The acoustics of a room directly affect how well speech and other sound is heard and understood. An entirely new technology makes it possible for sound laboratories to vary the acoustics to an unprecedented extent. In an instant, the same listening room can have the acoustics of a bathroom, kitchen or the outdoors.
The acoustics of a room affect how people understand the sound and message being conveyed. The reverberation found in a church can make it difficult to convey words and other sounds; in particular, the low-frequency reverberation affects speech intelligibility.
"We have further substantiated the research results and have developed the next generation of acoustic variable technology. It is also designed for concert halls and proved particularly useful for sound laboratories. We named it 'evoke' as it is a catalyst for bringing out the highest performance potential of musicians” says director, Ph.D., Niels Adelman-Larsen. A sound laboratory may find it useful to be able to vary the acoustics in their listening room with one touch of a button in order to assess the listeners' understanding of speech and other sound in different acoustic scenarios.
The principle of ‘evoke’ technology is that sections of walls and ceilings are made sound-reflecting, or alternatively sound-absorbing by choosing a pre-set on, for example, a laptop. The building blocks used to carry out this transformation are the patented, acoustically variable 'evoke' modules measuring 240x60 cm (approx. 8x2 ft).
Each module is either open or closed depending on the pre-set selected. The substantial perceived change in the acoustics of the room and thus in speech intelligibility is achieved due to a significant change in the reverberation time, especially at low frequencies. The actual change of reverberation obtained is typically a factor of 4:6. This transformation is effected by means of the open or closed evoke modules.
The evoke technology was installed last year in a sound laboratory at a reputable Scandinavian technical university and is on its way into the research laboratories of some of the world's largest technology companies.