The problem with noisy arenas

A large cavernous sports arena is a great place to take in a game or concert but, all too often, the complaint is: “It didn’t sound very good.” These large spaces are typically made from hard reflective building materials such as cinder block or concrete and are furnished with glass, hardwood flooring or ice. When the PA system is turned on, the combination of announcements, crowd noise and the resulting ‘message’ can generate a reverb trail (RT time) that can last upwards to six (6) seconds, severely blurring the message.  The typical fix is to install multiple speaker arrays in effort to distribute the messaging system to various zones in effort to localize the sound. This invariably introduces a new problem known as comb-filtering whereby multiple sound sources and the room echo combine – causing certain frequencies to amplify when in-phase while others cancel out when out-of-phase. This, along with the pervasive reverb, deteriorates intelligibility to the point where the PA is no longer effective. Communication to the crowd is impossible and important security and safety messages are no longer effectively transmitted or received. Turning up or replacing the PA system only serves to exacerbate the problem. Simply stated: One cannot eliminate echo with louder speakers.

How can Primacoustic help you?

Treat the problem by absorbing excessive acoustic energy using a combination of Broadway™ acoustic wall panels and suspending Saturna™ baffles or Nimbus™ clouds from the ceiling.  Applying between 10% and 20% wall coverage will bring the RT time below one (1) second and significantly improve intelligibility. This provides clarity and articulation to the audio program, enhancing the customer/attendee experience. Installation is as easy as putting up a picture. To attenuate wall-borne reflections, Broadway panels are mounted to available wall surfaces using Impalers™. Saturna baffles and Nimbus clouds are even more efficient as they are able to absorb acoustic energy on both sides of the panel while also trapping reflections off the roof.  These are suspended from the ceiling using adjustable SlipNot™ aircraft cables. Once in place, multimedia presentations jump from the screen as the excitement of the audio program becomes articulate and focused. PA announcements become clear and easily heard over the crowd noise, enabling the engineered sound system to perform to its full potential. Improved acoustics provide the concert goer with the full impact of the show as the sound system is not fighting the room to be heard. This also enables the arena to be used for conventions, trade shows and other events that require reasonably good acoustics. And with a more functional PA system, intelligibility is significantly increased which serves to enhance the all-important safety and evacuation messaging. The venue will soon garner a reputation as “sounding good” for concerts and presentations increasing its prestige in the community.

Executive Summary

  • Reduces reverberation enabling the PA system to perform properly
  • Improves intelligibility, eliminates ‘straining’ to hear what is being said
  • Assures important messages and safety instructions are being received
  • Passive technology is never obsolete, never requires servicing
  • Increases functionality of the room, expands revenue streams