Sound Snobs are my kinda people
I like to sing in the shower. There, I said it. And why? Acoustics guys, it’s all about acoustics. There’s a really good reason why I could probably win a SAMA for my rendition of “Radar Love” when I’m in the shower, as opposed to when I’m belting out the tunes in my bedroom. And that reason is simple: the science of sound.
Everything “sound” starts with a science, a technology, an innovation that comes to life through the some faith, some math, and some killer design moves. Back in your bathroom: the hard and smooth surfaces help your proud solo bounce better, back and forth between the spaces. The reverb inflicted by these surfaces also aids your voice to echo and stretch a lot further, making Iggy Pop look like an amateur. And what about that deep, richness of soul you got going there? This, by the way, is not a result of listening to too much “X-Factor” off your Meridian speakers, but rather, a result of the shower acting as a cavity that naturally amplifies your sound.
All this and it’s only Monday morning, right?
The science of sound is a beautiful thing when you really get into it. Honorary guest speaker, Mr Ivan Lin, Founder and Principle Audio and Acoustics Engineer of Linspace visited our CPD Hybrid Session in April, and spoke to our architects about the emotive and scientific depth of sound, and the vast impact it can have on atmosphere and emotions.
He called this “Sound Psychology” and demonstrated some mind blowing insights using a simple music box and some furniture. The results were staggeringly impressive.
Since a room is able to absorb, transmit, reflect or diffuse sound – you have to map out your audio plan smartly. Absorptive materials, like thick drapes or carpet will quiet the sound in a space, however too much absorption can make a room sound dull and lifeless. When installing your home theatre, for example, applying an extreme level of absorption can have a negative result and deaden the room to the point where it is no longer comfortable. Your performance will fail. I assure you.
The key is to balance the mix. Room acoustics involve balancing absorption, reflection, and diffusion to create pleasant-sounding spaces and to mitigate transmission to other rooms. A good rule of thumb is to apply 25% absorption on the walls, and to hire a s*** hot design team.
So my point? If sound starts with science and culminates with emotion, it’s a pretty powerful part of the design process in a home, and should never be oversighted. My advice: don’t go all shy on interior and audio choices, when it comes to space design. Do your homework, be particular and expect nothing short of audio superiority from your designers. In fact, I give you full permission to be an extremely elaborate, O.T.T, unforgiveable, pain-in-the-tuchus sound snob. Or, a SAMA winner – whichever comes first.