Making Spaces Sound as Good as They Look

Today’s design trends involve a bunch of hard surfaces: high-gloss lacquer, mirrors everywhere, granite and hardwoods as far as the eye can see. But as striking as these spaces can look, the problem of reflected sound in the form of echos and poor acoustics can threaten to ruin the experience. Integration Controls is a company that takes sound treatments seriously, both in terms of how they improve sonics, and how they actually add to the visual dynamic. This is all part and parcel of our holistic outlook on how you enjoy your home, irrespective of the challenges it presents.

Artnovion product 29 komodo absorber 54b24f5ca49123553730d7481812b6                                        Big, flat walls no longer have to present big noisy challenges.

Sound is dealt with in rooms in three major ways: absorption, diffusion and low frequency containment. Typically, the biggest issue outside of application-specific problems in home theaters, for example, is absorption. By containing certain audio frequencies and preventing them from bouncing around the room which, in extreme cases, can make even simple conversations difficult, spaces are more pleasant to be in. Echo and jarring room acoustics prevent us from being at ease in environments that are often so painstakingly designed to be as beautiful as possible.

Artnovion 25 design suggestion classical 9efda4cf10Artnovion acoustic treatments offer a designer aesthetic to acoustic problems.

For commercial and larger environments, Integration Controls offer solutions that effectively break up, or diffuse sound. Why would you want to diffuse sound vs absorbing it? Diffusion is the act of ensuring that sounds are evenly dispersed in an environment, whereas absorption simply “soaks up” certain frequencies. And yes, in many cases, you’ll need to deploy both types. We offer an extensive selection of panel options per category, and you can use two different types of panels based aesthetics, severity of the problem, or both.

Artnovion design suggestion classical 90de1ff7a2Integration Controls prefers furniture-grade treatment options vs ugly eggcrate-style “solutions.”

Integration Controls takes your entire space into consideration, not just the media room. In fact, the majority of our projects are designed to enhance your life everywhere in the home, whether it’s lighting control, shades and window treatments, or acoustics. We have treatment solutions we can show you in our shop, or we can bring them to you. Call us today to find out what we can do for your space!

 

Case Study: Award Winning Home Theater

The Challenge:

Our client was building a new home and wanted to integrate a home theater experience that would trump that of traditional commercial movie megaplex. There’s just one problem, there is an underwater mural in the entertainment room that absolutely cannot be changed.

The Solution:

We worked with the room’s overall design to facilitate the best acoustic properties possible. Sidewalls were angled in toward the screen and an asymmetrical ceiling was built to reduce standing waves and add an aesthetic element to the room, while the thick-pile carpet and pad were used to absorb errant sound energy. The screen floats on three custom-made quarter inch steal brackets attached to the back wall, creating a floating screen effect and furthering the ocean theme.

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The Technology:

The audio system features drivers with high sensitivity, allowing them to play with clean precision at any volume level. And the video system includes a massive 160-inch, 2.40:1, high-gain screen and anamorphic lens. Accent lighting radiates behind the screen and spills from the ceiling to the walls from dimmable LED strip lights, all controlled from the theater’s handheld remote.

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Above & Beyond:Best_Technical_Design_2010h6> We used our design expertise to make the most of the technology we were bringing into the room. We leverage the ocean theme to create a full experience in the room, leaving no piece of coral unturned when finding ways to optimize the audio and visual experience in the space. Ultimately, ElectronicLiving agreed with us and awarded us a 2011 technical design award for our efforts.

Download the full Case Study here.

CEDIA: What is it?

We’re incredibly proud to be able to say that we’ve been a member of CEDIA since 2005. It means a lot to us, to be a part of this outstanding community, but what does it mean for you? We’d like to answer some of the common questions we get about our CEDIA certification and help show you how working with a CEDIA member directly benefits you as a client.

What’s CEDIA?

CEDIA is an international trade association of companies that specialize in designing and installing electronic systems for homes. They are the leading global authority on the home technology industry and represent 3,500 member companies and 22,000 industry professionals worldwide.

What exactly does CEDIA stand for?

Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association.

