Welcome to our soundproofing blog. The purpose of our blog is to give you an insight in to the world of Noise Control and within that world: soundproofing, Sound absorption, Acoustic Control and Anti-Vibration.
The Grey List
The Grey list is a list we have put together to give an idea of what building materials are commonly used for noise control mitigation measures. We hope that it will help readers to understand the properties of normal building materials and how they are being used as a poor substitute for authentic noise control (Soundproofing) materials.
There is little results and benefits gained from using standard materials, however for many consumers or end users they often don't have any idea what is going into their projects build as the information given is often confusing and baffling. There is no surprise to this, its a clever marketing method designed to confuse customers into thinking that they are buying something amazing when the end result is far from that dream.
The hard and painful truth is in order to get high levels of soundproofing you have to have substance, meaning to say a lot of layers. This is also understood in terms of a simple scale ratio the louder the source of the noise the more layers and thickness is required.
For an office wall a 3-5 layer system should be surfactant in order to insulate effectively. Whereas a home music room would need at least 6-10 layers.
Click here to visit the Gray List Page
Outdoor Environmental Acoustics and the affects of the inversion layer
The word inversion when used in conjunction with noise control issues or the study of acoustics is referenced with meteorology climate conditions caused from the increase of air temperature with the increase of height from the Earth's surface.
An inversion occurs when the normal atmospheric properties change with the increase of altitude. This can also refer to a volumetric area or as seen by meteorologist as a layer. This volumetric layer we call the Inversion Layer.
Aside from the obvious atmospherically issues that can arise from inversion environmental acoustic scientists have discovered something that for the noise control industry presents as a much more disturbing phenomena.
Inversion layers are able to transmit and amplify noise due to their unique meteorological conditions that can cause serious issues when dealing with outdoor acoustic issues.
Due to the atmospherically barrier like present sound waves are refracted downwards rather than been allowed to ascend. As a result of the refraction angle these sound wave now can travel as far as 72 kilometres away in some cases.
In countries like Singapore because of the heavy humidity levels the affects of the Inversion layer will be more intense in comparison to other climates. The characteristics are most evident at sundown in Singapore but for other countries winter seasons are also frequent times Acoustic Inversion to occur.
However in Singapore the added issue cause from the hotter temperatures increase the state further as molecules bump into each other more often than when it is cold.
In normal conditions there is a relationship between the source of noise and the receiver; whereby the noise levels decrease when the distance increases. However this reality bends when influenced by the inversion layer.
The inversion layer can create the illusion that a distant noise source is much closer than the reality of its actual location. This is because of the sound waves being able to travel further and there seaming to be unnatural consistent levels of noise unlike the characteristics of normal conditions.
Another characteristic of found is that with the increase of height there is also an increase to the speed in which the sound wave travels through the air which adds to this illusion of the sound being nearer to the receiver than actual reality.
As well as the inversion layer sound can be also affected by wind speed and direction but this should never be confused together.
The understanding of the affects and characteristics of the acoustics in relation to the inversion layer help us as noise control experts to understand how to deal with environmental acoustics in an advance way.
What does it mean to us?
In Singapore there are lots of areas whereby at night noise seams much louder than other countries from construction sites, expressways beach areas and beach areas including Sentosa Island.
Understanding that sound waves are able to travel further at night in Singapore explains to you why so many people are affected more at night than in other parts of the world.
The Inversion layer acoustic effect is something many people did not know existed along with at the same time noise control and acoustic consultants alike and thus never contemplated how significant this would be in dealing with environmental noise issues at night.
Advanced Acoustic Consultant Laboratories and NYTC International's Acoustic Consultant Mr N Nelson has devised a whole new aspect of noise control that deals with the effects caused from the Inversion Layer to residence and end users.
One of the systems currently in development is a new Noise Barrier that is able to reduce high levels of noise reduction than any other barrier worldwide that works on the method of polarising the noise barrier itself to attract negative charged atoms in the atmosphere that would be used as carriers of sound waves.
Sound waves are transmitted through the air by vibrating the molecules in the matter that they are present such as Solid, Liquid, Air or Plasma.
In addition to the barrier atmospheric induces can be situated in the local area to inhibit the affects of the Inversion layer.
