Sound System Design Reference Manual

System Design Overview 4. If a recalculation of the room parameters
indicates that a central array will work, then the
There is a rational approach to indoor sound design can be completed. If not, the next step is to
reinforcement system design, and it can be broken determine the nature of a distributed system that will
down into the following steps: satisfy the requirements of intelligibility. A central
1. Lay out the coverage requirements, generally array can often be designed to cover just the front
starting with a central array. Determine the drive part of a room, with delayed loudspeakers covering
requirements for each element in the array. the rear of the room. In marginal cases, this is likely
2. Calculate both direct field and reverberant to be more satisfactory than an all-out distributed
field levels at various parts of the audience area, and system.
then determine if their ratios, in combination with the The entire process described above has been
reverberation time of the room, will result in adequate reduced to the flow chart shown in Figure 6-20.
intelligibility. These calculations are most important in
the 1 kHz range, but they should also be made in the
125 Hz and 4 kHz ranges as well. Determine the
requirements for adequate gain, noting the value of
DS that will be required in normal operation.
3. If the intelligibility criteria are met, then the
system can be completed. If the intelligibility criteria
indicate an inadequate direct-to-reverberant ratio,
consider the possibility of increasing R through the
addition of acoustical absorption in the room. In
existing rooms, this may not be possible; however,
for rooms still in the design phase, it may be possible
to increase the amount of absorption.

Figure 6-20. Flow diagram for system design