Guerrilla Podcasts Chats to Charlie in the Acoustic Rooms of Salford University

Guerrilla Podcasts was lucky enough to get an invite into Salford University for a chat with Charlie on www.guerrillapodcasts.com and managed to have a brief tour round the various acoustic rooms of Salford University, School of Computing, Science and Engineering.

www.cse.salford.ac.uk

Many of you may know that yours truly, (Adrian at Guerrilla Podcasts) goes with the flow and does what he does with his limited resources available and would you believe that opportunities to have a wonder round Salford University obviously don’t actually occur that often!

Creating the various podcasts that i do via www.guerrillapodcasts.com & www.cyphreinc.co.uk with what i’ve got to hand and at the same time looking for work / employment, the opportunity to have a look see round the acoustic’s department of my local university most definitely seemed like a plan ……

Click Photo to Enlarge the Listenig Room Wave.
Click Photo to Enlarge the Reverberation Room wave.
Click Photo to Enlarge the Anechoic Chamber wave.

As you listen to the conversation between myself (Adrian) & Charlie you’ll discover more about the various acoustic rooms we visited.  You’ll be able to hear the difference in sound between the rooms, as we kick off our tour in the Listening Room visit the Reverberation Room and Transmission Suite and then into a room that, so i’m told, “doesn’t exist to sound” The Anechoic Chamber.

Guerrilla Podcasts Chats to Charlie in the Acoustic Rooms of Salford University

Whilst i was asking Charlie about the first room, in a room within a room that we were in, surrounded by a myriad of speakers, he told me that i was in a listening room, “this is what we do in this room, we just listen,”  so i suppose “i’ll shut up then!” The wall in the Listening Room

The Listening Room wall “is covered with a variety of wood (diffusers) and other stuff that diffuse the sound within the room that make the acoustics right within this particular room,”  as the “sound goes into the wood onto the wall and comes out in a random way so that you don’t get echos”.

Charlie continued to tell me that the Listening Room is “all built around the sweet spot in the middle of the room”, trying to find the optimum way to present sound. He also told me that the Listening room is more like a real or natural room “where we do all our subjective tests”.

So off we trot from the Listening Room into “the other rooms that are a bit more alien and weird”.  Next stop the alien room!  Should i say the Reverberation Room.  If you listen to Charlie’s voice as we walk into the Reverberation Room, you’ll hear the difference in the sound of the room.

Click to enlarge photo of the Reverberation Room

As he claps in the Reverberation Room the sound bounces of the walls round the room and as Charlie says “imagine sound is a like a handful of bouncy balls, as you chuck ’em they’re just going to keep bouncing in hear for longer”.

The ceiling in the Reverberation Room’s covered with plywood boards, these “bent plywood boards hanging from the ceiling kinda looks like modern art, it’s there for a reason, it helps the sound bounce around in a more random way”

Opposite the Reverberation Room is the Transmission Suite “where sound is blasted through a plaster board / brick wall over a gap and the sound is picked up by the microphones in the ceiling” of the Reverberation Room to test “how the plaster board / brick wall absorbs sound”.

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Click Photo to Enlarge photo of The Newton Building
Click Photo to Enlarge opening of The Newton Building plaque.

Following on we crossed a bridge into the “weird room” the Anechoic Chamber that has a sprung floor. “This room is another room within a room built on stilts” and we had to cross a drawbridge to get in as its built up on rubber mounts so noise doesn’t get in from the busy A6 outside”

Foam Padding on the wall in the Anechoic Chamber

The walls, ceiling and floor beneath the sprung floor is covered with acoustic foam, “big foam wedges about a metre deep that criss cross the room going this way and that way.”

Charlie clapped and the sound from that clap was “completely dead” and he explained the difference between the sound within the various rooms.

Salford University Research Themes PosterThe Anechoic Chamber “doesn’t exist to sound, that’s why we use it, being in this room is like being a mile up in the air”, “if you were suspended a mile up in the air and you shouted, the sound would just travel off, it wouldn’t have anything to bounce off, thats the same as being in this room”.

There’s only one draw back to this room so i was told? “if i spend enough time in this room you start to hear the blood pumping around your ears.”

As we walked out he showed me a washing machine where they test the sound power of the machines, testing with calibrated loads. I thought he was going to get me to do the drying to pay my way, Phew!! He also showed me a low frequency impedance tube used to test how sound is absorbed through a variety of mediums, Spooky!  I laughed and suggested it’s like being a big kid in the playground, wondering what it would be like to have this kind of kit available to create a podcast?

Click to Enlarge the clap wave form in the Listening Room
Click to Enlarge the clap wave form in the Reverberation Room.
Click to Enlarge the clap wave form in the Anechoic Chamber.

The Reverberation Room

The Transmission Suite

Click to Enlarge photo of The Transmission Room

The Anechoic Chamber

Yours truly in the Anechoic Chamber in Salford University

The Pogues – Dirty Old Town

A massive personal buzz on the day for yours truly as and when you hear it on the podcast …..

“We couldn’t do much better than what your doing with a laptop really!  We don’t do it that’s the thing.”  “Just because we’ve got all this equipment, doesn’t mean that we could make it any better, it’s all about content!” Nice One, Cheers :)

Salford University.

Salford University

For Further Information about the various acoustic rooms Charlie and I toured during my visit to Salford University please check out the links below:

A sincere and massive Thank You to Charlie for a fantastic opportunity, not forgetting those that know who they are for making my visit happen. Please do drop by www.soundaroundyou.com as and when you’ve got the spare time, where the Audio and Acoustic Engineering Research Centre at the University of Salford is building a sound map of the world to investigate how sounds in our everyday environment make us feel.

Sorted & Cheers :)

~ Inabit ~