Category Archives: research

test.01 | acoustics


precedent | novak.fornes

-marcos novak

-francois roche

precedent | diffuser.reflector

Acoustic Diffuser / Reflector Panels – perfect for acoustic applications requiring a combination of sound diffusion and reflection, such as performing arts venues, concert halls and band/choir rooms.

The shaped surface of diffuser panels break up the direct sound reflections and direct them evenly throughout the listening space. Random disbursement of sound greatly improves sound quality in band, rehearsal, choir and performance spaces.

Auditoriums will benefit with the use of diffusers on the side and rear walls. Diffusers are often used in conjunction with standard acoustical wall panels. A combination of both greatly improves overall room acoustics.

Technical Data:
Substrate: 6/7 PCF rigid fiberglass asymmetrical box with chemically hardened edges and option of reflective or obsorptive face material.

Custom sizes available.

Box consists of 5 rigid fiberglass pieces attached to facing materials as one unit ready for easy field assembly.

All edges are completely wrapped to inside of box to prevent fray. (shipped flat).

Boxes can be rotated to create any dimensional design pattern.

For application and design assistance, contact PNC West, Inc.


research | acoustics.06

Soundscape. A soundscape is a sound or combination of sounds that forms or arises from an immersive environment. The study of soundscape is the subject of acoustic ecology. The idea of soundscape refers to both the natural acoustic environment, consisting of natural sounds, including animal vocalizations and, for instance, the sounds of weather and other natural elements; and environmental sounds created by humans, through musical composition, sound design, and other ordinary human activities including conversation, work, and sounds of mechanical origin resulting from use of industrial technology. The disruption of these acoustic environments results in noise pollution.
The term “soundscape” can also refer to an audio recording or performance of sounds that create the sensation of experiencing a particular acoustic environment, or compositions created using the “found sounds” of an acoustic environment, either exclusively or in conjunction with musical performances.

The term soundscape was coined by Canadian composer and environmentalist, R. Murray Schafer. According to this author there are three main elements of the soundscape:
Keynote sounds
This is a musical term that identifies the key of a piece, not always audible… the key might stray from the original, but it will return. The keynote sounds may not always be heard consciously, but they “outline the character of the people living there” (Schafer). They are created by nature (geography and climate): wind, water, forests, plains, birds, insects, animals. In many urban areas, traffic has become the keynote sound.
Sound signals
These are foreground sounds, which are listened to consciously; examples would be warning devices, bells, whistles, horns, sirens, etc.
This is derived from the term landmark. A soundmark is a sound which is unique to an area.
Papers on noise pollution are increasingly taking a holistic, soundscape approach to noise control. Whereas acoustics tends to rely on lab measurements and individual acoustic characteristics of cars and so on, soundscape takes a top-down approach. Drawing on John Cage’s ideas of the whole world as composition, soundscape researchers investigate people’s attitudes to soundscapes as a whole rather than individual aspects – and look at how the entire environment can be changed to be more pleasing to the ear.
It has been suggested that people’s opportunity to access quiet, natural places in urban areas can be enhanced by improving the ecological quality of urban green spaces through targeted planning and design and that in turn has psychological benefits.

Acoustic Ecology. Acoustic ecology, sometimes called soundscape ecology, is the relationship, mediated through sound, between living beings and their environment. Acoustic ecology is a discipline that analyzes how we interpret, and are affected by natural and artificial sounds around us.

Noise Map. A noise map is a graphic representation of the sound level distribution existing in a given region, for a defined period. The main noise indicators for noise mapping are Lday, Levening, Lnight and Lden (day-evening-night). These are long-term averaged sound levels, determined over all the correspondent periods of a year. All of these indicators are defined in terms of A-weighted decibels (dBA, dB(A)). According to the END, the acoustic indicators can be determined by computation or measurement methods. But computation methods are widely preferred, because of the large amount of yearly averaged locations required. Using either approach, a grid of receivers must be defined in order to measure or calculate noise levels. When results are obtained, using GIS tools, spatial interpolation must be applied in order to give a continuous graphical representation of sound levels. Five dBA ranges are used for this contour (isoline) representation. The maps may be useful for planning stages, or for prior evaluation of action plans, determination of most polluted areas. A strategic noise map, furthermore, must make an evaluation of the amount of people exposed within the five dBA ranges. Facade sound levels must be calculated, or estimated from the previous map. here are several models for making noise maps. Some of them use empirical models (for instance, INM for airports noise mapping), but most of the models are based in the physics of propagation of sound outdoors (defined in ISO 9613). The use of these software packages is quite easy, and the accuracy of results is very high depending on the quality of input data to the models. Measurements are used very often for the validation of results.
For train and road traffic noise, the description of the sources is usually made in terms of easy to know parameters, such as speed, number of vehicles etc. The main challenge for the acoustic consultant is the creation of good digital terrain model (DTM).
For industrial noise map production, the most important thing is the description of noise sources: sound power levels, directivity, working periods. Although some databases can be found, in many cases it is necessary to make measurements (ISO 3740) for describing the source. When these data are known, it will be necessary to simulate each of sources using a combination of point, line or surface noise source. The creation of good acoustic models can be quite complicated, and only experienced consultants can front this difficult tasks.
Some of the software packages more used for noise mapping are: LimA, CadnA, IMMI, Predictor, and SoundPlan. These programs have been adapted to fulfil the strategic noise mapping requirements of the END.
Simulation tools are very useful specially at planning stages, where measurements are not possible. The consultant can evaluate the effectiveness of action plans, in order to take decisions.


