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Back in the summer of 2015 we had a good time stuffing a bunch of our Model D Art Diffusors® into an empty storage closet and making a bunch of racket. The results were recorded, with the help of our friend Binaural Bob and the resulting data provided some interesting insights.
Well, Binaural Bob is back! This time we had a larger room than before (10’x9’x8’), and experimented with wider variety of sounds and treatment options. While this is obviously not the same as a controlled laboratory test, it does have a certain ‘real world’ flavor that’s relatable.
For best results, turn off any compression/effects and listen on headphones.
Reference Sounds played through speaker
Ye Olde Balloon Pop Test! (Calibrated 12″ Shiny Red Latex Party Balloons!)
WARNING! BALLOONS ARE LOUD – TURN IT DOWN!
Be sure to stop and see Acoustics First® at the AES/NAB at the Javitz Center in New York, October 18-20, 2017! We are booth number 553 – Next to the “Mix with the Masters” and the “Mixer – Lounge and Bar” area.
You can’t beat Autumn in New York! See you at the show!
Here’s a great article from the August 2017 Edition of audioXpress, from our own Jim DeGrandis , on acoustic diffusers and diffusion. The article gives an overview of the ‘state-of-the-industry’ as it relates to diffuser design, measurement, and practical application. Jim is a member of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) and ASTM International.
Here is what we know, and where it’s headed.
For anyone new to the world of acoustics, there is a multitude of terms, coefficients and numbers that are thrown around. This flood of information can seem intimidating, especially to beginners. In this series, acoustician Cameron Girard of Acoustics First® hopes to help you distinguish between what’s useful and what’s not.
Part 3: Perception of Volume
Our ears are wonderful and intricate tools that many of us take for granted. It is very important to understand the idiosyncrasies of our hearing when considering the effect a certain acoustic treatment will make. For starters, let’s take a look at how our ears interpret volume.
Volume (Sound Intensity)
Sound levels (i.e. how loud something is) are typically expressed in decibels (dB). Human hearing ranges from 0dB (threshold of hearing) to 130dB (threshold of pain). The following chart displays common sound sources and their typical dB level.
Do two candles really burn twice as bright?
If one trombonist plays at 70dB, how much louder would it be if another trombonist started playing at 70dB? One might assume that the two trombonists combined would play at 140 dB, but this is not the case. Since decibels are logarithmic values, they cannot be combined by normal algebraic addition. When two sources at the same level play, 3dB should be added to the value to find the combined sound level. So in adding another trombonist, you would really only increase the level to 73dB, a much smaller jump than expected.
“Doubling” the amount of players will double the acoustic power, but what do we actually hear? The loudness perception table shown below displays how these decibel changes are actually perceived by the listener.
Loudness Perception Table
|Change of Level||Approx. Perceived Difference||Volume Gain Factor||Acoustic Power Gain Factor|
|+10dB||“twice as loud”||2.000||10.000|
|– 3dB||“noticeably quieter”||0.812||0.500|
|– 6dB||“significantly less loud/noisy”||0.660||0.250|
|– 10dB||“half as loud”||0.500||0.100|
*Chart Courtesy of David Eagan’s Architectural Acoustics (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1988),
As you can see, doubling the acoustic power (a change of 3dB) would be “noticeable” but not “significant”. It would take a jump of 10dB to make something sound twice as loud. Keep this chart in mind when reviewing acoustic predictions, particularly those that that pertain to noise reduction/control and sound isolation.
Acoustics First® is hankering to announce the first products made with our newly developed AuraGELL-O™ Compound. First realized by Peter Cooper and patented in 1845, this Biosynthesized Bifractive Polyamide has a “sweetness” when combined with our Diffusive Biomass Technology. AuraGell-O™ is a Bio-Polyamide compound which exhibits Bifractive properties, doubling the potency of the Biomass Diffuser Technology by carving the wave in two, thereby creating a phase cancelling stream which functions as a frequency tuned absorber.
The AuraGELL-O™ Infra-Red dissolves low-frequencies, while AuraGELL-O™ In-LIME absorbs the mid-band frequencies (Acoustics First® is cooking up AuraGELL-O™ Ultra-Violet for high frequencies).
Available in AuraGELL-O™ Barrel and Pyramid formats, you get the benefits of classic diffuser styling with the added bonus of the AuraGELL-O™ Biosynthesized Bifractive Polyamide with Biomass Diffuser Technology.
“We loved our AuraGELL-O™ Barrels so much – we went back for seconds!” – Angelo LeMonjello
Call Acoustics First® and get your AuraGELL-O™ Barrels and Pyramids today – because by tomorrow, they will all be devoured!
Update: Due to an outbreak of AuraGELL-O™ weevils, and massive consumer demand, we regret to inform you that this was an April Fool’s joke.