AUDITORIUM ACOUSTIC

1.0 Introduction

An auditorium is a room built to enable an audience to hear and watch performances at venues such as theatres. For movie theatres, the number of auditoriums is expressed as the number of screens.

With the great design or great looking or comfortable auditorium is not promise the auditorium will be the great auditorium even the auditorium has been installed with the great looking sound system. Auditorium is the place where the people come to hear an d moreover, a place to listen to and learn from lecturer. Outer beauty of auditorium can recognized by how its architecture, lighting, electronic, carpet, glass, surface textures and paints installed in auditorium. But inner beauty of the auditorium is rel y on the how it sound are projected to the entire listener inside the auditorium.

Auditorium design begins with the loudspeaker and how it plays sound into the hall. It ends with how the hall returns reflections of the sound back to the audience. The speakers should produce a sound level at about 65 dBA everywhere in the seating area. It should have at least 20 dB of "head room" so that short lived bursts of sound up to 85 dBA can be replicated without any hint of speaker or electronic distortion. Elec tronic distortion must be avoided. Distortion of the signal is one of the fastest ways to cause people to lose their understanding of the sound. In addition, the loudspeaker system should sound similar no matter where a person is seated. This is achieved when the speaker system is tested and confirmed to provide a fairly flat frequency response curve for every seat in the house. The natural noise floor of the hall itself should be at least 20 to 30 dB quieter than the speaker level heard at the seats throug hout the entire frequency range for speech. Generally the ambient noise levels for an empty good audito rium would be about 25 to 30 dB A. This noise is the sound of the hall when everything is turned on, lights, air conditioning and even the sound system. The only thing that isn't happening is that someone isn't talking into the mic. Only a fairly good sound meter can measure sound levels this low. Then we open the doors and the audience moves into the hall. The background noise levels rise up to about 35 dB,A because of the breathing and other rustling that people naturally do. It is a well established fact of human behavior that in a group, we collectively manage to make just a little more noise than the background noise level. That's why we act quietly in a library and noisily in a packed diner.

law court and c onference hall. small auditorium Piano Fortissimo Violin Cello Oboe Flute Piccolo Clarinet French Horn Trombone Tympani & bass drum Amplifier rock. 2. Table below shows that sound level of music. Auditorium for music such as concert and anything activities related to the music.2. Each music instrument has different sound level. 3¶ Chamber music. 4-6¶ Rock music peak 60-70 dB 70 dB 75-85dB 84 ± 103dB 82 ± 92dB 85 -111dB 95 -112dB 92 ± 103 dB 90 ± 106dB 85 ± 114dB 90 ± 106dB 85 -114dB 106 dB 120dB 150 dB Table 1: Music Sound Pressure Level . Normal piano practice Fortissimo Singer. Figure 1: Sample Plan Layout of the conference hall.0 Types of Auditorium Auditorium is classified based on the fu nction of the auditorium itself: 1. Auditorium for speech which is the place that people come to hear the speech such as the lecture hall.

M.Figure above were taken from a study by Marshall Chasin . Aud(C). Based on table above. Canada. Ontario. the highest value is come from 150dB. FAAA. Centre for Human Performance & Health. Figure 3: Sample of multipurpose hall plan Layout . United Kingdom plan layout 3. Auditorium for multipurpose use such as for the school assembly hall or town hall..Sc. there are range of activities are undertaken in this area. Glasgow. Figure 2: Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. In multipurpose hall.

the sound pressure level falls by 6 dB every time the distance between the source and the listener is doubled. Meanwhile. . proper viewing and also the most important thing is good sound. Audience absorption of direct sound Audience absorption of direct sound can be reduced and eliminated by ranking the floor because sound is more readily absorbed when it travel over the audience at grazing incident. 1986). pleasant surroundings. duplication of sound source by loudspeakers and ambient noise (Wong Sai Kwok. will be the guide how to design the auditorium area that fulfils the requirement of sound projection inside the auditorium. audience absorption of direct sound.2. R r Listening position 1 Change in the sound pressure level between these two positions = 20 Log(R/r) Listening position 2 The change in the sound pressure level between the two positions is given by: Change in the sound pressure level between these two positions = 20 Log(R/r) With this equation.0 Acoustic requirements There are several outlines of acoustic requirements for good sound that need to comply in order to meet the satisfaction of the audience.1 Distances from Speaker For a point source. Intelligibility an Auditorium is depending on the power and clarity. safety. Power in this case are affected by distance from the speaker. 3. Method of establishing the slope of a floor that simultaneousl y provides good vertical sight line and a satisfactory flow of direct sound waves to the listener. Satisfaction of audience not only relies on comfort. good illu mination. Figure below shows a source of sound listening with two listening positions.3. clarity is affected by delayed reflection. 3. reinforcement by loudspeakers and sound shadow. reinforceme nt by reflectors.

