Archive for category Products

Sonora® LFC – Low-Frequency Control Panel

Bass frequencies are difficult to control… and there is sometimes a tendency to overuse standard, broadband panels to try to absorb everything in order to get rid of that bass. However, this method is unbalanced and has the side-effect of leaving a room sounding muffled and boomy.

Why?

Physics! High frequencies are easier to absorb than low frequencies. So, when you ONLY use broadband absorbers, they easily remove the high frequencies and leave more of the lows. Overusing broadband absorption in a large performance space can be a disaster – leaving an environment lacking energy and feel – many describe this condition as a room sounding “dead.” (Not good!)

So how can you treat the boomy bass without killing your rooms with too much broadband absorption? Can you just take out the bass? Unfortunately, it is impossible to ONLY absorb the bass, but we can LIMIT the amount of high frequency energy that we absorb to balance out the response.

Acoustics First® presents… the Sonora® LFC – Low-Frequency control panel.

Looks like a standard Sonora® panel on the outside, but it’s completely different under that fabric!

The Sonora® LFC looks like a standard Sonora® Wall panel, but looks can be deceiving! At 4-1/8″ thick, it is virtually indistinguishable from a High-Impact Sonora® panel – however the interior structure of the LFC is optimized to attack the bass frequencies and smoothly roll off the high frequencies. Let’s take a closer look at the performance difference between the Sonora® LFC and the standard Sonora® panel.

Standard Sonora® 4″ Panel in red vs. the Sonora® LFC in blue.

When you look at the performance charts, you will notice that the standard 4″ Sonora® panel starts to “roll-off” in the lower frequencies below 125 Hz – it still absorbs them, just to a lesser degree. We designed the Sonora® LFC panel to focus on those frequencies below 125 Hz – while allowing the other treatments to handle the rest! This allows you to use fewer broadband panels, and still have some high-frequency energy for diffusers to spread around – thus creating a more balanced acoustic environment.

The Sonora® LFC is an engineered solution using the same high-performance materials as our other products, but combining them in a way that optimizes them for Low-Frequency Control – hence Sonora® LFC! The magic is in the way those materials are used.

The optimized construction of the Sonora® LFC Panel!

All of the materials used in an acoustic environment have a function – “Diffusers,” “Absorbers,” and “Bass Traps” are all general descriptors of product functions. Some diffusers are also Bass Traps. Some bass traps are also broadband absorbers. Some diffusers use absorption for amplitude grating. By combining a dampened, resonant trap with multi-density fiberglass, the Sonora® LFC focuses on making acoustic spaces more balanced. For controlling the bass without sucking the life out of a room, the LFC Panel is an outstanding tool for refined Low-Frequency Control!

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Case Study: Swim RVA! Competition Natatorium (POOL!)

Swim RVA in Richmond, VA installed over 200 Cloudscape® Banners to help control their facility’s acoustics.

Athletic facilities, including indoor pools, can often tolerate longer reverberation times when compared to other large spaces, like event halls and theaters. However, sound absorptive treatment is often needed to improve PA announcer intelligibility, reduce ambient noise levels and facilitate clear communication between coaches and participants.

Swim RVA enlisted the help of RTW Media and Acoustics First® to improve the listening conditions of their large Natatorium which contains an Olympic sized pool. The massive volume (approx. 800,000 cubic feet) and abundant hard surfaces contribute to excessive reverberation and noise buildup. Water is an extremely sound-reflective surface, akin to polished concrete; which exacerbates these issues.

To address these problems, over 200 4’x10’ Cloudscape® Banners were installed throughout the ceiling. Cloudscape® Banners provide the most “bang for the buck” in reducing excessive reverberation and noise buildup. When festooned, they provide additional low-frequency absorption, which is needed in these mostly concrete-block facilities.

In the end, the client was extremely satisfied with the end results, both acoustically and aesthetically!

Is your indoor athletics facility too noisy? Contact Acoustics First® today for a consultation!

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The HiPer® Panel and Ken Fritz’s Dream

Ken Fritz completes his dream theater, and behind the scenes is the HiPer® Panel by Acoustics First®

There are many home theaters of note, but rarely is one created (at this scale) by the singular dream and dedication of one man. Ken Fritz involved Acoustics First® early in the project to perform acoustic measurements of the space, and his theater became the first large-scale installation of our newly developed HiPer® Panel. From beginning to end, Ken says that he spent more than 25 years on the realization of his dream – and others have taken notice.

