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MCH at ASA Denver 2022

MCHers gave several presentations at the Acoustical Society of America gathering in Denver, May 23 - 27, 2022.

Our presentations covered various topics regarding problematic data, renovation of music education facilities, and their retrofit to satisfy loudness complaints of music in rehearsal rooms.

Additionally, on Wednesday of the conference we had a blast at the highly-acclaimed ASA JAM, largely coordinated by Tony Hoover.

Tony Hoover, Arjun Shankar, and Dave Conant in Denver, CO

See paper abstracts below.


Thwarted by data, saved by fundamentals

(1aNS3: Standards, Codes, and Criteria Applications in the Real World I)

By Tony Hoover, Zachery L'Italien, Henry Ashburn

The overwhelming majority of acoustic data that are available to most architectural design professionals is in abbreviated single-number ratings, without details or full test reports. Omitted key details can greatly affect the actual performance.

Despite best intentions to satisfy codes and criteria, most of these designers do not adequately understand the acoustic fundamentals to recognize and then avoid significant problems and under-designed projects.

Examples of problems with data regarding sound isolation, HVAC noise, and sound-absorption will be discussed, along with suggestions toward better understanding and more-desirable/reliable end results.


Too loud? Sound absorption and volume as related to music educator's subjective response to rehearsal room loudness

(4pAA6: Music Education Facilities II)

By Arjun Shankar, David Conant, and Tony Hoover

Controlling loudness is important for successful music rehearsal rooms. Volume, sound absorption, and often shaping strongly influence music faculty acceptance regarding room loudness. We assessed various rehearsal rooms, as well as data collected by Ron McKay in his BBN days, regarding the sound absorption, volume, and educators’ subjective responses to loudness within the rooms, in an attempt to better understand correlations among these parameters.


Toward a more versatile venue: The Hahn Recital Hall renovation at the Music Academy of the West, Montecito, CA.

(4pAA6: Music Education Facilities II)

By Dave Conant

The Music Academy of the West was founded in 1947 by German operatic soprano and lieder singer Lotte Lehmann and Otto Klemperer and has

evolved to be regularly lauded as the "Julliard of the West”. Because their 1970s, 350-seat Recital Hall could no longer properly serve as a suitable recital hall or rehearsal hall, MCH was retained in 2005 to design a full overhaul to ensure the hall could wonderfully serve ensembles ranging from 2 or 3 musicians to the 70-piece Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra in rehearsal. It serves now as the home of Marilyn Horne’s Vocal Institute. We present our design process that involved major reshaping, mitigating rail traffic 300ft away, a new HVAC system, a sensitive re-do of the copious stage (including mitigating practice rooms below), designing novel recital screens, providing variable acoustics and an 11th hour effort to accommodate “Met Live!”


Links of Interest:

Acoustical Society of America website


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