Posts Tagged improving sound
Acoustics First® Sound Channels® wall fabric has been named a ‘2015 Top Product’ by Christian School Products magazine!
This article from their November issue explains why:
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at Acoustics First!
Season’s Greetings from Acoustics First!
Acoustics First would like to offer this Do-It-Yourself gift idea to all of our readers this year.
If you’ve got a creative painting habit, give a customized gift that not only shows your creative talents, but also helps to improve the sound of the room!
Above is a festive holiday painting on one of our 1’x2′ Tone Tiles™.
Want to go a little bigger? We also have 2’x3′ Tone Tiles™ in Stock.
A Second Idea is to get a photo printed on a Tone Tile™.
How about “posting” that photo to the “wall” of your living room, and have a great conversation piece as well as improved acoustics – at the same time !
Season’s Greetings and Happy Gift Giving!
– Acoustics First
* Don’t forget to ask your local printer if they have flatbed printing capabilities.
Sometimes at Acoustics First we get a call from someone who is so knowledgeable that we can’t help but be tickled that they called us to help them. We received one such phone call from Pete Heskin at Barrett’s Technology Solutions in Naperville, IL.
Pete and his team were putting together an acoustic treatment for a listening room at their facility and wanted the room’s acoustics to really showcase their lineup of high-end audiophile speakers. No joke here – these guys have over 50 years of experience in the audio industry – and they keep on the bleeding edge of audio and video. This treatment is serious acoustic business – and these are some of the most discriminating ears in audio.
Happy Easter guys!
In keeping with their high-standards and cutting edge approach, they were looking for an acoustic treatment that is as visually stunning as it is capable of treating a room containing some of the world’s greatest sound sources. As you can see, the results are simple and elegant.
The room contains an array of Sonora® panels, Silent Pictures® and clusters of ArtDiffusor® Model D‘s to make this space sound as good as it looks. (While all of their gear makes the gear junkies at Acoustics First drool…)
So, if you find yourself near Chicago, or on a “Wayne’s World” pilgrimage, stop into Barrett’s – and if you fancy yourself an audiophile – put your money where your ears are, and hear how discriminating ears listen to music…
… No Stairway to Heaven.
Since it’s been a while, I have received approval to write about phones and scones – yummy! Oh, I misread that… I can talk about phons and sones? Oh boy. I mean… hmm… uh…
Every so often, you get exposed to a term that you’ve never heard; it seems like someone just made it up – and the more you learn about it, the more made up it seems.
(Disclaimer: I swear I didn’t make these up.)
Today, I will introduce you to two of these amazingly real terms, and do my best to explain why these terms exist… prepare to be amazed!
OK. Phons and Sones are two related terms in Psycho-acoustics that refer to how humans perceive the “LOUDNESS” of sounds. These are actual real concepts. (Stop laughing.)
Don’t we all perceive sound differently? YES!
So how can you have an actual measurement based on something that everyone perceives differently? EASY!
Take a bunch of people.
Play a 1Khz sine wave.
Play another frequency.
Ask them if it sounds just as loud.
Repeat. (No kidding.)
OK, this is over simplified… Let’s start by setting some rules that make this a little easier.
For reference – whatever dB level that 1KHz wave is will be the reference for the whole group… compare a bunch of frequencies at different levels to 1Khz at 40 dB – and we’ll call all the ones that sound just as loud the “40 PHON Equal Loudness contour.”
Why? Because they sound just as loud as the 1kHz wave at 40 dB. (I’m not joking!)
Then compare a bunch to a 1KHz wave at 50dB and call all of those that sound as loud, (wait for it)
the “50 PHON Equal Loudness contour.”
Then 60dB, 70dB, 80dB… etc (see a pattern?)
Now, plot all of these from a bunch of people who hear pretty well… take an average and WHAMMO!!!
The PHON Equal Loudness contours!
(To be fair this is the data from a bunch of 18-25 year olds who still have reasonably good hearing…)
Remember this is PERCEIVED LOUDNESS. The average of what the test subjects said “yeah, uh, that’s just as loud, Dude.”