Cedia Logo

What does it mean to be a member?

Being a member of CEDIA means that we have access to a full network of professionals, training, tools, and research that aren’t available to non-members. This means we have a wider breadth of knowledge that can be leverage to create EVEN BETTER tailored solutions for our clients. The awesome thing is that we aren’t just members, we’re also CEDIA Certified.

What is CEDIA Certified?

This means we’ve taken classes and been tested on our home technology knowledge. Think of it like we’ve gotten our masters in electronic home systems and customer service. In fact, we have such an excellent reputation within our own industry that Jeff, or co-owner, currently teaches upper level CEDIA Certification classes to other professionals.

What sorts of things do you have to know to be CEDIA Certified?

All sorts of different things, but some of the highlights include: rough-in and trim-out tasks; retrofit installation; component installation and troubleshooting; selecting the appropriate products and materials to be used in integrated residential systems, including alarm, telephone, data audio, video, home theater, HVAC, and lighting control; designing, installing, and configuring a network in a home;  and residential cabling assessments.

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What certifications do you all hold at Integration Controls?

Electronic Systems Technician II (1)
Electronic Systems Technician III (1)
Residential Networking Specialist (1)
CEDIA Outreach Instructor (COI) (1)

What are the benefits of working with a CEDIA Certified Professional?

There are specific standards of excellence that you have to uphold in order to be associated with CEDIA. The requirements range from customer service guidelines, to technical knowledge principles and a professional code of ethics.

How can I, personally, learn more about this stuff?

CEDIA actually has a client facing website that doubles as has a huge resource center where you can follow along with the latest news, trends, and ideas of our industry. You can check it out here.

Anything else I should know?

Actually, yes! We’re glad you asked. CEDIA also gives awards to top performing companies. We’ve won awards in 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2014. You can check out the Case Studies section of our blog to see these awards in action.

Still have more questions? Just ask. That’s what we’re here for.

Case Study: Integration Controls Wins 2013 Best Integrated Home Award

It’s absolutely true what they say about loving your work: If you’re passionate about what you are doing, it’ll show in the final product.

One of our favorite projects received a silver award in technical design in 2013. You can download the full case study here or read the highlights below:

The first round of this project, technologically enhancing a 5,000-square-foot-lodge, was completed in 2011 and in 2012 the client reached back out to us for phase two.

The Challenge:

This time, our job was to turn two remote rural cabins into a technological haven for the owners who, wanted a retreat, but didn’t want to sacrifice their favorite creature comforts like music, television, and security.

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Our Solution:

The first step was security. We leveraged a fiber backbone that was the foundation of the original lodge to create a full network infrastructure that opened up a world of possibilities. We installed cameras around each individual cabin, that were able to record on the DVR in the lodge. Additionally, each cabin was also outfitted with its own alarm system that could be accessed remotely.

We also worked with the local wireless Internet service provider to enhance the bandwidth needed to support our creation.

Then came the focus on entertainment. AMX handheld MIO R4 remotes were used in each TV area for easy control. Dedicated satellite receivers fed each viewing area, as well as a dedicated Blu-ray in the master suite and shared Blu-ray in the living area. All of these sources switch through an HDMI distribution matrix and an audio matrix switcher. Audio was made available in several other areas using a Sonos Connect,  one of the satellites, or the shared Blu-ray player. The crown jewel was an iPad using AMX app that allowed for whole-house control of any area, as well as “party modes” for presets to listen to several rooms at once.

Here’s a snapshot of all the tech we packed into this wilderness respite:

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Going Above & Beyond

 

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If you take a closer look at the cabin, you’ll notice something: Even with that long list of different pieces of equipment listed above, you really don’t see any of it. All of our wires and widgets are hidden away, redirecting attention to the parts of the cabin that the inhabitants truly want to enjoy, the ambiance.

 

 

 

 

2013_HoursYou’re probably wondering what sort of time and expertise went into the finished product. Well, we’ve got an answer for that:

 

After 516.33 hours spent 3 hours away from our Rock Hill office, we completed a project that our clients, our team, and ElectronicLifestyle thought was truly award winning!