MONTHLY NEWSLETTERS

April 2024 Newsletter: Current Affairs

A buzzing florescent bulb. Crackling power lines. A humming computer graphics card. We can all recognize the distinctive sounds of electricity that surround us, but where does this noise actually come from? Read on to discover some of the ways electricity and acoustics intersect.

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March 2024 Newsletter: To be or not to be… Intelligible

Have you ever sat in a noisy restaurant and had a hard time understanding your server, or been on a train and heard every word of a conversation being held three rows behind you? In both of these situations, you were aware of speech intelligibility. Sometimes, good speech intelligibility is key, such as in classrooms or conference rooms. At other times, we want to reduce speech intelligibility and improve speech privacy, such as in open offices. Read on to learn about some of the factors that go into making speech intelligible (or not).

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February 2024 Newsletter: Wading the Acoustical Waters

Acoustics is a field that is difficult to understand. Subtle distinctions between metrics, technical jargon, and non-arithmetic mathematics create a perfect storm of confusion for those who don’t normally swim the waters. There are common malapropisms that we hear time and time again, which we would like to put to rest. From the existence of silence to the use of the term “soundproofing,” read on to learn how to avoid misusing these words.

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January 2024 Newsletter: Reflected Sound for the Soul

In last month’s newsletter we discussed room modes, a standing wave phenomenon created by the geometry of a space. This month, we’ll carry on with our discussion of interior room acoustics, and focus on the control of reflected sound in a room. While recording studios and performance venues are often the first spaces that spring to mind when considering reflection control, many less prestigious spaces can benefit from thoughtful treatment, especially those that require good speech intelligibility such as lecture halls, classrooms, and conference rooms. Read on to learn more about surface finishes in the acoustician’s arsenal.

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December 2023 Newsletter: Acoustics a la Mode!

Picture this: you’re standing in your kitchen fixing a cup of coffee, and you notice a low, throbbing sound of unknown origin. You chalk it up to your caffeine-starved imagination, and proceed to your window overlooking the city. As you make your way through the apartment, the sound disappears…that is, until you reach the window, where the throb returns. As you traverse back and forth, you realize that the sound disappears halfway between the coffee machine and window. Before starting on any conspiracy theory, consider this: you may be affected by a room mode! Read on to understand how these acoustic phenomenon form and how to combat them.

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November 2023 Newsletter: Vibrations & Excitations

Among our clients, there is often confusion between what is sound and what is vibration. We concede that the two can be difficult to distinguish to the untrained ear. Read on to learn more about the relationship between the two and how vibration can transduce into sound.

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October 2023 Newsletter: Ancient Architectural Acoustics

The world of modern architectural acoustics is still relatively young, with calculations and standards being refined to this day. This reality makes the acoustical achievements of the ancient world all the more impressive. Read on to learn about a few different ancient structures that produce impressive acoustic phenomenon!

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September 2023 Newsletter: Vinyl Unveiled

More than a few of us at Metropolitan Acoustics are vinyl record enthusiasts. Vinyl is a true survivor, having outlasted all of its would-be physical media successors. Ultimately, not even the digital compact disc could dethrone the analog ambassador of high-fidelity. Streaming services and compressed audio deliver us fast-food quality music that gets the job done when we are in a rush or on the move, but the ritual of laying down the needle to the groove has yet to be outdone. Read on to learn more about how vinyl and the turntable bring warm music to our ears.

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