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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Sep 2004
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    Mt. Airy, Maryland
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    Testing a room for acoustical characteristics

    Hello.
    New to the forum and the media college. Looks like a great site to learn some good information.

    I am curious. Is there a process to test a room for it's particular acoustical characteristics. I would like to be able to run a test on a television studio to see how the room is affecting difference frequencies. Also I would like to be able to see...I'm not sure how to word it...but I would like to see the reverberation length of the room. I don't know if that makes sense. But you know when you are in a room that is too live. How do you find out how much reverberation the room is adding to your recording?

    I guess what I am after is how and what type of tools would be required to figure out what type of treatment to install in a space to begin to deaden the space.

    Looking forward to being an active participant in this area. I hope ya'll are an active group.

    Thanks in advance!

    Sincerely,
    Joseph

  2. #2
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Te Awamutu, New Zealand
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    Hi josephaboothii and welcome to the forum.

    First up, I'll be honest and say it's not very active here yet but there's a good chance it will become a lot more active very soon. The mediacollege site itself is very busy but we've only recently decided to start pushing the forums.

    In the last few weeks we've done some redesign and we're starting some promotions. We want to make these forums active and we really need new people to get into them. There are certainly enough people coming to the site to make a decent community if a few of them get involved.

    Anyway, in regard to your audio question I'll try and answer properly ASAP and maybe get a few other opinions from people who know more than me.
    Dave Owen
    MediaCollege.com

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Mt. Airy, Maryland
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    2

    Cool Deal Dave

    Hey thanks for letting me know Dave.

    I am a member of number of groups...mostly internet based. Always looking for additional resources for gaining information. I'm curious about the school you have. Right now I just moved up to Mt. Airy, MD from Raleigh, NC (been here 1 month). I've produced TV, Radio and DVD's projects. But I am always looking for ways to improve the production value. Although I have to say...even though I've done projects in the past I don't feel as though I know everything there is to know.

    I'm also interested in learning how to build and design websites. Maybe when I get a stable schedule I can get in on some of the classes ya'll offer through the website.

    By the way...I tried to register on the main site. And there was some sort of error with the registration process. There was an error message that stated it couldn't send to my e-mail address. Yet I was able to register for the forums...no problem. Seems weird.

    Let me know what you think about the room testing. I'm curious as to what I need to do in order to test this out.

    Thanks.

    Sincerely,
    Joseph

  4. #4
    This is a pretty complicated subject.

    It can cost a large amount of money doing it properly by hiring qaulified "Acousticions" which have all the gear and all the know how when it comes to room acoustics.

    There is a device called a spectrum analyser which basically produces a whole heap of weird noises and measures the rooms response to different frequency's, i.e. picking out the frequencys at which the rooms resonates well. While this is a usefull piece of equipment it doesnt tell you the full storey. It does not give you any time information about the room, i.e. delays, phase cancellations and it wont tell you what you are after in terms of a reverb time. Im not sure of the name of the device which does tell you this but I am pretty sure it would carry a hefty price tag. In saying that though, im sure they would be available for hire.

    A very good site for acoustic information is

    www.auralex.com

    Auralex acoustics produce alot of acoustic treating products and are held in very high regard amoung the pro recording industry.

    Hope this helps
    Cheers

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Preston, England
    Posts
    2
    You can get a reasonable impression of the reverb time by waiting until it's nice and quiet then clapping your hands once and listening carefully. Try this is a few environments and you'll get the hang of it. You may hear a distinct echo PING-PINg-PIng-Ping-ping etc due to parallel walls - this can be broken up to some extent by strategically placing moveable panels around the place. You may hear a few early reflections and then a more general 'hum' dying away, even giving you a clue as to the worst offending frequencies.

    Treatment can be expensive and in a TV studio it is hard to do - there is lots of volume to hold the sound and not much wall/floor/ceiling area to damp it down. Look up Sabine's formula on Google and you'll find lots about it. Generally the best you can do cheaply is to put curtains up all round, well away from the wall and as heavy as you can afford. The distance away needs to be about half a wavelength at the worst offending frequencies. If this is a low frequency, it takes up a lot of your space!

    In terms of kit to measure these thing better, it is expensive but I have used a decent mike and mixing desk and captured the hand clap into my laptop (put in the other room to avoid noise). I then did some processing using Matlab and came up with figures very similar to one of those expensive acousticians did. But you need Matlab and some code to do this.

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