For many people the idea of soundproofing doors is quiet simply a door that is soundproofed or has soundproofing properties.
This you may think sounds' if you forgive the pun, very simple to comprehend, and you would be right to think that.
The difficulty that comes in to play here, is that soundproofing doors are anything but simple. They involve complex build methods using various different types of materials and wait for it the design of the door itself.
Yes it is a door, it has an opening and you walk through it. No it does not look like a normal door and why because it's not!
Soundproofing doors require specialist locking systems, they also require more intercut sealing around the frame and they require depth. Which result in a door being in some ways similar to that of your normal door but in more ways very different on an outward appearance.
If you would like to learn more about soundproofing doors please visit our page here: SOUNDPROOFING DOORS CLICK HERE
Soundproofing is not Acoustics, and Acoustic is not Soundproofing.
There is a lot of confusion in the industry about 'what represents what' in the world of noise control. Some people refer to soundproofing as acoustics others think acoustics is soundproofing and some people think soundproofing means acoustics.
This confusion goes on round and round in circles.
The problem becomes evident with the evermore increase of companies on the market that are portraying themselves as professional acoustic consultants and engineers having little more than basics interests in hi-fi or non relevant background skill sets.
This last year alone, I have lost count of how many customers I have found that have fallen victim to buying products and services at high cost with result after of little or no improvement in the reduction of noise that that was claimed to be.
Yesterday was yet another prime example of such. I visited a recording studio that had been insulated using conventional building materials such as: 2 layers of 9mm gypsum board, 60 Kg density thermal insulation followed by yet another 2 layers of 9mm gypsum board this was followed up with a fire door in-filled with thermal insulation and some rubber seals around the door.
The acoustic control finishes were a hand full of fabric panels placed around the room and a carpeted floor.
The owner had requested for myself to evaluate the build as he felt that the system installed was not working and had been recommended us for a professional diagnostic.
Well, after that visit I decided it was time to write this article to help those of you understand the difference better.
The first thing that we need to do, is put into context that Soundproofing and Acoustic Control are in fact two separate principles of Noise Control that are very different from one another.
In order for us to understand this premise in further detail let us look into my Theorized Conception of Noise Control (2005).
In my research and development of Noise Control in 2005 I had came to the conclusion that the study of acoustics was too loosely used in Noise Control to relate to a wide verity of disciplines and areas where in-fact classification was possible and so I hypothesized that in fact Noise Control was able to be split into 4 classifications. This later transposed into my Scientific Theory that there is indeed four fundamental principles of noise control.
These are Soundproofing, Sound Absorption, Acoustics (Control) and Anti-Vibration.
This becomes more clearer when we look at the word Acoustics and its family of origin.
The word Acoustics come from the Greek word "Akoustikos" meaning to hear, hearing or ready to hear. The early use of word was used to describes qualities relating to harmonics, clarity of audio, sound waves and wave projection.
Starting from roman times if a Theatre was said to have good Acoustics it referred to beauty of sound that was directly improved via the design characteristics of its structure. This statement is still used today when describing instruments, theatres, speakers and so on.
In fact so much so is the interest in Acoustics that in 1997 in the city of London in the United Kingdom a modern recreation of the Shakespeare's globe theatre was created. The theatre has no requirement for amplified speakers as the acoustics of the space is that good that the actors and performers are able to perform unaided and the result in the sound heard by audience is nothing less than perfect.
So as you can see the use of the word acoustics doesn't suggest or represent the suppression of noise at all. Its usage is in an entirely different context.
With this in mind I have summarised the definition relating to noise control as such:
Acoustic control is the treatment of a special environment to improve the quality of the sound.
Understanding this proven theory inevitably leads to the understanding that acoustic control does not result in the encapsulated environment containing noise within the threshold of its space.
The treatment of that space for acoustic control will only result in the shaping or sculpting of sound which I refer to as 'Acoustic Tuning' of the Room.
Soundproofing however is as it sounds quiet simply the encapsulation via erection or creation of a barrier that prevents noise transference from within to breach the containment and escape to outside environment.
Soundproofing systems when implemented to full affect have the ability to contain 100% of the noise within its containment envelope completely.
