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Apr 02, 2009

Auralex introduced a self-contained room analysis kit that allows customers to measure the acoustical room response properties and then send the data off to Auralex for analysis and room treatment recommendations.

As with their Room Analysis Plus and Room Analysis Pro program, this announcement seems to have some consultants worried that competition from yet another acoustical product vendors. I can sympathize with this concern - if clients can do all of this automatically, why do they need us? I can also sympathize with a company that would develop this type of product - after all, acoustical consultants are expensive (a topic for another blog post) and there is definitely money to be made in the low-cost market niche.

In the end, I suspect that there won’t be much overlap between clients willing to spend $300 for (essentially) a remote analysis versus those willing to spend a couple of thousand dollars for a hands-on assessment from an experienced consultant (and make no mistake: top-notch acoustical analysis requires on-site evaluation). But I do think this should serve as a reminder to us consultants that price does matters. If the consultant doesn’t address that market reality, than vendors will.

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Dick Campbell flagged an article about the use of auralization in athletic sports stadium design:

Describing the ballpark’s sound, however, is not so easy. There’s the roar of the crowd, of course, but your ear can’t break it down into distinct voices, or a range of frequencies. Your ear can’t go deeper into the sound.

But a computer can and frequently does. Acoustical consulting firms utilizing auralization software can build a virtual space with the exact dimensions of the arena, natatorium, ice rink, lobby or stadium you’re constructing or renovating, and help place loudspeakers or acoustical panels, or select finishes within the space, to ensure it sounds as it should.

The articled originally includes some a couple of audio file auralization examples, but the files seem to have been removed.

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