Can you balance the growth in technology, changing lifestyles with the environment? To keep the balance, there are various measures that need to be followed. Also with fast and, I must say, space crunched lives, one has to take care to give and take privacy and peace. Sound when in excess, has the ability to disturb the most peaceful day. So how do we tackle noise? The basics are to keep a tab on production of noise. Yes, we all agree, but till what extent? We cannot tweak our lives completely, to prevent outgoing or incoming noise. One cannot stay in the woods or have a home theater in there, nor can all recording studios and music studios, settle far away. Well, that was just a lighter note, getting back to what is important today, is controlling and treating unwanted sound. And for this, soundproofing or sound absorption is what you need. Now when talking of soundproofing and acoustic treatment, most of the people will confuse both of them to be similar. Where in the fact is that both these treatments have the same structure but different characteristics and functions. They may share one thing, that is the solution for your sound or noise problems. Below is a description on each, that will help you frame out both these elements of effective soundproofing.
Soundproofing can be termed as a treatment, that is basically designed to keep the sound inside the room locked in side and the sound outside the room blocked outside. In simple words it is to keep the sound from getting in or out of the room. Soundproofing the room will need blocking all the possible areas or gaps that the sound can travel through. So here we are not really tampering the sound or the waves or the frequency, etc. It is simple, just like putting a barrier to block the sound. So soundproofing, just like the name suggests, is to enclose the sound. This practice is for all and it is more common in residential spaces, soundproofing will seldom work for a theater or a music studio.
It is mainly a treatment for the sound that is produced indoors. Acoustic treatment is a way of soundproofing, but it is not only to keep out the sound but to treat the sound that maximizes the clarity and decreases the volume. It confines noise within the room. And makes it sound as clear and accurate as possible, just as it would be from the source. Confused? Well, let us understand with a simple example. Most of the studio rooms will have their studios made soundproof with some or the other acoustic material. This prevents the sounds from the instruments to bleed. The use of acoustic material helps to dampen the reverb, or clashing of the sound of same frequency in the room, especially in the recording studio. The audio clarity and quality will be much more enhanced.
Acoustic treatment also deals with the construction of the space. The 3 important aspects are: absorption, diffusion and low end control. Absorbing the sound waves with effective absorbing material is important, in order to slow or pacify the sonic energy. Diffusion is mainly to redirect the sound waves and diffuse and kill them in the air. Whereas low end control is to control the low end frequencies of sound which tend to have very long wavelengths.
Soundproofing vs Acoustical Treatment
Now that we have both concepts clear, we know how each is different and effective than each. Acoustic treatment is to enhance the sound quality and from a listeners point of view. The sound heard in acoustic treated room will be exactly the same while it was being recorded, whereas the sound in a normal room, will be very different though with the same audio equipment. Soundproofing is designed specifically for what we can term as, to increase the standard of acoustic isolation that is between the studio and all that is outside the studio.
With this we conclude on soundproofing and acoustic treatment. Both go hand-in-hand as when it comes to treating sound. And now we even know how and why!