Drop ceiling tile options — Home Recording forums

Thread: Drop ceiling tile options?

Drop ceiling tile options?

I’m relatively new to this forum, but I have read enough to know many of you really understand what’s really necessary to achieve the desired acoustics in a room through size/shape of the room, broadband absorbsion, bass traps, and diffusion. I hope you will forgive me for asking a question which is about a larger non-studio space, but most people who build or treat larger spaces simply don’t have a clue about acoustics.

For several years I engineered in a medium sized ($95/hour) commercial studio and helped in a very substantial rebuild of thier control room and booths, so I am a very familiar with OC 703 and 705 (gosh I hate that glass fiber itch!), and concepts of sound isolation and treating of rooms.

Now I find myself in a different situation, and I hope you can offer some ideas.

The Situation

Some friends of mine are starting up a church in a former church building. The building was acoustically awful to begin with, and is even worse for the types of things they want to do. The music style will be a smattering of hiphop and rock so it will have live drums and will contain quite a bit of low end content. A lower RT60 time would not be a bad thing since there will be almost no completely acoustic content.

The Room and Plan

It’s an A-frame room, approximately 50 feet wide, 58 feed deep, and the ceiling goes from 8 feet at the side to about 19 feet in the center. The ceiling is a drop ceiling.

My plan is to treat the wall behind the stage and the wall opposite it with 4 semi-rigid fiberglass or rockwool spaced 4 from the wall. Then I will put even deeper bass traps in the vertical corners and side walls next to the stage since that is the zone in the room where the low mid nodes are most objectionable. As you can immagine, the wooming low mids find thier way into all the mics making the problem even worse.

The Problem

Drop ceiling tile options - Home Recording forums

My problem is with the ceiling. Currently the drop ceiling has fairly dense ceiling tiles coated with some sort of thick vinyl. The large flat surface which seems to reflect everything above about 250Hz is problematic so I’d like to replace it with absorbsion and diffusion, adjusting the ratio between diffusion and absorbsion to attain the desired reverb time.

Tearing it down and rebuilding a new ceiling is not really feasible for them because of budget considerations, so I’ve tried to find 2’x2′ ceiling tiles that actually absorb and don’t reflect even at oblique angles. So far, everything I’ve found seems questionable or really expensive. Do you have any suggestions?

Ideally I’d find something that looks descent and costs around $0.50/sq ft ($2/tile). It doesn’t need to be all that thick or have a high absorbtion coefficient in the low mids since there is a fair ammount of R13 insulation above the ceiling, and putting more up there is fairly cheap. It cannot however reflect much mids or high end, especially at oblique angles.

I considered just cutting 1 OC703 2’x4′ panels in half, but covering them with burlap and getting the grain to go straight without sagging seems quite difficult so if there were a pre-manufactured solution I would prefer that.

Also if you have any suggestions for 2’x2′ ceiling tile diffusors that are fairly cheap, let me know. I’m not looking for anything as diffuse (or expensive) as ART diffusors or T-fusors, it just needs to be easily installable in a 2’x2′ drop ceiling and break up the big reflection zones.

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