Thursday, February 13, 2014

KTVU: Taming a Noisy Newsroom

KTVU in Northern California recently implemented a remodel of its newsroom, going from a closed office space to an open environment. While this kind of space is more collaborative, it can also be pretty noisy as the sounds of each department blast through the air and bounce off the walls, floors and ceilings. In this space, loud police scanners, raging phones, and live broadcast monitors created a noise level that negatively impacted working staff's concentration.

When enough was enough, Jim Haman, KTVU's director of broadcast operations, contacted MSR's engineering division, PMI, to see what could be done. "We're certainly familiar with acoustic baffling in studios and announce booths, but within a larger room with multiple sources of sounds, it was more complicated to find a single solution," explained Haman. "Scanners, audio from computers and overall room noise was combining to a level that was affecting individuals and their tolerance of 'noise.' Short of installing Sonex squares on all the walls, we didn't know the best way to isolate the sounds and then damp the room effectively."

PMI ran a series of acoustical tests, and created a set of remediation steps including:

  • Application of MSR Acoustics' SoN absorber modules on the walls and ceiling to soak up the excessive echoing (modules were spec'd in grey to match KTVU's logo)
  • Custom engineering a series of directional loudspeakers for the police scanners so that they focus sound toward the news gathering team, and away from the rest of the news departments

As soon as the acoustical tuning solutions were installed, the newsroom was significantly quieted, allowing everyone to better focus on their work. Note to architects, interior designers, contractors and installers: If you're designing open-floor spaces you are most certainly going to run into acoustical issues - call us first to save time and frustration - we are experts and we can help!

 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

High Performance Installations: Self Storage Listening Room

Our client has a large self-storage unit for his collection of classic cars and wanted to add a top-of-the-line 2-channel audiophile environment to the space. The storage space is approximately the size of a small airplane hangar, and is located next to the Monterey Regional airport that services major 737 carriers. As you can imagine, jet noise and audiophile music could have been a combustible combination. PMI Engineering was hired to design a complete sound-proofed room, and MSR supplied specialty sound isolation materials along with a Dimension4 Symphony acoustical tuning system. The end result was music to the client's ears!



   


For more info on MSR's innovative acoustical solutions, please visit our website.

Friday, January 10, 2014

MSR Acoustics at 2014 International CES

At the 2014 International CES we participated in the Elite Home Entertainment Experience, lauded as an "over-the-top, killer home theater demo experience" by reporter John Sciacca from Residential Systems magazine!  

MSR supplied a Dimension4 Symphony 550 acoustical tuning system to control the room's internal acoustics. PMI engineered the room acoustics, optics, room and audio system layout, and screen specifications. In a matter of a day and half, our group created a world-class private screening room inside a basic ballroom of the Venetian congress area.

 
In partnership with the fine people from Triad Speakers, ADA, BitWise, Digital Projections, Screen Excellence, D-BOX, Fortress, Kaleidescape, PPC, and Torus Power, we set up the speakers, lighting, video, programming, source material, etc. Great picture, great sound, motion seats, easily controlled; a dream come true for any discerning AV client.

We ran demos every 15 minutes and people were lined up to get in. Although we were located on the lower level of the Venetian (which is not usually well- traveled), the demo was so popular people came from all over to experience it! 



For more information on MSR acoustical tuning solutions, please visit our website

Friday, November 29, 2013

High Performance Installations: San Jose Audiophiles

An audiophile family dedicated the living room of their single-family home in San Jose, California to the pursuit of high-quality sound and picture. They had already purchased top-of-the-line electronics and loudspeakers, and after attending a presentation by Anthony Grimani at Century Stereo last fall, decided it was time to upgrade the acoustics of their listening room. Anthony measured the space, ran acoustical tests on the room, and determined the needed corrections and upgrades. MSR supplied an acoustical tuning system mainly composed of Dimension4 Symphony modules and coordinated the installation.   

This is one of the first installation of MSR's new Eclypse Drape - it has the look of a rich velour fabric, but is actually acoustically-transparent fabric on top of blackout vinyl with thick strips of flannel absorptive material. This drape provides the correct balance of absorption and diffusion, while avoiding the common effect of a solid drape over-absorbing a room.


   


PMI Engineering dispatched chief engineer, Manny LaCarrubba, to calibrate the electronics and loudspeakers in the room. Manny used the digital equalization functions inside the Classé ultra-high-end surround processor to tune the speaker responses to the room's character. After extensive listening tests to 2-channel and multi-channel audio and film program material, the clients were pleased as punch and gave great kudos to MSR's acoustical tuning systems!
For more info on MSR's innovative acoustical solutions, please visit our website.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

PMI and Audio Images Sweep CEDIA's 2013 Electronic Lifestyle Awards

PMI and integrator Audio Images won five of the top awards for Home Theater Technical Design excellence at this year’s CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles® Awards, more than any other company in this year’s Home Theater category!

