Due to the acoustics of many practice and rehearsal room, from elementary to college music schools students are many times hampered by distracting reverberations while trying to practice.
However, there is a remedy for poor rehearsal room acoustics, which is also surprisingly easy on school budgets. RoomTune is a new line of unobtrusive acoustical treatment components by Michael Green Design. As an accomplished musician and sound engineer, Michael has assisted many professional, commercial, and residential facilities achieve enhanced listening environments. Michael green has turned his attention to schools and other institutions.
According to Green, there are three most common acoustical problems which usually exist in practice studios and the rehearsal room: One, lack of localization - the inability to hear the source at its actual location in the room. Two, noise level - the volume of echo and reverberation. And three, sonic falsehood - the room adding to or dampening the sound of the instrument.
RoomTune components are relatively small acoustic control devices that work by adjusting the way acoustical energy travels along walls and collects at ceiling and wall seams. Made of a pillow type material and encased in Mylar they attach to the wall and strategically attack acoustic problems, claims Green.
Green also notes that when properly installed, those components allow sound to develop fully without attempting to diffuse or absorb the crucial harmonic structures being created. The sound is neither dull nor sterile, but clean and true, enabling players to hear each other better and play in tune together. Also by more closely replicating the acoustics that instrumentalists will encounter on stage, the tuned rehearsal room provides musicians with a more predictable environment.
Room Tune also localizes sound making it easy for the conductor to detect the exact location of problems such as intonation, balance and tonal inconsistencies - so problems can be corrected before they become bad habits.
According to Michael Green Designs, RoomTune has been found to be highly effective in the lower level and secondary schools as well as prestigious music schools. A room known for its booming and uneven acoustics has been transformed into a superb multi purpose space, effective for a wide range of ensembles, including vocal, brass quartets, quintets and even octets, as well as for teaching and lecturing. James Undercoflerm Director of the Eastman School of Music, in Rochester New York, "It is now a desirable space for rehearsals and small performances." Undercofler pointed out that various attempts to improve the acoustics of the 78 year old room had included the use of heavy draperies and acoustical wall tile, all with little effect.
Students at Naples Central School, Naples, New York also were impressed when ROOMTUNE was installed in the band room. Said Director Scott Kickbush, " I never realized how distorted the sound was", said Kickbush, "it was almost as though the entire room was out tune, creating a ghost like third player producing a buzzing sound. The RoomTune components totally eliminated the echoes and reverberation building up along the walls and corners, and, above all in my ears. I can now easily identify and place sounds, and the whole assembly sound seems so much more harmonious."
The way RoomTune works is broken into 3 steps with 3 separate components. Placed in the corner at ceiling height, the triangular Pro Series CornerTune slows the travel of energy, providing controlled direction of sound. Wave forms returning to the room are now structured similarly to the original sound. Ambient noise is dramatically reduced as tonal balance and sense of localization is realized.
The Pro Series EchoTune, also placed at the ceiling height, adjusts room harmonics. EchoTune reduces the pressure that occurs when acoustical energy traveling the ceiling at mid wall seams builds, creating an echo slap effect. The room becomes less reverberant and listening levels more balanced.
The third component is the Pro Series TuneStrip. As air pressure travels along the mid wall, existing energy moves along and away from the wall surfaces and is met with a continuous new generation of pressure created by the music source. This convergence of old and new energy further disturbs the harmonic structure. TuneStrips placed at mid wall height prevent the series of sound wave patterns from occurring and dramatically increase the tonal production of the listening environment.
According to Michael Green, installation is simple. Standard #10, #12 by .25" plastic anchors are drilled into the wall to secure the components to masonry, plaster or drywall surfaces. Usually one maintenance person can install a 14' x 30' x 8' area in a few hours.
RoomTune components are available individually or as a part a Pro Series TunePak for rooms larger than 14' x 12' x 8'. For rooms of this size or smaller, such as a small practice studio, there is a RoomTune Mini Pro Series TunePak with slightly smaller components. Components include the Pro Series CornerTune, the Pro Series EchoTune and the Pro Series TuneStrip. Other, rigid framed components are available for enhanced acoustical control. Worth noting is the Pro Series Wall Mount Pressure Zone Controller with adjustable tuning board. It makes rehearsal rooms adjustable for accurate tonal balance, group size and program material. A typical 14 x 30 rectangular band room with an 8' ceiling can be acoustically renovated with PZCs for approximately $2500.00.
Due to the high effectiveness, easy installation and low cost, RoomTune has become the acoustical solution for many schools both in the band room and the classroom.