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Best way to deal with room acoustics when designing a music venue?

The single most important thing about any music venue is room acoustics. Most newbs believe how loud the sound system is equal to how great a venue is; with this, they couldn’t be more wrong. Here we will explore a few different techniques, materials and methods when treating any room.

There are two main techniques used for room acoustic.

Absorption is the act of catching noise, absorbing and turning it into heat. This is a great first thing to think about where loud environments are. A key aspect when absorbing any sound wave is the material. You can use lots of different materials to drink, but we think there are two that take the biscuit.
First, Rockwoll insulation. This material is made from rocks and comes in all different weights, widths and sizes. It has excellent properties for genuinely excellent sound insulation, and if left open and made into a sound trap, it is one of the best sound absorptions.
Second, heavy-density drapes or sound blankets. This stuff is fantastic, as it’s easy to install quickly and effectively. It doesn’t take up too much venue space and makes all the difference.
Diffusion is reflecting sound waves and dispersing them, so they reflect at different angles and rates. Simply, they spread the sound, adding a softer tone to the room. The thing about diffusion is at loud levels; it requires a lot of space to deal with a high SPL (sound pressure level).

Placement matters.

So we have talked about the two common types of sound management, but where do I put them? Well, this is all dependent on many factors. How big is the venue? What is the venue made out of? What kind of SPL (loudness) will your event space handle?
The first place to deal with is the stage. The reason for this is the stage is where the magic happens and what do we have on the stage? Noise! Due to the high number of microphones on the stage, it’s good to have a tight sound here. The main hot areas are the ceiling (especially above the drum kit), the side and back walls, and the stage itself.
The second place is the venue walls; this is where drapes and sound blankets will be great. Hanging around the outside of the venue’s inner wall creates a good starting point, so stop the sound bouncing around and give you a super tight venue sound.
Another worthwhile mention is the ceiling; everyone always forgets about the ceiling, which can cause a lot of nasty late reflections that cause minor phase issues when the sound travels back into the room.
The last thing I will mention, although I could go on forever, is the point of first reflection. This is a spot in the room where the speakers will fire out into the room and, due to the angle of the speaker, bounce back on a certain area of the wall. This is always great to treat.

Activated Carbon.

If you liked this article, please read our blog on implementing activated carbon into your sound propagation works a wonder.