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Saw a movie tonight - got me thinking about acoustical treatments


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Wow, longest subject title I've ever typed I think!

The wife and I went and saw the movie "Just Friends" tonight which as a side note was hilariously funny. We got there plenty early and I was checking out the theater. Unfortunately it was at the local dollar theater and there wasn't even any surround speakers!

I got to thinking about the curtain-type material that was on the walls. Gathered fabric was what my wife called it. Is there anywhere a person can buy something like this for home use? My basement and walls are plain white and I wouldn't mind putting something like this in to create more of a theater type look. My wife actually suggested something similar she saw on a home decorating show one time. Anyone else using something similar?


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  • 1 month later...

Curtains are NOT acoustic treatments.

Well it really depends on the curtains...Krannert Center at the University of Illinois is a perfect example. The key is to use a thick heavy material and then make sure they never lay flat. The natural wrinkles act as diffusors (around 1kHz and up) and at high frequencies the curtain also starts absorbing sound (like 4kHz and up).

That said curtains certainly are not a huge acoustical treatment...most of what they do can be accomplished with any of the other broadband solutions out there.

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I agree with the above. Curtains will be of limited use. They can be imprvoved if they are lined (heavier fabric) and if they are spaced at least a few inches away from the wall. There may have been stuff behind the curtain that was useful.

Let me note, when you hang long curtains (esp with spacing behind them) these can be a very real fire issue if they have not been treated in some fashion.

Good Luck,


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  • 2 weeks later...

The problem with curtains is that they are not wide bandwidth absorbers. If you absorb only certain frequencies and reflect others, you can end up with a pretty heinous imbalance. Better to try to use wide bandwith absorption unless you know for a fact you have a very specific problem in the frequency range the curtains are good at and are even at the rest of the bandwidth (pretty unlikely). Also, some fabrics act as reflectors at high frequencies, making the imbalance even greater.

As for fire rating on the curtains, there is treatment you can buy that will take care of the issue or you can buy theater drapes that are already lined and treated (albeit more $$$).

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  • 2 weeks later...

My suggestion would be to darken the walls with a new paint job, and

hang some strategically placed 2'x4' four inch thick acoustical panels.

In fact, that's my weekend project.....LOL I have 8 panels

arriving by FedEx on thursday, and we have a painting party planned for


Hopefully, the smell wont be too bad for friday night movie

night!! If it is, I'll just keep drinking until I cant smell it


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