What is Acoustics?
Acoustics is the science of sound & noise (all mechanical waves in gases, liquids, and solids). In technology the application of Acoustics is better known as Acoustical engineering. In both the practice there is often a great deal of overlap in the roles, interaction and interests of acoustic engineers and acousticians.
One of the most important tools that is required in the area or Acoustics is Hearing and a sensitive ear to sound. Acoustics is a fast subject matter and encompasses music, medicine, architecture, industrial production, warfare and much more.
In resent time there has been a great focus on acoustics in the home, and other environments that’s we co-habit in our general day to day life. With the ever increasing demand for minimalistic spaces in our environment we get in return a trade off empty space for high levels of acoustic problems, focusing on reverberation noise commonly known as echo.
The word “acoustic” is from the Greek language word ακουστικός (akoustikos), meaning "of or for hearing, ready to hear" and that from ακουστός (acoustic), "heard, audible”.
The Latin word for acoustics is "sonic". There are many different ranges of sound from ultrasonic, subsonic and audible and non abatable sound, the word "acoustic" refer to the entire frequency range without limit.
Rather than going into great depth on the history of acoustics and the scientific study of this area we are going to focus on acoustics that are applicable to noise pollution.
Acoustics is best described in the soundproofing world as a word to describe problems caused in empty spaces. Many modern living spaces from homes, offices, entertainment zones suffer from reverberation noise, reflection noise vibration and sound quality.
In the entertainment zones such as night clubs, bars, karaoke lounges, clubs suffer from sound quality. Often is the case that in these types of venues reflection sound & vibration as well as quality can often be a problem. The normal requirement for a venue of this type to create a sharp, clean crisp sound over the entire area of the environment. In order to get the volume required the use of heavy duty speakers are required. These are split in to 3 frequency areas, Treble, Mid Range and base. The high frequencies, and mid range can often lead to reflection noise and focused noise in certain areas where as in other poor quality sound and echo as a result of the above. With regards to base this can often be a problem for vibration noise, instead of a crisp sound it is muffled by the vibration caused from the unit being installed with out properly addressing this concern.
The idea of Acoustic treatment in this case is to ensure that the structure is properly treated to reduce reflection noise. This can be achieving using either specialist design concepts or the use of acoustic foams or panels. The treatment for the “base bins” & “Sub Woofers” will require anti-vibration treatment. With this in mind the design of speaker placement is also very important in order for the sound in any one given space to be the same in quality. For typical room set-up adopting the quadraphonic surround system theory on a 2 level system should delivery the desired results. This work on the idea that total emersion is required.
For cinemas this idea is already followed as standard protocol for sound design. The acoustic treatment is often in the way of sound absorbers and curtains around the total area given a perfect experience for all concerned.
In the last 5 years there has been a massive increase of home cinema, karaoke rooms, games rooms and hi-fi. This has lead to a massive demand in acoustic treatment in the domestic market. This at the same time has been a source for complaint, many people have found themselves looking for cheap solutions for their acoustic treatment and as a result many companies have exploited this as a way to sell to the layman products and materials that give little or no results in solving there customers problems. It is important to be cautious and carful when looking for acoustic treatment. The idea that sponge, foam, egg box, office ceiling tiles, thermal insulation as acoustic products is far from good practice. In the last 2 years we have herd of many complaints regarding this, where customers have purchased from what they though reputable companies a material that later was found to be normal everyday items. Even if it looks the same it may not be!
With the right materials used the cost for acoustically treating your room is actually not as expensive as you think.