Why is a cloud like the Stratus so important for the mix position?
This is where you work and spend hours honing your craft. It therefore makes sense that your work space should be as comfortable as possible. By creating a more intimate work space with fewer echoes and less room ambience, you will find that you will be better able to hear the details in your mix. This will also expand the critical sweet spot and reduce ear fatigue.
What is the mix sweet spot?
The sweet spot is the position in front of your console where you sit. When the ambience around the console is controlled, the sweet spot expands, making it easier to discern the sonic landscape. This means that you will be able to better discern what is coming out of each of your loudspeakers.
What is ear fatigue?
Human ears are muscles. They become numb after a long workout. While the ear is capturing sound waves and sending these impulses to the brain, the brain is working very hard at filtering out noise and echoes that may not be important. This requires a lot of concentration and attention to detail. Effort. This effort can be thought of as ear fatigue.
How do you determine the width of the cloud setup?
Easy: just measure the width of your console or your work area. The Stratus clouds are designed to be ganged together to create a cloud formation that spans the width of the work area.
Can I use a cloud over a drum kit to quiet it down?
Yes. Drums are very percussive and loud. By mounting a Stratus above the drum kit you will find that it will be tremendously effective at reducing the sound levels by controlling the primary reflections from the ceiling spilling into the rest of the room. For better control, you should also treat the side walls that surround the drum kit.
Can I use a Stratus as part of a basic voice over room?
Yes. You can create walls using Primacoustic Broadway panels or Freeport gobos and then add a Stratus above this area to further control the ambience. Most folks tend to design voice-over booths to be acoustically ‘dead’ by mounting lots of absorptive panels on the walls so that artificial ambience can be added later.
Can I use a cloud in a hi-fi listening room?
Yes. For those that like to create a studio-like listening environment, the Stratus can play a very effective role in controlling the room ambience. Keep in mind that a room that is overly treated (dead) may tend to sound flat and listless. So better to use less and add more after you listen to your room!
Are diffusers better than absorbers for clouds?
Although both are equally good, absorptive clouds like the Stratus tend to be preferred as it creates a tighter, more defined listening space. But if you prefer to mix in a live setting, then diffusion may better suit your needs.
How is the Stratus made?
The Stratus cloud is made from a high-density glass wool panel that is cut to size, and then resin hardened on the edges. A micromesh covers the top and bottom and works with the resin to fully encapsulate the minute glass wool threads. An acoustically transparent fabric is used to provide a tough and durable facing. The panel is mounted inside an aluminum frame which serves to safely hold the panel in place.
Is the glass wool safe in the Stratus?
Yes. The two primary safety factors that concern us with the Stratus are fire safety and fiberglass strand containment. The Stratus has been tested by an independent lab to ensure it passes the Class-1 requirements set out by the US and Canadian government building authorities. As for the strand containment, this is precisely why each panel is completely encapsulated and edge treated. This makes it practically impossible for the glass wool fibres to escape under normal conditions. Obviously, we do not recommend using damaged panels. If a glass wool panel is damaged, these should be repaired or replaced.
How does it work?
Sound energy – in the form of air vibrations – are created as our speaker pumps sound into the air space. Sound traveling through air penetrates the porous surface of the Stratus panel causing the minute glass wool strands to vibrate. This causes a thermo-dynamic reaction which turns the air vibrations into heat.
What frequencies will be absorbed?
Our primary concern is to absorb directional frequencies. These tend to be from 400Hz and up, into the critical mid range between 500Hz and 2kHz. The 2″ Broadway panel is ideally suited for this. The added air space behind the Stratus (in between the ceiling) further helps to attenuate low frequencies.
Can I mount Stratus cloud panels on a wall rather than a ceiling?
Yes, you can certainly use the Stratus panels on your walls. The Stratus is simply one of our Broadway wall panels with aluminum hanging hardware that allows for ceiling mounting. The frame can be mounted flush to any surface, so there is no reason you cannot use them on your walls if you like the look of the brushed aluminum frame.