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Well this is a problem we see all the time, managing noise or managing high reverberation times which people refer to as noise is all about covering the surface areas that are causing the noise. Surface areas that are causing the noise are the four walls, the floor and the ceiling and in this example we even have glass and in this example we only have one wall that we can treat.

So there’s absolutely nothing one can do with this room. You can go ahead and treat the one wall but you’re wasting your money. If you don’t treat at least all four walls, and I’m guessing at the reverberation times but I know pretty quickly in my head what we’re up against, with glass, hard surfaces and no place to put treatment you’ve got to move or you’ve got to find places to put treatment. Now where you going to put the treatment and how much do you need to cover?

You have to cover a lot. We just did a proposal for a church, it’s two and a half million cubic feet, so it’s a very large building. Now we have very high reverberation times specially when music comes into play, so how much surface area did our analysis tell us? Thirty-five thousand square feet, which is all the walls covered about 70%. This is just to get the reverberation time down to where you can hear the choir sing and the pastor speak the spoken word. So you can see in that example that the larger the room the more surface area. Here we have a 300-seat venue which is not a large room but it’s a medium-sized room and that room you’re going to have to treat 70% of the surface area. If you can only treat one wall and we have glass on other walls, I’ve got to tell you that you need to move.

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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