Acoustics wither it being correctly implemented or not will have no bearing upon the final prospect that soundproofing require such treatments in order to perform.
It is therefore implausible to suggest otherwise that soundproofing and acoustics are somewhat the same thing.
Univeral Studios Singapore Inspection of Soundproofing Works
We are very proud to be able to say that we were involved in the Resort World Sentosa - Universal Studios and our NoiseBlock Soundproofing Curtains are still performing well and producing great soundproofing resuts and acoustic reverberation control on site.
Tonight we visited the site and was greated by Senior Technican Hamdan who was there from the very start and still there today. Our curtains were given a contract warenty of 4 years and we are standing here tonight 6 years on and still 90% of them are in perfect working order and in good shape.
The curtains that Netaro Nelson invented still todate achive the highest level of sound reduction of any curtain found in Singapore and we would even be bold to say worldwide.
On inspection Mr Nelson has reported that 10 curtains out of the 100's installed will require to be replaced. Which he will include in his report next week.e often come across customers that have had acoustic treatments in their homes to improve acoustic equality of the enviroment and are confused as to the effectivness of the treatment and was there actually an improvment.
Busting the Myth on Acoustic Foam in the home
We often come across customers that have had acoustic treatments in their homes to improve acoustic equality of the enviroment and are confused as to the effectivness of the treatment and was there actually an improvment.
If investigate what is happening in the room, you can see from the diagram below that the noise is not completely absorbed by the panels. In fact there is more noise reflected from the surfaces missing treatment that the areas that the panels are installed.
In figure 1 (elevation drawing) we can see that the height and size of the absorption panel is such that sound waves are able to be reflected from the lower part of the wall and the upper part of the wall; as well as the ceiling and the floor.
This results in there being only a slight improvement of the acoustic control of the room and leaving still large amounts of reverberation noise.
Figure 2 (plan drawing) shows that in the room there are a total of 7 acoustic panels and again much of the room is missing treatment. Unless there are a lot of natural objects or materials in the room then in our opinion the resutls are poor.
So how to resolve the rooms poor acoustic control issues. We install an acoustic ceiling systems such as the NoiseBlock Quadratic Panel System and then we install the NoiseBlock Policoustic Tile onto the front wall and rear wall.
As you can see in Figure 3 (elevation drawing) the sound wave is reflected from the wall and then absobed into the Acoustic Ceiling.
In fact the ceiling on its own is enough to remove the echo from the room. However if we are looking for better control if the room is used as a music room then we need to add treatment to 1 or 2 walls for best performance.
In figure 4 (plan drawing) you can see the walls will remove any other echo that is present.
Always remember that a few panels here and there will not solve your issues no matter how nice they look if the rest of your room is reflective.
What makes a good Acoustic Consultant / Engineer
We see so many people these days calling themseves Acoustic Consultans or Acoustic Engineers. It seams that all you need to do is have some experience with home hi-fi's, club sound systms or 1 weeks basic acoustics in an engineering degree to call youself an Acoustic Consultant or Engineer.
A good engineer should understand the fundermental princibles of noise control, share their knolledge with others in depth and be able to explain in detail about the problem in hand and how to tackle it.
They should also be able to design and build systems of their own that are able to deal effectivly against sound.
All to often we do not see that present in the industry, what we do see is a lot of people in suits. Something that was once said to me recently on the Mediacorp project which I will share with you is: "real engineers look like engineers, they have their sound meters, tools, wearing PPE (safety boots, helmets etc) and look like they have been on site, not these office types that where suits all day and have no idea about whats going on."
Our First Blog Post (on this site)
NYTC International's NoiseStop Systems Singapore has been here now in Singapore since 2005 thats a long stretch of time for any company. When we came here there wasn't any soundproofing companies around. Over the years we have seen companies come and go.
This is largey based on results and business, its easy for companies to come into the maket with colourfull websites, sales pitch and smooth talk. But in the end the result is what matters and what companies trust you to do the work.
We don't just sell products, we make them and sell them direct to customers, to business, to resellers and internaitonally.
Every year we are making breakthroughs in Noise Control mitigation, new materials, new products and improving on old.
We have dedicated our lifes to soundproofing and improving the industry standards for Noise Control.