It can destroy the clarity of the spoken voice but makes a guitar legend sound even better. Certain places need a small amount of it, yet too much of it is terrible news.
“It” is called reverberation.
Reverberation – What Is It?
If you’ve ever been in a busy restaurant dining area or a bustling gym, you’ve heard it.
Reverberation is a unique sound – like an echo, but not entirely.
Consider this: When you hit a large piece of metal, you can hear the sound repeatedly even after you stop banging. This repetition is the sound waves reflecting off surrounding surfaces and bouncing back in another direction.
Even though the reflected sound wave comes after the original, human memory has trouble separating the two sounds. So, the sound waves end up sounding like one long, repeating noise.
When you’re dealing with an area of high reverberation, all the sound waves can overlap each other and arrive at different times, making comprehending anything rather tricky.
3 Places with the Highest Reverberation
You might be surprised to learn that some of the places with the highest reverberation are places you regularly visit.
Restaurant Dining Rooms
If you pick the wrong restaurant, their dining room can be one of the noisiest places out there.
Restaurant reverberation mainly comes from design, with high ceilings and open kitchens meant to exude class and luxury. Materials also come into play – with modern touches of granite and slate, restaurants are straying from soft touches like carpeting, curtains, and sofas.
The effect of all the reverberating sounds in one packed dining area is a mess of clinking cutlery and loud, overlapping voices quite challenging to distinguish. That’s not an enjoyable evening out for anyone.
Engaging an acoustic engineer at the design phase can ensure restaurants have sound absorption. Any restaurants already open for business could also benefit from testing with an acoustics expert to determine if additional sound absorption features could mitigate the reverberation.
Gyms are major offenders of reverberation that’s off the charts. Gyms are typically large, open spaces where people gather to lift (and drop) heavyweights, hit punching bags, or take a spin on loud workout machines. Naturally, all this activity generates a lot of noise.
With a lack of sound-absorbing materials on the floors, walls, and ceilings at gyms, the sound accentuates within the gym space creating a cacophony inside, which isn’t helping anyone set new PRs.
Board rooms aren’t typically cozy, warm spaces. On the contrary, they’re usually empty except for a table and surrounding chairs – and you’re lucky if they have any kind of acoustic treatment. The lack of soft furnishings in a board room combined with the hard walls and ceiling is a perfect recipe for significant reverberation.
This combination can make large group conferences difficult because the reverberation can overlap sound and blend voices. That is challenging enough in person, however in today’s world of videoconferencing acoustics are more important than ever. The situation experienced in the boardroom is made even worse through technology, making it almost impossible for the listeners on the other end to fully understand and engage in the conference. There’s no way to make progress in a meeting like that.
Avenue Interior Systems has extensive experience improving the acoustics in restaurants, gymnasiums, and board rooms along with many other spaces. Our sound absorption wall and ceiling products are available to blend into your surroundings or can be coloured or custom printed to create artwork.