Reducing Reverb in Recreational Venues

If you look around your local health clubs, indoor pools, theaters, auditoriums, gymnasiums, or concert halls, you may notice panels and/or that are located sporadically across the venue – these are, more than likely, sound-absorbing wall panels, noise control curtains, and/or partitions.

If you listen closely at each of these venues, there may be a clamor of echoes which permeates throughout the large area. This “clamor” is called reverberation (or reverb), which consists of several different sounds bouncing off of reflective structural materials within a given area – sounds which have a different time and decay. Greater reverb is normally proportionate to the size of the venue. In most cases, the sound reverberation that occurs becomes an issue of comfort and audibility. A noise control curtain wall can cancel the noise considerably to absorb and block noise from going into different areas.

Reverberation explained

There is a direct signal that has a straight path to the listener. The early reflections take more time to travel to the listener, transmitting the same sound at a weaker decibel level and a later time – this description is called decay. The picture below shows three instances in which sound travels to the listener, all at different times. This causes the listener to hear the identical sound many times, creating an echo effect, known as reverberation.

Echo, echo, echo…

For a gymnasium, health club, or indoor pool, there are several hard, reflective surfaces in which sound can “bounce” in unpredictable directions. The audibility of PA speakers and personal conversations becomes very difficult to understand, as there are sounds traveling through the area. Sound-absorption wall panels can be mounted onto the ceiling, the walls, and from other structural entities to reduce noise caused by reverberant activity.

In concert halls, theaters, and auditoriums, there could be several sound sources that radiate sound energy, that when not properly absorbed, will cause a reverberated “chaos” that allows sound waves to travel to each member of the audience from all different angles. For most performances, direct sound signals are preferred. In this case, the sound-absorbing panels can be mounted onto each wall to minimize the number of sound reflections to each member of the audience. One can also utilize an acoustic industrial curtain to mount as the stage backdrop area, making sure the sound does not reflect off of the back wall of the stage. Additionally, in some performances, a venue may still require just a mild reduction of the reverberant noise, in which less noise control panels would be applied.

Noise control panels and acoustic industrial partitions can be used to make sure reverberant sound is either directed for optimal auditory needs (in a performance venue) or reverberant noise is canceled and/or reducedto a comfortable level for audiences. Whatever the case may be, AmCraft has a customized sound-absorbing panel solution that is dependent upon your needs. For more information on the different types of panels we offer, please go to: Acoustic Industrial Solutions. Call our technical specialists today at 847-439-4565.

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