The Importance of Auralization in Acoustic Engineering

Your architectural team has presented a breathtaking rendering of a proposed hotel lobby. It features expansive glass and marble vistas, with windows stretching from lobby floor to third-floor ceiling. It is certain to become one of the most memorable hotel lobby experiences that anyone will ever have. But there is a great unanswered question, which is, will it be memorable for the wrong reason? Large acoustic spaces, designed with appearance in mind, and without the benefit of acoustical design services, often result in a space that is beautiful to look at, but also disappointing or even unusable acoustically.

Auralization is the process of creating an acoustic simulation of what a space will sound like, in advance of its actual creation. It is an audio corollary to the term “visualization.” With the use of extensive computer modeling and acoustic rendering, a future room can be auditioned with a variety of different acoustical engineering service options. It removes guesswork and replaces the act of hoping everything will turn out sounding okay, with the certainty that everything absolutely will sound excellent.

Maybe a proposed space will be used for many different types of events, requiring different acoustical behavior from the room. Auralization allows us to acoustically render and simulate those environments, which in turn allows you to evaluate the desired outcomes. With movable acoustic absorbers and diffusors, executed in whatever aesthetically appropriate style you require, you will have the ability to alter the room’s acoustic behavior as needed – and you can hear what it will sound like before construction begins.

There was a sports arena in Seattle, Washington, called the Kingdome. It was built in the 1970s and featured an interior whose surfaces were nearly all cement, including the enormous dome-shaped ceiling. The designers did not give any thought to what such a structure might sound like, and there were no acoustical designers on the project. As a result, the Kingdome had a reverberation decay of 12 seconds. The sound that first hit your ear 12 seconds ago was continually overlapping with all the other sounds of the following 12 seconds. The Kingdome was deemed the worst sounding sports arena ever constructed.

In Kingston Ontario, the Leon Centre (formally K Rock Centre) stands as a monument to acoustical design services. The stadium was designed as a sports and entertainment stadium where the Kingston Frontenacs play and the Tragically Hip performed their final show. Valcoustics was involved in the acoustic design of the centre and are proud to have been involved in the creation of this monumental location.

Auralization, as employed by our acoustical consulting service experts, gives you advance knowledge of how your new space will sound and react. It prevents any chance of “Kingdome” acoustics and assures a beautiful sounding room.

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