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ACOUSTICS

Proper acoustical planning


eliminates many acoustical problems before they are built
Lee Irvine

ACOUSTIC DESIGN OF AUDITORIUM


Seating arrangements in an auditorium seating layout (or assembly space) will
either be identified as multiple-aisle or continental.
A multiple-aisle arrangement will have a maximum of 14-16 chairs per row
with access to an aisle-way at both ends.
In a continental arrangement, all seats are located in a central section.
Here the maximum quantity of chairs per row can greatly exceed the limits
established in a multiple-aisle arrangement.

ACOUSTIC DESIGN OF AUDITORIUM


1) Volume
Depending upon the purpose of auditorium and quality of sound desired the
volume to be decided.
Few recommendations for diff types are as follows:
The floor area of hall including gangway but excluding stage 0.60 sqm to
0.90 sqm.
Height of auditorium ventilation , presence or absence of balcony and type
of performance.
Avg height varies from 6m (small halls) to 7.5m (large halls).
Reflective canopy over stage is must to direct sound to rear areas.
Avoid parallel walls.
For different types of auditoriums , recommended volumes are as follows:1) Cinemas or theaters

- 4.0 to 5 m3 per person

2) Musical halls or concert halls - 4.0 to 5.5 m3 per person

ACOUSTIC DESIGN OF AUDITORIUM


2) Shape
It involves geometrical aspects of hall.
Path of reflected sound waves to be traced and concentration of sound waves to be
noted.
Concave walls not good as they concentrate sound waves.
Plain walls Good
Convex walls Excellent as they reduce possibility of echoes to a great extent.
Fan shaped plan gives better performance . The side walls should be so arranged to
have an angle of not more then 100 deg with curtain line.
In case of theatre the distance of farthest seat from the curtain line should generally
not exceed 23 m.

ACOUSTIC DESIGN OF AUDITORIUM


3) Sound absorption
Adequate absorbing surface to be provided in hall to control reverberation .
Surfaces from which sound reflection will happen to be designed to assist in
distribution of sound .
Areas like balcony parapet , rear walls and concave surfaces which will cause
objectionable sound reflection should be covered with sound absorbent material.

ACOUSTIC DESIGN OF AUDITORIUM


4) Site selection
Among various site selection criteria's the most important is noise pollution.
Orientation of hall should be designed such that minimum external noise will
be able to enter .
Background noise level should not exceed 40 -45 db within hall.

ACOUSTIC DESIGN OF AUDITORIUM


Seats & seating arrangement
Seats to be arranged in concentric arcs or circles .
Center from which circles should be drawn should be located as much behind the
center of curtain line as the distance of curtain line from real wall of auditorium.
Arrangement :- the seats should be staggered sideways in relation to seats in front
to avoid visual hindrance.
Back to back distance :- back to back distance of chairs in successive rows - 450mm
to 1000mm
Balcony :-

ACOUSTIC DESIGN OF AUDITORIUM


Balcony seats :- elevation of balcony seats
should be such that line of sight is not
inclined more then 30 deg to horizontal.
Covering of seats :- Seats to be covered or
upholstered to have unaltered acoustic
characteristics irrespective of the
occupancy.
Front most row :- Angle of front most
observer to the highest object to be seen on
stage should not be more then 30deg to the
horizontal.
- Distance of first row works out to be 4.5
m for cinema and 3.6m for theater.
Raising of seats:- Rise between successive
rows 80 mm 120mm .Angle of elevation of
inclined floor of auditorium should not be
less then 8 deg.
Width of seat :- 450 600 mm

ACOUSTIC DESIGN OF AUDITORIUM


ROLE OF REFLECTORS
Even distribution and increase in overall sound
levels in a room.
Reflectors used for sending sound energy at
longer places in desired directions.
Reflections causing echoes & resonances have to
be avoided.
Reflected sound path be short so that reflections
are strong and follow quickly upon direct sound.
Reflected sound to be projected to middle and
rear rows.
For variable sound source , the reflector should be
of bigger area.
Reflectors should be placed at an angle to the
source to provide sound to rear rows.
For larger halls , use of progressive reflectors
along the ceiling.

ACOUSTIC DESIGN OF AUDITORIUM


DEFECTS IN AUDITORIUM
Reverberation :- Suitable installation of absorbent material.
Formation of echoes :- Presence of reflecting surfaces beyond 17 m or so on.
Improper shape of auditorium .
REMEDY : proper shape of auditorium & providing rough and porous
surfaces to disperse the energy of echoes.
Sound foci :- Concave reflecting interior surfaces.
REMEDY : Avoid curvilinear interiors
Providing highly absorptive material on focusing areas.
Dead spots:- Installation of suitable diffusers to have even distribution of sound.
Loudness :- lack of reflecting surface
Excessive absorption of sound
REMEDY : hard reflecting surfaces near source.
Adjustment of absorption of hall by proper selection & location of sound absorbing material.
If length is more : provide more then one sound source loudspeakers.
Exterior noise : suitable sound insulation for various coponents in auditorium to filter external noise.

CALCULATING REVERBERATION TIME

CALCULATING REVERBERATION TIME