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Auditorium

What is the most important step in designing a sound system? Of course, every step is important, but one might argue that the final equalization is perhaps the most critical step, and often the most overlooked. Assuming a good design has been put together on paper and that the system has been installed as it […]




Most people who work in the construction industry are aware of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (commonly referred to as the ADA) and the general impacts it has on how buildings are constructed. On September 15, 2010 the Department of Justice published a series of revised regulations. One section of these updates deals […]




Teleconferencing requires hearing the voice, so it should follow that videoconferencing requires seeing the people, right? Not so much. Videoconferencing actually requires a finer level of detail – it requires seeing the eyes. Why? We communicate with our eyes. If you cannot clearly see the eyes of the communicator, then you might as well be […]




I recently attended concerts at two out-of-state prestigious university level music schools, and from a noise control point of view, the auditoria couldn’t have been more different. While the room acoustics of both halls were superb, the background noise level in one was quite distracting. At first, I thought the weather had taken a sudden […]




Out of curiosity, we asked one of our current clients what made them pick Acoustics By Design to be their audio-video consultant for their corporate webcast auditorium project. We beat out several national AVL consulting firms to get the project, so what made the difference? Well, there were a list of reasons why ABD was […]




On practically every project we work on that has a significant sound system, we have a discussion with the stakeholders about whether the main mixing console should be an analog board or a digital board. In a nutshell, we can boil the discussion down to 3 main points… Price, Flexibility, and Ease of Use. Here’s […]




Being a noise engineer, I’m always on the “listen-out” for cases of poor building acoustics. I find that common offenders are noisy air handling (HVAC) systems. Frequently the public venues are restaurants, hotels and cinemas, and on occasion it’s a location most tragic, a performance space. HVAC noise in a performance space distracts listeners and […]




Several weeks ago, a client invited me to a rehearsal in their highly reverberant space that ABD was hired to test and correct. I declined, as I already had plans to attend a play that evening at a different facility, and joked that during the performance I’d also be listening to sirens from the main […]




Sure, we all agree that the principle of “garbage in garbage out” applies to audio-visual technology. But is “top of the line equipment” the real bottom line for state of the art web conferencing or videoconferencing? Answer: It’s one of the bottom lines, but not the only bottom line. There are a lot of other […]




In the days of the ancient Romans, crowds would gather by the thousands in the amphitheater to see a wide range of events: public ceremonies honoring brave soldiers, performances of dramatic presentations, or the gruesome games of the gladiators. Although the events were a visual extravaganza, the amphitheater and coliseum were also designed acoustically to […]




If you can’t see the video, CLICK HERE. The Grand Rapids Art Museum has the honor of being the world’s first LEED Certified art museum. Achieving the LEED Gold level of certification means it’s designed with state of the art energy efficiency and environmental awareness. Low water use, natural day-lighting, and optimized acoustics give the […]




As the VGA connector continues its rapid transition towards obsolescence (referred to in Part I of this post) many people simply assume that using adapters (such as HDMI to VGA) will solve the digital-to-analog connectivity problem. While this may work in the short term, it ignores the looming problem of DRM (Digital Rights Management), a […]




Have you ever noticed how some sounds catch your attention and others do not? For example, you are driving down the road thinking of your plans for the day and all of a sudden you hear a squeak in the dashboard. It draws your attention immediately, while the air conditioning fan likely does not. The […]




My church recently decided to upgrade from our old analog mixing board to a brand new digital mixing console. The interesting part of this process was that they did not buy it through a local AV contractor. They purchased the sound board online through a company that specializes in phone and internet box sales. This […]




Question: How do you assure your client that they are getting the best possible speakers for their Auditorium or Fine Arts Center? Answer: You hold a “speaker shootout”. Recently one of our clients was in this exact situation, so we did just that. We invited several manufacturers of line array speakers to show up, all […]




You can’t get away from the digital age. It seems like digital technology is everywhere. As Audio-Video designers, the march towards all things digital is having an impact on display technologies as well. Meanwhile, flying under the radar, there is a subtle shift happening in how the average person shows information from a computer onto […]




Fundamentally, sound is “that which we hear”. What we hear at any given time can greatly influence us. We use sound to communicate, to express warning, fear, pleasure and excitement. Some sounds can relax us and help us fall asleep, while other sounds can distract us and make it more difficult to perform simple tasks. […]




It certainly isn’t a new idea… How do we maximize our space and minimize our cost without the loss of function? Surely this is the major driver behind ideas like the gymnatorium or the cafetorium. We’ve all seen them, most likely they were in the schools that we attended. They consist of a stage at […]




Several months ago (10-13-08) I wrote about the current state of the wireless microphone frequency spectrum and how the actions of congress and the FCC are shaping the future of wireless technology. Well, several notable updates and changes have been made since that time. You may recall that February 17, 2009, was the date set […]




Blocking sound is often analogized to plugging the holes in a leaky bucket. If you plug up all the bucket holes except one, the bucket is still going to drain. In acoustics, an outstanding partition design will not adequately block sound if holes and weak spots exist where sound can find its way through. Acoustics […]




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