Sound Systems

Ostergaard Acoustical Associates designs and specifies contract documents for audio systems serving performing arts venues, school auditoriums, multipurpose rooms, and outdoor athletic facilities such as high school sports fields.

All OAA sound system designs are developed using 3-dimensional acoustical modeling software in order to achieve even coverage, ensure appropriate signal level, and investigate obstructions to sound propagation (e.g. a balcony overhang in an auditorium, a basketball backboard in a multipurpose room, or a building near a football field). Loudspeaker aiming angles and locations are critical to the effective functioning of a sound system. Once these parameters are optimized, OAA selects matching power amplifiers, signal processing equipment, and loudspeaker cable so that the sound system signals can properly reach the loudspeakers. Careful attention is also given to the location of sound system inputs and outputs, the selection of a mixing device that can appropriately accommodate the inputs and outputs, and sufficient equipment rackspace to house the needed equipment. For outdoor sound systems, OAA specializes in challenging designs where sufficient coverage is needed at track, field, and bleacher access areas while maintaining regulatory compliance at nearby noise-sensitive receptors.

OAA strives to create system designs supported by good acoustical principles. For indoor sound systems, these principles include:

  • Loudspeakers located on the stage centerline as high as possible. Loudspeakers located left and right of the stage cause distracting lateral source effects and force loudspeakers to be very close to front-row seats.
  • An operator position in the audience area, not backstage, so that the operator hears what the audience hears. Backstage control positions do not allow for proper level control. If desired, convenient backstage functions such as a CD player can be accommodated in the system design without relegating the entire system to the backstage area.
sound system acoustics

Photo credit: Popli Design Group

OAA prepares sound system contract documents that typically include a single-line functional diagram for the system, a schedule of major required equipment, plans and/or elevations as necessary, details for wall plates, and specification list. OAA works with the project’s electrical engineer to coordinate needed conduit sizes, conduit paths, and electrical service. OAA works with the project’s architect to coordinate locations for equipment cabinets, needed furniture, receptacles, and remote antennas.

Sound System Acoustics << Architectural Acoustics Services