Understanding Sound - Get Quality Acoustic Treatment | Overtone Acoustics

By the time you’re finished reading this article, you should effectively have the same level of sonic knowledge as a tenured professor of physics.

Well, maybe not actually, but you should be able to apply a working understanding of sound to an acoustic treatment project you have in mind. Our goal is to equip you with some practical information so that you can more accurately determine what kind of sound absorbing solution you are in need of. After all, that’s the first step to achieving a professional-level recording studio or being the proud owner of a home theater that’s the envy of everyone you know!

That purpose being established, let’s dive in.

The Basics Of Sound

Let’s start with the high-level perspective. What we know as sound is actually small changes in air pressure that our eardrums are tuned to. These slight changes in air pressure move the eardrum back and forth which leads to a vibrating motion. This motion is then sent to the bone chain to the inner ear, where the vibration is distributed to the liquid in the inner ear. The auditory nerve picks up that signal and sends it to the brain. That’s where a neurologist would need to take the explaining duties over, however, so we’ll leave the physiological explanation at that.

Differentiating Sound

There are three ways in which we talk about sound: pitch (frequency), loudness, and quality. While we deem the details of each of these categories as being a bit too far in-depth for the purposes of this article, professionals will tell you that slight changes to any of these factors can severely impact the final result.

A Fourth Factor - The Listening Environment

A fourth variable in the equation which has to be considered is the setting in which the sound is heard. The acoustics of a given room can make or break the quality of sound achieved, irrespective of the musician’s talent or the quality of the instruments used.

The key is finding a balance between a room that is too “live” and a room that is “dead.” The former term refers to a room that has an excess of hard surfaces (glass windows, concrete, hardwood floors), which tends to cause the sound to bounce off walls repeatedly, leading to a sonically muddy result. A dead room is one with too many absorbing surfaces (thick carpeting, drapes, furniture). This contributes to the acoustics of a room by essentially making it sound like fresh snow has fallen, leaving you with a flat, dampened sound.

Finding a balance between the muffled and the muddy isn’t always easy because most rooms aren’t designed with sonic quality in mind. And while each listening environment is different from the next, we at Overtone Acoustics are capable of providing folks with custom solutions intended to solve the unique issues a room might have.

Most often, we deal with overly live rooms, but we are able to provide all kinds of acoustic treatment solutions to those who are in need. From soundproofing to sound absorbing to sound diffusing, we love working with our customers to find a tailored solution they can be excited about.

Now that you have a basic understanding of sound, be sure to browse our acoustic panels, bass traps, room kits, and custom acoustic treatment options we offer at Overtone Acoustics! Thanks for reading.