Sound Labs

Since beginning my new Audio studies in Manchester I have been introduced to many new things, whether it’s theory, technology or new ways of thinking. Among these are the possibilities of using different rooms for different work styles; for experiments, recording or even using the room to play a piece. Here is a little more about the Sound Labs at the University of Salford.

Semi-anechoic room

hemi-anechoic02

This room basically has the walls covered in soft material and a solid floor. This is done so the sound reflections only come from the floor, rather than the walls. Experiments can be done with putting material on the floor to reduce the sound reflections.

Reverberation Chambers

Well it’s in the title, Reverb, and this room allows the perfect amount of reverberation which is something that is required in places such as concert halls, allowing the singing, or someone speaking and music to be able to travel well. This room has been used for many different sound tests.

reverberationroom

 The point is that rooms themselves can effect the way we hear, for instance, a recording studio has to be made so that no outside noise can enter. All the sounds in the room need to travel well which allows a natural reverb. This is why it’s brilliant that the University provides these different sorts of rooms, not just for students but for other companies. It’s important as an Audio Production student to have an understanding of these rooms. I personally am looking forward to learning more and using them more.

Another point to make is what exactly these rooms are testing. Well actually a lot of companies are testing sound. For example car manufactures and oven manufactures spend a lot of time developing and testing the sound of their doors. I realise this must sound strange, but hear me out.  Think about the first thing you would do when you go and look for a oven or car.  You would open the door, so not so silly really. Which is why the existence of rooms like these at Salford University is so essential.

For some interesting tests going on at the moment check out these links:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/rd/publications/sbsbrir

http://www.bbc.co.uk/rd/publications/whitepaper276

Reference

University of Salford (2014) Studios and Labs for Acoustic Engineering, Audio and Video Engineering. Retrieved 12th December, 2014 from http://www.acoustics.salford.ac.uk/facilities/

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