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#2049683 - 03/17/13 01:30 PM Suggestion on acoustic improvement on my room
Steve79 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/20/11
Posts: 35
Loc: Italy
Hi All!!
two years has passed since I purchased my wonderful sounding piano.....I'm so satisfied with it...and so happy...but there's only one problem: the room!
My piano room is a very large one, about 65-70 meter and the measures are aproximately 7 mt x 9,5 mt and 2,8 mt of height. The piano is placed in a corner with the lid that opens to the open space. The problem is that, due to the very high reverberation of the room, after less than half of an hour playing become stressing for me....there's a lot of resonance....and even if I know some solutions to that I don't know what is the best one 'cause this room is not only a piano room, but is the second living room of my house and I have to respect design and furnitures that are on it..... At this moment there's not a carpet under the piano....and the floor is made of laminated wood. The walls are plastered (I hope this is the correct term) with no pictures on the walls because the room isn't already finished....I can' t move the piano to other rooms because it don't fit comfortably in any of the other rooms.... Any suggestion? Please Help.......
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#2049816 - 03/17/13 05:32 PM Re: Suggestion on acoustic improvement on my room [Re: Steve79]
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/18/05
Posts: 3448
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
That must be 65-70 square meters, right? I was worried for a moment!

The easiest thing to start with is to put a small area rug under the piano. This will block reflections from the soundboard underneath.

If there is something you can move to cover the windows (curtains?), try that. Glass is very reflective of high frequencies.

--Cy--
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#2049836 - 03/17/13 06:20 PM Re: Suggestion on acoustic improvement on my room [Re: Steve79]
Scott Hamlin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 566
We have a 6' grand in a large room.
Room has high ceilings, tile floors
and large, glass windows.

If I play with the lid wide open
it gets to "jarring" so I play with
it closed. It actually
sounded best when my son had his
train table under there - really
helped soften it.
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#2049946 - 03/17/13 09:39 PM Re: Suggestion on acoustic improvement on my room [Re: Steve79]
Chris Storch Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/13/09
Posts: 207
Loc: Massachusetts
Steve,

The reverberation time of your living room space is given by a very simple equation:

Reverberation Time = [(0.161 x cubic volume) / (total sound absorption)]
(total sound absorption in the room is the sum of all the areas of the materials in the space multiplied by their absorption coefficients.)

So... you have two options for reducing the reverberation time in your living room/piano room space. Either reduce the cubic volume OR increase the area of sound-absorbing materials.

I assume that you're not going to change the cubic volume of the space. Doing so would require building new walls, etc.

So... going under the assumption that the volume of your space is fixed, the only choice you have left is to increase the areas of sound-absorbing materials.

You haven 't given a complete description of the furnishings of your space, but you mentioned wood floor and plaster walls. Those are mostly sound-reflecting materials. Examples of sound-absorbing materials are carpet, window drapery, wall tapestries, cloth-upholstered furniture with cushions, people with clothing, kittens, and so forth. There are also commercially available sound-absorbing wall panels in various finishes. You will need to keep adding sound-absorbing materials to the space until the reverberation time is reduced to your satisfaction. It is unlikely that a carpet just under the piano will work. It may provide a just noticeable difference in the acoustics local to your position as the pianist, but is unlikely to make a noticeable change in the overall reverberant character of the space.

You mentioned that this space is your "second living room of [your] house and [you] have to respect design and furniture that are [in] it." If you're not willing to make a dramatic change in the room's finish materials, you won't make a dramatic change in the room acoustics. Sorry. The laws of physics trump your interior decor.

Chris S.
RPT and Room Acoustician
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Chris Storch
Acoustician / Piano Technician

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#2050084 - 03/18/13 06:53 AM Re: Suggestion on acoustic improvement on my room [Re: Chris Storch]
Steve79 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/20/11
Posts: 35
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: Chris Storch
Steve,

The reverberation time of your living room space is given by a very simple equation:

Reverberation Time = [(0.161 x cubic volume) / (total sound absorption)]
(total sound absorption in the room is the sum of all the areas of the materials in the space multiplied by their absorption coefficients.)

So... you have two options for reducing the reverberation time in your living room/piano room space. Either reduce the cubic volume OR increase the area of sound-absorbing materials.

I assume that you're not going to change the cubic volume of the space. Doing so would require building new walls, etc.

So... going under the assumption that the volume of your space is fixed, the only choice you have left is to increase the areas of sound-absorbing materials.

