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Recent Room Acoustics Articles

Designing a Listening Room - Rives Audio

Designing a Listening Room - Rives Audio

This article should provide a good understanding of what can be expected in terms of the process of designing a listening room. There are five phases to most design projects. Some of the phases may overlap slightly on occasion, but ideally each will have a clear beginning and ending point.

This article should provide a good understanding of what can be expected in terms of the process of designing a listening room. There are five phases to most design projects. Some of the phases may

rives — June 28, 2005 20:00 in Room Acoustics

Human Hearing - How We Hear and Perceive Audio Quality Part 4

Human Hearing - How We Hear and Perceive Audio Quality Part 4

That it has evolved into an extremely sophisticated psycho-physiological function should come as no surprise when one considers that in nature, the preceptor possessing the superior hearing mechanism/process is rewarded with survival. It's this same formidable sophistication, forged over time in the harsh crucible of simple survival that allows us now to experience the sublime joys of music - live or reproduced. This article summarizes how we hear and perceive audio quality.

This article summarizes the 3 part series discussing how the human ear perceived amplitude, phase and distortion to determine sound quality.

— May 01, 2005 19:00 in Room Acoustics

Human Hearing - Distortion Audibility Part 3

Human Hearing - Distortion Audibility Part 3

Distortion. Present in every electro-mechanical-acoustical transducer ever built, yet infrequently does one find information (let alone useful information) that describe the type and degree of distortion presented by the transducer. Head out on the Internet and corral a good sized collection of loudspeaker driver spec sheets and you'll find that not many will offer much guidance where it comes to sizing up candidates for your next loudspeaker system design. That is, if you include distortion figures amongst the criteria used in rendering your component purchase decisions. What to do?

How sensitive is the human hearing to distortion? This article explores the audibility of distortion.

— April 22, 2005 19:00 in Room Acoustics

Human Hearing - Phase Distortion Audibility Part 2

Human Hearing - Phase Distortion Audibility Part 2

Given all the foregoing research presented in various academic, scientific & industry journals, as well as other media, variously indicating the audibility of phase distortion, there remains no valid doubts regarding the existence of phase distortion.

This article discusses how sensitive the human ear is to phase distortion and how it determines the listening quality we identify with.

— April 06, 2005 19:00 in Room Acoustics

Human Hearing: Amplitude Sensitivity Part 1

Human Hearing: Amplitude Sensitivity  Part 1

The human ear has been held by armchair acousticians and physicists as The Ultimate Microphone Ever Created. I suppose in a superficial way that sentiment has, at first glance, a satisfying ring of truth to it. Reality, though, holds a different opinion. Truth is there are today microphones that can, with ease, outperform the human ear. Where the ear may, however, lay claim to the ultimate mic award is when it's considered in combination with the post-processor to which it is hard wired, namely, the human brain. Now there is one formidable combination!

Human Hearing from an auditory and perceptual standpoint is studied in this series of articles. Part I deals with Amplitude Sensitivity.

— April 04, 2005 19:00 in Room Acoustics

A Guide to Sound Isolation and Noise Control

A Guide to Sound Isolation and Noise Control

This is a very appropriate saying with regard to sound isolation. We are often asked questions like: "What can I do to this wall to stop the sound going through to the bedroom on the other side?" It's almost incomprehensible to people that the wall may not be (and probably isn't) the only part that is leaking sound to that bedroom. The other parts might well be the floor, the ceiling joists and other shared walls. You could make changes and increase the STC (Sound Transmission Coefficient) dramatically for that wall, but the result might be marginal because the majority of the sound is getting through elsewhere.

This is a very appropriate saying with regard to sound isolation. We are often asked questions like: "What can I do to this wall to stop the sound going through to the bedroom on the other

rives — March 26, 2005 19:00 in Room Acoustics

Room Acoustics: Isolation & Noise Control

Room Acoustics: Isolation & Noise Control

Our first three courses in the CEDIA Seminars series covered proper system calibration after installation and set-up was complete, followed by two complementary courses on room acoustics. More often than not, however, a great home theater must be capable of co-existing within the framework of the day-to-day goings on in the rest of the house and its occupants. This is where an understanding of how to isolate your home theater so as to control the inevitable noise leakage of dinosaur foot falls and anti-aircraft guns in the rest of your home's living space can be a really good idea.

Our first three courses in the CEDIA Seminars series covered proper system calibration after installation and set-up was complete, followed by two complementary courses on room acoustics. More often

Patrick Hart — January 24, 2005 19:00 in Room Acoustics

Audyssey Labs' MultEQ

Audyssey Labs' MultEQ

Tom Holman had a problem. As Professor of Film Sound at the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television, one of Tom's duties was to set-up, calibrate and acoustically equalize Norris Theater. This minimum five hour job was a step-by-laborious-step of set-up and reconfirmation of settings done months before. Inevitably, recalibration accompanied by more fine-turning was always required to make each channel of the Norris Theater system perform optimally. Norris was but one of literally tens of theaters and studio facilities that Tom has been calibrating manually for many years.

