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Ocean vs. Sunshine

Rays of energy are middle and high frequencies. This energy is above 100 Hz. and travels in straight lines similar to sunshine. Waves of energy are lower frequency energy below 100 Hz. This type of energy oscillates throughout the room in waves of energy that are tall and long in length. Rays reflect off of our wall surfaces and create higher reverberation times within our rooms. They are shorter in length with a 200 Hz. ray around 6′ long. These shorter rays strike our walls and bounce from each wall surface to opposite wall surfaces. Waves are large energy oscillations that measure 30′, 40′ and even 50′ long. There is no way for these long wavelengths to fit into our room dimensions. Waves produce resonances or room modes throughout our rooms. They resonate from floor to ceiling, sidewall to sidewall, and front wall to rear wall. They produce unwanted pressure areas throughout our room that exaggerate and cancel certain frequencies

Hearing or Feeling

Bone conductance is the process where energy is conducted or transmitted through our bones or skeletal system. Low-frequency energy waves strike our skeletal system and produce a vibrational signature within our bones. We feel the vibrations with each fundamental attack and decay. We feel the vibration attack and decay rates within our skull and skeletal system. Think about the “bass” in your room. Are you hearing or feeling the “bass”. Think about the middle and high frequencies which comprise the vocals in your presentation. You are hearing the middle and high frequencies but feeling the “bass” or lower frequencies. Rays are much shorter in length and will “fit” more easily Into our ears. Our ears can “grab” the shorter wavelengths more easily and funnel that energy into pour middle ears. In my studio, low-frequency energy will move the fabric on the cuffs of my shirt and pants. Middle and high-frequency energies are processed through our ears and then to our heart It is this dance of hearing and feeling that we go through with our music within our rooms.

Feeling Waves

Both waves and rays require different treatment types within our rooms since their structure is so drastically different. Lower frequency energy is all about pressure. Middle and high-frequency energies are all about airflow or molecular velocity. Since science is so different for pressure and air movement we need to use different technologies to deal with the science of both waves and rays.You cannot stop low-frequency energy with foam or building insulation. It lacks the density and performance parameters to deal with the energy cycles of low frequencies. Using foam to treat “bass” is like holding up a feather to stop a tornado. Open celled foam works well for middle and high frequencies with shorter wavelengths but is worthless for “bass”. You can manage the rate and level of absorption using open-celled foam by controlling the thickness of the foam You must use technologies that were specifically designed to treat the pressure created by low-frequency waves and the airflow requirements for absorption with shorter rays of energy. The surface area of the technology must be allowed to breathe.

Hearing Rays

Rays or middle and high frequencies “fit” easier into our hearing system. The inner ear canal is only 1 1/2″ long and 1/2″ high. Our ears are 2″ – 3″ high and help us capture the rays of energy acting as an antenna. The peaks and troughs created by middle-range ray frequency energy can be “captured” and process through our inner areas and then to our brain. The shorter ray length can oscillate at smaller intervals and allow for our hearing system to process more easily. It’s like having more RAM on your computer. Waves of energies are difficult for our ear antenna and receiver to receive and process. Our hearing system is good at capturing middle and high-frequency energy, but our skeletal system is better at receiving lower frequency energy and processing it through bone conductance. Our bones, skull, and skeleton system become the antenna for low frequencies replacing our ears. It is our sense of feeling that becomes the processor with longer wave energies and our skeletal system coupled with our skull bones that completes the communication process.

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.


  • John Keenan says:

    Hopefully someone can tell me of a solution, always keep a clean home I’m off with that but why on earth does hi-fi amps and turntables attract dust from nowhere what causes this and how to eliminate it?

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