Acoustic treatment for a garage ceiling

I'm helping a friend convert his garage to a HT. He's going to put up studs, add insulation, and sheetrock the walls (cinder block construction) but he doesn't want to put in a suspended ceiling. He'll run cables in conduit, hang track lighting, etc. and paint the ceiling flat black. His question: Are spray-on acoustic treatments effective? If so, which work best? Can he apply them or must it be done by a contractor?

Any and all advice for taming a highly reflective ceiling will be most appreciated.

Will, Go to and look for books by F. Alton Everest. He has a couple different books on acoustics that will walk you through what works best and costs the least. Anyone that is thinking about building a dedicated room or is interested in improving the room that they already have should read these. It would be money well spent.

You can also check out Jon Risch's website regarding construction of sound absorbtion panels, bass traps, etc... These work well and cost pennies on the dollar to construct. You can make them as "rough and tumble" or "pretty" as you like. That's the beauty of "DIY". Sean
so, is this going to be a drive-in home theater? if the ceiling is as hard surfaced as the walls, i'd recommend putting up at least a few (black) sonex squares. they often work better on ceilings than walls. -cfb
Have the ceiling sprayed with cellulose insulation fiber. This will deaden slap-echo & will also help insulate against heat gain/loss & attenuate outside noises from getting in. You'll often see gray cellulose fiber sprayed on warehouse ceilings & walls; usually several inches thick. It is also available in bleached white, which is what I had applied on my listening room ceiling with excellent acoustic results. See an insulation contractor for details & ask about mixing in some black paint or dye with the glue before they apply it. Be aware that this is a messy job so mask accordingly.
Thanks, Bob. I'll suggest that my buddy call a contractor.
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