Sound is central to the performing arts. The acoustics of a music hall or theatre help to form the connection between performers and audience, and shape their respective experience. Similarly, the acoustics in rehearsal and teaching spaces must allow performers to hear one another clearly so they can craft their performances. The right acoustical conditions in these spaces require careful planning among artists, supporting institutions, and designers. Studio A – Acentech’s specialized team of acoustical consultants and audiovisual designers focused on the performing arts – partners with clients to develop and realize the acoustical goals for new or renovated performing arts spaces. Our consulting expertise and services include:

Programming and Assessment – What kind of space does an arts group or program need? How is the current space performing acoustically? What would it take to provide facilities that meet those acoustical needs? What are the audiovisual technology needs? Studio A consultants can help frame a project’s acoustical and audiovisual system needs to develop the appropriate program.

Concept Design – Our consultants consider space layout, room shaping and sizing, placement of loudspeakers, video equipment and other technology infrastructure, and location of major building mechanical equipment. The artistic or pedagogical program will lead us as we develop basic acoustical strategies for key spaces to achieve the right combination of clarity, intimacy, warmth, envelopment, and spaciousness. Careful space planning is critical to achieving excellent acoustical separation among spaces and silent operation of building mechanical systems.

Acoustical Modeling – Studio A creates computer acoustical models of key spaces to test and refine their designs. With our 3DListening (or auralization) technology, clients can listen to their spaces as the design develops, either in our 3DL Studio in Cambridge or at their office. Learn more about 3DListening.

Detailed Design – Many details must be coordinated to bring all aspects of a room or building design together successfully, including placement and angle of sound-reflecting surfaces; selection of finish materials; detailing of wall, floor, ceiling, and roof assemblies; and duct layout, vibration isolation, and noise control features for mechanical equipment. Studio A also provides complete audiovisual system design documentation including drawings and specifications suitable for bidding.

Construction Services – Studio A can help clients select a qualified contractor and prepare for construction. Our consultants review selections of acoustically-related products and audiovisual equipment to ensure the design intent is met, and we are on site to observe and approve key aspects of construction. When construction is nearly complete, we evaluate various aspects of acoustical and audiovisual performance and create a punch list of items to be adjusted or remedied. Once completed, our consultants return to commission the audiovisual systems, ensuring that the sound system is tuned to the room and the video systems are performing as expected.

Post-Construction and Occupancy –As the new or renovated facility is occupied, Studio A can help users to understand and get the most from their new spaces. A follow-up visit and discussion, typically following the first full season in the facility, completes our process.

Outdoor Music Venues – Outdoor music venues typically need to walk that fine line that separates spectator enjoyment from annoyance in the communities surrounding the venue. Acentech can help a venue operator understand what aspects of their operation cause annoyance in the community and can recommend ways to mitigate the annoyance. Our remote monitoring systems are used to keep tabs on the noise in the community while the performance is underway, providing real time feedback to the operator and other interested parties.