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Acoustic consultation has two main meanings. You can have an acoustic consultation for noise transmission issues and you can also have acoustic consultation for absorption and diffusion technologies to manage the sound within your room. Noise transmission is the sound from your room leaving the room and disturbing others. The flip side of that is sound from others coming into your room and disturbing you. In both cases you are managing energy inside the room and the energy coming into the room and leaving the room. With energy management, you must first define the frequency and amplitude of the energy you must manage. Let’s take a look at both noise and treatment as it pertains to acoustic consultation.

Acoustical Consultant Services

Noise in our world is an ever increasing issue. Noise from outside sources such as traffic, airplanes, and all types of sources. This noise is what we call in physics full range noise. Full range noise includes noise that has low, middle, and high frequencies. It is important that we understand the frequency of the noise along with the amplitude or how strong the noise is. In order to get a handle on noise, we must measure using our phone.

We have a process at Acoustic Fields where we send you apps and you take noise measurements per our instructions. You then record the data on our on-line data sheet and send it to us. We then analyze your noise numbers and send you a drawing of the barrier you must build to stop the transmission of your particular noise.

acoustically treated listening room with seat, piano and sound diffusers on the walls

Once we have mitigated noise issues through acoustic consultation, we can then start to look at the energy we are going to produce within our room. Are we going to be playing music with a band? Are we going to have large energy producing sources such as drums and guitars within the room? Every energy source requires a certain type and amount of treatment to deal with what the energy will do within the room. Every energy source used within the room with its dimensions will produce predictable and consistent issues within the room.

Why You Need An Acoustical Consultation

Energy within a room produces pressure and reflection issues. Low frequency pressure is produced when long waves of energy from a bass guitar or drums are played into the room. Middle and high frequency reflections are produced from long rays of energy. To manage the pressure and reflections created by excess energy, we first must understand the usage of the room and what our sonic objectives are.

Low frequency pressure requires a different technology type to treat than middle and high frequency reflections. Pressure based low frequency absorption technologies fall into three categories.  We have diaphragmatic, membrane, and Helmholtz. Diaphragmatic low frequency absorption technology is the most powerful of the three. It absorbs more energy at each octave band than the other two. It is heavy and requires large amounts of surface area coverage.

Membrane performs at similar frequencies but does not absorb as much as diaphragmatic. It is lightweight and requires even more surface area than diaphragmatic. Helmholtz is more frequency specific and is used as a tuning device for frequencies that need more absorption at certain octave bands. You must choose the treatment type that will absorb at the frequencies and amplitudes you require for your room usage.

Acoustic Foam For Middle and High Frequencies

Middle and high frequency issues can be treated with absorption and diffusion. Absorption for middle range frequencies is produced by using air flow across the surface material that you are using to absorb the energy type. Open celled foams used for middle and high frequency absorption are a good example of this process. Foam comes in fabric covered panels that allow for the sir to move through the fabric and reach the foam surface.

Diffusion is another technology that works to make your ears or microphones think that the room sounds larger than its physical dimensions. Diffusion is a technology that is designed to manage reflections in such a manner that our era/brain system can not localize as easily as a single larger reflection. Diffusion acts like a magnifying glass increasing resolution if used correctly. 

Acoustic Design Services For Treatment and Noise

Noise management with noise leaving  along with the sound management of the energy within a room can be accomplished through proper acoustic consultation. At Acoustic Fields , we have both noise and treatment design services ranging from recording studios to churches. We offer design only services where we specify the barrier and the treatment types and you build your own products using a DIY approach. We can also do the design work for either noise or treatment or both and then you can purchase the technology from us and install it. With acoustic noise and treatment issues most people do not plan to fail. They fail to plan. Acoustics is just too complicated to achieve the target noise and treatment design without quality acoustic consultation.

Dennis Foley

I am an acoustic engineer with over 30 years’ experience in the business. My technology has been used in Electric Lady Land Studios, Sony Music of New York, Cello Music and Films founded by Mark Levinson, and Saltmines Studios in Mesa, Arizona, along with hundreds of others.

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