Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New technology modifies music hall acoustics

Date:
May 30, 2013
Source:
Acoustical Society of America (ASA)
Summary:
With the flick of a switch, inflatable sound absorbers can turn classical music halls into houses of rock.

A new technology that relies on a system of inflatable sound absorbers may help make any performance hall instantly convertible into a venue for music ranging from classical to hard rock. The technology will be described at the 21st International Congress on Acoustics (ICA 2013), held June 2-7 in Montreal.

Getting the right vibe for listeners from a particular kind of music is an acoustic challenge. Music genres differ radically both in the sound energy they generate and in how that sound interacts with the ceiling and walls of a performance space.

A hall for classical music must bring forward the sound of the orchestra by itself, and this is generally accomplished by using only sparing amounts of sound absorptive materials to coat surfaces. This allows for a long reverberation time -- the time it takes for the sound to die out.

While the long decay of a classical hall makes an orchestra sound rich and full, a rock band playing in the same space may sound undefined and distant because excellent-sounding rock and pop music depends on an amplification and loudspeaker system, which benefits from shorter reverberation times at low frequencies in the 63-250 Hertz (Hz) octave bands.

So how can concertgoers have their Bach and "Beat It" too?

Danish jazz and rock drummer, Niels W. Adelman-Larsen, set out to help concert halls accommodate acoustic variability over a range of musical styles while still a student of acoustics at the Technical University of Denmark in Kongens Lyngby. Over the past 10 years he developed a patented inflatable, adaptable absorption system that modifies the reverberation time of a room.

"A longer reverberation time in these bandwidths is needed in order to obtain warmth at classical music concerts, which is a defining aesthetic trait of the classical genre," said Adelman-Larsen, who is CEO of Flex Acoustics. "This means a venue has to have the ability to accommodate variable acoustics that also varies the reverberation at low frequencies to provide the best results for multipurpose use."

Adelman-Larsen has accomplished this by designing airtight membranes made of fire retardant plastic foil that can be inflated and deflated with the switch of a single on/off button. When the membranes are inflated, the plastic foil vibrates due to the different sound levels on the inside and outside of the cavity. The vibrations lower the reverberation time of the room. When the switch is on the off position and the membranes are deflated, this absorption effect is avoided, allowing for the long reverberation times most suited to classical music. The whole system can be mounted flush to walls or above a sound transparent ceiling so it is not visibly intrusive.

Certified measurements of the reverberation time show the activated absorbers can lower the reverberation time of a hall by up to nearly 45 percent in the relevant octave bands for rock and pop music. Across the frequency bands from 63-1,000 hertz (Hz), the absorption coefficients are nearly constant.

"The system is an efficient way to optimize the acoustics of one space for multiple acoustic styles," Adelman-Larsen said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Acoustical Society of America (ASA). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Acoustical Society of America (ASA). "New technology modifies music hall acoustics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130530152856.htm>.
Acoustical Society of America (ASA). (2013, May 30). New technology modifies music hall acoustics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130530152856.htm
Acoustical Society of America (ASA). "New technology modifies music hall acoustics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130530152856.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins