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Improving acoustics of small venue
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
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G-Sun's Avatar
Improving acoustics of small venue

Hi!

I'm helping out a local hero that have established a concert venue with main focus on opera, classical and musical -music.
The venue-size is maxing at 200people. And as venue-acoustics and sound-systems is not their specialty, the room is odd shaped, and especially PA-sound is not really very good.
I'm projecting a PA-upgrade, that I'll ask more about later.

But, right now I'd like some input on an acoustic issue in the room. The floor is concrete, walls are wood-paneling and poorly insulated.
Especially with female opera sopranos it sound like an issue between 1,5khz and 3khz. All this can only been addressed correctly with 3D-drawing of room and measurements.
But, right of the bat (is that what you say?), what are the typical acoustical improvements such an issue would call upon. Some wood-diffusors?
Do you have links to some images of diy solutions that not costs to much that would typically be used?

Thanks!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
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get in touch with an acoustician (and not necessarily with a live sound engineer) and provide enough information including pics so s/he can make an educated guess on things - finding a suitable speaker system (and positions) after room treatment will possibly be the easier part then but better discuss and adress all topics together.

ime it's often a combination of absorbers and diffusors; maybe better post in the acoustics/studio building forum.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
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Pro Sound Guy's Avatar
 

A forum is not going to get down and personal to your space.
Yea you need to pay a pro to come in and look the situation over for you and make recommendations.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
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Well, I tried to advocate getting a pro acoustician in. but the owner felt he didn't have the money. And last time he felt the pro was out of touch with the budget-reality he was operating within.
So, here I am doing my best to help out.

I will make a 3D sketch, photos and contact a dealer and ask for advice on PA.

But yes, after installation and some measurements, maybe an online acustican consultant would be not so costly to help out with suggestions.
It would of course be best to have the consultant on board before deciding PA-installation also.

Attached is my quick draft for PA shopping.
Attached Files
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
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Drawings are needed. Shoot the room with REW and post the mdat file. There is a forim devoted to acoustics. What is the budget? What connections does he have for labour and material? Be prepared for lots of designing.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Sun View Post
Especially with female opera sopranos it sound like an issue between 1,5khz and 3khz.
Is this an empty room, or full of people? 200 people in a small space can be very effective absorption and diffusion.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Is this an empty room, or full of people? 200 people in a small space can be very effective absorption and diffusion.
Well, if it's empty, then whatever acoustics and PA will not matter
Typical 100-160 people
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avare View Post
Drawings are needed. Shoot the room with REW and post the mdat file. There is a forim devoted to acoustics. What is the budget? What connections does he have for labour and material? Be prepared for lots of designing.
Your questions are of course very relevant.
Yet, we need to do things fairly simple.
I'm planning a total budget of some 5500USD/50000NOK, but even that may be unrealistic high.

I guess I'll make some quick 3 suggestions for the owner. Then when the owner has the money and says go, I'll make a project-summary in the acoustic section here and ask for a consulting-service.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Sun View Post
Your questions are of course very relevant.
Yet, we need to do things fairly simple.
Ie.
What is not simple in what I wrote?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avare View Post
What is not simple in what I wrote?
The shoot the room as is.
There are much direct-sound from opera-voices to take into account.
I don't have a mobile interface and measurement mic around.
But, of course, if it's needed we'll do it.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Sun View Post
The shoot the room as is.
There are much direct-sound from opera-voices to take into account.
I don't have a mobile interface and measurement mic around.
But, of course, if it's needed we'll do it.
So? There are many singers.

Read the REW sticky. Get creative and beg, borrow or rent equipment. Any mostly flat omnidiirectional microphone will do for what is needed.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Sun View Post
Well, I tried to advocate getting a pro acoustician in. but the owner felt he didn't have the money. And last time he felt the pro was out of touch with the budget-reality he was operating within.
So, here I am doing my best to help out.
Physics does not care about budgets and a professional evaluation will tell the owner what can be done and for how much...did he consider that his budget (whatever it is) might not be enough to “fix” the problem? What’s the point of spending money if the results are going to be less than good...plus, if you are going to add a PA at a later date that should also be taken into consideration now for best results and not added as an afterthought after all the acoustics work is done.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #13
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Sun View Post
Well, if it's empty, then whatever acoustics and PA will not matter
Typical 100-160 people
Not certain I fully understood all the implications of Brent Hahn's query [he is much sharper and far more experienced than me]. But I am wondering if profiling this empty room [e.g. with REW] is sufficient compared to profiling the room filled with people?

Of course, I would have no idea about how to keep 160 people quiet.


Ray H.

