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Room layout, what to do?

Discussion in 'Acoustics' started by bmwuk, Aug 16, 2017.

  1. bmwuk

    bmwuk Well-Known Member

    Okay, what to do with the large window behind me? Currently it has a thinner curtain that bleeds a little light. My wife asked what type I wanted . Is a heavy type curtain going to deaden the the room since diffusion is preferred? Not sure the impacts currently of the window except I can hear road noise. The windows in the house are older ones
  2. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    Can you remind me how far your seated head will be from the window?

    Generally you don't want too much absorption behind the listening position, so maybe a light acoustically transparent curtain would be better. If it were me, I'd fill in the window with a sheet of wood and put some sort of diffusor or angled acoustic reflector back there to kill direct reflections.
  3. bmwuk

    bmwuk Well-Known Member

    I believe the window is about 6 ft. Behind me. I'm about 12' from the TV and then 6' to the window. It is our front window of the house so I didn't want to fill it in or junk it up
  4. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    Paint a picture of lovely lace curtains on the wood you fill in the window with. It'll look pretty from the street.

    But seriously, this one of those difficult decision moments. You could just let go and do whatever is most aesthetically pleasing according the current standards for room d├ęcor. Or, you could try to apply something that improves the sound in the room. A heavy drapery, like thick velvet or insulated multi-layer fabric, will absorb sound, which is only a problem if the space behind the listener is too dead. Our brains prefer some ambience to feel like we are in the real world, so some reflections are important.

    You could put some sort of free standing reflector in front of the curtains/drapes, like a two or four panel reflective room divider - angled to reflect away from the listener. Or you could get artistic and make some 6 foot tall modern sculptures from standing tubes or boxes to reflect sound around the room in a diffuse way.

    Or... you could completely deaden the entire room and insert ambience through the surround sound speakers by turning on the synthesized sound-fields. Yamaha has the best DSP algorithms for recreating real ambient spaces, like concert halls and clubs. They used to allow you to adjust the intensity of their effect so you could choose a Vienna concert hall and just turn down the effect until it feels natural in your room.

    But, ultimately in a perfect world there will be some good ambience in the room. Preferably it comes from behind so you can absorb the early reflections in the front of you and get a better stereo effect.
  5. bmwuk

    bmwuk Well-Known Member

    Currently there is a lighter weight curtain over it. I trust there's not much absorption there, correct?
  6. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    Probably not, though it may have a little audible impact. It is easy to test, just stand at the listening spot and clap your hands listen to the decay, do it again, and again. Then pull the light curtain back and do the clap tests again. Then close the curtain and repeat. You may hear a little difference, but put a couple of your acoustic panels which are not yet installed in the window sill doing the same test and you'll hear a real difference.
    bmwuk likes this.

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