The owner of OC Recording Company in Santa Ana, Calif., was completely over his old acoustic ceiling panels. Asaf Fulks, sound engineer and composer of music for TV and film, says he was simply tired of flaky mineral fiber ceiling panels that ripped at the corners and lost fibers that would fall onto equipment. he uses to record, mix and master music.
Also fed up with the stuffy indoor air quality in the room, Fulks decided it was time for an upgrade. He ripped out the twenty-year-old ceiling panels and the itchy fiberglass insulation above them. Then he set out to find a new ceiling that would be visually exciting and create a unique space for artists, music producers, and industry executives to come and do some musical magic.
While searching online, Fulks discovered Ceilume. “Their molded decorative panels are awesome – crisp, clean and artistic. They combine a touch of old-school flavor with modern details. Since they’re made of thermoformed rigid vinyl, I knew they wouldn’t chip or peel. wouldn’t release particles like regular ceiling panels,” says Fulks.Ceilume panels are also GreenGuard Gold certified for indoor air quality, mold and allergen free, waterproof, and easy to clean and maintain.
Achieving great sound in the room was a primary consideration for Fulks. “To fine-tune the part, it was important to have a noise reduction coefficient of at least NRC=0.50,” he explains. Based on acoustic test data on the manufacturer’s website, he found he could achieve the required performance with Ceilume’s ultra-thin 0.013-inch-thick panels topped with their Soniguard no-itch batt insulation. Made from polyester fibers similar to those used in upholstery, the mats won’t itch or release airborne fibers.
From the manufacturer’s wide range of patterns, faux finishes and colors, Fulks selected the deeply molded Westminster panels to create height with the coffered ceiling. The reflections and shadows of daylight entering through the windows added playful textures. He chose Latte for the color to complement the existing finishes and bold original artwork. He found that it also caused less glare on the screens of the mixing equipment than there had been with the previous white ceiling. Finally, Fulks chose to leave the existing ceiling suspension grid white because he liked the color contrast between the grid and the panels.
Once the materials arrived, Fulks decided on a do-it-yourself installation. “I’m not a handyman,” he laughs. However, he was able to install the entire 360 square foot ceiling in less than a day. “It was a one-man job,” he says; “These panels are so much easier to work with than the mineral fiber ones I had before. Most of the panels simply went into the grid and for those that needed to be cut around the edges the only tools I needed were scissors and a tape measure.
“I’m very happy with the sound in the room.” he says, adding that the new ceilings seem to have made the sound more exciting. “And most importantly, the air quality has improved since the installation of the new panels.” It’s music to everyone’s ears.