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Tag Archives: home theater

How To Soundproof A Room

There are many reasons to soundproof a room. Maybe you want to block outside ambient noise. Maybe you want to soundproof your home office to block out your kids as they shout and bang into things. Or maybe you don’t want to disturb neighbors as you turn your speakers and subwoofers up. Whatever your reasons, soundproofing a room is useful and can be fairly easy to do.

The simplest solution is to seal up all the openings in a room. If there are any cracks in the wall, be sure to seal them with caulking. If there are any vents in the room, sound-baffling materials such as foam insulation should work. Insulation works for outlets and other small openings in the room as well. Windows also let in a large amount of sound. If you don’t need to use the windows, you can install drywall over it with insulation between the glass and the drywall. If you need to use the window, then hang heavy curtains over the window, and when the curtains are in use, make sure the openings at the sides are as small as possible, fastening them down if you wish.

Soft materials absorb sound much more efficiently than do hard materials. So the installation of carpets is more practical than tile or hardwood floors. There are special acoustic ceiling tiles that help to block the sound between floors. Carpeting or foam wall coverings work well.

Soundproofing not only keeps sound out, but it also improves the overall sound quality of the room. This is important if you are creating a home theater, recording studio, or music room. If you want to have any of these rooms in your house, I would recommend soundproofing the room while you’re at it. You won’t regret it!

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Summertime Fun At the Drive-in

Last night we went as a family to check out “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” at our local drive-in. The movie itself did not disappoint, as our friendly quartet of zoo animals head to Monte Carlo this time around. An abundance of non-stop action and bright, colorful circus acts absolutely delighted my children. But even more fun than seeing an entertaining, animated film was the fact that we were in our car and the kids were in their pajamas. We brought our own popcorn and drinks from home and made ourselves comfortable while enjoying the cool, fresh air. Listening to the sound coming through the car’s stereo system I was reminded of the drive-in experience of my youth when my parents would bring me to this very same drive-in theater.

By the time I was born, drive-in theaters were on the decline due to rising real estate costs and the invention of VCRs and video rentals. In the height of their popularity in the 1950s and ‘60s, rural areas with acres of wide open spaces were the ideal places for large movie screens and hundreds of cars to gather watch the latest films. In the beginning, the sound was broadcast in various ways, from speakers on the screen itself, then from a row of speakers in front of the cars. Later, the sound was pumped out through small, tinny-sounding speakers that each car could utilize complete with their own volume controls. This is what I remember from my childhood: the scratchy, monophonic sound coming from the (1!) speaker hanging from the car window.

Today the sound is transmitted through an FM station and is piped in right through our car speakers. Gone are the days of worrying about parking close enough to the pole so the speaker can reach…no more messy wires to deal with. The drive-in experience is really quite fun in the summer time. It’s a very convenient option for kids who may not want to sit still for an entire feature film or can’t remain quiet.

Truth be told, I am positive I would have a better quality movie-watching experience in the comfort of my own home. My home theater system, complete with a large flat-screen TV, surround sound and earth-moving subwoofer – not to mention easy access to the restroom and kitchen – is hard to beat. It’s the novelty and nostalgic fun that brings my family back to the drive-in every summer. The things we do for kids.

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