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Nov 01, 2007

A group of graduate students from the Penn State acoustics program has been measuring the sound levels of crowd noise at Nittany Lions football games. One purpose of this work is to make calibrated recordings that can be piped in to football practices to simulate loud crowds.

This is the kind of game planning you can do when your university has a top-notch football program and a top-notch acoustics program. Of course you can put Purdue and the University of Miami in that same category.

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This piece from the Northwestern Midell Washington Program is focused on airport noise, but it does a good job describing the negative effects of noise on people.

Unfortunately many people think we can all “get used” to noisy environments without realizing that long-term noise exposure can cause problems with concentration and learning not to mention sleep disruption and serious medical problems.

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It wasn’t enough to build a top-of-the-line home theater system. The owners wanted to make sure that the homeowner could watch his high-octane action movies in their full sonic glory without disturbing family members in other rooms. As a result, the custom home theater was designed to incorporate sound insulating techniques where possible.

The article is written in lay terms so the exact construction methods aren’t detailed, but it looks like the home theater uses mass-loaded vinyl, double-walled construction, resilient channel, and a floating floor. One thing that’s not clear from the article is whether proper room treatment was applied, but the pictures show a blend of hard walls and absorptive panels on the ceiling and walls, so it appears the room acoustics were given at least minimal attention.

This project is a good example of why you want to get an acoustical expert involved before the contractor breaks out the hammer. While it does cost money up front to design and build the sound insulation at the beginning of a project, it will cost a lot more (and by more, I mean “an order of magnitude more”) to have to rip out everything you just built to retrofit the room after the fact.

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