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Author Topic: Acoustics Consultants, how did you learn what you know?  (Read 10785 times)

duane massey

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Re: Acoustics Consultants, how did you learn what you know?
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2012, 05:38:37 pm »

If you are mostly interested in adding to your own knowledge for the sake of knowing more, consider taking a course or two in acoustical physics, even if you just audit them. Be somewhat careful of stuff you come across online unless you can verify the person/source is actually legitimate. Many "experts" (even on this site) are actually low-level wannabe's who could hardly be categorized as experts, but really come across as knowledgeable. Most of the time the true pros here will call out the pretenders and keep the BS to a minimum, which is why some of the responses you get may seem harsh.
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Duane Massey
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Brad Weber

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Re: Acoustics Consultants, how did you learn what you know?
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2012, 07:04:01 am »

I am a volunteer sound tech at my church. I've attended the church for about 12 years and have been doing sound there for the last 3 (almost 4) years. Before I started doing sound there I didn't know anything about EQ, compression, gating, speakers, crossovers, acoustics, or really anything else related to sound. Through some training by our former lead sound tech and a lot of my own research, I've learned quite a lot and feel I have a solid understanding of most of the afformentioned areas.
A basic understanding of architectural acoustics and audio system design considerations will certainly help in your role.  Infocomm, AES and WFX usually offer some some classes in architectural acoustics at their shows.  Some local groups may as well, I know that here the Georgia Baptist Convention has an annual worship technology gathering that has included classes on acoustics.  Some of the SynAudCon offerings may be worthwhile both to reinforce your current understanding and to potentially move beyond that with offerings such as the Sound Reinforcement for Designers course.  And there are many good books on architectural acoustics, http://www.mcsquared.com/amazon.htm has a good list for a starting point.
 

The reason I want to know more about acoustics is because I want to at least have a vague idea of how to address any acoustics issues we are having at my church and be able to give some advice in how to setup the system and room in future buildings (this is our second building and we plan on moving again soon). That coupled with my own general curiosity of the subject.
This is where my previous comments may apply.  What may be involved in satisfying your own curiosity and improving your mixing and system operation skills may be quite different than what would be appropriate for what might effectively be providing professional design services.  Please do not believe in or perpetuate the concept that someone can gain sufficient knowledge and expertise in acoustics and audio system design from reading a couple of books or attending a class to be qualified to offer or provide related professional services.
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Jason Lucas

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Re: Acoustics Consultants, how did you learn what you know?
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2012, 11:11:50 am »


This is where my previous comments may apply.  What may be involved in satisfying your own curiosity and improving your mixing and system operation skills may be quite different than what would be appropriate for what might effectively be providing professional design services.  Please do not believe in or perpetuate the concept that someone can gain sufficient knowledge and expertise in acoustics and audio system design from reading a couple of books or attending a class to be qualified to offer or provide related professional services.

My church has thus far been quite hesitant to pay the money to bring professionals in. I have yet to convince them that it is worth it to bring in one to design a speaker system, to find the ideal placement for the speakers, or to acoustically treat the room. So, if they decide not to ever pay for such services, I'd like to at least know enough to "get by", so that we don't wind up making some bad mistakes.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Acoustics Consultants, how did you learn what you know?
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2012, 12:05:12 pm »

My church has thus far been quite hesitant to pay the money to bring professionals in. I have yet to convince them that it is worth it to bring in one to design a speaker system, to find the ideal placement for the speakers, or to acoustically treat the room. So, if they decide not to ever pay for such services, I'd like to at least know enough to "get by", so that we don't wind up making some bad mistakes.
That kinda sounds like "I feel sick-but don't want to pay for a doctors visit-can you recommend a book that can tell me what is wrong-so that I can try to fix myself".

Some things are simple and others are a lot more complicated.  it really depends on what the specific problem is.

Like with acoustic treatment-is the problem trying to "tame the room down a bit" or a specific reflection that is causing problems in the room-and is that problem a reflection causing a cancellation or a descrete echo?

Of which both problems may be fixed by changing the loudspeaker position-aiming or type.

WIthout knowing a lot more specific information-it is really hard to figure out what a proper solution might be-just like the medical doctor.  Sorry.
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Jason Lucas

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Re: Acoustics Consultants, how did you learn what you know?
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2012, 12:28:09 pm »

That kinda sounds like "I feel sick-but don't want to pay for a doctors visit-can you recommend a book that can tell me what is wrong-so that I can try to fix myself".

Some things are simple and others are a lot more complicated.  it really depends on what the specific problem is.

Like with acoustic treatment-is the problem trying to "tame the room down a bit" or a specific reflection that is causing problems in the room-and is that problem a reflection causing a cancellation or a descrete echo?

