Meeting Report … Intro to Architectural Acoustics … October 2012

On Mon Oct 8th AES Member Dr Rodney Staples presented to a group of twenty-six members and visitors on the topic “An Introduction to Architectural Acoustics.”

This was a non-mathematical, undergraduate-level presentation – designed to provide the listener with a basic overview of the topic.
The Section has two follow-up meetings planned on acoustics topics – studio design with designer Peter Brown in November, and concert hall renovation (Hamer Hall) with Peter Exton of Marshall Day Acoustics early next year.
This session was designed as a basic primer to provide a better understanding of the topic and add to the appreciation of the future presentations.

Rod covered the subject fully in a highly descriptive and non-mathematical manner.

Among the topics discussed were:Room shape/size – optimum dimensions and resonances and room modes

  • Reflections – sound mirrors, ray-tracing
  • Echo creation and control mechanisms and standing waves.
  • Reverberation time(RT60), early reflections and optimum RT60
  • Diffusion and Quadratic Residue Diffusers (Schroeder)
  • Absorbers – broadband and resonant
  • Noise Control – Sound Transmission Loss and Noise Criteria, and construction techniques to maximise attenuation
  • Air conditioning – special measures required to minimise sound leakage

He also interspersed some design examples from concert halls and studios to illustrate points throughout the talk.

Rodney did an excellent job in fitting a prodigious amount of material into a two hour presentation – one which presented the basics of this fascinating mix of science and art in a most lucid manner.

An audio recording of Rodney’s talk can be played or downloaded here