When will you address acoustics in your building project?

Have you ever been in a restaurant when you cannot hear the person across the table; and, before you know it, you are nearly shouting?

Have you gone to use the bathroom and felt uncomfortable because you can hear people talking in the next room?

Or have you gone to your hotel room for a pleasant night’s rest only to be kept awake by the celebration in a room nearby?

We’ve all been there. The question is why do these problems happen and how can a more thoughtful design prevent them.

Tim Nichols with Frank Comentale at a recent recording studio project

Our current project with renowned recording studio designer and sound engineer Frank Comentale has highlighted the importance of acoustical design. A recording studio requires control of sound at the highest level; and there are many techniques, developed over decades, that can be used in business and residential applications.

The resources and requirements for sound management may differ between projects, but the principles and the science are the same.

Acoustical privacy: A standard stud wall with insulation and drywall transfers sound easily. Adding a sandwich of sound deadening board and a second layer of drywall can cut the sound transfer by half. Further reduction can be achieved by using an appropriate sound deadening insulation along with other materials and techniques.

Acoustical ambiance: Sound travels over smooth surfaces and reverberates between parallel surfaces. When these surfaces can flex and move, they act like a drum head to amplify the noise in a room. These effects can be reduced or eliminated by introducing absorptive materials, angled surfaces and interrupting shapes.

Frank Comantale’s experience over many decades at the Hit Factory in New York City as well as building many custom studios for leading figures in the music and entertainment industries have combined these and many other techniques to achieve the ultimate acoustical results. It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with him.

 

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