It seems strange doesn’t it – that these aren’t nice straight lines? That’s because the human ear is constructed in such a way to be more sensitive to certain frequencies than others.
So according to this chart – a 1KHz wave at 40 dB sounds just as loud as 125 Hz at ~60dB and 3150 Hz at ~35 dB. (All on the 40 Phon contour.)
That’s Psycho-acoustics for you. (Wow.)
So if you’re an average person with average hearing, your bass perception is terrible and over 16KHz you’re basically – well… deaf.
But you hear really well from 2kHz – 5kHz!
Anyway… what’s the point?
Phons measure how loud the human ear perceives sounds at different frequencies. (TADA!)
FINE! – then what are Sones ? To make this simple – Sones are relabeled Phons.
You start with 40 Phon being 1 Sone then double it every 10 Phon.
40 Phon = 1 Sone.
50 Phon = 2 Sones.
60 Phon = 4 Sones.
70 Phon = 8 Sones.
80 Phon = 16 Sones
90 Phon = 32 Sones
100 Phon = 64 Sones
(Hmm, thought that would be more complicated? It is – but that’s basically it in a nutshell.)
You will almost never see a phon or a sone. Bathroom exhaust fans and blowers are sometimes rated in Sones – to let you know how quiet they are… The problem is that no one actually knew how quiet that was until now!
I guess it sounds better to say –
“This bathroom fan operates at only 2.5 Sones!”
…Than it would be to say…
“This bathroom fan resonates at over 80dB,
but it’s in a frequency range that humans don’t hear very well,
so it sounds quieter than it actually is… no… really!”
Human perception of sound is very important to the development of acoustic products – Psycho-acoustics are not a joke.
(Why are you still laughing?)
Posted by Acoustics First in Auditorium, Broadcast Facilities, Classrooms, Diffusion, Home Entertainment, Home Theater, Media Room, Multipurpose Rooms, Music Rehearsal Spaces, Music Tracking Room, Recording Facilities, Recording Studio, Studio Control Room, Teaching Rooms, Teleconferencing, Uncategorized, Vocal Booth, Voice Over on July 4, 2013
Four score and seven years ago (1926), movies had just begun integrating sound along with the visuals, as Warner Brothers released Don Juan – syncing a 33 1/2 rpm audio disc to the video as part of the new Vitaphone system. The era of talkies had arrived, as did a new era of fake accents.
While we still have those fake accents from the days of yore (and Johnny Depp as Don Juan), we have new technologies to bring us our entertainment – high-definition video on big screens with 10.2 digital surround sound, playing in home theaters that rival the best public theatrical venues.
While we have seen (and heard) the technological evolution of movies to what they are today, we have also seen (and heard) the evolution of acoustics – and the one area I’m going to discuss today is one of the fastest evolving acoustic disciplines – Diffusion.
Diffuser design has come far from the early days of scattering sound by changing the angle of your wall, or the shape of the room to negate, dilute, or diffuse unwanted or undesirable acoustic waves. Today, acoustic diffusers are mathematical and scientific wonders, designed to be elements that are inserted into your listening environment to create an acoustic space that is open and airy.
During this evolution of diffusion we have seen the rise of many shapes; The Pyramid, the Barrel, the Binary Arrays, Flat Panel, 1D and 2D QRDs, and more… a veritable cornucopia of geometric shapes and mathematically produced profiles, which are scientifically sound, but fundamentally, inorganic.
The notes on the instruments we play, are based on math and physics, but the music we play ebbs and flows from the pounding of drums to the smooth bass lines, from the intimate vocals to screaming, and from the heavy metal acts to classical symphonies (with or without a heavy metal act). Diffusers have followed suit, changing their shape along with the changing industry – making advances as new discoveries are made.
Diffusers have become important acoustic treatments in listening rooms, recording rooms, sound stages, and theaters – embrace the diffusers! Embrace the future Don Juan’s and their terrible accents… ok… just diffusers… fine.