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Modeling the Invisible

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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 Acentech and beyond. The article contains simulations of the acoustics of the Cathedral, so grab your headphones and check it out if you haven’t yet had the chance. We loved the elegant presentation of the acoustic simulations, and applaud the work of the French officials responsible for this fascinating effort.

For years, we have been using similar acoustic simulation technology as part of our work here at Acentech – a practice we call 3DListening®. The Notre Dame project reminds us in particular of the Virtual St. Paul’s Cathedral Project – an interactive acoustic and visual simulation of this important structure of Early Modern London (prior to its destruction in the Great Fire of 1666). Acentech built the first acoustic simulation utilized in that effort, depicting an exterior courtyard and preaching location called Virtual Paul’s Cross – and that work helped us grow and develop our 3DListening technology immensely.

In the time since, we have continued to expand our use of this technology, bringing together the most sophisticated simulation tools available for presentations in our lab in Cambridge and even via headphones through online meetings. For those, we even go to the extent of sending all participants the same model of headphones that we have calibrated using a binaural dummy head in our lab, so that we can be assured that all participants have the same, shared listening experience. We have brought 3DListening to the benefit of recital halls, academic and research buildings, residential developments built near rail lines and airports, food courts, lecture halls, museum projects, workspaces, corporate atriums, ballrooms and event centers, and much more.

If you have ideas about how an interactive, accurate, predictive acoustical simulation might benefit your project – whether renovation, fitout, or ground-up new space – please let us know – we’d love to talk about how 3DListening might enhance our collaboration and benefit your clients.