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Reading gearslutz and other forums about music production it always comes the issue about room acoustics, and they always emphasize the importance of setting acoustic elements such as bass traps, diffusors and so on in order to get good sound. Those of you who have grand pianos at home also try to treat the accoustics of your room?

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No I don't. But it is best for your piano room to have a decent mix of reflective and absorbent materials otherwise any instrument played in it will sound poor, I call that 'appropriate room decoration' rather than 'acoustic treatment'. If the room sound good for your hifi it'll probably sound good for your piano.

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I don’t set my music room up like a recording studio, bug rather like a home music room. Therefore, no acoustic panels, bad traps, etc.

The room is furnished with chairs, pillows, etc.,,large area rug and thick pad under the piano. I certainly would have added the official acoustic modification route if it would have been needed — but it wasn’t.


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With rugs, drapes and book cases you can accomplish much to adjust the sound of a room. If you're going to be recording for professional release then you might want to do more, but bear in mind most of the serious room treatments you've read about are for control rooms (mixing, mastering and listening) not where the playing happens. In a recording situation the piano will usually live out in the studio which is usually quite reverberant. Care will have been taken to eliminate parallel walls and add diffusion to avoid coherent reflections so the room sounds nice, but the reverberation of the room can be controlled by how close the microphones are placed to the strings. The closer the mics, the less room sound.


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I agree that normal room furnishings like rugs, couches, and pillows should be sufficient. Bookshelves full of books are also great (listen to how good NPR's Tiny Desk concerts sound in their offices full of books), as are curtains on windows, or at least blinds that can open and act as baffles. A room without no or little furniture, however, probably will be echoey and not sound good. For example, my last grand piano lived in my well-furnished living room and sounded nice and tight. After selling it to my friend who moved it into his new build house down the street (similar house to mine, same builder), he has it in his living room with no couch and little furniture. While his minimalist furnishings look cool and modern, the acoustics are pretty bad and the piano no fun to listen to.

I did add one acoustic treatment in my living room, however, which was to hang wave-shaped acoustic foam panels on the ceiling above the piano. That and a thick area rug under the piano really helped focus the sound for me.


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According to what i have read from the people that produces music, the need for accoustic treatment in their studios does not come from the nature of the activity they do there, e.g. recording, mixing, mastering or whatever, but instead from the volume of the sound. Working at high volumes creates all those problems of reflecting sound waves that have to be treated. At lower volumes there is no need for that, but obviously the people in music industry works with higher volumes. Anyway, the piano we all know is capable to a great amount of volume so I think almost any room would benefit from some kind of treatment.

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‘Official’ acoustic treatment may not be needed; if it not needed, how would it benefit a room?


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For me it’s indispensable to treat the room due to hardwood floors and loud piano. In addition to rugs and pillows that others suggested, I have also used foam for the underside of the piano with great results. During practice I close the lid and cover the top with a thick piano cover (I use comforter for now). See my previous post.

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Originally Posted by Ubu
According to what i have read from the people that produces music, the need for accoustic treatment in their studios does not come from the nature of the activity they do there, e.g. recording, mixing, mastering or whatever, but instead from the volume of the sound. Working at high volumes creates all those problems of reflecting sound waves that have to be treated. At lower volumes there is no need for that, but obviously the people in music industry works with higher volumes. Anyway, the piano we all know is capable to a great amount of volume so I think almost any room would benefit from some kind of treatment.

This will all depend on how you want your room and recordings to sound. I like a tight sound with minimal room ambience, and the furnishings and whatnot in my living room give me that. If you preferred more room sound, you would want to reduce some of the stuff I have in there. I doubt you'd want to add acoustic treatment in that case.

I don't know if acoustic treatment can reduce the actual decibel level coming from the piano. However, it can reduce the echoes that make the sound unpleasant and discordant, and perhaps that will make it seem less loud.


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My piano room is quite large, though the ceiling is not high. It has a fully fitted carpet, and the whole far end of the room is the window which is covered by full-length curtains. I always play the piano with the lid fully open. I have no problem whatsoever acoustically. There is certainly no need for acoustic treatment of the room.

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Simple, for a 130 size German piano all you need is a good sized carpet and underfeldt, furnishings , pictures, curtains etc. Similar for a baby or regular sized grand.
Depending on the size and shape of the room and the piano.

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Originally Posted by Emery Wang
Originally Posted by Ubu
According to what i have read from the people that produces music, the need for accoustic treatment in their studios does not come from the nature of the activity they do there, e.g. recording, mixing, mastering or whatever, but instead from the volume of the sound. Working at high volumes creates all those problems of reflecting sound waves that have to be treated. At lower volumes there is no need for that, but obviously the people in music industry works with higher volumes. Anyway, the piano we all know is capable to a great amount of volume so I think almost any room would benefit from some kind of treatment.

This will all depend on how you want your room and recordings to sound. I like a tight sound with minimal room ambience, and the furnishings and whatnot in my living room give me that. If you preferred more room sound, you would want to reduce some of the stuff I have in there. I doubt you'd want to add acoustic treatment in that case.

I don't know if acoustic treatment can reduce the actual decibel level coming from the piano. However, it can reduce the echoes that make the sound unpleasant and discordant, and perhaps that will make it seem less loud.
Sorry i didn't explain it properly. The goal of acoustic treatment is not to reduce the volume. Decibels inside the room are the same after and before treatment. What they reduce are the wave reflections, so the sound becomes less blurry, more thick and precise.

I highly doubt that there is a single piano room in the world that wouldn't benefit from some acoustic treatment, given how the sound of a piano changes when we apply over it small changes such as open or close lid, voicing hammers, placement in the room. And when the makers decide the kind of wood for the soundboard or the rim, or the scale design, that's also acoustics. It's all about acoustics actually. I recognize you can get ok results with a rug under and not much more. But i also see people that just an ok result is not enough for them. Many people has already an ok piano and change it for another one because they want better sound. Or complain that the piano at dealership sounded much better that once in their living room. I think it is incoherent spending tens of thousands on a piano, and then not spending a small fraction of that on a bunch of acoustic panels, that will improve the musicality a lot (unless decorative reasons involved).

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I have done a little bit in the music room. It had an oak beamed ceiling. The way this had been done led to quite a lot of noise transfer from the music room to the room above. So I had the beams underdrawn with plasterboard and filled the void with fibreglass insulation. This also had some effect on the room acoustics. I wanted to keep the room looking like an ordinary room. So I tried to disrupt flat surfaces with pictures. I have 10 pictures on the walls in total. They are all piano themed except for one. De to the positioning of the window my piano really can go in only one spot. That puts it parallel to a wall and with the lid up, my preferred way of playing, the sound hits that opposite wall square on. I didn't like the wall. It has a double power point and thee socket for LAN, neither of which can e treated as a feature. So I got a 2 metre by 2 metre tapestry. That masks the eyesores and seems to have dampened the sound somewhat. There are some cupboards built into the walls. Some of these I have filled with soft material. On the inside of the doors I have also added padding. Should I ever feel the need these can be opened, again breaking up the shape of the room and providing more damping.


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Since my pianos have always been placed in the great room or main living area and I have never really recorded my playing, I’ve never added acoustic treatments for the pianos. I’ve never had to quiet a grand for neighbors. I love always been quite happy with how my piano sounds in my home.


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