Of which both problems may be fixed by changing the loudspeaker position-aiming or type.

WIthout knowing a lot more specific information-it is really hard to figure out what a proper solution might be-just like the medical doctor.  Sorry.

Actually for me I'd always rather try a home remedy than go to the doctor. Haven't been to a hospital in probably 12 years. But that's beside the point.

I'm not asking for you guys to try and diagnose any issues (had a big thread already in the church sound sub-forum that wound up going nowhere). Although FWIW "taming the room down a bit" is what I'm going for, as well as removing major peaks and nulls.

I am fully aware that there is a right way of doing things and that it's better to do things the right way, but the people I work with are pretty set in their ways. If they don't want to hire a professional I'm stuck with whatever I know how to do and whatever they'll let me do.
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There are three things I hate: Harsh highs, hollow mids, and woofy bass.

g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Acoustics Consultants, how did you learn what you know?
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2012, 12:40:26 pm »

My church has thus far been quite hesitant to pay the money to bring professionals in. I have yet to convince them that it is worth it to bring in one to design a speaker system, to find the ideal placement for the speakers, or to acoustically treat the room. So, if they decide not to ever pay for such services, I'd like to at least know enough to "get by", so that we don't wind up making some bad mistakes.

Your crusade for better sound seems to be pretty much an individual quest.  If they don't want to pay for improvements, let them go their merry way and find someone else to save from folly.
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Jason Lucas

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Re: Acoustics Consultants, how did you learn what you know?
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2012, 01:16:22 pm »

Your crusade for better sound seems to be pretty much an individual quest.  If they don't want to pay for improvements, let them go their merry way and find someone else to save from folly.

I'm not going to leave this church. These people are like family to me, and they're actually really great people, they're just a bit misguided when it comes to sound.

They have a skewed idea of worth when it comes to sound. They would rather spend $10,000 on new speakers and hang them up wherever they look best than pay a couple hundred dollars to have a professional come in and properly install a less expensive system. They'd rather throw some "acoustic panels" up on the ceiling (they haven't yet, thankfully...) than have an acoustics consultant come in and tell us the proper way to combat the issues we have with the room.

They've talked a lot to this guy who has a church in Washington who's pretty experienced in the area of sound. They trust his opinion on things. If I could get him or someone like him to come down and tell them what I've been trying to for so long maybe they'd listen. I don't know.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2012, 01:17:56 pm by Jason Lucas »
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There are three things I hate: Harsh highs, hollow mids, and woofy bass.

g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Acoustics Consultants, how did you learn what you know?
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2012, 01:42:36 pm »

I'm not going to leave this church. These people are like family to me, and they're actually really great people, they're just a bit misguided when it comes to sound.

They have a skewed idea of worth when it comes to sound. They would rather spend $10,000 on new speakers and hang them up wherever they look best than pay a couple hundred dollars to have a professional come in and properly install a less expensive system. They'd rather throw some "acoustic panels" up on the ceiling (they haven't yet, thankfully...) than have an acoustics consultant come in and tell us the proper way to combat the issues we have with the room.

They've talked a lot to this guy who has a church in Washington who's pretty experienced in the area of sound. They trust his opinion on things. If I could get him or someone like him to come down and tell them what I've been trying to for so long maybe they'd listen. I don't know.

Jason.......

Some rules of life:

1.  You can't do anyone any favors.

2.  No good deed goes unpunished.

3.  The messenger will be the first casualty.

Fair?  No.

Human?  Yup.
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Jason Lucas

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Re: Acoustics Consultants, how did you learn what you know?
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2012, 05:35:03 pm »

Well, while we're on the subject;

Assuming they do decide, once we move to our next building, to actually take my advice and have a consultant involved in the planning stages from the very beginning, who would you guys recommend?
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There are three things I hate: Harsh highs, hollow mids, and woofy bass.

Ivan Beaver

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Re: Acoustics Consultants, how did you learn what you know?
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2012, 07:04:06 pm »

as well as removing major peaks and nulls.


That statement is a HUGE undertaking-with quite a bit of both acoustics and sound systems.

FIRST you have to accurately identify the areas that have problems-and then try to determine what is causing those "peaks and nulls".

THEN you have to figure out what sort of approach (electrical or acoustical) would be best to solve/fix it.

While it 'sounds simple" it is FAR from it.  Some things you simply can't do anything about-short of tearing down the building-AND YES I HAVE told churches that they have built a STUPID room and the best thing is to tear it down and start over.

There is NO simple answer for that problem-usually-but who knows-maybe you will be lucky.
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A complex question is easily answered by a simple-easy to understand WRONG answer!

Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

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