PS. What is it exactly that acousticians do in such cases where the audience would significantly impact response?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath View Post
Not certain I fully understood all the implications of Brent Hahn's query [he is much sharper and far more experienced than me]. But I am wondering if profiling this empty room [e.g. with REW] is sufficient compared to profiling the room filled with people?

Of course, I would have no idea about how to keep 160 people quiet.


Ray H.
Why do you question wanting acoustic information?
No one said that this empty room data would be the only data required.

Be usefull and query why after approaching a week no domensions, finish and drawongs have been posted. This was the first thing in my first post and costs nothing.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath View Post
Not certain I fully understood all the implications of Brent Hahn's query [he is much sharper and far more experienced than me]. But I am wondering if profiling this empty room [e.g. with REW] is sufficient compared to profiling the room filled with people?

Of course, I would have no idea about how to keep 160 people quiet.


Ray H.

PS. What is it exactly that acousticians do in such cases where the audience would significantly impact response?
in live sound, the audience doesn't have to be kept quiet as

a) the pa is mostly much louder than the audience (unless you got venue full of kids screeming at the tops of their lungs: clearly amongst the loudest things one can experience in live sound!)
b) noise is not (much of) an issue when measuring fr (i had to align systems with the audience in on countless occasions: i'm using sweeps instead of pink noise then) and
c) fr is about the combined response of all things affecting sound (so yes, one may want to use different curves for different sizes of the audience; temperature and humidity may let you adjust things too).

gathering data (much more than just fr!) in an empty room tells you about which areas need to be adressed mechanically and which can be adressed electronically; the latter should always be last resource - which mostly is so in a studio setting - while it's mostly the only tool one has available in live sound...

a bit too many acousticians think it's evil/a bit too many live sound techs think it's THE ultimate tool :-)
Old 2 weeks ago
  #16
Gear Addict
Thanks Andre & Didier

Andre - I likely didn't pose my question well. I don't question wanting the data you outline. I was not wondering if it was useful, but whether it was sufficient. I was wondering [from what I took from Brent's comment] how you guys deal with rooms that are significantly impacted by the audience's presence?

I'm also having a bit of trouble picturing the exact scenario here without dimensional data, etc. So, my mind imagines multiple scenarios in absence of that data.

I'm imagining a spacious room where it isn't likely a dominate factor. And I'm imagining a non-spacious room where - I am supposing - it would have substantial impact. I was wondering how - particularly for the latter case - pro acousticians bring this into their design workflow.

I'm also imagining the OP's problem as being somewhat like a building that was built with wood, but the owner now wants it to behave structurally as if it were made of brick. . .too late. But that is just a notion pulling on my brain.


Best regards,

Ray H.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #17
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i'm no acoustician but happen to know that there are some very serious tools (from very large construction companies) which let you make predictions in all sorts of ways; pretty sure they'll let you emulate effects of brickwall or wooden wall constructions with great detail...

maybe northwand wants to chime in and reveal some details?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i'm no acoustician but happen to know that there are some very serious tools (from very large construction companies) which let you make predictions in all sorts of ways; pretty sure they'll let you emulate effects of brickwall or wooden wall constructions with great detail...

maybe northwand wants to chime in and reveal some details?
Thanks Didier!

My comment wasn't at all concerned with acoustic properties of wood vs. brick - but with structural properties [strength, load, impact resistance, wind resistance, durability, etc.]. It was a poor man's analogy. You may have noted that, but I just wanted to be clear about the context for any other readers.

Still, your response is remarkably useful toward my learning and much appreciated, as always. And yes, I would be glad to learn more from others in this matter.


Thanks,

Ray H.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i'm no acoustician but happen to know that there are some very serious tools (from very large construction companies) which let you make predictions in all sorts of ways; pretty sure they'll let you emulate effects of brickwall or wooden wall constructions with great detail...

maybe northwand wants to chime in and reveal some details?
What are you trying to say? Software lilke Odeon is €12 000. The owner has not allocated moneys for a consultant.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #20
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by avare View Post
What are you trying to say? Software lilke Odeon is €12 000. The owner has not allocated moneys for a consultant.
Hi Andre -

I expect Didier was addressing my comment just above his. He is often kind enough to thoughtfully respond to my posts, and it is always much appreciated. I've learned much from such contributions.


Kind regards,

Ray H.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #21
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The real head scratcher when I hear lay-people talk about their budget and acoustic problems in the same breath is that, many of them actually believe that all acoustics problems can be solved with a few wall panels...they don’t realize that it sometimes require heavy construction tools and machinery like jackhammers and a bobcat.

The other thing too is that getting it wrong once can often be more expensive than getting it right the first time.
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