I recently attended concerts at two out-of-state prestigious university level music schools, and from a noise control point of view, the auditoria couldn’t have been more different. While the room acoustics of both halls were superb, the background noise level in one was quite distracting.
At first, I thought the weather had taken a sudden turn for the worse with high winds and pouring rain heard through the windows. Then I realized it was the perimeter heating radiators making all that racket!
I sat there reflecting on why one school prioritized excellent HVAC noise design while the other did not. Was it existing equipment that no one paid attention to during a renovation? Budget constraints? Lack of alternate options? Not enough complaints from audience members? How long has this problem existed? Have people just learned to ignore it?
I hope that this problem is something they plan to fix. Reducing the background noise will make the music more dramatic with truly silent rests and undisturbed quiet passages. It would benefit the performers and audience alike, and allow this performance space live up to its true potential.
At Acoustics By Design, our acoustical consultants help schools and universities address their noise control issues. From disturbing HVAC noise in performing arts centers to loud HVAC noise that hinders learning in classrooms, we help optimize learning and listening environments for sound.