Modeling the Invisible
The recent engrossing, interactive article about the acoustics of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris (published in The New York Times) has been making the rounds at…
Sound is central to the performing arts. The sound of a music hall or theatre helps to form the connection between performers and the audience, and shape their respective experiences. 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 acoustics 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 – We 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 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 an appropriately chosen client location. Learn more about 3DListening.
Detailed Design – A successful venue design requires the coordination of many details, 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 room acoustics and audiovisual systems, ensuring that the room features are configured optimally, 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 seek to provide great experiences to patrons while preserving good relations with their surrounding community. Acentech can help a venue operator understand what aspects of their operation are most related to the experiences of residential neighbors, and what adjustments or mitigations can help to prevent complaints. 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.