Optimizing acoustics in theatres, concert halls, auditoria, and other large spaces presents many challenges. Unamplified music or speech often lack sufficient early reflections* to deliver adequate loudness throughout an entire space. Conversely, amplified sound can be too reverberant, resulting in a lack of intelligibility and clarity.
Modern facilities often tend to be multifunctional. One space may host theatre, presentations, and live classical or contemporary music, so its design must include seemingly conflicting acoustic requirements. Typically, aside from source-specific performance spaces, venues are designed for multi-purpose use by featuring acoustic treatment that can be “switched on or off” according to room usage.
BAP Acoustics uses sound simulation software to assist with designing acoustically complex interior spaces. EASE (Enhanced-Acoustic Simulator for Engineers) software allows us to create a 3D acoustic model to predict the acoustic response of any room, from a university lecture theatre to an airport departures lounge, to an atrium hosting weddings. That sublime string quartet and the happy couple’s vows both deserve to be heard properly.
We simulate “what if” scenarios by varying room shape, orientation, and dimensions, as well as types and locations of acoustic treatment. EASE has proven to be a particularly effective tool in the process of designing spaces in which PA (public address) systems relay critical, timely information that must be clearly heard and understood.
Our engineers optimize the use of both reflective and sound absorbent acoustic treatment to promote loudness uniformity throughout performance spaces, thereby ensuring increased musical clarity and speech intelligibility.
Choices made during the design process may have significant cost implications. The benefits of selecting one type of acoustic treatment over another, or omitting the treatment altogether, can be “auralized” to the design team, and subsequently to the client, before these decisions take place.
*Early reflections are sounds that reach the listener after “reflecting” from surfaces such as walls, ceilings, and floors. They often follow direct sound in milliseconds, but before full reverberation.