Acoustics - the misunderstood player in the sound world, and often the most overlooked aspect of a building project, renovation, or remodel.
Though speakers, microphones, and sound boards make sure that people can hear the message being given, the acoustics help to ensure people will understand it. The proper acoustics in a project help fine tune a room, create intelligibility and understanding, and make it possible to comfortably enjoy the effort put in by the sound equipment.
It’s important to understand acoustics; without the application a room can feel too loud, full of echo, impossible to hear, or too dead for the overall purpose of the room. The addition of acoustical wall and ceiling treatments in a room help to address sound diffusion to eliminate echo as well as noise reduction to negate reverberation.
An echo is a distinct reflection of sound arriving at the listener after the direct sound. Echoes can be problematic in smaller rooms, but the larger the room, the longer sound travels, and the more negatively it can impact the listening experience. To successfully eliminate echo from a room, the large, smooth flat areas that allow echo must be removed using diffusers. A sound diffuser is anything that scatters sound so that it turns echo into reverberation. There are some innovative products available today that are absorbers with built-in diffusive characteristics (Diffsorbers) that create a cost effective solution to echo problems.
In 1898 W.C. Sabine discovered the relationship between the impact of absorption and sound reverberation time. Sabine's reverberation formula has been used to determine material absorption coefficients (or Noise Reduction Coefficients - NRC), creating a standard for acoustical products; the higher the NRC value the more absorptive the product. It’s also important to note a product’s absorption across the frequency band. Products such as acoustical ceiling tiles, carpeting, drapes, carved foam, various fiberglass panels, etc., may not be successful at all frequencies. These products affect the mid-high (1000 Hz) to high (2000 Hz) frequencies, but can neglect mid-low (250 Hz) and low (125 Hz) frequencies.
There is freedom from echo and reverberation. In fact, there are patented acoustical products available that are designed to eliminate echo while minimizing not only the bothersome high frequencies, but also the “boomy” low frequencies that cause the most hearing damage. Acoustical wall and ceiling panels can also be made to work with the décor of any facility, from artistic designs in a theater, to school colors of a gymnasium, to the subtle color of panels that blend into the wall.
Whether the acoustical panels stand out or blend in, stop echo or help create a lively choral environment, the important thing to remember is they are the perfect specialized solution to create your desired communication environment.
For more information on how acoustical panels can benefit your church, call Fowler 800-729-0163.
Tue, September 14, 2010
by TEnglish filed under