In the beginning, there was a perfect sound. Then man invented rooms and forever made it difficult to achieve good sound. The end? Luckily, no. Sound waves emanate out from their sources and strike room boundaries in predictable ways. Since tons of studies have shown that reflected sound is inherently inaccurate sound, controlling reflected sound is the key to making our spaces sound “good.” While it’s true that we all may have our own ideas as to what’s a “bad” mixer, a “bad” loudspeaker or a “bad” microphone, I’m sure we can all agree on what a bad-sounding room sounds like. Two common examples of bad-sounding rooms that you’re probably familiar with are gymnasiums and tiled bathrooms. The good news is that by implementing the proper acoustical treatments, Audiomatrix, Inc. can make even the worst sounding room good enough to yield world-class sound. Controlling reflections yields truer sound and allows the “real” sound of an instrument, voice or loudspeaker to come through. The two methods of controlling sound are sound absorption and sound diffusion. Everyone likes open space. The sense of space, openness. And, architects are becoming more and more keen on this type of design. Let the light in! Open, airy and full of space, right? But, have you actually ever worked in an open space environment. Or, have you ever walked through an open office environment? How many people in the office were wearing headphones, or earbuds?
Here’s what we mean. Don’t get us wrong. These offices are fantastic visually. But, they are a nightmare sonically. Glass windows, open ceiling, steel beams, hard surface desks, commercial low-pile carpet… everything that sound likes to bounce off of! Why does this matter? Distractions, noise, an office that is not conducive to privacy, or to getting anything done.
But, there is good news… There is a solution!
How It Works
Let’s go back to school, shall we? Okay, bear with us. Where is the worst place for distractions, especially when you are trying to learn something? Ah, now you see what we mean. Please view the video below from our sound panel partner, Primacoustic, for a better understanding…
How about the gymnasium?
Walk into a gymnasium and you can hear the echo from your footsteps as the sound ricochets off the floor, walls, and ceiling. In some gyms, the echo can last as long as 10 seconds! The excessive reverberant field is the primary reason gymnasiums are one of the most challenging spaces of all in which to deploy a sound system.
More often than not, these spaces must not only perform as a sports venue, they are often imposed upon to be used as an assembly hall. This means that there must be sufficient acoustic treatment to subdue the reverberant field so that reasonable intelligibility can be achieved. The acoustic panels must seamlessly integrate with the surroundings, both from an aesthetic and a practical point. For instance, the acoustic panels must be able to handle the abuse from soccer balls, basketballs and all other forms of projectiles that will surely be launched by students during playtime.
The ultimate goal in a gym is to increase the intelligibility of the sound system while ensuring that the installation addresses the hazards that will surely come into play.
How It Works
Hard room surfaces are responsible for the most detrimental reflections like standing waves, flutter echoes, and low-frequency room modes. Ever clapped your hands and heard a ringing, repeating, hollow sound? Say hello to your arch-rival, Mr. Flutter Echo. Ever been in a conversation with someone or played music in a room where the low frequencies were overpowering the rest of the sound, making for poor intelligibility? Meet Mr. Room Mode and his nasty sidekick, Low-End Buildup. The three types of sound wave reflection are called axial, tangential and oblique modes, which relate to which direction in a room sound is being reflected from one hard surface to another. The worst of these types is the dreaded axial mode, which means the sound is being reflected from the wall to the opposing wall or floor to ceiling. Corners cause us a lot of problems, too, boosting the apparent amount of bass in our rooms by 9dB, making us think we have 3 times as much bass as we actually do. Corner bass trapping is vital to smoothing out virtually any room’s sound.
So, how does this work? You can do all of the math needed to see exactly where the sound is reflecting off of and exactly which surface. Or, you can simply contact Audiomatrix, Inc. for a consultation. After all, Audiomatrix, Inc. is the Front Range leader in acoustics! With over 55 years of experience with sound, we might know a thing or two about what is needed for your environment!