Tom Holman had a problem. As Professor of Film Sound at the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television, one of Tom's duties was to set-up, calibrate and acoustically equalize

Patrick Hart — December 28, 2004 19:00 in Room Acoustics

The Perfect Room?

The Perfect Room?

I get asked "What is the perfect media or listening room?" quite often. My response is usually something on the order of "It depends." And that's very true, it depends on a lot of things, but mostly it depends on the client. There are so many facets that go into the listening room, and the most important is the desires of the client. I have a pretty good idea of what my perfect listening room would be like, and I can almost guarantee that it would not the same for many clients. Most people are surprised by my answer. The say, "No, come on, really, what's the perfect listening room." So, I have to explain to them, how it is different depending on the desires of different people. I decided this would be a good topic for this month's column.

I get asked "What is the perfect media or listening room?" quite often. My response is usually something on the order of "It depends." And that's very true, it depends on a lot of things, but mostly

— December 05, 2004 19:00 in Room Acoustics

Room Acoustics: Acoustic Treatments

Room Acoustics: Acoustic Treatments

Anthony Grimani's "Room Acoustics: Acoustic Treatments" class followed his course on "High Performance Home Theater Calibration" on the afternoon of my first day at CEDIA. I'm reviewing it here, as the third installment of our CEDIA Seminars because it flows well and builds upon John Dahl's "Acoustics 101" course. A CEDIA System Designer-in-training would normally take these two classes in this sequence so that is the order in which we are presenting them.

Anthony Grimani's "Room Acoustics: Acoustic Treatments" class followed his course on "High Performance Home Theater Calibration" on the afternoon of my first day at CEDIA. I'm reviewing it here, as

Patrick Hart — October 24, 2004 20:00 in Room Acoustics

Acoustics at Trade Shows

Acoustics at Trade Shows

After a summer break, it's back to acoustics. I had intended writing on DIY and some basic room set up tips. However, that's going to wait until next month. I am just returning from the Denver Audio Fest. This was a really great show in my opinion. It was not crowded as it was the first year and you could go into the rooms and listen to your heart's content. Most of the rooms were 2 channel. There were many high efficiency, low power SET rooms (typically horns). But, there was a nice display of solid state and more mainstream loudspeakers as well. In other words, it wasn't a "glass" show, but rather a very nice and refreshing mix.

After a summer break, it's back to acoustics. I had intended writing on DIY and some basic room set up tips. However, that's going to wait until next month. I am just returning from the Denver

— October 19, 2004 20:00 in Room Acoustics

Acoustics 101 Course by John Dahl of THX

Acoustics 101 Course by John Dahl of THX

John Dahl has been a volunteer instructor for CEDIA for the last 11 years. So it's a pretty good bet that virtually all of the CEDIA design and installation professionals who have passed through his classes have been taught Home Theater theory, design and calibration from the perspective of THX's recommendations.

John Dahl has been a volunteer instructor for CEDIA for the last 11 years. So it's a pretty good bet that virtually all of the CEDIA design and installation professionals who have passed through his

Patrick Hart — October 03, 2004 20:00 in Room Acoustics

High Performance Home Theater Calibration

High Performance Home Theater Calibration

The Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) was founded in 1989 in recognition of the increasing complexity of integrating audio and video systems into the home environment. Coincidently, Dolby Pro Logic was gaining solid momentum in 1989. Pro Logic was a four-channel system with five speakers; left, center, right, and two rear mono surrounds. In retrospect, the change from the previous three-channel Dolby Surround, which had no center channel, was profound. The addition of a center channel marked the first true step in the convergence of audio and video. And the founders of CEDIA recognized that a new and more complex world had emerged.

The Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) was founded in 1989 in recognition of the increasing complexity of integrating audio and video systems into the home environment.

Patrick Hart — September 29, 2004 20:00 in Room Acoustics

Acoustics Facts and Fiction

Acoustics Facts and Fiction

In 1979 TEAC introduced the 144 Portastudio, and the recording industry hasn't been the same since! In those days a decent limiter cost nearly $1,000 and a good spring reverb unit would set you back more than $2,000. We can all be grateful that very high quality audio gear is now available for even the most modest budget. But one important feature still distinguishes a state of the art recording facility from most semi-pro and project studios: real acoustic treatment, especially bass traps.

In 1979 TEAC introduced the 144 Portastudio, and the recording industry hasn't been the same since! In those days a decent limiter cost nearly $1,000 and a good spring reverb unit would set you back

Ethan Winer — August 30, 2004 20:00 in Room Acoustics