Audio

TECHNOLOGY SHOWCASE: Sound Masking & Acoustical Products

6/07/2017 6:15 PM Eastern Last updated at 6/23/2017 1:26 PM
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This month, we highlight sound masking equipment and other acoustically engineered products that enhance privacy and comfort in spaces small and large.

The FLEX-48 Adaptive Treatment System by Acoustical Fulfillment is a unique mechanical acoustical system that allows users to alter the acoustical properties of a room in a matter of minutes. The main components are the FulFill Acoustical Panel and the reflective Flex-Shield. The brushed stainless steel Flex-Tray serves as the mounting device for both the panel and the shield. When fully exposed, with no shield in place, the FulFill panel behaves as a passive absorber, removing energy from the room. When the FlexShield is installed, a barrel type diffusor is created. The higher frequencies are now scattered evenly throughout the room, retaining liveliness, while the mid and low frequencies continue to pass through to the FulFill panel. The air gap between the Flex-Shield and the FulFill panel combined with the sympathetic vibration of the Flex-Shield increases the lowfrequency absorption of the panel.

Acoustical Surfaces’ Silk Metal Ceiling Tiles are micro-perforated aluminum sound absorber panels that greatly reduce echo and sound reflections. They have a smooth, elegant appearance, with an excellent claimed NRC Rating of 0.80 per ASTM C423 with no acoustic backing necessary (with a 4in. air space). Resembling smooth silk fabric, these beautiful and affordable tegular or flat tiles install easily into any standard 15/16in. ceiling grid, and are also available as custom wall panels. Acoustical Fulfillment FLEX-48 Adaptive Treatment System Acoustical Surfaces Silk Metal Ceiling Tiles SVCONLINE.COM | JUNE 2017 | SVC 27 TECH SHOWCASE Silk Metal Tiles are cost-effective and easily installed, with anodized and custom printing options. Stock sizes are 2ft.x2ft. and 2ft.x4ft.; stock colors are white, black, and clear.

Acoustic First’s Sonora Acoustical Wall Panels, previously referred to as Respond Panels, are used to reduce echo and reverberation in applications, small and large. These panels are manufactured from a rigid highdensity (6-7 PCF) glass fiber acoustical board and covered with an acoustically transparent fabric. The edges on these decorative wall panels are chemically hardened and offer several edge design choices. These absorbers are suitable for all applications including offices, recording, broadcast, worship facilities, schools, gymnasiums, museums, auditoriums, theaters, or any application that requires an acoustical solution. Sonora sound panels also make a great alternative to fabric stretch wall systems.

AtlasIED’s ASP-MG24TDB advances sound masking control including time-based level control, while providing the secondary benefit of loudspeaker processing for the most popular AtlasIED loudspeaker systems. The ASP-MG24 is 1RU, two-input with four masking generators by four-output DSP, configurable by a very intuitive GUI. Dedicated 1/3 octave filter sets are available for each of the four generator outputs; eight-band parametric EQ blocks, along with dynamic control, are available for each of the two mic/line inputs. Any mix of all six inputs may be easily matrixed to the four output DSP blocks for additional parametric equalization, delay, and limiting (if required). For loudspeaker control functionality, the ASP-MG24TDB may be configured in two-input, four-output mode for stereo full range. Other configurations include full range plus sub operation with AtlasIED FAP ceiling loudspeakers, SM series surface mount loudspeakers, or AH series stadium horns for complete control of crossover types, equalization, delay, and dynamic control. Computer interface is simplified by USB, RS-232, and Ethernet connection (no USB to Serial adapter is required). External UL listed international voltage power supply is included.

The DeskMAX from Auralex Acoustics is a portable, lightweight, variable, and highly effective absorption treatment. It is designed for permanent recording and makeshift setups (for instance, podcasting), mixing and live performance applications. Equally appropriate in the studio, classroom, home office, boardroom, or on the stage, DeskMAX can be used anywhere boundary-mounted acoustical treatments aren’t feasible or desired. It is ideal for musicians and voiceover professionals working in rented spaces and can also be used as a very effective amplifier and speaker cabinet baffle. The pair of 2’x2’x3” DeskMAX panels are made from Auralex Studiofoam; they mount to the included desktop stands and store in a convenient travel bag that accommodates both panels and stands.

Cambridge Sound Management’s Qt Patient Privacy System is a cost-effective sound masking solution to protect patient and staff conversations in all types of medical facilities, where patient privacy is critical and enforced via HIPAA regulations. Sound privacy regulations apply in all situations and are often overlooked in open-floor plan waiting areas, and in patient rooms—where sound can easily travel over walls and through glass. The Cambridge direct-field sound masking technology adds a low-level background sound inside waiting rooms or patient exam rooms. The safe background sound is optimized to mask human speech, which makes it harder to overhear conversations at a distance.