thereby increasing the reverberation time and hence the ³liveliness´ of the room. In auditoriums. Reinforcement by loudspeakers Depending on the individual or specific need of the room. early or reverberant sound. In large auditoriums. if excessive reverberation time or background noise interferes with clarity of speech in lecture halls and/or church settings. 3. usually it is the direct sound that is often in most need of reinforcement. selective reinforcement of the direc t sound over a selected range of frequencies can improve the situation in such rooms.4. however. electronic reinforcement of sound can be in the form of either the direct.3 Reinforcement by reflectors The sound source must be closely or surrounded with large sound reflective surface in order to supply additional reflect ed sound energy to every portion of an auditorium. the reverberant sound can be reinforced. On the other hand. high ceilings may result in excessive delay between reflected and direct sound. but it also must be kept in mind that electronic reinforcement of direct sound likely will also increase the reverberant sound level of such rooms. suspended reflectors are frequently employed at lower level. Figure 4: Typical loudspeakers placement option in auditorium or theatre . but this may result in localising the reflection to the neglect of other area of seating. Reflections from convex surface are weaker as it is dispersive. A concave surface will strengthen reflections.3.

the sound can diminish before it reaches all of the receivers. Noise exposure was continued until the subject's near ear demonstrated 15 dB temporary threshold shift (TTS) and the post -exposure TTS in near and far ears was compared. 3. The characteristics of a surface greatly influence the way it reflects sound. Direct sound diminishes in intensity as it travels.0002 microbar). or refracted when it meets a warm or rapidly moving layer of air.5 Sound Shadow Sound Shadow is a region immediately behind an object placed in the path of a sound wave whose wavelength is much smaller than the object. Materials that reflect sound are those that are rigid. this requires specific characteristics and location of reflective surfaces. Mean TTS was significantly smaller in the far ears than it was in the near ears. Of course.6 Delayed Reflection Reflections can also be used to benefit sound distribution within a space. in which the initial sound wave is cut off by the object and the sound intensity is determined by the diffraction and interference of sound waves bent around the obstacle. 1967). Reflections can be used to help distribute and amplify the presentation to all of the listeners. Smooth materials do not have surface undulations that cou ld scatter the sound wave and diffuse it. 161 dB re 0. In large spaces. Non-porous materials have very little air space where sound could be absorbed .3. The refraction can not only bounce the sound awa y from a location but it can also direct it to another location where it would not normally carry. The mean 'protection' afforded the far ear by the head's shadow ranged from three dB at 1 kHz to 12 dB at 6 kHz (Hoge. Rigid materials cannot bend with a sound wave in order to decrease the intensity of the reflected sound. In these ways an acoustic shadow is to sound what a mirage is to light. particularly those furthest away from the s ource. Peak pressure level at the entrance of the far ear canal was less than one -half that found at the near ear (153 vs. smooth and non -porous. An acoustic shadow occurs when sound that would normally be heard is blocked. The sound-shadow effect of the huma n head in an impulse -noise field was studied by exposing 27 subjects to gunfire noise so their left ears were normal to the oncoming shock wave (near ear) and their right ears were protected by the shadow of the head (far ear). This can happen because the sound is absorbed by some material.

randomly scattered over time. the reflections are not time delayed sufficiently for us to hear the room as a separate echo.If the room is big. the reflections are sufficiently time delayed so that we hear the echo of the room. The speaker is the last component in the audio chain and the room acoustic is the last interconnect. . We do hear small room reflections quite loudly. Distortions in any of the interconnects. including the last one will degrade the quality of the audio signal. If the room is small. This echo is often not one simple echo but many echoes arriving in a confused manner. we just do not recognize the reflections as a separate sound. It is only because we do not consciously recognize the reflections in the small room as a distinct acoustic signal that we tend to forget that they compose the majority of the sound we hear.

