you to cover a large surface and create more of a seamless custom look,” Bolomey says. And, of course, the fabric comes in a variety of colors.
More than ever before, people appreciate the benefits of optimized sound. And now that it’s possible to accurately predict how sound will behave in any room before a single acoustical product is installed, there’s no downside to an upgrade. “Primacoustic’s affordable products are specially designed to meet the exacting standards of recording engineers, so every one of our commercial applications enjoys that same high-end quality. Because of that, you’re guaranteed to increase the clarity and the intelligibility of sound in any space,” Bolomey says.