You haven 't given a complete description of the furnishings of your space, but you mentioned wood floor and plaster walls. Those are mostly sound-reflecting materials. Examples of sound-absorbing materials are carpet, window drapery, wall tapestries, cloth-upholstered furniture with cushions, people with clothing, kittens, and so forth. There are also commercially available sound-absorbing wall panels in various finishes. You will need to keep adding sound-absorbing materials to the space until the reverberation time is reduced to your satisfaction. It is unlikely that a carpet just under the piano will work. It may provide a just noticeable difference in the acoustics local to your position as the pianist, but is unlikely to make a noticeable change in the overall reverberant character of the space.

You mentioned that this space is your "second living room of [your] house and [you] have to respect design and furniture that are [in] it." If you're not willing to make a dramatic change in the room's finish materials, you won't make a dramatic change in the room acoustics. Sorry. The laws of physics trump your interior decor.

Chris S.
RPT and Room Acoustician



You're right!! thank you very much for your suggestions...
I'm interested in the purchase of "commercially available sound-absorbing wall panels in various finishes" as you say...do you know some brands or some shops that can sell them? where can I find any of these items? Thank you!! smile
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Brodmann PE 212 - www.junglemusic.it

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#2050098 - 03/18/13 07:43 AM Re: Suggestion on acoustic improvement on my room [Re: Steve79]
Chris Storch Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/13/09
Posts: 207
Loc: Massachusetts
Steve,

There are no shops that you can go to to buy these products. You have to acquire them through a product representative. They're going to be custom made to fit your room.

Having said that, I'm not really that familiar with the suppliers in Italy.

In the States, we have:
Armstrong "Soundsoak" panels,
http://www.armstrong.com/commceilingsna/products/walls/soundsoak/_/N-eZ1z141hr

"A100 Panels" manufactured by Wall Technology,
http://www.walltechnology.com/docs/products/wallpanels/ds_a100.pdf

and Decoustics "AP Panels"
http://www.decoustics.ca/assets/products...l%20Panel_1.pdf

These are just the starting point - a few of the typical 25mm thick fabric-wrapped sound-absorbing panels that are available. There are probably a whole lot more products available in Europe (perforated wood, molded wool panels, and wide-span stretched fabric treatments). You're going to have to do some research to find one that has the proper acoustic properties AND fits in to the look of the room.

You could also find an acoustician to help you, or at least point you in the right direction.

Good Luck.

Chris S.
_________________________
Chris Storch
Acoustician / Piano Technician

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#2050113 - 03/18/13 08:18 AM Re: Suggestion on acoustic improvement on my room [Re: Chris Storch]
Steve79 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/20/11
Posts: 35
Loc: Italy
Thank you so much!!
These are good starting points to comprehend what it's better to do......Thank you!!
_________________________
Brodmann PE 212 - www.junglemusic.it

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#2050239 - 03/18/13 01:08 PM Re: Suggestion on acoustic improvement on my room [Re: Steve79]
Miguel Rey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 374
Almost spent money on the "acoustic panels" then realized you can easily make your own for a lot less. A big plus is you can virtually have any art design you want and may already have the basic material hanging on your wall.

Make or buy canvas printed artwork or solid colors that has been affixed to a wood frame with a hollow back 2.25-2.5" thick then glue 1.5-2" acoustic fiberglass (either solid panels or the kind in rolls (pink/yellow).






sky's the limit on the design

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#2050390 - 03/18/13 06:05 PM Re: Suggestion on acoustic improvement on my room [Re: Miguel Rey]
Steve79 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/20/11
Posts: 35
Loc: Italy
Amazing!!! Thank you very much!!!!!
_________________________
Brodmann PE 212 - www.junglemusic.it

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#2050399 - 03/18/13 06:24 PM Re: Suggestion on acoustic improvement on my room [Re: Steve79]
Phil D Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 551
Loc: London, England
Are the resonance issues more low frequency, mid range or high frequency?

Mids and highs will be affected a lot more than the lows with the kind of treatment shown above. Resonances on the lows need a bit more careful consideration.

But in general, the more soft stuff you can get on the walls and floors, the 'dryer' the room will be.
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Phil Dickson
The Cycling Piano Tuner

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#2050965 - 03/19/13 04:19 PM Re: Suggestion on acoustic improvement on my room [Re: Phil D]
Steve79 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/20/11
Posts: 35
Loc: Italy
Mostly mids and low-mids frequencies are affected....what's the best all in one solution?
_________________________
Brodmann PE 212 - www.junglemusic.it

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#2050984 - 03/19/13 04:58 PM Re: Suggestion on acoustic improvement on my room [Re: Steve79]
RestorerPhil Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/12
Posts: 212
Loc: Georgia, USA
Be sure to only play when you have a crowd: Human bodies are great absorbers/diffusers. Of course, they work even better standing than sitting.