Draper’s EchoControl reduces reverberation—echo—inside a room, as well as the overall level of sound in a space. The motorized or manual shades can address echo off windows, while simultaneously addressing light issues. EchoControl claims a Noise Auralex Acoustics DeskMAX Draper EchoControl Cambridge Sound Management Qt Patient Privacy System 30 SVC | JUNE 2017 | SVCONLINE.COM TECH SHOWCASE Reduction Coefficient of 0.60. The Noise Reduction Coefficient ASTM C423-90a rates the ability of a material to absorb sound. Zero is completely reflective, and one is completely absorptive. The NRC is calculated by averaging the frequencies of 250Hz, 500Hz, 1000Hz, 2000Hz, and 4000Hz, rounded to the nearest multiple of 0.05. In addition to its sound absorption properties, Draper EchoControl is a light filtering window shade. It diffuses light, reduces glare, controls solar heat gain, and reduces fading of interior furnishings. It’s Greenguard Gold certified, so there’s no off-gassing, and it’s infused with Microban antimicrobial product protection.

GeerFab Acoustics’ MultiZorber OC703 panel features a 2in. Owens Corning 703 substrate and the InvisiGrommet mounting system, with the grommets flush to the back of the panel, allowing it to be wall mounted with a pair of finishing nails. The MZ OC703 is completely encapsulated in attractive, acoustically transparent Guilford fabric on the front and nylon sailcloth on the back. It can be hung on a wall vertically or horizontally, as a free-hanging baffle, leaned against a wall, hung on a mic stand, or friction-mounted in a corner to trap low frequencies. The MZ OC703 can be removed just as quickly, and transported easily for use in another studio or recording environment.

GIK Acoustics Gotham N23 5” Skyline Diffusor is a precision-cut, 23-root, twodimensional Quadratic Skyline Diffusor is based on a 23-root quadratic sequence. This reportedly yields a working diffusion range from 1250hz to 9500hz with scattering effects down to 650hz, diffusing damaging reflections, while retaining higher frequencies. The diffuser is machine cut within .02 to a quadratic sequence; made of paintable MDF, it mounts without glue or destructive adhesive.

With more open environments and exposed ceilings becoming the norm, a decorative solution for sound masking has been difficult to find. As part of Lencore’s Spectra i.Net system, the Pendant Speaker offers an attractive, commercial-grade option when aesthetics and sound quality are of equal concern. The Pendant Speaker comes with a gem box for Cat-5e connections at the deck location. The speakers can also be mounted to the ceiling or a beam and allow for Cat-5e connections directly to the speaker.

Meyer Sound’s Constellation is a digital approach to controlling reverberation time, early reflections, and other key acoustic ingredients vital to the sonic clarity, warmth, and resonance of a space. The system integrates Meyer loudspeakers, microphones, digital processing, patented algorithms, and proprietary certification techniques to customize the acoustics of a theater, restaurant, boardroom, visitor center—or even zones within those spaces. The system’s unique flexibility allows users to define multiple sonic profiles for the same room, allowing them to change the acoustics of a space at will. The liveliness of the space (or zone) can be customized to individual productions, user profiles, varying event sizes, or even time of day, among other variables.

Primacoustic Element Panels are a range of acoustic absorbers designed to give users more aesthetic options in their rooms. Rather than being limited to the typical square and rectangular panels found in most studios, the hexagonal shape and beveled edges allow the panels to be installed in unique patterns and clusters. In this way, primary reflections and flutter echo can be controlled with an acoustic treatment layout that is personalized to individual spaces. The 16in. (406mm) Element panels are 1.5in. (3.8cm) thick, and are constructed from 6lb. high-density glass wool for optimal broadband absorption. As with all Primacoustic panels, Element panels have been tested to achieve stringent Class-A fire ratings, making them safe for use in installations worldwide. The Element panels are available in black, grey, or beige Broadway acoustic fabric, or in Primacoustic’s proprietary Paintables white finish.

The Yamaha MRX7-D audio processor offers outstanding control efficiency and flexibility for a broad spectrum of complex audio environments such as hospitals, shopping malls, hotel ballrooms, educational facilities, libraries, performing arts venues, movie theaters, convention centers, and corporate conference rooms. The MRX7-D audio processor deploys an Acoustic Echo Canceller, built-in Dante networking capability, Dugan automatic mixing for multiple microphone inputs, and includes Yamaha patented technology for sound masking with a “speech privacy” component that can mask conversations where confidential information must be protected.

ABOUT CHRISTOPHER MAIONE, CTSD, DSCE, DMC-D - Christopher Maione is a recognized leader and consultant in the AV industry with more than 28 years of audiovisual expertise. Maione now focuses his attention in two areas; representing the end-user on large scale AV projects and helping companies grow their business within the AV market. Well versed in all aspects of AV, IT, Integrated Technologies, AV Industry Standards, Green AV and best practices and protocols, Maione is an Adjunct InfoComm Faculty Member and an accredited CTS RU provider and serves on a variety of key industry standard committees. For more info please contact info@chrismaione.com.

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