Without intelligibility, an auditorium is little over a gymnasium after the basket ball hoops are folded out from the manner and the chairs are carted out, unfolded and setup. From a sound system that is good, sound will be emitted in either space. And in both cases, the remaining portion of the sound, all about 99.9% of the total sound made by this speakers, overshoots this listeners ears and ends up crashing to the rest of the inside of the building. So, what is the best way to organise the auditorium chairs in order to get an optimal sound?
By analyzing the part of the sound wave which truly misses the listeners, we're more able to understand the distinction between gyms and auditoriums. Auditorium acoustics is revolver around reflections, not loudspeakers - It's no surprise that people have a propensity to focus on what they hear instead of on what they are not hearing. Some could be seated in the auditorium, they may be the construction committee that commissioned the auditorium, the architect that designed the auditorium or the noise contractor who hung loudspeakers. However the acoustician, the individual brought into voice the distance, is much more worried about the sound they did not hear, the sound that passed them. In each one of the auditorium chairs, there might be a different sound profile reaching the ears of the audience.
Acoustics is not about the 1% of the sound from the loudspeaker that is directly heard by the people. Acoustics is about the other 99% of the noise, intercepting it and turning it to a noise that is fit to be heard. If you're in a gymnasium, this direct sound, 1% of what the loudspeaker produce, is providing important info, it is what we would like to hear. The remaining portion of the sound, all 99% of it, turns to noise and that is why we cannot comprehend sound very well in a gymnasium.
How should we arrange auditorium chairs, compared to gymnasium chairs? A gym usually has a bad “signal to noise” ratio. A good signal to noise ratio is significant to bear in mind when attempting to change a gym to an auditorium or more likely, attempting to keep an auditorium of sounding like a gym. More often than not, the construction committee will think that acoustics means attempting to soak up all the sound that overlooks the audience. That strategy does knock down the noise, but it is like throwing the bamboo into with the bath water. Rooms which are too dead are nearly as bad as rooms which are too live.