From assemblies and guest speakers to musical performances and plays, the auditoriums of schools, churches and other organizations serve as central gathering places for numerous occasions. Such versatility, however, can also be the source of a major challenge–controlling the quality of acoustics within the auditorium in a way that delivers clear audibility to each member of the audience, whether the occasion is an orchestra performance or a debate.
Let us consider for a moment the behavior of sound waves in an auditorium as a person speaks to an audience from the stage. With no acoustical treatments whatsoever, a portion of the sound waves produced by the speaker’s voice will reflect from the many walls and surfaces throughout the auditorium, causing a reverberation that is audible to the individuals in the audience. At the same time, sound waves will not reach each member of the audience with equal intensity, causing undesirable “live” and “dead” areas within the auditorium. Treatments for auditorium acoustics vary based on the individual requirements of each auditorium, but typically incorporate a strategic combination of absorption panels and diffusers to capture excess reverberations and scatter sound more evenly throughout the room.
One aspect of improving auditorium acoustics involves absorbing excess sound reverberations in order to improve the clarity of sound delivered to the audience. Absorption panels, which capture sound and convert it to kinetic energy, are available in an array of styles and colors to coordinate with the décor of any auditorium. From basic fabric panels to Class A fire rated wall coverings to modern, suede wrapped panels in a variety of colors, sound absorption treatments are a necessary foundation for a successful auditorium acoustic improvement project.
Also central to the improvement of auditorium Acoustic Screens acoustics is the implementation of diffusers to scatter sound wave reflections more evenly throughout the arena. Diffusers help distribute sound waves throughout an auditorium such that dead spots are eliminated and each member of the audience experiences quality acoustics, regardless of the location of his or her seat.
While sound absorption panels and diffusers can affect a world of difference in an auditorium setting, their combined effectiveness is only as good as the precision with which they are implemented. Though it is not necessary to hire a professional installer to execute an effective acoustical improvement treatment, it is important to install the appropriate products with precise placement based on an understanding of sound wave behavior and taking into consideration the unique characteristics of the auditorium. The most economical way to improve acoustical quality in an auditorium is performing a self-installation based on a thorough consultation with an acoustics professional who has evaluated all of the relevant characteristics of the auditorium. In addition to sound absorption and diffusion treatments, other treatments such as ceiling banners, sound absorptive window coverings or free standing drum booths may be recommended as components of a comprehensive auditorium acoustics project.