floorscan-salford-uni

University of Salford – Creating a ‘Foley Booth’: A Controlled Environment for Sound-Effects

June 11, 2018

Floorscan have been creating sound solutions for homes, offices, hospitals, factories and many other environments for over 20 years. Our solutions are never one-size fits all and we pride ourselves on providing bespoke systems, using a variety of products, to match the individual needs of the client.

No matter how big or small the job, we have never lost our passion for sound! The music makers, soundscapers, effect creators, sound engineers – we love them all and we jump on the opportunity to create the best possible environments for them to carry out their work.

With that, we are pleased to announce that University of Salford, one of the UK’s most influential institutions for Digital and Media Arts, invited Floorscan in to optimise two Edit Suites, and build a Control Room and a Foley Booth.

Floorscan-Salford-Uni-Foley-Studio-Plan

If you’re wondering what a Foley Booth is, don’t be too worried, it’s a very industry-specific thing. The Foley Booth, Foley Pit and the Foley Artists who use them, are named after one of the greats of Hollywoodland’s Golden Age – sound effect artist Jack Foley. Foley Artists are the producers of sound effects for film, television and radio, and use practical objects and means, to create new sounds such as using an old wooden chair for creaky floorboards, coconut shells for horses galloping etc. We had the absolute pleasure of creating an environment for them to carry out this valuable and rather quaint sound experimentation for Salford Uni, and an adjoining suite for those sounds to be added to projects in post-production.

Materials:

Standard Catenary Wire

Soundblocker, 19mm Acoustic Ceiling Panels

50mm Timber Joists

100mm Ecoslab Insulation

Maxi Resilient Bars

15mm Soundbloc Plasterboard

15mm dB Matting

Rw32dB FD30 Acoustic Doorset, with acoustic seals, drop seals and vision panels

Skirting and door/wall Arcs

25mm Acoustic Absorption Insulation Stretch Fabric

Sonata Aurio Acoustic Panels

Method:

Floorscan-Salford-Uni-Sound-Booth

  1. Firstly, the Edit Suites were stripped of their existing finishes. In both rooms, however, we kept their existing lay in grid ceiling system and tiles, to be used as part of our specified system.
  2. The ceiling tiles were temporarily removed and catenary wire installed into the soffit and fixed to existing grid.
  3. Above where the ceiling tiles would be placed, Soundblocker 19 was installed with 100mm insulation above that into the ceiling.
  4. 50mm timber joists were fixed, at 600mm centres, to the walls of the Edit Suites, with ecoslab insulation installed within the timbers.
  5. Maxi Resilient Bars were then fitted perpendicular to the timbers.
  6. Two layers of 15mm Soundbloc was applied to the Maxi Bars. The tiles were finally re-attached and the ceiling work was done

Underneath the floors,

  1. 100mm Ecoslab insulation was installed into the cavity below.
  2. A final layer of 15mm dB Matting was added on top of that.

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We then got to work on a very important, often over-looked source of sound leakage: the doors.

    1. The doors were replaced with FD30 32dB Acoustic Doorsets, to which we added acoustic seals, drop seals and insulated vision panels.
    2. To finish, we installed new skirts and arcs in both editing suites and the walls and ceilings were plastered where required.
    3. We added a new a floor finish and an extra layer of 25mm Acoustic Absorption Stretch Fabric to two of the walls.

Floorscan-Salford-Uni-Foley-Pit-Plan

The Foley Booth and Control Rooms received the exact same floor ceiling and door treatments as the Edit Rooms, along with, again, adding new skirting, arcs, plastering, decoration and floor finishes. However, these two rooms were to be, as they say, ‘where the magic happens’, so to ensure those sound effects came out crystal clear, we brought more elements into the mix:

  1. Instead of two of the walls (like in the Edit Suites), all four walls of each room were covered by the 25mm Acoustic Absorption Stretched Fabric.
  2. In the control room, 6 Sonata Aurios Panels (1000mm x 1000mm x 50mm) were added to the walls, and four were added to the ceiling.

Finally, we created the Foley Pit (the fun bit) where the sounds would be made. As you can see from the image, we used hardcore, pebbles, brick, foilage, concrete, sand, carpet, wood – anything a noise-maker in training might need for those tricky cinematic edits!

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What a commission! We loved doing this one, and our trained, experienced Floorscan engineers will be bragging about it all year. It’s not the first educational institution we’ve been called out to, and it always gives us an extra thrill to know that our products will help people work to achieve their aspirations. University of Salford informed us that they were really happy with the results and that students on a variety of courses, such as Audio Production and Audio Acoustics would be making use of our handiwork. Who knows, maybe they’ll come and work for Floorscan!

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If you like the look of this project, you can see more of our case-studies here. Or, if you’re looking for an acoustic specialist to carry out bespoke and specific work like this, look no further. Contact Floorscan today on our contact page, or on 01928 571 108, for an obligation-free consultation on how to make the very best of the sound in your space.