Geometrical concepts: swale/sine curve modules, low polygon ‘units’, spherical packing/aggregation recursive growth.
New concept for geometry could be utilization of spherical packing; spheres recursively grow towards attractor points. This concept uses the geometry of the sphere, rather than that of the “swale”, but still has convex surfaces. The other two geometrical forms I believe are still valid are the sine curve module/sine wave surfaces and the low polygon count geometry which is more like that of the boulder/voronoi geometry.
Here is a possible example script, although it uses domes. Ours would use spheres, packed at different scales on top of one another to build up a ‘mound’ or stoop more like the larger formations we are looking for. Where spheres intersect, a brep/brep intersection curve is found and the hidden geometry is booleaned away. The result would be a more ‘cloudlike’ formation of spherical geometry.

–another example of spherical packing; click here

Option Explicit

‘Script written by ian.gordon
‘Script copyrighted by
‘Script version Friday, February 06, 2009 1:21:07 AM

Call cloud9Maker()
Sub cloud9Maker()
Dim diam:diam=rhino.getReal(“enter size of boundary”,12)
If isnull(diam) Then Exit Sub
Dim rad:rad=diam/2
Dim qty:qty=rhino.getInteger(“how many domes?”,4)
If isnull(qty) Then Exit Sub


‘create seed dome
Dim origin:origin=array(0,0,0)
Dim dome:dome=Rhino.AddSphere(origin,rad)
Dim strCutter:strCutter=rhino.AddPlaneSurface(rhino.WorldXYPlane,rad+1,rad+1)
rhino.ScaleObject strCutter,Array(rad+1,rad+1,0),Array(2,2,2)
Dim splits:splits=Rhino.SplitBrep(dome,strCutter,vbTrue)
rhino.deleteObject strCutter
rhino.deleteObject splits(1)
Dim srcDome:srcDome=splits(0)
Rhino.CapPlanarHoles srcDome

Dim matrixPts:matrixPts=matrix9(diam)
Dim matrixPt
Dim color:color=50
For Each matrixPt In matrixPts
Dim xpySrcDome:xpySrcDome=rhino.copyObject(srcDome)
‘create seed ring
Dim ring:ring=newCircle(origin,rad)
‘get a set of random pts on the ring
Dim newPts:newPts=ptsOnCrv(ring,qty)
Dim miniClouds:miniClouds=newClouds(srcDome,xpySrcDome,ring,newPts,origin,color)
‘move to matrix pt
rhino.moveObject miniClouds,origin,matrixPt

rhino.deleteObject srcDome

End Sub

Function newClouds(srcDome,xpySrcDome,ring,newPts,origin,color)
‘copy dome to each new pt
Dim arrInput()
Dim j:j=0
Dim newPt
For Each newPt In newPts
Dim newPtC:newPtC=rhino.pointCoordinates(newPt)
Dim xpyDome:xpyDome=rhino.copyObject(srcDome,origin,newPtC)
Dim scl:scl=rndScale
rhino.print “RANDOM SCALE: “&scl
Rhino.scaleObject xpyDome,newPtC,Array(scl,scl,scl)
ReDim Preserve arrInput(j)
‘add the original xpyDome
ReDim Preserve arrInput(j)
‘clean up
rhino.deleteObjects newPts
rhino.deleteObject ring
‘union polysurfaces
Dim strUnion:strUnion=Rhino.BooleanUnion(arrInput,vbTrue)
Dim cmd:cmd=”_mergeAllFaces selID “&strUnion(0)&” enter enter”
rhino.command cmd
‘colorful cloud
rhino.ObjectColor strUnion(0),RGB(80,(80+color),(250-color))
End Function

‘grid of point coordinates
Function matrix9(diam)
Dim unit:unit=diam*2
rhino.print “matrix9 unit”&unit
Dim arrPts(8)
Dim i,j,k
Dim col:col=0
Dim x:x=0
Dim y:y=0
For i=0 To 2
For j=0 To 2
‘rhino.addPoint arrPts(k)
End Function

‘random scale within a range
Function rndScale
Dim num:num=rnd(1)
Dim n:n=round(num,2)
‘check if it’s within range
Dim check
If n>0.8 Then
End If
If n<0.5 Then
End If

Select Case check
Case "MORE"
'rhino.Print "RND IS MORE"
Case "LESS"
'rhino.Print "RND IS LESS"
Case Else
rhino.Print "FINAL RND: "&n
End Select
End Function

'random points on curve
Function ptsOnCrv(crv,qty)
Dim dom:dom=rhino.CurveDomain(crv)
Rhino.Print "Curve domain: " & CStr(dom(0)) & " to " & CStr(dom(1))
Dim divs:divs=qty
Dim arrPts()
Dim i
For i=0 To divs
Dim dblParameter:dblParameter=(rnd*dom(1))
'rhino.Print i&" : "&dblParameter
Dim pt:pt=Rhino.CurveEvaluate (crv, dblParameter,1)
Dim newPt:newPt=rhino.addpoint(pt(0))
ReDim Preserve arrPts(i)
End Function

'circle maker give centerpt and radius
Function newCircle(originPt,rad)
Dim deltaX:deltaX=originPt(0)+rad
Dim pt1:pt1=Array(deltaX,originPt(1),originPt(2))
Dim deltaY:deltaY=originPt(1)+rad
Dim pt2:pt2=Array(originPt(0),deltaY,originPt(2))
Dim arrPlane:arrPlane=rhino.planeFromPoints(originPt,pt1,pt2)
Dim circ:circ=rhino.addCircle(arrPlane,rad)
End Function

modelling.surface studies | swale v4

research | acoustic.05