The Acoustical Curmudgeon, Volume 1: Eating/Drinking Establishments

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After reading an article by Kate Wagner in the 11/27/2018 edition of The Atlantic that examined the increase of noise levels at restaurants, I knew acoustician Chris Blair, one of Adaptistration’s most popular guest authors, would have plenty to say on the topic. Chris’ article expands on The Atlantic piece by providing a deeper dive into the subject and presenting approaches establishments can consider to help rectify the problems. ~ Drew McManus Perhaps …

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Building Concert Halls, Part 3: How to ensure success

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In contrast to the “outside in approach” discussed in my last installment, great concert hall design starts with accommodating the essential requirements of both performers and audience, then moving outward in its architectural expression for support areas and public spaces….an “inside out approach”. There is an old expression: “form follows function” which today’s designers of concert halls and theaters would do well to return to their philosophy. And this concept can …

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Building Concert Halls, Part 2: Well-worn paths to failure

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Performing arts venues are built for a variety of reasons, artistic, social, and political. Their operational success can often be predicted by how these reasons are prioritized. Halls built primarily for political reasons such as prestige and civic pride sometimes overlook basic needs and desires of performers and audiences in favor of some grand architectural monument representing civic identity. These are the halls I sometimes describe as being built from the …

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Building Concert Halls, Part 1: What makes a great concert hall?

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In 2002 my company, Akustiks, was hired to design a new concert hall for the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra had been playing for many years in a large multi-purpose theater under the direction of Maestro Kenneth Schermerhorn. Increasing difficulties in scheduling the theater to accommodate what was becoming a full-time orchestra in part led to the realization that if the orchestra was to reach its potential, a new home would …

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An Insider’s Look Into Shop Talk

Ever since this blog launched in 2003, readers have always been more inclined to share thoughts via private email. Even though those exchanges regularly contain insightful content, their very nature prohibits public consumption. Nonetheless, guest blogger Chris Blair and I ended up having a fascinating exchange in the process of determining whether or not Chris would participate in this year’s guest blogging and ultimately, Chris decided that sharing the email exchange was in and of itself, a good guest author post…

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