Winning the Best Overall Home Theater and a Gold Technical Design award (in the $1M & up category) was an opulent theater that is part of a drop-dead gorgeous entertainment wing of an extravagant estate in Irvine, California. In addition to a state-of-the-art home theater, the entertainment wing includes a pizzeria, nightclub, and vintage arcade. A monumental project like this needed an equally monumental team which included TK Theaters (designer) and SH Acoustics (engineering design). This project was also featured on HGTV’s “Million Dollar Rooms” where Theo Kalomirakis gave a personal tour of this amazing space. Click to read the full story on this project.  Click here to see the HGTV video.

Winning a Gold Technical Design award (in the $251-350k category) was a refined high-quality Orange County, California, dedicated home cinema features full-on sound isolation, carefully engineered AV, acoustics, ventilation and noise control, along with an interior style that matches a modern-whimsical interior décor in the rest of the artistically conceived house. The homeowner is a fan of high-quality products, but couldn’t tolerate any level of product failure or control system uncertainties, so the project had to yield a dedicated home cinema room with high quality sound and picture, proper sound privacy, carefully crafted esthetics standards, and ease of use. Click to read the full story.


A Gold Technical Design award (in the $151-250k category) was given to a project where the main objectives were to create a 10-seat home cinema with outstanding picture and sound, privacy from the main living spaces of the residence, and a design style that flowed naturally into the rest of the home. The client wanted the basement cinema in their new custom beachfront home in Dana Point, California to follow the traditional architectural look of the house. It had to retain the classical decor while being comfortable and delivering high performance quality. Click to read the full story.


Rounding out our winning streak was a Silver Technical Design award (in the $151-250k category) for a high-quality home theater on a waterfront property in Newport Beach, California. This client wanted a dedicated theater that could open up into the rest of the house for a variety of entertaining options. We created full sound isolation while using a side archway to open up the room to the rest of the house. Click to read the full story.

Congratulations to Audio Images and all of our partners and vendors who worked on these extraordinary projects. We are thrilled and honored to be part of these winning teams!

Click here to see the complete CEDIA award list. 

For more info and photos on PMI portfolio projects, please visit our website.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Versatile Cinema with Full Sound Isolation

With this Newport Beach, California project, the client wanted a dedicated home theater that could open up into the rest of the house for a variety of entertaining options. They wanted a rustic look to match the rest of the entertainment area of their waterfront property, evoking a comfortable feeling with a soft, light décor. In the lifestyle uses of the room, sometimes it would be open for entertaining and sometimes it would be closed down for private screenings.

A large opening with sliding door was a huge challenge for the sound isolation and the acoustical reflections in this room. A door system was designed with acoustic absorbers built into the panels and seals all around the frames. The room had limited height so the sight lines had to be very carefully studied. A layer of resiliently suspended sheet rock was added to the concrete structure in order to reduce standing wave resonances. Structural posts in the right concrete wall were enclosed in resilient wall structures and concealed behind the stretched fabric dress.

 


We installed a 110” wide 16:9 acoustically-transparent screen, along with a high definition projector. High-quality Triad front speakers were baffle-mounted and the center speaker was behind the AT screen. A system of four custom Triad subwoofers are distributed through the room in a way that eliminates standing waves. Four side surround speakers and two back surround speakers were deployed at strategic locations to guarantee optimal audience immersion. This full 7.1 channel system was tuned with a digital equalization processor.




Acoustical tuning package includes deep absorber and diffuser modules, bass traps, and ceiling treatment units. The top of the wood riser was custom perforated so as to form the Helmholtz bass absorber. All were carefully engineered and placed following latest findings from research into psychoacoustics. Equipment racks were concealed in a dedicated room down the hallway.


Ultimately, this project met all of the client's needs and desires, delivering a versatile, high-quality presentation, in a comfy environment.



Friday, September 27, 2013

Delivering Ultra-High Definition

This is a jewel box dedicated theater in an ultra-modern home. Sleek décor and lighting with comfortable seating. The objective was to give a really small room the feeling of a big-sound, big-picture screening room, with high-quality styling and equipment. The clients wanted a sleek and elegant look to match the luxurious aesthetic of rest of their modern home, with high-end architectural values. They wanted a room with a warm vibe, with styling that departed from the traditional theater with columns and proscenium.

before
after
The left wall door was at a critical acoustical location and we placed an absorber panel on it. The entire back wall was originally hard wood cabinetry, so we cut out some of the doors and installed fabric panels, both to conceal wideband absorbers and to take advantage of diffusion from inside the cabinets which contained shelving, CDs, gear, etc.

We specified a 153” PMI 2.0 acoustically-transparent screen with 2:1 aspect ratio, along with a 4k projector. All three top-of-the-line Meridian speakers were placed behind the screen at reference angles. A system of four JL Audio subwoofers are distributed throughout the room in a way that eliminates standing waves. We installed a full Meridian digital 7.1 channel system with HDMI switching, and using digital equalization in the Meridian processor.



The acoustical tuning package includes Dimension4 Sonata absorber and diffuser modules, bass traps, and ceiling treatment units. All were carefully engineered and placed following latest findings from research into psychoacoustics. Equipment racks were concealed down the hallway.





In the end, this is a small room that produces an immersive picture with really big sound without ever feeling cramped. We call this result “ultra high definition.”