Understanding Sound System Design

If you need to design a good sound system, you must have a good knowledge about the following Topics:
  1. The audio system structure. 
  2. The fundamentals of acoustics and audio system. 
  3. Method of performing project survey for acoustical conditions 
  4. Sound systems Manufacturers’ catalogs and manuals 

First: The audio system structure

The audio system structure includes all the basic knowledge for:

  • Audio system descriptions, types, configurations and purposes.
  • Audio system equipment and devices nature, construction, functions and types.

The audio system structure

We already explain this topic through all previous lessons posted in this course”
 LV-1: Basic Sound System Design), and a list of these posts will be as follows:

Second: The fundamentals of acoustics and sound system

The fundamentals of acoustics and sound system 
This part represents the academic study for the acoustics science, even it is a theoretical study but it is very important to understand and perform the design process for sound systems, this part will include but not limited to:

  • What is Acoustics?.
  • What is Sound?.
  • Properties of Sound.
  • Sound Characteristics.
  • Acoustical Materials & Methods.
  • Building Sound & Noise Control.
  • An Outdoor Sound Reinforcement System.
  • Fundamentals of Room Acoustics.
  • Behavior of Sound Systems Indoors.
  • System Architecture and Layout.
  • Acoustical Design.

Third: Method of performing project survey for acoustical conditions

This can be done by using the architect's drawings, project topology and function, site visits to evaluate environmental and acoustical conditions and owner/client requirements. All of these points are used to prepare a report which provides answers for the following questions:

project survey for acoustical conditions

1- Building Site questions:
  • Urban setting with lots of traffic? Next door to industrial facility? Airport? Quiet rural location (no problem!) 

2- Building Zoning & Planning questions:
  • How much separation required by local zoning ordinance between adjacent properties? What is housing density? Multi-story construction? 

3- Specific Interior Conditions questions:
  • What are the necessary sound privacy requirements between interior spaces? Building code requirements (i.e., STC, IIC)? OSHA requirements (i.e., max. background noise exposure). 

4- Noise Sources questions:
  • Occupancy air-borne noises? HVAC noises? Structure-borne noises? 

5- Budget question:
  • How much the owner/Client will pay for having good Audio systems? 

Forth: Sound systems Manufacturers’ catalogs and manuals 

Sound System Equipment and Devices

Reviewing sound system manufacturers’ catalogues will give you a good knowledge about the sound system equipment and devices available on market. They will also provide you with design guides/ manuals and important tips about all sound system products. Here I put some links for some famous sound system manufacturers as follows:

Note: For a complete list of sound system manufacturers please visit the following link "Audio equipment manufacturers"

In the next Topic, I will explain the fundamentals of acoustics and audio system. Please, keep following.

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