Oliver Masciarotte writes:
We’ve all been there, trapped in an airless room with grimy melamine foam on the walls and watermarked acoustical tiles in a suspended ceiling to look at when exasperation with the “talent” becomes too much. It doesn’t have to be that way… Enter Artnovion.
Since Wallace Sabine first sat in Harvard’s Sanders Theater thinking about the interaction of architecture, furniture, treatments, and people to modify the acoustics of a space, architectural acoustics has transformed rules of thumb into a scientific discipline. Today, acoustical CAD software instantly performs simulated transformations that would have taken Sabine and his students days or months to complete.
One aspect of architectural acoustics is that treatment I mentioned. In Sabine’s time, it was horsehair-stuffed upholstery, heavy fabrics, and overdressed Victorian patrons that provided the absorption, while statuary, coffered ceilings, and filigree surface treatments provided diffusion. My website (www.seneschal.net/annex/links.html#acoustical) has a list of more than 50 modern-day manufacturers of acoustical treatment. Most of them offer some mix of reticulated or machined foam and fabric products that, while performing their intended jobs, tend to make for a rather unattractive environment in which to work.
They also don’t take abrasion well, which dictates placement away from high traffic areas. About the most visually interesting products typically available are one- or two-dimensional Quadratic Residue Diffusers (QRDs), reflection phase gratings pioneered by Manfred Schroeder’s work starting in the mid 1970s. In stark contrast to the unappetizing industrial look that most vendors present, one manufacturer stands out. Artnovion, a newcomer to the acoustical treatment scene, combines a rigorous analytical approach to creating high-performance products with a decidedly European flair for arresting visual allure.
Read the whole article here.
This article was originally published in audioXpress, August 2016.