A sound panel is a piece of hardware, usually installed over the front door of a building. A sound board commonly consists of two or more loudspeakers that send audio signals to inside and outside rooms. Sound panels typically come in the form of an array and/or wall-mounting models. The primary purpose for installing these is to reduce unwanted noise, such as heavy traffic and construction sounds, within the building.
Setting this up with your family can be an easy way to get started on your end-of-year backend reviews without all the chaos that often accompanies them in traditional reviews. So that’s great, but what do you really need to know when setting this up? A couple of things:
1) You will probably want to turn off the sound in the room, and turning it back on after you’re done recording. The last thing you want is for your family to be listening to your audio while you make recordings, and also when they aren’t recording.
2) You’ll need an outlet (cable or power strip) in one or more rooms where the audio will go. If all three rooms share a single outlet, make sure it isn’t near any electronics/fireplaces/etc., as that will generate noise and cause problems with recording.
3) Cables are best run next to carpet or other soft surfaces, so there is no friction caused by friction of the cable on the carpet.
4) You’ll want to get a good solid grounding in wall outlets for all components that will be plugged in. That includes your power adapter, sound board, and possibly an adapter if your scene recorder has an rca output.
5) Put the sound board in the room facing outwards toward windows/doors, and keep it away from obstructing furniture/walls/etc.. Also make sure there is nothing between the source device (ie iPhone or computer) and the sound board.
6) You’ll need to make sure your audio cables are long enough to reach the computer. You don’t want to be tripping over cables all the time.
7) Don’t place it anywhere near a source of noise (ie: computer, heater, etc…). It should not be near any other electronic equipment that generates noise either. Try and keep it as far away from electronics as possible.
8) Make sure the sound board is level and that you haven’t placed it near anything that can move. It should never move, if something bumps into it or if you bump into it by accident – move whatever has moved out of your way so everything remains still and level.
9) Unplug any and all separate power cords from appliances/devices before you start making recordings. If the sound board is receiving power from multiple sources, make sure that nothing else is receiving power separate from it. Even if they don’t seem like they would be, make sure you unplug them and move them away from the sound board (until you’re done recording).
10) Lastly – make sure to test everything before making any recordings. With most scenes, there shouldn’t be any problems – but with scenes like Christmas Eve, there can always be a problem that’s unseen before hand. Make sure your camera is functioning properly as well as your microphone(s).
What fabric works best for acoustic panels?
Acoustic panels are usually made of foam (ie: acoustic foam). One of the most common types of acoustic foam is called “Rockwool”. Rockwool is commonly used in commercial sound studios, theaters, recording studios, restaurants/nightclubs/etc… These panels are commonly found in high-end speaker setups, but they can be used just as effectively on the front door.
Noise travels across open air by using sound waves. These sound waves are essentially vibrations that radiate outwards from their source. Essentially what you’re doing with your acoustic foam panels is keeping those vibrations from being able to travel through them by absorbing them. For a more in-depth look at materials and techniques for acoustic panels.
Is fabric a good sound insulator?
Fabric does not really absorb much sound at all, however, it does block air movement which can help to reduce noise. Pure fabrics are known to be excellent sound insulators.
Do you need a sound board for acoustic foam panels?
No. Acoustically foam panels are specifically designed to prevent unwanted noises from being heard by listeners outside of the room where they are installed. There is no need for a sound board to be used with these.
What is an “array” and what are the benefits of having one? There are two common options when it comes to arrays – single channel or dual channel.
Single channel arrays are cheaper and they require both a sound board and a sound card. They have one input that plugs into the room where the panel is being installed. This input is then sent to both microphones on the board, which will then split the sound between them. These usually have a volume control on them as well as some type of equalizer setting.
Dual channel arrays are more expensive, but they typically do not require a sound card to be used with them. They also usually come with their own built-in volume control and equalizer settings. They have two inputs that plug into the room where the panel is being installed, and then an rca output which plugs into the scene recorder. These are also usually able to be connected to other dual channel arrays by sending a signal from one rca output to the other.
What are some common problems that are often seen with single channel arrays? Single channel arrays can have several problems that sometimes go unnoticed, but are important to take note of.
The first problem is what I would consider to be a big one, especially if your setup involves multiple single channel arrays. This problem involves using multiple sources of audio for recording.
Do sound panels actually work?
Yes. As of right now, it’s important to note that nothing is 100% perfect, however there are multiple options available to the user. Acoustic foam panels will typically eliminate most noises from reaching listeners outside of the room where they are installed.
What is a linear array?
A linear array is quite similar to a normal dual channel array, but instead of receiving both channels from one input then splitting them into two outputs, all signals are sent through one single source then split into two outputs. This allows the user to have one single source of audio at their disposal for recording purposes along with improved sound quality.
Hopefully this helps make things a little more clear when it comes to the subject of sound panels and how they work, along with what you can do to help improve the quality of your recordings. Acoustic foam is an excellent source for blocking unwanted noises from reaching listeners outside of a room where they are installed. These panels are not only used within the recording industry, but also in commercial sound studios, theaters, restaurants/nightclubs/etc…
For an in-depth look at materials and techniques for acoustic panels.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to post them down in the comment section below!
Thanks for reading! : )