doors. acoustic ceiling panels. windows. or any other intrusion. can lead to poor speech intelligibility. is a commonly used acoustical substrate. which can be calculated. Large panels (generally. The science of controlling a room's surfaces based on sound absorbing and reflecting properties. greater than 50 square feet or 4. Sound reflections c reate standing waves that produce natural resonances that can be heard as a pleasant sensation or an annoying one. Excessive reverberation time . Finish materials often consist of fabric. Fabric covered panels are one way to heighten acoustical absorption. Prefabricated panels are limited to the size of the substrate ranging from 2 by 4 feet (0.61 × 1. There are three ways to improve workplace acoustics and solve workplace sound problems ± the ABCs. On -site wall panels can be constructed to accommodate door frames.0 m). Ideal acoustical panels are those without a face or finish material that interferes with the acoustical infill or substrate. Finish material is used to cover over the acoustical substrate. is referred to as "on-site acoustical wall panels" This is constructed by framing the perimeter track into shape. Mineral fiber board.0 Room insulation The science of limiting and/or controlling noise transmission from one building space to another to ensure space functionality and speech privacy. Fabric retained in a wall -mounted perimeter track system. . An example would be providing suitable party wall design in an apartment complex to minimise the mutual disturbance due to noise by residents in adjacent apartments.4.2 m) to 4 by 10 feet (1.6 square meters) can be created on walls and ceilings with this method. To illustrate this concept consider the difference between a modern large office meeting room or lecture theater and a traditional classroom with all hard surfaces. although acoustical absorption may not be great. infilling the acoustical substrate and then stretching and tucking the fabric into the perimeter frame system. The typical sound paths are room partitions. baseboard. or Micore. Wood finishes can con sist of punched or routed slots and provide a natural look to the interior space. flanking. ducting and other penetrations. wood or acoustical tile. Interior building surfaces can be co nstructed of many different materials and finishes. Reflective surfaces can be angled and coordinated to provide good coverage of sound for a listener in a concert hall or music recital space. Fabric can be wrapped around substrates to create what is referred to as a "pre-fabricated panel" and often provides the good noise absorption if laid onto a wall.2 × 3.

y y y A = Absorb {via drapes. . carpets. etc. walls. floors.) B = Block (via panels. ceilings and layout) C = Cover-up (via sound masking) While all three of these are recommended to achieve optimal results. ceiling tiles. C = Cover -up by increasing background sound produces the most dra matic improvement in speech privacy ± with the least disruption and typically the lowest cost.

topped off with the largest expanse of an acoustic tile ceiling one could ever imagine. behin d the acoustic clouds. metal. plastic. The acoustic clouds however are intended to adjust the signal to noise ratio in a direct and effective way. if not somewhat contrived. In between these two styles we find built in the recent past. Although efficient t o build and outfit. to the traditionalist. The audience provides some acoustic absorption and the rest is located way up out of sight. below a completely blacked out high bay ceiling. diffuse and weaken the late reflections and regulate the reverb level and decay rate. They provide for early reflections. The hall is full of big. The interior surfaces of the building are what manage the sound. made out of heavy rock blocks or pour in place concrete walls with ceilings made out of wood or concrete beams. The shell of today's auditorium i s built not much different from an industrial space. This type of hall is also a larg e concrete box but its interior surface has been built out to create a very dead hall. We start with the traditional auditorium. church and music hall design is one of acoustic clouds. concrete block or tilt-up concrete walls are used to outline the space and roofs are made out of corrugated metal supported by exposed metal trusses. The seating. We will consider both types here and the transition auditoriums built within the last few decades. lots of acoustic clouds hanging in midair. Its design seems directly opposite to that of the classic concrete and marble auditorium. The reflecting surfaces of the hall provides for some early reflections but not much. sheetrock and sometimes even glass panels. Both types use loudspeakers but that's where the similarity ends. Today.0 Conclusion Today's auditorium is generally quite different than those built early in the last century. The new look and sound in auditorium. Architects are flocking to the new design trend in auditorium de sign and it's very different from the classical auditorium. We end up simplifying construction to reduce costs. curved panels that are suspended off the walls and again high overhead. the height and the interior architecture all work in unison to produce the required intelligible acoustic condition for reasonable listening. these halls. sporting their marching arrays of flying sound panels seem a little strained. The audience provides the acoustic materials that act to control the reverb time. These new spaces are large concrete boxes that have been decked out with sculpted wooden. possibly too technical. There are no early reflections designed into the . The sheer volume of the hall helps to avoid generating late reflections and the multifaceted ceiling and upper wall surfaces further act to diffuse the late reflections.5. large sweeping rooms with padded seats and carpet. Fundamentally the old world auditorium is a "what you see is what you get" type of building.

space. then an acoustically dead space must be good for speech. One thing is for sure about these spaces. Because they are so acoustically dead. Built on the supposition that if reverberation is bad for speech. The only heard sound in the hall is the direct sound from the loudspeakers. . certainly no late refle ctions and as well. they work great for making TV shows . These spaces are so big and so dead that the audience suffers from sensory depravation. Distributed sound systems have to be installed in the acoustic ceiling in an effort to help inject life back into the space. no reverberation.

Bruce (1967). Department of Architecture. Human Engineering Labs Aberdeen Proving Ground Md y y y Wong Sai kwok (1986).R. McCommons. http://www. .com/ .References y Hodge. Auditorium Acoustic Design.David C.acousticreflections. A Behavioural Study Of The Sound - Shadow Effect In Impulse Noise . A seminar report on Acoustic Auditoriums.

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