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DIY Panels [message #85831] Fri, 11 August 2017 06:12 Go to next message
Madison  is currently offline Madison
Messages: 24
Registered: June 2017
Chancellor
We live in a row house and my two daughters play various musical instruments including a piano. Of course, we want to be respectful of our neighbors who shouldn't have to hear it. In order to contain the music, I made some DIY acoustic panels from the directions on Lifehacker. It seemed like a good plan, but when I go outside, I can still hear the music although not as loudly as before. Should I add more panels or should I scrap the project all together and try something else?
Re: DIY Panels [message #85832 is a reply to message #85831 ] Fri, 11 August 2017 13:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wayne Parham  is currently offline Wayne Parham
Messages: 16932
Registered: May 2009
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

Absorbent panels made from old towels will be better than nothing, but could be improved upon quite a bit.

One problem is you need to damp a wide range of frequencies. High frequencies are pretty easy to absorb but midrange is harder and low frequencies are the hardest to damp. Acoustic wedges, foam and fibrous insulation materials work well at medium to high frequencies and vibrating panels work best down low. You probably won't have any trouble with high frequencies, but you'll need to absorb both midrange and low frequencies to be effective at keeping sounds from emanating from your house.

Be realistic though. If you're not going to be playing a rock band with amplifiers cranked up really loud, then you may not have a problem. Acoustic instruments are usually capable of being louder than vocal conversation level, but I wouldn't expect them to wake up the neighbors. You might have someone play the instruments and go outside to see how much you can really hear. Chances are, if your daughters are playing acoustic instruments without amplification, then you're OK without any additional sound damping treatments.

Re: DIY Panels [message #85867 is a reply to message #85832 ] Tue, 15 August 2017 14:10 Go to previous message
Madison  is currently offline Madison
Messages: 24
Registered: June 2017
Chancellor
Wayne, thanks for the help. I made some plain foam panels to go with my towel panels and it seems better. I couldn't figure out the vibrating panel. I found lots of DIY instructions, but it was beyond my skill set.

Before we moved here, we had a large yard with lots of space between us and the neighbor so noise was never an issue. Now, we live in a row house on the other side of the country. Even though we aren't sharing a wall with our neighbors, we're right on top of each other. I just don't want us to make them uncomfortable when my girls play the piano, flute, or clarinet. Beautiful music to a mother's ear is a screeching sound to a stranger.

Thanks again for the help!
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