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Author Topic: Purdue Sound Baffles  (Read 649 times)

Lance Rectanus

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Purdue Sound Baffles
« on: May 28, 2014, 05:06:46 pm »

I have inherited the sound responsibilities for my church’s contemporary service. We typically have our worship leader with lead vocals on a stand-alone amped acoustic guitar, a stand-alone amped bass, a second acoustic guitar run through the sound system, a drum kit played by a drummer who knows the importance of controlling his volume and between 2 and 4 backup singers on any given Sunday. No complaints from any of the church-goers about the quality of the sound: everything both musically and spoken-word is intelligible.

While digging through a closet I came across 4 – 48” x 48” x 2” Purdue Acoustics Sound Baffles. When we purchased our current sound rig 4 years ago – about $8,000 – these were recommended to be installed by our sound consultant/equipment reseller. For whatever reason they were never installed and now I can’t convince the “powers-that-be” that they are necessary. I’m not sure that they are necessary or what their effectiveness could be, myself. The gentleman who spec’d out the system is no longer available, due to age and health, so I can’t discuss this with him. I am pretty sure that he based us needing them on his experience as opposed to a technical study.

I have attached 2 photos of our sanctuary. In the photo from the altar looking towards the congregation I have drawn yellow squares where they sound baffles would go; on the front-facing wall of the balcony. From Purdue’s website I understand that the primary purpose of these types of treatments is to minimize echo and to provide sound absorption. I don’t feel that we have any echo issues, except when our bass levels get a little high. Then the bass seems to take on a life of its own. We have a bassist who understands this and plays with her volume under control 99% of the time. 

We spent almost $900 for these 4 panels. I can’t really “temporarily” install them to try them out (can I? ideas?) so do I fight to install them or put them on Craigslist? Could 64 square feet of baffling really make that noticeable difference in a 250 seat church? If they were to be installed could they have a negative effect on the sound of our organ, which is only used for our non-contemporary service?

Some info on the photos: The only speaker being used is the one flown unit. All the other speakers visible are from the 2 retired systems the church has used over the last 45 years. The peak of the roof is @30 feet. The distance from the speaker to the recommended mounting point of the baffles is @60 feet. The width of the sanctuary is @40 feet.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Purdue Sound Baffles
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2014, 06:07:31 pm »

The panels if properly placed can help with certain reflections-but that few of panels will not make much of a difference in the reverberation in the room.

Where you have them would make the most sense to reduce the reflections back to the stage.

I highly doubt it will make any difference in the organ sound-except for people on the stage.

The audience will hardly notice it-I think.
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A complex question is easily answered by a simple-easy to understand WRONG answer!

Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

PHYSICS- NOT FADS!

Tom Young

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Re: Purdue Sound Baffles
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2014, 06:08:31 pm »

What a funny position to be in.

The acoustic panels would be worthwhile if those on the platform, and the pastor in particular, was experiencing (hearing) slap-back echo from the balcony face. He probably is not based on what you have said. It looks like this would be the case due to its height versus that of the platform. The distance helps, as well, as the reflected energy is substantially attenuated by time it gets to the platform.

The sound from the center flown loudspeaker, due to its height, strikes the balcony face (at an angle) and the reflected energy projects downwards and is "grounded" (absorbed) by the seats in front of it.

I don't think it would be worth the time to try these.....but that's up to you. See if you can donate them or sell them on Craig's List. No point in trying Ebay as they cannot be shipped very easily or affordably.

You are lucky to be in this position.
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Tom Young
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Lance Rectanus

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Re: Purdue Sound Baffles
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2014, 08:45:44 pm »

Ivan & Tom-Thanks for your replies and to the point answers!

You are correct that none of the worship team experiences any echo from the balcony. Their major complaint is that the monitors aren't loud enough. If I turn them up to where they would like it then I hear echo from the curved area behind the altar.
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Tom Young

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Re: Purdue Sound Baffles
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2014, 03:14:11 pm »

If I turn them up to where they would like it then I hear echo from the curved area behind the altar.

And this is why concave surfaces should be forbidden from all spaces other than Mosques !
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Tom Young
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Lance Rectanus

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Re: Purdue Sound Baffles
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2014, 04:21:33 pm »

And this is why concave surfaces should be forbidden from all spaces other than Mosques !

It is truly an amazing example of a parabolic sound reflector. Standing at the altar I can hear people in the last row of pews speaking like they are right next to me. Likewise, any sounds made in this area travel throughout the sanctuary beautifully. It is made of fabric with the organ speakers arranged behind it. The design is from the late 60's.
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Frank DeWitt

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Re: Purdue Sound Baffles
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2014, 04:33:09 pm »

You are correct that none of the worship team experiences any echo from the balcony. Their major complaint is that the monitors aren't loud enough. If I turn them up to where they would like it then I hear echo from the curved area behind the altar.

I agree, they won't do much and you don't seem to have a problem they would help with anyway.  I would sell them.  Regarding the monitors.  Use the money from selling the panels toward getting In ear Monitors.  I can not say enough good about them.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Purdue Sound Baffles
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2014, 05:57:09 pm »

And this is why concave surfaces should be forbidden from all spaces other than Mosques !
There are  3 basic rules for building a good room.

In no particular order

1: Don't build a round room

2: Don't build a domed room

3: Don't build a room with parallel walls.

It is amazing how many Churches will violate at least 2 of these.

The fun ones are the round rooms with a dome--------------

Maybe they just need a different speaker system------------- NOT
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A complex question is easily answered by a simple-easy to understand WRONG answer!

Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

PHYSICS- NOT FADS!

Jonathan Johnson

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Re: Purdue Sound Baffles
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2014, 02:28:50 am »

For whatever reason they were never installed and now I can’t convince the “powers-that-be” that they are necessary.

If the reason the "powers-that-be" don't want the panels is because of appearance, I find irony in this statement:

Quote
All the other speakers visible are from the 2 retired systems the church has used over the last 45 years.

Of course, I don't know that to be the case, I'm just speculating.

Beware of the solution in search of a problem. If there isn't a problem now, an unsolicited solution will provide one.
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Stop confusing the issue with facts and logic!
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