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I see a lot of guessing. Guessing is gambling. Especially when it comes to room acoustics. And here is the problem. A lot of people have lots of ideas about tactics. They hear about this product, they hear about that product. They hear about this technique. They hear about that technique. But they don’t have a strategy.

If you don’t have a strategy on what you’re trying to accomplish which takes in a host and a myriad of other variables you’re just putting Band-Aids on things and 90% of the time they won’t work. And that’s I think most of the reason you all are calling and wondering “I did this. It doesn’t work.” Well, that’s because you didn’t apply the right technology to an overall strategy used a tactic. And most of the time the performance of these tactics and these products are not as advertised. So you can’t rely on the data even if you were going to use them in a sonic strategy.

We have a saying in our office and there’s a big sign in our office that says “Don’t hope. Know.” Forget about hoping that doing something will sound good, know before you do it. This is part of a strategy. Apply the particular tactic to the strategy, okay?

Here’s an acronym we’ve created to help people with all kinds of treatment. Tactics within a sonic strategy, okay? Low frequency, middle frequency, high frequency. What kind of low frequency technology are we going to use? How many are there? Three. Hemholtz, diaphragmatic and membrane. Which one are you going to use for your particular room? Usage. Are you going to guess or are you going to have a strategy? Are you going to analyze your room, are you going to look at the peaks and the troughs and apply the right type of technology? Are you going to use membrane technology with plus 13 dB bumps? You can. Won’t work. But you can do it. And this is the thing that we’re trying to get to. Don’t hope. Know.

How about middle frequencies? What kind of type material are you going to use? Is it absorption? Diffusion? How much? And position. Where are you going to put it? Do you know those things ahead of time? Do you know that based on an X response curve – let’s call this a 100 cycles. Based on a 100 cycles, this kind of situation, do you know what each part of that response curve requires? Do you know rate and level of absorption to minimize the impact of that negative response curve? You’ve got to or you’re guessing. And guessing is gambling, okay?

How about high frequencies? What kind of material are we going to use? Diffusion? Absorption? How much of it? And where we’re going to put it? All depends on usage. That’s a strategy, see? We’re trying to develop a strategy looking at all the variables first. Treatment, type, amount, position, that’s really the last thing that you do. There’s a lot of thought and energy that goes ahead of all those things. Hanging a panel on the walls is the last thing you’ll do. There has to be a lot of thought and planning before you put that particular panel in that particular place and that particular number of panels, okay?

So we look at the response curve, we look at RT-60 times, we develop a strategy. Music is too important to gamble. Music is too important to use Band-Aids on things that won’t ever be fixed with Band-Aids. So guessing is gambling. Don’t hope. Know. And we can help you figure that out.

This is an unedited transcript from our video series from Acoustic Fields. There will be some errors in grammar and sentence structure that occur during this translation process.

For complete understanding and comprehension, please view the video which is included in this text. For any additional information regarding this topic or others relating to room acoustics, please contact us directly at:

P: 520 – 392 – 9486

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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