Weighing your choices: Purpose vs. Aesthetics

Deciding what acoustic treatment you need for a specific room, project, or venue can be as difficult, or easy, a task as buying a new car. Purchasing acoustical treatment and buying a car both require you to think carefully and weigh your needs versus your wants before signing on the dotted line. While you may want the newest 2-door sports convertible on the market, your needs may require you to buy the 6 year old, “Soccer Mom” van listed in the classified ads. With endless options available in the marketplace, how do you balance the scales and strike that magical balance between what you want and what you truly need? You can start by determining the answers to the following trio of questions.

1. What am I hoping to achieve, or what problem am I hoping to address, by adding acoustical treatment into my space?

Acoustical products are designed to either treat multiple or individual acoustical aspects of a room. Products such as diffusers are more narrowed in their performance, whereas the performance of acoustic panels can be varied depending on their installation or application. By narrowing down what you hope to achieve, or what problem you may want to address, you will narrow down your treatment options.

2. Am I willing to compromise on the look of my room in order to get the acoustic sound I want in the room?

The amount or type of acoustical treatment you need in a room will vary based on a number of factors. Included in the list of factors is the amount of space you have available for the placement of acoustic treatment and the acoustical properties of the room as it is currently laid out. Moving the location of items within a room, or removing or changing out items within a room, will affect the acoustic properties of a space. If you do not wish to change the current layout of your space, you will need to add treatments based on the space and sound you currently have. Custom size acoustic panels and bass traps can be built to fit within a space or around room structures. Product options, such as panel thickness and sound absorption range, allow you to increase or decrease absorption where you need it. If you are more open to changes, you can refine the sound of your room to your preferences along with the aesthetics. Art acoustic panels are a popular acoustical treatment that can be added into a room in place of existing decorative wall elements. Utilizing microsuede fabric or custom ordering a fabric for your products can also give your space a more personalized touch. While you may be hindered by your available space, your design choices can be limitless!

3. How much time and money do I want to invest in this project?

Budgeting a project can be a tricky job. You must determine how you wish to divide your funds, as well as your time, in order to complete your project in the way you wish. You must ask yourself whether you want to complete the project all at once, or if you are okay with it being a work in progress? When looking into acoustical treatments, a stock item will take less time and money to have completed than an item that is fully customized to fit your project’s needs. When it comes to customizing acoustical treatments, the lead time for production is often determined by the availability of materials that are needed to complete the customization. In stock materials may only take a few extra days to acquire from a distributor, while made-to-order materials can take upwards of twelve weeks to acquire. Knowing how you wish to allocate your project budget will go a long ways in helping you to make a final decision on how you wish to proceed on a project.

For an extra hand in planning or budgeting your project, please contact one of our Inside Sales Engineers.

Visit AXPONA 2015 in Chicago this weekend!

It’s that time of year again! If you are a serious audiophile or a general music lover, and you are in the Chicago area, be sure to visit Axpona – Audio Expo North America, this weekend at the Westin O’Hare hotel in Rosemont, Illinois. It will be running Friday, April 24th through Sunday, April 26th. Featuring some of the world’s finest consumer audio systems and products, it is three days full of music, technology, design, education, networking, and entertainment. Four members of the ATS Acoustics team made the journey to Chicago in 2013 for this stellar audio trade show. While we will not be on site this year, a couple of the Axpona audio vendors are once again utilizing some of our acoustic treatments in their rooms and have information available.

Channel D, an audio software company, will be in the Lower Level-Wabash Room. Other vendors in this location include Pure Music, Pure Vinyl, Seta, and Lynx Studio Technology. Check out our ATS Microsuede acoustic panels and our ATS Acoustic Corner Bass Traps, which will be utilized in the room.

Snake River Audio, a high performance audio cable manufacturer, will be in Room 454. Other vendors in this location include Sonist Audio, Raven Audio, George Warren Precision Sound, SORAsound, Mytek, and Supreme Analog. Utilized in the room is our latest addition to the ATS Wedge Foam acoustic panel line-up– the 12x12x2 ATS Acoustic Wedge Foam panels in Charcoal and Grape.

So visit with our friends at Channel D and Snake River Audio at Axpona this weekend, and tell them that we said hello!

Earth Day Feature: ATS Acoustic Eco-Panels

Earth Day 2015

Exercise your environmental stewardship and demonstrate your support for environmental protection this Earth Day!

With increasing awareness towards utilizing renewable resources to promote sustainable interior environments, more industries and individuals are looking for Eco-friendly alternatives to their main-stay products. As part of our Eco-friendly product line-up, ATS Acoustic Eco-Panels provide both superior acoustical performance and impressive environmental stewardship.

Why are ATS Acoustic Eco-Panels a green, sustainable product?

