Ron Sauro of NWAA Labs talks about his massive test facility, speaker measurement, sound diffusion, and more in this article in the August 2022 edition of Stereophile Magazine.
In the article, there is mention of the advances that Jim DeGrandis and Acoustics First® have made in the understanding of diffusion, the developing standards for testing in the ASTM, and their published research into modelling/simulations for refining new acoustic materials.
For more information about this edition, and other editions of Stereophile, visit them at https://www.stereophile.com/
It’s good to have options in ceiling treatments. Some environments have high ceilings that benefit from vertically-hanging baffles, while other environments have lower ceilings in which clouds are more appropriate. In some cases the aesthetic will dictate which product would be best – but what if there was one product that could do both?
The Fireflex™ Wave has a unique, undulating shape that adds visual interest along with acoustic absorption – but it has another feature which few materials can boast. Due to the Class 1(A) melamine foam construction, the corkscrew mounting hardware can be installed wherever it is needed – including on the edges.
By installing the hardware on the edges instead of the face, you are given the option to also hang the Waves in a vertical orientation as baffles. The wave shape works well aesthetically in either orientation – horizontal or vertical.
In rooms with a lower ceiling, the horizontal orientation of clouds provides more headroom while the undulating shape optimizes the Wave’s surface area for absorption. In larger spaces with high ceilings, you can add more absorptive surface area by hanging the Waves as baffles, and provide a more organic look than you get with flat baffles.
When overhead acoustic absorption is required, turn to Acoustics First®.
Historically, churches relied on an abundance of hard surfaces to propagate sound to the rear of the sanctuary, so they benefited from very long reverb time (upwards of 5s). However, Modern sound systems allow for a much more focused sound and equitable listening environment, so these extreme reverb tails are no longer necessary and can actually degrade the “modern” worship experience. St. Francis of Assisi Church is a prime example of how incorporating sound absorptive treatment in phases can “transition” a purely-traditional worship space into one that can accommodate a wider range of worship services.
Over the years, St. Francis of Assisi has expanded their music program to include more modern instrumentation. Drums and amplified instruments have been added to liturgical piano and choral worship music. St. Francis of Assisi’s sanctuary has a lofty ceiling, tile floors, hard wall and ceiling surfaces. These factors contribute to a exceedingly reverberant worship environment in which contemporary music is hard to perform and enjoy and speech is difficult to understand.
Back in 2013, the church had an acoustic study performed to detail the acoustic characteristics of the space and identify corrective measures. Using this study and on-site reverb tests, Acoustics First provided a treatment plan that focuses on improving speech intelligibility and music clarity. We settled on a “two-phase” approach, starting with treatment of the rear and side wall areas with 2” Sonora wall panels. A second round of treatment focusing on the ceiling would be added, If needed, to further reduce reverberation down closer to ideal levels.
To help facilitate an informed decision, Acoustics First provided reverb prediction charts that showed the expected improvement from each round of treatment. Aesthetics were a top concern, so 3-D renderings were also provided to help visualize exactly what the recommended treatment would look like. Acoustics can be subjective, so there was a chance that the church might be satisfied with just the wall treatment alone and would not need to proceed with the second phase of treatment. However, after hearing the improvement that the wall panels made the church immediately gave the go-ahead for the ceiling treatment. Safe to say, they were happy with the end results.
From Mike Staffan at Lighthouse sound who took reverb measurements before and after “I am very pleased with the final reverb times and how it turned out. I think our measured approach worked well”
From the Deacon – “This is fantastic, exactly what we were looking to accomplish! – Deacon Chris
Posted by Acoustics First in Absorption, Art Galleries, Articles, Auditorium, Broadcast Facilities, Diffusion, Home Entertainment, Home Theater, HOW TO, Industrial Facilities, Media Room, Multipurpose Rooms, Music Rehearsal Spaces, Offices, Product Applications, Recording Facilities, Studio Control Room, Teleconferencing, Theater on April 29, 2022
For the May 2022 edition of “The Construction Specifier,” Acoustics First was asked to illustrate the use of absorption and diffusion in creating optimal acoustic spaces. The article is a great reference for understanding the types of acoustic absorbers and diffusers, as well as some use scenarios like offices, critical listening spaces, and larger communal spaces.
Note: This version has been edited and the advertisements are removed. The full published version of the May 2022 digital edition can be found on The Construction Specifier’s website here.
The philosophical thought experiment of “does something need to be perceived to exist,” has been around since the beginning of time. This allows for human extrapolation into concepts such as quantum mechanics (Schrödinger’s cat) and advanced Artificial Intelligence principals. Albert Einstein was effectively “unfriended” for asking the question of his colleague, Abraham Pais,
“Do you really believe that the moon only exists if you look at it?”Albert Einstein to Abraham Pais
Pais prescribing to “the majority view of the quantum mechanics community then (and arguably to this day) that existence in the absence of an observer is at best a conjecture, a conclusion that can neither be proven nor disproven.”
But the question still exists. “If a tree falls in a forest and there is no one to hear it, does it make a sound?”
The eminently interesting, Dr. Irving Lirpa asked the burning question…
“If observation is proof, can we calculate the Amplification Coefficient of Human Perception upon something that is ‘likely’ into ‘truth’ versus the amplification of ‘hogwash’ – which will always remain ‘hogwash?’ Because if something is able to be perceived, it must exist in some degree, as amplifying the perception of the non-existent is akin to multiplying by zero.”
Dr. I. Lirpa further posited that: “while the observation of sound proves its existence, the lack of observation does not disprove it… it merely has not been amplified by the scrutiny of human perception.”
He further affirmed that the tree would indeed create sound, but with a much lower intensity due to the Human Perception Amplification Coefficient… henceforth, there would still be sound because it exists – but it would fail to be amplified by human perception.
This seminal work calculated a Maximum Reverb Time of only 0.04 @ 1000 Hz “Without Audience” in a full-leafed, deciduous biome common to the vernal mid-temperate zone. Further calculations found that the Human Perception Amplification Coefficient is equivalent to the reverb time being amplified by 42 TIMES per frequency band upon being observed – which coincides exactly with the calculation made by the supercomputer DEEP THOUGHT on the “Ultimate Question.”
Coincidence? We think not.
“If a tree was to fall in the forest and there was no one there to hear it, would there be any sound?”
“Yes, but there would be 42 Times more sound if there was someone there to hear it.”