Seriously on the other hand, overstuffed upholstery, big upholstered winged chairs are also great. Keep in mind that most of the heavy fabric treatments and ready-made panels do a much better job when they are put to work at a distance from the boundaries of the room. Maximum absorption occurs at 1/4 wave length - a distance which often is not practical. Conversely, you get the least return for your dollar on any item which is surface mounted in contact with a wall, floor or ceiling. As one example, using a stand-off bar for the hanging of a tapestry will greatly improve the absorption effect and increase the effective bandwidth of the sound it can absorb.

It is very likely that normal funishings, once added to the room, will come close to handling your problem. Obsessing over the issue prior to furnishing the room is just that -obsessing.
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#2051082 - 03/19/13 10:29 PM Re: Suggestion on acoustic improvement on my room [Re: Steve79]
Phil D Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 551
Loc: London, England
The 1/4 wavelength thing is important, especially if you are looking at the low-mids. C3 is about 130Hz, which has a wavelength of about 2.6m. Any sound absorbing material will not effectively damp this frequency if it has a depth of less than a quarter of that wavelength before encountering a reflective surface (a wall). So you would need a 65cm thick panel of fiberglass, or to hang a thinner panel of fiberglass with a gap behind it so there is 65cm between the front and the wall. Preferrably air-tight for maximum effect!

This is the thing people forget when accoustically treating a room. If you are having problems with boomy low-mids, then you will need to think more carefully about the problem. If it is higher frequencies, the general-purpose treatments will work very well.

Are there specific resonances that are a problem? If certain notes are being accentuated, then you are probably exciting standing waves. If that is the case, then you may have good results simply moving the piano. If you find a particularly troublesome frequency, then move the piano by a quarter-wavelength in any direction for that frequency, and you should be relocating the piano to a node, which will cancel out the effect. (but at the same time you might move it to an anti-node for another frequency, so creating another resonance - it is a trial-and-error thing!) Some rooms have particularly troublesome standing waves at certain frequencies, locating the nodes of these standing waves is the way to get round that.
_________________________
Phil Dickson
The Cycling Piano Tuner

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#2051216 - 03/20/13 07:41 AM Re: Suggestion on acoustic improvement on my room [Re: Phil D]
Steve79 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/20/11
Posts: 35
Loc: Italy
Thank you guys!!
You're great! your suggestions are so precious!! laugh
_________________________
Brodmann PE 212 - www.junglemusic.it

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#2051219 - 03/20/13 07:47 AM Re: Suggestion on acoustic improvement on my room [Re: Phil D]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Phil D
The 1/4 wavelength thing is important, especially if you are looking at the low-mids. C3 is about 130Hz, which has a wavelength of about 2.6m. Any sound absorbing material will not effectively damp this frequency if it has a depth of less than a quarter of that wavelength before encountering a reflective surface (a wall). So you would need a 65cm thick panel of fiberglass, or to hang a thinner panel of fiberglass with a gap behind it so there is 65cm between the front and the wall. Preferrably air-tight for maximum effect!

This is the thing people forget when accoustically treating a room. If you are having problems with boomy low-mids, then you will need to think more carefully about the problem. If it is higher frequencies, the general-purpose treatments will work very well.

Are there specific resonances that are a problem? If certain notes are being accentuated, then you are probably exciting standing waves. If that is the case, then you may have good results simply moving the piano. If you find a particularly troublesome frequency, then move the piano by a quarter-wavelength in any direction for that frequency, and you should be relocating the piano to a node, which will cancel out the effect. (but at the same time you might move it to an anti-node for another frequency, so creating another resonance - it is a trial-and-error thing!) Some rooms have particularly troublesome standing waves at certain frequencies, locating the nodes of these standing waves is the way to get round that.


I recall moving the grand on stage for 30 minutes with 10-80 cm moves, until the pianist feels it was comfortable to him .

Good points about standing waves. Are adborbing panels on wheels, that could be positioned anywhere, of any interest against standing waves ?
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#2051269 - 03/20/13 10:10 AM Re: Suggestion on acoustic improvement on my room [Re: Olek]
Steve79 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/20/11
Posts: 35
Loc: Italy


I recall moving the grand on stage for 30 minutes with 10-80 cm moves, until the pianist feels it was comfortable to him .

Good points about standing waves. Are adborbing panels on wheels, that could be positioned anywhere, of any interest against standing waves ? [/quote]

probably is not the best solution for me...because is not a recital hall...it's my house....and I have to find a solution that is stylish....and not only functional....that's the real problem...
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Brodmann PE 212 - www.junglemusic.it

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