  • Contributes to LEED certified projects.
  • Core material of either ECOSE® fiberglass or recycled Cotton material (note that Class A fire rating is not available on the recycled Cotton material).
  • ECOSE® Technology fiberglass contains no phenol, formaldehyde, acrylics, or artificial colors.
    • Features 58% post consumer recycled materials.
    • Reduces binder embodied energy by up to 70%.
    • Features carbon negative sustainability by reducing carbon generation during life cycle.
  • Recycled Cotton material features 80% pre-consumer recycled materials.
  • 97% post-consumer recycled composite plastic frames.
  • EPA award winning, soy-based PureBond® backing.
  • 100% Jute fabric features rapidly renewable natural fibers.

  • Click Here to learn more about our ATS Acoustics Eco-Panels and how they can impact your next Green project.

New ATS Wedge Foam 12x12x2 Panels!!!

Expanding upon the current product line-up, ATS Acoustics is pleased to bring you our new ATS Wedge Foam Acoustic Panels 12x12x2 in Charcoal and Grape! This latest addition to our ATS Foam Acoustic Panels product line provides a smaller panel size option with bigger opportunities for design and acoustic treatment within limited space areas.

ATS Wedge Foam Acoustic Panels (Charc/Grape)- 12x12x2 (12pk)

With the exact same performance as our larger ATS Wedge Foam Acoustic Panels- 24x24x2, these ATS Wedge Foam Acoustic Panels absorb the most sound per dollar invested when compared to our ATS Acoustic Panels with Original Fabric. ATS Wedge Foam Acoustic Panels are highly effective at high-range frequencies and at mid-range frequencies down to 500Hz. Containing both our standard Charcoal and our new Grape colored panels, this 12 pack offers unlimited design possibilities when used in combination with our other ATS Foam Acoustic Products. Mix and match sizes, colors, and thicknesses to create a look exclusive to your design personality!

Specs and Features:

  • 2 lbs/cf density acoustic foam
  • Each panel is 2 inches thick
  • Twelve panels per package (12sqft of coverage)
  • Each package contains 6 Charcoal panels and 6 Grape panels
  • Panels can be easily cut to fit any space
  • ASTM E84 Class A(1) Fire Rated
  • FREE shipping via UPS Ground
  • Made in the USA

Learn more about ATS Wedge Foam Acoustic Panels (Charc/Grape)- 12x12x2 (12pk).

Monitor Isolation Pads Now Shipping

ATS is happy to announce we have added Monitor Isolation Pads to our line of great products to provide an additional solution for your acoustic needs.

Monitor Isolation Pads

Placing the Monitor Isolation Pads under your speakers and monitors absorbs vibrations, which prevents them from transferring from your equipment to the surrounding surfaces.  This dampening of the auxiliary vibrations improves the accuracy and clarity of the sound enhancing your listening experience.

Specs and Features:

  • The pads are angled at 4 degrees.
  • Two wedges, side by side, can support up to 100 pounds.
  • Each monitor Isolation Pad is 12″ x 4″ x 1.5″.
  • Two (2) Isolation Pads per pack.
  • ASTM E84 Class A(1) Fire Rated
  • Affordable shipping via USPS

Learn more about Monitor Isolation Pads.

Church Acoustics: Creating Great Sound with Worship Leaders

Helping churches and worship environments sound their best is important to us. We especially enjoy connecting with audio professionals, music enthusiasts, and worship leaders and learning about their experiences and worship spaces.

From July 14 – 17, we will have the opportunity to engage with these communities at the National Worship Leader Conference in Kansas City, KS. The NWLC is a premier event for training and equipping worship leaders, bands, vocalists, tech specialists, and choirs through dynamic workshops, face-to-face mentorship, and exposure to cutting-edge technology.

Our team will be on-site with ATS Acoustics acoustical wall and ceiling treatments for fellowship halls, sanctuaries, gymnasiums, and classrooms. Those that are interested in attending can use promotional code ATS10 and register on the NWLC-Kansas site to receive a 10% discount off the current registration price.

ATS Acoustics Provides Noise Solutions for Restauranteurs

ATS Acoustics will be attending the 2014 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show held May 17–20 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.

Over the course of the four-day event, ATS Acoustics will join the NRA trade show floor to exhibit our range of acoustical solutions for quieter dining environments. Our noise solutions for great-sounding, great-looking restaurants include: ATS Acoustic Wall Panels, ATS Art Acoustic Panels, and ATS Ceiling Baffles.

ATS Art Acoustic Panels at Alamo Cafe, TX

ATS Acoustics will be at Booth #9710, North Hall, Level 1, and engineers will be on-site to answer acoustical and design questions. Restauranteurs can learn how to enhance their facility’s atmosphere and discover how to provide a comfortable, intelligible dining environment for their guests.