Ken’s vision had a scale that is rarely seen in home theaters.

There have been numerous write-ups of Ken’s theater, which was constructed (from the ground up) specifically for this purpose. The walls are hurricane grade block construction, the roof-line is constructed to improve the acoustics, the walls are clad in HiPer® Panels, the bass emanates effortlessly from in-wall enclosures – and just look at those custom built arrays that Ken designed and constructed by hand! This project is more than just a labor of love, it is an obsession with excellence.

Even a custom-designed and hand-built turntable feeds Ken’s dream environment.

This obsession covers every aspect of the room and the system, with everything being either built by hand, customized to his specifications, or simply the best you can get! If there is a “home theater mountain,” Ken built a skyscraper at the summit – but don’t take our word for it…

You can watch the one-hour documentary telling the story behind the dream – in Ken’s own words.

Watch the documentary of what has been called “The Best Stereo System in the World.”

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S.A.M.M.™ – Smart Sound Management

S.A.M.M.™
Sound Attenuation Matrix Management
by Acoustics First®

20 Years ago, John W. Gardner developed the ASP™ Panel Technology to maintain optimal acoustic performance of our acoustic absorber product lines – like the Sonora® Wall Panels. Recent developments have been made to augment this earlier technology, and our Research & Development team has evolved this technology into the “information age.”

SAMM panel

Meet S.A.M.M.™, the smart way to manage your panel maintenance tasks.

S.A.M.M.™ Panels analyze the acoustic environment and use this information to track their exposure to sound pressure levels. This can be monitored real-time, either directly through the energy efficient OLED screen, or using any device with a web browser.

This technology allows more than just monitoring the acoustic environment. The S.A.M.M.™ Enabled panels have a HAL BIOS which runs a webserver daemon that gives you full-control of your panels and the acoustic environment…

… but this isn’t only for S.A.M.M.™ Enabled Panels!

After a simple firmware upgrade to your ASP™ panels, you will have full control over your entire acoustic environment – from anywhere in the world.

I am flattered that you have taken the time to reevaluate one of my lifetime projects. I owe all of my minimal knowledge… to my first professor… I LIRPA.

Dr. John Wesley Gardner

Watch the following video to see the history of the ASP™ panels developed by the irreverent, John W. Gardner, and their evolution into the Sound Attenuation Matrix Management Technology known as… S.A.M.M.™

The History of ASP™ Technology and its evolution into S.A.M.M.™

S.A.M.M.™ is Open Source

Acoustics First® values innovation, and we can all stand on the shoulders of giants. Customers can build their own implementations and create the ideal solution for their environment. While you can use whichever hardware that you have access to, here is the hardware our research team used to develop our in house integration.

Components:

Custom 3D Printed Housing (PLA)
SEEEDuino XIAO M0+ (MCU)
128×64 OLED (SSD1306)
SD Card Reader (SPI)
Electret MIC w/Adj. Gain (MAX4466)
LM386 Amplifier
5 Watt/8 Ohm Speaker
12mm Momentary Switch (Red LED)

Optional – 10000mah USB Battery
(Click the image to enlarge)

Source Code:

The S.A.M.M.™ Source code was written in PlatformIO to be compatible with the Arduino Platform. The MCU is the SEEEDuino XIAO M0+ with the ARM Cortex M0 processor.

The libraries used in this project may need to be changed based on your hardware selections.

Download Source Here.

S.A.M.M.™ Web Console

Experience the S.A.M.M.™ Web Console interface. View the real-time output of the first S.A.M.M.™ unit, installed in the Acoustics First® R&D LAB. You can view the current capacity of the panel, as well as the average sound intensity – and as a bonus – we allow users to PURGE the panel remotely!

View the S.A.M.M.™ Web Interface


Stay up-to-date with cutting edge advances in acoustics with Acoustics First®.

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Quick Case Study: The Bank of NH Stage.

The Bank of New Hampshire Stage is multipurpose venue that hosts live performances, corporate events, movies as well as weddings.  The venue’s designers aimed for an acoustical environment that achieves a balanced and intimate atmosphere for their audience and performers.

The multipurpose space is convertible with different seating configurations for different types of events.

Sonora® Wall Panels and Sonora® Baffles were used to control specular reflections (echoes) and reduce overall reverberation down to a suitable level for the wide variety of BONH Stage shows and events. The results are absolutely stunning!

 

 

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