ATS Ceiling Panels at Fortify Kitchen & Bar, GA

Soundproof your Home Office with Acoustic Treatments

Working from a home office can be frustrating when faced with distracting household sounds and disruptions.  To maximize your work experiences in a home workspace, try a few of these soundproofing strategies.

Switch to a heavier door: Large amounts of noise can actually enter your home office through the bottom of your office door.  This can be easily fixed by switching your existing door with a solid core door designed to reduce noise.

Cover your floors: Floor coverings will help stop noise from bouncing around your office’s hard surfaces.  Add a carpet or a few thick throw rugs and make a big difference in dampening loud echoes.

Adding insulation to certain areas can help stop noise from entering your room.

Plug sound leaks: Noise can travel through the tiniest of gaps.  Acoustical sealants, such as QuietSeal Pro Acoustical Sealant, can be used to fill openings between ductwork, overhead lighting fixtures, and door casings. You can also apply acoustical putty pads around electrical outlets and water hookups. For additional soundproofing, fill the wall and ceiling cavities with insulation board, such as Acoustical Fire Batts.

Hang acoustic panels: Acoustic panels are an affordable and easy-to-install solution for soundproofing.  Be creative and use ATS Art Acoustic Panels to turn your acoustic panels into beautiful art images.  Alternatively, try ATS Tackable Acoustic Panels, a dual purpose sound treatment that offers a tackboard and a sound absorbing panel.

ATS Acoustic Panels will help soundproof your home office.

Even small changes can help create a quieter and more comfortable work environment in your home office.  If we can help solve your noise problems, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Creating Quieter Childcare Environments with Acoustical Treatments

Quality childcare centers foster a child’s social, emotional, and intellectual development and provide a safe and supportive physical environment. Sometimes overlooked, the acoustics of the childcare environment are worth paying attention to.

Why are acoustics important in childcare centers?

Although the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has acoustical standards for school facilities, similar criteria for addressing noise issues in daycare centers has yet to be developed.  Young children need minimal background noise in their learning environments in order to understand language.  If a childcare environment has large amounts of reflective surfaces and background noise, this “sound buildup” can cause communication difficulty between caregivers and children.  Too much noise can also interfere with a child’s ability to discriminate between meaningful speech and has been linked to affecting hearing loss, attention skills, and elevated blood pressure levels (Holland, Healthy Child Care).

Some suggestions for creating quieter childcare environments include:

  • If possible, avoid building child care centers near noise sources such as major high­ways, street intersections, railroad lines, or airport flight paths.
  • Place acoustic panels throughout the child care center to reduce reflected sound and increase speech clarity.
  • Use cork floors, mats, or carpeting in appropriate spaces.
  • Open floor arrangements can attribute to higher noise levels. Create quieter sleeping or napping areas by varying ceiling heights, or by hanging acoustic baffles.
  • Incorporate acoustic ceiling panels in the ceiling design. Ceiling installations are an affordable way to solve acoustical concerns without using valuable wall space.
  • Add sound control and a visual element with colorful, kid-friendly art acoustic panels.
Kid-friendly Art Acoustic Panels offer bright, fun designs plus acoustical control.

Kid-friendly Art Acoustic Panels offer bright, fun designs plus acoustical control.

Paying attention to acoustics can not only create a more comfortable childcare environment, but it can be crucial in fostering a safe and healthy center for children.  Even simple changes to a child care center’s acoustical plan can make a big difference in a child’s learning atmosphere.

If we can help solve your noise problems, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Acoustical Considerations in Workplace Architecture

The physical and social environment of a workplace, including cafeterias, employee lounges, and break rooms, can be key factors in measuring employee satisfaction. As well as providing a relaxing area during the work day, meetings and other activities frequently occur in these spaces, and excess noise can interfere with fulfilling objectives.

Some goals to consider when designing an effective and comfortable work space may include:

  • Reducing echo and reverberant noise as much as possible.
  • Controlling the impact of generated noise to surrounding work areas.
  • Minimizing ambient noise from outdoors and nearby conversations.

Custom Acoustic Panels improve a cafeteria environment. (Corflex, Quebec)

Absorptive materials in the form of Acoustic Panels or Ceiling Panels can help meet these goals.   The following sound control products were used by recent ATS Acoustics’ customers when designing their employee work spaces:

Unique images create comfortable employee lounges. (Jameson Interiors, TX)

Unique images create comfortable employee lounges. (Jameson Interiors, TX)

We’re here to offer unlimited design choices and customized options for your work space. Whether we turn a company logo into a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork or create a collage of multi-colored panels to brighten the room, we will make sure that the work space meets both your aesthetic and acoustical goals.